Apparently watching the birth will F a kid up? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted on Facebook that my son (4 1/2) watched a couple of homebirth videos on YouTube to slowly start preparing him (baby will be here in February) and that he was actually interested in it which I was happy about because just a few months ago he had zero interest in hearing his birth story or seeing pictures of his birth (wasn't bothered by it, just didn't really care).

Well, I got some interesting comments. Along the lines of, "That's way too much bonding with your kid," and "that's seeing WAY too much of Mommy," and "That would F a kid up." Among other comments basically saying that they would never watch those videos, or they freak them out, or what have you.

Seriously? My niece was 6 when she saw my son's birth, I was 14 and my little sister was 10 when we saw my niece's birth and my sister watched 3 of our 4 births (I believe) and she was between 8 and 12 for them. None of us are F'd up. In fact, my mom had a photo album of pictures from all our homebirths (very graphic pictures) and my little sister and I thought it was the coolest thing! I was flipping through that thing before my sister was born and we're only 4 years apart. We thought it was so cool that my parents had to move it from its spot in the living room because apparently whenever we had company over my sister and I would go and grab the book to show to everyone because we thought it was such a neat thing. It never once phased me, it was just a totally normal thing, and I'm sure that's one of the biggest reasons why birth has never scared me as an adult, because it was completely normalised to me.

I just explained that kids aren't being forced to watch and that they can come and go as they please or stay out of it altogether if they want and that in other countries kids grow up seeing births and they don't think twice about it because it's totally normal.

- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#2 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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It's a myth. I'm currently pregnant with #7; 5 of my last 6 births have been HB's and 4 have been attended by siblings. Each of the last 4 babies even had their cords cut by an older sibling. I've only had one child be upset by a birth video; he was 2 and we had no plans for him to be at the birth so didn't show him any more videos (he happened to be in the room when his older brother was watching one). Since then, he's attended the births of 3 of his siblings and been excited and happy for each. Some children will not like the atmosphere of a birth; in most cases they are fine in a nearby room but have no desire to come into the birthing room until after the excitement is over. Some want to be there the whole time; no matter what the situation, as long as a child is prepared ahead of time and allowed to choose (at the time of the birth, their choices could change once things get started) what they are comfortable with, then things go just fine. With younger children, I suggest a support person there just for them and personally I prefer not to have a child there under the age of 3 or 4. Most younger children nap through it or ignore it, but are usually still really dependent on mom and don't have the capacity to understand that mom can't hold them right then.
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#3 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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I'm sorry you are getting those kinds of comments. My oldest son, who was then 4 years old, watched the birth of my youngest son without any problems. He thought it was the neatest thing. I do recommend you have somebody there to specifically there to be his support person though. I remember that while I was pushing I let out a scream and it frightened my oldest son a bit and he took off down the hall. He cam back though and my hubby and friend were able to remind him that the tea-kettle scream wasn't because something was wrong, but because baby brother was about to be born. And that calmed him right down. My middle son, then 2 years old, was napping during the actual birth.

It is sad how perverse people can be, especially those who have no real experience in the matter. Birth is beautiful and if you teach your children it is, they will know it to be such.


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#4 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by smeep View Post
...and she was between 8 and 12 for them. None of us are F'd up.
Yes, you ARE F'd up! You're planning a HB, for one thing! You're so F'd up that you don't even realize how F'd up it is to attempt HB and how F'd up you are for planning it! & you clearly don't think birth is a gross, shameful thing, so that also makes you F'd up.


Ok, I couldn't help myself! Seriously, couldn't help it!

Honestly, I think these people think that our view that birth is not only normal & natural, but beautiful & cause for celebration is what is "F'd up." THEY are the F'd up ones! & I know because I honestly used to think that way. Thankfully, I got educated prior to my DS' birth & did have a fantastic, empowering, joyful experience. But, honestly, I think that's what it is. Sad, but true.

I guess it's the same thing with HB itself - you can try to educate people, but you WILL be faced with negative feedback, so you can either keep trying to spread the good word, or keep your mouth shut to those you don't already know would be supportive so you don't have to deal with the hassle. I vacillate between the 2 - depending on the people, the situation & my mood.

You could shoot back a simple retort that, "Well, if you define 'F'd up' as NOT thinking birth is gross, horrifying, scary, and something women are 'unqualified for' and requires 'management' by docs in hospitals, then yeah, I guess my kids will end up being very F'd up--> just like me."
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#5 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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People are scared of birth, scared of the process and the mess and of their own bodies. Most of us are trained from an early age to think of birth as a medical event that must be managed by doctors (usually male) in order to be safe and "normal". The image of a shrieking, agonized woman in labor, the anxious sweating dad who paces the waiting room in terror that his wife and child will die, the whispered horror stories from older relatives about dead babies and mothers and childbirth gone wrong, the usually inaccurate portrayal of birth as something so gory that blood drips from the walls and slicks the floor, etc....these add up to something at once mystical and horrifying, dangerous and deadly but a necessary aspect of being alive. People don't know any better, and since they don't know, they're scared.

So they project their fears onto your children. What they really mean is they would be "f'd" up by watching a natural birth. I know it's hard, but try not to take it personally. It's not about you.

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#6 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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Our culture programs soooo much fear about birth into us. It is sad.

Your kids will be no more F'd up than the rest of us.

FWIW - my older two were at home for the birth of their baby brother. DS1 even cut the cord. They have a special bond, and are great together.

