Oh, Hai, Person With The Childbirth Horror Videos? DO NOT SHOW ME THEM

May 3, 2008

I haven’t even given birth to this child yet and I’ve already gotten my first flaming piece of assvice. Which, you know, would be totally poetic – seeing as this weekend is the weekend of a virtual assvicefest of a baby shower that is being held partly in my honor – if the nature of the assvice weren’t so freaktastically disturbing.

Yesterday, I wrote a little post that was intended to thank my sweet friends for throwing this shower. I preambled with some babble about how miserable I’ve been and how badly I want this behemoth infant out of my body and included a few lines about an exchange that I’d had with my doctor that morning that went something along the lines of oh hai doctur pleez get this babee out of mah body and no srsly doctur I can haz C-section? Which – and I didn’t think that this needed explaining – were tongue-in-cheek (mostly – more on this below) both in their original statement and in my recounting of them here, on this bad blog.

I did worry a little bit that I might offend someone – I know that some people have strong opinions about c-sections, and that some women who have had them experienced them as disempowering etc, etc, – and so I toyed with the idea of posting a little disclaimer to the effect that AM JOKING (mostly) PLEASE DON’T TAKE OFFENSE. But then I thought, a) if I had to apologize for every instance of black humor on this blog, it would be all apology, no blog, which kinda defeats the purpose, and b) I was also kinda not joking – to the extent that, yes, I am getting that desperate – and shouldn’t have to apologize for my awkward attempts at expressing the extent of my current discomfort.

So I left it alone. I had closed comments anyway, so that people would follow the links that I provided rather than feel obligated to leave comments, so I figured that I wouldn’t hear much about it. But then I opened my inbox in the middle of the night – have I mentioned? am not sleeping because there is no sleeping position known to womankind that can comfortably accommodate a belly with a 30-something inch girth – and clicked open a comment with a link to a video that seemed expressly designed to give me nightmares: full, unedited video of Anna Nicole Smith’s C-section. The next comment, which would have preceded the comment with the link, said something to the effect of you must watch this… get as far away from your OB as you can… they are setting you up for a slaughter! (Those last few words? Not paraphrased.)

Which, you know? Not helpful advice for a woman who is 9 plus months pregnant with a gargantuan baby and who can’t sleep even without the Sears-gone-Freddie-Krueger threats of doom and the explicit horror videos.

Look, I know that for some women, C-sections are almost as bad as female circumcision and forced sterilization in terms of disempowerment and violation of the female body, and I can totally see how if one felt that way, one might want to intervene to prevent others from undergoing such a procedure and that this person had all sorts of good intentions, BUT. How different is such intervention from, say, anti-abortion intervention, if imposed upon someone who has not asked for an opinion on the matter? I mean, sending me gory videos and telling me that I’m doomed for slaughter? Terrifying me isn’t exactly the right way to engage me on the issue of C-sections, nor does it any way help me in any way to cope with the massive physical and psychological burden that this pregnancy has become (yes, I said it: burden. I am that f*cking miserable from pain and fatigue and the feeling of complete and utter broken-down uselessness). You’re welcome to tell me that you disagree with C-sections (although, again, my request for a C-section was tongue-in-cheek, as are any and all statements to the effect that I plan on flushing this child out with castor-oil-and-vodka martinis) (maybe), but please do not tell me that I am ‘not thinking’ and that I am unappreciative of equal rights v.v. my body and puhleeze do not use scare tactics to make whatever point you’re making.

I’m not planning a c-section, nor would my doctor even support giving me one for anything less than pressing medical reasons. Which, again, is not to say that I wouldn’t joke that I can’t see getting much bigger and incapacitated without being tempted to demand one or perform one on myself, and that it wouldn’t be all the funnier for me because it’s maybe a little bit true. Joking about it doesn’t mean that I don’t take this birth – or the means by which I will undergo the birth – very seriously. It does mean that I take choice very seriously – as I wrote at BlogHer just this week – and that I hold in very high value the fact that as a woman living in North America in the 21st century, I can choose whether to give birth at home or in a hospital, with drugs or without, and that if I need a c-section, I can have one.

And it also means that I am very attached the principle that what I do with those choices is nobody’s f*cking business but my own. Which is to say, if anyone else out there is thinking of sending me gory childbirth videos starring doomed D-list celebrities, C-section or otherwise, don’t.

Just don’t.

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    { 77 comments }

    Kate May 4, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Those last weeks of pregnancy suck so much…even without random people yelling at you about c-sections. Have you considered asking your doctor for a sleeping pill? My midwife gave me lunesta for the last week of my pregnancy, and oh my goodness did it make a difference. I still woke up to pee a few times a night, but I actually slept inbetween. I don’t know how I would have survived my twenty hours of labor and the ensuing newborn sleeplessness without that one week of good rest.

