I wish …

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I wish I could go back to a time where I had enough self esteem that I could remain blissfully unaffected by other women’s choices about anything birth or breastfeeding related.

I wish I didn’t feel that every new baby was an opportunity to dazzle its mother with the story of my homebirth.

I wish had enough self confidence that when a mom tells me the nurse said she was starving her baby by breastfeeding, I could support her instead of rolling my eyes and demeaning her.

I wish I didn’t feel the urge to ask every new mother whether or not she used pain medication during her birth.

I wish I didn’t cringe when a new mom tells me she’s seeing a cesarean-happy OB practice, imaging that every woman should want the exact same type of obstetrician that I want.

I wish I didn’t notice when moms prop bottles in a newborn baby’s carseat, since it is NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

I wish I had had accomplished more in my life so that I wouldn’t feel that pushing a baby out through my vagina was my greatest achievement.

I wish I didn’t feel guilt every time the word “circumcision” is mentioned, since that demonstrates that I give greater priority to first world problems than to real problems.

I wish I didn’t get distressed about formula samples, because if I were more compassionate I would realize that taking away formula samples has a disparate impact on poor women of color and the last thing I should be doing is adding to their burdens.

I wish I could find another way to boost my fragile self-esteem that didn’t involve my breasts, vagina or uterus.

I wish I didn’t hear a total stranger announce her pregnancy and immediately pray that she’s seen “The Business of Being Born,” since that demonstrates that I am a gullible fool who thinks she can become “educated” by listening to a washed up talk show host.

I wish I could care about the well being of other women and their babies instead of viewing them as opportunities to demonstrate my well honed sense of superiority.

But …

… then I wouldn’t be such a sanctimonious fool.

  • Kayleigh Herbertson

    Female circumcision is a first world problem?

    • itry2brational

      Nope. Male circumcision is.

  • fiftyfifty1

    I wish I had never filed those false take-down notices.

  • Something From Nothing

    Oh dear. There’s a guy in the comments section who claims to have been advised by god himself to start a church to celebrate the feminine. I think he called it the church of sacred motherhood. They are gathering food, supplies and housing…

    I wish I could get back the half hour I wasted reading comments on her stupid post.

  • amazonmom

    I wish I didn’t have to hold the dead baby of someone who was duped into having an HBAC that ruptured at home.

    I wish I didn’t have to explain to a new parent that their preemie brought in by EMS (grandma called 911 when the baby stopped breathing) really does need intubation, the warmer, an IV, and meds. That this is far beyond the”routine procedures” you didn’t want in your birth plan, even if your midwife says the baby is just fine.

    I wish the lactivists at work wouldn’t assume that I just didn’t try hard enough to breastfeed, and follow me around the unit demanding my “good reason”.

    I wish the new mom I met at Starbucks wasn’t breastfeeding with tears running down her face. When I asked her if she needed help she said the lactation consultant told her if she dared feed a bottle her baby wouldn’t love her the same. Never mind the crush injury to her nipple from the baby’s bad latch and the open wound on her areola.

    I wish I didn’t hear that parents are being told that a nicu stay with an IV is preferable to supplementing. A 20000 dollar stay with the baby in the NICU is preferable to even trying to see if supplementing will fix the hypoglycemia?

    I need to stop before I type all day

    • Certified Hamster Midwife

      I wish this weren’t so upsetting.

    • I don’t have a creative name

      “she said the lactation consultant told her if she dared feed a bottle her baby wouldn’t love her the same.”

      The sad thing is, I don’t doubt for a minute this was said, because I had terrible things said to me about formula feeding and how we wouldn’t have as close a bond, etc.

      7 years later, I’m still waiting for evidence of this ruined bond. My kids are terrific and I feel so blessed to be the matriarch of a loving, happy family. If there’s any relationship we missed out on due to my low supply, I can’t even imagine what it is. Yesterday oldest gave me a homemade telescope made from an old Dr. Pepper bottle and middle made me a ridiculous and wonderful bracelet made from a pipe cleaner and an old lid. They just “wanted to give you presents, Mom, because we love you.” Family game night is coming up in a few days (yay!) and when I’m done typing this, I’m going to go watch a movie with them while we all snuggle on the couch. But please, lactivists, do tell me how my kids don’t love me properly because I had chronic low breastmilk and had to use bottles.

