Monday, December 12, 2011

What's the Deal With My Blog Title, You Ask?

It's time to revisit the title of my blog "Banned From Baby Showers".  The Haters think that I am banned by the people having babies because of my strong opinions ("No wonder she's not allowed at baby showers!").  I had someone ask me if I have a Texas-sized opinion on all topics, or just childbirth!  Am I allowed at weddings?  Birthday parties?  In fact, my friend Shannon came up with my BFBS icon:  the caricature with the big hat, big hair, and big mouth!

If you'll indulge me in a little story telling, I'll tell you just how the name came about. 

I have been a Natural Childbirth Educator since 2003.  I had my first baby with an epidural in 1996, followed up with a fabulous unmedicated birth in 1999.  I have had 2 more unmediated births since then.  My message to all women?  You can do this!  Don't be afraid!  Birth is transformative.  You are strong! 

I found myself at playgroups and church telling every pregnant woman why she should have an unmedicated birth and seek out midwifery care.  It's an amazing experience that you only experience so many times in life.  Don't miss out on it!

By 2003, I had to do something with this knowledge and excitement for natural birth.  I got certified to teach classes and have taught over 300 couples since.  I love my "job."

In early 2006, I attended a baby shower with some women from church that I barely knew.  I had only lived here for about seven months.  Several of us seriously got into it.  It was ugly.  It was all about inductions and trusting your doctor.  We fought over being informed or, in my eyes, remaining ignorant.  Seriously -- ugly.

The rest of the day was yucky.  I knew I had not accomplished anything but alienate this group of women.  I called several of them before going to church the next day to apologize.  Awkward. 

After that experience, I told my husband that I could never put myself in that situation again.  Teaching to people who want the information would be my only "outlet."  Most people know what I do professionally.  If they want information, they can come ask me.

I simply find it impossible to sit and listen to a group of ill or mis-informed women talk about pregnancy, labor, or birth and not say anything.  Laughing about inductions and c-sections and how necessary they are is not my idea of fun. Most baby showers make a mockery of this sacred event.  

So I stopped attending baby showers.  Word spread pretty quickly, and the story of that famous baby shower must have also spread, as few people have questioned me about it over the years!  The fact that my blog title runs the length of my back windshield also clues people in -- don't bother inviting me.  (As a side note, I had several people -- usually women who struggle with infertility -- tell me over the years how they wish they could ban themselves from baby showers, too.)

I've always liked writing and my husband has bugged me for years to write a book.  He said the title should be "Banned From Baby Showers."  He's so funny and clever.  We laughed over it, and when I decided to write a blog, "Banned From Baby Showers" became the title.  This is my book!  I've been writing this blog for almost 3 1/2 years now.

So, when I talk about "Banned From Baby Shower moments," I'm referring to those experiences with your friends, family, or co-workers over childbirth.  The ones where you have to make a decision about whether to give information, or just walk away from the conversation to avoid a fight.  

I do continue to have Banned From Baby Shower moments, but they are far fewer these days.  I write this blog and I say whatever is on my mind.  If you don't like it, don't read it!  This is the one place I let it all hang out.  Deep down, however, I hope something strikes a chord within you that maybe you can have your baby without drugs.  Like I said in my "About Me," I hope reading my blog changes your life.


momto5 said...

i can't think of a single thing you have written that i haven't been nodding my head saying... YES!!! i loved what you said about birthing being a scared event. it is, it truly is.
i have learned after 17 years as a mom and gentle birth advocate that sometimes you just have to say nothing. people just don't want to hear it and i don't get that.
women are strong enough, it has just been taken from them for so long they no longer believe it.
keep up the amazing work!!

April said...

Greetings from a fellow Texan!! I agree with everything you said! I had a medicated birth with OB and then a natural birth with a midwife and got educated. I have to bit my lip practically any time I'm around a pregnant lady. As my mom says, some people WANT to remain ignorant. I should probably stop going to baby showers too because I did get into an uncomfortable argument over delayed cord clamping. I enjoy your blog very much!

Samantha said...

That is the true beauty of having a blog. You can write what you want, and if people don't agree, they don't have to read it! It is so important to have an outlet for your passions, I totally understand. I know the feeling of needing to bite your is so hard to listen to women spout pre-fabricated lines their OB's have told them and think that childbirth is an 'issue' to be 'dealt with'. I wish so often I could be the one to proclaim to the world that birth is beautiful and perfect and only needs a physician *rarely*. What I DO love is when people aske me about my birth, I tell them how amazing it was and that I am NEVER going back to drugs....EVER. They look at me with wonderment and awe and I tell them that they are just as capable and amazing and deserve to have a beautiful birth experience too. Keep it up, the world needs advocates for the truth :D

Susan Skok Martin said...

I really love Blessing Ways rather than Baby Showers -they are more likely to be planned by and attended by women who believe in the sacredness of birth. Baby Showers end up bothering me with the focus on baby bottles, too, which is a really powerful symbol that can undermine breastfeeding.

Everyone starts where they are at, though. Not everyone is ready to hear information that might be different from what they believe. I often have moments with others where I have to withhold my feelings or info because it may not be well received or it may not be appropriate (or worth it) to share my opinion. That is what is so nice about blogging - being able to share your knowledge and passion, and those who are open to it can benefit and gain confidence in their own choices.

Sally T. said...

Okay, I'd LOVE to see you address one topic for me - and yes, I agree with just about everything you say - but could you talk infant mortality rates in our country verses...y'know...SWEDEN. From what I understand, Sweden has a much lower infant mortality rate than we do BECAUSE they have more midwives attend more births. People tell me all the time that the US has the lowest mortality rate - and while ours is low, according to the CIA Factbook, it is by no means the lowest. Out of 223 countries the US is around 175 of the list - with the higher the number, the better the results. Anywho, that's one of the myths I love busting. Thanks for busting so many others!

Pickle said...

I love your blog!! Hubby and I are attending Bradley Classes and have a planned home birth coming in Feb. Next year I am going to become a certified teacher myself because I too cannot stand to sit and listen to the horrible things women think they have to deal with! Keep writing. You are an inspiration.

Button said...

I can so relate.

Ginger said...

So interesting how different people's experiences of the same event can be! To me baby showers are about celebrating the blessing of a baby. I don't want to miss out on that just because I have strong opinions. I can graciously keep my opinions to myself. When moms start talking c-sections and inductions, I move over to the older ladies who are just talking about how cute babies are, and join their conversation. :)

Rebecca said...

I agree 100% with Ginger. When I was pregnant with my baby, I had 3 different baby showers. One hosted by my in-laws, one hosted by friends of my mother's, and one at work. Not 1 single one of those baby showers had any talk about how to have the baby. We were celebrating the excitement of a life on the way.
Even with other baby showers I have attended, there was only 1 in which I did not like the conversation that unfolded. In every other one, it was all about the baby and nothing about how to have the baby.
I'm sorry so many other people have had such negative experiences. It should not be that way.

Baby Outfits Today said...

Yes, I can relate toyour blog very much so!!!


Claire Coleman said...

You rock! Love you, your blog and your strong opinions:)!

Lvly Rita said...

I am the same way! Have to bite my tongue off in order to not share my feelings and opinions every chance I get! So I do wait until they ask, and then let 'em have it.

If I had taken the epidural with my last baby (born almost 3 weeks ago) it would've been a c-section. I was able to deliver him on the operating table in 3 wonderful pushes! He was my second VBAC, so the doc was on high alert to problems- wish she'd have encouraged me stand up to deliver, baby Levi would've plopped right out :)

Anyway, I read your blog to keep myself encouraged that I'm doing the right thing in the world of nannies, nurseries and bottle-feeding.

Dee Coe said...

I left Fort Worth 15 years ago after working at Harris Hosp L&D for 16 years.We moved back to the UK where unable to rejoin my profession as a midwife I work as an antenatal educator/ yoga teacher and now Doula. I am delighted to read your pages and know that some of the changes we worked hard to bring in have taken off and are with your help they may be becoming "main stream"

Emily Rainer said...

I feel the exact same way!! It drives me nuts to hear so many women being so misinformed and encouraging other women to blindly do the same stupid things!! Then it drives me nuts that OB/GYN's won't hardly let you go to the bathroom or leave the house without warning you about something that isn't good for you or something you shouldn't do because you are pregnant. But as soon as delivery day comes it is all of the sudden ok to shoot you up with all kinds of drugs and cut you open whether or not it is the best thing for you and baby. If they would continue that "be safe, hands off" approach, lots more women would leave with a baby AND their uterus intact and uncut! Not to mention the muscles and tissue they cut through to get to the uterus. It's very very hard to avoid climbing on my soapbox at baby showers. However, there are a few times it has been worth it because I convinced a woman to at least research it. I personally, in a state, and in a community where scheduled c-sections are almost the norm and midwives aren't allowed to practice (Alabama) have convinced 3 women I know, to go natural in a hospital. That makes those baby showers ALMOST worth it.....

Sarah Black said...

I have recently been put in this similar uncomfortable position myself. I wrote to you a little over a year ago about dealing with people who oppose your decision to have a homebirth. I have since had to deal with so many people who were convinced they just wanted "that baby cut out!" And many are convinced that I would have felt the same had I been two weeks past my due date (my son was born on his due date).I also have to bite my tongue when people tell me that they "just couldn't breastfeed"... At first I would ask questions and try to figure out what had gone wrong, but I soon realized that these women were sure that only stay at home moms with nothing to do could successfully breastfeed. Instead of having friends who can relate, I often turn to your blog