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Feb 21 2007

Public Cans of Austin: Hotel San José

san_jo_can.jpg
The can at the chic Hotel San José on trendy South Congress Ave: where edgy, creative people with sculpted bed-head go to pee. It’s unisex!

Once again spinster auntly pursuits interfere with today’s blaming schedule; I must take charge of my 3-year-old niece Rotel. She telephoned yesterday to inform me — in the background I heard her mother’s muffled but unmistakable chortle — that I was inviting her over for an indefinite period.

Rotel was explicit about her expectations regarding such endeavors as we might undertake, expectations which, I don’t mind telling you, seem somewhat far-fetched when you consider that extended interims in the company of 3-year-olds are not quite your line. For example, it appears I will have to forego my customary afternoon sacrament of pâté, vodka martinis, and a bracing 95-mile-an-hour drive in the country with the top down, in favor of “jumping on the big bed.” Also, the kid has ordered mac-and-cheese in a box and no carrots for dinner.

In a box! The skin crawls. Would that I were not in direct competition with my sister Tidy’s in-laws for the title of Favorite Aunt. Yes, I currently hold the lead by many furlongs (my winning strategy is this: give in to all demands for ice cream), but nothing is certain.

Blood, I suppose, is thicker than powdered cheese in a foil packet. But, damn.

Well. Since I can offer no improvement, cute kid story-wise, over the excellence routinely displayed by professional mommybloggers, I will leave it at that. Or rather, I will leave you with a link to this acrid essay on the supposed stupidity of parturient people who disdain to be medicalized, written by a surpassingly arrogant 30-something male MD who fancies himself a “compassionate person by nature” and is morbidly in love with his male privilege penis white coat.

Needless to say, if you don’t hear from me in 48 hours, start calling hospitals and police stations.

[Thanks Brianna]

97 comments

1 ping

  1. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Games of Candyland and Chutes-n-Ladders are also helpful. Repeat until insane.

  2. PhysioProf

    Re: Acrid Essay link

    That guy really writes like crap, too.

    “Whereas a majority of gravid women were solicitous to get an epidural catheter (at least in the catchment area of my Boston hospital), a peculiar but significant fraction clamored (at least initially) for the so-called natural childbirth route, sans epidural. I never understood (and still don’t understand) why a birthing woman in pain would not want pain control any less than a person with appendicitis would not want anesthesia for an appendectomy.”

    Reading these two sentences gave me a severe pain between my eyes.

  3. teffie-phd

    Have fun Aunty Twisty.

    And Dr. Switchblade is a fucktard. I won’t comment on his blog because I can’t read the stupid white on black script.

    I chose not to have an epidural both times, and ended up with no choice and the needle in my back once. I’m not “into” pain (and frankly my appendicitis hurt much more than labour), but I am into keeping the white-coat privilege out of my delivery room (or home where I laboured and planned to give birth).

    When I did have the epidural I was so over-dosed that my blood pressure crashed and I was numbed to the point of incapacitation. My midwives were not impressed and jigged the dose so I could move my arms again. We all blamed the patriarchy and I gave birth without further intervention.

    The point isn’t to glorify some natural past (I agree giving birth can be a risky business for some women and for most women in crappy circumstances) but to not give in to some overly medicalized present; the white coats don’t have it totally right by a long shot.

  4. curiousgyrl

    jumping on the big bed at el rancho sounds excellent. catsup and tobasco sauce improves mac n cheese from a box.

  5. Emotenote

    Silly me, I thought equating childbirth with disease went out in the 90′s.

    On a child-entertainment note; my kids would love to have a spinster aunt to take over from me (the vicious, uncaring,unyielding on homework, clean-up-the-glitter-glue, not-allowing-to-eat-chocolate-every-moment-of-the-day mom). I do, however, encourage Annie’s Mac-n Cheese, which is not bad at all considering the alternatives.