      • Lily

        My girls were FF for very different reasons. One time, I noticed that my 3-year-old was watching me playing with her younger sis while bottle feeding her. So, I immediately told her that we did this all the time when she was her age. She asked to see our feeding time photos (Thank god I have photos and I am not sure I would if I was BF). I showed her 1st month photos including those feeding happy moments and she jumped and hugged me telling me she loves me! <3. This happened after 2 days of grieving. It was a reminder to me that it doesn't matter how we feed all what matter is to feed with love. (by the way, I stopped grieving after finding Dr.amy's bolg. THANK YOU DR.AMY <3)

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      When I asked her if she needed help she said the lactation consultant
      told her if she dared feed a bottle her baby wouldn’t love her the same.

      You know, people accuse Dr Amy of being meen and rude, but there is nothing she has said that is anywhere close to as mean or rude as this. This is horrifying, and anyone who would say that is an absolute monster.

      That woman should be reported to the LC organization and the hospital, if she is associated with one.

      That’s just fucking cruel.

      • amazonmom

        I felt nosy doing it but I did ask her who told her that. It wasn’t anyone associated with a hospital that I had heard of in the area. I almost never push my hospital’s services in public but this woman’s breast looked awful and I was quite worried. I gave her the phone number and she got a same day appointment at our breastfeeding clinic , which I knew would provide good care for her wounds and figure out that terrible latch. Chomp,chomp, gag/gulp is not a good feeding pattern. It’s a good thing that we were looking at her breast in public and discussing it and nobody gave an ounce of judgement or really seemed to notice.

      • amazonmom

        I was told that myself. It’s goes along with the “bonding” baloney.

    • Spiderpigmom

      Hah, other people got wounds on their areola while breastfeeding? People look at me like I am making it up whenever I mention it (not that it comes up often in my conversation, haha). Anyway — we had major latch issues the first few days, and I had to repeatedly ask for the assistance of the nurses at the crunchy-leaning hospital where I delivered. They all tended to give me me eye rolls and act like I was not trying enough, but one in particular scolded me because I was flinching during latching (it felt like having my nipple caught in a vice) “oh well if you’re jumping like that it’s not going to work, the baby feels that you’re reluctant, you know?”…
      (I ended up nursing into toddlerhood, with a godawful latch that didn’t prevent my son from gaining weight and thank God stopped hurting after 6 weeks or so)

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    “Get my cackles up”? Did she mean “hackles” or is this some new bit of slang that the kids are using nowdays?

    • Zornorph

      I prefer ‘Don’t get your dandruff up.’

  • Niemand

    I wish the Business of Being Born had never been produced.

    I wish people made decisions based on evidence reliably.

    I wish there weren’t so much misinformation out there on the web.

    I wish birth were really as easy and as safe as the NCB would like to pretend it is and the decision of home versus hospital really could be made based on better food versus not having to clean up. But that’s not the way life is.

    • attitude devant

      I particularly wish all these things at two in the morning when I’m looking at a bad strip and trying to convince some NCB-infected mama that I really DO have her best interests and those of her baby at heart.

  • Amy H
    • Gene

      Vaccination becomes more of a priority when you can give a name or face to someone affected by the disease. That’s why I am so adamantly pro-vaccine.

      http://shotbyshot.org/pertussis/bradys-story/

      Oh, and did I mention I saw someone with chicken pox meningitis earlier this summer. Seriously people, VACCINATION SAVES LIVES.

  • TG

    if she’s an atheist, why does she pray, and to whom?

  • Sue

    WOW – got lured into that thread – what a study for a psychologist or sociologist!

    GCC ” I’m also a certified childbirth educator, certified Doula, and a Master of Public health candidate in a maternal Child health program. I know lots of shit that I wish I didn’t know.” Dunning-Kruger personified!

