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My Pregnant Wife: An Unexpected Target in the Culture Wars
Vanity ^ | 2 Apr 05 | gobucks

Posted on 04/02/2005 4:36:04 AM PST by gobucks

"Don't you dare guilt your wife into having a natural childbirth!", I am told by a nice woman I know at church. I have known this lady for some time, and we have never talked politics. Suddenly, my wife is hot political topic #1. And though the politics are 'under the radar', my wife is clearly a target in the ongoing cultural war.

Until my wife started to dramatically enlarge during this last trimester, comments like these had been few. Now, it is a torrent. "What hospital? What OB? You are getting an epidural, right? What brand of formula do you plan to use (as if we will collapse immediately into the arms of the Enfamil salesman)? You are not going to breast feed too long, are you? Are you on a waiting list yet for infant day care?"

My wife and I, married over 10 years with all kinds of issues associated with getting pregnant are about to be parents of a boy in a few weeks. We are of course, thrilled and overjoyed.

But the political overtones of how we bring him into the world are just unreal. The unending stream of opinion and advice about it, with over 95 percent of it being something like this: "don't be stupid. Get the epidural." We have yet to have a single woman report to us that having her baby in a fully undrugged state was a good idea.

Why is labor today so terrifying for women? Why is it that husbands are being taught that encouraging a woman to experience a full unmedicated delivery is akin to treating her like a barbarian? Heck, I've told my wife I am not the one having the baby, and thus, I'm not about to dictate to her how it should be done; I simply said I like the idea of natural childbirth and that is it. Why is this so politically incorrect? Why are hordes of women pouring out of the woodwork yelling at us to make sure she gets the drugs, the epidural?

What the heck is going on such that bringing a child into the world has to be so .... upsetting?

And these are women at my church! I can just imagine what a hapless secular woman in some lonely cul-de-sac must endure.

I'm a typical Chistian man with a very pregnant wife. I have an atypical enthusiasm for most things associated with FreeRepublic. I'm looking for reports from any of you husbands (or their wives) out there have experienced the kind of unreal cultural pressure my wife and I have undergone as this last trimester winds down.

I have googled around, looking for articles about this - and it is just about nada. Mostly stuff on teen pregnancy and abortion. Zilch regarding ordinary married folks who are being pressured to have a 'modern' birth experience.

I'm I the only one who is seeing how a pregnant woman is somehow a political lightning rod these days?


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: breastfeeding; childbirth; drugs; politics; pregnancy; vanityallisvanity
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To: lnbchip
When asked if all the kids are hers (what is so stupid is that there are only 5) my wife responds "yeah, but I had to leave most of them at home."

LOLOLOLOL!!

Seriously, though, we have good friends at our church who just had their 5th son in a row; the oldest is only 7 years old. They have reported an unbelievable degree of harrassment when they go out 'in public'.

21 posted on 04/02/2005 4:52:05 AM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon.htm)
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To: Great Prophet Zarquon

A cinder block.


22 posted on 04/02/2005 4:52:44 AM PST by Tax-chick (Do not fear the words of a sinner, for his splendor will turn into dung and worms.)
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To: gobucks

Wait until the baby is born. Then "busybodies" will swarm around with thousands of suggestions.

Congrats to you & your wife.!


23 posted on 04/02/2005 4:52:55 AM PST by tiredoflaundry (My quaker parrot can talk, can Your honor student fly?)
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To: gobucks

My wife & I did the Bradly method 8 years ago. Reason? Drugs are bad, M.D.s are part of the wacky establishment thinking ( we did the mid wife thing), my wife is a trooper (doesn't want the panzy route to anything), and we are free citizens in the USA!

My church members also gave us the unthinking party line about all of the above and then some. I also screwed up and got a vasectomy ...Bad mistake! Had it reversed 3 years ago.

We homeschool, don't eat chemical filled foods, live a slow paced life and enjoy God's creation.

Cordially,


24 posted on 04/02/2005 4:53:35 AM PST by Zardor (Natural childbirth)
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To: gobucks

Ah; how I wish to be "you" again--time really does fly. (I am the mother of two sons, ages 23 and 20!)

