This showed up in my feed reader today and I felt compelled to respond:
Can I tell you how sorry I feel for the child born of a mother who says she didn’t give birth to the kid? That s/he was “an extraction,” like an infected tooth or a cancerous mole? What is that going to do for his or her self-esteem? Has anyone thought that far ahead yet? What a horrible set-up for loving parenting, starting out thinking your baby was “extracted” from your body.
I suppose I see where she’s coming from. The author is making a case for viewing your c-section as a “metaphor for the beginning of a new life” rather than something to “terroriz[e] women” with. I’m sorry she thinks I’m not setting my child up for loving parenting by describing what happened during his birth, but I think that statement is nutty enough that it almost doesn’t warrant a response. If anything, I’d be more likely to show loving parenting to try to mollify the circumstances of his birth a bit.
I’ve talked before about how I felt as though I played no part in my child’s birth. I’m a little… confused? I guess? as to why the author is so hostile about this feeling. I was anesthetized, strapped to a table and “blindfolded” from what was happening with a giant blue sheet, and then someone used a scalpel to cut me open and then people pulled a baby out of me.
My part in this was… what now? You can call it a metaphor for new life if you want, and it is, but it was also an extraction. I was actively prevented from participating in my birth, and yet somehow, feeling this way and talking to other women that feel similarly is “extraction crap” started by “a sadist.”
She then goes on to play the Guilt Olympics by describing impoverished women in Somalia that would love to have a c-section to avoid an obstetric fistula, or women who end up with stillborn babies while birthing vaginally. I am not sure what this has to do with the price of tea in China but I think it’s totally inappropriate to try to make me feel better (?) about my c-section by telling me that there are loads of people would love to be in my position, while simultaneously telling me how I should feel about my position.
In the comments, she’s accused of not having compassion for the women that believe their babies were “extracted,” and responded:
I have compassion… I feel sorry for the women who don’t feel they’ve given birth. Very, very sorry for them.
THIS is the attitude that makes me feel “less than,” not other women’s descriptions of surgical birth.
Then there’s this:
Quit being dramatic, you Extraction Queens. Find a way to get over your selfish belief your birth wasn’t real because of the location the kid entered the world from.
I don’t believe my child’s birth wasn’t “real” – I have the scar to prove it. I just believe I played a very little part in it.
Let me grieve for the birth I wanted, describe the birth I had in the manner that seems appropriate to me, and keep your misplaced pity for my child to yourself.