Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Feminists Are Allowed to Have Epidurals

Warning: this is going to piss some of you off.

I love to prowl around on mommy boards.  Partly because right now, I just have that kind of time on my hands, and partly because they feed my deep and abiding love for acronyms.  Mommy boards have almost as many acronyms as nursing and military sites - BF, FF, CIO, CD, BW (I admit that for a little while, I thought that last one stood for Bed Wetting).

Since I've begun my foray into the world of mommy boards, I've discovered an interesting phenomenon: that of the Crunchy Mama.  There seem to be varying levels of crunchiness, but the basic tenets are ardent breastfeeding (BF), attachment parenting/anti-crying-it-out (CIO), cloth diapering (CD), and baby wearing (not bed wetting), as well as not vaccinating, electing not to circumcise, eschewing even the most minimal birth monitoring (and Woe Betide the "Woman" who elects to have an epidural), and never, ever, ever, ever spanking.  While some of these mothers are very live-and-let-live (say, choosing to breastfeed and cloth diaper, while believing it's okay to spank and circumcise), others believe that to do otherwise is to ensure that your child will be autistic, constantly sick, and possibly even have a sub-normal IQ.

Apparently I am going to Mommy Hell.

After feeding my youngest boy some processed baby food and diapering him in a commercially manufactured Huggies diaper, I delved further into the world of Crunchy Mommy and came across this gem:


Holy Mommyboard Hysteria, Batman.

Comments on this photo ranged from:
 "WHY DON'T THEY JUST COME OUT AND SAY THEY'RE GOING TO TIE YOU DOWN AND DRUG YOU?!?!?"

to:
"Ladies, physicians like this SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE. We need to CALL THE UTAH BOARD OF MEDICINE and DEMAND THEIR LICENSES BE REMOVED!"

to:
"WHY NOT JUST HAND THEM OUR OVARIES AND UTERUSES AND BE DONE WITH IT???????"

And my favorite:
"These physicians and this practice is the antithesis of feminists everywhere. Tell these doctors HANDS OFF our reproductive choices!!!"

Sweet Jesus.

Here's a thought: perhaps this particular practice got tired of women marching in, doula at bedside, and arguing over every single blood draw and monitor strip interpretation, all the while brandishing a written and notarized contract stipulating that absolutely no medical intervention is allowed unless 'Life or Limb' of baby is at stake.  Just a thought, but perhaps an obstetrician would have a pretty damn good idea already of what is safe and acceptable during a delivery, and just maybe they get a bit tired of a non-doctor telling them how to do their job.  Here's an idea: if you don't want any medical intervention, have your baby at home.  Be sure to invite The Learning Channel.


Don't get me wrong - there are hundreds, if not thousands, of opinions on pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing.  And everyone likes to think that the way they do things is the "right" way.  But getting a holier-than-thou attitude regarding information you've gotten from Google University?  It's no wonder some OBs have had enough.  When did it become perfectly okay to waltz into a delivery room, tell the doctor exactly what he/she will and will not do, tell them you have a contract that they are to adhere to, and then if things don't go exactly as you planned, throw all the blame on your medical treatment?  Guess what - shit happens during childbirth.  While most births are routine and minimally invasive, women give birth in hospitals on the off chance that something unexpected might happen - and if it does, you want your physician ready and able to jump in and do whatever he or she deems necessary to safely deliver your baby.

So here's an option - take a page from Well-Informed Woman's Manual of Pregnancy and Childbirth:
- Know your options
- Communicate your wishes to your husband/birth partner and your doctor
- Don't apologize for your choices
- Be flexible, because the baby is going to occasionally come early, try to come out ass-first, or try to shove the umbilical cord ahead of it.  Babies are tricky like that.


And for entertainment purposes, a few pages from Blonde Mommy's Manual of Pregnancy and Childbirth:
- Send the anesthesiologist flowers before your delivery.  You want the Good Stuff, after all.
- On your birth plan, stipulate in bold lettering: "Knock me out immediately prior to anything painful. I prefer to be comatose and drooling during the Main Event."
- Pack 3 bags for the hospital: one for baby, one with Mommy's clothes and pjs, and one with Mommy's makeup and hair products.  Mommy does not want to look like she has just given birth, even immediately after she has just given birth.
- All photos before, during, and after childbirth are to be granted express permission prior to being posted on facebook.  If it's not airbrushed, it's not for public viewing.
- Someone better bring a bottle of Moscato, because Mommy hasn't had anything harder than semi-loaded coffee for nine months.


In the meantime, I will continue to troll the mommy boards, because I love to argue.  Besides, it's not the doctors who are out to compromise your medical decisions.

IT'S THE INSURANCE COMPANIES.

7 comments:

Ashlee said...

I love it!!! :)

Sharonmanc said...

haha, made me laugh so much, I was a home birthing mummy, to me it is all about choice, and doing what is right for you, breast feed, formula feed, cloth nappy, disposable is does not matter, I just wish some mummys would get that through their heads, IT IS NOT A COMPETITION. And yes babies pretty much make up their own minds, and I tell you I am so glad i have a high pain threshold, or i think i would be scorign my own drugs before I hit the labour ward just to get a head start lol _ keep stiring trouble :)

Aleah said...

Sharon, I don't know how you did it. I have an incredibly low pain threshold!!! I cry if I have a hangnail ;)

skye_616 said...

Aleah,

Ever since you posted that pic on fb, I been waiting for this! I LOVE IT! As a mom who is like your friend (at least for the 1st one save the labor time...42hrs for me, drug free), I have to say that I 100% support ANY choice a woman makes when it comes to giving birth. Cloth, Huggies, boob or bottle, up to you and your partner ONLY. Keep up the good work!

Stacey said...

I am going to straight up steal this and post it on my blog when I can't think of anything to write about. :)

Aleah said...

Stacey, steal away :D

Aleah said...

Skye: you went through 42 hours of labor, drug free...and ended up having *another* child?!?!? Hats off to you, woman! I would have had my uterus sewn shut!!