Preamble to the Third Night

Preamble About the Hospital Visit
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Preamble to the Hospital Visit

Introduction to the Preamble

Why the Delay

As a preface to the preamble, I know that it has been weeks since my last blog post in my birth story series. A lot has been happening in our lives and I had to take a hiatus to get ready for winter. Besides, I have been struggling with the hospital visit in my birth story. Part of me wants to skip over that part entirely and get to the good labor and delivery that came after it. I guess you could say that I wasn’t ready yet to write about it.

Why the Preamble

I think I am ready now. But because what I will be saying about my hospital visit is negative, I wanted to preface the experience with a little background information and perspective so you know why I had so much dread, anxiety, and an ensuing terrible time at the hospital labor and delivery department. I feel like this preamble is important for readers who are in the medical field, and women who have yet to experience the atrocities against women’s rights and autonomy committed by people in the medical profession.

If you are unfamiliar with this topic, what I am going to say in the first half of the next post, might be horrifying to you. And you could misunderstand where I’m coming from. Hence, the preamble. I am by no means vilifying the medical field. But for purposes of clarity: in the area of women’s health, pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum, they are truly the worst. I will include more evidence and articles pertaining to this topic at the end of this article.

Square Peg, Round Hole

Algorithms and Formulas

I became a licensed EMT-B in February 2013. I had realized way before then, at the beginning of EMT class, that the medical field as a whole loves algorithms and formulas. For every injury and illness we studied and learned how to treat, there was an “if patient presents with symptom A, check for B and C. If B is present, it’s this, so do X. If C is present, it’s that, so do Y. Or if both are present, it’s the other thing, so do Z.

It Works!

To be honest, this is effective and, most of the time, it works well for treatment and diagnosis of illness and injury. In these scenarios, while the patient can refuse treatment, as is his/her own right of course, the physician is pretty much in charge. The simple fact that 1) something is going wrong with the patient’s body, 2) the patient doesn’t know what to do or may not know what is going on, and 3) the patient doesn’t have the resources for himself/herself, makes it a no-brainer that the doctor be in charge of the situation.

“I Am the Captain Now!”

Obviously there are multiple options for treatment of an illness, and the patient will give his/her input on what they do or don’t want. In the case of an injury, the patient is pretty much at the behest of the physician and has little to no input or say whatsoever. Especially in cases of life, limb, or eyesight being in danger, this is all well and good. Truly. And as long as the doctor doesn’t perform any unnecessary procedures, this model of care not only works, it is appropriate for illness and injury.

Preamble About Providers

Enter the Problem

It Doesn’t Fit!

The medical field approaches pregnancy and birth the exact same way! Let’s review the criteria for the proper use of algorithms and formulas and the physician being in charge. Are pregnancy and birth an illness? No. An injury? No. Is something going wrong with the women’s body? No. Does the woman not know what to do or not know what is going on? No. Does the woman have the resources for herself? Yes.

OK. From all the above, and the fact that pregnancy and birth are a normal, natural part of life, it should be a no-brainer that they not be approached the same way as all other branches of the medical field, right? Right. Except it isn’t. They don’t. With rare exceptions, birth is treated like an illness or injury that has to have certain kinds and certain amounts of interventions if labor doesn’t fall within certain rigid guidelines.

The Long and Short of It

From when the baby should be born, to how long the labor should be, to how it should go, the medical provider is in total charge. Including during the pregnancy. They tell the woman how she is to have her baby and when. They are in control, they know all. Pregnancy and birth is something that happens to a woman, governed and dictated by the medical provider, of course.

The Ensuing Result

What Happens?

Unnecessary interventions. Risky procedures. Physical injury to the mother and baby. Sometimes irreversible damage to one or both. Sometimes fatal consequences from the cascade of unneeded interventions. Post-traumatic stress disorder for mother. Birth trauma. Violations of basic human rights. Defying and overriding a mother’s express instructions. Treating women like objects to be manhandled, manipulated, and do things to. Nonconsensual or coerced, unnecessary procedures that leave the mother a victim of “medically justified” physical and sexual assault.

