Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stranger in a Strange Land

Boy am I glad I'm back on here, because this story needs to be told, if only for my own sanity's sake.

Went to a play date this morning with H, with some newer friends we're getting to know in our still-new town. Let me start by saying for the record that in general I think these moms are very nice ladies who I like generally, and even the silliness I'm about to get into doesn't mean I don't like them. And yes, the Sunday School part of me feels guilty for what I'm about to say about them behind their back. Second, let me state that even though I knew there would be lots of new babies at this play date, I promise you that I went in with a perfectly happy attitude. It really didn't bother me or make me moody at all.

Things were going fine until the first warning sign: a highly casual, breezy conversation between the two women who just had babies four months ago about their plans to have yet another, and when they'll be pulling the goalie (my term, not theirs, though they may as well have used it). But of course no one will ever even think to call them greedy.

Then one of these same moms made a comment about how she won't be giving this baby rice cereal because of all the arsenic. I'm sure it makes me naive/ignorant/a bad mom that my first thought was, for Lord's sake, why don't you just put the kid in a bubble suit and be done with it. But my peevishness around her innocent comment sent off a warning flag: I could see that now that she'd revealed herself a smug fertile, everything she said was going to irritate me.

But the piece de resistance came when the other newborn mom started in about her recent delivery. Now we're coming up on the due date of the second pregnancy I've lost, so really, I don't want to hear about your delivery story at all. But what I really don't want to hear? Is that you were annoyed that the medical professionals involved in your birth were telling you what to do.

She was complaining that, because it was a VBAC, they were being all mean, telling her she needed to be -- horror of horrors -- monitored and all that silly stuff. That that meant she couldn't be all up and walking around, or getting in the tub. She said she finally said that if she couldn't get in the tub she was walking out of the hospital.

I just don't get these women. I mean, if that's your attitude, why even bother going to a hospital? Why not go squat in a field?

Oh, the hubris.

When someone made a comment about liking a certain local OB-GYN practice because they'd let you do whatever you want, I couldn't hold back any longer. I said, See and I don't want them to let me do what I want. I don't want to have an opinion. I want them to tell me what modern medicine says is going to keep my baby alive.

To which the other mom replied that yes, absolutely she agreed, she only wanted all those things because she felt it was best for the baby. Because her body was telling her everything was fine.

Her body was telling her.

Here's where my mind went. I thought of all my ladies who have done everything right and still have gone through hell in one form or another. I thought of how we can never take a single step toward a take-home baby for granted. I realized that having a baby isn't an equalizer between the fertiles and those of us who've had to pay more dues -- and even two "natural" pregnancies hasn't made me feel any more like one of them. That I can never be in a room with this kind of conversation and feel like anything but a stranger in a strange land.

Although I wouldn't mind a little take-my-fertility-for-granted in my life, the fact of the matter is, I would never want to be on the side of things where you think you know more about childbirth than people who go to medical school. Do these women tell pilots how to fly their plane? It was a very silly conversation and it made me feel lucky to have friends, both here and IRL, who, like me, tell their doctors that the only birth plan they're interested in is "let the doctor get the baby out in one piece."


Turia said...

Egg, I was away for Thanksgiving so am just catching up.

I totally agree with you with the stranger in a strange land comment. Even though I have E., and regardless of whether or not we manage to add to our family eventually, I don't think I will ever be able to understand the mindset I see sometimes.

Amelia said...

Word. *high five*

birds and squirrels said...

I totally get it. I feel so strange around other neighborhood moms, the ones who had their second kids less than a year ago and are already thinking about a third. Explaining why I didn't try for a vbac (just wanted to get baby out healthy in a safe and controlled manner as possible), and listening to them say things like that mom in your story said. "I knew it would be okay. We knew god would take care of us". That kind of shit. As if god punishes the rest of us by letting our babies die? Really? I am so immature that I do sometimes wish they would get a scare to wake them up. I certainly don't wish infertility or loss on anyone, but the nerve of some of these women is unbelievable.

Roccie said...

What fuckers.

You are better than me that you can still like them.

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