Monday, July 19

On My Mind

I went a little bonkers after reading this recent post by Lisa Belkin at Motherlode. I am grateful for this passionate reply by Courtroom Mama (via @BirthingKristen). Yeah, what she said, exactly. And, to add to what she said ... Belkin also fails to acknowledge the larger context in which women give birth in this country. The context in which, for example, the c-section rate is above 30%—more than twice the upper limit recommended by the World Health Organization. Should mothers really just be sucking it up, however their birth goes, or should we be demanding better care? After all, while the United States "spends more on health care than any other country and more on pregnancy and childbirth-related hospital costs, $86 billion, than any other type of hospital care", it "ranks 41 on the list of global maternal morbidity rates."

Belkin's post (and many of the comments) also give the false impression that to plan to give birth without interventions is somehow unrealistic, possibly masochistic, and done solely for the desire to win a "gold medal" in the end, presumably for having gone through all that torture without drugs. Leaving aside the question of whether or not such a birth is the ideal, it did happen to be my ideal. It also happens to be not only how I did give birth, but also how I plan to do it again. Not because I'm masochistic (it was hardly torture). Not because I'm hoping to win a "gold medal" (I don't think anyone is actually giving those out). But because I liked it that way.

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Nina Power on feminism (also via @BirthingKristen): yes, yes, yes.

On the other hand, Elisabeth Badinter on motherhood: a thousand times ugh. Do we really want to call the most helpless members of our species "tyrants" because they have needs they cannot meet on their own? And is attachment parenting (or whatever else you want to call it) really anti-feminist? I don't think so. I have long wanted to write about this topic; sounds like it's time to get started....

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Elsewhere (that would be Facebook), I promised a follow-up on my previous reaction to this article. Or, more accurately, my previous reaction to one teensy-weensy quotation from that article. Which I hadn't read. But which I now have read. I was thinking about my response, and then the Critter spilled some coffee on my laptop. (I wasn't in the room. Beckett was. Ahem.) Anyway, this event put me in no mood to write about parenting and happiness and the lack thereof. So ... next week? In the meantime, please send good vibes in the direction of my laptop, which is currently being treated at Tekserve.

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