    Phoenix May 4, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    People can be such asshats. I feel the same way about the c-section nazi’s as I do about the breastfeeding ones. There isn’t one right way for everyone. Life just isn’t that black and white and thenk god, because it would be pretty dam boring.

    I hope that baby decides that he wants to make his appearance know very soon.

    Rock the Cradle May 4, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Jay-sus.

    Someone needs a good slap upside the head. Ass. Same thing.

    In one way or another, this too shall pass. I hope sooner rather than later!

    Jozet at Halushki May 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    oh good grief…what is wrong with people?

    Believe me, by month 9, if someone told me I could start labor by clubbing kittens with an American Flag, I would have considered it.

    Don’t mess with the pregnant lady.

    Do people have no sense of self-preservation?

    Chicky Chicky Baby May 4, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    And all I get are pictures of puppies and kittens.

    Fairly Odd Mother May 4, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    If it weren’t for a c-section, my 7yo daughter would likely still be up in my uterus seeing as there was no way a recently-turned 8 1/2 pound breech baby was going to shoot through my canal. I didn’t want a c-section for my first baby, but I thank goodness every single day that I live in a time when the doctors were able to get her out of me before anything bad happened to either one of us.

    People are nuts. Hang in there.

    Her Bad Mother May 4, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Chicky – You and Jozet should get together about those kittens.

    Shamelessly Sassy May 4, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    It’s ridiculous that someone emailed you that. People are KUH-RAZY. The fact that someone searched for the link..even crazier.

    Meagan May 5, 2008 at 12:47 am

    People on the tubes are insane, period. Don’t let it bother you and here’s my bit of unsolicited assvice: NEVER open an email attachment (or follow a link) from someone you don’t recognize. Aside from cutting down on things like this, it will help keep your ‘puter healthy. And think about it, when was the last time you opened a stranger’s link or attachment and thought, “gee, my life was somehow enriched by having seen that”?

    Busy Mom May 5, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Come now, you don’t want to have to check “c-section” on his kindergarten application, do you?

    Seriously, though, I thought the object was to get the baby out whether it be surgically or vagninally.

    I had 3 sections, I guess I am 3x less a woman than most.

    amy May 5, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I think Marly’s story is teh funniest.

    I had an emergency c-section with my daughter, and I was broken-hearted for a long, long time in spite of a husband who kept saying, “She’s here and she’s safe – get over it.” Now I’m halfway done cooking another one, and I’m 90% sure I’m going to repeat.

    Sections happen. What.ever. And for the record, my heart goes out to all the women who end up with nasty tears in their lady parts, ‘cuz that’s just unfair.

    Anne May 5, 2008 at 9:28 am

    For as doomed as ANS was, she had a healthy baby girl via C-section. All C-sections (and vaginal births) are full of natural stuff like blood and body fluids and pain and discomfort. I guess the slaughter person couldn’t find a video to “prove” their “theory.”

    Anonymous May 5, 2008 at 10:31 am

    You know, it just doesn’t matter. The end result is what counts. If you get a healthy baby and a healthy mama, then the delivery was the right thing for that birth. Doesn’t matter if the baby comes out of an incision or a hoo-haw.

    Hannah May 5, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Healthy baby is the goal. Not how it gets here. And I got that you were joking. Hell, when I hit 40 weeks with my first I waddled into the prenatal clinic and demanded an abortion. Much more potentially offensive than demanding a c-section.

    The second baby is easier. Trust me. And good luck. Sorry I missed the shower.

    Aprylsantics May 5, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Delurker here to say that I’ve always felt that people need to keep their minds out of my uterus.

    pkzcass May 5, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I’ve had both, and how anyone could choose ass-ripping vaginal delivery over a drug-induced, can’t-feel-anything-but-the-tugging c-section is beyond me…

    I say, don’t knock it till you tried it.

    SP May 5, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    First: Amen to “Go away bad assvice givers.”

