Epidural Please: Respecting All Choices in Childbirth


One day last week, my five year-old and I stumbled on an episode of TLC’s A Baby Story, a half-hour documentary-style show in which viewers meet a couple on the verge of having a baby and see the delivery.  I wanted to turn the channel because I was afraid it would make her scared of childbirth as a lot of the women are visibly in pain; many cry, others scream, and, as we witnessed yesterday, some throw up (something my daughter already fears).  In fact, before I had children my husband banned the show from our house knowing that it could have the same fear-inducing effects on me.  But, Charlie insisted that she wanted to see it and I didn’t feel like watching another episode of Team Umizoomi, so we watched as a woman named Melissa had a C-section. Charlie was fascinated by the operation and asked a lot of questions about why she didn’t have to push, why the baby was bloody when it came out, and what the umbilical cord did. It seemed educational, so this morning when she asked to watch it again, I agreed. 

Today’s episode focused on a woman who found out she was pregnant right before heading to Vietnam to adopt twin girls.  By the end of the episode, she and her husband would be the parents of three children under the age of one.  (Far scarier than childbirth or anything that could happen in a delivery room, if you ask me.)  She explained her “birth plan” in interviews prior to delivery saying that she wanted to have natural childbirth (meaning no epidural) because she wanted to experience childbirth completely, including the pain.  And she certainly did; we watched as she was in labor for at least twelve hours.  Over and over she explained to the camera that it really hurt but she was determined to have a true birth experience and not to get an epidural. 

Though I have total respect for this woman’s choices – including her choice to broadcast such a personal event, something I would never want to share with the world – I worried that the message to some viewers might be that those who choose to get epidurals are not experiencing childbirth fully or having a true birth experience. It’s a message that, though often subtle, I think women hear a lot, and pretty much always from other women. 

In what my father would consider a coincidence (he sees them everywhere), when I turned off the TV and turned on my computer, a story popped up entitled “When Did Birth Become a ‘Birth Experience?’”  The author starts out explaining that:

“Women are being set up by promises of the perfect birth and end up feeling like failures….Though having options about where and how to give birth is worth fighting for, the emphasis on ‘choice’ can feel like pressure rather than freedom.”

Based on the introduction, I expected this article to echo the concerns I was having as a watched this morning’s episode; to argue that women were putting too much pressure on other women to be “strong” and “brave,” to experience this event without the assistance of modern drugs, and above all else to avoid a C-section.  I was wrong; in fact, the blog took almost the opposite approach; once again chiding the medical establishment for having too much control over childbirth, pushing epidurals, and over-using C-sections: 

“In my childbirth classes I have lots of students who hope for a ‘natural birth’ and whose faces start to fade when I mention that in the hospital they will be on an external fetal monitor 20 minutes out of every hour, unable to move. Or when they hear how helpful water is in labor but that there’s no tub in their hospital…. and that one in three births is a C-section. They ask if they can switch to a birth center but for all of Manhattan there’s only one birth center and it can be hard to get into, especially late in the game. So do these women really have that many “choices”? Some might say they should be more “open” (i.e.: just get the epidural, it’s awesome), others might say, get out of the hospital next time.”

The author goes on to say:

As good feminists and Americans, we chant the word “choice” all day long. It’s associated with good things, especially vis-a-vis reproduction, but it’s also definitely bound up with our predatory consumer culture. And it can screw us up when it comes to childbirth (which is unpredictable and messy and incredible but hard and grunty and raw).

I absolutely agree, and I love the description of childbirth as being “grunty and raw.”  However, I would argue that some of the forces that “screw us up” when it comes to childbirth are the very same good feminists who chant the word “choice” all day.

When a friend of mine who lived in the Silicon Valley announced in her prenatal yoga class that she was going to have her baby at Stanford Medical Center, she was met with horrified stares: “But they’re so medicalized there,” her fellow moms-to-be scoffed. When I explained to a friend, who had opted for no pain medication, that I was planning on an epidural from the get go, she reminded me that it slows down labor (something my OB disagreed with), that I’d have to lie in a bed (she’d given birth on all fours), and that they’d probably put me on a fetal monitor the whole time. All of these were presented as obvious negatives that I was too naive (or brain-washed by Western medicine) to see. The conversation (and possibly the friendship) ended with her saying something akin to: “well, if you think you’ll need it.” And, when I chose my new hospital, many people warned me about its higher C-section rates without acknowledging that, by virtue of having the best neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the area, it was bound to get more than its fair share of high-risk births.

