When i found out i was pregnant i was overjoyed and terrified in the same breath. I am the survivor of sexual and domestic abuse but that is another story. It does tie in though because i had seen women giving birth on TV, clutching their husbands hands, screaming for someone to “put them out of their misery” you have all seen the shows before. The thought of giving my power to someone while they held me down, while i lost control and everyone else around me fell apart as well petrified me.
My partner wasn’t able to “help” me birth so i started looking at alternatives, all the while trying to plan to just stay home or give birth accidentally in a bus so i wouldn’t have to have throngs of young residents thrusting hands everywhere, with the bright lights as i displayed my most primal act to a cold white floor. I didn’t know there was another way. We don’t talk about any other way like other countries. I contacted a Doula to have someone be there for me while i had this baby my partner couldn’t support me having. She was my best friend, we “tamed tigers” together, talked about diet as i snarfed back sardines and walked our dogs which always pleased me. She told me i could contact the Midwives and maybe, just maybe by their grace i could have a home birth. Like the tigers we tamed i could be at home in my den, safe, not giving my power and vulnerable parts to people with blue gloves.
I called and a brash voice picked up the phone. “Yes i’m pregnant and i would like to get on the list for a Midwife? Could you please help me, I’m 100km out of Saskatoon but i would come to Saskatoon in a heartbeat, i could set up in a friends home, i would make every appointment. I will do every test, can you please help me?”
“They don’t see anyone in a rural setting, besides why don’t you just go to a hospital and give birth like a normal mother”
A normal mother? Doesn’t a normal mother want to be safe? doesn’t a normal mother want to be respected? Doesn’t a normal mother want an informed choice? You spend three weeks trying to decided what plastic diaper you want huggies or pampers and I’m supposed to just pick my uterus up to the closest hospital and bare my child to the first doctor with gloves? You can’t even give birth in the hospital in my town. They don’t have a anesthetist on staff so they won’t take any first time mothers. In case you go all flailing around and “need the drugs”. There hasn’t been a delivery in my town in the hospital in the 10 years i have lived here. There are babies with their mothers and children in the schools but no one is born at the hospital. Neither was my baby.
Stuck between delivering at home and calling the hospital should things go sideways and a guy in a face mask saying “what a funny way to meet someone, with no pants” in an English accent. I made the hardest decision of my life and i bucked the system.
I did the “strong”, “courageous”, “crazy”, “dangerous” and all those other words people tell you when you say you had a home birth with no drugs. I gave birth like a normal mother.
This constitutional challenge is about the fact that fetuses have no rights. Our abortion laws prevent it, that’s what pro-choice means. It means Pro-Mothers. Anyone that could have been at my house while i gave birth, could be prosecuted under the vague wording of the 23 section of the Midwifery Act. Anything i asked someone to do for me that i couldn’t myself at that time. I will tell you what, while i was giving birth that was a lot i was doing and there was a lot i was NOT doing. How is that Pro-mother. It is my right to have a choice. You don’t have to like my decision but i expect you to stand in this ditch with me and defend this right. I would and am doing it for you. Today they aren’t eyeing up your rights but tomorrow they may. We cannot regress, we have come too far. Don’t let them set the precedent with this. It is my womb and it is our right.