Watch your language: "normal" birth - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MsElle07 View Post
Yes. It is not a normal physiologic function to have surgery to give birth. Within Normal Limits (WNL) is an often used term in medicine and midwifery. There's nothing political about it.
Can you clarify again then why you want to say normal instead of vaginal? If everyone "gets" vaginal birth is physiologically normal why use normal instead of vaginal? You mentioned breast feeding and we don't call it normal feeding we still make the breast distinction.
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#62 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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I like using "normal" over "vaginal" because even vaginal births can be medicated, or assisted in one way or another. By using "normal" I include that to be an unmedicated, intervention free, VAGINAL birth.

And please allow me to say that I have never thought less of any womans motherhood because of the way her child came into this world. Be it medicated vaginal birth, or c-section, even adoption. A mother is a mother no matter how she births her child. A friend of mine just adopted a 10 month old little girl from China. Her labor and birth were about 4 years in the making. She's still very much a mother.

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#63 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lyttlewon View Post
Can you clarify again then why you want to say normal instead of vaginal? If everyone "gets" vaginal birth is physiologically normal why use normal instead of vaginal?
I'm not necessarily advocating it, just sort of hashing it out in my mind.

I do think it's, in part, because of the declining vaginal birth rate. If we say that vaginal birth is normal birth, it kind of sets vaginal birth as the standard, KWIM? I think right now we're moving toward surgical birth being more and more accepted and standardized, and it's largely detrimental to moms and babies. (Barring those that are medically necessary, of course.)
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#64 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 01:40 PM
 
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Personally, I think it would be very hard to find too many births that would fit the description - unmedicated, intervention free, vaginal birth. There are so many grey areas. For some if you walked in the hospital that would *be* an intervention. For some monitoring of any kind is an intervention. By that definition - even many UCs would be ruled out of "normal birth". So I kind of find it fruitless to try to define it myself.

I also hate the kind of status that gets put on these various labels. I would prefer families to try to get the best experience possible for mom and baby, rather than try to have a birth that fits within a label.
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#65 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 01:43 PM
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Even before my med-free homebirth plans were interrupted and replaced by a surgical exit (and he & I both experienced a LOT of the birth process up to that point), I always liked using the terms "vaginal birth" and "surgical birth." If I had to differentiate at all.

I dislike using the term "normal" birth just because people get upset wondering if they get to be included in it. My experience is that people d@mn well know that there are differences among births, whether those differences are in location, amount/expectation of meds, exit point of baby, etc. Using a term like "normal" to basically nitpick at people and remind them that you used drugs! you went to a hospital! you are now not allowed to classify your experience as normal because we have to use you to educate the ignorant how to do it right! -- that smacks of the same worst parts of lactivism, those mechanical-bull ads that imply you'll kill your baby if you don't nurse. It's all part of a trend, I think - it starts out as enthusiasm, leads to an evangelical zeal, and sometimes unfortunately ends up as actual emotional violence. Unintended at the start, of course, but there nonetheless.

So I'm a fan of "vaginal" and "surgical," leave the "normal" out of it. Not just for the sake of mothers, but for the sake of the children who had no say in how they were born. They don't deserve to be negatively labeled.
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#66 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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If everyone "gets" vaginal birth is physiologically normal why use normal instead of vaginal? You mentioned breast feeding and we don't call it normal feeding we still make the breast distinction.
I love this!
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#67 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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One definition of normal is "serving to establish a standard" and in biological terms, "free <snip the irrelevant> from experimental therapy or manipulation" or "of natural occurrence." I think the word "normal" applied to an unmedicated vaginal birth would be entirely accurate.

Just as in the breastfeeding fora here, breastfeeding is normal and formula feeding isn't but formula feeding by necessity is mostly sympathized with, why can't the same be said about birthing? Unmedicated vaginal births are normal. Medical interventions aren't but when they are done by necessity, we should rejoice in the outcome.