    Second: I missed your virtual party because it was my birthday weekend and I was busy celebrating ME. So, I know I won’t get prizes. I’m also convinced that I don’t have ass/advice for you that is new or creative or different from what you know/have heard already. However, this is what I would like to share with you -

    As a Momma of two boys I have learned a couple of things.
    1) Decide if it’s really worth fighting about. If not, then let it go. (sometimes cooked carrots stuck to the ceiling is just not worth the temper tanrum you would have to throw in order to get her to stop launching them at the cat, much less eat them) If it is, then you better be willing to go toe to toddler toe until you win.
    2) Don’t assume that what worked with the first will work with the second. More than likely they will be night and day different. I love that about my boys. Thing1 I understand completely. He is so much like me. We think alike. We talk alike. I can predict his reactions to situations down to the tone of his voice. Thing2 is a completely foreign species to me. I don’t understand the way he processes information or gets to the conclusions that he does. Because of this, I’ve learned a lot about myself from both of them.
    3) Once they have removed the parasite from your abdomen, try to remember at least once a day that you are one of the luckiest women on the planet. If you find it’s harder some days than others, wine always helps.

    Congratulations!

    ChicMama! May 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    A c-section saved my son’s life. The cord wrapped three times around his neck and he never would have survived the pushing, let alone a home birth.

    Luckily, I was at a top Chicago trauma center and they were able to extract Garcon surgically in about 5 minutes when his heart rate plummeted to 35 bpm. He was blue when they pulled him out. And now two years later, he’s fine.

    If you want a natural birth, skip drugs, choose a hospital that allows a doula/midwife, but for god sake – when you’re jumping out of the plane, have a parachute available!

    Suburban Turmoil May 5, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I have so, so been where you are. Bruiser was a 10 pounder, NINE DAYS EARLY. Holy shit, I thought my stomach was going to pop open the last two weeks.

    Fortunately, you forget about it later. (Not really, but at least the pain goes away…)

    Scott May 5, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Wow, sometimes people are such nuts! Personally, I’d wonder what was wrong with you if you weren’t (sorta) contemplating a c-section at this point in the pregnancy. With my first child, I had false (so they said, anyway – I’m not so sure) labor for a solid month. It was so convincing that I went to the hospital 4 or 5 times that last two weeks just to be sent home again. (come back when your contractions are 5 minutes apart, come back when your contractions are 5 minutes apart for several hours, come back when your contractions are two minutes apart for an hour, blah, blah, blah) After the second time my doctor told me there was no way I’d make it to the next appointment without giving birth, I called and begged/threatened him to do something NOW or ELSE! He sent me to the hospital where I delivered right after he threatened me with a c-section after over 2 hours of pushing. (Because at that point, you know, after pushing for 2 hours, I was damned if I was giving up then).

    Scott May 5, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    umm. that Scott post? Sounds a little weird as it was me, Shannon from McBlog. (don’t bother checking over there though – I haven’t posted squat)

    justmylife May 6, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    My SIL planned a C-section for both of her kids. She set it up at her 3 month appointment. I think it is your choice. I had my first pregnancy test at a center that also performed abortions. I was 15 and scared to death and the protestors outside saw fit to hand me a lot of pamplets of abortions, complete with pictures of aborted babies. SO not right. I was there for a test not an abortion. If I had one planned I don’t think pictures would have changed my mind.

    Amalah May 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    OMG I WUZ SLAUGHTERED! HALP! AM COMMENTING FROM TEH ABATTOIR!

    I’d say I was shocked but I got the same emails after my doctor mentioned the possibility of a c-section last time (this was pre-Anna, at least, but I got TONS of information about how a planned c-section would kill me, my baby and probably a lot baby seals).

    I had an emergency section, and it CHAPS MY ASS when I have to defend it as necessary and no, I wasn’t bullied into it and it wasn’t horrible and I’m probably going to opt for another one this time, so fuck all of y’all AND the baby seal you rode in on.

    (And call me weird, but I watched a good deal of my own section on video and really didn’t find it much gorier or slaughteriffic as your average video of a vaginal delivery. Both exits are fairy messy.)

    Anonymous May 6, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Oh, poor you, poor you. I wish this was face to face so you would hear and see my sincere support. Hang in, hand in. You can do this. I wish I could take a shift for you, say 8 hours of enduring all of the pain and discomfort so you can dance about in my non-pregnant body and bend over and pick up WB and dance around and sleep 8 hours straight etc…etc… Oh I wish I could take a shift for you.

    Allie May 6, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    *Applause*

    I totally agree with you. I cannot believe someone did that to you. *Hugs and sympathy*

    No, wait… *pissed off camaraderie*

    Just stumbled across your blog a few days ago checking out the cool moms on the web. Totally love it and am thoroughly enjoying hearing from REAL moms! Keep it up! And here’s hoping that baby vacates really soon!

    Stacy May 8, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    What the hell is wrong with some people? Have your baby whatever way works for you! Be healthy!

    Why do some people NOT get the live and let live concept?!

    sweepstakes May 22, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Thanks to the owner of this blog. Ive enjoyed reading this topic.

    Comments on this entry are closed.

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