I watched Ricki Lake poop out a baby tonight…

…didn’t see that one coming, did you guys? To be fair, neither did I.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me first tell you all about how I got into the position to see Ricki Lake poop out the baby to begin with.

Today began like any other Saturday. Of course my husband was off work, so we milled around – bullshitting each other and pretending to enjoy each other’s company; until that got old, and I decided to get in the shower. I was also pretty suspicious because he kept complimenting me. It was like three times in under an hour, which is highly dubious; in fact, I’m still wondering what he did.

After my shower, my husband’s shower, and all the arguing about everyone needing to stop playing Barbies for five minutes and put their fucking toothbrushes into their fucking mouths, we were ready for the day. Which we weren’t entirely sure what to do with, still.

So we headed over to my father’s house to do the housecleaning for his open house tomorrow. I’m not talking about a fancy party kind of open house, where he serves those little cucumber sandwiches to high class kind of friends. I’m talking about the kind of open house you have for the sale of a home. You know: where tons of strangers traipse through your home, fuck everything up, break shit, leave doors open, and then try to low ball you with offers more insulting than “I’ll give you three crayons and this carton of milk.”

Anyway, so we did the housecleaning, then we were at a total loss of what to do with the day. So we went home – stopping at the grocery store (of course) to pick up stuff for me to make dinner with. Once home, we did what we always do when we don’t know what to do: watched movies.

We watched Dallas Buyer’s Club. That was phenomenal. Then we watched The Hunger Games – finally, after all this time postponing for me to read the book, only for me to never get around to reading the book because I don’t like reading that Young Adult shit anyway.

Then The Hunger Games came to a finish and it was still early. Too early to go to bed; too late to go anywhere or do anything. So we scrolled through our Netflix Que for something relatively quick. Which is when we happened upon it: Ricki Lake’s documentary The Business of Birth.

Let me start by saying that I did enjoy the film. I thought it was very informative, and while a little too graphic and outdated for my tastes, it was – by and large – something that, at the very least, made me think. I like to think, so that’s good.

But I took issue with two things in particular.

Towards the end…

…the conclusion was made by an OB/Gyn, as well as the filmmakers and Ricki Lake, that if a woman does not experience the raw pain, intense emotion, natural induction of hormones, and vaginal-vaginal-out-the-vagina birth that she does not experience the bonding of motherhood, nor the love of being a mom.

To be clear: women who had to induce? Haven’t experienced the bonding and love of motherhood. Women who had caesarians? Haven’t experienced the bonding and love of motherhood.

If you are angry, you are with me.

And you should then be asking yourself: are you fucking kidding me? What kind of a horse’s ass opinion is that? The belief that a woman unable to birth naturally, or who chooses medical intervention (for whatever her reasons may be) DOES NOT EXPERIENCE THE LOVE OF MOTHERHOOD AND BONDING WITH HER BABY is the most horrendous, destructive, narrow-minded, and ignorant view of motherhood and, well, reality I may have ever heard.

Truly. Truly this infuriated me, which was unfortunate because (at least to me) it greatly discredited a lot of the other things said and discussed in the film. If they are that wrong about something so great as this, couldn’t they be wrong about a lot of the other things?

Documentaries always do this to me. They always fucking let me down like this.

…and documentaries always let me down in another way, which had to do with Ricki Lake’s vagina…

They show me more of something in particular than I really want to see. In this case, that thing in particular was Ricki Lake’s vagina.

Now I know what you are all thinking. If I watch a documentary about childbirth, I should expect to see at least something of women squeezing babies out of their v-holes. I get that, OK? It didn’t make me scream any less, or be any more horrified by all the nuances of childbirth I would like to keep in the deepest, darkest caverns of my brain – never to surface for fear of fainting. I just can’t take some of it, the majority of the time. (I can’t be the only mother that feels this way, right?)

Sorry if that bothers you. Maybe I too cannot experience the love and bonding of motherhood.

But what I really wasn’t expecting was to see Ricki Lake poop out her second baby in a bathtub with a bottle of Suave sitting on the shelf behind her. Nope, I really was not expecting that. Not one bit.

I feel so cold now. So very, very cold.

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The premise of the movie was essentially that home birth is better. I tend to disagree with this, mostly because of the fact that I’m a big, ol’ scaredy cat. I suppose if everything were in the woman’s favor, home birth is a perfectly safe and healthy option – with, of course, the help of an experienced midwife. Though at the very end of the film, the filmmaker went into labor (not Ricki Lake, thank God I’d had enough of that bullshit) and she had to rush to the hospital after all because her baby was breech. Long story short: the baby would have died had she naturally delivered at home. This raises some serious concerns that women face when deciding their birth plan, which I really don’t feel the film did even the slightest bit to address.

