Help me not judge. Help me not judge. HELP ME NOT JUDGE!!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 05-17-2004, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, mamas, I'm so befuddled.

I know a seriously hippie-girl who is in her second trimester of pregnancy. She's got the long dreads, smokes the kind bud, you know the type.

She has never researched anything regarding birth or circumcision. NOTHING. She has a daughter... and she was telling me that she just went in for a scheduled induction b/c her mom was going out of town and wanted to witness the birth. No research. No discussion. NOTHING. It absolutely boggles my mind.

Now, with #2, I innocently asked her if she was trying for a natural birth. Her answer? "Well, I figure since I'm dabbling in some stuff here and there, anyway, an epidural won't be a big deal." Huh? What? I guess b/c she still tokes occasionally or has an occasional glass of wine, it makes the epidural no big deal? Again, I am befuddled.

It just doesn't FIT the rest of her lifestyle and philosophy. It is sooo weird. All of us other hippie-ish mommas do the whole mega-research, midwife-attended, homebirth thing................... and she's the, well, spitting imagine of a natural momma yet she's gonna go with a medicalized birth????

It doesn't make sense. I don't want to judge her, but her oddness and inability to research her birth options really are clouding my view of her as a woman...........
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#2 of 23 Old 05-17-2004, 11:40 PM
 
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I think maybe you hit it on the head with the "spitting image" comment. Maybe it is just an image, and there isn't really anything behind it.
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#3 of 23 Old 05-17-2004, 11:48 PM
 
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I'm surprised all the time at the non "hippy" types who are actually rather crunchy. And then there's the kind of person you're talking about, who is the hippy type, and totally non crunchy. You really can't box people in like that. I mean, in high school that's one thing, but we're beyond that now. Just because people have a certain belief, or dress a certain way, or even seem to fit a mold, doesn't mean they're the "type" you think they are. And I mean you in a general sense, not a specific sense.
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#4 of 23 Old 05-17-2004, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand that, Persephone. I guess it just gets under my skin that this person is choosing to do everything blindly..... no education, no research, nothing.... and I'm trying to figure out how to separate an OPINION on something such as childbirth from a JUDGEMENT against an actual person. I should have been clearer on that.
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#5 of 23 Old 05-18-2004, 12:18 PM
 
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Me too, Cyneburh. Many mamas on this site would probably dismiss me as a totally mainstream mommy if they saw me in my trendy clothes and makeup gabbing on my cell phone with a pro-conservative bumper sticker on my yuppie car in my yuppie suburb of a very yuppie city. But I have obsessively researched EVERYTHING with this pregnancy and am choosing natural birth, selective vax, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, grace-based discipline and organic foods for my family.

My DH can't believe how "granola" I am for a hard core conservative Republican and fashion junkie who wouldn't be caught dead in Tevas.
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#6 of 23 Old 05-18-2004, 12:39 PM
 
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Many mamas on this site would probably dismiss me as a totally mainstream mommy if they saw me in my trendy clothes and makeup gabbing on my cell phone with a pro-conservative bumper sticker on my yuppie car in my yuppie suburb of a very yuppie city.
Me too!
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#7 of 23 Old 05-18-2004, 01:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland
and she's the, well, spitting imagine of a natural momma yet she's gonna go with a medicalized birth????
How image-concious is she? I know that when I wanted to be cool in junior high--with my Girbaud jeans and breast-pocket Gap t-shirt with matching-colored socks--I paid attention to my peers to maintain my 'cool' facade.

Perhaps, to encourage her to maintain her 'hippy' facade, you could hint that, like, the like, super cool REAL hippy moms, like, reasearch and stuff, and like, think that meds during childbirth are, kinda like, uncool.

I'll stop being a snot now, candiland, and say I'm sorry you're encountering the type of frustration one usually expects with folk without dreads. I'm sure that's how my mainstream aquaintances view my lipsticked and shaved-armpitted self, throwin' 'em for a loop with my homebirth and intact son!
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#8 of 23 Old 05-18-2004, 02:01 PM
 
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Who knows, maybe she herself recognizes the inconsistency, but is terrified of birth and so is trying to rationalize the use of drugs in labor. Not very smart, but maybe her goal isn't to be smart, maybe it's just to get through it. I have to admit, I feel sorry for people who go all out for a certain image/lifestyle because philosophically they like the idea of it, but realistically they're not ready for it.

