The winner of the homebirth narcissist sweepstakes is …

I’ve been writing for years that homebirth is viewed by a homebirth advocate as a piece of performance art with herself as the star. Everyone, midwives, her partner, even the baby are nothing more than bit players in “her” birth. That’s certainly what Marni Kotak thinks.

Eat your heart out Feminist Breeder. Sure you broadcast your homebirth to the world, and you got a corporate sponsor. Nancy Salguiero has gotten lots more attention because she hired a publicist to promote her homebirth. But now poor Nancy, who hasn’t even had her baby yet, has already been eclipsed by Marni Kotak.

… Enter the very pregnant performance artist Marni Kotak, who is transforming the Microscope Gallery into a home-birth center where she will turn the birth of her baby into a work of art… Starting Saturday, she’ll be making the gallery home as she waits for the contractions to start … Then, she’ll have her baby right there with the assistance of a midwife and a doula…

According to Marni:

… I will be completely engrossed in the act of giving birth before a live audience. I will be focused on delivering my child into the world in the healthiest manner possible, rather than on how I look or what the audience may think. Everything I have learned about the birth process is that the more you surrender your mind and don’t try to control the event, but let your body do what it naturally knows how to do, the better your labor progresses. This, to me, provides for the most authentic performance art situation. And the ultimate creation of this life performance will be a living being!

And if that’s not selfish enough:

… her long-term project “Raising Baby X,” … will document her child’s upbringing “from birth through attending college and developing an independent life,” according to her website.

The child psychiatrists out there are already salivating over the patient Baby X will become. Just imagine the therapy sessions:

X (no longer a baby): It seems like my mother doesn’t care about me as a person. She sees me as nothing more than an extension of herself whom she can manipulate for her own ends.

Child Psychiatrist: It’s hard to argue with that assessment since she has used your for her own self aggrandizement from the moment of your birth, deprived you of privacy, and seen you as little more than an art project.

Marni actually claims:

I am driven to hold onto an authentic personal experience in a world that has essentially become consumed by an unreal hyper-reality.

Riiiight, because pushing out a baby in an art gallery in front of a live audience is the authentic experience of indigenous women in all times and cultures ….NOT!

Marni is ever so superior to those women who are immersed in our media driven culture:

… I do feel that people today are desperately seeking a sense of meaning in their lives. Facebook is feeding into that and providing — what I see as an ultimately empty — solution for a hyper-mediated world… Sadly, the more time that people spend on social networking sites and the less time they spend engaging in authentic experiences with friends and family in the real world — and yes, I do still think there is a real world — the more they are denying the significance of their own human experience. This in turn leads to a greater sense of desperation to find meaning in their lives, more wasted hours on Facebook …

Or perhaps to a desire to give birth in an art gallery in front of a live audience.

… And in giving birth in front of the audience, I am showing them, as in my previous performances, that real life is the best performance art, and that, if our eyes can be opened to it, all of the meaning that we seek is right there in our everyday lives.

Or maybe, like many homebirth advocates, she’s just an attention seeking narcissist.


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