By Bethy Young
If you give choices to a birthing mother, she will surprise you with her ability to make the right decision for both herself and her child. Choices, respect and the room to connect with the growing child inside her is something every woman deserves to have. Choices equal power.
After I delivered my son through an inverted-T cesarean section, I went through a long period of feeling defeated. At that time, my emotions were bound to the incision itself. I felt that I failed and that I had been broken. Looking back now, I realize I was wrong about the whole thing. Yes, the act of the c-section itself was triggering emotional eruptions. I had wanted a natural birth and instead, I was given the furthest thing from what I desired and it stung.. But what really took my power away was what small choice I had been given in my own delivery! I was treated like an object, disrespected, cut into without options and was put down. I had not come to terms with being told that my only option was to not have options!
Being treated with respect and being given the chance to make our own choices is a powerful thing. Even if the end result is the same, the simple act of making the decision yourself can bring you power in a powerless situation.
We live in a society where we hire our doctors and yet, these doctors have power over us. Not only is choosing VBAC a fight, that fight extends to choosing if we have our babies at home or a hospital. We get pressure to get inductions, have certain medications and stay in certain positions, all in the name of making birth easier for medical professionals. If we demand to have a different birth or question the practices, we are pressured or even forced to go along with the requests. Instead of clear choices, scare tactics are administered or we are told we only have one option. For us with special scars, one option is often the “only option”. How are we supposed to become empowered women and heal from our emotional scars if we are being told we are too weak and naive to decide what to do with our bodies?
Something as simple as a woman choosing her birthing position can bring power to a situation and yet those choices are taken away far too often. It does not take much to bring the power of choice into any situation. Is it not too much to ask that we remember a woman’s body is her own, even during childbirth? It is her choice alone how she uses her body to bring her child into the world. The choice is hers to make. You have to demand choices and fight for your body. It may be a tough fight now but it is a fight, a choice… a fight for a choice worth having. If enough women stand up for this choice, the right to choose how life comes into this world, we have hope for the future, both for us and the lives we bring into this world.