    (MPH CANDIDATE means you DON’T HAVE ýour MPH)

    GCC: ” My original post was not judging toward moms in any way, shape, or form. But those who insist on getting defensive will do so no matter how diplomatically that was stated.”

    (”I wish I didn’t cringe” is not judging, but diplomatic?)

    That woman is seriously scary.

    • Kalacirya

      I don’t even know why she uses the word candidate, no one else does. Candidate is usually reserved for PhD students who have passed candidacy evaluation and have not yet completed their thesis and defense. And who calls themselves a scholar? Her hubris, I am so embarrassed by proxy about that. Even the really pompous academics, of which there are many, aren’t calling themselves scholars.

    • Denise Denning

      Bit OT: I have worked with a number of nurses who have the MPH, and not to cast aspersions on anyone who has this, but my observations suggest that critical thinking skills are not essential to attain this degree.

  • Sue

    There was one moment of insight on that post:

    “give me the strength to keep my mouth shut (EVEN when I’m asked)”.

    Yep, please try to do that.

    • attitude devant

      I’m betting her lawyer is trying to get her to keep her mouth shut too.

      • wookie130

        Bahaha! Indeed!!!!

  • amazonmom

    I think medication and therapy could help her with these problems. The medication would be required because there is no point in trying to talk someone out of a delusion. So many things she claims to be fact are not true that I think therapy by itself would be useless. I wish I was exaggerating or just making fun of her but truly I am not. I wouldn’t use mental illness as a joke to make fun of or tease someone. I don’t even get very angry reading her stuff I just feel sorry for her. I want this to be an attention getting online persona but wow it’s pretty extensive for a joke.

  • GuestB

    It’s really heating up over there. Someone is calling her out on judging people, so she said that she never ever ever never not in a million years does she judge people!

    FB: “Making this conversation about judging women or about women who had medically necessary cesareans is a classic patriarchal strawman move. Not falling for it.”

    She really is something else.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      No she’s not judging. ROFL.

      • GuestB

        So says the “perfect example of what happens when you give a sociopath a computer.”

        C’mon, Dr. Amy. “I’m quite certain (you) take great pleasure in abusing people. I actually think (you) gets off on it.”

        See? No judgement there!

        • Anj Fabian

          Sometimes I feel badly about the civil suit, but when she spouts off like that, I’m all “Go Team Tuteur!”.

    • LibrarianSarah

      “classic patriarchal strawman move”

      Yeah OK. *eye roll*

    • Monica

      I thought she had some big paper due she hadn’t written yet. Seriously, what is she doing on the computer arguing about whether or not the statements she made about how much it hurts her when she sees women make the “wrong” choices is not judging? Woman, go do your school work already!

  • Zornorph

    Well, my baby was born this morning (with an assist from an Epidural) and he was hatted, had his birthy smells cleaned off and then I gave him Silmac cyanide. Tomorrow I am going to have his penis mutilated. And I am on top of the world.

    • stacey

      Congrats on your new sweetie!

    • Bombshellrisa

      Woo hoo! Welcome to parenthood!

    • GuestB

      Congratulations!!

    • yentavegan

      Hurray and congratulations! I’m sure you meant that you are having him circumcised not mutilated!. so happy for you. Mazel Tov!

      • Zornorph

        Yes, just throwing the NCB silly language back in their faces. 🙂

    • amazonmom

      Congrats! I was looking to see an announcement soon!

    • Box of Salt

      Congratulations!
      And enjoy: the hours may seem long, but the years become short.

    • Jocelyn

      Congratulations! 🙂

    • An Actual Attorney

      Once he was hatted, there was no point in trying anymore.

      Congratulations!

      • Zornorph

        It made me want to sing The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats.

        • kumquatwriter

          Oh please do, it needs to be Weird Al’d now.

        • kumquatwriter

          Also, CONGRATS on the kid! May he be a good sleeper who poops on a schedule!

    • Becky05

      Congratulations!! I was wondering if he’d been born yet. 🙂

    • Meerkat

      Congrats! It’s the best time!

    • EllenL

      Wonderful news!! So happy for you.
      Glad everything went well.

