When you get to a certain stage of pregnancy, namely- the end, you begin to lose the ability to filter yourself: what you say, how you act, what you’re willing to admit to strangers. I don’t have a great filter when I’m not expecting, but look out, world! I’ll likely say just about anything right now. I’m not prone to sugarcoat my opinions, (of which there are many) when it’s 92 degrees outside and I’m roughly the size of the Titanic. To give you an idea of my apparent size, I was just walking into Panera to sit and blog for a while in relative silence, (my doting husband offered to watch the 76 munchkins at home for a spell so I could get some writing done in peace) and a man in the parking lot saw me and immediately said “Hi! You having twins?” This would upset a lot of pregnant women, but I am aware that I look like I’m 3 weeks past due, and this isn’t my first rodeo, so that didn’t ruffle my feathers. I replied, “Nope, I have twins at home, but this is just one.” Not convinced, he shot back, “You might be having twins this time, too!” I don’t know if he’s the father of multiples, an ObGyn, or just has a death wish, but he seemed confident in his prediction. However, that would be the surprise of the century, as I’ve had about 12 ultrasounds with this baby (par for the course with a high-risk pregnancy.) If they’ve managed to miss a whole person in there each time, well, I guess I’m going to have to get my other bassinet back from my sister-in-law. (Which won’t go over well as she’s due with a new baby 4 days after me.) All of this to say, I am sooo pregnant that perfect strangers feel comfortable suggesting to me that I am carrying more than one fetus.
And that level of giganticness brings me to today’s topic. It’s one that people feel strongly about. I’m not out to lose friends, and I hope that if we disagree, we can walk away from this post still liking each other, (assuming I’m already acquainted with you!) I realize, too, that there are varying degrees of opinions on this matter. I probably fall to the extreme of one side, and many of you will fall somewhere in the middle. A few of you, however, are die-hards, and I want you to feel welcome to chime in and share your thoughts. Also, I don’t think you have to be a parent or be expecting a child to have an opinion on this subject. I had pretty much the same opinion I have now long before I had any kids. So everyone’s thoughts are welcome and legitimate, regardless of parental status.
Birthing plans. People are serious about HOW they want to bring their children into the world. Why is that? I have been part of so many discussions where women are adamant one way or another that their way is the best way. Not that they say that, but the language they use to describe their way indicates that they believe it SHOULD be everyone’s way.
Here’s one thing that gets me: the way some women talk about c-sections. As if they are the thing to be most avoided in life! As if a pregnancy ending in delivery by c-section is a failure! Does it not still result in a new baby?? Why are we so dead-set against c-sections? I can understand not hoping for a c-section, but I’ve heard so many people talk about it like it’s the end of the world! I want to tell these people that it is still a respectable way to birth a baby, especially when deemed medically necessary, and doesn’t make you any less of a woman. I recently read on a friend’s Facebook whose wife was in labor at the hospital that they only had 2 hours for the baby to turn and for her to dilate a certain amount more, or they would be forced to do a c-section. In the comments on that status some woman replied “NOOOOO!! Don’t let them do it!!!!” And I wanted to know where that woman was so I could slap her. Why would you say that to a person IN LABOR facing the reality of a possible caesarian? It clearly was not up to them, the doctor was making a decision based on the health of mother AND baby, not flippantly wanting to perform major surgery.
That’s just one pet peeve, and likely because I have delivered ALL of my children via c-section, and I am confident that it has been a success each time.
How about epidural vs. natural? People feel strongly about that, as well. What is it that makes some women feel like they need to conquer the pain? Is it just a sense of accomplishment? I honestly get the sense that some of these ladies also feel a sense of superiority to the rest of the female gender if they are able to push out a human without the numbing aid of epidural drugs. (Please be advised, I also know some women who have gone the natural route whom I don’t believe are out to best the rest of us. This is not a blanket statement, just a general observance.) I know some people employ the whole “the baby is so much more alert and aware without the side effects of the epidural, I’m doing it for the baby” line of reasoning. But I don’t buy it. I have seen newborns after epidurals and non-epidurals, and guess what? No noticeable difference in alertness. It’s a brand new baby, it’s not going to wave and say hi and count to 10 after birth just because you felt the pain of pushing them out.
Even more controversial, though, is the home birth. Wow, don’t get me started. This is where I might start to make enemies. I simply can’t imagine a more selfish, irresponsible thing to do. I can’t wrap my mind around it. I’ve tried to look at it from every angle, and I just come up with the same conclusion every time. These women are out to prove something, and that goal is more important to them than the health of themselves and more importantly, their baby. They might as well smoke during the whole pregnancy, because clearly their first priority isn’t the safety of their child. It’s one thing if you have no other option. Then you do what you’ve got to do. But if you have the option of having your baby born in your home OR in a hospital, how on earth can it be ok to choose home!? There are so many things that can go wrong at the last minute during labor and childbirth, and a lot of those things can result in the needless death of the mother or baby if they occur during a home birth. Those same things can be dealt with swiftly and efficiently without anyone dying if the right trained personnel, equipment and facilities are available. Seems like a crap-shoot, to me. I guess if you’re feelin’ lucky… I realize that there are some exceptions and that things can go wrong in a hospital, too. BUT, they are far less likely to happen. It just seems so irresponsible to me to choose having a baby at home in light of what could very easily happen when giving birth in a hospital is available to you. I just really feel that women who opt for home births have an unhealthy need to prove something unnecessary. All it proves to me is that they shouldn’t be allowed to make big decisions on their own. It’s just as bad a decision in my opinion as driving drunk, because it’s a choice to endanger more than just yourself.
Wow. There, I said it. I hope you don’t hate me. Under normal circumstances I would chose my words a little more carefully and try not to sound so, well, mean. But I’m uncomfortable and hot, and hormonal, so you’re getting an earful today.
That being said, I have been wrong before, and I am dying to hear what YOU think about this stuff! Even if you think I couldn’t be further from right. Chime in and let me know, because your opinion counts, too. Tell me, Smartypants, is it ok to have a baby at home?????