Continuing the drama about my decision to attempt a home VBAC, also known as an HBAC, or home birth after cesarean, I had disinvited my parents from being at the house while I was in labor. This decision was despite my mother having met the midwives over dinner at our home, despite my mother having read my book, despite how strongly she knew how I felt. She just could not change her position. She could not change who she was. And that was fine. We agreed to disagree. Of course, she was not the only one in the family who thought I was nuts. My grandmother, whom I adore, accused me of "going backwards." This, despite that Gram had her three children in the hospital under the spell of Twilight Sleep, a mix of morphine and the amnesiac scopalamine. Thus, she does not remember giving birth except for the fact that "it hurt" and the nurses told her to "shut up." My aunt, who is only 13 years older than me and has always been the "cool" one in the family and saw a midwife (in the hospital) for her oldest child's birth, sort of understood where I was coming from in deciding to stay home. But she kept calling and asking what my backup plan was. In a nice way. There were a couple of surprising supporters. My sister-in-law, who had had a cecearean a few months before, was very supportive, saying I was better educated than anyone in the family on the subject and therefore I would be OK. And my grandfather, who is well into his 80s, was quietly approving, perhaps in his old fashioned way appreciating that women have been doing this forever.
But the remark about me going backwards is one that I keep thinking about. Was shunning the hospital and its malpractice fears, its MRSA infections, its aggressive obstetrics, its lack of support for VBAC, really going backwards? Or was it the most progressive thing I could do? Should the new post-modern reality be all about less is more, whether we are talking about calories, house size, miles driven or medical interventions?
What do you think? Was I going backwards?