    • rh1985

      Congrats on your baby! I love hats for babies. I’m sure he looked adorable in that hat. (oh, I love that clean baby smell too… sigh I wish it was February so I’d have my own….)

      • Meerkat

        My son’s first hat was white, with little bear ears. It was so cute, it could take us hours to get to the park because every old lady had to stop us and coo to the baby:)

      • Denise Denning

        My daughter’s first hat was yellow with little cat ears. Squee!

    • stenvenywrites

      Congratulations, you evil person you!

    • Sue

      Wonderful – congrats!

    • wookie130

      Congrats to you! I too love that he was hatted, bathed, and fed WHATEVER you wanted to give him. Enjoy every second with him!

    • Bambi Chapman

      Congratulations!!

    • Carol

      Wonderful news! Congratulations!!

    • prolifefeminist

      Congratulations! I’m glad everything went well!

    • Jessica

      Congratulations!

    • moto_librarian

      Congratulations! Enjoy your new little guy!

    • attitude devant

      Oh that’s WONDERFUL!! So very happy for you!!!! Don’t forget us now that you have your wonderful little boy!

    • Antigonos CNM

      Mazal tov!

    • Dr Kitty

      Congratulations on the birth of your son!
      Enjoy him!

    • Welcome to fatherhood!

    • Frequent Guest

      Congrats!

    • I sing to Andy

      Congratulations! My son also wore the evil hat, had the birth goo sponged off, and snuggled with NICU nurses for three days. He obviously really enjoyed all of it, if his 250 smiles an hour are any indication. 🙂

  • Guilt-Free

    As a mother who has been up front and personal with the crunch-crazy, I can say that I’ve seen/heard it all. This blog is the ONE spot on the web that calls this craze for what it is. The natural birth, fixation on breast-feeding, cloth-diaper, wooden-toys, and oftentimes home-schooling obsession and ‘mommy’ olympics is why I prefer male friends.

    • Kumquatwriter

      Amen says the Atheist!

      I’m in Eugene Oregon. And in the closing-on-three years since my son was coldy extracted (I <3 my c/s!!) I've lost most of my former girlfriends
      And yet, their husbands are all still my friends.

      • Guilt-Free

        You’re in the thick of it! You and me both! I’ve kicked one in particular to the curb. Speaking of her husband, so did he! He couldn’t take the crazy anymore. Poor guy…I always felt badly for him. He looked tortured amidst all of the rules and regulations of the nutty lifestyle she demanded. He held on for dear life during those irresponsible homebirths.

      • Sue

        Many aspects of cesarean births are great for fathers. Not only do they save them seeing their beloved partner being (or continuing to be) in agony for hours and hours, but they also get to hold the newborn themselves for those first few moments – it can be a magical time for fathers.

        • kumquatwriter

          My husband did the skin to skin. I ended up knocked out and was in surgery an hour I think. He took his shirt off and held our son for two hours – because it took a long time in recovery for me to be coherent enough to hold him.

          I think that actually *did* make a difference in bonding for him. My husband deliberately chose not to hold any babies until he held his own. That first hour was him and the baby alone, and they have been close ever since. I bonded just fine, btw, and the kid latched on like a remora.

          Now that I think about it, has any kind of research been done on skin to skin with the father at birth?

          • Guilt-Free

            LOL @ ‘latched on like a remora!’

          • prolifefeminist

            My hubby did skin to skin with one of our boys while I was being stitched back up from my c/s too! And I swear it made a difference in their bonding. Not so much because of that one hour alone, but because my husband said that was an immensely special time for him as a father to spend time with his newly-born son on his chest (the little guy was wide awake and gazing right at daddy – got some awesome pics of that!). I think going forward my husband had an extra special place in his heart for him, so that enhanced the bond they had. It was pretty cool. He totally prefers dad over me. lol I’d love to see if there’s been any research on fathers and skin to skin at birth.

