Not brainwashed

I stumbled upon this article titled “Eve’s Punishment Rebooted: The Ideology of Natural Birth” and was immediately appalled. As I read, the entire article gave me the feeling that myself and women like me are being considered brainwashed products of misogyny. Perhaps that was the case, perhaps not. Only Ms. Egbert would know her true intent here. She would later claim in comments that it was not her intent. Unfortunately, when you go and alienate an entire group of women straight off the bat, it’s a little difficult to be so sure.

As I stated in a couple of my replies to some of the comments – as well as to most anyone who know me or has read my blog for any length of time –  of my five children, three were born in hospitals. My first (a cesarean) and my second (a highly medicalized VBAC) were both very traumatic to me. After the latter, I actually made the statement that having been raped before by someone I trusted, I know what it felt like, and that birth felt exactly the same. I felt bullied through the pregnancy by the OBs in the practice. Scare tactics were used even though there was no evidence that anything was wrong. In both of my first two births, I felt like a child being told what to do. I was treated as essentially nothing, worthless. WIth my VBAC – that I wanted to have naturally (i.e. vaginally, no pain meds, no unnecessary interventions), I was given pitocin – that I had previously made clear I did not want – “just a little” and “just for a little bit”, both of which ended up being total lies. When I finally insisted on having it turned off, I was informed that if I did not allow the nurse to turn it back on, the doctor would section me when she came in. No reason or need. But, again, I was just the little patient, expected to do as I was told. When I finally relented to the epidural, my nurse was ecstatic because I was easier to control. Once it came time to push, the OB actually yelled at me for grunting and breathing noisily as I was attempting to push. Again, I wasn’t being the good little girl, I guess. I truly wanted nothing more than to kick that bitch in the head, but knew that I needed to be that good patient. Naturally, she got me back by stitching me up so tightly that it hurt to use the toilet for months. That was a nice touch.

I will also say that my last two (home water birth and home dry birth) were my largest babies at 10 lb 13 oz and 11 lb 11 oz, respectively. Because I was able to move into positions that felt right at the time, I managed to avoid tearing. At all. Even though I did with my other smaller babies. In fact, after both of their births, I actually had to be told to calm down and take it easy. I was exhilarated and even, yes, empowered. Not because of any pain – which, as one previous poster pointed out, DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUATE TO SUFFERING – but because I did it. I did something that the previously mentioned OB would have sectioned me for. I was able to immediately start the bonding process. No baby was being whisked away. In fact, my midwife (CNM, for those keeping track at home) prefers that only mom or dad, but especially mom, hold baby for the first day or two, just to help increase likelihood of bonding. That’s fine with me because I don’t have to worry about people traipsing through, expecting to hold baby. In fact, when it’s in our home, we get to determine who we do and don’t want traipsing through. 😉

Upon reading the article, I immediately resented the implication that I have been brainwashed. If anything, I had been previously brainwashed to trust in the so-called “experts” to know what was best for me. I resent the implication that I – or others like me – are brainwashed into choosing natural (drug-free, vaginal) birth.

Unfortunately, many of the commenters also referred to us “natural birthers” as a cult. You’ve got to be kidding. If anything, this belief that you’re only safe in an icky, germ-infested hospital where you’re told what to do and only “allowed” to do certain things while being “not allowed” others is the one that is cult-like. After all, if you wouldn’t accept being “allowed” or “not allowed” to do things by a significant other, why is it suddenly okay for our care providers? Why should they be exempt from respecting us and our bodies?

I do wish that Ms. Egbert would have spent some time with us “natural birthers” as well as some midwives before she drew her conclusions. I also wish that she would reach out and take the time to find out why our need/desire/wish for such takes place. In many cases – at least the ones I know personally – we choose the natural method because we feel better taken care of, safer, and we feel like human beings.

Pretty sure I did not just break my child you asshole

I’ve seen occasional posts on Facebook where people complain about seeing some unknown parent going off on their kid during some outing. Then, everyone commiserates with the original poster about how awful said parent is, blah blah blah. Inevitably, someone brings up the “You Just Broke Your Child. Congratulations.” blog post.

Here’s the thing. I’ve probably been perceived much that way out in public a time or two. I bet, whether you’ll admit it or not, quite a few of you have at least once.

Unfortunately, what those that base their assessment on was only what they see before them in that instant. Not what the rest of life in that family is like. And, sure, the parents may beat the crap out of their kid, I’m not saying that doesn’t happen. I’m saying that there may very well me something else going on instead.

