This is a funny story. Sort of.
A few months ago, when I was monologue-ing about how poor maternity care is in the United States and how much better it is in so many countries, one of my collaborators told me that it is much worse in some places. She pointed out that in some parts of Brazil, the c-section rate is 89%. Gasp! Now remember to exhale.
We lamented over our many fellow sisters Saints in Brazil who we believed were being led like lambs down the path of increasing unnecessary interventions that eventually ends at the knife. I was in a fury for a few days and I even vowed to have this book translated into Portuguese.
Later, I discussed this statistic with another friend and neighbor who is a doula. "Can you believe it? 89%!"
According to my friend (who knows everything or purports to) the c-section rate is that high in Brazil because women there are told that if they give birth vaginally that their vaginal tract will never be the same and sex will never be as pleasurable. Thus, most of these c-sections are elective.
Then she told me a story about a Brazilian woman she knows who came to this country and when she got pregnant wanted to plan her c-section, but her doctor (good for him or her) said, "What? Why? There is no reason for a c-section." Rather than switching doctors, she listened and had her baby vaginally.
Later, when her family and friends heard that she had given birth vaginally, they were shocked. Jaws dropped, and one friend said, "Oh my gosh, did your vagina, like, fall off?"
Okay, that is funny. At first. Then it's sort of sad. What is even sadder is that until not that many years ago, I used to believe something similar. Luckily, God sent me the people and experiences I needed to set me straight.
It is interesting to me how belief systems change. Most of us have had limiting beliefs such as this at different times in our lives--such as where babies come from, or what falling in love is like. But we eventually let go of limiting beliefs and replace them with new ones. We all have about a million beliefs, not just religious doctrinal beliefs, but beliefs about how people view us, how our children are/should be, what is the best kind of diet to eat, what constitutes a good deal, etc. In John Stienbeck's novel, East of Eden, the narrator's mother refuses to believe in airplanes. The fact that she had seen them, didn't matter.
Since I am studying behavioral science in hypnotherapy school, I am very interested in the process people go through when they do let go of beliefs and adopt news ones. I'm still processing it--maybe gestating is a better word. But one day, for sure, I will deliver it as a blog post.
Getting back to vaginas falling off, I would really like someone who has lived in Brazil recently to chime in and corroborate or refute some of this and maybe throw out some ideas on how to help our Brazilian sisters.