I guess I have to go there.
I think the term “mommy wars” is completely absurd. I understand why people use it. Some moms talk like they would die for their causes. But I hope I’m not the only mother or person else finds it slightly ridiculous and more than a bit insulting. I have opinions. Strong opinions that are rooted in my value system. I am not dropping bombs (figurative or literal) on moms who disagree with me and leaving their children orphans. I will suffer a fair amount of pain for some issues. (Hello, drug free child birth!) But not from you! Other issues I won’t suffer a paper cut for.
Yes, I feel that unless you are physically unable, you should breastfeed. I also think babies should be respected despite the fact that they aren’t born yet. They have shouldn’t be subjected to unnecessary drugs so that I can avoid a few hours of pain. There are exceptions to all these things. I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about vaccinations or the GMO/organic debate, issues for which some moms might take a bullet. Other moms refuse to post pictures of their kids online. Ok, great. That’s awesome that you respect your child so much! For us, that’s just not reality.
The point is, ALL of these things are opinions. You don’t like what I think? Who cares? I’ve done my research. You’ve done yours. Why do we have to start taking everyone else’s decisions to do things differently like it’s a personal attack? Why do we have to attack people who choose do things differently?
Here’s the deal. I’m not going to start a war. I’m not participating in war. I often make a racket; it’s just my personality to want to make a lot of noise. I want you to hear me. Just like you want me to hear you. I won’t necessarily respect your opinions – I’m just gonna be honest about that. But unless it’s my personal facebook page or blog, I’m not running around telling you how to give birth, what to feed your kid or when they can get shots.
My opinion is just that – mine. It should not make you insecure.
You should feel just as strongly that your planned induction and formula are the right choice for your baby as I feel that my intervention-free birth and breastmilk are for mine. Don’t make choices that you can’t support. If my options were formula or my son wasting away, I’d choose formula too!
Disagree with me? Cool. We can still be friends! I’m not sending anyone home in a casket. So don’t act like I’m a part of your downfall or a part of your war. Don’t imply that because I believe differently that I’m intentionally attacking your choices. There are no uniforms or tanks at my house. There shouldn’t be any at yours. Moms who drink soy milk and babies who were born via c-section are welcome at our house every day of the week!
(Picture found here.)
The average birth in the United States costs something like $11,000. The average c-section is twice that. Hello, you can buy a brand new car for that kind of money or have a decent down payment on your house. What kind of service do you think you should be receiving when five figures are involved?
According to the WHO, Estonia has better birth outcomes than the US. ESTONIA. And yet when a mom educates herself and walks into her OB’s office with a birth plan, they have the audacity to roll. Their. Eyes. Are you freaking kidding me?! I read recently that between 1991 and 2010, the maternal death rate in this country went up by 50%. FIFTY. (And I have no problem blaming the hospital system for this because *maybe* 1% of births occurred outside of a hospital during this time period.)
What I am telling you is this: if you actually give a damn about what they plan on doing to your body and your baby, they will be annoyed with you. They will not respect you. Sure, you have to fill out eight pages of paperwork before they see you. Anecdote: during the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy, I spent all of 15 minutes actually talking to my OB. Who I eventually dumped in large part because every time I talked to her she brought up termination. Don’t even get me started on the fact that she did not bother to ask if terminating was an option for us. This is what I mean. Absolutely no respect.
I’m sure all of you are going to write back with how well you were treated during your prenatal trips and hospital delivery and that’s all fine and good. Despite the fact that you were happy with your service (“I survived labor and delivery!” gets 4 out of 5 stars these days, and moms that don’t survive sadly can’t participate in the polling) the stats are clear that the American hospital system is failing women.
But what do I know? I’m not a doctor! So just, you know, ignore the data and don’t bother educating yourself. And definitely let them do whatever the hell they want to you and your child. Most likely, your doctor won’t give a damn about what you think even if he or she lacks the testicular fortitude to tell you that upfront.
I will be the first to admit that my life is more than a little nutty right now. However, I am starting a new project and I’m really excited about it!
Some of you may know that I’m pretty passionate about natural child birth. I knew when I was 15 that I wanted to have a drug free birth whenever that day came. I didn’t want to give birth on my back, I wanted to be able to eat and drink and move around if I needed to. And even at 15, I knew my body could handle it. It never really scared me.
Anyway, since Dillinger was born I have been trying to think of a way to use this passion and I finally figured it out.
I’ve started a new blog called The Natural Birth. I want to collect natural birth stories (and stories of people who want to go natural, regardless of outcome) in part because I’m a big proponent of natural birth and because I think those experiences should be shared. I was definitely looking all over the place for natural birth stories when I was pregnant. It’s just reassuring, especially when you’ve never given birth, to hear others’ experiences. And, by comparison, there are relatively few of them!
All that to say, if you have had a drug free birth experience or attempt, and would like to share it, please let me know! My info is listed above in the contact me section.