The Truth

The medical field has been brutalizing, terrorizing, victimizing, and atrociously violating women since they took on pregnancy and birth. Why? All because their perception of both is all wrong.

If what and how I was taught about birth in EMT school was a mere fraction of what providers have ingrained into their views of pregnancy and birth, then unenlightened medical professionals are seriously deluded, to the detriment of every single mother and mother-to-be alive.

And this is made even worse by the common arrogance and god-complex attitudes of some medical providers. They let all their supposed knowledge, education, and training puff them up and look down at all the common folk as ignorant, when they, in fact are the ignorant ones. It is extremely rare to find a humble medical professional to be willing to learn from a patient. There’s often an attitude of “I’ve been to school for this for X years, what could a patient teach me?”

The Solution

While I don’t believe that hospitals and the conventional medical field should have anything to do with a healthy pregnancy and delivery (and statistics agree with me), for those that still want a hospital birth or for those with complications, there needs to be a change.

And it can’t start with hospitals. Granted, hospitals should be changing their policies, protocols, and perspectives on pregnancy and birth. But they would literally be “untraining” 5-10 years worth of views ingrained in their staff by their education.

The change needs to start with the universities and colleges. More specifically, the curriculum and those teaching it. A radical overhaul is long overdue and desperately needed.

Preamble Conclusion: Affirmations

To end this preamble on a positive note, I will affirm the truth. Pregnancy and birth is a normal, natural, healthy part of life.


A woman’s body was made for bringing new life into the world. The woman is in charge. She, along with her body, work together as a team, and they know what to do and how they want the labor to go. A woman both births and delivers the baby. She actively passes the baby through the birth canal to the outside world. The attending provider merely supports and holds the baby on exit. Which, I will add, a woman is perfectly capable of doing herself if she wants to.

She Rules the Roost!

The woman gets to decide how involved she wants the attending medical provider(s) to be. The mother can turn them into passive bystanders, or active participants on her command. She is the supervisor, boss, CEO, and owner of herself and her birth experience. Anything less is violation and assault. She has knowledge, instincts, and intuition, as the mother of her baby, that no one else possesses. She rocks. The woman rules. In birth the world revolves around her. She is queen and all others are servants to do her bidding. That is birth. And I pray for the day when every person in the medical field either gets in line, or gets out of the way.

Further Reading

To read more information and articles about hospital births, see below:

U.S. Has The Worst Rate Of Maternal Deaths In The Developed World

The Last Person You’d Expect To Die In Childbirth

Shocking Number of US Women Still Die of Childbirth

Infant Mortality Rates in U.S. Hospitals

To Lower US Infant Mortality Rates, We Need More Midwives

Check out the Grace Midwifery Facebook page to learn more about what my awesome midwives are doing in the community!

An excellent resource for relevant topics on women and birth, in or out of hospital, is my midwife, Jodi Wright’s page, A Midwife’s Journal.

Click here to read the previous articles in the series and stay tuned for the concluding article in my birth story!

Leave a comment and tell me what you thought about the Preamble!

About Post Author

Amber Goodrich

I am a sojourner and adventurer through life, with plenty of inspiring thoughts to share! My journey has taken me through the United States Army as a Medic, transitioned me to the National Guard. On the civilian side of the ride, I am a Licensed Massage Therapist, wife and mother. Most recently I have started a new chapter as a budding freelance writer with the goal of expanding my horizons to write short stories and books. I look forward to traversing this path and seeing what it has in store!
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1 Timothy 6:18

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2 thoughts on “Preamble to the Third Night

  1. Having had all 3 of my babies at home, how well I know the anxiety I went through when my first born was approaching the deadline of when she had to be born by. Otherwise, I would have had to go to the hospital! This deadline, was of course, made by the Doctor and the medical establishment rules which my midwife had to answer to. . .

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