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It hurts to be silent

Imagine for a moment, that you are an innocent bystander, witness to a horrible crime. Imagine that this crime, perhaps someone on a shooting spree at a local shopping center, is going on right this minute; that lives are in imminent danger and you seem to be the only one around who's aware of it. Now imagine that you are standing at the entrance to that shopping center, and you see folks casually approaching the door. What do you do?

"Wait! Wait!" You beg and shout, "Don't go in there, you could be killed! Your children could be killed! Please listen to me!" But nobody listens. "Crazy!" they announce, as they push you aside angrily. Or they ignore you, absorbed in conversations with each other about such mundane details as what color to paint their bathroom.

So you begin to try a gentler approach, and quietly, meekly ask shoppers if you might have a moment of their time to tell them something important. "What business is it of yours where I shop? Crime? Ha! I know and trust those people inside. Are you some kind of safety expert? Get out of my way!" some say, as you fall silent and wring your hands, heart broken.

Then you pray, "Please, don't let those people that passed me by get hurt. Please let me reach someone, anyone, so that I can help them save their own lives with this valuable information I have inside me!" You wonder, "Why me? Why do I have to be the one that knows about the carnage inside this building, and yet have no one listen to me?"

You consider for a moment that maybe everyone is right. Maybe it's none of your business who lives, who dies, and who gets hurt. You wonder if maybe you really should go away, but finally you hunt down material to make a sign. You compose the most passionate plea you can think up, but then you realize people will ignore your passion as fanatical. "Death and destruction in a shopping mall?" they will ask themselves. "How ridiculous!" they will smugly conclude, and walk right in to have their limbs blown off.

So you tone it down as much as you can while leaving the message intact. You try to make the print look as professional as possible with the primitive tools you found, knowing that the fancy sign on the door announcing the latest special looks a lot more appealing than yours. Your heart sinks as you remember all the advertising you've seen for this place on the internet, on TV, and even in the news.

But still, you try to find a spot that won't get in people's way but will get noticed, and you put up your sign. "That will have to do." you think to yourself wistfully, adding another prayer that your little sign does it's job. As you begin to walk away, you see injured people walking out of the shopping center.

You feel hopeful for a moment that they'll try to stop more shoppers from entering too, but instead the wounded grab oncoming shoppers and tell them how thankful they are that the killers left them alive, that the criminals were nice enough to show them to the door. "You have to come in!" they say, "You can't live without the latest product." You shudder.

Just then, you remember that your husband and kids expect you home soon. You remember that you left dinner simmering on the stove and Suzie needing help with math. It'll probably be time to nurse the baby by the time you get back too. So you'd better get moving, and off you go with one more prayer that you never witness the horror you saw today, ever again.

Are you a bystander too? Do you know what it's like to try help people that don't want your help? Or are you a shopper? Have you seen my humble sign? I tried to write it just right, so it wouldn't hurt your feelings but at the same time I tried to make it accessible enough for you to read it if you did want to avoid tragedy. I've left arrows pointing to safer paths, better shopping experiences. Will you listen?

Are you a consumer of pregnancy, labor, and birth services? Would you think it ridiculous if I told you that death and destruction await an unlucky few who enter into contracts with birth professionals? Would you laugh at me or scoff if I told you that it's not worth it for the "lucky" ones to fight for your life for the mere appearance of safety? Would you think me fanatical if I shared how much I enjoyed the unhindered births of my daughters and how much I believe that you could enjoy giving birth too? It's all true, but you might have to slow down enough to read the fine-print a while to understand the details.

For more information, please explore my thoughts on childbirth at There's my little sign. I hope you read it. Gosh does it ever hurt sometimes, to be silent.

More articles by Laurie Morgan
(these articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Compleat Mother magazine)
Are Castor oil and other so-called natural inductions safe?
How long should a woman feel comfortable going overdue?
Is pain-free birth really possible?
Is all pain in childbirth due to fear?

Letter to my unborn first child
Cierra's Joyous Birth (short story)
It hurts to be silent

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