When I was younger I used to love to debate. In elementary school I used to debate adults about current topics just for fun. In high school I was in the debate club and was President of the Model United Nations club which centered around… debating. I even traveled internationally for UN Simulations and debate competitions where I would always win an award or at least an honorable mention. In college my declared major was International Relation and Political Science because there was a lot of debate in them. I used to get such an intellectual rush!
Then I left college and my career detours took me first into numbers and computers and later into counseling, not professions that really include debating. During that time something changed….
I want to say that I grew up but that doesn’t seem to accurately describe how I feel. It feels more like almost everybody that I have debated with within the past few years just never grew up or reverted to childish behaviors. Even when excluding the obvious Internet trolls it seems like most people just don’t know how to have an intelligent debate anymore. I have a hard time calling these discussions debates because the conversation quickly devolves into insults and name calling that lead to ruffled feathers and hurting butts. Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree?
My point for debating was to learn why the other person felt strongly about their opinion while I had the opportunity to also share why I felt strongly about mine, in a civilized manner. I used to learn so much about the opposing viewpoint just by having a nice debate on the subject but lately all I learn is that the person acts like an @$$hole when upset and doesn’t even know the facts behind the position that they should be defending but instead are on the offensive trying to shove down my throat.
I take pride in a lot of my “non mainstream” ideologies, almost all of them are very controversial and it never bothered me before. Now while I still stand firm on my beliefs, I can’t say that I am as “out and proud” anymore and I’m evolving into a “none of your business approach” simply because what nowadays passes for debate is nothing more than exhausting back and forth where nobody wins and everybody ends up upset.
So don’t think that I’ve gone mainstream, I am simply staying quiet and conserving my energy to redirect it to more productive pursuits such as loving and caring for my children. Maybe when the rest of the Internet grows up I’ll rejoin the conversations.
I didn’t think that I would be blogging again before baby but here I am sitting a day before my scheduled c-section and have a lot in my mind.
I hang around the crunchy mama community in my area, it’s just my type of people because we have so much in common, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, etc. It’s not surprising that the bulk of them are homebirthers as well. Now that word has been spreading about my birth plans, I have been feeling a lot of judgment over the fact that I’m having a scheduled c-section. I can see it being hard to understand why someone as crunchy as me would be planning something like this, if I was an outsider I would be shocked too. A lot of the judgment has been indirect, nothing being said to my face but getting the look and tone that I know all too well and the things that I hear from 3rd parties confirm that it’s there.
I don’t really blame them for judging as I understand where they are coming from, the sad thing about it is that I guess I feel misunderstood because the vast majority of them don’t know WHY I’m stuck with a scheduled c-section. Anybody that has been reading this blog since my first pregnancy knows how I feel about convenience c-sections with no medical reason but not everybody has read my blog, specially going that far back in time.
Most of them don’t know the circumstances that led to my first c-section as I don’t feel like constantly telling that story. Most of them don’t understand why a homebirth VBAC is not a viable option for us, specially with the providers in this area. None of them know that an unassisted birth is not a viable option in my case. Almost none of them know that the scar tissue in my cervix greatly reduces my odds of a successful VBAC making the effort of driving 1+ hour south or North to a hospital and doctor that would let me have a “trial of labor” is almost not worth the hassle and extra expense.
They also don’t understand that since my odds of having a successful VBAC are less than 50% I would also be setting myself up for a worse round of PPD/PTSD if I ended up with a repeat emergency section.
I did my research, I learned the risks. It was a very hard decision early in my pregnancy, I started planning a VBAC but the more I researched the available options the more I got discouraged. I know many people that have had successful VBACs, some as recently as a few weeks ago but they don’t have the same risk factors that I do.
I admit that I’m scared but I would be even more scared of attempting a vaginal birth. The fact that a Facebook friend recently attempted a VBAC at a hospital and her uterus ruptured thus depriving her baby of oxygen in the couple of minutes it took the doctor to perform the c-section and now she is burying her baby this week, it just breaks my heart and messes with my mind. I know that the odds of that happening to me are very slim but they’re still there and her experience is too recent in my memory so it would sabotage me mentally.
I don’t expect everyone to understand, but since most people will just jump to conclusions without giving me a chance to explain why I had to get this out of my chest.
If all goes well by this time tomorrow I’ll be holding my new baby. I’m ready but I’m also anxious and excited, no need to ask me if I am. I am also nervous but that’s normal. I probably won’t sleep tonight.
My previous post seemed to have caused quite the shock in some and since comments were disabled I got some comments privately but I just wanted to clarify a misunderstanding that some people seem to have. Yes, I was disappointed I didn’t have him the way it was planned but I knew that plans are made to be broken and the actual birth experience was not traumatic for me. I do not believe that I had an “unnecesarean.”
Speaking of unnecesareans, in my work I come accross many mothers that have the same surgeon that cut me open as their OB, and I started to notice a pattern where they all had cesareans. It became an alarming pattern so for the past 10 days I’ve been keeping an anonymous count of moms that have “delivered” with that doctor and right now the tally stands at 21 cesareans/0 vaginal births, scary huh? Given that the pattern has been in place for months before I started counting I feel I can safely rule out coincidence as a factor.
Moving on… no just because he turned one I am not weaning. That is the answer that I had to give our pediatrician at Shammy’s 1 year appointment. I really only go to him because I don’t have private insurance to take him to Dr Punger. He knew to back off when I spoke his language and said “I work as a breastfeeding couselor for the Health Department”, he then knew that there was no point in pressing the matter. He forgets that the AAP states breastfeeding for 1 year as a MINIMUM and the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 2 years.
A few weeks ago Shammy got his first haircut, it was a bittersweet experience. I loved his long hair but it was hard to keep it looking groomed. We got him a mohawk and boy did he look cool. For his first experience we took him to a kids salon and it was worth it, they had tons of toys, Spongebob Squarepants was there and he got his hair cut while sitting in a police car. At the end he got a certificate with some of his hair, a balloon and a sticker. Aside from the McDonald’s drive thru toy in the waiting area I was very satisfied with them and would recommend them. I miss his hair but love his new look.
Shammy has blossomed into an awesome toddler with the adventures and adjustments that come with it. He is developing his father’s food preferences and mother’s appetite, the worst of both worlds, lol. I get a little sad when I think of the baby that was but I am loving the little person that is.Somebody asked “since you survived the first year, what advice would you give a new mom?”
Make sure that you get a shower every day, even if just a 1 minute rinse to help you feel human.
Listen to the “sleep when baby sleeps” advice.
Have a good sling or baby carrier (no crotch danglers).
Use breastfeeding support resources available and don’t wait until you’re about to give up to ask for help.
And this would never be complete without a rant, I promise I’ll keep it short….
When it comes to parenting I hate people’s “I turned out just fine” comments to justify choices that are not always optimal. I was formula fed and I turned out fine, but I can only imagine how much better I would have turned out had I been breastfed. You say you jumped off a bridge and turned out fine? Sooo I guess I’ll take my son to do that tomorrow too, I mean after all you were “just fine”. Gosh! I wish we could make that ignorant statement disappear forever.