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what do you say to someone who wants a baby but doesnt want to give birth?

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
Hi, a friend was asking for advice. She said she wanted a baby, but didnt want to be pregnant, give birth, or to breastfeed, because she found being pregnant would make her vulnerable and dependent and birth would be painful. She didnt like being in her body so to speak,...but, she wanted a baby. It was all about choices she said.


She's thinking of getting a surrogate for these reasons. I said she might as well hire a wetnurse for breastfeeding.

I didnt want to say i thought she was crazy....and that she was being cheated of the experience of giving life that is the primordial birthright of every woman since the beginning of time. I did say birth was natural, but that didnt seem to convince her.


What would you say? (without being judgmental, and while taking her feelings into account)
post #2 of 73
I have a young friend like this, too. All I do is tell her how glorious and strong I felt with natural childbirth and what a cool thing it was to nourish pink healthy babes with my milk and know that I provided for them in that special way. Not sure she's buying it, though.
post #3 of 73
Maybe she should adopt.
post #4 of 73
Well...there are many homeless babies and little children all over the world...perhaps your friend will find one of these and love him/her in a beautiful way that no one else could. I know it sounds very strange, but imagine a world where no one took those babies that are otherwise unwanted...what a sick and sad place this would be. Maybe this friend of yours was just designed to fill just such a need...as strange as it might sound to someone else. Like the people who just have to work emotionally challenged teens...or the ones who search out retarded children and adopt a whole bunch...just because they want to share their love. Maybe your friend is just scared of labor, but even so...she can share her own love and life with a baby and that is great.

If she is just scared you could share with her all the great experiences and how silly the fears are?
post #5 of 73
Did you ask her if she had considered adoption?
post #6 of 73
I dunno... sometimes women have very good reasons for feeling the way that they do, even if they can't put it in terms that we can understand. If she has such strong feelings about control and vulnerability, and she can afford and would prefer to find a surrogate, I agree that is her choice. Just as it's her choice to adopt if she'd rather not undergo the birthing process. We need to keep in mind that not everyone views birth as an empowering, magical, beautiful right of passage; so if she is in touch with her needs and wishes, more power to her for pursuing them!
post #7 of 73
Thread Starter 
I did suggest adoption, but her partner (and herself) think adoption is too risky, because the child is so called 'damaged'....
post #8 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
I did suggest adoption, but her partner (and herself) think adoption is too risky, because the child is so called 'damaged'....
: Um, wow. That ticks me off even more than the original comment.

Maybe she should just be a nanny then.
post #9 of 73
How old is this person? Are her thoughts about having a baby long-term ones or is she making plans for the near future?

I have heard many, many pre-teens and teenagers express these ideas. They are either going through puberty or recently through it, and they feel squicked and even sort of betrayed by their bodies. They are freaked out by the thought of sex, and by the way their bodies respond to certain kinds of stimulation ("why are my panties all wet? Ew!"). Not all teen girls have these reactions, but many do. They are generally expressing their discomfort with the physical changes they've recently been through and with the new ways they relate to their bodies. Most of them grow into themselves and get over it, and the best way to react when they're going through this stage is to be understanding. "It can be very weird to have your body change on you suddenly." Don't argue about it, don't challenge them about it, let it lie. It very often happens that, when these people get comfortable with sex (when they have healthy, consensual sexual relationships), they also get more comfortable with the idea of pregnancy.

The experience of giving life is all very groovy, but there is no primordial birthright - some women are unable to have healthy pregnancies. Nature is not interested in fairness.

If your friend is not comfortable with or in her body, you cannot make her comfortable by arguing. My temptation would be simply to say that there is no way to have babies that doesn't come with some overwhelming oddity - surrogacy is not without weirdness, and babies themselves can be a tad freaky (those ultrasound pics that are all spine, meconium, projectile spit-up, projectile poop). If you are very lucky (read: rich) you may be able to pick a preferred version of strange for gestation, but fundamentally, raising a child is an exercise in which you will have to confront your vulnerability and dependence on others. You may be able to avoid the pains of labor and delivery, but your kid will accidently sock you a thousand times before reaching the age of reason, and there a million ways for a baby to break your heart.

