Controversial Birth Stew.

No, I’m not going to cook and eat my placenta. I’m talking about the stew of controversy on birth and childrearing. It’s obnoxious. And I wonder to what extent I, as another maternity blogger, will address the controversies. The only way I could entirely avoid it is by remaining silent on my preferences–which seems stupid. It’s my pregnancy blog.  But whether to take a casual approach or a persuasive approach is confusing. I get easily fired up, and I really don’t want to have to be in the position of defending myself to internet strangers, much less family and friends. Nor do I want to offend anyone who makes different choices.

So, currently I’m leaning toward an educational approach. If you are interested in knowing more about me, my pregnancy, and my plans for labor and delivery and beyond, I’m happy to share. But if you’re interested in convincing me that your plan is better for me, you can leave. And I’ll allow all women the same respect in that I will avoid telling them what is in their best interest. Because I could not possibly know that unless it is a estate planning matter in the jurisdiction of Oregon.  In which case, I can be of service.

That said, I already find myself in the thick of a stew of controversy. I’ve long ago crossed the “traditional” hospital default option off the list of birthing venues (unless emergencies arise). I desperately and excitedly want to use cloth diapering.  I would never circumcise an infant. And even though I personally enjoy the Disney princesses, I lie awake at night worrying that my female children will want to be sexy as young as age 4.  And I worry that I’m setting myself up for a lifetime of explaining why I’ve chosen the path of greater cultural resistance. Which I really don’t feel like doing.

I am the first to admit that I am a contrarian. But the above decisions and future important mom decisions come from somewhere deep in my gut/soul/heart/uterus, not out of the desire to be a butt.  Although, those times are fun too. And I’ll let you know that I’m self-aware enough to recognize them. For example, I enjoy teasing my incredibly politically conservative parents, so I’m definitely adding this “pacifist” onesie with a pacifier on it to my baby registry. Can’t wait.

…Only knowing them, they’ll retaliate with a Glenn Beck book on how to raise kids or something equally awful.



5 thoughts on “Controversial Birth Stew.

  1. 🙂 we are so alike! I’m glad a found your blog (through FMH, even though I’m not an M, long story). My biggest worry is being pressured by those who have done this before, especially family, and chose differently than I plan to, as if they are experts and I can’t possibly know since I haven’t experienced it.

  2. I think about this constantly, of course. I never thought I’d be the person who follows a million different natural childbirth blogs or turn into an unmedicated birth advocate.

    I try to follow the adage of “live and let live” in life generally and regarding birth choices. I’m frequently struck, however, by the lack of open-mindedness on all sides of the pot of birth stew. People should, in my opinion, seek out all their options and make decisions based upon the best medical information available to them and not out of fear.

    The thing that’s most puzzling to me is that people seem to assume we wouldn’t transfer to a hospital if the need arose. Cesarean sections DO save lives. I’m deeply unconvinced that 33%+ of pregnancies in the United States by default require “saving” from their onset. (Preaching to the choir. I know, I know.)

    The next most puzzling thing is when people say, “But your baby could DIE!” or “You could DIE!” Besides being alarmist (and moreover completely unhelpful to this 8 1/2 month pregnant woman with enough neuroses on my own without their help, thank you very much) it totally ignores the reality that MOTHERS AND BABIES DIE IN HOSPITALS, TOO. Our percentages are what’s actually really alarming for a nation with supposedly the best medical care in the world.

    Anyway, rah-rah for freedom to make your own birth choices!

    • To caveat my previous comment, I certainly wouldn’t say that c-sections are the “easy way out.” It’s freaking major surgery with often long and painful recoveries. I simply can’t comprehend pre-scheduled elective c-sections. Really now?

    • Yeah, the transfer thing. What drives me nuts is the condescending and hypocritical attitude that women who do transfer were stupid and just should have had their birth in a hospital in the first place. No.

      These women were smart to transfer when their body or their infant’s body could no longer handle the birth without more help. The only difference between their birth and a hospital birth is that they spent significantly more time laboring at home or their birth center.

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