There is no doubt that many health care providers have their own opinions about how labor and delivery should progress and that some do not take the desires of their patients into account.  I also believe that some women who don’t want epidurals are talked into them by doctors and nurses. I am sorry that some hospitals don’t allow women in labor to walk the halls, soak in tubs, or be visited by an acupuncturist if that’s how they prefer to handle the pain. And, I know that many health care providers are way too quick to order a C-section.  I’m also acutely aware of how much of this is influenced by the threat of lawsuits and the burden of malpractice insurance. I certainly would never argue that our health care system—maternity care included—is anything but broken.

That said some women are happy to put their deliveries in the hands of the medical establishment with its rules and regulations, its operating rooms, its NICUs, and its drugs. As my Silicon-Valley-friend put it: “I know it’s medicalized—that’s why I chose it, you know women die doing this.”

Maybe I’m reading too much into them but I often feel a condescending tone when I get emails recounting a wife’s or a daughter’s medication-free birth which include phrases like “she was so brave, she didn’t even get an epidural,” or “she was so tough, she did it without anything for the pain.” If that’s what she wanted, that’s great and I’m happy for her.  Just as I am glad that the woman in today’s episode of A Baby Story was able to go through with her birth plan.  But as someone who got an epidural as soon as possible both times, I want to say, loud and clear, that I was brave and tough too. 

When we say we are for choice, we have to be for all choices—without condescension, without assumptions, and without judgment.      

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Follow Martha Kempner on twitter: @MarthaKempner

  • sabirth

    I agree with you.  It can often seem like “natural birth advocates” (for lack of a better term) can be militant about wanting others to choose the kind of birth they have chosen for themselves.  I suspect, however, that the reason these advocates feel the need to put their knowledge out there is not because they want to be militant, but because they feel unsupported by the medical community.  They may feel that women who choose medical births *have* the support of many other women and of their doctors and medical staff.  In other words, those who choose “medicated birth” already have support, but they must create their own.  It is truly unfortunate that the communication between those who want “natural birth” and those who choose medication or surgery has gotten so ugly and muddled.  Personally, I went into childbirth education for the very reasons you cite.  I want women to have REAL choice.  I offer classes specifically for medicated birth and cesarean birth because I want women who choose a medical model to feel in control of their situation and knowledgable about what to expect, just as those who choose natural birth or out-of-hospital birth want to feel in control and knowledgable.  I wish the women the other blogger wrote about had more choices in their hospitals.  I also wish that those who want a natural birth were more outwardly accepting of women who make different choices.  It is wonderful that we live in a day and age where everyone can be educated and make choices that are right for her own body and baby.  You’re completely right.  You were brave and strong.  Every woman who gives birth is both.

    –Elaine

    http://www.sabirthclasses.com

    online childbirth classes

  • lindzanne

    Elaine said: “I suspect, however, that the reason these advocates feel the need to put their knowledge out there is not because they want to be militant, but because they feel unsupported by the medical community.”

    That’s exactly what I was thinking, Elaine.  I have found myself feeling dissappointed in some of my friends birth stories, precisely because their epidurals conincided with the point where either family or medical staff stopped being supportive of the way they were trying to give birth.  I never expressed my disappointment because that would just be another lack of support when they’ve already had enough.  There are a lot of things at stake in all areas of reproductive advocacy and I do think the strong language and actions that calls for often cause us to miss finer details like what you discuss here.  Thanks for the article, it’s a step in the right directions at finding the balance. 

  • arekushieru

    However, although it may not be medically supported, it sure is culturally supported, unlike procedures that involve epidurals, c-sections, or hospitals.  Which is what I think the author’s point was meant to conveigh.

