‘You did very well indeed’, ‘it’s just that you ‘failed to progress”.
What? ‘Failed to progress’!!?
Please forgive my use of exclamation marks this Monday morning. I am a little tired after a wonderful day in Bristol hanging out with midwives, student midwives, doulas and antenatal teachers, tired but tiredness tinged with elation, I’m going to miss these workshops for sure.
It’s hard to believe that knowing what we do about how the words we use have the potential to direct another’s internal ‘meaning making journey’, to even ‘shape’ the ‘story’ she lives in as she cares for her new born, we still have ‘phrases’ like ‘failed to progress’ in our obstetric vocabulary?
When you consider the hormonal imperative for nurturing and supporting that ‘shy’ hormone oxytocin, and the links that there seem to be between the intimate context ‘required’ for women to be able to ‘release’ herself into orgasm and the ‘birthing process’ working well, to even suggest that woman a woman ‘failed to progress’ is nothing short of a scandle.
Charles Darwin, when speaking of poverty said :
‘If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin’.
As I reflect upon his words it occurs to me that in some ways it is too often the failing of our ‘birth institutions’ to create suitable environments for birth that are the ’causes’ of a woman’s birthing experience to be less than optimum.
‘Failure to progress’?
No! Our response should be ‘sorry’, ‘we failed you’😔.