            Btw, my husband said while he was back in our hospital room – tucked in to my hospital bed with baby on his chest, lights dimmed, and blankets all around them – another nurse walked into the room to do something and did a total double take seeing a dude in a postpartum bed with a newborn on his naked chest. haha! That must have been a sight. I was like, “are you sure he wasn’t rooting around on your nipples or something? Did you let him try to latch on?” hehe

            Oh man…what I wouldn’t give now to go back in time and page Lactation and have them show up to the room with my hubby in bed with the baby…sobbing “whaddya mean I can’t nurse?!? But the book says almost ANYONE can nurse!!”

          • prolifefeminist

            and I should add…although my son def did prefer daddy over me, we didn’t have ANY bonding issues…that kid nursed til he was a toddler and we love each other to pieces. But he def turns to daddy first. And I have nooooo problem with that. Dads are parents too. 🙂

        • Awesomemom

          My husband got to hold them first and feed some of the kids first bottles he loved my csections.

  • Ducky7

    I find it interesting that they refer to Dr. Amy as a “concern” troll and a psychopath in the comments on FB’s fb page. Such misinformed conviction! A concern troll is someone who professes to support Idea A while actually supporting Idea B and subversively undermining the credibility of Idea A among supports of Idea B … what is subtle about Amy??

    I’m also sure she gets some pleasure out of giving NBC people an intellectual beating, but that does not make you a psychopath. Still undecided about how effective her nastier comments and rhetoric are, but truth remains that the message needs to be heard. Sure I don’t want a c-section, but I had no idea how unsafe home birth was before reading this blog…

    And her comments about FB’s sanctimony are dead on.

  • Kalacirya

    Typo on the formula samples sentence.

    “I wish I get distressed” -> “I wish I didn’t get distressed”

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thanks!

  • Christina Maxwell

    Love it, excellent response.

  • Awesomemom

    “I wish I could find another way to boost my fragile self-esteem that didn’t involve my breasts, vagina or uterus.” This so much! She needs to get a real hobby that does not involve the internet. Maybe if she did not spend so much time on Facebook judging other mothers she would have time to study for school, get better grades and have a masters degree to be proud of.

    • BeatlesFan

      And take care of her kids once in awhile. All of them, I mean, not just the HBAC one.

    • auntbea

      Well, but some of those activities require effort and carry risk of failure. Sanctimony is risk-free!

    • prolifefeminist

      It boggles my mind when I read someone who claims to be a feminist, and then puts the value of a woman in her ability to reproduce. I know, I know…this has been pointed out many many times on this blog, but still…I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Throw in a dose of mean girls and you have the whole present day HB/NCB movement.

      It’s sad, because I think the push to “reclaim birth” was to some degree a really good thing. My mom worked in an OB ward back in the 50’s and 60’s, and really didn’t like a lot of what she saw as far as how everything was “the doctor knows best, so hush up little woman and keep quiet.” A decade later, when she was having her own babies, she experienced the same atmosphere in the hospitals she delivered in. It seems that the NCB movement really took off around that time, and there was a VERY fertile breeding ground for it. And I do think that some of the tenets of it were originally good – not the BS about pain relief being bad, but the parts about the woman playing an active role in her care, etc – things that are good across the board, not just in OB.

      It’s just a shame that the movement went WAY too far off the cliff. I would love to see it ping back to the happy middle – where women are actively involved in their care plans, pain relief carries no shame, modern technology is embraced as helpful, instrumental/surgical births are viewed as life and health saving, and the health care professionals attending birthing women are trusted and their skills, knowledge, and judgement appreciated.

      It’s possible, isn’t it? Someday?

      • Jessica

        For more than 90% of the population, I think this is already the case. There’s just a very vocal minority trying to swim upstream and convince women that OBs, epidurals, and hospitals are evil.

        • Antigonos CNM

          You’re right, but the problem is that they ARE VERY LOUD, and good at intimidation, alas.

      • Kalacirya

        This is what really struck me as sad about the recent lactivist post. I believe that I am one of the younger people around here (23), but Elicia is even younger than I am (21). And already at her age she’s completely defined herself by reproduction and her reproductive organs (2 children, lactivism, trying to become a CPM). And sure, I suppose I’m expected to respect others’ life decisions, but in this case I can’t help but feel a bit sad about it.