We are not lucky; we are fortunate. There is a difference.
When my husband called his grandmother to announce the birth of our fourth child, he expected to hear excitement and congratulations. There was a bit of that, before she went into a lecture about how lucky we were. If someone was speaking of how fortunate we are to be the parents of four intelligent, beautiful, wonderful children, I would whole-heartedly agree. I feel wonderfully fortunate every day I gaze into their little faces and listen to their new discoveries or feel them snuggled up close for kisses. I wouldn’t trade a day of it. I’m fortunate to have them in my life; there are many people who would love to have a child but for whatever reason can’t.
However, this wasn’t what my grandmother-in-law was referring to. She was stating that we were lucky to have a healthy child…because we chose to have an unassisted birth, just as we have for each of our children. She believed that we were lucky not to have problems because we chose not to go the conventional route of childbirth in the United States – the kind filled with unecessary interventions which cause problems.
There are true needs for help in some births. However, those instances are rare and are not unexpected. There are signs of true impending problems. The majority of problems and difficult births in the US are actually caused by health professionals.
Prior to starting our family, my husband and I researched. We are researchers, both by nature and profession. We researched and dug through medical journals. We learned everything we could, and then we made the decision that we felt was best for our family: unassisted childbirth.
So while we may be fortunate to have these wonderful little people in our lives, don’t call us lucky just because we made an educated decision about what is best for our children rather than blindly being driven down the managed drama of interventions. Save that discussion for someone who doesn’t know any better. Luck has nothing to do with it.
This is very well-put. I am fortunate my family was super-supportive in our home birth. They really did trust that we’d done the legwork, like your family did as well.