At least in our case, what they most likely neglected to see was that while I do indeed love my children, there are times that mommy simply loses her shit.

Losing your shit is something that’s easy to do when you’ve got a 16 month old that’s trying to pull your shirt off in front of everyone so he can eat and who thinks nothing to hit you – and that kid packs a wallop – and makes the most horrendous screech – like nothing you’ve ever heard before and didn’t know was actually humanly possible – when he’s refused or not responded to fast enough, a three year old that most likely has selective mutism in addition to being truly the most hard-headed child I’ve ever encountered, a five year old that whines excessively – about anything and everything and when he doesn’t get his way, starts barking – or sometimes growling in a way that almost sounds evil – orders to you, and an eleven year old that knows everything and the price of it – and has for a few years now – and there’s just no telling her otherwise…. yeah, it’s hard to imagine why I might yell at them now and then. Especially when we’re out in public and I can’t just send them to their room for awhile, if need be.

It’s especially cute to see these Holier-Than-Thou Moms (HTTM) who claim they never lose their cool concoct stories about how these damnable parents beat their children when no one is looking. *eyeroll* Yeah, because the HTTM have truly spent time with each and every one of these horrible parents to know exactly in what ways they are horrible. Because, apparently, the HTTM have never had a “losing your shit” moment and, naturally, that means no one else ever should. Or – my personal favorite – is when the HTTM has all the answers to what you’re doing wrong, even though she has never even seen you or your children before.

Again, only speaking for myself here, but what the HTTM also don’t see are the games, movies, books, bike rides, walks, playing, parks, and all of the other niceties that our kids get to experience. Or how about the hours spent communicating with the teachers each year of school to make sure that our kids are on par with where they need to be and if not, what we can do about it. Because we love them and care about them.

I’m pretty sure that, at the end of each day, as we tuck them into bed, our kids all know we love them, and to hell with anything else.

Slut shaming?

I guess I’m a bit baffled why so many people – especially women – are okay with a new term that’s been coined: Slut shaming. While I very much get the premise behind it, and agree whole-heartedly that women shouldn’t be shamed for their sexuality, I cannot fathom why so many are getting behind this ridiculous term.

By saying someone has been “slut-shamed”, you are, in essence, calling her a slut. Isn’t that exactly what you’re fighting against?? By using this term, we’re giving more of a backhanded compliment – and that’s the nicest thing I could come up with. We’re telling women that, if you’re a slut, you shouldn’t be shamed. WTF, people?? How have we become so damned stupid? Are we really okay with being called a slut? Are we really okay with our daughters being called sluts?

I’m certainly no prude and I find it insane that, even today, that absurd double standard is still in place. You know the one. It tells us that men can screw around with as many women as they want and even be lauded for it, yet women are expected to keep their legs crossed. I’ve never quite understood how that whole thing even makes sense because, after all, if the women kept their legs crossed, how could those studly men be out showing off their prowess?  But, I digress.

Why can’t we instead use something that’s a bit more woman and girl friendly, like sex shamed or something of that nature? Yeah, I realize it’s truly generic and it certainly doesn’t make polite society gasp as they do at the word “slut” being thrown about, but why can’t we think about the underlying message we’re actually sending for once? If we’re truly concerned for our girls, we’ll stop calling them sluts.

Not so thankful Thursday

Wow. Things suck right now.

First our living room TV goes out and we currently do not have the financial ability to replace it – this is devastating to the kids – plus a host of other financial issues, no one wants to pay for the work they’ve ordered from us, etc.

Earlier tonight I went into the laundry room and step right in a puddle of water. From the washer.

I’d ask if it could get worse but I’m sure I already know that answer.

The poor kiddos

Henry was feeling kinda crappy for a couple of days with the sinus crap, most likely due to the ever-changing Indiana weather, although he seems to be back to his old self – feisty as ever.

Calvin also was affected by the weather, although the poor little guy seems to have gotten a double whammy. As if the sinus crap wasn’t bad enough, he’s also teething.

Noah has been extra whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny as of late.

The homework struggles with Ceili Fey have become extremely tiring – we’re not sure if it’s a comprehension problem, a not-wanting-to-follow-instructions problem, or a stubborn problem.

And now, much do our kids’ – and yes, ours, too – detriment, the TV in our living room seems to have finally gone kaput. And, budget-wise, a TV is just not happening right now.

Ugh. We really just need a break.