I’m feeling a bit sad about women today.

The idea of womanhood, to me, is for us to stick together and learn from each other and gently teach each other what we know.

I heard two stories today – one from a friend and one online – of two women. The first story was about a woman who is choosing to have an induction for the birth of her first child because her obstetrician is going on holiday and she has paid a lot of money for him to be there for the birth of her child. The second woman was a friend of a friend of a friend, commenting on facebook about booking in for a caesarean because birth is too ‘disturbing’.

This made me feel deeply sad.

Not only because these women (both of whom I have never met!) seem to have an incredible lack of understanding about birth, and inherently – womanhood. But also because, one might assume from the outside, they have no women in their lives who have shared positive stories about birth, pregnancy, new beginnings, life.

I am not being judgemental of other’s birth choices. I believe it is each individual’s prerogative to make the choices they feel are right for them. The catch is whether or not those choices are informed.

If we don’t share positive stories about pregnancy and birth, and pass on information about the power of our bodies and our babies, is it any wonder that women believe what they see on television, and opt for the operating table?

I wonder…


4 thoughts on “Women

  1. Dear Lucy, A couple of weekends ago, I hosted a Blessingway gathering in honour of a friend of mine who is approaching the birth of her first baby. We invited women who are important in her life. They were incredibly nervous at the beginning, each bringing their own concerns about focussing too closely on birth (ewwwww, right?) for a couple of hours. But with a little guidance and encouragement, they each did their best to bring positivity to the situation, and the mother-to-be felt overwhelmingly blessed by their efforts. Her conclusions afterwards were that we each need to be THAT person; the woman who brings the news about the possibilities of birth and the woman who assures pregnant women that their fears are natural, that birth is complex, and that it is a journey that offers you an opportunity to face your fears and your own power. There are so few opportunities in life to face your mortality as directly as when you are giving birth. It is unfamiliar territory to most of us, and so it is natural to want to avoid it. So, I guess the best we can do is Be The Change, and all that.
    Love, Sarah.

    • Thanks so much for commenting on this Sarah. I had a feeling you might! The friend who told me the first story was really frustrated by it – being someone who has been through an induction herself, she wanted to shake some sense into her friend, initially thinking it was the doctor that had made the push due to his holiday. Turns out it was the mother who was pushing for the induction, due to the fear which is, like you say, natural for us to feel about the unknown. Where does it leave us, then, outside of a forum like a Blessingway where it is ‘ok’ to talk about such things, and in real life, when there is such a delicate line between being disrespectful of people’s choices and gently informing people? I feel like there is a lot of grey area here.

  2. Good on you Lucy! For wanting to discuss a difficult subject and to express your sadness at the state of womanhood and our society.
    Giving birth is a transformative experience, in both dramatic and subtle ways. If we are well supported and informed we, as women have a much greater chance at a positive birth experience for ourselves and our babies. We need other women in our lives to be honest and real when it comes to sharing stories and the challenges of birthing.

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