Childbirth is an amazing time in a woman’s life—in a family’s life. And, there is no question that childbirth in America is far from perfect. We have a disturbing acceptance of the “medicalization” of birth, far too many interventions and an exorbitantly high cesarean section rate. There is no argument that much can be improved in our system. However, we cannot ever lose sight of what really is truly important. It is certainly not just the process or the experience itself. It is indeed ultimately the outcome. A healthy baby and a healthy mom. In most of the world that really is what it is about.
It has been a bit since I have brought up homebirth but a news story over the holidays has once again sparked my desire to talk about it. It seems as though every time I pose a challenge to it I am criticized by someone for “being part of the medical establishment and for defending it”. Interestingly enough, I wonder if those same people actually even read my posts or follow the links that further outline the points I make.
Birth is, in fact, a natural and somewhat random event. How it goes; long or short, easy or difficult is not something necessarily within a woman’s control. The process definitely includes how a woman “copes”—with the primal and completely uncontrollable course of action her body undertakes. How she embraces the process, accepts it, is afraid or not afraid of it and responds to it are huge. There are also, however, a whole cascade of physiological events that occur and that, at any time can change the course of a seemingly normal labor and birth.
That appears to be just what happened on Christmas Day to Tracey Hermanstorfer in Colorado Springs. She went into cardiac arrest during labor; my assumption is from an embolus (clot) that somehow, miraculously resolved itself. Both she and her baby had no vital signs for at least four minutes. Had she been giving birth at home, she may have recovered, but since her baby could not have been born immediately he would not have made it. Thankfully, Tracey and Coltyn went home safely and are doing well.
By Tori Kropp, R.N. for Barefoot&Pregnant