  6. curiousgyrl

    that fuckwad is so concerned about traumatizing “those around you.” Sit down and shut up birthing mom! No screaming or crying or feelng things! its irresponsible.

    That said, should I ever find myself in the postiino to choose, I would take the epi, since vodka martinis are not allowed in the birthing room.

  7. Lene

    And he is qualifies his ability to speak for all womankind, while ignoring countless studies regarding the risks of medicated vs. non-medicated birth, obfuscating with spurious information (maternal death rate in the 1800′s, as if that was solely due to the lack of anasthesia instead of lack of say, hygeine) by proclaiming “I’m not a woman, but…”.

    I’m not a (male) doctor, but it’s clear that he’s an ass.

  8. the first born fish

    I second a vote for Annie’s Mac and Cheese.

    Is there a children’s museum in the area?

    There’s one in my tiny town, and it has a big pit of colorful sand that keeps toddlers facinated for hours.

  9. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    After that pompous horse’s patoot as actually delivered a child, I’ll consider his opinion valid. Until then, I’ll borrow a lovely, colorful phrase from Ron Sullivan and invite him to have a steaming hot cup of Shut The F*ck Up.

  10. Dr. Free-Ride

    I managed to get the two minor children in my care to accept proper homemade macaroni and cheese (with whole wheat pasta and a sauce made from actual cheese), but only my calling it “baked pasta”. They still have an inexplicable fondness for the stuff in the cardboard box.

    The other day, the five year old inquired about instant ramen noodles, having seen one of the college students who works at the after school program partake of them. From our earthquake/sudden return to college emergency supplies, I extracted a package of Top Ramen and prepared it. Curiosity was satisfied, but it was not an instant hit.

    I suppose this goes to show that much-loved culinary atrocities can be specific to an age group or developmental stage, and that my children, despite their fondness for cold pizza for breakfast, are not ready for college.

  11. Switchblade Doctor

    This is apparently a blog which caters to rabid (and exceedingly retarded) lesbian manhaters. Have fun jumping on the big bed at El Rancho, ladies. Thanks for the link.
    Switchblade Doctor

  12. chingona

    Would you really want a man who calls himself Switchblade Doctor messing around with your business?

  13. jenevieve

    Aww, Switchblade, thanks for those words! You really defended yourself in an intelligent and thought-provoking way. I’m so glad you decided to come over here and prove us wrong on your idiotic, immature, misogynistic ways.

    I’ll be sure to tell my husband I’m a man-hating lesbian. He’ll smile at that.

    And Twisty, if I come jump on the bed, can I drink your Kool-Aid when I’m done?

  14. Lipstick-and-Birk-Wearing Momma

    Have a fabulous time! Pardon my curiousity, but I must ask. Is “Rotel” a pseudonym chosen after the beloved brand of hot tomatoes? Or did the mother crave Rotel dip while pregnant? Either way, some Rotel tomatoes might pick up the bland mac ‘n cheese.

  15. wren

    Well, I for one am glad the good “doctor” posted here, because it allowed me to decide that he is, in fact, an asshole, and it wasn’t simply his over-reliance on Latinate words (poorly used, by the way, if you’re still reading this) in the original post that was off-putting. Here I thought it might be his crappy writing prejudicing me against him, but: nope!

  16. Jess2

    I was a feminist before I got pregnant, but learning about the standard obstetrical practices vs. midwifery practices (and the related evidence regarding outcomes) turned me hard-core… for crystal clear evidence that society hates women, look no further than your local labor and delivery ward. It’s no coincidence that this country has both a fucked up abortion debate and a 30% c-section rate– the two are both symptoms of a paradigm that views women’s bodies and women’s health as objects to be controlled by men, regardless of the personal/health impact on the woman. Dr. Switchblade is indeed a fucktard. But he is in no way unique. Most OB’s (male and female) seem to hate women just as much as he does– but, of course, they are trained to look down on women and childbirth from day one of medical school (well, actually, they’re trained to hate women from day one of their own lives). Some OB/GYNs can see past this baloney, but asswipes like Dr. S. embrace the training and use it as a platform for their personal mysogeny/misanthropy as well. More generally, doctors are trained to see and treat diseases and parts, not people– this means that some MDs are just clueless about how to deal with healthy, whole people (which most pregnant women are) and others (like Dr. S.) seem to be downright offended by the notion that the pathology-laden sack of guts in front of them might oughtta be treated like a person instead of a collection of parts.

