Monday, April 18, 2011

Dear Natural Birth Advocates

I hate you.

Ok, yeah, I'm one of you. But in a weird bit of psychosis, I can't stand you. I know, I'm insane. But hear me out.

I am SO DAMN TIRED of seeing the 2000000000000 things in my feed every day about why natural birth is so amazing, but, more than that, I'm tired of the inherent condescension in many of them over "moms who take drugs" or - god forbid! - c-section moms. After all, your cousin's father's sister's daughter-in-law had a homebirth with a breech baby after 10 c-sections and it was all because SHE EMPOWERED HERSELF. SHE TRUSTED HER BODY. If YOU trust your body, YOU can do it too!

Yeah, well, sometimes you fucking can't. I'm proof positive of that.

I don't mean to sound jaded or pissy, but I've had two births that have been such crappy experiences for me that I feel like a have a very mild form of PTSD over them. Seriously. Yet if you listen to the advocates, sunshine and rainbows should have magically propelled my kids from my uterus as long as I just wrapped myself in mother Earth and let it happen.

Let's remember something here, everyone. C-sections came into being for a reason. Sometimes nature fucks up. You can't always help that. Should our country's rate be what it is? Hell no. But should we instantly assume that every mom who has a c-section or an epidural or pitocin is an uneducated hack? Again, hell no.

You know, one of the real issues with activism in general is the condescension that some people pick up with it. The thought that if YOU did it, anyone could, is a)not always right and b)makes anyone that things don't work for feel like less of a person. Not how you sway people to your point of view, guys. Not at all. You gotta have compassion with your activism.

One of the things I've learned in working with breastfeeding moms is that not everyone can do it. Sad, but true. Some of my moms go back to work nearly instantly and can't build up a decent supply. Some have hypoplastic breasts. Some are victims of sexual assault. They aren't lesser because they "failed." In truth, they've done something more difficult that me, the girl who breastfed two kids (even though my experience with Rhiannon was a struggle the whole time.) They've gone, "Ok. This is what I wanted, but it's not working, and I'm not sacrificing my baby on the altar of breastfeeding." That takes an incredible amount of bravery and grace. Giving up a dream that you had and badly wanted is sometimes an act of strength, not weakness.