Letter about Birth to Eve Ensler
Letter to Eve Ensler:
Sunday night I had the privilege of attending a live showing of The Vagina Monologues performed by a very talented group of women in Boca Raton, FL. I was taken through the gambit of emotions from delighted laughter to nauseated sadness, nearly brought to tears with one woman’s rendition of the interview with a Bosnian rape survivor.
I believe your piece is timeless and speaks to everyone willing to listen as we either all have a vagina, love a vagina, or came through a vagina into this world. Although this may not be 100% accurate due to the strange world we live in where a bigger and bigger percentage of babies are brought into the world through a slash in the abdomen.
And this brings me to the reason for my letter. Your depiction of birth was one of a war zone, surgical vaginal birth. We have come to a place where this seems normal to us. However birth has only been happening in the hospital in America for the last 100 years, a drop in the bucket of time for humans on this planet. Yet as far as the insurance industry is concerned, any birth, even normal vaginal birth is considered a surgery and coded with a 594## code indicating a surgical procedure.
As a Certified Nurse Midwife who is privileged to attend to women outside of the hospital, I know that this is a lie. We have been brainwashed to believe that birth is traumatizing – so if you get traumatized, then so be it, you should have expected that – deal with it and get on with your life. After all, you and your baby are healthy and alive, right? But that is a very low bar, and women and babies deserve more.
I have witnessed, over and over again, women working with their bodies, their uteruses and cervixes and vaginas to birth their babies, not only without trauma but with love and peace and tranquility. The vagina opens for birth much the same way it opens for desired sex, like a flower, gently and extremely giving to allow the baby entry into the world. There is no counting, no pulling, no forcing, no rape from the inside out as these babies slip into the world and their mothers waiting hands. Big babies, little babies, head down babies, feet first babies, one baby, two babies, I’ve seen all of these.
Would that your piece on birth also reflect this peaceful picture of birth instead of the war zone that so many of us have come to expect in the hospital. I have seen that rape can be accomplished by forcing what is inside to come out before the body and vagina are ready – it’s bloody and raw and traumatizing for everyone who is present. Our world would be a very different place if more babies were born with peace instead of force – help me make the world a better place!
Signed, A Homebirth Midwife