smiley face frownyMention you're aiming to not use drugs during labor and delivery, and it's like you said you're going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without a coat. Mention you're birthing at home, and now you've thrown your survival supplies down the mountainside too. It can be hard to talk about your own choices as a mom without people thinking you're trying to compete with them. Both of my births were in hospitals, both with epidurals (one failed), but that doesn't mean I don't see the logic and reasons to aim for natural birth (and would do it different if I did it again).

I love seeing pictures and birth stories where women succeed where I didn't, because as awesome as babies being brought into the world in any form are, I feel like some of the best empowerment and emotion is often in birthing center and homebirth photos, like this beautiful one from Lynsey Stone in the National Geographic photo contest. But true to form, people decided her success was an insult to them, somehow.

Her description, by the way, is that she is screaming, "I love you baby!" as she introduces her third child into the world, into her husband's arms.

But apparently her scaling "Mount Kilimanjaro" angers everyone else who wanted to, or tried and didn't quite make it. The comments her photo received ... ohhh the comments. From "God, didn't she eat during pregnancy?" to "I think it's staged -- whose hair looks like that while giving birth?" to "I looked like that at 20 weeks." Some questioned if she was pregnant at all; others were skeptical of her husband being there in the perfect spot. There were those who suggested it was fake, wondered where the blood was, and more that said she wasn't giving birth in a 'normal' position.

Why do people feel the need to do this? The birth was obviously healthy, and a joyous and beautiful experience, so I fail to understand why people -- especially other moms who've been through the trials of labor themselves -- would feel it was acceptable to use someone's birth photo as a forum for attacking someone? I mean, obviously, she doesn't look pregnant because the baby is in her husband's hands, not her stomach, her hair isn't messed up because she's not laying down, and so on. Every woman carries and gains weight differently in pregnancy. It doesn't take five minutes to process the obvious, but more importantly, why even feel the need?

Another friend of mine recently had her third baby in a birthing center (a VBAC, too!) and someone decided her birth story post was the perfect place to start insulting "breeders" (people who have kids) as a whole!

We moms are always going to have differences in opinions, a different thought on what birth should look like, but we need to at least learn manners -- especially if we want our children to learn them.

Have you had moms attack a personal photo of your own? How about try to honestly, politely help you? Which happens more often?

 

Image via adhirespati/Flickr