“Do or do not, there is no try. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
A few days ago Zach and I were doing our grocery shopping. My little man sat in the shopping cart, shooting two-tooth grins to anyone within range (except old men, he seems to dislike old men…). I wedged my cart between the deli section and the iced tea display and was making my beverage selection when a young man turned towards us. He couldn’t have been more than 22 years old.
“What a great baby,” he said. “I’m doing my ob-gyn rotation right now, and I’m just amazed by the whole birth thing. It’s just so crazy…”
I have this thing against most ob-gyn’s (please, save your comments) but I decided not to be prejudiced, so I bit my tongue and just smiled and said, “Yeah, it’s pretty cool.”
“So, how was your birth?” he asked.
Prepare to have your mind blown away, I thought. “Oh, I gave birth at home.”
“At home? Really?”
“Yes, 10 lb. baby.”
His face was awash with shock. “You mean, you mean…” he stammered and, unable to find the words, he made a little squat and thrust his hands downward between his legs to indicate a vaginal birth.
I laughed. “Yes, I had a planned home birth, no pain medications, 12 hours of labor and a big healthy baby boy with the help of two midwives.”
He stared at me in disbelief. “I’ve never seen a 10 lb. baby delivered naturally. Even the 9-lb. babies that I’ve seen during C-sections have to be pulled out hard because they’re wedged in there so tightly. Wow…”
“Have faith in women,” I told him. “We’re very powerful.”
“Yes,” he stammered, still shocked. “We try…”
And those two words right there sum up what’s wrong with the medical system’s approach to birth. You can’t try to have faith… Either you have it or you don’t. If doctors don’t have faith in women, then women will have a harder time having faith in themselves. And how is a young man going to have faith in the birthing abilities of women when he’s never seen – and probably will never witness – a truly natural, intervention-free, “squat and push that baby out with a roar” kind of birth?
I bumped into that young doctor 10 minutes later while leaving the store. He smiled and waved, still looking somewhat perplexed by our exchange.
I pray that our meeting wasn’t just coincidental; may it have planted in him a seed of curiosity and a desire to go beyond the textbooks and lectures, so that one day he can be the kind of doctor women and babies truly deserve.