Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Business of Being Bullied

This. Is excellent. The author's conclusions are exactly right. We deserve ample opportunities to make rational pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting choices and receive encouragement toward those decisions, not romanticized or fear/shame-ridden lectures about "natural" or "unnatural" approaches and ridicule from one camp or another about whether we are drinking the KoolAid over what we favor.  There is no such thing as "unnatural" or "unauthentic" labor or parenting. There is just whatever we do.

Ina May Gaskin and the battle for at-home births (NYT)


Trinity said...

Really, really good read. Thanks for sharing. I've never read any of Ina May's stuff. Even though I had hoped for an unmedicated birth, and even though her work is held up as the gold standard in "natural" birthing, they never really appealed to me. I think I was afraid to read anything that might make me feel like a failure if my birthing didn't align with my hopes.

You know, I could really go down a ranting path--especially in the wake of all the Time magazine shit--but I'm just...tired. Exhausted, truly, by all the fucking mompetition.

N and I attended a monthly natural childbirth circle when I was pregnant, and some of the shit said in those meetings were just UGH. And the crap that stung the most came from the mouths of midwives (NOT CNMs--lay midwives). The dogma was frickin' intense, dude. I remember two of them going ON and ON about how your OB can threaten to call CPS on you if you refuse a cesarean, and I was all, "Um, hold the phone. I did CPS for yeeears, and if someone called me about a c/s refusal, I'd laugh in their face and tell them to quit wasting my time. Also, VA law does not recognize a child until is is born, so CPS doesn't even have the jurisdiction to intervene when yo' baby still be up in yo' belly." What they were saying to these pregnant women was just as much the bullying shit that the OBs reportedly were doing. SO angering.

Just be informed. Educate yourself. Make a decision that feels right, and then embrace it confidently. Fuck the naysayers.

P.S. Congrats on the 2T! You are trucking along, woman! I hope the sick feeling passes soon. Why does pregnancy hate the loveable JB so much, just why? ;) Sending a hug...

kdactyl said...

This was a really great article. It really seemed to show both sides and reveal some of the bullying that does go on. I had both my babies by scheduled c-section....#1 because he was frank breech....and #2 because #1 c-section was so easy...why take the chance with a v-back? All went babies were in my husband's arms within moments of birth and on my chest bonding with me within 20 minutes. They never took either from me, they never were left alone in an isolet and my OB was awesome about offering me choices. I hear great things about unmedicated births and the euphoria and endorphin rush after...but I didn't feel any less empowered or pumped up after my babies were born...GEEZE...I had a gorgeous, HEALTHY baby....what is there to complain about? I hate all the mompetition out there...I ignore it. I love to interact with other moms and often get great ideas and advise from them...but I take what works for OUR FAMILY and pretty much leave the rest behind. If more people did that...we would probably live with a lot less guilt and a lot more joy in just being with our kids.
Yay for you...#2 is exciting and the chaos will be overwhelming...but don't is still awesome and joyful and totally worth all the lost sleep and days without showers...tee hee!

bunny said...

Seemed like an actually fairly balanced article. (Though...slipping that bit in about the couple refusing antibiotic eye drops definitely likely to lead a lot of readers to infer these home birthers are all a buncha vaccine refusing crazies...)

Whenever I read someone lamenting the fact that she will have to or has had to have a C section, it always hurts my feelings. Usually she's all "I feel like less of a woman, like a bad mother," which by implication means I myself am less of a woman, etc... But I also worried about and grieved over exactly the same things. It's a hard thing to face, and while I am grateful for the "natural" birth movement, and understand that some of their rhetoric comes from a place of needing to frighten people into paying attention, like all reactionary movements, it goes too far sometimes.

Welcome to T2, my dear. I really hope it lets up soon.