I propose that we reclaim birth. Our first step can be the removal of labels from birthing. Birth is birth. Women are women. We’re not mothers, wives, primips, multis or “the VBAC in room 3”, we’re women. We’re women at work, women in the home, women in the revolution and women when we birth. And birth, is just birth. If a woman has had five previous surgeries, this homebirth is still just a birth. The woman-hating surgical discourse has colonised our once great nomenclature and turned it on us, pathologised it, made it an unattainable, risky, undesirable managed process designed to “fail”. And let’s drop “successful” and “failed” from our descriptions of reclaimed birth. Birth doesn’t fail although often the system does.
Alternatively, if we reclaimed our lives, maybe birth would naturally follow on? Now there’s a radical thought!
A survivor of birthrape birthing again, is just birthing.
A woman with a “big baby” is just birthing.
Let us leave the acronyms to those who seek to remove our humanity and have the power in naming our own births. No more FBAC, VBAC, HBAC, EBAC, UBAC, BAC, whatever. Don’t give in to the powermongers, and fearmongers, just give birth.
Give birth at home. Give birth with friends. Give birth on your own. Catch your own baby as she plunges from your yoni and inhale deeply. That is the true scent of freedom. Give birth screaming, give birth whispering the meaning of the universe. Give birth nestled into your lover. Give birth holding the hand of your chosen wise woman. Look into her eyes and see the line going back to when we first walked upright and our bodies adapted to birthing that way. Give birth in a rented deflating secondbest pool in your study, hey, I can recommend that personally!
Give birth in the living room, after your previous surgery. Give birth on the roof this time if you feel like it. It’s just a birth. Give birth in the garden. Last time you had surgery, this time you’re giving birth. Not a big deal. Just a birth. Give birth at your kitchen sink in ironic tribute to your inner housewife.
Give birth to yourself, embrace yourself, throw off the shackles, womankind arise! Even suffragettes just gave birth. (And most of them at home.)
Give birth to boy babies that they may be loved onto earth and cherished from birth, not brutalised to fit society’s demand for drone-like men. Give birth to girl babies that they may continue the line and know the power of birth and the power of women themselves, all their lives.
Birth, birth, birth, that’s all it is. What our greatgrandmothers did at home, alone or with friends and sisters, just birth.
Reclaim our birthright to name our births, own our births and choose woman-centred baby-loving birth. Birth after surgery = just a birth.
© Janet Fraser 2007