|Shameless opportunity to include my favorite birth pic of the Bean|
And that's cool, people have a right to form their own opinions. I've never been the type to stand in the way of that. However, this is my blog, I have every right to publish posts as I see fit. Just as you have every right to disagree or choose not to read. Now that we've gotten that long-winded disclaimer out of the way.
A few months ago I accidentally stumbled upon a site written by a certain feminist blogger--one who is well-known for her controversial topics. At first I was I thought the particular topic of discussion was pretty interesting-- and then I started to notice something. Every time a lone commenter would politely disagree with the idea of having a home birth, every time a commenter would dare mention the fact that they had a medical condition that ultimately resulted in an emergency c-section, it was as if they had painted a target sign on their backs and had subjected themselves to a verbal town-square stoning. By the end of the night, more than 50 mothers had taken the time out of their day to tell another woman just how terrible of a decision she had made by choosing the c-section rather than delivering naturally.
These incidents that I'm talking about are not isolated incidents. In fact, a few years ago I had a disagreement with an old high school friend-- now turned Doula. Despite the fact that I had three serious medical conditions throughout my pregnancy: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, Hyperthyroidism, and Preeclampsia, my former friend was completely convinced that I could have delivered from the comfort of my home. Needless to say, after the incident I quietly made my way to that little unfriend button on facebook and made use of it.
I suppose before I became a mother I was under the misguided belief that there was some sort of solidarity that bonded mothers. I thought that becoming a mother instantly allowed you full access to a supportive network of other mothers who would not only provide you with information and encouragement, but would also respect your personal opinions about childbirth and child-rearing. I know, I know; so delusional, so young, so naive.
Two years in and I'm finally starting to see that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't daylight, it's a train heading straight towards you filled with judgey moms just waiting to tell you how much better they could have handled your situation. And I know, we ALL occasionally let the judge monster sink it's claws into us. It's a part of human nature. I do it, you do it, we all do. What I'm asking is that we find a way to control it. I wrote an excellent post about being judgmental that everyone should give a once over. Sometimes I have to go back, reread it and let the words digest.
At the end of the day, we don't know or understand everyone's personal situation. They may be dealing with things that you can't even fathom. Maybe that woman you keep snidely telling that choosing to bottle-feed rather than breastfeed makes her "less of a woman" works three jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over her families head. Maybe the woman that elects to have that emergency c-section is more concerned with ensuring her child is safely brought into this world than the idea that having bright lights or a room full of doctors will somehow delay her babies fine motor skills development.
Statistics are great; unless you're faced with the possibility that you may be one of the 2.2% that are on the bad side of those odds.
Self-preservation dictates that as humans we have a will to survive. Motherhood dictates that should we feel our children are in jeopardy, we will fight with every breath in our bodies to ensure they are safe. If an unsightly scar below my belly is the only price I have to pay to see my daughters warm brown eyes light up in happiness every morning I walk in to wake her up, then it's a price I will gladly pay again, again and again. I know I am not alone.
That said, to all of my mommas who have had unplanned or planned c-sections. I've got your back. For all of the mothers that choose to get that epidural. I've got your back. To any mother anywhere who has been made to feel that she is less of a woman because she choose to deliver in a hospital rather than in her home, you are not alone. Your child will love you just as much as had you gone though a home birth.
At the end of the day, we are all mothers. We are all extraordinary human beings that have given life. We all have unique feelings, thoughts and fears. And we all have beautiful stories to tell. It would be wise to listen.
What are your thoughts? What is your story?