I am not turning my back on the medical profession. If I need them I want them there, sure – if I need them. I was thinking the other day that labour is the biggest physical challenge I will probably ever face. Like marathon runners we need to prepare physically and emotionally. I honestly believe we are designed to incubate for so long to give ourselves this preparation time. I know my mind has worked through many emotional issues that raised their head since I was pregnant. And physically the body is stretching, releasing, training itself for the climactic achievement. Imagine we are marathon runners. Now imagine as this runner we are preparing ourselves. Our support team is in the background fuelling our already suseptible minds with stories, not of achievement and hope, but of fear and doom. Imagine if at every step there is someone in the background reminding you of shin splints, muscle tears, ruptured ACL’s, being hit by a car (people have died you know). As you push past this, put it to the back of your mind, you slowly make your way to the starting line. You are ready, you are prepared. You start the run and there is your support team with timers and encouraging words like,
‘If you don’t go faster, you will not be able to do this.’
‘Your time is running out.’
‘Your not doing it right, your in danger’
‘Pull out, I’ll just drive you the rest of the way.’
If you are lucky and strong, you push through this. You are almost at the end, you are exhausted but you know you can do this. You stumble, and there is the support car on your heels.
‘This is your last chance, you have to get in. You can’t do any more.’
Do we, as medical professionals criticise marathon runners? When they get hit by a car do we tell them how stupid they were for risking it? Do we tell them they should just run on a treadmill in the hospital, strap them to monitors, and intervene when we think appropriate, just in case something goes wrong? No, we let them run outside.
If I am a marathon runner and I do fall and break my leg, I want the medical world to help me, yes, but if I don’t let me run outside.