The only advice I would like to give you today is this; don't listen to anyone else's advice--take your own.

As I was nearing the birth of our first son, my husband and I began our natural child birth classes. We completed ONE class, and I gave birth two days later. We had no idea what we were doing (breathing and such), and the kind nurses talked us through it. I was fortunate enough to only be in hard labor for a few hours, thus, never had "medicine" to help me with the pain. A couple of years later at the birth of our second son, I was extremely fortunate to have the nurse on call actually be a practicing mid-wife. I won't go into detail, but she was just wonderful! (At one point my husband was trying to give me ice chips and I told him to leave me alone--I just wanted the mid-wife!! HA!!) No "medicine" administered with that birth, either.

That said, follow your hearts. (And your wife's discomfort) Just wait to see how your wife is doing and if need be, ask for something to ease the pain. Either way, it's a win win!!!! You will ALL be fine!!!


25 posted on 04/02/2005 4:53:36 AM PST by biss5577
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To: gobucks
The PC thing for me to say would be that I did it because I didn't want any drugs in me that may go into the baby's system, etc. But the plain fact of the matter of why I did it was ego. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, plain and simple. Having said that, now that I'm tilting a little more towards 40, I don't know that I would do it again if the occassion arose. I no longer feel the need to prove things to myself, I know who and what I am now.

Whichever way it happens, it really does need to be your wife's decision. The moment that child is born all of the decisions about it should be made by both of you but this one should be hers alone.

26 posted on 04/02/2005 4:53:43 AM PST by ShadowDancer (As for the types of comments I make,sometimes I just, By God,get carried away with my own eloquence.)
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To: gobucks
But why is it that nearly all women, and their husbands, are being taught that labor pain MUST be drugged away? Why is this dogma so profoundly steeped in our culture?

You're just seeing where the pendulum is currently stuck. Arguments about what is the "best" way to give birth have been going on for decades. Decide for yourselves and ignore others' opinions as best you can.

27 posted on 04/02/2005 4:53:46 AM PST by DumpsterDiver
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: gobucks
What you are experiencing is not a "culture war." You are hearing all of the expressions of support and advice that a young couple constantly receives from a loving community. The same thing will happen when you buy a house and when you choose a school for your child. Thank them for their interest.

There is alot of changing data out there, regarding pain. Women in particular will have strong opinions about this. Some women feel like failures if they ask for pain meds and (expose their babies to drugs.) Some women are already so frightened from horror stories from the pain, that they say; "Prep the epidural while we pull into the parking lot." Healthy babies are born either way all the time.

Your job is to help the mother of your child wade through the various theories and options, meet the doctors, trust your instincts and when the time comes- tell her she's going to be a great mom, she's a trooper, she's wonderful, etc. Take the abuse that you WILL receive during transition, and then never have a good night's sleep for the rest of your life.

By the way, Congratulations! and You're doing a great job!

29 posted on 04/02/2005 4:55:04 AM PST by Dutchgirl ("I think the government should stay out of personal family business." O.J. Simpson)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: gobucks

I think part of it is because "natural childbirth" was popularized in the '80s with the explosion of Lamaze, etc. Enough women tried it without the epidural, that later realized they would have rather had one then go through so much pain, so the pendulum has swung the other way. Having worked in L&D, and having been though labor, I'd go with the epidural. Why be in so much pain if you don't have to? Also, it really sucks to decide at the last minute you're in so much pain you want one, only to find out since you didn't plan on it, it was too late to change your mind.


31 posted on 04/02/2005 4:56:44 AM PST by pops88 (Geek Chick Parachutist Over Phorty)
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To: gobucks

Try not to take it too much to heart. Pregnant women are a lightning rod, if not for politics, then for ADVICE!!!

People love to give advice to expectant mothers (and fathers) and new parents. So the advice won't stop after the kid is born. Cloth or disposable diapers? When to burp? How to burp? How to treat diaper rash? Feed on demand or on a schedule? When to wean? What position to sleep in? Pacifier or no pacifier? How to potty train? Spanking or no spanking? Home school, public school, private school, parochial school? It won't ever stop!