  • equalist

    With my second pregnancy, I went with a DOULA, as I had with my first, because it was such a wonderful experience.  Unfortunately for me I got a militant natural birth advocate rather than someone who would help advocate for my personal wishes during my labor.  It was a miserable experience!  I walked into the delivery room, knowing that my water had broken without my actually going into labor, as it had with my first, and knowing that this was my second time going through labor and the first had only lasted five hours from induction to completion.  When I asked the nurse right away for the pain management I wanted, I was quickly overruled by the DOULA, who told me that I didn’t need any intervention, and there was no way to know that this labor wouldn’t last longer than the first and the medication would wear off before the birth was over.  Naively I listened to her, and spent the next four hours in blinding pain while she “encouraged” me to walk, shift, and crawl with all the gentleness of a drill instructor.  It was a massively different experience from my labor with my first pregnancy, during which I slept comfortably for several hours during the beginning stages, and thanks to the epidural was awake and focused enough by the time the real work came that it was overall a mostly pleasant experience.  With my second pregnancy, I finally received pain management in the form of a narcotic I had asked for when I walked in the door about ten minutes before I received my epidural.  After four hours of no progress to my labor, suddenly half an hour after receiving both the epidural and narcotic, when I was thoroughly doped to the gills, I was ten centimeters and had to be woken repeatedly to push.  I don’t remember my daughter’s first cry, as I promptly passed out again while they drew her the rest of the way out and cleared her airway.  According to my OBGYN, my labor didn’t progress as expected simply because my body fought the process along with fighting the pain, and if I’d had the pain management I asked for, when I asked for it (I was dialated enough for epidural when I walked into the hospital that morning) my labor would have likely taken less than four hours, rather than the seven hours it actually took.  With my third pregnancy, I marched up to the nurse’s station on the morning of my induction and demanded to know who the DOULA on call was for that night.  Finding it was the same woman as my second pregnancy, I pulled out a picture from the delivery room with my son.  I was lucky enough that the nurses all recognised the DOULA I’d had with him, she was still a DOULA six years later, and she was willing to come in for a special request.  With my third pregnancy, I got my epidural when I wanted it, made the choice to go without the narcotic without pressure from anyone else, and delivered my daughter in a painless vaginal birth two hours later.  The most important lesson I learned from the experiences and what I feel the need to share here, and anywhere else I can that it seems appropriate, is this: If you want pain management for your labor and delivery, ASK FOR IT!  Don’t let anyone convince you that you don’t know what you want, or that you’ll be missing out if you don’t do it thier way.  If someone tries to convince you of these things, YOU CAN ASK THEM TO LEAVE!  Don’t let anyone else try to tell you what you feel or that what you want your experience to be will be somehow lacking if you don’t do it their way.  You’re the one in labor, not them, and if you want to feel the pains, then make that clear.  If you don’t, make that clear as well, and don’t back down just because someone tells you that you’ll miss out on the “experience”.

  • saltyc

    But as someone who got an epidural as soon as possible both times, I want to say, loud and clear, that I was brave and tough too. 

     

    Yeah but, come on now, I got an epidural too, and still I am impressed by women who can go without one. I don’t feel diminished by giving them props at all. I run regularly but don’t feel diminished by someone boasting that they can run ridiculous numbers of miles.

  • sparrowlark

    I think Elaine hit the nail on the head regarding what Ms. Kepmner is missing regarding “choice”. Pursuing the “choice” to birth naturally in a hospital setting is mis-leading at best–the medical model doesn’t really allow for that choice unless the woman is lucky enough to have a labor/delivery which “fits” the “averages” and the hospital’s timeline.  For me and for too many women I talk to who wanted natural births but who had gone to hospital “just in case” a serious intervention was needed, the epidural talk happened right about the time the dr/midwife/nurses were tired of waiting and decided to ignore the mother’s wishes and basically railroad an epidural. So, you can have a natural birth as long as it’s convenient for the medical staff but not otherwise. And medical personnel at hospitals seem to have very few qualms about railroading their agendas on a laboring mother when she is most vulnerable to manipulation and half-truths.

    I would have less of a problem with this medical model if the consent forms for procedures such as pitocin, epidurals and c-sections were as thoroughly steeped in the statistics and information as the consent form I had to sign for a VBAC.  Yet even when I asked to see those forms BEFORE my first labor began, I was denied.  When I signed them during labor, I was rushed. When I read them after my baby was born, the lack of information on them was startling. Nowhere on any of the consent forms for the pitocin and epidural that I had was there any admission to the fact that these practices have not actually been researched for efficacy or safety (pitocin has more research than epidurals, yet it was all done AFTER pitocin became accepted practice).  As for epidurals, no standard exists regarding what “cocktail” of anesthesia is administered from hospital to hospital (or from anesthesiologist to anesthesiologist within a hospital).  Further, no research was ever done BEFORE epidurals became standard practice and the research being done now is showing implications for the mother and child YEARS after the birth. And don’t get me started on c-section consent form, which completely glossed over potential side-effects and future ramifications.  For someone who was told in the midst of the c-section that my baby was NOT in medical danger and was actually positioned perfectly for a vaginal birth (if only they had had the patience to WAIT), these unnecessary interventions were a very hard pill to swallow.  Basically, both my baby and I faced a host of unnecessary side-effects related to a host of unnecessary interventions not because they were medically necessary but because my labor didn’t fit the “average” or the “norm” as defined by the hospital.

