Thursday, June 03, 2010

To all the Debbie Downers in the world

Read an article over at Offbeat Mama and was struck by this quote:
This is where I still feel very sensitive. I hate it when people say things like, "At least you have a healthy baby." Or, "That's why you shouldn't make plans for birth–it never goes according to plan." It's very hurtful. I don't think it's fair to imply that I am not grateful for my child or that I am selfish for wanting birth to be more than a "get the baby out" exercise. It is okay that I wanted to be treated as more than a baby-bearing vessel. I am not out to prove something and I'm not trying to be a martyr or get a medal. I just wanted a positive, empowering birth experience and I felt fully educated and aware of my options.

I don't think I will ever understand why people feel the need to poo poo on someones dream for a "natural" birth. Sometimes it seems like whenever something good happens people instantly need to say what could go wrong, like well you shouldn't be too happy cause the other shoe might drop at any moment. I want to be someone who can encourage and who can share joy without being the Debbie Downer to the situation.

I believe birth is like anything else that you would train for, the ending is not all up to you. You can train for a marathon for a year and twist your ankle that morning getting out of bed. You can plan for a natural birth but hey things might go wrong. I think if the person is educated they already know that, they don't need you telling them all about your best friend's cousins birth where she delivered 13lb twins. I'm constantly amazed at how people need to tell me about late miscarriages, stillborn babies, mothers dying in labor. Yes, I know those things happen but I don't need you to constantly remind me of them. I'm working towards a goal, and while maybe you didn't achieve that goal or maybe you don't even care about my goal, I would appreciate you saying nothing if you can't say anything nice or encouraging. Thankfully I do have very encouraging people in my life but there are always the select few that just need to tell you something horrible every time they see you.


mama k said...

Yeah, people always like to tell you the horror stories. Not sure why that is. And when you make choices that go against the "norm" even slightly, people feel the need to discourage you. If only it stopped after you birth the baby! (Wait was that pessimistic? Are you talking about me? LOL)

Em said...

First of all, I'm aghast that anyone would feel the need to remind you of late term problems...I'm so, SO sorry that you have to even deal with that. Second, while reading this, it made me think of a great comeback (not sure if it would work, but worth a try). If someone starts saying that you shouldn't plan for a natural birth, you can take it to a larger scale...LIFE rarely goes exactly how we plan or want, but that doesn't mean we don't make plans, right? Thanks for sharing this Dirkey...really got ME thinking 'bout stuff. said...

You need to find the comical relief books when you are pregant. People that laugh at the obvious problems that might occur during pregnancy. Belly Laughs always made me laugh. I"m sure there are more out there. Hang in there. Not all bad stuff can happen during pregnancy. There is a happy ending when you are holding little "B" in your arms. (-: