Birthers Gone Wild

My first post on this new blog site was called Birthers, and I have blogged on the topic many times since.  Ultimately, I think that people today have taken having babies (something done for millions of years) to whole new levels of narcissism and stupidity.  It isn’t just the tendency of parents to be obsessive compulsive, and as a result completely uneducated in the decisions they make for their children.  It also isn’t only the breastfeeding dads or the pictures of dirty diapers on Facebook.  The truth is that I think the Birthers have gone wild – in the entire process of birthing; from conception to high school graduation.

It seems as if these Birthers – the narcissistic newbie parents that truly believe they are the first people ever to have children – actually get some rise out of being so pompous and obsessed with their job as parents.  You can see it in the way they judge others for parenting in a different style than theirs, or in the way their lives become 100% focused on their child.  I used to have pregnant friends for whom pregnancy was just another thing in the day – now that baby belly is the center for which all things revolve.  You can see it in the monthly baby belly pics posted on Facebook or TwitPics.  And while I can consider that you are (literally) carrying the little tike with you 24/7, and it is a major life thing that is coming down the pipeline (so to speak), it would be a pretty major thing on your mind quite often; however, there are still things to life besides having those babies.

But I think what has happened is our entire culture has become so obsessed over almost every thing we do that these Birthers now have their non-stop talk of birthing and rearing as an outlet to truly express just how much they get off on the entire process.  Whereas before, being a parent was another thing in the list of what we did as human beings, the Birthers have let birthing define their very essence.  Of course, then, it’s no-holds-barred in a world where everything revolves around the process of conceiving, delivering, and raising children.  Coupled with the redefinition (read: loss) of privacy and we are now all inundated with the things put out there by the people for whom babies are the center of the universe.

Today I went on Facebook and saw that one of my friends had gone into labor.  She posted frequent updates through the course of the experience and it bothered me how extremely personal the update the comments that followed were.  While I scrolled through the comments to get to the bottom to post my simple “congratulations,” I was reminded of that episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy has the baby and you see nothing except Ricky pacing around the waiting room.  There was no detail about her epidural; no discussion about squeezing anything from Lucy’s hoo-haa – just Ricky pacing around the waiting room, I think smoking a cigarette.  I’m not suggesting that the process of giving birth is something to hide or to be ashamed of, I’m simply saying that it is an intensely personal thing that is not always a cutesy “hee hee, hoo hoo.”

To put it a little more bluntly, if someone wants to spread their vag and everything that comes out of it around for the public to see, the least they could do is consider how that makes the rest of us feel.

Another example of how the Birthers have gone wild is in their ridiculous characterization of what it is to give birth.  Halloween is just around the corner and people are going above and beyond the call of traditional pumpkin carving to come up with the most unique pumpkins they can.  Along with this obsession over birthing, the Birthers have taken to putting that obsession in their Halloween decor.  When I started seeing some of the absurd things the Birthers had come up with was when I actually accepted that the Birthers have gone completely wild.  Consider these three pumpkin sculptures – each of which appear to have gone viral on Facebook; each of which get more and more graphic as you go down the line:

It seems that the graphic sharing of the process of giving birth has transcended to an all new level with these pumpkins.  And I thought the daily updates on Facebook and personal blog posts, or the countless graphic videos on YouTube, were bad enough.  As I said, giving birth to a child is an extremely personal, (and for many people) a private thing.  Additionally, it’s a beautiful thing – absolutely astonishing.  That another human being can come of tiny specs of D.N.A. is – in itself – awe inspiring.  To devalue such a mysterious and often miraculous thing with sharing every single detail – from the fertility treatments to the end of bottle feeding – is (in a way) disrespectful of the wondrous experience of bringing life into this world.  Worse, to put it on a pumpkin – to debase an experience that is different and unique for literally every woman (or couple) out there, is a little insulting.  As a woman, I am disgusted that someone would carve a vagina with a baby coming through it onto the side of a pumpkin.  It was bad enough when the Birthers acted as though they were the first people on the planet to have a baby; and it was certainly horrific when men began trying to induce lactation to breastfeed.  I still don’t want to see photographs of your child’s dirty diapers, just as I don’t want to hear all the details of your baby moving down through your birth canal.  To the Birthers Gone Wild:  stop turning the experience of having children into such a joke.  Your antics, your stupidity, and now your pumpkins.


