Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kerr-boom! {A Rant in B Flat}

I'm jumping on the Miranda Kerr bandwagon, and while I'm at it I'll get on my high horse. Cos you know, horses and wagons go together.

So we all know Miranda had her genetically blessed bub the other day. Most of you would have seen the awesome breastfeeding photo where she looked Glowing (bitch stole my Glow!). And some of you would have heard that she updated her blog to say that she had her whopping 9lb 12oz baby boy without any pain relief.

One of the forums I belong to, on finding out how much little Flynn weighed, started a thread comparing baby weights. Nothing bad about that, right? Well that's what I thought until I read it and saw some really strange comments attacking Miranda and other women who had also commented, for saying that they had given birth vaginally (yeah I said vagina, get over it). Their point was that it doesn't matter how a baby is born, as long as it's healthy, and that by being proud of an unmedicated birth they were somehow implying that everyone else was lesser than them.

I have a problem with this - are those that do birth vaginally (with or without medication) now supposed to not share that? Can we not be proud of ourselves? In a world with an alarmingly high caesarian rate and epidural rate, can I not be happy that I managed to birth Tricky "the old fashioned way"?

Does my damaged pelvic floor make me think I'm better than anyone else? Hell no.

It was MY goal and MY achievement and I know MY ideals are different to others'. Just because it's different doesn't make it better (or worse).

I'm not against caesarians. I know they save lives. I'm not even against epidurals - I was offered one and finally said yes only to find out that Tricky was crowning. What I am against is the cascade of interventions and 'scalpel happy' hospitals and obstetricians (and even some midwives in my situation) who are ready to cut open a woman at the drop of a hat.

And because I'm a knowledge junkie I'm against uninformed decisions of any kind.

So I'm going to say it now. Giving birth to Tricky vaginally with no pain medication was the proudest moment of my life. I'm not going to hide that away just because someone else chose to or had to do something different.

It's the same with breastfeeding. Can I not be proud that I'm breastfeeding because someone else can't or chooses not to? Can I not be proud that my saggy pendulous breasts are actually good for something?

Why does this only seem to surround birth and parenting choices? There's enough bloody mother guilt as there is without us creating more.

Can we not, as women, just support each other in the choices we make and stop with the politically correct bullshit for a minute?

Vaginal birth, caesarian birth, breastfed or bottlefed - if it works for you then own it and be proud of it.


  1. Awesome post. I had a similar initial reaction to reading about Miranda's birth and looking at her photo. Who the hell looks like that just after giving birth!!!

  2. Yes! Well said! This type of thing is why I stopped frequenting any type of pregnancy/baby/parenting forum. I never wanted a caesarian birth but that's the birth which brought me three happy, healthy babies and I am proud of that. It doesn't make me less of a woman or less of a mother. And for you to have a natural birth is awesome. Why can't we all just support, accept and rally around each other instead of dragging other mothers down.
    And well done Miranda for giving birth vaginally to a 9lb 12oz babe! Seriously, that IS something to be proud of.

  3. good on you, you are proud and why not? well done. I have 2 boys and both of them entered this world via different channels. I am proud of each of my births regardless.

  4. Thank goodness for putting it out there! Sometimes i dont know what to say ot even think when people start comapring things.

    I was all prepared for a non medicated vaginal birth but the LT and the karmic world had different ideas. At least i can tell people i tried. What else can i say? I am proud of the decision that i made. It lead me to a beautiful girl.

  5. A-fucking-men sister!

    I just finished ranting to Holly over at MDM that women can not put their own experience, let downs, whatevers aside for one effing moment to congratulate another woman, to celebrate the arrival of another wonderful life. It's bullshit.

  6. Anyone bagging out another persons birth experience is probably upset with themselves that things didn't go the way they want.

  7. I am a Mum who has had both an emergency c-section and a planned one. Neither (particularly the first) were really my choice. If I were able to acomplish what Miranda (and many other Mum's) has then I would be shouting it from the roof tops whilst patting myself on the back! Good on the girl. I don't know why so many women have to be so judgemental?!

  8. I had a vaginal birth without any drugs. Am I proud? Bloody oath!! Do I think I'm better than others who didn't? Of course not.
    I set myself a challenge and I did it. I certainly don't rub it in other peoples faces.