    Choice requires information—and the medical model of birth routinely denies that information to women and downplays negative statistics related to medical interventions commonly used in birth.  I have no problem with a woman choosing to have any of these interventions if she wants them—but I DO have a problem with the medical establishment’s dishonesty regarding the safety, efficacy, and long-term consequences of these interventions.  And I believe that this dishonesty actually undermines a woman’s “choice”.

     

  • deb-r

    sparrowlark–I agree with what you wrote.  How can someone have true choice if they don’t know all the facts and if they are not supported with their choice? How many women know just how dangerous epidurals can be? A friend told me about her cousin who lost his wife because of an epidural–and is now raising his baby alone. And not because there was something terribly wrong that could not have been prevented–sadly she was perfectly healthy with a perfectly healthy baby and could have had a normal birth but had been convinced that an epidural would be so much”easier”! Maybe this is rare but I also have met many women who have excrutiating back pain from epidurals which lasts much longer than labor! An epidural is not a risk free procedure and should not be used unless actually needed–and if more women knew there were real risks they might think more about other alternatives for labor management. Support from everyone involved would be the first place to start!

  • halli620

    Did your “Silicon-Valley-friend” have a high risk pregnancy? If not, she didn’t have to be quite so dramatic, that “you know women die doing this,” just as her acquaintances didn’t have to use a stupid term like “medicalized” to denote their distaste with childbirth in a hosptal. There are very qualified professionals, such as trained midwives, that can monitor the labor and perform the delivery outside of a hospital just as well and carefully and “medically” as any doctor, and who would ensure that a woman is brought to the hospital if any complications arise. For your friend, and by your use of her quotes as leverage, you, to appear to claim that a hospital is the only rational place to give birth is as bad as other people belittling the choice of a hospital.

     

    Further, expressing amazement at a woman who gives birth without painkillers or an epidural does not lessen the act of giving birth with these medical assistances, and suggesting that it does shows that you “have your back up” and are being overly defensive for no good reason.

     

  • chloejeffreys

    A woman who gives birth without pain medication is like a woman who climbs Mt. Everest. A woman who gives birth with pain medicaiton is like the woman who takes the tram to the top (yeah, I know. there isn’t one, but go with me here). Both women get the view, but one of them did the harder thing. And the one who did the harder thing gets the bragging rights.  Them’s the breaks. If you had an epidural as soon as possible, it takes nothing away from you as a mother, but you don’t get to use your childbirth as an example or your bravery and strength in the same way that a woman who intentionally births without pain medication does. Her accomplishment is hers and she has every right to be proud of it.

    Chloe Jeffreys

    <a href=”http://chloeofthemountain.com/2011/08/birth-as-a-competitive-sport.html“>Childbirth as a Competitive Sport?</a>

  • ahunt

    A woman who gives birth without pain medication is like a woman who climbs Mt. Everest. A woman who gives birth with pain medicaiton is like the woman who takes the tram to the top…it takes nothing away from you as a mother, but you don’t get to use your childbirth as an example or your bravery and strength in the same way that a woman who intentionally births without pain medication does.

     

    Um…Kiss MY Ass comes to mind.

     

     

     

  • reproductivefreedomfighter

    Giving birth is hard, and ANYONE who does it should feel proud of themselves.  Let’s not split hairs.  One mother is not better or braver or tougher than another based on the way they choose to birth.  There’s no point system.  We’re all amazing. 

  • chloejeffreys

    Seeing as I’m terrified of heights, it would be just as harrowing for me to take a tram up Mt. Everest as to make the climb, but they aren’t the same thing. One woman claiming her bravery over birthing without pain medication says nothing about another woman’s birthing choices whatsoever.

    It seems that some of you feel that in order to validate yourselves you need to take the victory away from the woman who feels empowered by her medication-free birthing experience. 

    As an L&D RN I can say with some level of authority that most women today do not show up truly prepared to climb this particular Mt. Everest. They watch some episodes of “A Birth Story” and take a hospital birthing class, show up at the hospital and say they are going “to try to go without medication.” They aren’t committed to it. Which is fine, but at least be honest with yourself. Either you want to climb Mt. Everest or you don’t. Most people don’t.

