Sunday, September 5, 2010

wedding seating

During the reception I was seated beside a pregnant lady. I thought we'd have tons to talk about. Here's how the conversation went down:

after some random chit chat about each other and her being pregnant...

Me: So I hear midwives are more popular here in the UK?

PL: Midwives are b*tches.

Me: (extremely shocked look on my face, uncertain as to where this conversation is headed although I should have known from that comment.) Oh. Really? Um...

PL: Well, most are. They're all so into the whole natural birth thing and so opposed to doctors and drugs and really just think we're all intervening in the natural process and they're so against epidurals and sections.

Me: Oh. So you're a doctor?

PL: Yes. I'm an anaesthetist.

(I should have known.)

Me. Oh.

PL: And then they're all in their home births and I just don't get that. I mean, why would you do that when you can be in the hospital just minutes away from an OR if you need one instead of having to travel 30 minutes when an operation needs to be done in less than 15?

Me: (at this point I am quiet...debating whether to bring up the fact that I've had two seamless home births, and was myself born at home. I opt not to unless she asks me as I'm not particularly in the mood to pick a fight. I let her rant.) Yes, well...

PL: I'm all for sections! In fact, I can't think of a better way to go than a elective section.

Me: (I'm just smiling at her. Not noding in agreement, but smiling. The conversation turns to other things or the music is too loud or speeches start or something and I am grateful but somewhat saddened that she has such a negative view of what are some fabulous women who specialize in "catching babies".)

I think we did talk later about breastfeeding (she also views it negatively because of midwives who push it on them - or perhaps it's their general health care system?) and how no one gives formula information just assuming you'll be able to breastfeed. While I'm all for letting people know your options, it seems to me that formula feeding is fairly straight forward. Follow the directions on the can, figure out which bottle your baby will take and go at it. Wash, rinse, repeat. Breastfeeding on the other hand can be very tricky and requires much persistence for some woman. It would seem to me that informing women and teaching them about breastfeeding is more beneficial than formula feeding, but to present both things objectively and without guilt.

We talked about skin-to-skin contact and she asked me if I did it and I told her I didn't really, but not because I was against it...I just hadn't thought about it and I don't recall anyone bringing it up to me at all. I was wearing a top when I delivered both boys (don't laugh - many women aren't and I was determined not to be one of them. :P) so when I took both of them up onto my chest after they were born, it wasn't right onto my skin and then I just changed shirts and the babies were cleaned up.

I do believe I did mention at one point that birthing Jude was quite easy, but that Noah's was very different and much more intense and painful. I didn't mention being drug-free or anything, but then again, she didn't ask too much about the experience.

I guess I just thought it both ironic and assumptive on my part. Ironic because who would have thought to put an anaesthetist and a home birther beside each other at a wedding. Assumptive because I just assumed that because she was pregnant we would have so much to talk about. Turns out we did, but we were on such different pages it would have been more disagreeable to "go there".


  1. How sad that she couldn't have been open minded enough to at least listen to another's opinion. She missed out on a great conversation and wonderful stories, even if she didn't agree! Pooh on that!

  2. it's interesting how easily people don't ask others questions when in this type of setting. You'd think she'd have enough time to vent outside of this time given her occupation and how often she would come across midwives. Was she a "cutter offer" type person who would interrupt you to talk about herself or give her opinion before you're finished? I just picture her being like that.

  3. my friend who studied family medicine in the UK told me that they have a rather extensive program educating and encouraging breastfeeding because the percentage of babies that are breastfed are less than 40%. I think that's cause for medical professionals to focus on educating people on the benefits of breastfeeding, even if just for medical benefits.

  4. It's such a shame that she didn't appropriate her response in such a way that you two could've had an open-ended sharing of opinions. I would've kept quiet, too, because it sounds like there was NO changing her attitude.

  5. Yeah, I would have loved to have an open conversation with her, but after she vented her opinions I felt like bringing up after the fact that I was one of those "crazy homebirthers" would have embarrassed her.
    She wasn't necessarily rude and she didn't cut me off...just very stuck in her ways and the classic doctor who wants to cut everyone up and do a section on them even if it's not a risky situation.
    Deb - interesting that so few babies are breastfed in the UK. And sad, really because it really would benefit the medical system not to mention the mothers and children.

  6. V!!! Why didn't you tell me this somewhat hilarious but mostly horrific story!?!? I had no idea that Jo was against anything and I thought you guys would have LOADS to talk about...BABIES! And she's actually really nice...when you're not talking about a profession that could potentially put her out of a job...oh my gosh!!! I thought it was a GOOD idea. I'm sooooo sorry you had to go through that. And i Love you. And I couldn't homebirth because I'm too scared of the "what ifs" and because I totally NEED drugs, but I DEFINATELY totally respect you for doing it...TWICE!

    I love ya girl. I'm sorry. xo


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