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Tuesday, September 26, 2006



I have to pounce on this.

Rach, no one is saying that a natural birth is the only way to have "the big wedding." I think Kateri and I are both saying that birth experiences are important. They are life-changing, and it is disrespectful to women who have been changed by their birth experiences to say that they should just get over it because it's only the baby that matters. Women should be given the space to grieve for the birth they lost and celebrate the birth they had. It doesn't have anything to do with method of birth.

If you are happy with your C-section, then celebrate that. Celebrate the fact that you are able to work with your doctor to bring your children safely into the world. When others write that they're happy with their low-tech birth, it isn't a condemnation of someone else's high-tech birth. The point is that we should all have access to care providers who respect our preferences and don't belittle us when we express grief or joy over our birth experiences.

Meira Voirdire

Well, as someone who was told again and again that my c-sections weren't important, I just want to say thank you for validating my grief. I didn't think I needed validating, but apparently I did because it felt really good to read your post.


Aren't we missing the forest for the trees? Wasn't it less than 100 years ago that it was commomplace for mothers AND babies to die in childbirth? I think we have too much time to sit around and complain about how it should have been different.

I think that's one of the luxuries of living in 21st century America.

OK, going to my blog to blog about it...sorry for taking so much space on your blog Kateri!


It's interesting because I don't really understand the grief of a woman who didn't get her perfect wedding or her perfect childbirth, but I know it exists and I wouldn't downplay it.

I compare it to my own mourning over not being able to breastfeed my twins. They are perfectly healthy now at 2 years old so one might think that the loss of the BFing relationship wasn't a big deal in the long run, but for me it still hurts a great deal. BFing #3 was a big part of my healing. I still feel jealous of women who come upon breastfeeding easily and who were able to breastfeed twins with 1/10th of the effort I made in my own failed attempt.

So even though I don't feel the same need for a certain wedding or a certain birth, I get it. You know?


Rach... OUCH! What a comment... holy smokes! You just completely dismissed those women who see birth as a momentous and spiritual event. Why on earth would you DO that?? Why can't you respect that it might matter to some... and not to others. If you are happy with how things turned out for you... well... I am personally THRILLED for you... because that's what every woman deserves. What could I possibly gain by taking a stance that would dismiss how you feel? I don't understand why anyone would need to dismiss another's experience in order to validate their own. BOTH experiences or DESIRES for experiences are valid. Why is it assumed they can't co-exist?


Oh... and lastly... in the grand scheme of the world. The U.S. is hardly seen as an ideal model of child birth.


Great post, I totally agree that we need to make space for women to feel how they feel. Birth was a painful and disempowering experience for me and I feel that it contributed to my developing Post Natal Depression. Of course, I am glad that I had a healthy baby (not such a baby anymore, he's going to be 14 this week!) but it did take me a long time to get over the mental and physical trauma of his arrival. I'm well aware that I didn't have it nearly as bad as many other women, but it was still a huge experience in my life that took some getting past.


Aren't we missing the forest for the trees? ... I think we have too much time to sit around and complain about how it should have been different.

I have to ask: To whom, exactly, are you directing this comment? Surely, it you aren't talking to Manuela, who has experienced miscarriage and knows first hand what it means for a pregnancy to go badly. And surely you aren't talking to Kateri, who has experienced a different kind of loss and knows what it's like to leave a delivery room without a baby.

No, I think you've constructed a nice straw-woman here. Behold! The self-absorbed whiney woman who has everything, but stll sits around and complains about something so insignificant as the birth of her child. Let's beat on her!

I think that is one of the best examples I have ever seen of an attempt to shame women into keeping quiet about their own experiences. There is a name for that shit. It's called misogyny.

Sorry to take the gloves off there, Kateri. I won't be offended if you delete this comment.


Delete the comment of a bareknuckled Casey? NEVER!


Casey, glad you said it. Straw woman indeed.

By that logic, the family of a woman killed in a car crash should just shut up and be grateful that they don't have to *walk* everywhere.

(P.S. The leading cause of maternal mortality a hundred years ago was childbed fever, i.e. sepsis, vector obstetricians who didn't wash their hands. Checkmate.)

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