Friday, January 21, 2011

ranty pants

Ok, let me tell you about some things I am passionate about: parenting to the best of my ability, feminism, building people up instead of tearing them down, loving my partner well, and creating positive opportunities for people.  I want Ruby to be a strong minded, confident woman, who doesn't look to others for cues on her appearance or self esteem.  We are conscious of telling Ruby equally how smart and funny, as well as beautiful she is.  I want to lead by example, which is the hardest - when raised by critical female role models - I want better for her.  I want better for myself and it's a constant ongoing process of change and growth.

So I have been reading with great interest and concern the different responses to Miranda Kerr's personal birth announcement.  Women who are tearing a new mother down, saying she's not all that, that she is smug, competitive and judgemental.  Um, so what you are saying about her ISN'T judgemental and a little mean spirited?  I think people forget that when a woman gives birth people are pushing for the following information:

1. gender
2. name
3. how the birth was
4. and if you are close/or they are intrusive, questions about tearing, stitches and breastfeeding.

You know what, I saw a beautiful picture of a new mother (could have been any woman) and it made me all gooey and teary.  She was proud of giving birth and her beautiful son, but what new mother ISN'T proud after having a child, whether it be through their vagina, or through a c-section?  A woman doesn't go through 9 months of preparation and then go "yeah, I went to the hospital and they pulled this THING out of me, lord knows what I am going to do with it, certainly doesn't match our interior design choices".  Nearly every new mother is proud of the new life they have created, exhausted, joyful and in the process of falling madly in love with this new person.

Ok, so I posted the other day about preparing (mentally and physically) for an unmedicated birth.  I had one with Ruby, and I want to create the same opportunity for this new unborn babe.  For me, it's the right choice but a part of it is also that I am TERRIFIED of having a needle in my spine - that frightens me more than the pain of childbirth.  I have these (possibly irrational) fears of being the 1 in a 1,000,000 that ends up paralysed or with a long lasting spinal headache.  Also with having a 2 year old, I want to be back on my feet as soon as possible after having a baby and ready to get into the challenge of parenting 2 children.

Can I also tell you - I really don't mind how you give birth and I don't need your approval or judgement on my choices.  I wrote about it the other day because it was on my mind and it's something that is going on in my life at the moment, in the same vein of everything I write about.  What I do VERY much care about is that you and I are well, healthy and with a beautiful healthy and happy baby at the end of our pregnancies  This is the goal for every new mother and it really doesn't matter what path you take to get there - make the right choice for you and support other women who have made the right decision for them.

Man, is this topic a minefield.

My point is can we ladies please be a little nicer to each other?  Support another woman's decisions and get on each other's cheer team?  Look at a picture and see an ecstatic new mother in an intimate moment with her partner and new baby and see the joy in it, not the way it makes us feel with all our baggage and bullshit.  We need a little more happy in the world, so let's all individually bring it.

Meanwhile, as I am writing this, Ruby has been having a major tantrum on the floor because she wants raspberry yoghurt and we only have raspberry and strawberry combined.  Seriously, I am going to have another??


Brooke said...


I don't know any parent who wants anything other than the best for their kids. Seriously. It's not up to anyone else to qualify what that "best" means for them.

The photo in question made me tear up because I know that feeling - that loved up, my heart is going to explode with all this extra joy feeling. It didn't strike me as anything other than an expression of that, and also maybe a quiet comment on the fact that, "yes, breasts can be used in this fashion and that is ok".

Yay ladies!

Mon Alisa Design said...

I completely agree m'love. I get really disheartened hearing negative comments on these topics. I left a well known baby forum because of the constant bickering and lack of support. It was just so nasty. Mrs Bloom is in Mummy bliss and that makes my heart sing. I wish you every happiness and joy with your little ones. I had to laught at the last sentence. Poor Ruby :) My girls are currently chasing each other in their knickers with nit shampoo in their hair. Yes, my trip to Mudgee was thwarted by a discovery of creepy crawlies. Ah the joys! :)

amelieandatticus said...

Ditto...I can be a vicious circle because all those negative and judgemental people make me want to slap them :-)

You are doing an awesome job Mum's!

We are currently on 3 toilet training accidents and counting...

Jennadesigns said...

I'm in complete agreement. Every experience is unique and it's owned by the person experiencing it - who has the right to judge?

I've had one child vaginally (with an epidural) who literally tore me apart and I had pelvic reconstructive surgery 1 year after my son's birth. I had my daughter via scheduled c-section (because of the reconstruction) and spinal narcotic. People who had no idea of my history immediately expressed their disapproval of my scheduled c-section, assuming I was just one of those women who didn't want to push anything that big out of my vagina. With my first child, I couldn't breastfeed because of a medical condition my son had, however everyone assumed I chose not to and reminded me constantly that "breast is best." Fortunately, with my daughter, I was able to. And I mourned and cried the day she decided she was done (at a year).

Support and compassion is where it's at. If you can't be nice, don't say anything. I respect everyone's individual decision regarding pregnancy and childbirth. I might not agree, but I support them. Would I ever elect to have a home birth - no, because as a nurse, I'm aware of how quickly things could deteriorate if something were wrong, however - that said - I admire and envy all those who have these beautiful, calm, peaceful home births that go smoothly.

