I will begin this post by saying that I am utterly frustrated with a good chunk of Christian women that I have come across in the past 2 1/2 years that I've been studying birth and midwifery. I am almost always let down by the responses, and the utter lack of faith in God when it comes to childbirth. So know that my post comes more from a vent of frustration than a calm, teaching spirit.
So many Christian women that I encounter all wholeheartedly agree that we need to trust in God with all of our hearts when it comes to finances, our troubles and cares, our family, our lives. But then the subject of birth comes up, and it veers from speaking in biblical terms to speaking in politically correct terms. I have been berrated for saying that women are not trusting in God when they induce their labors out of convenience or fear, or when they choose drugs or an epidural for labor. When women believe their doctors when they tell them that their baby is just too big ( and the "me" of 3 years ago is included in this!! ) and they have to have their baby cut out, instead of birthing the way that God designed us to.
Ladies: God designed birth so intricately and perfect. He designed it so that the baby secretes a hormone that initiates labor. He designed labor to be progressive in nature, so that most of us aren't slammed with hard labor before experiencing a more gentle contraction. He designed our bodies to give us a huge reward after birthing the way that He intended...our bodies release the absolute *highest* amount of endorphins after a baby is birthed. How awesome is that!?!?
But here's the catch.
If we induce, if we add chemicals that are artificial or outside of our bodies, if we add pain meds or an epidural....those things block the blessing that God has allowed us to have after hard work. We don't receive those endorphins. And more so, WHY would you choose to numb your body for something that God has specifically designed us to do? Why would you be so untrusting, and allow an induction to take place because you're past your "ESTIMATED due date", the baby is getting "too big" ( What happened to God knitting our babies together in our wombs? ), or simply because you're sick of being pregnant? Granted, there are legitimate reasons to induce. But right now, there are about 90% unnecessary inductions being done, while only 10% are actually necessary. We need to trust in God for birth as well. Birth is not inherently dangerous. It's what added to it that makes it so. Women long ago were NOT dying from childbirth itself...they were dying from disease, infections, and very unclean conditions.
"Women used to die in childbirth all the time. Now we have wonderful technology that has changed things."
No, technology in childbirth is hurting more than it's saving. Women are now dying more frequently in childbirth because of how high the cesarean rate is. Women, this is MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY. Not just another way to have a baby. There have been 3 deaths in NJ, and one death in NY within the past 5 months...all after cesareans. A woman caught on fire during her cesarean a few months back, and another woman died after an induction. Her uterus was so hyperstimulated, that it could not clamp back down after the birth, and she bled to death. Technology is not making things better...we actually have the highest maternal morbidity and mortality rates that we've had in DECADES.
"What if something happens...I'd just rather be in the hospital, just in case."
Again, what about faith in our creator Who designed the process? The above statement is fear. The bible teaches us to trust and not be afraid. The fact is, if you want to loook at it statistically....home and birth center births are safer and have MUCH better outcomes than the hospitals do. And not only that, but home and birth center births are SO much more peaceful. It's just really what I see when I picture what God had intended for us. Childbirth is one of the most amazing events of our lives. Instead of living in fear, why not trust in God? Yes, sometimes there are bad outcomes. I know this. But I have also personally seen bad outcomes happen more often than not *because* of interventions that were never meant to be introduced.
"I believe that God gave us the intelligence to come up with our medical advances."
So do I. However, by far does it mean that they are all good. Look at abortion. That is definitely "technologically advanced" and some would say that abortion practices have improved. Does it make it any less biblically wrong? Christian women have tried comparing using medication when sick, to using drugs in childbirth. Except there's one HUGE differece.
Childbirth is not an illness. Childbirth is a beautiful process designed by God.
I am trying desperately to get through to my best friend about all of this before she even gets pregnant with her first. My heart would break if she had a bad experience or outcome because of fear. I am trying to get through to her now that birth is amazing and sacred and beautiful, and SAFE...when left to God's design. I have literally had dreams of her following her doctor's instructions and ending up with an epidural, a c-section, and difficulties all around. Some may be sitting here reading, thinking that I'm a nutjob now. LOL Know that my best friend is more of a sister to me. We have been best friends for almost 14 years, and she was my family all through high school. Her house was always a safe haven for me when my family was out of control and too much to bear. My passion for childbirth is like this for all women...but imagine how much more so when it is someone that I love dearly. I would love to see the fear dissolve, and see her have a beautiful birth with her FIRST child ( instead of the old "I'll have a hospital birth with my first and see how it goes, and THEN maybe I'll think about a home birth" ) and know that birth works according to God's plan. I pray that she will know this when the time comes.
So women, instead of being so PC about everything, let's keep each other accountable ( remember that word and act??? ) in our faith when it comes to childbirth. It is no different than our finances, our family, our cares, and our lives. God designed us to do something so precious...let's not defile it with artificiality, drugs, and disconnect.