Monday, May 9, 2011

hee hee hee hooey

I'm sure I'm going to piss off all kinds of people with this post. Not my intention. And it shouldn't, but you know, people feel strongly about this stuff, so...

Moments after Jack was born 4 years ago

 To each his own I say. Pray or don't pray to who you like. Love who you like. And if you want to have an epidural, it's none of my business. It's also none of my business if you want to have your baby in a hot tub, or minivan, or a tree house with no doctor present. Good for you. I think most problems in this world evolve from people caring WAY too much about other people's choices about those kind of things. 

This post is a companion piece to my friend Jason's post on JasonGOod365 this morning. It all started with this sketch on SNL this weekend about the birth class. If you didn't see it, here it is. For those of you who have had a baby, and gone to the birth class, you are dying laughing right now. For those of you who haven't or didn't, that's not actually too far from the videos they show. 

My favorite video, (all of them seem like they were shot in the late 70's early 80's) was of a large woman with a retro bush, who for some reason was completely naked save her long black slouchy socks. FOR god's sake woman! BLACK SOCKS + NAKED?! And let's just say the socks matched the drapes. There might have also been a mustache, and a mole with a hair growing out of it, but I might be embellishing. It was an awful site to behold. She kept squatting in her black socks. Her husband was wearing a tan hawaiian shirt. Nipper and I were sitting in the back, feeling like the school burnouts, trying not to giggle, and staring out the window so as not to be scarred for life by the images on screen. I don't even really know why these are considered instructional videos. Bad lighting, horrible styling (yeah, I said it) and shockingly unattractive people aside, what did we learn? Not much. Every birth is different. For the record, I was dressed, laying down, and listening to Sam Cooke and Patsy Cline (oh and CNN was on mute in the background). Let the hate mail begin. 

At the birth class we took at Cedars before Jack was born. We went every week, and learned how I might use no less than 14 pillows to sleep comfortably while pregnant. Which WAS worth the price of admission, but that was it. Oh and we learned that all of my internal organs would be pushed up somewhere around my rib cage by the time the baby was to term. I must admit that I used some of the breathing techniques while driving to the hospital, but mostly, we learned that people are SO fucking self righteous about their birth plans, their babies cord blood, and wether or not they are going to have an epidural or not. Yeesh. 

The most irritating take-over of a term by assholes, is "natural birth". Since when does it not count as natural when my baby comes out of my vagina, just like babies have been coming out, since you know, Eve ate the apple (that's what the kids are calling it these days), if I get pain medication while doing it? It's like the anti-abortion movement calling themselves pro-life, as if people who believe in choice for women, are pro-death. Shut up. None of these people ever come out and say things like "Oh, you had an un-natural birth? Too bad." But trust me, that's what they mean, when tell you they did it "naturally". 

Let me be clear, I don't care what you did, or plan to do. It's your sugar bowl, and you treat it how you want. My neighbor Brett had home births, and I think she's a VIKING. her second baby came so fast, she was home alone, while her husband was dropping Cleo off at our house across the street. He was gone 5 minutes. When he got home she shouted from the bedroom "Baby's here!", he raced in, and caught her. VIKING. 

I am not a viking. I'm a mom. Just a regular mom. I know this about myself. I want to be in a hospital, with doctors, and nurses, and people bringing me fruit juice in a giant cup with crushed ice in it after I have my baby. I know, SO selfish. I don't want to be home where I'll be thinking, "Hum, I really need to hem those curtains, while I'm getting to know my new baby". Two days of care, is that too much to ask for? With Jack I went into the hospital thinking, I'm going to go as long as I can, and then I'll get the epidural if I need it. I was dilated to 5 when we got there. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I said "let's wait and see". The next contraction I had knocked my lights out, and I said "ok, I see. Let's do this thing". 

So what am I saying. To all you expecting mommies out there, it's your body, your baby, your birth, your choice. Anyone who tries to make you feel otherwise is a jackass. 

But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you must be naked while laboring (which is also fine by me) for the love of all that is holy, don't wear black socks. 


  1. Agree with you completely, except this part: "But trust me, that's what they mean, when tell you they did it "naturally"." Women like to talk to other women about their experiences, and giving birth is an important experience. I'm proud of my birth stories (regardless of the details), and if I tell someone about it, I'm not using it as an object lesson about how they are doing it wrong. (Good luck when it's time - I'm excited for you!)

  2. I assume you'll be waiting for Baby-Knapp-2 wearing suntan, reinforced toe, knee highs. Am I right?

  3. Epidurals rock, black socks almost always don't,......these are universal truths

  4. OK, as part of the Knapp Posse, Michigan Division, I just HAVE to respond to this. First of all, totally agree that it's nobody's bidness what happens in, on, or around my vagina--or anyone's. Having said that, I really must share a Viking story with you. My tight-ass sister-in-law (first marriage) gained my unending devotion when, during her birth video, her husband caught her spraying out her hair before they left for the hospital. Everyone in the family made fun of her, except me. This was a woman who knew life's biggest photo op was on the way, and she wasn't going to entertain posterity with flat bangs. That's Viking nerve, in my book.

    Also, can I just say that my idea of men was permanently altered by birthing class stories--some for the better, others for the worse. My college bf reported that he nearly passed out at the first sign of blood *on the screen.* He left the screening room, got a drink at the fountain, and hit his noggin on the ceramic bowl so hard his wife found him prone on the linoleum after class. Scratch that guy off my "What If" list. These are the moments that make women. They make men. Here's hoping you treat yourself to a spa pedicure, and that Jack's little brother arrives soon! Hope to meet you on the lake one summer.... Veronica

  5. LMBO! Omg. I don't know it that was the labor video I saw before my first son was born, but I remember a very naked lady very busy screaming and I thought "O.M.G. What the HELL have I done?!" And amen, sista for the boosting choosing what works for you. I mean, some people might not be A-Ok rocket-launching 10+ lbs of mancub through their floral petals. Me, I was okay as long as that half-grown creature got off my bladder and got his dang feet out of my ribs! I mean, I was about to yell, "CATCH!" and push just so I could breathe! So, you da bomb! And MASSIVE congrats on Mr. Charlie! Amazing specimen of babyness.