"Birth is Not a Sickness" a qoute from one of three midwives in South Dakota who is allowed to practice independently and attend home births.I love this qoute.
Not long ago, when I was pregnant with my son and planning a non-medicated natural hospital VBAC, I remember saying to people that I wanted to wear my own clothes, because I wasn't sick and didn't want to feel like a patient. I got a lot of comments. Birth does not have to be a "medical event." Even people I was close to responded with things like, "but you ARE going to be a patient" and "it IS a medical event." I don't feel that way. These comments came from people who are close to me and who I believe supported my decision. I think some of them just decided I jumped on the hippie train and with how normal a hospital birth with hospital gowns is, my idea sounded different. Maybe they thought I was rebelling. Regardless, I just wanted to be comfortable and be in control of my own birth.
When it came down to it, I ended up in a hospital gown because by the time I got to the hospital and was contracting every 2 minutes, I didn't care anymore. When I was asked to change into the gown, I didn't feel like justifying why I didn't want it, so I gave in. I don't regret it. In the long run, it didn't matter to me.
I agree that there is a place for maternal medicine and that sometimes birth has to be a "medical event." Not all pregnancies are low-risk and not all women desire un-medicalized births. That's okay. I believe you need to make the decisions that are right for you, no matter how strongly anyone else feels about theirs. I just wish more people realized that birth is not a sickness, and that they can take control of their deliveries. You want to deliver on your hands and knees? Go ahead. Want to wear your own clothes? Do it. Want to deliver at home? It's your decision. Do what feels right.