    If I were truly going to go climb Mt. Everest you can bet that I’d train, study, and prepare my ass off before attempting such a thing. And preparation for such a journey would entail a lot more than watching a movie or a TV show about other people climbing Mt. Everest.

    The number of patients who show up truly prepared for natural childbirth is infestimally small compared to the women who show up ready for the medication. And that’s fine by me. I’m not invested in another woman’s birth experience. My job is to see her and her babe through it safely, not see it through the way I’d personally prefer for myself.

    But the need here to equalize these two experiences and say they are the same thing is baffling to me. Why? They aren’t. I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of deliveries from dirt floor to high-risk hospital and I’m telling you they aren’t the same experience. Why can’t a woman be brave and strong for choosing pain-free childbirth? Why can’t that be a stand-alone triumph worthy unto itself. It IS hard to do. It DOES take commitment. It is valuable to some women. If it isn’t to you, then why do you care? Why do we need to steal another woman’s glory to make ourselves feel better?

    The gist of this article and some of these comments is that women who birth without pain medication are show-offs who make other women feel bad. Should women who’ve made the summit shut up so the rest of you feel better? I don’t get that.

     

  • chloejeffreys

    It isn’t actually equally hard for everyone, and sometimes pain medication has nothing to do with how hard it is.

    The baby is the medal in the end. If a woman walks away with more than that then she should consider herself lucky.  Birthing isn’t a competition. My personal victory giving birth without pain medication says nothing about your birth experience since we both bring an entirely different set of values and priorities to the birthing bed. 

  • crowepps

    You may not mean it that way, but your post comes across as shaming and blaming.

    You describe the women who forego pain medication as ‘claiming their bravery’, being victorious, feeling empowered, truly prepared, brave, strong, having a stand-alone triumph, committed, doing something valuable and entitled to glory. 

    Then you say that “says nothing about another woman’s birthing choices whatsoever.”  The women who you described, because they use pain medication, as ‘unprepared’, uncommitted and dishonest with themselves.

    Perhaps you don’t get the idea that birth shouldn’t be structured as a competition and women shouldn’t be compared to one another because you’re such a fan of one of the ‘teams’.

    The Mt. Everest analogy is kind of interesting, because I live in Alaska, where people do all that claiming their bravery and preparation and feeling entitled to glory after climbing Mt. McKinley, and personally, looking at the huge amount of support from everybody else that has to be dedicated to facilitating those who succeed and rescuing and burying those who fail, I feel like the whole process is succeeding in doing something which doesn’t need to be done and serves no useful purpose in order to enjoy a huge ego-trip, and is an enormous waste of time and money that could be far better spent elsewhere.

    If women who forego pain medication are doing so because that’s what they want to do, they should absolutely be supported.  I think it’s wonderful if their effort pays off for them by providing a great birth experience.  An ignoble desire to prove they’re ‘better’ than their sisters who chose differently is not as wonderful, particularly when it leaves women who have a c-section feeling like failures and ‘unnatural’. 

  • ahunt

    Speaking as one who had ridiculously easy and swift deliveries w/o pain relief (runs in the family…the longest being a little over  three hours)…am I less brave and strong because my foremothers passed down some fortuitous physiology?

  • chloejeffreys

    I’ve attended women like you for whom labor is easy. I envy you and I hate you just a little. I wish I had been an easy birther, but I wasn’t. I hope you had bad skin or something that reassures me that life is fair, even as I know for sure that life isn’t.

    Back to the article:

    The argument posited by the arthur in this article is compelling and garners lots of emotions for women, “Aren’t ALL women brave in childbirth?” 

    The problem with the logic with that is that we all can’t be brave or then bravery really has no meaning. Bravery is something special about a person; that’s why we invented a special word to describe it. If we were all brave then we wouldn’t need a word to single out those who possess that special something we call bravery.

    This article is so much like everything in our culture today. The author is stamping her foot because she wants to be called brave too. Who cares? Why does she care what other women think about her bravery and whether or not she demonstrated it in labor; all that matters is that she had a living baby. What she got or didn’t get from her “birth experience” is a luxury that women even a hundred years ago would have been baffled over.

    If she took the easy way out of the pain with medication then that’s fine. Who cares? Only the woman herself can derive meaning from a medication-free birth experience since only she walks into the experience of birth with expectations of its value. Granted, she might have picked those up from the culture around her, but part of growing up is realizing what parts of culture we’re going to embrace and what parts we’re going to discard.

