1. At the Academy Awards
I’d like to thank the director for creating such a wonderful film, the producer for offering me the greatest part of my career, my agent who never stopped believing in me and my mom for refusing to have an epidural during my birth.
2. At a high school graduation:
I am proud and honored to be your valedictorian. Of course, no one achieves this alone. I’d like to thank my teachers, my friends and most of all, my mother who never let a bottle of formula touch my lips.
3. At the Nobel Awards ceremony
I owe my career to my father who encouraged me to pursue my obsessive interest in dinosaurs up to and through a degree in paleontology and to my mother who trusted birth.
4. At the Superbowl
I’m proud to be named MVP, but I owe it all to God, my teammates, my coach and my mother who “wore” me on her chest until I was 3 years old.
5. At the Olympics.
I dedicate my gold medal to my mom, who had painful sex for the rest of her life because of the 4th degree vaginal tear she sustained at my birth after refusing a C-section and pushing for 5 hours.
Why won’t you ever hear them? Because the “achievements” that loom so large in the minds of mothers of newborns are entirely irrelevant to children. They don’t have any meaningful impact on children’s lives and children don’t care about them.
In contrast, when the pursuit of those “achievements” goes wrong, the results can be devastating. Here are a few more statements that will never be made, at an awards ceremony or anywhere else.
6. From an adult who sustained an Erb’s palsy.
I really don’t mind that my right arm is partially paralyzed and that I have struggled my whole life to use my left arm instead, all because my mother insisted on a homebirth midwife who had never handled a shoulder dystocia.
7. From a woman who lost her identical second twin to an abruption at birth.
Thanks, mom, for refusing to listen to the doctor who played the “dead baby card” and for insisting on giving birth to twins at home.
8. From a wheelchair bound man with severe cerebral palsy.
It’s okay that you insisted on a vaginal breech birth instead of a C-section and my head got stuck and I was deprived of oxygen. After all, it was far more important for you to have a vaginal birth than for me to be able to walk.
9. From a woman profoundly brain injured when her mother’s uterus ruptured during an attempted VBAC.
You don’t hear anything intelligible because she cannot speak.
10. From someone who contracted group B strep sepsis because her mother put garlic in her vagina to “treat it” instead of taking antibiotics.
Silence, because she’s dead.