Fun Responses to "Stupid" Comments about Homebirth - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-31-2010, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's always good to have a good comeback. Thanks to this board, I used one yesterday, and one today. Reading others' stories and comments, I'm constantly thinking of more. Let's share so we don't just have to be caught in the headlights!

__________________________________________________ _________

Comment: "You're so brave to have a baby at home."
Response: "I think other people are brave to have a hospital birth, where there are so many sick people and contagious diseases."
(Stunned silence for a moment from a very good friend, and it was priceless!)

Comment: "We should probably tell [insert name of family doctor here] in case you end up in the hospital."
Response: "Why don't we just call the podiatrist while we're at it? He/she'll be about as helpful at that point."
(Again stunned silence from DH, equally priceless.)

C: "You're such a hippy!"
R: "I didn't know that meant 'educated'."
(Can't wait to use it...it implies they aren't uneducated, so bonus zinger!)
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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haha i love the hospital birth one.. i got the brave or crazy comments constantly.. i usually keep my mouth shut.. but maybe i'll go with that next time! lol

Amanda~ mommy to Brayden (06/05), Noah (08/07), Alex (11/08), Lucy (09/10) and Kara (10/12)
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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I always feel terrible about the women who feel the need to come up and share their "My baby would have died!" stories with me. On one hand, I'm sure their experience was awful and traumatic and they have no doubt that the OB saved their baby...and maybe in some rare cases, that's even true. But on the other hand, what kind of person intentionally tries to dump their fears and doubts and traumas on a hugely pregnant woman? It might be cathartic for them but talk about selfish... The worst offender was one of DH's cousins at my baby shower (!), who cornered me and told me this long, awful story of a predictable cascade of interventions that started with her being induced at 37 weeks for absolutely no reason except that she was "tired of being pregnant", culminating in an epidural that didn't work, an episiotomy that ended up causing permanent nerve damage, and of course, an emergency C-section at the end.

And this is supposed to make me want a hospital birth how?

Generally I just stare at them and say something like, "Well, every birth is different but the more negative hospital birth stories I hear, the more it reinforces my desire to have a safe, natural homebirth with a competent midwife. Pass the salt?"

It's easier when you've already done it. The ones who told me, "You'll see! You'll be begging for that epidural!" are curiously silent this time.

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Surprisingly, I have never had anyone say anything negative about having a baby at home. Our neighbor, an older woman from Greece, brought some treats over the day after DD was born and she asked me if the Dr. came over and cut me open in the living room. I giggled for a minute and then told her that the baby came out the other way.

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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Person: Right, because your house is SO much more sanitary than a hospital.
Me: Well, no one has gotten MRSA from my house.
[this resulted in my being unfriended on facebook]


I had a discussion with one of DH's coworkers (he's Air Force) that went something like this..
Her: That's cool that you have that option.
Me: What do you mean? It's really not as expensive as you'd think.
Her: Well, because we're military...
Me: Wait, NO ONE can tell you where to give birth. The military cannot force you to give birth in a hospital!
Her: *stunned silence*

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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Person: Right, because your house is SO much more sanitary than a hospital.
Me: Well, no one has gotten MRSA from my house.
[this resulted in my being unfriended on facebook]
I have used the MRSA comeback for both the HB discussion and circumcision comments. Really makes people think twice.

(I have no idea how to multiquote ) I just used the "you're brave to birth in a hospital" comeback to someone I had just met at a mutual friend's son's birthday party. I really didn't even think of it as a "comeback" at the time, it just popped out, but I totally gave myself a mental pat on the back and thought "good one."

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:50 PM
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Yeah, I've said the "you have to be brave to birth in the hospital" one-- but meaning that in this day and age, you are often inviting unnecessary interventions that you'll have to deal with or fend off. I had a hospital birth last time but it was with the one OB famous for being natural, and even then I felt a little brave for daring .
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:33 AM
 
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The whole "brave" thing comes up frequently. My response is something like, "I'd have to be much braver to step foot in a hospital again!"