(That all sounds terribly anti-child - please don't take it that way. I think the bruises and the heartbreak are well worth it.)
post #10 of 73
Going through IVF is no picnic - you have to go through months of blood tests, expensive medications, poking yourself with needles several times a day, etc. The only way to use a surrogate is to go through IVF to retrieve the intended mother's eggs. Her reasoning may turn off her selected reproductive endocrinologist (RE).

I would ask her to consider adoption - and do some research first. My child is not "damaged" or unwanted.
post #11 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
I did suggest adoption, but her partner (and herself) think adoption is too risky, because the child is so called 'damaged'....
Then I'd suggest that she get a plant. :
post #12 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by frog View Post
Maybe she should adopt.
:
And better yet, adopt an older baby. If she isn't up for pregnancy birth or breastfeeding how's she going to handle hourly feedings around the clock?
post #13 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
I did suggest adoption, but her partner (and herself) think adoption is too risky, because the child is so called 'damaged'....
Wow. Just... wow.

Frog's idea is great, except I'd say she should make it a silk plant and maybe also get a pet rock.

Actually you know what? They've got these great super-realistic dolls that look just like cute little babies and even fit in real baby gear. If she wants a baby but doesn't want to take any risk in getting one, that's the way to go. I think they're called "reborns" or something.
post #14 of 73
Honestly, it doesn't sound like she is ready for a baby. Having a baby, as everyone here knows, is taking on a huge responsibility and all about making sacrifices. The comment about adopted babies being "damaged" is very concerning... what if she gets a surrogate and the baby is handicapped in some way? By what you've said, she doesn't sound capable of mother's love at this point.
post #15 of 73
I think its a valid reaction.

Our society portrays pregnancy and birth as an inconvenience at best and very, very painful and dangerous at worst.

I'd encourage her to adopt in that case.
post #16 of 73
I would remind her that there are reasons that we give birth beyond just getting a baby. The birth process is how our hormonal blueprint of attachment unfolds. How does she expect to feel nurturing with so little in the way of attachment to the process? And if she feels that adoptable children are damaged, how would she expect to confront the very real risks of life and caring for someone other than ourselves? How can she expect that she is even capable of caring for a child if she shows such dettachment to the process?

I would think that someone so incredibly dettached - and the damaged children comment stinks of that worse than not wanting to give birth or breastfeed - would really run very high risks of not being able to handle the intense stress of actually having a baby and child: depression, anger, abuse.

Without attachment (which comes best from normal, uninhibited and unmedicated birth), what is there? What is the point? As Michel Odent says, "Can we survive without love?"

Additionally, while I see that surrogacy is a choice for the elite who can afford it - is it really often a matter of just choosing? Or isn't it usually a last resort after being unable to have children? Why would someone so randomly and blithely put someone else through that (even for money)? Her risks of having a "damaged" child are still there. They do not disappear even if they diminish. Why such a disregard for the very real psychological implications of parenting for herself, her partner, a potential surrogate, and most importantly, her child?
post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
I did suggest adoption, but her partner (and herself) think adoption is too risky, because the child is so called 'damaged'....
And why is that? Might it be because their parents were not prepared for the yucky inconveniences and selflessness that it takes to have children? And thus, these babies were put into their present predicament, which caused this "damage" to their psyches? I'm wondering whether any baby she has would be better off, if she can't get over the discomfort of a simple, natural, beautiful process, and what makes her think it would be any better of a situation by making it crazy, messy and expensive?
post #18 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
:
And better yet, adopt an older baby. If she isn't up for pregnancy birth or breastfeeding how's she going to handle hourly feedings around the clock?
Well, you know the older they are, the more damaged they are so that's probably not a good option.

:
post #19 of 73
Ok, if she doesn't want to be pregnant, birth, breastfeed, or have a potentially "damanged" child, I guess she can get one of those reborn baby dolls. That should be safe, right? : I mean, even your own biological child could have a disability or a condition--does that mean that child doesn't deserve a chance? Or is it only adopted children that don't?

:mad:
post #20 of 73
I'd have trouble giving this friend helpful, non-judgemental advice.
I was about to second the adoption of an older child idea, until you mentioned that she thought kids available for adoption were "damaged".
She doesn't sound like a very nurturing person.
Pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are part of what make us human. We're mammals after all, not robots.
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