• Amanda

    ew. ew. ew. i hope no doctor does that to MY newborn baby, i’d punch him (or her) in the face. with my vagina.

  • CajunSoleil

    Hahaha! I do the same thing. I even bought a $40 DVD about unassisted childbirth called “A Clear Road to Birth” from Laura Shanley’s website, bornfree.com. (BTW, Laura Shanley’s husband has also been seen on television as proof that a man can lactate. I know your husband will thank me for telling you that!) Anyway, now when I watch the DVD, it depresses me. Most of the women in the DVD had sad experiences that led to their desire for an unassisted birth. So I don’t even watch it anymore. But I still watch every birth show I can find on cable!

    I had a homebirth with a midwife and her two assistants last summer and, though it was effing painful, it was short. And having the freedom to do what I wanted was *glorious* for me. Worth every penny! I would have driven myself crazy trying to educate myself to have an unassisted birth. It was wonderful to have someone with me who knew where to apply gentle pressure on the back of my pelvis during a contraction to make it more bearable. In my eyes, she was an angel who came to aid me through the process. The anesthesiologist from the first birth was just “my new best friend.” I prefer my educated angel. They even washed my towels and sheets that were used during the delivery. Queen for a day is how I felt! It was awesome. :)

    It’s the male doctors who do the puppeteering. They think they are being funny, and apparently some people do think that is funny. I, like you, do not. I hope you are blessed with a happy, beautiful birth!

  • Bodnoirbabe

    Oh holy crap. Suburbanite women are some of the bat-shit craziest women out there. Fuck getting in touch with nature. GIVE ME THE DRUGS!

  • Rachael

    Ah yes, freebirthing-great idea. But have you see the orgasmic birth? It is as it sounds, birth feeling like an orgasm adn there is a video of a couple making out throughout labour. Uhm, sure?? And you can follow that up with videos of 7 year olds breastfeeding.

    But a great documentary was the ‘business of being born’ by Ricki Lake, though I’m not necessarily endorsing that you watch this now. I watched it a couple days before I gave birth and it made me a scared and made me want to give birth at home. totally great documentary though.

    Anyways, best of luck. My second labour and birth was amazing- 3 hours from start to finish and I only barely made it to the hospital. Still was terribly painful but I felt very empowered with as few interventions as were necessary. Here’s wishing the same to you!

    but the bad news is that I lost my mucous plug over 2-3 weeks, it was very frustrating.

  • Jen B

    My husband DID lock all of those Health channels when I was pregnant. It was bad news. I still have nightmares.

  • http://www.apodofperkins.blogspot.com Erica

    As a labour support doula, I have so much issue with shows that portray birth as weird, strange, something to be pathologized, and medical teams needing to “put on a show”.

    Although 100% unassisted births would not be for me, I know I want someone around just in case some help is needed, but birth can be just as amazing with the right midwife or doctor who supports your wishes and lets birth take its course.

    I think it’s completely normal to be oddly obbsessed with watching these sorts of shows while pregnant yourself, and thankfully, you are aware that they are not the “norm”al.

  • http://www.happinessontap.com Elizabeth_K

    I have steered clear of those shows, just because of what you say. I get my pregnancy crazy (so to speak) just from reading you and other further-along-than me pregnant women … :)

  • Suzanne

    Have you seen Orgasmic Birth?? Enough said.

  • http://www.clevergirlgoesblog.com tia

    okay that just FREAKED me out.

    i never thought of that possibility and now have one more thing to scare Hubs with when he brings up the idea that yes, maybe now would be a good time to try to have a baby.

    thanks for the ammo.

  • http://maybeinutah.blogspot.com Mari

    Wow, I have not seen this freebirthing shit, what a nightmare! I think a home birth is fine, if you’ve had a trouble free pregnancy and a hospital is fairly close by, but to not have a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife there is lunacy!

  • Marnie

    I’m waiting with baited breath for the first pictures of not-Maria. . . & my sympathies with the end-of-preg crazies. I remember them all too well, and have been known more than once to berate my (now-eighteen-year old) younger daughter that she was FOUR DAYS LATE.

  • Julia

    Okay, you are making up that first show….I need proof!

    I hate the Baby Story show with a passion and yet I leave it on! It’s like I have an illness.

