The Naysayers

At one of my baby showers there was a large group of older women (mostly co-workers) who told me I was crazy for considering a natural birth.  There was a mix of those who wondered why I would ever do that to myself, those who tried natural and asked for an epidural as soon as they got to 4cm, and those who regaled me with horror stories (“my kid broke my tailbone!”).  Altogether I think there were about 30 people at my shower, and only two came forward to tell me that they also had natural labors and YES I could do it.  I was very appreciative of their support.  The others drove me crazy and to this day I’m annoyed by their attitude toward my wishes.  With that said, I remembered their comments during the most painful part of my labor and that memory stiffened my resolve to forego pain medication so that I could have the birth I had planned.  I never spoke about my labor with any of those women afterward; it was just enough to know that they were wrong and I could do it.

In discussing my plans to use cloth diapers prior to having Jack, I received some flack from a few friends.  Some were simply ignorant on the subject and doubted that I would be able to get the diapers clean.  Some had given up cloth diapering themselves, mostly because their wash routines were overly complicated, and they assumed I would also give up.  20 months later and I still love cloth diapers.  I found my own way to make it work in our life and I have been very happy with my decision.  No one ever mentioned it after Jack was born, except for those people who saw what we were doing and wanted to try it themselves.  It wasn’t my intention to inspire others to cloth diaper, but it’s certainly nice that more people are considering it.

While no one said it outright, I do believe there were some folks in my life who were dubious about my plans to breastfeed Jack.  I got the impression from one person in particular who, when Jack was about 5 months old conceded, “He’s obviously thriving, so what you’re doing must be working!”  In the early days breastfeeding was certainly difficult, and it definitely still has its moments, but I am just thankful to have made it this far despite the fact that I had no one around to help.

Overall I think I’ve had a pretty easy go as a new parent.  I haven’t received any criticism since Jack has been born.  I think it helps that Jack is such a happy, easy-going fellow.  I doubt that his awesomeness has much to do with how Joe and I parent, in all honesty.  I’d like to think that Jack is teaching us how to parent, and that things have gone well because we are responsive to his needs.  It sure is a nice thought but there is probably a bit of luck involved, as well.  In any case, I am kind of giving myself a pat on the back for all my hard work over the last couple of years (we’ve all gotta take a moment to do that sometimes, right?) but I also wanted to acknowledge that I have been helped by the naysayers.  If it wasn’t for their comments and my drive to prove them wrong, things might have turned out differently.  You certainly never know…

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Comments

  1. I got a lot of flack also for those things. I’m happy with the choices B and I chose for Nolan.

  2. I am always amazed by the naysayers for natural childbirth. Yes, it is hard, but the babies are born free of any substances and while it can be exhausting, it is certainlly worth it. I am so happy that when my children were born, natural was the way to go. They seldom induced labor unless you were neary 3 weeks “overdue”…and C sections were emergency only.

    I applaud anyone who is successful with breastfeeding. I look art my beautiful granddaughter, K, and see how happy and healthy she is. I am so proud of B for choosing breastfeeding.

    You know what is best for you and your family. Don’t ever let anyone discoursge you for your choices.

  3. I’m so hard headed and stubborn that the naysayers kept me going almost more than the people supporting me did. I’ve always had a “don’t tell me I can’t do that” attitude, with my children is certainly worked in my favor. Good for you for not giving up because of some people’s bad attitudes.

  4. Yeah. I finally had to tell a couple of my friends that I was sick of them and their comments about “crazy” and “silly”. They backed off after that. Otherwise to the rest of the world I was just really vague about it, saying “I’ve never been in labor before, we’ll see how it goes.”

  5. I’ll admit, I thought you were crazy… but I had no right to put in my opinion because I wasn’t in your spot. Okay, not crazy, but an oddball… 🙂 But I tell friends about you all the time. I even tried to talk my friend into cloth diapers. 🙂 Jack sounds bright and intelligent. And your blog helps me with my friends’ babies… 🙂 So thanks. (and I watched my ex SiL give birth where she was screaming at them to give her more drugs they weren’t working… I’m glad you went the natural route. 🙂 )

  6. Oh, those childbirth horror stories were the worst. I can’t even recall how many times I wanted to tell people to shove it. I didn’t end up going natural and gave in to the seductions of the epidural, but, in hindsight, I really do think I could have made it through. There’s always next time, right? My prenatal yoga teacher was induced and she didn’t have any meds; her story was an inspiration to me. I’m sure you are to others, too!

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