I had an old book at one time, published in 1840 called “Midwifery”.
Being a student of history, I was anxious to better understand how children were brought into the world in the age old “natural” style.
Whew! It was an eye-opener.
Turns out it was written by the staff at a Boston hospital and was a handbook for those who wished to practice modern, “scientific” midwifery.
It cautioned that if anything went wrong, call a doctor. And some of the techniques described gave me cause to wonder.
Page after page showed some very graphic iamges of “things” that had been birthed. The details were enough to cause any young woman to wonder if she really wanted to risk have a child or an “it”.
The constant refrain in the volume was that if the child were not perfect, visually, the midwife should wring its neck – if such could be determined – and pronounce it “born dead” without letting the mother glimpse such monstrosity.
When my children were born, I wondered why the nurse first thing counted the fingers and toes of the child before giving it the age old swat on the butt. They were checking for “deformity”.
It is sad to think that mediocritization begins at birth.
Over the years, I have met many people who were born into a venue not ruled by that book with visible deformities. Some were bad enough that the doctors would say, “she’ll only live six months”… or “two years”… or something. And many of them grew to adulthood. And one I recently read about, reached 108 years.
Imagine if the midwife or doctor had simply twisted the baby’s neck… “born dead”.
I don’t believe we were meant to play God.
Our brand of that decision making process leads, ultimately, to mediocrity.