I wish you the happiest birth day for your child... however you choose it. There is nothing more beautiful than bringing a life into this world! Ruby will make an excellent big sister - and you will love having two children. (I originally wanted one. I had one... then I decided I'd be happy with two. Then I had two. Now, I'm thinking a third is in order. :) What can I say, they're a little addictive! :) Enjoy!

Amy said...

well said, mama.

we could all use more gentleness in our lives.

I think Mrs. Bloom looks very proud and very in love. And, I'm glad she's shared such a beautiful picture.

willywagtail said...

I think any parent who REALLY knows what they want for their birth is doing amazingly. I had no idea, all I wanted, after two miscarriages, was to have a live baby. Healthy didn't really even matter because I reaalised - probably the only thing I did know for sure - that someone has to have the sickies too.
To criticise people for their choices is so sad and such a waste of energy. Positivity and the 'glad game' are worth so much more. Cherrie

Anonymous said...

Oh, I feel so happy reading this post. I thought that photo of Miranda Kerr was just beautiful (although I was impressed she had the wherewithall to put on a bit of lippy). My first baby is due in April and so this gorgeous picture made me all weepy!

It's terrifying what a bizarre emotional investment other people seem to have in a woman's birth choices. Someone had a go at me the other day because we've decided against having a doula, and no matter how many times I told her 'it's not right for us', 'we've thought about it and come to a decision', she just could not respect that and kept haranguing me. It wasn't until about an hour later that I realised I was shaking, and even a couple of weeks later I still feel a bit sick when I think of it. Surely all that matters is that everyone comes out of the birth safe and healthy?

I too am absolutely terrified of spinal injections but I have no idea what this birth will be like - perhaps I'll be weeping and begging for anaesthesia almost immediately. I hope not, but how can I know? All I want is for our baby to be safe. All I can do is prepare as much as I can and then try really hard. What I do know is that it's really nobody's business except my family's, and it scares me that other people can get so intense in trying to convert you to their ideologies. I had to drop out of a prenatal yoga class because the instructor had such a narrow conception of a good birth - which in her mind meant predominantly standing up!

Sorry that was such a long rant, the topic hit very close to home. It's my mother lioness response, I think.

Wishing you a safe, smooth birth, in whatever way you choose to have it. x

twoblueshoes said...

I didn't realise until I got knocked up how fraught this whole business is. But the process of becoming a parent (and therefore hopefully a grown-up) has definitely begun... I am a MUCH less judgemental person than I used to be. Everyone is different. Everyone has their reasons. And I do think everyone does the best they can.

Freckled Sparrow said...

Well said lady!

Lexi:: PottyMouthMama said...

Honey, I am SO with you.

Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.

Miranda Kerr is awesome, and I say, more power to her.

I read those comments and had to respond. I wasn't going to just let them go. Why shouldn't she be able to share this image and the deets on her birth, like any other new mum?

I think being an 'every day' mum is hard enough. Imagine being under the magnifying glass. ERK.


Lilli boo said...

I'm new to your blog and absolutely love what you had to say on this post as well as everyone else's informed and wonderfully refreshing response to this topic. In simple terms, I so agree that a new life should be celebrated and that the journey should be respected too. Plus there has been way too much celeb bashing on various websites, it's time to take stock of this and realise they are people too regardless of their lot in life.
Oh... I had to note to ... I was terrified of having an epidural too, and by luck, chance, what ever you want to call managed to have three natural births, it never stopped me being nervous or wondering about the what-if's especialy with my third pregnancy, however it worked out for the best in the end - my best delivery & a 4.5kg baby too! I recommend a book that inspired me called 'Birth Skills' by Jujin Sundin & Sarah Murdoch. Take what you want from it but they have some really great techniques which I used and some birth stories with all different outcomes that will inspire....

check out Juju's website:

Virginia said...

I have no idea who Miranda Kerr is. But yeah, the whole birth/pregnancy thing is so fraught.

Anyway, yes, you're going to have another. Raspberry yogurt tantrums not withstanding. :)

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

here, here. we all need to just give each other a break. And for that matter, maybe ourselves a break while we are at it.
Good luck with that tanty! ;)

leslie said...

here, here, sister. and a high five, too.

Lauren said...

Could not agree with you more Sal :)

I had an epidural with Jack but there wasn't time with Ed (even though I was begging for one)

Luckily I had no lasting side effects but I can say from experience it's much easier to push a baby out when you can feel your lower half!

I'm sure you will do wonderfully whatever you choose...

PS - I also can recommend 'Birth Skills' Great read :)

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

I agree GO Miranda! Bloody marvellous- good on her!

Illy Photography by Ilona Nelson said...

Another great book is The Divided Heart by Rachel Power, it's about art and motherhood, and has interviews with many artist/mothers about how they balance their loves.

Kate said...

Something I notice a LOT is people asking the birth weight. A friend of mine made the comment that it's interesting that we define people by their weight right from the word go. I wonder if our questions on gender, weight and birth difficulty start to preempt the strengths, weaknesses and personality of the little bub even before they've begun... (but that's a little deep for a Sunday night) xx