I was reading today's Purple is a Fruit, and it resonated with me so strongly that I went on to leave a Long and Impassioned Comment. Linda put her point so well, I got a little carried away. You know how you get that rush when you read something that is exactly what you feel but phrased so much better than you ever could have phrased it?
And now I keep THINKING about her post, and I want to talk about it more, but hitting "refresh" constantly in Linda's comment section isn't enough to satisfy me, and Paul is begging me not to talk about it anymore, so I will talk about it here. You'll need to click the link to Purple is a Fruit first, so you know what we're talking about, and also so you can read Linda's delicious, delicious words. (I once read an interview with an actor who said his least favorite word was "delicious" used for anything other than food. Now I think of that every time I use the word. Well-played, Actor Whose Name I No Longer Remember But Who Has Eternally Affected My Vocabulary.)
Back now? Okay!
During my first c-section, a medical situation was discovered. The OB talked with me about it afterward, and said she was sorry to tell me that this meant I would need to have c-sections from now on, that I would not be a candidate for a VBAC, and that in fact for future pregnancies I would need to be carefully informed about what I should do if I went into labor unexpectedly so that I wouldn't, for example, DIE. I don't want to be all Dramatic about it, but I do want it clear that this medical situation is not something like, "Oooooogk, natural childbirth is ICKY!"
I would also like it clear that the precise nature of the medical situation is my Private Medical Information. It's not that I won't tell, it's that I don't have to if I don't feel like it. I'm not required by law to disclose that medical situation to the general public as proof that I really do need to have c-sections. "All right, then," I picture The General Public saying, after inspecting my Proof of Need certificate and satisfying themselves that I do in fact have what they'd consider a valid excuse. "We'll let you have your c-section...THIS time."
And yet I've noticed that if I say, "I'm having a scheduled c-section" without telling all about the medical situation that requires it, sometimes other people assume that I'm only having a c-section because I don't understand my options. They think perhaps I have not considered the possibility of a VBAC, or that my OB is pressuring me into a repeat c-section because OBs just LOVE c-sections and want to strip women of their Natural Childbirth Powers. Or they think perhaps I am unaware that c-sections involve risks, unlike natural childbirth which is natural and risk-free and has been done for millions of years in complete safety. Or they want to tell me how if I have a c-section I'm basically saying I don't care about my baby's health. Perhaps I am unaware of the DRUGS the baby will be exposed to, both during and after the surgery! Drugs which no one has considered might affect the baby, and so have been prescribed with no thought for the baby's well-being!
Listen: if I say, "I'm having a scheduled c-section," I want it to be assumed that I am a mentally-fit adult capable of making decisions based on research I have ALREADY DONE and don't need to be instructed to do. I especially dislike it when the "research" other people want me to do is only in the one particular area the other person thinks I should be agreeing with. My lack of agreement with their point of view must mean I'm IGNORANT OF THE FACTS, as opposed to having an EQUALLY VALID OPINION based on the SAME AVAILABLE INFORMATION.
Which reminds me that I ALSO hate when the other person assumes that I'm being some sort of spineless patsy and agreeing with my Medical Establishment Doctor when I should instead be insisting on my right to do things in an unsafe way--which the other person, without a medical degree of any sort, tells me IS safe, without knowing my reason for having c-sections. Oh! Okay! I'm SURE my doctor is wrong and YOU'RE right! I shouldn't let my DOCTOR "push me around," but I SHOULD let YOU do it! And perhaps you will also DELIVER THE BABY, since you are SUCH AN EXPERT!!
And here's my final point. If I DIDN'T have a medical reason other people would consider "acceptable," if my reason WERE "Oooooogk, natural childbirth is ICKY!," it would STILL be my business to choose what method of giving birth was right for me, and I would STILL want other people to assume I was a mentally-fit adult capable of doing research and coming to my own conclusions.
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