  • http://afritoskindalife.blogspot.com Jess

    How about the one where the women claim to have orgasms while giving birth!? Now, that’s a scary show!!!

    Love the new header!!! :)

  • http://blessourhearts.blogspot.com Ms. Moon

    You answered your own question about why a woman would be drive to free birth.

  • Betsy

    Dear Heather,

    Many women these days are opting for alternative birth plans in settings other than hospitals. I gave birth to all nine of my healthy sons in a tub in my living room with only my husband, a camcorder and a doula with dredlocks who thereafter fried up my placenta. I am shocked an offended that you would imply that I am an idiot.

    Juuuuuust joking. (But be prepared for comments like this one).

    And for cryin’ out loud! Someone give Daddy Scratches the I-refresh-Dooce-in-my-browser-more-than-ANY-of-you Award!

  • http://daddyscratches.com Daddy Scratches

    148. Betsy said:
    “… You’re always the first commenter and yeah, I DO think you deserve an award for that. Like – Dooce should let you name her baby.”

    Hmmmm. Well, whaddya say, Heather? Interested in having a kid named Tequila?

  • http://greatdayinmaine.blogspot.com leesavee

    I keep waiting for pictures of your mucous plug to be posted online, Heather, and now I’m hoping for placenta pictures, too! THE WORLD needs to see these things! :)

    Here’s hoping they give you all the best drugs and that there is no puppeteering going on in the delivery room.

    Can’t WAIT for the twitters! :)

    Seriously, though, good luck to you, John, Leta, and Baby Not Maria/Possibly Donette. Sending you the warmest of wishes.

  • michelle

    I didn’t do it while I was pregnant, but stay away while you are on “maternity leave.” All those PTSD (that’s really what it is) hormones really get to you then. Episodes of “Bringing up Baby” and “A labor story” killed me!

  • http://desertcontainergardening.blogspot.com/ Farmer John’s Wife

    OMG you saw it too! I am pregnant with twin girls, and my husband and I stumbled over that exact show about freebirthing a few weeks ago. He completely freaked out and kept going “I can’t watch this” and “we really should turn the channel”, but, I just couldn’t make myself turn it off – it was too weird to miss. I can’t imagine why somebody would take such huge risks with their babies, not to mention their own bodies, I just don’t get it.

    On a different note, what are the top 5 overrated babythings/gear that we should NOT run out and buy? Any advise would be appreciated :)

  • http://www.monkeythoughts.com Monkey

    Saw “The Business of Being Born” a couple of weeks ago. Seeing Ricki Lake’s snatch was…traumatizing. But for awhile, I was thinking “yeah…yeah… I’ll totally pop one out in a pool”. Then I realized I don’t like to experience pain if I don’t have to. So…yeah.

  • patrice

    so was the freebirthing woman totally proud of herself for it? I worked with a woman who had her baby at home with a midwife, and it was almost as if she wanted me to believe that her baby was somehow more alive than mine was. like having my baby in a hospital resulted in its possibly not being all the way born. I have a teenager now and believe me, after about year 6 or so, you don’t CARE how they got there anymore.

  • A. Nonny Mouse

    I just need to say that before anyone too harshly judges Asia Carrera’s narrative above, realize that she had just been widowed 2 months before. (Asia and I were widowed around the same time and actually met on a bulletin board and exchanged a couple of emails.) I think what she did was crazy, but I remember that time for myself and I was crazy with grief, too. Who knows what I’d have decided to do in her shoes?

  • Helen

    If I am flipping tv channels and come across a birthing mama on TLC I am somehow forced to watch it. Like a moth to a flame as they say…….and sometimes I cry a little. My baby of 4 kiddos is 20. Births are all miracles. Can’t wait for your little miracle to arrive. I know you will just do great. Happy Laboring, Dooce! ( and Jon :)

  • http://allconsuming.blogspot.com kim at allconsuming

    Now desperately scanning our pay TV guide to see if that free birthing shenanigans is airing over here. AWESOME.

    And lactating husbands! WOOT! I can’t wait to see Jon with bags of frozen peas on his chest to bring some relief to that dreaded engorgement. BRING IT.

    Oh – and look out for stories on another new parenting movement. The one who believes you can toilet train a child from birth. Apparently you can tell from their facial expression and you simply take them to the sink and hold them there while they do their business. It’s all about the parent child bond. OH YEAH.

