Before you read this you need to read this if you haven’t already: Birth is no time for war stories
There are many things in this article that frustrate me but I’ll start with the line
‘Funny how our own personal experiences become The Big Truth.’ which is used after a few horror stories about women telling her their ‘war stories’ – ‘unsolicited’. This sets the tone for the dismissive approach that Moss takes with women who experience trauma and fear in regard to birth. She goes on to lazily ‘cite’ some statistics, but not really – just taking out bits here and there to give her article the illusion of truth.
Moss claims that there is a rise in women’s fear of birth – yep that’s probably more to do with the fact that women now have more of a chance to talk about their fears, you know, because we have more of a voice these days. Feminism and shit. I’m pretty sure the fear has always been there. And I’m so tired of statistics, what about the individual story? Every birth is different, every person is different – there is so much more that goes into every statistic.
I’m beginning to think that using statistics as a way of understanding life and birth is not such a good thing.
Furthermore, I would like to add here that I am tired of cesareans being viewed as a bad thing and I’m sure most people reading this believe in women having choices over their bodies – so why does this change when it comes to the way women want to give birth?
This leads me to the most used and abused term in today’s vocabulary:
While I know this phrase is used as people just being lazy- employing it because the only other option is to say ‘vaginal’ birth (and hey, we can’t say vagina!), it’s also a loaded statement. It means more than what is said. It means drug free, it means midwives, probably a birth pool, it means Ina May Gaskin, probably some fad thing – it means that any woman who did it any other way has deferred from their true path- or some such rubbish.
You know some women don’t want to do any of that because, well, they just don’t. That should be OK. That shouldn’t be debated and they shouldn’t have to explain themselves to anyone. Ever.
‘Natural Birth’ is a statement that I have come to loathe – I feel it’s pinch. I failed. I took all the drugs, I hated the birth pool – the weight of the water made me anxious and feel even more powerless – I had intervention, I didn’t bond instantly with my baby. But I wouldn’t say that my birth was unnatural. I wouldn’t say to any women who had a cesarean that theirs was unnatural either.
I agree that women shouldn’t stand there and tell their stories unsolicited, especially to someone who is heavily pregnant. But that goes with everything, not just birth. And you know there are a lot of women out there who don’t talk about their experience, but just because they don’t doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
I’d like to suggest to Moss that it might be helpful to consider why these women do tell their stories unsolicited. Perhaps this is symptomatic of another problem – the fact that there is no help or support for women who are traumatized. I had a terrible time of it and after what I went through there was no counseling. I went online, there was no community to discuss what happened, or how to cope with it. If I mentioned it to doctors they always smiled at me like I was a little child, nod their condescending head slowly while saying something like ‘yes, but you got through it’ and that’s it.
I think it is safe to say in this day and age that we know when someone deals with trauma, they need a bit of mental and emotional TLC. So what’s the difference with a woman who is traumatized after birth? Why do we expect women to discard it and keep going? And while you’re doing all of this disregarding and keeping on going please don’t talk about it, you might offend someone.
Mums are human too.
You know, if I’m asked by someone who is pregnant what it is like I try and give thoughtful feedback. I don’t just give the bad stuff and say it’s all shit but hey you’re up the duff so too fucking late now ha! But I really do not like this implication that because I had a bad time with birth, because I discuss it openly – than I am doing something wrong and that there is no time for my story. It’s dismissive, and honestly I’m offended.
Tara, it’s great you have opinions that you write and you write about some pretty good and important stuff, but this article – it’s no good. It’s judgmental and honestly you could have done much better.