Sunday, April 29, 2007

I'm normal, you're not

A normal mother would put the survival of her infant ahead of her childbirth "experience". Isn't that right? The word "normal" has several definitions, but doesn't this statement meet all of them? Normal can mean average. There's no doubt that the average woman would willingly put the survival of her infant ahead of virtually any consideration of any kind. Normal can also mean "occuring in nature". Since human mothers and mothers across the animal kingdom will fight fiercely to protect their child from any danger, valuing the child's safety above all else is certainly natural.

So women who choose hospital birth are normal and women who choose homebirth are ... something not "normal".

At this point, I'm sure that most homebirth advocates are frothing at the mouth. I suspect that their thoughts run a long the lines of: How dare you accuse me of being not normal for wanting a homebirth? Perhaps that reaction will give you a little insight into the pure obnoxiousness of defining unmedicated childbirth as "normal" birth.

Do you think I could get away with my statement that "normal mothers put the safety of their infant ahead of their birth experience" by claiming that I didn't mean to insult anyone? Are you soothed by the claim that putting the safety of the baby first is normal because that's what the average woman does and that's what typically happens in nature? Probably not. So why on earth do you think you can get away with classifying your personal preferences as "normal" birth and those of other women as something else?

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