I would never fault a woman for choosing the birth plan that’s right for her. If you’re pushing a human being out of your body, then by all means, do that whichever way makes you feel the most comfortable.
But when we here at Metro Parent stumbled across the birthing story of Marissa Heckel, an Ohio mom of two, I got a bit curious about hospital labor experiences.
See, she shared a photo of herself and her newborn son, completely buck-naked (minus a few well-placed smiley faces) after a 36-hour home birth – complete with pools of blood and fluid, sweat and even an umbilical cord, but lacking any modern medical devices, doctors and even a midwife.
She’s beaming but you can practically see the exhaustion in her legs as she holds her healthy baby.
“I’ve never felt so powerful and accomplished in my entire life,” she wrote in a post on social media. “Our bodies truly are amazing!”
And it is actually quite an inspiring story for any woman or soon-to-be mom considering at-home or all-natural birthing options, which was this momma’s intention when she shared the photo. After all, it’s photographic evidence that your body is naturally made to have babies, if you choose, and you’re perfectly capable of handling the pain of delivery, if that’s the avenue of delivery you want to take.
What’s really irksome here, though, is that Heckel chose this route to deliver her second-born after her first labor experience was anything but joyous – and it wasn’t because of the labor pains.
She explains that she delivered her daughter three years ago in a hospital and had chosen to go drug-free but she was “bullied and harassed” about her birth plan, which is why she chose to forgo a hospital birth and opted for a “stress-free environment” at home.
And therein lies the issue.
Of course, if a mom puts her trust in a hospital, said hospital should always put the health of the baby and mom ahead of any plans, if necessary. But if your labor is going smoothly, your plan should be honored, right?
To feel like you were bullied so badly that you chose a different route because of it seems completely unacceptable.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m super glad that the new birth plan worked out well for Heckel and I support any mom that wants to take that route, but it also seems like this is not the first time I’ve heard a mommy’s hospital horror story.
And so, I have to wonder, Metro Parent mommies: Were you scrutinized or bullied for your birth plan? Did it cause you to change your plan? And am I the only one who thinks hospitals need to be patient and let moms deliver how they see fit, unless medical intervention is truly needed? Let us know in the comments.
Photo courtesy of Marissa Heckel