Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My take on the upcoming live birth

I've been following Nancy for a while now - even before she started getting international coverage.  I'm drawn to everything baby and especially natural birth and so I was especially interested in her natural birth videos and her experience as a birthing coach. And yes, I'm signed up to watch her give birth online to her third child (although I'm not sure it will be something I will lose sleep over).

I gave birth to my son naturally and I'm obviously a huge advocate of natural birth within my circle of friends and family.  It boggles my mind with how uneducated people are about birth and how they don't prepare themselves and let others take control of their experience. I'm trying to do my part in educating those around me. 

"Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act" - Albert Einstein.

I'm paying close attention to Nancy's story and I've been reading a lot of comments lately on all the articles about her plan to give birth and they are REALLY firing me up. The following seems to be the three most popular comments and areas of discussion - with my take.

1. "She's just doing this to become famous".

Perhaps there is a small part of her that is happy about the exposure her business as a birth coach is getting, but I believe that Nancy has set out to do this for the greater good.  We need more women to help normalize natural birth.  We need to stop believing what we see in movies and thinking that birth is really just like those shows on TLC. While I will not be setting up video camera's for my next birth I commend her for her decision and for what she is trying to accomplish.

2. "It should be an intimate moment with only your close family present."

Would you consider a delivery room at the hospital, intimate? Hardly.  Doctors, nurses, residents coming in and out.  All of them yelling for you to push! push! push! I had a natural birth in a hospital and I had these distractions and more. If you have watched the birth video of her second birth you will see that she hardly exposes herself at all and she is very calm and inspiring. She also doesn't smile and wave to the camera.  She is having an intimate birth  experience with her support team.  I can imagine it will be the same deal with this birth. 

3. Showing her third birth is an unfair presentation of natural birth since it will be easier and "the baby will practically fall out".

OK, this one actually made me laugh. Really, people? Really?  Yes, she will be mentally tougher having "been there, done that", but having previous children doesn't mean it will be physically easier on her.  Nor does it mean it will be quicker.  My Mother gave birth vaginally eleven times and she'll tell you how much easier it doesn't get.  If only it was that easy to predict!

There are many, many more disheartening comments out there.  People comparing it to disgusting bodily functions, comparing her to Octo-Mom looking for her 15 minutes of fame (15 minute birth - wouldn't that be nice?), and commenter's just being downright ignorant.  I'm just tired of reading SO MANY uneducated comments from these people. I'm tired of people saying that exposing birth and breastfeeding is disgusting - but sex and pornography are glorified.  If you don't want to see it - don't tune in.  But in my mind if you are feeling this way, you NEED to watch this birth.  Maybe it will just wake you up to reality a little bit!


  1. Great post Alicia! I, too, have been following Nancy's story. I also believe she is doing her piece to show others that a natural childbirth is normal and can be a very positive experience.

    Wow! 11 times. Where do you fall in the birth order?

  2. Well said! I'm pretty surprised at how many of my clients are unwilling (or unable due to squeamishness) to watch some of the videos I lend to them. I can understand if you're terrified of blood; then obviously you don't watch the actual head being born. But when it comes to the birth as a whole - I don't see the grossness factor there at all! As you said, Nancy was in a bathing suit, and there was very little you could actually see (not that I would have minded if she'd been naked!) It just shows that we are so out of touch with what normal/natural birth looks like - unfortunately in this day and age, it's pretty rare for us to be watching our own Moms give birth (whereas, 200 years ago, as an older child, we might have seen a lot of births!) I think people who are planning to get pregnant or ARE pregnant have the responsibility to see what a normal birth can look like. NOT TLC births, god forbid!!!

  3. oh, and three cheers for your Mom...have you ever thought of posting some of her birth stories? Would be a great read!

  4. Thanks Jayda. I'm the 7th of 11 children.
    Misty I often hear pregnant women say they don't want to watch a birth because it will scare them - well that's a problem you need to overcome well before giving birth and women don't realize how fear can snowball. That's a good idea - I should really write down my Mom's stories...first I must write mine!

  5. Your mother gave birth 11 times???? She's my new heroine. AMAZING.