Well... the moment I've been dreading happened.
I work in maternity at a busy urban hospital. I KNOW that most of my coworkers are not only unsupportive of home birth, but down right vehemently opposed to it. For this reason, I kept my home water birth plans totally mum during my pregnancy.
I got reamed out by one of our docs the other day in front of all my coworkers when he heard the news. "You had a HOME DELIVERY?? You are absolutely foolish! Newspapers and Pizza are home delivered. Babies are born in a hospital! I've seen some very very sick babies and even deaths from home births. Nurse practitioners and midwives are lobbying for equality... what a disturbing trend. Did your baby even see a doctor? What is your midwife's experience in Peds? NOTHING!"
I wanted to scream at him: "It's none of your business!! You are WAY out of line!" but I didn't. He is in a position of authority over me and I always feel that I need to tread carefully there as a home birth /natural birth/ VBAC advocate. I don't want to rock the boat where I earn my paycheck. Only in other places. :)
So, I held it together, I didn't cry, and reminded him that 97% of the time babies are born without incident and that hospitals are "not very friendly places for women." He just nodded his head and said: "that's true."
I should have asked: "Have you ever been to a homebirth? Do you have any idea what it is like? Have you ever been a woman in labor in a hospital, terrified that you are going to wind up on an OR table? Have you ever been totally stripped of power, manipulated and coerced to do something you don't want to do? Do you have any idea why women desire home birth?"
Then, yesterday, a NICU nurse exclaimed: "If one of my kids told me they were going to have a homebirth, I would have been like 'No Freaking Way!' But, I don't have to worry about that, because they know better." I had just told her I had a homebirth 2 months prior and I was standing right there when she said this! What is wrong with people?
People are afraid of what they don't know. Afraid of anything that isn't the norm. People who are surrounded by sick babies all the time surely will not think of birth as inherently safe.
It is hard to be thrust into this crusader position. I guess I am now the "ambassador" for homebirth in my hospital. Should be interesting!