I think "popular" would be a more accurate word for epidurals, elective c-sections and inductions. But not so much "normal."
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#68 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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I believe that the insistence upon referring to a c-section as a "birth" somewhat subverts medical attitudes. I have never heard a "mainstream" doctor or nurse call a c-section a birth of any kind; in my experience it is MOTHERS who insist upon claiming their birthing experience. To equate THAT with "buying into the medical attitude" is incredibly disrespectful.

Why shouldn't the others insist on reclaiming it. I've actually never noticed how dr.'s refer to it, but it is sad if they odn't refer to it as a birth.

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Personally, if we are going to make "political" statements by using specific nomenclature to describe birth... I'd like to start with making the word VAGINAL a word we can all use proudly and comfortably in conversation... no matter the type of birth one has had.
I agree.

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Can you clarify again then why you want to say normal instead of vaginal? If everyone "gets" vaginal birth is physiologically normal why use normal instead of vaginal? You mentioned breast feeding and we don't call it normal feeding we still make the breast distinction.
I still thinking vaginal & surgical or c-section birth should be the terms. See. some of you think normal is unmedicated. For me, at my local hospital, if they say they had a normal birth, that would be no epi available, even if they wanted it, and some other durgs available, but they dont' do squat. Oh, and a vaginal birth. I've always assume that actually, unless otherwise stated.

At the hospital my s-i-l gave birth at, I'd assume it was a vaginal birth with an epi. (And I"d be sooo jealous. i very much wanted one. )
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#69 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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Can you clarify again then why you want to say normal instead of vaginal? If everyone "gets" vaginal birth is physiologically normal why use normal instead of vaginal? You mentioned breast feeding and we don't call it normal feeding we still make the breast distinction.
Because to specify "vaginal" birth is to imply that there's another kind. We don't do that for breastfeeding, because (so far) nobody says things like "There are two ways to breastfeed: with the breasts that grow on your chest, and with the plastic breasts you fill with formula."

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It is amazing the number of nick names we have for a body part because we feel uncomfortable calling it a vagina.
Not to get picky, but I can't help but note the irony here. What we call the "real" name, vagina, is actually a Latin medical term. We don't have a word for that body part in English, except for obscenities. The lst time there was a plain English word for it was in Chaucer's time, when it was commonly called the quim. That wasn't a slang word or profanity, it was just the name, like an elbow is called an elbow. Today, you can't refer to female parts without using either medical terminology, or dirty words - an unfortunate choice.
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#70 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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Because to specify "vaginal" birth is to imply that there's another kind. We don't do that for breastfeeding, because (so far) nobody says things like "There are two ways to breastfeed: with the breasts that grow on your chest, and with the plastic breasts you fill with formuls."
Huh?

I think it goes much more like this:

There are two ways to feed an infant, breast feeding and bottle feeding.

There are two ways to birth a baby, vaginally and surgically.

And why *wouldn't* we specify that there is another kind, as you say, of birth? Clearly, there IS more than one way babies are born today. You might not like that fact, but it's the truth.

And "vaginal" (vs. "surgical") seems more accurate than "normal" (vs. "abnormal?") for the reasons quoted above -- what exactly *is* normal, and how do we define it? Why use a word like "normal" that requires additional explanation when everybody immediately knows what "vaginal" and "surgical" mean?

The word "normal" is simply too loaded.
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#71 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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Because to specify "vaginal" birth is to imply that there's another kind. We don't do that for breastfeeding, because (so far) nobody says things like "There are two ways to breastfeed: with the breasts that grow on your chest, and with the plastic breasts you fill with formuls."
Mamabadger....

If you had any idea how incredibly hurtful your words are....

What would you call the birth a baby born by c/s?

She was not hatched.
She was not removed.

She had a birth. Pure and simple. She was born.

I don't understand the need to push one form of birth over the other to the point of saying one form is not a birth. How incredibly inhuman and dehumanizing to people born that way. So are people born by c/s not human?

