It's been really hard for me to write because it's been a really hard time for me professionally. I used to think of myself as really impartial, a doula who could happily support any woman's birth choices regardless of whether that is what I would choose. I am finding that harder and harder to do. In my years of doing this work I have maintained an 85% hire rate; most of the families I met with hired me. Lately it's been more like 50%. I don't think it's because there are so many great doulas to choose from, though that is definitely true. I think I am having a harder and harder time presenting myself as neutral. I don't think it doesn't really matter what happens in your birth as long as everyone is healthy. I know that many other things matter. I know that an empowering birth is an opportunity of a lifetime, an experience that gives a woman confidence for all of her future undertakings. I don't think that when a woman in labor enters the hospital her chances of having a normal birth are good. I know that 35% of the time the baby will be surgically removed, and if that doesn't happen, she will likely have a host of plugs and cords and devices attached to her that even if she still manages to eke out a "natural" birth, she will never really know what a normal birth is.
More and more as I try to envision what my place is in this life, I think I have to be an advocate for normal birth. I am not sure where that starts. I used to think it started with my doula clients, but now I am not so sure.