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If You're Gonna Teach the Man to Be a Midwife...


rant on

Why in the world would someone wanting a UC expect their husband/partner/man/woman to learn "all there is to know" about complications during birth?!?

Isn't the fact that most of us learn for THREE YEARS plus AND attend dozens and dozens of births and read dozens of volumes of books, midwifery, medical, laboratory, Anatomy & Phyisiology, emotional, spiritual, etc... doesn't any of that offer a CLUE that learning "all there is to know" during a few months of YOUR OWN pregnancy isn't gonna cut it?

Why, when the PARTNER, who is also birthing this baby, why would the PARTNER be expected to observe clinical and emotional roadblocks or stumbling blocks and not be permitted to EXPERIENCE the birth in a place of comfort and peace and with the possibility hanging over his/her head that, if something goes wrong, I didn't see the signs and it is MY FAULT for not seeing it?

I get the part about UCers wanting to be alone. I get that they want to be 100% responsible for their own care (the child's care, be damned, however, since the child sits inside unable to holler if there is an issue occuring). I get that some women have been SO hurt and abused by "caregivers" that they don't want anyone near them.

But, to expect the person you love enough to marry or live with to do something SO out of the range of the ordinary... most of these women wouldn't let their loved one change the oil in the car, yet have no qualms about their taking over the life and safety of their child. I just do NOT understand.

An Analogy:

My partner can tell a person how to change the carburator on the car... from Step 1 to Step finished... about 80 steps or so. Can you take the manual and go out and do it yourself? With or without the tutoring sessions? Sure! Might you fuck it up and need to re-do it? Lose parts? Lose your way? Sure! Might you get it right the first time? Sure! But, wouldn't it have been a LOT easier to have someone there to show you the way even as you did the whole thing yourself?

Isn't that the whole meaning behind an apprenticeship of any sort? From construction to mechanics to architecture to teaching? We might be CAPABLE, but do we HAVE to do it alone? Whose ego does it serve to INSIST on doing it alone?

So, you fuck up your car by doing it yourself, you go to a mechanic and get it fixed, or, at worst, you get a new car.

You fuck up the life of your child. You are fucked yourself.

Why do people do that?

I know extremists that could take my arguments and make them arguments for scheduled cesareans. I am not meaning that AT ALL. I am not even advocating hospital births. I am not advocating dis-empowered births. I am advocating REALITY. Who doesn't live in this world enough to know that there are children who need MAJOR help in labor and birth? That women need MAJOR help in labor and birth?

I suggest a day of volunteering at the Special Olympics. Or the March of Dimes.

Head-in-the-Sand Birthing. That is what a UC is.

Go ahead, crucify me.

rant still on, but without a keyboard

Reader Comments (2)

I also agree with you here. I have attended enough births to know that you can't wave a magic wand and have everything turn out the way you want each time. I wish we could! That would be awesome. I rely upon midwives and family practice doctors and even OBs to do their best to assure a healthy outcome for both mother and child. I don't even believe that dads can adequately doula their partners because they haven't seen a birth yet (often) and they are too emotionally close to the situation. We already ask to much of partners during births. There is simply too much to know and remember when they are feeling like a deer-in-the-headlights. I can only imagine that a UC is much, much worse for that deer-in-the-headlights feeling. Even elephants have doulas, for human women, having assistance at birth is natural.

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTeresadoula

I know this is an old post, but I saw the title and had to read it (somehow I missed it before). I clicked because my husband and I often joke about him becoming a midwife (he totally loves birth - or at least me giving birth to our kids).

Having said that - I totally agree with you. I would trust my husband if it were an emergency and truly no one else were around. He's educated and calm and collected. And generally, birth is safe, and we're heading toward #3.

But to plan an UC is really asking a lot. He takes things so deeply emotionally. If something ever happened, he would feel responsible and he'd never recover. And there are too many things that truly can not be controlled.

I had a placental abruption with my first - NO risk factors. Transferred while crowning to the hospital from a birth center. That could not have been predicted, and a layperson would not have recognized it. It was a small abruption - because my son was crowning I still was able to give birth vaginally, and everyone was ok. But it could have been disaster if we were trying an UC.

I would never want that on my husband's shoulders and heart. And I truly adore my homebirth midwives. Number two was awesome and I know having them there for number three will be too.

I know it can be hard to trust if you've been hurt in the past - but you need to keep looking until you find the right person. How can you justify that risk?

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnisa

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