I'll have a live and healthy baby anyday over forcing a vaginal birth.
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#72 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Not to get picky, but I can't help but note the irony here. What we call the "real" name, vagina, is actually a Latin medical term. We don't have a word for that body part in English, except for obscenities. The lst time there was a plain English word for it was in Chaucer's time, when it was commonly called the quim. That wasn't a slang word or profanity, it was just the name, like an elbow is called an elbow. Today, you can't refer to female parts without using either medical terminology, or dirty words - an unfortunate choice.
I don't understand the significicance of the fact that we use a latin word for vagina instead of an english one. Post partum is latin and people don't use silly words to say it. We don't call it who-ha recovery or pee-pee care.
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#73 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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I don't understand the significicance of the fact that we use a latin word for vagina instead of an english one. Post partum is latin and people don't use silly words to say it. We don't call it who-ha recovery or pee-pee care.
LOL!!!!!
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#74 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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Mamabadger....

If you had any idea how incredibly hurtful your words are....

What would you call the birth of a baby born by c/s?

She was not hatched.
She was not removed.
I'm sorry you're hurt, but I honestly don't see why the words are hurtful. I had a C/S for one of my children, so anything I say applies to myself.
To answer your question literally, I would say she was removed. That's the whole point of Cesarean surgery, isn't it? Why is it a bad thing to say so?

Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I'm just not getting the idea across. Let me try one more example.
Recently, a medical guide online was pointed out to me. The doctor who wrote it gave a list of the natural functions of various body parts.
When he got to the vagina, he listed things like "outlet for childbirth" "outlet for menstrual fluids" and so on.
Last of all, he listed "provides access for medical examinations."
That's bizarre, but typical of the medical attitude to female organs. Providing access for pelvic exams is not one of the "natural functions" of the vagina!
Note - that doesn't mean that pelvic exams are wrong, or that women who get them are bad, or that they don't serve a valuable purpose.

In the same way, birth is a normal bodily function. It's something human beings do naturally, like digesting food.
A C/S, on the other hand, is a complicated surgical procedure. They're very different things.
One of the reasons why there are so very many surgical births is that real birth is not recognized as a normal process. Not by the medical community, and apparently not by a lot of women, either.
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#75 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 05:02 PM
 
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Mamabadger....

If you had any idea how incredibly hurtful your words are....

What would you call the birth a baby born by c/s?

She was not hatched.
She was not removed.

She had a birth. Pure and simple. She was born.

I don't understand the need to push one form of birth over the other to the point of saying one form is not a birth. How incredibly inhuman and dehumanizing to people born that way. So are people born by c/s not human?

I'll have a live and healthy baby anyday over forcing a vaginal birth.
Personally, I don't view my csection as a birth either. And I don't consider it dehumanizing to the people "born that way" like my son either. In our case, we were robbed of our birth. That is what is so dehumanizing. I understand your csection was neccessary and that it was a birth. Sadly, my "birth" was not one, and I will not change how I word it because someone else doesn't like it. And of course I'll take a live and healthy baby any day over forcing a vaginal birth that would end in death or poor health, but I also won't take an unneccessary csection forced on me and sing about its virtues and what a special birth it was, when it's not true for me.

Thankfully I have a healthy baby, but that's no thanks to my csection, it is in spite of it.

So I guess I'm not getting why it has to be one way or the other. A csection can be a birth or a surgery, or both. It's whatever you decide it is for yourself.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#76 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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Why shouldn't the others insist on reclaiming it. I've actually never noticed how dr.'s refer to it, but it is sad if they odn't refer to it as a birth.
I never said they shouldn't. In fact, I believe that when they insist on calling it a "birth" rather than a cesarian or a section, they are subverting the way that the medical industrial complext generally refers to it.

I believe that doctors and nurses do consider it a birth, but generally the term "birth" is left out of the terminology. I think it does some good to bring it back, not for the sake of equating c-sections with vaginal births, but to remind the mother that it is still a birth.