    While I can say a lot of things about Ms. Kempner, like she’s a good writer and I’m sure she’s a wonderful person, I can’t call her “brave” when it comes to labor. Brave in labor is a word that we reserve for the brave. There isn’t any shame in not being brave in labor. We have lots of drugs nowadays. The escape route from the pain is available to nearly all. If proving herself in labor wasn’t of value to her then it wasn’t. The only resolution to be made is within herself and why it matters to her that other people think she’s brave. She wants the bragging rights for climbing a mountain she purposely and intentionally didn’t climb because she didn’t want to.

    We all want to be special, but we aren’t. I’m special in the birthing room, but completely ordinary in a million other ways, and truly awful in some others.

    We might hate to admit it, but Tyler Durden was right. We are not all beautiful and unique snowflakes. Some women are Amazons on the birthing bed and we can all admire them without needed to steal their thunder and glory and rename it our own in order to massage our own egos.

    And hey! Mt. Everest is still here, in lots and lots of various forms. The way to be brave is to do something brave, not merely declare that you are. 

    Chloe

    The Chloe Chronicles

  • ahunt

    I hope you had bad skin or something that reassures me that life is fair, even as I know for sure that life isn’t.

     

    Snerk.  Eczema

     

    The escape route from the pain is available to nearly all. If proving herself in labor wasn’t of value to her then it wasn’t. The only resolution to be made is within herself and why it matters to her that other people think she’s brave. She wants the bragging rights for climbing a mountain she purposely and intentionally didn’t climb because she didn’t want to.

     

    Proving herself? Not tracking.

  • crowepps

    Golly, you sure come across as judgmental and hostile towards your patients, and focused on despising your patients if they don’t fulfill your agenda of martyrdom.  I had an attending nurse like that at my first delivery, and it made the experience really horrific.  If being able to endure pain during childbirth makes a person “special”, I guess we all ought to be worshipping cutters and people who wear a row of safetypins in their face.

  • ahunt

    Yeah…here’s the thing…

     

    I’ve never been able to understand why the endurance of  extreme physical pain unnecessarily is considered “ennobling” by some.

     

    I’ve heard it described as character-building, redemptive, essential to spiritual growth, etc…

     

    Some idiot obstetrician in Britain went so far as to claim the pain of childbirth bonded Mom and infant more securely. (By which logic, Dad should be kicked in the scrots at regular intervals during labor and childbirth in order to more fully bond with his offspring.)

     

    What is the connection outside of the spiritual woo woo?

     

     

     

     

  • crowepps

    I can see where a person in a situation where they have to bear a pain which cannot be avoided it and does so in a brave and self-controlled manner would be showing character, enobling, etc., because to learn to control oneself, to ‘keep a stiff upper lip’ and not break down and make things more difficult all around, is a very valuable skill.  The place where I part company is the idea that this can be emulated artificially, that a person is equally ‘brave’ for seeking out pain which could easily be avoided to endure, and announcing to everyone that their choice to do so made them extra special, and making YouTube clips of their stiff upper lips and posting them with self-congratulatory captions that say, “See, see, aren’t I SPECIAL!”

     

    I think I would find it more admirable if in addition to enduring the pain, they also had the nobility of character to modestly pretend that their feat was nothing special, and lots of other people were also admirable, and isn’t the important thing that all the babies are just fine.  There’s a lot to be said for the disregarded antique concept of ‘humility’.  It tends to put people’s backs up when somebody grabs them by the shirt front and demands, ‘So you think you’re just as good as me, huh?  You’re nothing special!’

  • feministadoptee

    I don’t want kids for a long time, but when I do I would prefer a planned C-section. Anytime i say that I get tons of “feminists” who try to tell me why I should not be afraid of childbirth, experience, blah blah. I don’t tell someone who wants an abortion that they shouldn’t be afraid of raising a kid. Jesus. Support each others choices. And I’m pretty sure I’ll encounter problems with insurance, as I don’t think it covers elective c-section for most. My friend’s medicaid covererd a waterbirth with a doula, so I kind of feel it should cover every option. 

    Sadly, I know even here I’ll get people treating me like a child, as I’ve gotten before, assuming that I have this choice because I just “don’t know enough yet” or I haven’t “done enough research” or anything else that belittles me and assumes I’m stupid. Women are not stupid. Going all natural or having an elective c-section…these are all part of choice. Have some respect.