Jon is about this close to activating the parental controls on our DirecTV so that I can no longer watch anything on Discovery Health Channel or TLC. It started a few months ago when I accidentally stumbled upon a show about a new fad in childbirth called Freebirthing where women have their babies at home without the aid of a nurse or midwife or any trained professional. And at one point there was this three-year-old kid going WHY IS MOMMY SCREAMING LIKE THAT?! And the woman is clawing at this head coming out from between her legs, and she’s all GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT! Except, there is no one there who knows how to get it out, and her husband is just standing there shrugging like DUDE, THIS WAS YOUR IDEA!
I found the whole thing totally fascinating because you’ve got to have a special combination of bravery and stupidity going on to attempt such a thing, but Jon has not ever recovered from watching it. In fact, one night last month they ran the episode again, and there I was in bed eagerly awaiting the part where the woman has to get in her car, drive herself to the hospital and ask someone to pull out her placenta, when Jon walked in and was all NO WAY, NOT AGAIN, TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF. Oh, come on! Television doesn’t get better than this! The look on that doctor’s face when he says, “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?
And then, of course, there’s that loathsome show “A Baby Story” on TLC that follows real couples through the last few weeks of pregnancy. I cannot stop watching it, even though it makes me violently angry. I just cannot believe the bedside manner of some of the doctors on that show, and I’m not even kidding, twice in the last week I have watched a doctor wave the arm of the newborn infant at its mother AS IT IS BEING PULLED FROM THE WOMB. No, wait. Let me finish. These doctors treated these seconds-old babies like puppets, waved their little arms wildly in the air, and said, “Hi, Mommy!” in a high-pitched voice as if that is exactly what they would sound like and say upon taking their first breaths. WHILE THE LOWER HALVES OF THEIR BODIES WERE STILL INSIDE THEIR MOTHERS.
You have got to be shitting me.
I was telling Jon about these episodes yesterday, my voice getting louder and louder with each gruesome detail, and he decided that this was it. No more cable television while I’m pregnant, just look at how needlessly angry it was making me. I made him promise me that if my doctor looked at all like she was going to treat the baby like a puppet that he should immediately knock her to the floor, because otherwise I would one day show up at her house with a crowbar and then spend the rest of my life appealing an assault conviction. WHO KNEW that you might have to include a line in your birth plan that says, “If at all possible, could you please not play ventriloquist with my newborn baby.”