I’ll admit it, I wear my heart on my sleeve. For better or worse, that’s just how it is. When it comes to blogging and social media this can be a good and a bad thing, especially when it comes to parenting choices.
Social media is spectacular for finding like-minded people to support and commiserate with, building relationships 140 characters at a time. But what happens when that tweet from a person you respect comes across your screen and your skin instantly crawls. Like this:
It’s not pointed at you, but to Twitter in general. Considering the number of followers Dagmar has (and c-section rate in the US) I imagine more than a few people felt judged by this question. I felt judged.
As someone who has had 2 scheduled c-sections* it leaves me feeling that I am somehow less of a woman/ mother because I had the birth that I did (which I am totally happy with, btw). That I am somehow an idiot, because I chose to have a controlled abdominal surgery, something that she believes shouldn’t even be offered.
It was followed up by this:
So in the span of about 5 minutes I am left feeling like less of a woman/ mother, who is obviously just fearful of vaginal birth and therefore shouldn’t have children…
This is a respected blogger who is known for her breastfeeding and natural birth advocacy. She is an advocate. The funny thing about the most vocal advocates is more often than not I find they reduce themselves to making moms feel bad about their choices. Even if their choices are totally valid.
What difference does it make if I opted to schedule a C-section to avoid an emergency C-section in the event that after a vaginal birth of Baby A, Baby B couldn’t be delivered? Yes, I know, there was a small chance he would have turned, but really? I would rather recover from a planned c-section instead of an emergency c-section on top of a vaginal birth. Does that make me afraid? No, that makes me smart for weighing my options and risks and making a decision. Was it medically necessary? Maybe not, we’ll never know, but I am thankful that the option was there- emergency C-sections are much more difficult to recover from (or so I’ve heard).
It was eventually followed up by this:
Yes Dagmar, telling women that #1) their choice is something you don’t believe should be an option for them, #2) assuming they are doing it out of a fear of vaginal birth and #3) telling them they shouldn’t have children…that would be criticizing.
And really, why is it anyone’s business anyway? Why does any mother have to explain her reasoning behind her decisions so someone can decide whether or not she made a good choice? And the whole issue of whether or not she was informed of her choices and educated on her options? Why are “advocates” so quick to assume women who opt to have C-Sections aren’t educated and informed?
See? Heart on Sleeve. Or in this case, Heart on Blog.
I am a supporter of Moms of all shapes and sizes, birth and parenting choices. If you want to have a baby in your kitchen, you go girl! If you want to breastfeed until toddlerhood, that is fantastic. If you want to skip the VBAC and go with something you know and are comfortable with, only YOU can make those decisions. If you want to avoid a C-Section at all costs? Good for you.
Just don’t tell me my choice shouldn’t be an option.
* Every time the mention of a C-Section comes up natural birth advocates pull out a litany of reasons a woman should have chosen natural birth, regardless of the reasons behind it. There is always something else you could have done, some technique you could have used, a better more supportive ob/ midwife/ partner. No reason is ever good enough to make it “medically necessary”.