Art by Yavanna
Dr. Robert Oliver, M.D. writes of his transformative journey as an OB in which he came to really understand birth for the first time. He was ashamed, awed, and changed. Remember, this all comes from a conventional Dr’s point of view, not some crunchy, hippy, homebirther like me. For some of you, that will be important to know. I respect that.
I get chills reading this article and hope, for all of humanity, that his words resonate in the hearts of people. One at time, that’s all it takes. A pebble making a ripple making a wave, crashing over our medically-induced, interventive birth world.
If you want to witness his incredible journey, read it all. Then pass it on.
If you don’t have time, or just want a snippet, read the excerpts I’ve pulled out below. I’ve bolded some insightful and powerful quotes.
If you don’t want to be slightly challenged in your beliefs or if you are a little bit scared of the truth…don’t read. Or, perhaps, take the risk. See where it takes you. You deserve it. We all do.
Dr. Oliver, where were you when they cut my baby out, small-talking through it all as they repaired my uterus atop by exposed belly? Where were you when Brooke laid screaming and crying in pain upon the table as her child was torn in anger from her womb?
I know now that you were fighting for us. Thank you.
Click here to read “The Ideal Caesarean Birth” in it’s entirety- by Robert Oliver, M.D.
“What is this experience that so engulfs the totality of a woman? Is it just biological, a process of an animal reproducing its species?
Is it more – a psychic transportation into a world of the spirit – a transformation? What happens within the woman, to the soul, spirit, persona, that this hero’s journey is the ultimate magic which completes a cycle? What can make motherhood so deeply vital to a woman that she would seek pregnancy and labor and birth like a shamanistic rite of passage – with all the pain, fear, and loss of control typical of shamanic journeys?”
“…as I listened to the pioneers, the midwives, the few brave obstetricians and family practice doctors who stepped out of the standard of care to “participate in birthing” instead of “doing deliveries,” – I became progressively aware that what I had considered sacrosanct was in fact a victimizing of women and the woman’s quest of the “golden fleece”: an affirming experience through birthing.”
“The implications of the interferences and good medical intentions that I had been practicing crashed in on me. What had I done? What am I doing in my pressure on a woman to force a good medical result? What is this result? Medically it is survivability. Quality of life or psychological and emotional peace is not considered. By contrast, holistically the most value is placed on the total process with each aspect juxtaposed in a whole.”
“For the first time I looked at my work with pregnant women and realized I was doing three very wrong things:
1) I was getting great medical results.
2) I was getting terrible results for the woman with regard to her needs and self-esteem.
3) I was unconscious of the baby, the conceptus to fetus to neonate, and of the effects of standard care on this new person.”
“I hated it. Really, I hated it. I hated the thought that all my good intentions were wrong. I hated knowing I had not aimed the care-giving at what should be vital in the transformative event of birth – the woman transformed into mother and the conceptus into a new human being.
I hated knowing all of the shortcuts I took to long labor – operative delivery by forceps and caesarean section just to get on with it, the inductions of labor for my own convenience not for the safety and integrity of the woman, the application of technique and technology to make my job safer from lawsuit and peer criticism and to meet demands of hospital policy.”
“I remember and recognize the anger I felt at women who wanted “natural childbirth,” home delivery, and non-intervention. I am ashamed, and I am also satisfied that whereas I was once stupid but medically sound, I am now awake and profoundly aware that I know nothing about the experience of gestation, birthing, and the transformative experience of becoming a mother. I can only view it, this process a woman passes into, from the outside as a father, a man, and a professional male in obstetrics.”
“In the medical model, gestation and birthing are a managed event where standard care is demanded of the doctor, the hospital, and the labor room. Unfortunately, the woman is forced into the system. The child becomes incidental and is only considered as a result, good or bad, of our delivery.”
“Is this ideal possible? Yes. But there will have to be a tremendous awakening of the medical community to the need for this ideal caesarean birth.
Perhaps this article will be the alarm clock”.