    I just don't get why women have to be judgemental about EVERYTHING baby. Oh you had a c sect? Oh co sleeping tsk tsk. And *gasp* is that a bottle I see. Mother how you want to mother. Right from the birthing experience

  9. Well said. I wholeheartedly agree. My three all had totally different births but I didn't feel any less a person because of this. The decisions I made were for the benefit of each child and myself and I would do it that way again. I am proud of what I have achieved

  10. Firstly, I think what you have written is spot on. Go girl, go – no matter how you go about it.
    Secondly, I think it is our lot in life (Mothers) to have to deal with unsolicited commentary or criticism of what we do. Would a man be asked if his protruding tummy was a baby bump? Would a man be told that there was a better way to feed a baby? The pinch in all this is that the comments usually do come from other women. Meow! Anyhow, it’s not a lot, but it’s our life, so we have to keep moving forward past the petty, jealous and thoughtless.
    Lastly, how on earth did Miranda have a 9lb baby?

  11. love it! was thinking about posting on this myself but you have said it perfectly!
    why is it that whenever a woman says "i gave birth the old fashioned way', she gets attacked for it? yes we live in a modern world and those things are there to be used when needed not just as a given. Pregnancy and birth have become conditions rather than the natural state that they really are. Why can't we just trust our bodies to do what they are designed to do?
    I gave birth to both of my children naturally (yes drug free) and I am proud of that fact yet I hide it because it seems to make other people who made other decisions feel uncomfortable. I am happy with the decisions I made and if others make different decisions that's because it is what is right for them.
    let's just celebrate the fact that we are women and we can do amazing things!

  12. veryboredincatalunyaJanuary 20, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Absolutely, I am so tired of hearing women put each other down about the choice they make, so long as the baby comes into the world safe and sound and is fed and loved who cares how?

  13. Woohoo! I totally agree with you. I used gas, but my goal was to not have pethidine or epidural and I didn't and I was proud of myself for that. I breastfeed and I'm proud of myself for that, BECAUSE I met my goals. I don't have anything against caesars or bottle feeding but they're not for me, and I don't think we should be attacked for being proud of ourselves!

  14. We are our own worst enemy. I so agree with your post. I have always been scared to tell people who quick I give birth (it's not showing off, it just is). My wide hips were obviously meant to do this. But my boobs were crap at producing milk. They just were. Relax everyone. Babies grow up and become teenagers and adults ... it's our job to help them on their way the best we can with what resources we have and without judgement of others.

  15. Great post! I completely agree with you. I was lucky enough to have two very easy babies but when we were all sharing in mums group my news was always greeted with a 'We don't want to hear it!'. I understood that hearing how easy my girls were made their babies seem even more difficult or more of a struggle so in the end I never reported anything - it just seemed easier.

  16. I'm a little bit late to this party sorry (about a month late!) but I wanted to say; hell yeah! I so completely agree with you. I see the same shit on forums all the time - I've been a moderator at both babycenter and kidspot so I've seen the same conversations over and over again until it drove me nuts. Which is why I'm reluctant to share my birth story or even mention how I gave birth in case I upset someone. But I AM proud of myself. I wouldn't have thought less of myself if I needed pain meds or a caesar though. You do what you need to do.
    I feel safe here to share that I gave birth vaginally to a 42kilo baby after 700 hours of labour. Well, it wasn't alll labour. it was stop start and I ran a triathlon inbetween for charity. I breastfed until he left for university after homeschooling him. I made his clothes out of the hemp I grew myself on my green self sustainable farmlet. He speaks 17 languages and I'm very proud of him. But I don't want to gloat or anything.

  17. that is so true! people get defensive when things don't go their way.

  18. Well written!
    Honestly, i feel it should be every parents goal to do what is in the best intrest of their baby, and ANY medical professional would tell you that ideally EBF a baby until 6 months age is in a childs best intrests, just as delivering naturally without any pain relief (most of which affect the baby and sometimes can cause health problems for both baby and mother, so they aren't always in your best intrests or with a "nothing to lose" attitude) is the safest possible way.
    We are fortunate enough to have techonolgy and medical studies to help us out when they isn't possible, that formula is an option for those who cannot breatfeed for whatever reasons. That we have medical intervention, and ceserians as an option for those labours what need it.

    I have found in my 5 years of being a parent that it's usually those who know that their deicision probably weren't the best that condemn others the loudest. It's sad bescause they spread false knowledge and instead of standing up and saying "Yeah i did the best i could at the time with the knowledge i had, it was wrong, but we got there in the end" they need to put other's down for being stronger, or perhaphs more knowledgable when they weren't.
    There is nothing wrong with formula, or ceserians or medical intervention, they're all parenting choices, and your parenting choices start from conception, but we shouldn't be putting people down for being proud of their story, no matter what it is. They have a right to share it.

    Wonderful wonderful post.
    I have to admit that i have a massive girl crush on Miranda Kerr, and i LOVE that this is the first picture she shared, that she is advocating breastfeeding (we need it done more often by celebrities), and that she proudly announced a drug free natural birth (that too needs to be advocated more).

