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.