Fuck you, Lifetime


As someone who birthed a big, giant child without interventions, I hate hearing stories like this.  I hate the way that the media plays into this idea that laboring women MUST have medicinal and, specifically, pain intervention in order to get through labor.

The thing is, I don’t care how you birth your child, I just wish we would all stop trying to decide this for each other.  I wish women were presented enough information to make a choice instead of having to rely on a medical establishment that clearly has an agenda and an idea about how birthing should happen (though there are plenty of ways to birth a kid, even when in a hospital).

The point of this is not to judge any woman for how she chooses to birth their child.  Because women are CONSTANTLY judged on how they choose to bring their child into the world.  This kind of shit counts as anti-choice.  My own pregnancy showed me that choice does not begin and end with whether a woman decides to see her pregnancy through to birth.  It goes all the way through the birthing itself, the immediate recovery, and the way in which you handle your newborn while in the hospital (the nurses almost didn’t know what to do with me because I asked them to hold off bathing my son until he was a few hours old – literally was told by my post-partum nurse, “I have never heard of such a thing.”).

I have written about this before (and I’m sure I will write it about it again).  And because I am super busy today, I’m going to do that annoying thing and just quote myself:

Here’s my thing about all of this.  I feel like there is a medical system that has completely taken over birthing.  And that system expects women and their labor to conform to some cookie cutter experience (birth will begin on this date, will progress at this speed, will take this long, will require these drugs, etc.).  Any deviation from said experience leads to panic of the part of the medical staff and the patients relying on their expertise, and so often ends up in surgery.  The other options aren’t even presented.  And if you ask about them, you are often made to feel idiotic, silly, not possibly able to do give birth in any other way than the way your doctor expects you to.  At least, that was my experience with the medical establishment. To have the birth I wanted, I felt like we fought all the way.  And then I did have my birth and everything was fine.


4 thoughts on “Fuck you, Lifetime

  1. As a woman who does not even want children, it still really boggles and irritates me that anyone thinks it is their business how a woman wishes to deal with giving birth. As long as she;s not wanting something dangerous – like say, shots of whiskey – then what she wants and needs is what she should have, full stop. How is that so damn hard for people to understand?

  2. It’s been 9 years since my 2nd and last c- section. Both of my kids were 42 weeks at delivery and used their umbilical cords as necklaces. I started out trying to go vaginal and even went to VBAC courses for my second child. I read about women who mourned not having vaginal births, when I was pregnant I thought this was stupid…..the point of childbirth is taking a baby home, that was my only goal.

    Children have a way of raising their parents. I learned that the most important thing as a parent is to be at peace with your decisions and to be able to sleep so that you’re rested for the next herculian day of child rearing. So if you want to have a baby with no meds, an epidural or fully knocked out…go for it! Take care of yourself.

  3. Exactly. The point is 1) for mom and baby to be healthy and 2) for the mom to not feel dis-empowered by the experience. So, whoever is helping birth that baby (almost always doctors here in America – and, really, the nurses there during the hopefully-not-many hours before the Dr arrives) should be supportive of whatever decision the mom makes in order to birth a healthy baby and to keep her healthy. I have had friends who have had c-sections because of breached babies, complications, and pure choice – all happy and healthy in the end. On the other end, I know other women like me who have given birth with no intervention, also happy and healthy. But I also know women who felt like their wishes and desires were pushed aside, their voices quieted, leaving them sad with the experience. And no one should be sad about their birthing experience. That is what I care about. Women should know all their options and they should be supported as much as possible to maintain health whatever decision they make.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

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