Robbie, Robbie, Robbie. WTF were you thinking?
I guess you, like everyone else in the modern ‘online’ world, saw Robbie Williams’s spectacle this week at the bedside of his labouring wife. What a display of bloody narcissistic arrogance. Way to make your baby’s birth all about you, Robbie. Once your wife returns to Earth after recovering from birthing your baby and realises what an ass you made of yourself, you may be lucky enough to be granted the opportunity to make another baby with her….. or maybe not.
The entire childbearing population of the world now knows that it’s true: when you have a baby you really do lie on your back in a brightly lit room, with people doing whatever they want around you and to you, watching you, filming you, drugging you and poking you. Just like we see on One Born Every Minute, Offspring, The Midwives; TV and the internet do not lie.
Everything that Childbirth Educators such as myself, and doulas, and woman-centred midwives and natural birth advocates and some amazing obstetricians say about childbirth has once again been shot down in flames by this few minutes of tweeted liveblog youtube online thingy by a famous person. Is it time for me to stop telling you that in order for the birth process to work as normally as possible, women need privacy, dim lights, safety and calm? Robbie’s poor wife had none of that; just look at her being coached to push her baby out amidst song, dance, drugs and waters being broken, cursing, back-lying and stirrups. Her baby still came out, and next week she’ll probably appear in the media looking slim and gorgeous and happy, having forgotten how she had to “endure the agony of labour” for hours. Is that all we care about, that the baby comes out and we can get on with life?
Perhaps we should stop trying to convince women that their bodies really do know how to birth their babies, and that birth can be empowering and exhilarating and not just the dreadfully painful experience that everyone expects. Perhaps we have to accept that the medical model is so prevalent and accepted that it’s now the usual way for women to give birth. I think that’s a shame, because when a woman tells me that she loved birthing her baby, I’m reminded of the feelings of power and strength that birthing my own children gave me, igniting in me a passion for all things birthing and a desire to share that love and potential for a life-changing experience with other women.
I could take up the ukulele instead of birth education. Oh, I already have…..