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I don’t know what all of your thoughts are on the topic, but I’ll just say when you’ve seen Ricki Lake squat a baby out of her vagina, with her bare boobs flopping all over the place, you just really start to see things a lot more skewed. Really, I don’t even know what to believe about anything after that.

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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.

Breastfeeding Dads, or Birthers Strike Again

Today I came across a blog on cracked.com which discussed (satirically, I might add) some of the progressive parenting trends that are almost difficult to believe are real.  The article was originally spurred by some controversy over a video that went viral a while back on Youtube of a woman flipping her baby around, claiming it was yoga.

The video, itself, is disturbing, but the idea it brings up (which the blog addresses) is yet another notion that the birthers have struck upon us.  In the name of being progressive, and of doing everything they can to raise their child the right way, it seems they have gone off the deep end.  You all remember my first blog on this new sight.  Titled Birthers, I discussed the fact that it seems new parents today tend to think they are the only people on the planet to ever have and raise a child; as if their experience is wholly unique, even though women have been successfully having and raising babies for the entire course of human history.  After witnessing and even being involved in some vehement discussions on what is right for infants and children, on topics from breastfeeding to pacifiers, brand of diapers to the pros and cons of placing your child into daycare, today’s birthers have become unrelenting (and often ignorant) in their positions on all-things-children that they will undoubtably fight about to the death, even in the face of knowing they are wrong.

Here is one of those things that the birthers of a more “progressive parenting” generation have begun to embrace:  the breastfeeding dad.  Breastfeeding, itself, is a controversial topic.  While science has proven that breastfeeding is (in most cases) beneficial for baby, the best way to do it (nurse versus pump), how long to do it (less than one year versus up to eight years), whether to supplement with formula; not to mention the issue of nursing in public, have all become topics of bitter debate that women will break entire friendships over if everyone is not in agreement.  Breastfeeding dads are another one of those topics.

Reportedly, a man has two options to breastfeed a baby:  (1) he can wear a handy-dandy milk-filled arm strap that simulates the mother feeding the baby; or, (2) he can actually induce lactation over time and make the milk for the baby himself.  Beyond the initial shock of this idea, alone, there is a very serious problem with breastfeeding dads:  that problem being gender confusion.  Let’s not pretend we are living in some tribal state in South America, or even in Eastern Europe, where cultural understandings of mom and dad’s roles are much different all around.  Even in the United States, where families are defined in a number of unique ways (particularly those in gay couples), there is still a general consensus that each family provide motherly and fatherly characteristics in the Western World.  Empirical science – psychological, sociological, and neurological studies – have proven that this is a necessity to children growing up in this and other Western countries.  To muddy those waters by not keeping boundaries around certain child-rearing behaviors (including breastfeeding) raises concern as to the long-term psychological and sociological affects of such an action.

Are the birthers right in the controversy over the breastfeeding dads?  As of right now, all we have is the research, which suggests to us no.  In the end, whether anyone is right or wrong is not really the issue.  The issue is the absolutely stubborn inability of birthers to accept any position other than their own.  Ignorance and refusal to look at factors other than our own opinions is perhaps the most dangerous thing we, as a society, can do for our children.  In all the time the birthers spend defending what they think is right, they really do nothing more than show just how wrong we all can be.

Birthers

The origins of mankind trace back millions of years.  Millions.  Since the Industrial Revolution, the world population has boomed exponentially.  Today, it is estimated that nearly every minute, another human being is brought into this world.  So for all of you birthers out there, it’s time that you accept a truly undeniable fact:

You are not the first person on this planet to have a baby.

In recent years, the common-place practice of women in my age bracket (shall we say ‘around 30’) seems to be to act as if each and every one of them is inventing something new by bringing a child into this world.  Be it blogging about their experiences (as if there aren’t 10,000 other blogs out there devoted to the same, exact thing), acting as if no one understands, or refusing to accept that anyone else could have experienced the same thing in the past, and thus may know a little about what is going on, women everywhere are making themselves ever-more obnoxious by denying that their peers in gender have been bearing and raising children for centuries; wait, no, that’s right – millenia.

Ladies (and in some cases, your effeminate husbands):  everything that has happened to you has happened to someone else, at least once.  While every situation is unique, it is only so by virtue of the unique combination of things that goes on; all of which, though, have (individually) happened to others for countless years.  I hate to break this news to you, but in child rearing, there really is no stone left unturned.

As I continue on, further down that ‘around 30’ age bracket, more of my friends are having babies, adopting children, and finding themselves in a position to choose between being an informed, educated mother that relies on the wisdom of her predecessors to guide her in doing what has already been done before; or, by contrast, to deny in the face of the truth that she is not among peers, but in a position beyond what anyone else could ever comprehend or empathize.  To the latter, I think it is time to get over yourselves.