I think for me the difficulty in this sort of thing is in feeling that I've been duped, that they've misrepresented themselves to me. But then I realize that it's just me being naive and simple, falling for these stereotypes over and over again. Of course, people *do* mean to convey a message with the visual signals they give, but as with verbal communication, a lot can get lost between intent and interpretation.
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#9 of 23 Old 05-18-2004, 02:33 PM
 
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nearly all the mamas that work at our local health food store have had highly managed hospital births with epidurals. go figure!
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#10 of 23 Old 05-18-2004, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"I'm sure that's how my mainstream aquaintances view my lipsticked and shaved-armpitted self, throwin' 'em for a loop with my homebirth and intact son!"

I'm lipsticked and shaven, too! And PROUD OF IT! :LOL
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#11 of 23 Old 05-19-2004, 02:15 PM
 
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ack...double post

Mom to a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a cuddly little newborn
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#12 of 23 Old 05-19-2004, 02:17 PM
 
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Well, count me as another person who doesn't fit some sort of stereotype of what a natural birth, AP leaning mom to be would be either. Those would be my instincts on raising my little one...a drug free birth, breastfeeding, cosleeping, non-spanking, responding to my baby kind of mama. BUT, here I am...an upper class professional, living in a big suburban house, driving a luxury car, shopping at Neiman Marcus, wearing my make up, straightening my curly hair, AP mom to be. Does that fit a stereotype? I don't fit a mold. People's mouths drop at some of my ideals. Not that I care, I love this baby and I'll do what I feel is right for us. I don't think looking like a hippy should have to fit any kind of mold either I've found that it's really hard NOT to judge, at least in your own head though. Lately I've found myself so wanting to say to friends of mine things like "why do you feel like a 2 week old needs to have a sleep schedule?" or "why would you induce before you are due for NO medical reason?". I don't say it, I try to reason with myself that they are not me and I don't have my baby yet, but it happens. It's a natural thing

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#13 of 23 Old 05-19-2004, 02:55 PM
 
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My suggestion is get her a copy of "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" as a gift and hope she reads it.

Tamara
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#14 of 23 Old 05-19-2004, 03:38 PM
 
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"The Thinking Woman's Guide to Childbirth" tipped me over the edge into becoming a natural birth fanatic. I defy anyone to read it and not at least think twice . . .
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#15 of 23 Old 05-20-2004, 01:00 AM
 
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to each her own (?)...

i was stunned when i found out a very "preppy" girl i had known in high school chose a homebirth, attended by her friends and a midwife.

i've found that for a lot of people, their overall lifestyle doesn't really dictate how they'll feel about labor and birth. birth is one of those weird things so caught up in our culture and the media, it's a lot harder to break out of... kwim?

that's just my 2 cents...

and off topic ~ i was also stunned when i went into the health food store and this happened:

me: i was wondering if you keep anything like Luna Pads or Gladrags in stock?
clerk: what?
me: you know... cotton menstrual products?
clerk: oh, oh yeah, check down there -- (points)
me: (checking) no, no, i don't mean disposable ones. i mean reusable cloth menstrual pads? you know? preferably organic cotton...?
clerk: (horrified look) OH my GOD! WHY would anyone want something like THAT?
me: why would anyone use cloth diapers?
clerk: (pause) ...... hmm. yeah.... i guess you have a point... i used cloth diapers with all my babies... but.... GOD -- i NEVER thought to use cloth for THAT. YUCK.

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#16 of 23 Old 05-20-2004, 11:59 AM
 
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: at the hfs clerk. HeLLO? It's just blood and bodily fluids. Good gracious.

About the OP... I've btdt. I am generally just annoyed at ANYONE who doesn't research things though... ugh. AND READING THE MAYO CLINIC BOOK DOES NOT COUNT AS RESEARCH. Gag. You know, the free one from State Farm. And neither does Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy or WTEWYE... GAG.
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#17 of 23 Old 05-20-2004, 04:38 PM
 
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I do agree that she should be more informed about the choices she makes. Any woman going into a birthing situation should know what she wants and doesn't want in advance.