  1. Rebecca

    I don’t think your ‘birthers’ carved those pumpkins. I think people who work in labor and delivery did. At least it appears that is the environment a couple of the pics were taken in. Those medical professionals deal with ‘birther’ experiences daily, and I guess to get through it all….they need to have a sense of humor, as projected in the aforementioned carvings. I can’t speak for the people sharing personal delivery details on Facebook, but I can say alot of them have their phones exploding with people looking for delivery updates while they are going through their ‘birther’ experience, so facebook seems like an outlet they are able to utilize in order to keep the anxious future aunts, grammas, uncles, and God parents educated enough to silence phones in the delivery room. Also, I doubt a laboring/pushing mom-to-be has the ability to post the intimate details of her birthing experience. It’s other people in the labor room, unfortunately NOT experiencing the full personal effect of the delivery, who spend their time updating the world of Facebook. Perhaps it is their way of getting through it. Maybe if they didn’t concern themselves with educating others, they’d be getting peeled up off the floor by the labor nurse. Everyone deals with everything differently, including parenting from conception to college graduation. We are all getting through this crazy life in our own way, just like you are getting through by using this blog as an outlet. And I am by responding to it.

  2. naturallymum

    Everyone is different in their priorities and the way they express themselves and for a large number of women their baby does become the centre of their world. It sounds quite normal to me that women are passionate about their children and support each other accordingly. Surely at a time when hormones take over it is natural to go with basic human instincts and the mother’s world be consumed with growing, giving birth to and nurturing her baby? The level of sharing such intimate details is surely a sign of the times we live in.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I can see your point, particularly about how (for some women) their baby does become the center of the world. But there is a huge difference between a baby becoming the center of your world and carving a vagina into the side of a pumpkin. That is entirely absurd, and frankly I think it very much cheapens the experience of being a parent. Children are an absolute miracle, and the entire process from conception to birth to breastfeeding to raising the kid to be an upstanding citizen in the world is unbelievable to me. But in my opinion, it really cheapens it and makes it less unique and special when someone shares so much of it with the world, often in the most gimmicky of ways as possible. Everyone’s experience is different – no matter how many support groups, meet up organizations, or classes a person goes to. So, again, I think there is just a really fine line between supporting each other and turning it into a cutesy, gimmicky, we’re all doing the same thing and there is no such thing as privacy anymore-event. Lastly, I think you are right that sharing intimate details is a sign of the times, but that does not in any way make it right. I don’t care what time period we are in, carving a vagina with a baby coming through it on a pumpkin and putting it on display is wrong.

  3. Jeremy (@takeshikitano3)

    These people you described at first as sharing too much info and being way too obsessed with their own upcoming babies… that doesn’t seem like the kind of person that would make pumpkin sculpture thingies like those pics. How are they the same people? They’re obsessed with birth yet have such a sick sense of humor about it?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      You have an excellent point, I should have clarified. After looking further into them, all three of those pumpkin sculptures were not intended to be “sick sense of humor,” but rather a statement of “this is so cute – look at how awesome birth is.” The one of the home birth is from an at-home doula birthing service. The one of the pumpkin laying down is in a labor and delivery ward. The one of the vag with the baby coming through was outside the home of a midwife who had posted that on her service’s Facebook page. All of them were not intending to be sick and humorous, but rather “look at another way we can talk about how great it is to give birth – and it’s so cute on a pumpkin!!”

      Another thing that I found when I was researching for this blog is that women now make body casts of their pregnant stomach to immortalize in their home. I don’t know if you noticed I posted it on my Facebook page, but it’s disturbing. A few older women (with grown children and grandchildren) commented on it and one emailed me about how messed up kids are going to be because they really are going to start to believe again that babies babies babies are what we are on this planet for.

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