  • Robin

    I with Deb, i check this site every single day, sometimes twice a day. I’m eagerly awaiting the arrivial of not maria.

  • Cee

    It’s called unassisted childbirth and it’s hardly a stupid “new fad.” It’s the way babies were born for a long, long time. You should really get your head out of your ass, open your eyes, and watch the documentary The Business of Being Born.

  • Jennifer

    As a labor and delivery nurse and future certified nurse midwife, these shows make me want to CLAW MY EYES OUT (shifty finger syndrome is contagious). Half of the things they show are full of hyperbole and inaccurate information, and overall they aren’t a balanced view of childbirth in this country.
    On another note, every time “Dooce” pops up in my Google Reader I wonder if it’s not-maria’s birth announcement! I started reading your blog just after Leta was born. In fact, a friend sent me the link to your birth story because I was trying to get into nursing school and wanted to work in labor and delivery! I hope you have a wonderful birth experience, and I can’t wait to hear about it!

  • http://theadventuresofus.wordpress.com Cecily T

    Hmmm…I actually don’t think the freebirthing sounds all that crazy. I had my first at a free-standing birth center (no, not the kind that’s attached to a hospital) with a MW only. No drugs. I’m really really considering having the 2nd (when there is a second) at home. And really, the MW pretty much left us alone until it was time to push. Then, she played catcher. Now that I know how it goes, it doesn’t seem all that crazy. I wouldn’t really do it b/c I would want someone there JUST IN CASE something went wrong, but if you seem like you’re having a pretty normal birth, it doesn’t seem so out there. Maybe if I would consider having a 3rd, I’d be confident enough to fly solo.

    Yeah, I’d throw stuff at the TV if I ever saw some insane doc using a baby’s hand to wave like that.

  • http://0812lane.blogspot.com Jme

    you are so freakin hilarious. because everything you said is so true.

  • Cee

    And dooce, it is interesting that for someone who considers herself a pro-choice liberal, you judge other women’s birth choices rather than support them. What happened to women supporting other women online, hmm?

  • Bonnie B.

    I feel bad for Jon, but I’m laughing like crazy at the same time!

    I have a question, though. Don’t you think it’s more entertaining and fun watching those programs BECAUSE this is the second baby for you? Thinking back to my first pregnancy, that kind of stuff would have scared the crap outta me. But the second time around? Pfffft!! Bring it!

  • Carrie

    “You want me to what?” And she’s all, I don’t know what the big deal is, I just had a baby at home in front of my three-year-old and this damn placenta won’t come out, can’t you just yank it for me? Give it a little tug?

    I’ve seen that episode also and remember that doctor’s face. Reading this just had me spitting iced tea at the monitor.

    Too fucking funny.

  • http://mateexpectations.blogspot.com Wilson (Mate Expectations)

    Holy shit are you funny! I’m only 18 weeks pregnant, but I laughed so hard I nearly lost *my* mucous plug.

  • Eden

    Cee -

    It’s one thing to be respectful of someone who makes an intelligent, informed decision that doesn’t put others at risk. But choosing to birth at home with no professional assistance or expertise can’t be qualified as either. Not only that — it’s putting the life of the baby as well as that of the mother at risk. Parents who put their children in dangerous situations are considered unfit parents. I would consider giving birth without some kind of trained professional on hand, regardless of whether it’s in the home or in a hospital, to be extremely negligent on the mother’s/parents’ behalf.

    That’s the issue that’s being discussed here. If you read Dooce’s responses to these comments, you’ll she’s respectful of people who deliver in hospitals AND of people who want to deliver at home — when assisted by trained professionals who know what to do when things go haywire, and who can save lives!

  • http://www.riverdogprints.com Cyn

    I don’t know what it is about pregnancy hormones, but with both my pregnancies I watched marathon sessions of “A Baby Story” and “Law and Order.” Haven’t watched either show since…

    And Freebirthing? I wonder who came up with that name? Kris Kristofferson?

  • Cee

    Eden (and dooce), if you did actually did research into the UC community, you would see that these women are highly educated and prepared. Freebirthing is not a decision you take lightly. They are not accidentally shitting a baby out just for the heck of it and cutting the cord with their teeth. These women are not negligent parents. And not a single “freebirther” would deny their baby or themselves medical assistance in an emergency.

