Tori's Blog

The Delicate Balance of Life and Death

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

homebirthI don’t like talking about the sad and difficult aspects of birth. But these two stories struck me and made me want to again bring up the simple truth that the birth process is not inherently simple and safe and the balance of life and death is delicate. We have to be careful not to put more emphasis on the “experience” rather than the “outcome”. Although these situations are vastly different they both show the precarious nature of bringing life into the world.

In May, Arizona Treasurer, Dean Martin’s wife (Kerry Martin) and their son both died from complications during childbirth . On March 27th, Janet Fraser, a leading advocate of homebirth, lost her baby during childbirth at her home in Australia. The baby died shortly after being born in water. Fraser gave birth unassisted, without a midwife or doctor, in what is known as “free-birth”. Her tragedy is a stark reminder of the high price paid for not having help readily available.

These are both terrible, terrible tragedies and they both happened in the western world in 2009. Not in an isolated third world country. They are true examples of the unpredictability of birth whether it be at home or in a hospital. The true meaning of a positive birth experience is really as simple as having a healthy mom and a healthy baby.

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