This is so well written and completely true! Yes, I am passionate about empowering women to draw on their inner strength and birth in a way that research supports (such as keeping in upright positions as much as possible so that they can work with gravity, being aware that mindset and environment can have detrimental effects on the physiological processes of the birth hormones, etc).
But equally, all the affirmations and positive thinking in the world wouldn’t change the fact that I have a defective gene that greatly increases my risk of postpartum haemorrhage (something I didn’t know I had when I had my first two births).
My last birth was a planned home birth in water, and I had intended to have a physiological third stage, just as I had done with my first two births. The birth itself went beautifully but only 6 minutes after he was born, it was clear that there was an issue with blood loss. So we got out of the pool and I chose to have syntometrine, AND later, ergometrine, to stem the bleeding.
Even with these drugs, I still lost 2 litres of blood, and our planned first night with our new baby in our own bed turned into a transfer in an ambulance and a first night with me in hospital with the baby, and my partner at home alone! But because we had stayed open to whatever unfolds, we were able to deal with this change of plan without drama and upset, and accept that this was the way things were without blame or guilt (although we did jokingly comment that it was all my Grandma’s fault for giving me the dodgy gene in the first place!).
So I believe it’s wiser to prepare for birth by planning to do the best you can in each moment, and having the attitude of staying open-minded as each moment unfolds, staying present and not fixated on a vision of birth as you think it ‘should’ be.
I was aware that I had this condition and that it could cause issues. But many women might never find out what caused their need for intervention, and blame themselves for somehow ‘failing’ in their inability to birth ‘naturally. This can potentially lead to birth trauma, PTSD, postnatal depression, etc, none of which is in the best interests of the new family <3