  • kim

    I don’t want to be a downer of anything but I just had a miscarriage after 20 weeks of pregnancy on Sunday…this week has been…difficult…this post though? this made me laugh.

    thank u :)

  • Cee

    Furthermore, women who make the EDUCATED choice to birth unassisted realize that it is not the ideal choice for all pregnancies or all mothers. A freebirther would not purposely choose an unassisted birth if she has a complicated or high-risk pregnancy, for example. We are not stupid!

  • http://blog.shanparker.com Shan

    Oh don’t worry Deb, I’m the same way. I’ve been following Dooce for so long I feel like I’m a friend of the family. *sigh* I remember when Leta was born!

  • http://www.bytheseatofourpants.com Jasie VanGesen

    How have I not heard of freebirthing yet? Dude.

  • http://phlog365.wordpress.com Kate

    Oooh! I need to find this show. I was sad when they took all the surgeries off Discovery Health. Nothing like flipping through the channels and OOP! Testicle repair! Or HEY! THTAT’S what birth looks like? Fascinating.

    Totally agree on the ventriloquism. That’s a scary enough hobby when half-born children aren’t involved.

  • Laura

    Really, Cee? There are some crazy-ass free-birthers on Mothering.com. I’m sure you’ve read the forums there. My favorite? The recent commenter wondering if she should have an unassisted birth with a 30-week premature baby, and people actually writing in to SUPPORT THAT DECISION, though the death of her preemie was a likely result. Commenters going on about the “inhumanity” of the NICU, suggesting it was preferable the infant die a miserable death at home.

    There’s a strange conflation among freebirthers between distrust of the medical establishment and a sort of fundamentalist spirituality. Free-birthing is the place where the far-left fringe and the far-right fringe meet.

  • http://willthink4wine.com Barb – WillThink4Wine

    While comments are still open I just want to go on record as saying I do NOT want to see photos of the placenta or a ventriloquist baby wave. Just saying.

    BTW, how DO you decide which posts you have comments open and which you have closed? These things keep me up at night. Seriously. So help me out, will ya?

  • Cee

    Hence my emphasis on the word “educated” – there are absolutely some very, very ignorant women out there (especially on Mothering!). Just as there are highly ignorant women in the mainstream birthing community.

  • dooce

    I’m all for women having babies at home with midwives or some sort of trained professional, whatever you want to call them. This is not at all a rant against home birthing.

  • Eden

    I really just think Dooce’s post, number #254, says it all. And being well-educated about something doesn’t mean it can’t kill you, or kill your baby. You can’t stop yourself from bleeding to death by accumulated knowledge or force of will. Period.

    And, on a somewhat lighter note, maybe it’s the phrasing… but to me, “freebirthing” sounds like an extreme sport of some kind. And not a very fun one.

  • http://thesmallone.wordpress.com/ Lys

    At this point in my pregnancy, (as someone sadly lacking cable) I found myself quizzing every mother I knew about the gory details of her labor. A cable block may not stop the rubbernecking.

    As a sidenote, I remember having to answer the phone “still pregnant” by week 39, so I can only imagine what you must be getting from the entire internet at this point… I think it may be your comedic/snarky duty to start messing with all of us.

  • http://tsheva.deviantart.com Tracye

    Ok, this has to be thee funniest post evah! You had me laughing so hard-the woman actually went to a doctor and asked him to pull out her placenta…LOL and WOW people have lost their minds all over the place.

    Thank you greatly for making me laugh, out loud :)

  • http://www.lovemarriageandababycarriage.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    I just love your blog! It inspired me to start my own. I am 33 weeks along and these last weeks are dragging by. I’m sure you are on the edge of your seat with just day(s) to go. I’ve watched many of these shows and finally had to cut myself off. Although after reading this, I’m half tempted to see if I can catch one on now. It’s like watching a car wreck I suppose, hard to look away! Good luck with your labor!

  • Cee

    Eden, I understand what you’re saying, but I am confused. It appears that you believe that giving birth in a hospital automatically guarantees the health and safety of a mother and her child. This is hardly the case, however.

    I don’t believe unassisted childbirth is ideal for every pregnancy. Nor do I believe hospitals are evil. I simply wish women would educate themselves before dismissing something valid as merely “stupid.”