Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. The possibility of his baby’s permanent brain injury or death at homebirth is just a big joke to this father.
Serge Bielanko wrote Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Just a Home Birth, and he apparently thinks its simply hilarious that people are warning him about the increased rate of death at homebirth.
The fact is, we aren’t really scared of anything.
Why not? She could die. Everyone could die. I could die. I’m not sure how, to be honest, but there’s got to be a way that I could perish during our home birth, right?
Why be afraid of harming your own baby when you could be afraid of something really important?
You want to know what I am scared of?
Freaking snakes and ferris wheels…
Fear is stupid, mostly. It’s really just an excuse to be excused.
Fear is stupid? Yeah, putting your baby is a car seat while driving to the grocery store is just plain stupid. Why fear a potentially fatal car accident? And it’s not like the risk of a baby dying at homebirth is greater than the risk of a baby dying in a car accident. Oh, wait, the risk of a baby dying at homebirth IS higher. Who cares, right?
Bielanko is inadvertently insightful about the homebirth industry:
People manipulate fear and overt scare tactics for financial gain and power. It isn’t exactly a new phenomenon on this planet, but here in America it is. People want you scared, because when you’re scared you’re jittery, and when you’re jittery, well, to be frank, you’re a damn fool.
And fools follow other fools. And fools spend money.
People foolishly believe that they should be afraid of doctors and hospitals, because homebirth midwives tell them they should be afraid. That makes them, in Bielanko’s own words, “damn fools” who spend money … on homebirth midwives.
The piece is filled with what passes for “reasoning” among the homebirth crowd:
In the beginning I was uncertain, as anyone would be. I needed to investigate it, to look into the whole phenomenon of midwives and the long, storied culture of home birthing and I needed to figure it all out on my own. Then, gradually, it dawned on me that this is how people have been having babies since the beginning of time.
No, really? Perhaps it will eventually dawn on Bielanko that women and babies were dying in droves at those homebirths, but that’s probably too much to hope for.
But don’t worry, like George W. Bush who famously evaluated Vladimir Putin and declared: “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy … I was able to get a sense of his soul,” Bielanko has evaluated the midwife:
Monica and I have looked hard into the eyes of a midwife, checking her out with our awkward leery Larry David stares and squints and looks. Now we trust her. Now we have collectively tuned out the white noise of trembling fear that’s always slashing away at the radio silence of your decisions gone public, forever threatening to try and torpedo any good and decent day.
Personally, when I evaluate a health care provider look at her education, her training, her professional credentials and the disciplinary actions (if any) against her. But, hey, that’s just me.
We have looked hard at having a baby in our home. How awesome is that? How awesome is it that we think it’s awesome?
It certainly could be awesome, as long as the baby and the mother don’t need immediate medical attention. In that case, it could be a nightmare, the baby slowly suffocating to death in the womb, or in the immediate aftermath of birth, all because his parents thought it would be “awesome” to give birth far away from the medical professionals who could perform an emergency C-section or an expert neonatal resuscitation.
Odds are high that there will be no problems. That’s would be awesome. But if something goes wrong, this father’s casual dismissal of the possibility of disaster will probably haunt him for the rest of his life.
That wouldn’t be awesome at all.