Sunday, October 23, 2011

Will the real Dr. Amy please stand up?

If you have ever heard of Amy Tuteur, then you have also probably asked yourself-
Who IS this woman and why is she constantly telling me homebirth is dangerous?
And, why does she feel it is her place to tell me where and how I should birth my child?

Well, if you have wondered this, you are not alone. Many of us have been intrigued by this random woman on the net who spends so much of her time and energy trying to make homebirth and midwives look bad. You would think, if homebirth was truly as dangerous as she claims and midwives were really as awful as she makes them about to be, she would have taken some action by now to actually do something about it.

Writing a blog is.. well.. writing a blog. It certainly won't make homebirth safer and as far as I know, midwives won't become more educated or experienced by anti-homebirth blog posts, either.
So, you may have wondered..What IS the point in what she is doing? You may have even asked yourself.. What in the heck happend to this woman to make her so rabid about homebirth?

Unfortunately, I just do not have an answer for that. I have speculation... Oh, yes, I have speculation, but I surely cannot prove, that besides being completely and utterly bored, this is all based on her ego and desperate need for attention.

What I can do is this.. I can present you, the reader with a little insight into the infamous doctor
and then you, yourself, can make a judgement call on the kind of person she is. You may want to ask yourselves a couple of questions at the end of this post.

1. Does Amy Tuteur use fact or opinion as a source of information?
2. Is Amy Tuteur a good source to look to when searching for scientific evidence?

A couple of years ago, Dr. Amy was a writer on a site called Science Based Medicine.This is a place where skeptics like to go to get to the truth of the matter through science, data and other fact based information. She lasted there for three months and due to some unknown reasons, decided and/or was asked, to leave.

This is what the majority of skeptics had to say about her departure..

We have all heard Amy Tuteur accuse many, many people of lying, twisting the truth, and making false claims based on pure opinion. Now, I am beginning to wonder.. exactly who is the one misrepresenting the truth? I know what I believe but I'll let you be the judge...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Can we agree to disagree?

Ahhh.. the Birth Wars. They're exhausting aren't they?

I think we can all agree that things cannot continue the way they have been..
the "Birth Wars" are not going to get us anywhere. And in the midst of all the drama, the arguing, the pointing of fingers.. there are mothers to be, trying to prepare for their births, trying to
 make the right decisions. We are not helping those women when we argue.

From what I have gathered in my relatively short time involved in this battle is that one very significant factor in all of this, is perspective. We have very different perspectives.. but it's not just on birth, it's on everything. Our perspectives on life and healing, anger and trauma seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum. That doesn't mean that there aren't things we agree on, because there are. And I would say, those are the things that we really should be focusing on.

I want to say, right here and now, that I support making homebirth safer. I support raising the bar for homebirth midwives. Every woman who gives birth at home and at the hospital deserves the very best care. I do not support negligence nor do I excuse careless midwives, simply because they are midwives. I do not think women who have had bad experiences with their homebirths, should be hushed or that valid concerns should be swept under the rug.

Let me explain what I do have a problem with. I cannot abide and do not support, bullying, ridiculing or name calling. It's an embarrassment to us all. We are women and mothers, sisters and wives and we are better than this! Or at least, we should be. Is this is the example you want to set for your daughters? Your sons? Your grandchildren? Do you want to show by example that when you don't agree with someone the best course of action is to make fun of them? What kind of children are we going to raise for the future if that is the example we are setting for them? The very first lesson we all learned as children was- do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. Four year olds are capable of doing this yet grown mothers are not? It's shameful.

Yesterday a nurse posted this on my wall. It was disheartening to say the least..

And a couple of the comments that followed:

Many were like the one below. Pointless and childish. I will spare you and only show one..

Sigh. The fact that I even need to defend myself on this is beyond ridiculous. My page is about birth and since we discuss our births, inevitably, details will  come up. Details that include giving birth without medication or giving birth by c-section or giving birth vaginally. The details are usually a big part of the conversation when you discuss birth. 

This is the sort of nonsense I have a problem with. Our pages and words are not being attacked by random teens on the net ( although it feels like it sometimes) these are mothers, just like us!

This is why we are having "Birth Wars" despite the fact we are grown women with children of our own. It's because some people choose to be disrespectful and narrow minded. We should all have the capability to discuss issues with civility and understanding. We should be able to listen to one another. Unfortunately, there isn't anything worthwhile to hear when  nothing of substance being said. I think it's a real shame that the people who claim to want to make improvements in midwifery care and claim to want to protect mamas and babies resort to the above behavior. How can we possibly take them seriously? How can we believe that  they really care when this ^ is all we see? I can't support it and I won't be a part of it.

