It is an exciting, but terrifying time for the Big Island of Hawaii as Kilauea, a shield volcano on the island, is currently erupting. While this situation is far from upstate New York, emotions range from seeing the awe-striking beauty of the lava flowing, to the catastrophic damage to peoples’ houses and personal belongings.
Many questions arise. Some may ask “Why would people even build their houses on a volcano?” Others may say “Building a house on a volcano is perfectly safe. The chance of a house being wiped out by lava is so rare.”
But, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. That doesn’t mean that the people whose houses are being wiped out did anything differently or less correct than the house a hundred feet away from them, which is standing perfectly safe. We don’t berate the people whose houses were destroyed. We are thankful for the scientists who were able to see this coming and evacuate people to safety.
It’s the same in the birth world.
Society is on a nature-kick these days. It is insistent on putting everything into a natural box, assuring that nature will take its course and shaming away anything man-made that may intervene in a natural process. Many people have formulated opinions about birth, quite similar to the volcano. Some are scared for it, while some are excited and can see beauty in it. No feeling is invalid, it is just a matter of perspective based on our different paths.
You may see one family plan for an intervention-free birth and have everything go as planned, where another family may end up needing intervention. Is this because one family trusted birth more? Is this because the family with the intervention did something wrong? No! It’s nature. Nature doesn’t make plans. If we use the volcano analogy, these two separate birthing families could have lived right next to each other on the volcano. One was hit by lava and one was not. Thankfully, this is birth we are talking about, not a volcano. When “lava” flows in our direction, we can use interventions that keep us safe.
What is our biggest takeaway? We want families to make decisions as they choose. Natural can be great for some, but harmful to others. We need to be mindful of this when making recommendations to our friends. In fact, as doulas, we often see that a client’s INSTINCT is key. We want to be there to support and nurture that instinct, whether your choices are made by nature or not.
The beauty of pregnancy and birth, but also the scary part, like volcanoes, is that it can change from minute to minute. No one can truly predict the path of the “lava.” Natural can be beautiful, but it isn’t always safe. The best thing we can do in this day and age, is to support all decisions, and in the case where they don’t go according to plan, accept that this too is a turn of nature.
Here at New York Baby Co. we want to assure you that no matter what turn the lava takes, we are there to support you, whether you built your house on the volcano or not. We always trust in the choices of our clients, and validate any emotion they may feel.