  19. Sorry bit slow here to comment - only just found this but I agree with someone in the comments sections: Lucky is more like it rather than Proud! I didn't have a choice to have a caesarian so I do get offended when people say they are proud of it - and it does feel like I failed or my body failed but if I didn't have the caesars, maybe me or my kids wouldn't be here, so I feel lucky that I had that choice and live in a country that gives me that choice but sometimes I think naturally your body does this for you when my body could not! Am I proud that I have blonde hair or Size 7 shoes? - nah, it just is what it is. Yay for you but you should feel lucky and blessed, elated, relieved, overjoyed but not necessarily proud!

  20. Thanks for commenting, Graciegirl. As I said in my post, by me being proud that I managed to birth my baby unmedicated does not mean I think you have failed or that your body failed, as you admit to feeling. It is your perception based on your own experience, and whilst it's completely valid to have and share this, telling someone that they cannot be proud of their decisions and accomplishments is more a reflection of yourself than anything I have written. 
    I disagree that it is merely "lucky" if you make informed decisions and set out with a goal and achieve it... having said that I know that anything can happen during a birth and no amounts of preparation will guarantee what the outcome will be.If you run a marathon, you should be proud. Birth, medicated or not is the ultimate marathon and I stand by my sentiments that I am proud of what I achieved... and you should be too. Be PROUD that you had a c-section that meant both you and your babies are here today. Be PROUD and own it, but don't tell me that if I made a different decision I cannot be proud. 

  21. The definition of pride is "a feeling of pleasure from one's own achievements" & I think this is a pretty freakin' awesome acheivment & Glowless should be proud.

    I don't believe that luck has anything to do with birthing short of being lucky enough to have a good midwife vs a bad one. To get to a natural birth there are so many complications that you have to get passed, that you have to work passed so I don't think it is luck at all, hard work & a whole lot of it for sure.

    I have had an emergency c/section & a failed VBAC resulting in a second emergency c/section. I am upset that my body didn't do what it was supposed to do, that my babies were in bad positions & were very large compared to my small frame. I am not proud of the way that they arrived into the world because I don't feel like it was my own acheivement, but there is no way that I would want anyone else to feel less proud because of my circumstances.

    It's noone's fault that my babies weren't born naturally, least of all the mothers that were able to have theirs that way.

  22. Oh god yes be bloody proud-be proud that you did it your way!

    It makes me smile and feel good about myself that 'I' gave birth to #1 and later #2 naturally-i achieved what i set out to do and i will not allow anyone to take that from me. I'm am proud of my mind and my body for allowing me to do that.

    I don't care how anyone else gave birth to their babies-and i won't let anyone take away how good i feel about my birthing experiences.

  23. How in the world did you manage to look so bloody gorgeous after giving birth?! You are beautiful. I've had an emergency c-section and a VBAC. I *HATED* the VBAC, which did not involve any drugs. HATED. I think any woman that gives over her body to grow a baby for 9 months and manages to get it out of her, one way or another, deserves a freaking medal. Childbirth is the hardest physical ordeal I've ever been through. But worth every grunt and scream.

  24. Graciegirl, my first birth followed 18 hours of hard labour and 2 hours of pushing. he crowned, several times but they couldnt' get him out and he  got stuck and went into distress, so was born via emergency C Section. My second was bron by planned C Section due to my pelvis being warped beyond repair.

    Neither of these births was what I had imagined. I'd have been PROUD to have achieved what Glow did. It doesn't make me feel worse about my experiences.  hell. My babies were born alive and healthy.  THAT is more important to me than ANYthing else.

    I think 'lucky' and 'judgement' and 'failed' do a disservice to women, placing undue, unnecessary pressure and expectations where only joy and congratulations belong. And must seem so incredibly petty and insensitive to those that aren't 'lucky' enough to leave the maternity ward wtih a baby in their arms.

  25. LOL!!! After all your glowing love letters Lina, I've certainly seen a new side to you the past couple of days!!!

    I rock an emergency C/S scar after a failed induction, scars from being sewn up after my spontaneous VBAC and my boobs are big and saggy. Yet I'm freakin' proud of all of them! And am so blessed to have been able to do it all safely.

  26. I was just thinking the same thing!!! 

  27. Birth is definitely not a fun walk in the park, I cannot imagine a VBAC but I have so much respect for anyone who even considers having one, let alone tries, let alone succeeds! You rock my world, K!

  28. Please don't tell me I can't be proud of what I achieved just because you feel like you have failed. It's terrible that for whatever reason you feel like your body failed, but don't take away from other people's experiences. I am damn proud I gave birth naturally to my baby, heck I had a shot of pethidine and I am still proud. And not only am I proud, but my husband and family are also proud of me and I don't think anyone has the right to take that away from us.


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