My advice: (grin!) as long as it doesn't compromise the health of mother or child, and emergency care is quick at hand should it become necessary, let your wife deliver the baby any way she wants.


32 posted on 04/02/2005 4:56:49 AM PST by wimpycat (Hyperbole is the opium of the activist wacko.)
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To: gobucks
Listen gobucks....these women are not being political at all, they are trying to share their pregnancy experiences with you, and possibly you should listen. Not everything is political.

Having given birth myself, and also planning to go without drugs during the birth process....I Changed my mind during the process. There are lots of things that can go wrong during the birth process, so do not be so smug, because if you get in a tight, in the delievery....and you need medical help...you just might change your attitude.

33 posted on 04/02/2005 4:57:37 AM PST by AmericanMade1776
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To: gobucks

My wife's had to children at the hospital naturally. We had little interference prior to the birth. We did have issues with friends that were upset that we didn't invite them to the hospital to wait in the waiting room by themselves while my wife was birthing...

The pain (and other problems) vary greatly between people. My only advice is deal with the issues as they arrive, because many of them may not be as bad as imagined.


34 posted on 04/02/2005 4:58:20 AM PST by DB ()
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To: gobucks
We went through all the same pressures that you're experiencing when we were about to have our daughter come into the world. Every third person felt it was their duty to tell us their view on childbirth.

Trust me, this is but the first moment of a long chain of times where people will offer their unsolicited opinions on parenthood.

In the ninth hour of labor, my wife changed her mind, decided to get the epidural, and two hours later, my daughter was born.

You have to be firm with others. As many have noted, tell them that you weren't looking for their opinion on the matter. You'll get it about vaccines, about child care, about career choice (homemaker is still a valid career in my mind), about schooling, about their relationships with others.

You'll also get it about circumcising, if you haven't already (they typically come out in the last week or so; makes it easy to know when birth is near.)

And I'm going to engage in it as well - please practice your new found empowerment to tell people to shove off with their opinions. Know ahead of time if you'll be cutting the umbilical and take a moment to practice it (if you plan on doing so) with the delivery doctor or midwife. Because when that moment comes, you will be overwhelmed in the moment, and it is in really poor taste to cut someone's finger.

Least that is what the doctor told me afterward.
35 posted on 04/02/2005 5:00:02 AM PST by kingu (What is union scale wage for staging a protest anyway?)
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To: gobucks

Congratulations on your son! I hope the delivery is uncomplicated and the baby perfect (like mine :-).

Why are you the subject of a public fluff-up? Because women are insecure. A major dogma of feminism and pop-culture is that every woman has to have her "choices affirmed." Assuming that premise, you might think a shrug and "Whatever ..." would be sufficient "affirmation" of stuff that's none of your business, but it's not.

Many women don't feel their "choices" are "affirmed" unless every woman makes the same choices. After all, if someone chooses differently from you - say, natural childbirth over anesthesia, or breastfeeding over formula - then that means (reasons the insecure mind) that Somebody Out There believes that what you choose was *wrong* (or at least suboptimal, or not universally applicable). This upsets some people very much.


36 posted on 04/02/2005 5:00:29 AM PST by Tax-chick (Do not fear the words of a sinner, for his splendor will turn into dung and worms.)
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To: DB

Dange, I'm tired...

Make that "My wife has had two children..."


37 posted on 04/02/2005 5:00:39 AM PST by DB ()
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
Our society has become too over-medicated.

Yep. It's amazing how living without God can make someone feel pretty ill; I would guess in Europe it is even worse.

38 posted on 04/02/2005 5:02:06 AM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon.htm)
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To: LoudRepublicangirl

I do agree our society has become over medicated. But we do have to give the medical society the praise it deserves for a higher infant survival rate. Just wanted to tell Smug Go Bucks...try pulling your bottom lip over your head...and that is just an inkling of the pain your wife will feel in child birth.


39 posted on 04/02/2005 5:02:18 AM PST by AmericanMade1776
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To: biss5577

Thank you for such kind words this morning....

I bet your sons are fine men.


40 posted on 04/02/2005 5:03:52 AM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon.htm)
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