As far as image vs. life choices, the world is so diverse. I don't think dress should define who the person is and what choices they make in life. I am in many ways "crunchy" and in many other ways very "mainstream." Most mainstream people find me odd because I cloth diaper and wear my baby a lot and had/have a family bedroom and don't do CIO. OTOH I do vaccinate, had an epidural birth (which was a beautiful experience btw), bottle feed, etc.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#18 of 23 Old 05-22-2004, 10:24 AM
 
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Another book you could get her is Ina May's "Spiritual Midwifery." That's pretty hippie oriented.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#19 of 23 Old 05-22-2004, 11:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneymoonBaby
Me too, Cyneburh. Many mamas on this site would probably dismiss me as a totally mainstream mommy if they saw me in my trendy clothes and makeup gabbing on my cell phone with a pro-conservative bumper sticker on my yuppie car in my yuppie suburb of a very yuppie city. But I have obsessively researched EVERYTHING with this pregnancy and am choosing natural birth, selective vax, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, grace-based discipline and organic foods for my family.

My DH can't believe how "granola" I am for a hard core conservative Republican and fashion junkie who wouldn't be caught dead in Tevas.
OMG! This is SO us too! :LOL Too funny! I feel so at home when I read stuff like this.

Laura
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#20 of 23 Old 05-23-2004, 03:43 PM
 
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Yes I too would give her spiritual midwifery. What an awsome book. I know dready folks that are totally like that. And it seems to me like thoese are the folks that dont live this hippie lifestyle for spiritual reasons like myself and so many others.
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#21 of 23 Old 05-24-2004, 01:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kimberlylibby
: at the hfs clerk. HeLLO? It's just blood and bodily fluids. Good gracious.

About the OP... I've btdt. I am generally just annoyed at ANYONE who doesn't research things though... ugh. AND READING THE MAYO CLINIC BOOK DOES NOT COUNT AS RESEARCH. Gag. You know, the free one from State Farm. And neither does Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy or WTEWYE... GAG.
My sister-in-law is very educated about childbirth and parenting. She reads hundreds of books on everything you could imagine. I feel very comfortable going to her for questions about my dauthter.

She told me about the Girlfriend's guide to Pregnancy and WTEWYE. I found those books to be very helpful. She helped me fill in the voids that maybe I would overlook.

I didn't research anything when I had my daughter. I knew exactly what I was getting into. I knew that I wanted an epidural. God Bless you women that didn't. I could not even imagine.
I knew that I wanted her vaxed. Even though my sister-in-law does not. (she tried to explain why) All women are different.
All women go into this with different ideas and expectancies. We should just help guide them and try to help them make decisions that are right for them, not us.
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#22 of 23 Old 05-26-2004, 01:48 PM
 
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Did I read correctly that this momma is doing some type of drugs while pregnant? Personally I would try to address the harm she is doing to her unborn child before I even tackle the issue of the child's birth.
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#23 of 23 Old 05-26-2004, 02:05 PM
 
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I think I understand your concern about judging your friend. I happened to research everything I could think of regarding childbirth/child rearing before ds was born and I STILL can't understand women who don't. I mean, I had never given birth before, so I wanted to know what would physically, emotionally and mentally be happening to me during pregnancy, labor & birth. But it never occured to most of my friends to do that.

I have a friend's wife who I've offered my library of books to who is due in September and she "just isn't ready to read about labor." She's also not really researching the whole pregnancy thing. Figures her doctor will tell her what she needs to know - don't get me started.

But maybe your friend is the same - it's just never occured to her that there is any danger to an epidural (they wouldn't do them if there was - right? )?

Confession Time : - I too have trouble judging people who are ignorant out of choice. If she did her research (from various, reliable sources-type research) and still choose the epidural that's one thing, but to just blindly sign the consent form, yah, I have issues w/that too. And when you're close to someone who you mesh w/in so many different ways, it's sad to see that something you hold dear to your heart doesn't matter a whit to them.
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