I just finished a conversation with a friend who recently found out she's pregnant with her third baby. This baby will be born via planned c-section (her first was born by cesarean after she got stuck at 7 cm, her second a planned c-section). She also mentioned an insensitive comment one of her acquaintances had made about cesareans, and it got me thinking. We are all guilty of misunderstanding each other once in a while. Unfortunately those misunderstandings and hurt feelings abound in the birthing world. It reminded me of this post from a year ago where I angrily lamented the rising cesarean rate and unwittingly hurt a reader's feelings (and felt awful about it).
It got me thinking about how tricky it is to balance advocacy and compassion. An advocate is, by nature, a fighter. We aren't content to accept the status quo. We feel driven to change things. But we can't change things unless we raise awareness about the problems we see. And, it seems, we can't raise awareness about the problems we see without pricking a few hearts here and there. Or can we?
Is it possible to talk about unnecessary cesareans without hurting the feelings of those who have given birth by cesarean? Is it possible to talk about the beauties and bliss of normal birth without those cesarean moms feeling that we're telling them their experiences were "less than" or failures? Is it possible to balance advocacy and compassion in such a way that everyone feels heard and validated and no one takes offense?
What do you think?