I think you can have both, a movement that actively tries to reduce uncessary c-sections and one that, when a c-section take must take place, does not diminish the fact of the "birthing" that is happening.
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#77 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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Mamabadger....

If you had any idea how incredibly hurtful your words are....

What would you call the birth a baby born by c/s?

She was not hatched.
She was not removed.

She had a birth. Pure and simple. She was born.

I don't understand the need to push one form of birth over the other to the point of saying one form is not a birth. How incredibly inhuman and dehumanizing to people born that way. So are people born by c/s not human?

I'll have a live and healthy baby anyday over forcing a vaginal birth.



Thank you. I was sitting here ready to cry thinking that anyone would dehumanize my son that way when he had to fight to live and only survived because he was BORN by c section.
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#78 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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Mamabadger....

If you had any idea how incredibly hurtful your words are....

What would you call the birth a baby born by c/s?

She was not hatched.
She was not removed.

She had a birth. Pure and simple. She was born.
I wasn't. I was extracted...and anybody who tries to push the label "birth" on how I was removed from my mother is totally denying my reality. I wasn't born - I was extracted.

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So are people born by c/s not human?
Of course I'm human. So are my children. I'm still a mother. That doesn't make my arrival on this planet a birth.

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#79 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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Thank you. I was sitting here ready to cry thinking that anyone would dehumanize my son that way...
May I respectfully ask how you plan to handle it if your son doesn't feel that he was born? Will you accuse him of dehumanizing himself?

Nobody pushed a label on me. Nobody ever referred to my arrival here as not being a birth. That's my feeling, as a c-section baby. That's my reality with respect to how I joined my family. It has diddly-squat to do with what the doctors, my mom, or anybody else have to say about it.

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#80 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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How can anyone say that they were not born?

That's just silly. Yes, I said, SILLY
I think it's silly to reinterpret how you came into the world as something less than a birth because it does not fit your contemporary preceptions about what a birth to be is SILLY

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#81 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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According to the OED:

1. The bearing of offspring. Viewed as an act of the mother: a. Bringing forth, giving birth. Now chiefly in ‘(several young) at a birth.’

2. fig. Of things: Origin, origination, commencement of existence, beginning.

3. a. The product of bearing, that which is born; offspring, child; young (of animals).



So, go ahead and deny that you were birthed just because it doesn't fit your ideals.

:
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#82 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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All I know is that it : me to no end when people say "natural" birth when talking about a pit induced, epidural, add any other intervention, birth. I'm sorry but it is not "natural" to have an epidural. It is not "natural" to have pitocin. Makes me want to scream!

I've started refering to my homebirth as a "pure" birth. Makes people confused and then roll their eyes.
Me too. I once had a co-worker who had all of the above, but she didn't claim that it was a natural birth. She and said the only thing "natural" about her birth was that she didn't wear makeup.
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#83 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:13 PM
 
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So, go ahead and deny that you were birthed just because it doesn't fit your ideals.

:
What ideals? I'd never heard of the natural birth community until I was 36, and pregnant with my third child. I knew nothing about the "too many c-sections" controversy until well after I'd had my second one. All I ever knew about it was that my first section was a violation like nothing I'd ever experienced before, and that I never wanted it to happen again.

I've felt that I wasn't born since I was about 6-7 years old, when I found out "where babies come from" and how I actually arrived. My mom was very careful (as am I) not to use any loaded terminology - this was my emotional reaction at a very early age. As soon as I grasped the idea that someone cut my mom open and pulled me out through her belly, I felt different on a fundamental level - that was not how it was supposed to be. This has nothing to do with any ideals I may have about childbirth.

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#84 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:15 PM
 
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Me too. I once had a co-worker who had all of the above, but she didn't claim that it was a natural birth. She and said the only thing "natural" about her birth was that she didn't wear makeup.
So, if I don't have time to wash my make up off right before my river-birth, it's not natural ???