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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Person: Right, because your house is SO much more sanitary than a hospital.
My dd was born pooping EVERYWHERE! There was poo on the floor, my shirt, the towels....so sanitary! hee hee

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Old 08-01-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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Once when someone used the "You're brave!" line, I responded, "Not brave, just lazy. I can't imagine interrupting labor to go down a flight of stairs, into my van and drive to a hospital or birth center ... then have to walk through the germ-infested hospital to the maternity ward (if it's in the middle of the night when I normally birth, I'd have to go to the ER with puking, coughing people ... I just can't imagine), and then I have to waste energy dealing with nurses who I know won't like the fact that I like to labor on my hands and knees or standing up or in the shower ... Yeah - I can't imagine putting that much energy or effort into something I can do peacefully and safely at home."

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Old 08-02-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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LOVE that reply!!! mom2threenuirslings! quite apt!

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Old 08-03-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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Once when someone used the "You're brave!" line, I responded, "Not brave, just lazy. I can't imagine interrupting labor to go down a flight of stairs, into my van and drive to a hospital or birth center ... then have to walk through the germ-infested hospital to the maternity ward (if it's in the middle of the night when I normally birth, I'd have to go to the ER with puking, coughing people ... I just can't imagine), and then I have to waste energy dealing with nurses who I know won't like the fact that I like to labor on my hands and knees or standing up or in the shower ... Yeah - I can't imagine putting that much energy or effort into something I can do peacefully and safely at home."
That's pretty much how I feel! lol

I get the brave comment a lot. Or a "better you than me". I usually just shrug it off.

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Old 08-03-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jazzmin View Post
she asked me if the Dr. came over and cut me open in the living room. I giggled for a minute and then told her that the baby came out the other way.
That one struck me as really hilarious!

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Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post
My dd was born pooping EVERYWHERE! There was poo on the floor, my shirt, the towels....so sanitary! hee hee
Yeah, my son passed his first meconium soon after birth too. The funny part is that we didn't notice when it happened! All of a sudden, my doula had it on her pants! Ha! We looked down & it was on the edge of the bed on the sheets (which must have been how it got on the leg of the doula's pants.)

I just read a great response to the "brave" comment here recently - something like, "I'd have to be brave to go somewhere with deadly germs & bacteria, strangers trying to interfere with & disrupt a natural process & causing problems, ya know - the hospital."
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Once when someone used the "You're brave!" line, I responded, "Not brave, just lazy. I can't imagine interrupting labor to go down a flight of stairs, into my van and drive to a hospital or birth center ... then have to walk through the germ-infested hospital to the maternity ward (if it's in the middle of the night when I normally birth, I'd have to go to the ER with puking, coughing people ... I just can't imagine), and then I have to waste energy dealing with nurses who I know won't like the fact that I like to labor on my hands and knees or standing up or in the shower ... Yeah - I can't imagine putting that much energy or effort into something I can do peacefully and safely at home."
I told DH this one. He laughed and said, "Well, yeah..."

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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I have several epidural-loving friends, who are great friends despite their very different choices, so I try to keep the conversation focused on it being my choice when it comes up, but the "brave" comment is the one I get most from them. I usually tell them that from my perspective they are brave for birthing in the hospital, and leave it at that. So far no one has been unsupportive at all, so I leave it at that. Many of them didn't realize that I do actually do things to get through the pain, I don't just sit there and endure it. I think a lot of them just don't think it really works.

Love the comments though. I've said some of those sorts of things to strangers or to people who I don't really care much about.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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I have several epidural-loving friends, who are great friends despite their very different choices, so I try to keep the conversation focused on it being my choice when it comes up, but the "brave" comment is the one I get most from them. I usually tell them that from my perspective they are brave for birthing in the hospital, and leave it at that. So far no one has been unsupportive at all, so I leave it at that. Many of them didn't realize that I do actually do things to get through the pain, I don't just sit there and endure it. I think a lot of them just don't think it really works.

Love the comments though. I've said some of those sorts of things to strangers or to people who I don't really care much about.
Well, when you're flat on your back strapped to the bed with a fetal monitor there really ISN'T much you can do for the pain...

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Old 08-04-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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Good point! It's so hard for me to get into that perspective.

BTW, AFWife, good to see another military mom who knows her options. I get the "I didn't know you could do that in the military!" comment all the time. WTH? Do people think that they or their spouses will end up in the brig if they don't give birth in a military hospital?
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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I usually reply something like:
"Well, if i were forced to labor strapped to a bed, lying on my back, unable to get up and walk around, unable to rock, unable to drink (and perhaps eat), unable to change positions and work with my body's natural instincts during labor, I would demand an epidural too...But i don't choose to put myself in that kind of environment for labor, which is why I birth at home"
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Good point! It's so hard for me to get into that perspective.

BTW, AFWife, good to see another military mom who knows her options. I get the "I didn't know you could do that in the military!" comment all the time. WTH? Do people think that they or their spouses will end up in the brig if they don't give birth in a military hospital?
Actually, yes, they do think that sometimes. If you could only hear the stuff that I have heard about in my military birthing circles with other Birth Pros. Threats to low ranking enlisted members about demotions, punishments Getting thrown out of housing, etc if their WIFE had a homebirth on base. It makes me ill. Not only do these poor kids not know that these are totally untrue empty threats, they don't even realize how much trouble those superiors making the threats could get in for doing so. This a real sore spot for me, it makes me crazy

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Old 08-05-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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You're right, that doesn't surprise me at all. I don't want to go into the whole awful story, but a civilian once threatened to put my husband in the brig when we disagreed with our pediatrician and refused a medical procedure on my DD. And this wasn't even someone who worked for the military. I just lay low about my choices with the military people. I don't see any military doctors while I'm pregnant, and I don't take my kids to military pediatricians because we've had so many bad/threatening experiences. I've just managed to avoid them over birth choices because every time I've been pregnant I got out of military healthcare before the birth.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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You're right, that doesn't surprise me at all. I don't want to go into the whole awful story, but a civilian once threatened to put my husband in the brig when we disagreed with our pediatrician and refused a medical procedure on my DD. And this wasn't even someone who worked for the military. I just lay low about my choices with the military people. I don't see any military doctors while I'm pregnant, and I don't take my kids to military pediatricians because we've had so many bad/threatening experiences. I've just managed to avoid them over birth choices because every time I've been pregnant I got out of military healthcare before the birth.
I'm nodding to all of this. I went to a military doc because I needed a referral for knee pain...my experience with the OBGYN (for vaginal discomfort) was less than desirable. (She was rude to me and my husband and totally blew us off when we asked about hormone testing...)

Thankfully, this girl has a great mind of her own and, as soon as I told her that NO ONE can decide how she gives birth, she decided on a midwife assisted birth!!!

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Old 08-08-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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As prior military that gave birth to her first while serving and second while husband finished up his time, I also think the money thing has a lot to do with it. Since I can remember, I wanted a waterbirth at home, but being in the military, it was just what you did because of financial restraints. Only after my second, I learned that if you decrease tricare (can't remember all that now) and pay co-pays and deductibles (as a dependant), you can birth in a birthing center and it will be covered, otherwise you have to pay out of pocket. Since we used a military pediatrician with our first for the first few months (easier with still serving) we thought we had to follow all the rules. So even though I know my family has a medical history of complications with vaccinations, we still had her vaccinated out of fear of what they could or might do. Luckily, those first few shots didn't harm her. There is definitely a fear based medical something going on in the military!
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:12 AM
 
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I'll tell you how my Tricare coverage came out with my three pregnancies:

#1- I didn't realize until about halfway through my pregnancy that natural birth/military hospital (Bethesda, MD would be mine if anyone's wondering) were not going to mesh. My Bradley teacher encouraged me to call the local birth center and ask them if they had any suggestions for me. They were able to tell me that there was an OBGYN at my PCM's office that was sometimes willing to refer patients to their center while still staying on Tricare Prime (and thus, getting full coverage for everything). I went to see him, he did a quick u/s, and I did have to do a little convincing since I was a first-timer, but I explained why I wanted natural birth, how much research I'd done, etc. and he agreed! I got full coverage for this one.

#2- Only 6 months after birthing #1, I find out I'm having #2 (surprise!). Unfortunately the good OBGYN was gone now. Birth center recommended switching to US Family Health Plan, which is a plan available in this area that allows military dependents to see Johns Hopkins doctors and still get full coverage. So I switched from Tricare Prime to USFHP, and went to see a JH dr., and again after some convincing, he wrote me a referral to the same birth center. Unfortunately this did take about 4 months, and in the mean time the birth center basically gave me free prenatal care by phone only. But once again, I got full coverage!

#3- Found a potential HB CNM while still TTC, and she recommended switching to Tricare Standard and paying the co-pays. She said that very occasionally a military dr. will be willing to write a referral to a HB MW, but it's rare and probably not worth the effort. So I switched. This birth will cost me about $500-$750 for the MW, plus $700 for the nurse, and a $70 birth kit.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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Loving this thread. DH and I are only ttc right now but are planning a homebirth and sometimes I live in fear of how conversations with my family will go. My mom and step dad are really supportive but we also live near my cousins and see them for holidays. They are all very loud about their opinons and ideas so I sometimes worry about the deer in the headlights thing coming up for me in conversation with them.
Does anyone have any good ones for when people seriously freak on you about the idea of homebirth. Things like "you're crazy" "my baby would have died"; "that's so dangerous"? Things like that?
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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Does anyone have any good ones for when people seriously freak on you about the idea of homebirth. Things like "you're crazy" "my baby would have died"; "that's so dangerous"? Things like that?
Naysayer: "You're crazy!"

You: "I can live with that. Pass the salt?"

Naysayer: "That's so dangerous!"

You: "Actually, studies have repeatedly shown that a low-risk mother under the care of a competent midwife is as safe at home--or safer, in some areas--as she would be in a hospital. Pass the salt?"

Naysayer: "My baby would have died!"

You: "That's exactly the situation we're trying to avoid. Pass the salt?"

I also highly recommend having people watch The Business of Being Born. But really, you don't need to convince anyone and you don't owe them an explanation. Your body, your baby, your birth, your decision--period. Explaining your reasons is a courtesy but not obligatory, and people who get rude or nasty about it are easily shut down with a change of subject or simply by walking away mid-sentence.

You don't have to let anyone dump their fears and insecurities on you, pregnant or not.

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Old 08-16-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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Another good response to "You're crazy": "I know. It keeps life interesting."

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Old 08-17-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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Does anyone have any good ones for when people seriously freak on you about the idea of homebirth. Things like "you're crazy" "my baby would have died"; "that's so dangerous"? Things like that?
People tried this with me but I really didn't think much of it at the time. I just said "Oh, it does sound like YOU made the right decision to birth in the hospital." Then I went about my business. It didn't dawn on me until much later that they were actually trying to talk me out of my homebirth. I mean honestly one of them was telling me that they just didn't dialate. Well...um...I hired a midwife who would have sent me to the hospital if I just absolutely could not dialate.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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I like AFWife's MRSA comment...I actually have MRSA, and yet it's still true that nobody has ever contracted it in my home (so there!), but my second child did contract a life-threatening infection in the hospital.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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Generally I just stare at them and say something like, "Well, every birth is different but the more negative hospital birth stories I hear, the more it reinforces my desire to have a safe, natural home birth with a competent midwife. Pass the salt?"
I love this answer. This is going to become my new standard answer wnen people try and bring the scary stories.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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"Oh, it does sound like YOU made the right decision to birth in the hospital."
This sounds like a nice path to go a lot of the time. I never tell a woman about what I think of her birth choices if they're negative. What's the point? I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings. But if it's really THEIR fear and THEIR hearsay that's making their opinion, that's not MY problem.

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