Now, when they hear about someone having a baby in the hospital, they wonder why in the world they were in the hospital to have a baby. I hope that attitude lasts until they have kids!
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#7 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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If it's any consolation, I took my DD to my hospital birth and the hospital even offered a class for "sibling attended birth" to help them understand what would happen. That had a little doll who had a baby and placenta and the doll "delivered" the baby, and then the placenta attached with velcro to the umbilical cord. I'm careful with what I put on facebook though. If I'm not prepared for disagreeable comments, I don't put it out there.

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#8 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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I am totally on your side, BUT I never would have posted that on FB. I hardly posted anything about having a hb until I put up the (tasteful) pictures.

People just can't handle it.

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#9 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by GreenMamma View Post
my hubby and friend were able to remind him that the tea-kettle scream wasn't because something was wrong, but because baby brother was about to be born.
What a great analogy! I think I'll use that one!

- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#10 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now, when they hear about someone having a baby in the hospital, they wonder why in the world they were in the hospital to have a baby. I hope that attitude lasts until they have kids!
That's how I grew up! My mom had all of us at home (except for my oldest sister, but she apparently had an incredibly rare OB who had a habit of "accidentally" telling mums to come in until it was too late and he had to go to their home to attend the birth too bad my mom lived a block away from the hospital). She taught us that hospitals are for sick babies and mums and that healthy ones are born at home. When I started hearing from friends that they were born in hospitals I asked my mom why all my friends were sick. Then she explained that sick babies/mums in hospitals and healthy ones at home is how it SHOULD be but not how it currently is.

- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#11 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
I'm careful with what I put on facebook though. If I'm not prepared for disagreeable comments, I don't put it out there.
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I am totally on your side, BUT I never would have posted that on FB. I hardly posted anything about having a hb until I put up the (tasteful) pictures.

People just can't handle it.

I'm totally fine with handling the comments. The ones about, "I can't handle watching those," and the like didn't really bother me beyond the fact that anyone thinks that way. I had one friend say that she didn't quite agree with a child seeing it but that she understands we just have different views. The one who made the comments that I posted is...let's just say she's special. I know her through this baby's UAV father and she constantly says things along the lines of, "His attitude is why I don't like liberals," and gets downright nasty with comments like that when, hello!, I'm pretty liberal myself. She just doesn't get a lot of things at all. She was one of a few people who told me I should go see a doctor just once to make sure everything is fine and I had to explain that not only could they do nothing my midwife can't (if I were to miscarry at that point in my first trimester no one would be able to do anything) and that my midwife would be more likely to notice warning signs first because she knows me so well personally and has been there through an entire pregnancy and birth with me already. I wasn't exactly expecting her to be so straight forward and THAT rude about it, but then again I shouldn't have expected any less from her.

That said, I don't have an issue with explaining things. While I think it's fine for those who feel they should keep things like that private, I don't feel any desire to do so. I don't want to keep things private because somebody else has an issue with it. I'll address their concerns and misconceptions with proper information and then it's up to them what they do with it. Most of my friends on Facebook know I'm a big hippie anyway so it's not really a shocker. I just don't like the idea of hiding my excitement because somebody else might be offended. In that case, I don't want any of my friends posting about unnecessary planned cesareans or inductions, etc., but that's not my place. KWIM?

- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#12 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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I had one friend say that she didn't quite agree with a child seeing it but that she understands we just have different views.
<snip>
While I think it's fine for those who feel they should keep things like that private, I don't feel any desire to do so. I don't want to keep things private because somebody else has an issue with it. I'll address their concerns and misconceptions with proper information and then it's up to them what they do with it.

I'm with you. I don't think you should change a thing. I was just saying that for me. I can't handle the comments. I was so emotional during my last pregnancy, I couldn't take another "That is so dangerous!" thing.

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#13 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm with you. I don't think you should change a thing. I was just saying that for me. I can't handle the comments. I was so emotional during my last pregnancy, I couldn't take another "That is so dangerous!" thing.
I totally get where you're coming from. I think every person should do what they're comfortable with. I'm pretty cool with having to explain stuff and deal with comments but I won't lie...it does irk me for sure.

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#14 of 17 Old 09-28-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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Yes, you ARE F'd up! You're planning a HB, for one thing! You're so F'd up that you don't even realize how F'd up it is to attempt HB and how F'd up you are for planning it! & you clearly don't think birth is a gross, shameful thing, so that also makes you F'd up.
That's right. Your kids should be watching several hours of insipid children's TV everyday instead. That's the way to make them well rounded.

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#15 of 17 Old 09-28-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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I had the same thoughts, MegBoz.

G-d forbid children not find women's bodies completely sexual, gross or horrifying.
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#16 of 17 Old 09-29-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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You know, all of our kids have already seen birth.

Their own.

Disgusting and traumatic, I know. I am going to wait to get pregnant again until they invent fetal blindfolds so I don't have to scar my babies anymore. Birth is totally inappropriate for babies and children!
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#17 of 17 Old 09-29-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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Ha MiaMama!

When I was going through those awkward preteen years, I used to get weird when my mom would walk around naked. She would just look at me and say, "oh honey, it isn't something you have never seen before, you CAME from there!". Yes, she is bizarre and has a weird way of putting things. Of course, I was horribly mortified (love those awkward years!).

Your comment just reminded me of that

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