I only hope that those who choose to partake in this futile and empty behavior will just be ignored by everyone else. I hope that those of you who do care, will continue helping and supporting women. 
If these are the kind of people hoping to protect us, we need to make sure we are doing it ourselves.
We need to unite .. we must make sure birth is as safe as possible for everyone.  Both negligent doctors and negligent midwives need to be on our radar. 

For those of us who are truly interested in improvement, let's agree to disagree. For those of you who have nothing better to do but ridicule.. you can either change or get out of the way.. because we really are not interested. We have better things to do.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Message for Dr. Amy

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs

Dr. Amy,

I have a message for you. 
I am not interested in what you have to say. You have no wisdom. You have no solutions. Nothing you have to say inspires me.  Your "idea's"- if that's what you want to call them, bore me. To put it simply, you are boring.

I understand that you don't get.  I understand that you are not capable of seeing the big picture.
You cannot grasp anything that is not within your tiny, narrow view. Too bad for you. I am not interested in living my life in fear. I have no desire to constantly worry about what "might" go wrong. I am interested in being awake and aware and I am curious about what the truth really is. I think we both know I won't be discovering any of that if I listen to you.

In my world, intuition matters. In my world, magic exists. I know you laugh at what you don't understand but that is your fault, not mine.

Your knowledge does not make you wise. Your education does not make me respect you. How could anyone respect someone who shows no compassion no wisdom, no humility and no kindness? You respect nothing yet you expect us to listen to you.

You can continue spreading hate, I know you will. And I will continue to ignore you. You can continue creating a divide, it will do harm. Your choices do not protect anyone. What good has ever come from hate?

I will continue to listen to those who inspire me. I will continue to be moved by people with brilliant ideas and solutions for improvement.

You will continue spreading tired lines and messages of anger. Don't you want more?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Blame Game...

I have to admit, I was completely oblivious to the "Mommy/Birth Wars" not that long ago.
I miss the blissful ignorance of being unaware that others viewed my choices so harshly, even though it shouldn't matter what they think. I simply had no idea people could care so much about the choices I made involving my own body and own child!

It wasn't just the judgments on homebirth mothers that I had noticed, I also began to see a lot of blame being passed around and very little responsibility being taken for our own choice-making.

Women were angry. Really, really angry. They were tired of people telling them that their C-sections weren't real births or that they were less-than for getting the epidural. They were upset that they had been told that doctors were evil and hospitals were cold and unfeeling.  That had simply not been their experience and they felt they had been lied to.

I could understand their frustration. I had empathy that their births were being discounted. It certainly wasn't fair or right.

But, my then my empathy began to wane. I could understand being angry and being hurt but what I could not understand was turning that anger into blame, continually, over and over again.

Blame was put on thousands of women.. women who had no connection to those specific situations where these women had felt judged and belittled. All of sudden every single homebirth mother or woman who advocated for natural birth deserved retribution for what had happened to them. All of a sudden we were all lumped together into this one huge group of women who had demeaned them and their births.

I know full well, I had never said a harsh word to any of these women for the choices they had made as mothers or what had happedned to them by no fault of their own. So, why were all of  us getting blamed for something that one random person had said? Even if 100 people had said it, it still does not mean that thousands upon thousands of women feel the same way.

But the blame did not stop there. I also began to notice that anyone who was viewed as an "advocate" for homebirth or natural birth was not only accused of putting women and babies in danger but was also being held responsible if a baby or mother died. I saw facebook page owners, bloggers and mothering boards being blamed when homebirths went wrong or women had stillbirths. This was going too far. When you start blaming the wrong people for anyone's death, baby or adult, you have gone too far.

Think about the myriad of reasons that are involved when a mother is making a choice about her impending birth. I would say this choice probably begins with the mother's upbringing.. her relationship with her parents, her religious beliefs, her spiritual beliefs, her husbands beliefs and so much more.

How can we possibly blame a facebook page if the choice a mother makes ends in tragedy? I think we need to give women more credit than that. Women are intelligent and thoughtful and will do anything to protect their babies. If someone is looking for guidance on an online forum, I would assume that she is using every avenue possible for information and resources. I would argue that she has put a lot of thought into her birth and sometimes, despite doing all that, things will still go wrong.

Why do we always feel such a need to blame? What possible good comes out of that anyway? I see blame as one of those useless emotions, like regret and jealousy. It causes more harm than good, there is no question about that.

So, instead of blaming, I think we should try something new. If someone says a hurtful comment to us about how we gave birth or how we parent our children, we need to confront that person right then and there. Let's not run off and let that anger fester. Let's not put the blame on someone else. Let's talk about it and try to resolve it, the best way we can.

If something goes wrong during our birth or someone else's birth, instead of trying to find someone to blame, let's try to find ways to heal. It is so much more productive and will end with peace of mind rather than anger in our hearts.

I think we can take what would have been blame and turn it into proactive change. Whenever there is an opportunity to blame, there really is an opportunity for growth. It's in our hands, which one we want we to choose.