To Post or Not to Post

Today’s blog is an edition of a letter I wrote a couple years ago, my response to a dear friend’s questions and concerns regarding some of the films and photos I post.
Dear Friend,
I guess I just feel, from the physical effects to the psychological and even spiritual ramifications of the way birth is approached and experienced in America, an obligation to risk offense and reveal how childbearing should be, can be, surely is meant to be…
The cost of our national way of giving birth to our babies is unsustainable in many ways… only consider the myriad of interventions questionably perpetuated upon vulnerable families… interventions like routine labor inductions and augmentations, the arguably unnecessary administration of a slew of substances from antibiotics to epidurals to hepatitis b vaccinations, the continual presumptuous dictation of medical professionals regarding the “appropriate and timely” way for a woman’s body to labor and birth with their never-ending fiddling with the process from constant cervical checks to immediate cord clamping to removal of the baby from the parents… only consider the regular tampering with the course of delivery via scissors and vacuums… only consider the outrageous thirty-plus percent cesarean section rate with its three to four-fold increase in maternal and infant mortality… all such things so grievously setting the table for future health challenges for all involved, physical and psychological, social and spiritual… interfering with everything essential, tangible and intangible, from the family’s opportunity and ability to bond with one another, to the success of the breastfeeding experience, to the status of the health of mother and baby, to the nature of that family’s relationship for the duration of their lifetimes, to the way those individuals relate to the world around them.
I fully realize there are people likely to be shocked and offended by the images I post… however… possibly… hopefully… a few of them will be so shocked and so offended they ultimately pause and consider… why is a woman’s breast taboo when tiny lips are suckling at it? Is it really better to medicate, restrain, and cover up the sensual, earthy, writhing, groans of a woman surrendering to her body’s efforts to bring forth her child? Shall we really allow others to dictate how we ought to birth, how we ought to feed, how we ought to relate to, and how we ought to rear these priceless gifts, our children?

I hope one day a measure of balance and normalcy in these areas will be achieved… if that happens, when that happens, possibly that will also be the day when images such as these may safely slip away from public view, returning once again to the holy solace and privacy of our homes, sheltered there behind shutters and doors…
Till then, I’m so deeply grateful for those who are willing to share with us these, their most intimate, sacred moments… I believe they serve as little beacons of light beckoning to us, whispering to us, “Look, look! There’s a better way!

I’m cognizant and appreciative of my friend’s valid concerns. I’m also grateful for the opportunity providing me by the expression of said concerns to further clarify my thoughts, and to explain the motivations behind my choices. When I choose to post these sorts of films, I’m not merely attempting to share a warm, fuzzy moment, unaware that what is perfectly normal and wonderful in my view might be surprising to others… I consciously risk, every time, the dismay, the disapproval, and the good regard of those I call friends for the sake of the few who may view and utilize these materials in their own quest for something better for themselves and those precious to them.

Photograph provided by the parents of this glorious baby, and used with permission.

Thank you so much for the gift of your time!

If you enjoyed this article, let’s stay connected! I welcome you to subscribe to my blog, and to join in the conversation by commenting below! And be sure to poke around here a bit, as there are lots more stories awaiting you.

One thought on “To Post or Not to Post

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: