Congratulations to Jessica Lawson, the brains behind Twitter superhero “Feminist Hulk.” (Sample tweet, in all CAPS, natch: “HULK APPROACH SMASHING PATRIARCHY LIKE JUDITH BUTLER APPROACH WRITING SENTENCES: AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO GET JOB DONE!”) Lawson revealed Hulk’s alterego in a Q&A with the Ms. blog: she is a 28-year-old English Lit PhD candidate at the University of Iowa, a supporter of midwives, and a new mom!
Ms. asked: “Why did you decide to have a home birth? What were some of the challenges you faced in making that happen?”
While I value the ways that obstetrical science has made birth safer for women with high-risk pregnancies, mine was a low-risk pregnancy and I was compelled by the many studies that show the midwifery model of care is as safe as hospital birth, often with fewer interventions and post-birth complications. Unfortunately, though Certified Nurse-Midwives legally practice in all 50 states, I gave birth in one of the handful of states which still does not license Certified Professional Midwives. I am active in attempts to push midwifery licensure through our state legislature. I still chose home birth, though, and am so lucky to have labored in an environment that made me feel relaxed and safe, with a birth team that gave me tons of love and support. And for anyone who asks, “What if something goes wrong?” all I have to say is, “Something did go wrong.” I suffered a postpartum hemorrhage and lost about a quart of blood. My birth team responded with speed and skill to stop the bleeding (and they would have transferred me to a hospital without hesitation if they encountered a complication that required additional resources). I owe them my life, and I have nothing but faith in the quality of their care.