Saturday, June 18, 2011

Well Some of Us Gave Birth Using Only The Power of Crystals. In My Case They Were All Out

Thank you everyone who has not only bothered to read my blog but actually liked it! I really appreciate that you enjoy my humor.  The last trimester of my pregnancy wasn't easy, but as with most things in my life, I tried use laughter as my sliver lining.  Thanks for sticking with me and for giving me so much support!
On my maternity leave I have had some time to seek answers to many of the questions that linger after Isaac made his appearance.  I wonder if the hydronephrosis of the kidney is likely to happen with a subsequent pregnancy.  I have spent a good amount of time looking for advice as Isaac and I learn the finer points of nursing. I wonder about sleeping arrangements.  I wonder about sleeping at all...I google just about everything that crosses my mind these days.  For the most part, all of the parenting websites and message boards out there (and there are a LOT of them) are pretty encouraging and supportive. The one common negativity I see is when women discuss pain relief methods and hospital births vs labors with no medical interventions.  For the life of me I cannot understand the venom behind some of those comments.  I was talking to my mother about it the other day.  She has been a great cheerleader for both my sister and myself as we have and raise our babies, and is a great sounding board for me in the creation of this blog.  So it is only natural that I cannot wait to tell her the news: one of the negative-nelly moms who gave birth levitating on a cloud of superiority and endorphins felt so strongly about my post that she commented on my site! I'm honored! First of all, I love people who take themselves very seriously.  They are so much easier to humiliate.  Second, as my brother put it, you're nobody til somebody hates you.  Feel free to check out the comments section of my last post for some background because I decided to take some time off from blaming my child to craft a response.

  I realized when I chose the induction that it would be a different labor than if I floated into it naturally.  I did, in fact, learn about this not only from my childbirth class but my midwife, mother, sister and a few co-workers and friends, as my pregnancy did not exist in a vacuum.  I chose the induction because I could not have another kidney stent replacement surgery before delivery.  The mass of an 8lb baby pushing on the stent was wearing it out, requiring a decision: Induction and the possibility of more pain with the contractions or waiting to see if the stent failed, releasing all sorts of unsavory kidney mess into my blood stream endangering my baby and myself.  I chose life.  I will say I had a wonderful midwife and nurse who allowed and encouraged me to assume any and every position I wanted in the amazing bed in the delivery room.  I spent part of my labor on my back, a some time on my side, a good portion of it squatting, and delivered in a somewhat reclined position and using these great handles to bear down.  I will admit to glancing up at a basketball game that was on ESPN while in this position.  Having a TV on in there was probably pretty irresponsible of me but in my defense, it was a drug-free distraction that provided some relief and I couldn't reach the clicker. 
One of the first things I said after delivery was "god bless any woman who does that without drugs" and I do mean it. Childbirth with the pain relief was trying.  To undertake something that intense without medication requires a courage and determination that I don't know if I will ever experience myself. I know women have been doing it for, well, forever, but when I start to wonder if I made the right decision I stop and remind myself that medical interventions were necessary in my situation.  I refuse to crumble under the guilt and shame some women seem to enjoy heaping upon one another.  We take for granted that many of us lived through experiences that would likely have killed women of previous generations.  I'm a feminist.  Giving birth doesn't make you one, respecting other women does. I feel that pitting one woman's birth experience against another's is despicable and self defeating and I fail to see how one can value a natural labor and birth for the benefits to the mother and child while simultaneously pointing an accusatory finger at a mother who, by choice or emergency, delivered with medical assistance. It is 2011, women's health care has come very far. We might still earn $0.78 on the male dollar, have to dodge bullets at abortion clinics and seek out pharmacists without moral objections to birth control to plan our families, but we no longer have to put ourselves and our babies at risk with every pregnancy. We have the luxury of choice.  While some women may choose a path to parenthood that is less fraught with IVs and fetal heart rate monitors, that path was not available to me.  I implore all of you naysayers out there to get a grip.  Your insecurity is showing and it is not becoming of a lady.  If high school taught us anything it is that making other people feel bad about themselves doesn't make you feel better about your self.  Well, it does for a minute or two but after that you just have to go out there and find another new mother to anonymously bully.
Now if you excuse me, I am going to let my horrible baby out of his cage for a bit. But I don't think I'm going to throw rocks at him tonight.  It is high time I shoulder at least some of the blame for my choice to get kidney stones.


  1. AMEN! I was induced, not by choice, and as much as I wanted to do it naturally, I couldn't make it through. I am far from ashamed of needing help making it through that process, and I will never understand why women feel the need to judge each other on this. It is the one thing that binds us as women, and we should celebrate it-however it happens, and not put each other down-especially at a time when we are already feeling insecure about every move we make as new parents.

    And another thing-can people not recognize a bit of sarcasm when they see it? Stop taking yourself so seriously!

  2. I read your blogs! Great reading! I wish I knew you were chronicling your pregnancy sooner! I had a lot of child birth questions for ya, but I think those are pretty much answered. A much more important question was, why would you be watching ESPN and not your Lifetime Movie Network? Then you explained =)


  3. Amazing! A thoughtfully crafted response to the variety of ways that women give birth and should not be condemned for their decisions. And, yes, it is about choice.