Oh, I didn't mean to offend anyone with my completely inappropriate use of the word silly before. But I will not take it back. And if it earns me a warning...so be it. I am just shocked that anyone would go so far as to deny a basic reality of language.

Indeed, I think it is far more productive to attend to the details of why a birth is less than ideal, as a way to change things, than to refuse it entirely.

EVERYONE is born. If you want to change birth culture, it does no good to divide the world into people who had a birth and those who did not.
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#85 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:16 PM
 
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How can anyone say that they were not born?

That's just silly. Yes, I said, SILLY
I think it's silly to reinterpret how you came into the world as something less than a birth because it does not fit your contemporary preceptions about what a birth to be is SILLY

:
I think it's beyond "silly" to decide that my visceral reaction to the knowledge of what was done to my mother to get me out of her body has something to do with "reinterpreting" in light of my "contemporary perceptions". I didn't reinterpret anything - this is how I've always felt about it. The idea that I was pulled out of an incision in my mother's abdomen makes me feel ill when I let myself think about it.

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#86 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:17 PM
 
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What ideals? I'd never heard of the natural birth community until I was 36, and pregnant with my third child. I knew nothing about the "too many c-sections" controversy until well after I'd had my second one. All I ever knew about it was that my first section was a violation like nothing I'd ever experienced before, and that I never wanted it to happen again.

I've felt that I wasn't born since I was about 6-7 years old, when I found out "where babies come from" and how I actually arrived. My mom was very careful (as am I) not to use any loaded terminology - this was my emotional reaction at a very early age. As soon as I grasped the idea that someone cut my mom open and pulled me out through her belly, I felt different on a fundamental level - that was not how it was supposed to be. This has nothing to do with any ideals I may have about childbirth.

Ok. I am still not convinced that you didn't have a birth.
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#87 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eviesingleton View Post
So, if I don't have time to wash my make up off right before my river-birth, it's not natural ???


Oh, I didn't mean to offend anyone with my completely inappropriate use of the word silly before. But I will not take it back. And if it earns me a warning...so be it. I am just shocked that anyone would go so far as to deny a basic reality of language.
Why? You're trying to deny a basic reality of my existence.

Quote:
Indeed, I think it is far more productive to attend to the details of why a birth is less than ideal, as a way to change things, than to refuse it entirely.

EVERYONE is born. If you want to change birth culture, it does no good to divide the world into people who had a birth and those who did not.
When I say I wasn't born, I'm not trying to change anything. I'm simply expressing my feelings about it. I've never told my mom I feel this way - I thought it would hurt her too much. Actually, I never told anybody about it until very recently...maybe I knew people would call it "silly", instead of trying to understand that my mom's surgery 39 years ago cost me a whole lot on an emotional level.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#88 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eviesingleton View Post
Ok. I am still not convinced that you didn't have a birth.
So what? What does your opinion (or the opinion of my mom, the OB, anybody else in this thread or someone at a hospital or DONA or ACOG or whatever) have to do with my reality? Nothing - nothing at all.

If it makes people feel better to assert that I was born, then they're welcome to do so. It doesn't change how I feel about it or how I see it.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#89 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I think it's beyond "silly" to decide that my visceral reaction to the knowledge of what was done to my mother to get me out of her body has something to do with "reinterpreting" in light of my "contemporary perceptions". I didn't reinterpret anything - this is how I've always felt about it. The idea that I was pulled out of an incision in my mother's abdomen makes me feel ill when I let myself think about it.
Ok. I am still not convinced that you didn't have a birth.

And I think it's entirely possible to have those feelings without denying the basic meaning of the word, "birth."
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#90 of 106 Old 06-07-2007, 07:24 PM
 
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I am not going to discuss this anymore. I am not interested in making my ideals/opinion about the integrity of the English language a battle ground for someone else's birth (or lack of birth) experience.

That doesn't help anyone.
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