Thursday, February 4, 2010

More than Mere Coincidence

I first read Tina Cassidy's book, Birth: The Surprising History of How We are Born, before I even conceived Babycakes, but it cemented in my mind the importance of natural birth and helped me realize how much I wanted that for my baby and myself. Interestingly, the idea for her work came about shortly after the birth of her son, born via unplanned c-section after a prolonged labor caused by his malposition. Sound familiar?

The morning after my son's birth, via unplanned c-section after a prolonged labor due to malposition, I recalled Cassidy's book and knew that I had to read it again the minute I got home from the hospital. Doing so only strengthened my belief in the failings of this country's medical system, especially in the area of obstetrics, and it helped set me on a path toward healing. I remember reading Cassidy's last lines, in which she says that a home birth would never be an option for her, and then discovering her blog shortly thereafter, in which she detailed the birth of her second son, a successful HBAC, or home birth after cesarean, in her bathtub, attended by a midwife.

So today, I was pleasantly surprised to check her blog and discover that she shared the same home birth midwife as Gisele, who gave birth to her son in December. As Cassidy herself points out, Gisele's choice to birth at home with a midwife is not just a personal decision, but a huge statement to both doctors and women in the United States, Brazil, and beyond.

Gisele is the highest paid model in the fashion industry, and I once read that she refuses to accept payment in any currency besides the euro. She has enormous influence on popular culture in the global market: if Gisele models a bra for Victoria's Secret, women will buy it. If she carries a Gucci handbag, women will buy it. And on and on and on.

So, by choosing to deliver her son in the comfort of her own home, attended by capable hands on the fringes of the medical community, she is telling women that birth is not something to fear in a hospital setting, and not a reason to schedule a potentially dangerous surgical procedure, but a normal part of a woman's life that should be celebrated and accepted.

Hopefully you're paying attention.