    Heard on the radio this morning that pretty soon, healthcare costs will represent 1 of every 5 dollars spent in this country. Holy megatheo-medico-industrial-corporatocracy, Batman! If and when (and I’m certainly not optimistic on this point) serious healthcare reform happens, medical management of childbirth may change, too. Homebirths, birth-center births, midwife attended births, and natural births are all cheaper than high intervention, medically managed births. Since we don’t give a rat’s ass about women in this country, perhaps there is hope that bottom-line concerns could drive reform. There are other models out there. In countries like the Netherlands, 90% of all births occur at home. In Sweden, almost all births are attended by midwives, not doctors. Not only do these countries have lower infant and mother mortality and morbidity than the US (where for all our intervention, we still have the highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world) but the cost of healthcare is lower, too. Of course, on the flip side, Mexico has a 90% c-section rate. Guess that’s another (more likely) model we might be heading toward. IBtP.

  17. wren

    Verily, I cannot get past the syntactic hate to blame properly. I just posted a comment to that effect over his way; I have a feeling it won’t make it out of moderation.

  18. KMTberry

    Annie’s brand box-cheese noodle dinner IS slightly less revolting than Kraft.

  19. Bitey

    Woo hoo! I wanna be a rabid retarded lesbian manhater! I don’t think I make the cut, though. Inventory:

    Rabid: Nope, not foaming at the mouth. Yet.

    Retarded: 3.9 GPA in my grad program so far, so guess I miss this one.

    Lesbian: Not unless my husband’s penis is secretly a vulva in disguise. I’ll ask him.

    Manhater: Only *most* men. Does that count?

    Come on, you hairy, rabid retards! Jump me in! Wooooooooooo!

  20. Lipstick-and-Birk-Wearing Momma

    I had a very positive experience with a doula, and I highly recommend them. If doctors and hospitals did not treat labor like an illness to be managed in shifts, women would not need doulas.

    If your doctor or hospital do not support having a doula, find another one.

  21. Shira

    From his comment section:

    “Judging by your inane comments, I’m also guessing that you’re autistic.”

    “Judith, you’re obviously referring to the childbirth research found in “The Archives of Retarded Nurses.””

    Smarty Smart Doctor apparently thinks ‘autistic’ is a synonym for ‘retarded,’ which are both synonyms for ‘people who disagree with me.’ Lovely. If only all OB/GYNs had blogs!

    This reminds me of my friend with severe endometriosis who was told by one, after going to the emergency room in an ambulance because of pain and uncontrolled bleeding, to “stop being such a drama queen. It couldn’t possibly hurt that much.” I’m still trying to convince her to blame the patriarchy, though.

  22. Jess2

    Fifty bucks says Dr. S. can’t get it up.

  23. Hawise

    Any brand of mac and cheese can be perked up with a little black pepper and soy sauce. Chop some hot dogs into it and you have an instant hit. I had to give up hiding vegetables in it as my son can find every corn kernel in a bowl of yellow gloppy stuff. Mac and cheese is his reward for letting Mommy run away one night a week.

    You can entertain most three year olds for hours if you provide them with a pile of gravel and a pond to throw it in.

  24. CafeSiren

    Thanks for the link, Twisty. I went and left a comment, but under an alias that shows off my fat academic credentials (yeah, dealing with pompous authority figures brings that out in me). But, alas, it’s stuck in “moderation.” It will be interesting to see if our gentle host allows it to appear.

  25. yankee transplant

    If it’s not too late, I concur with the recommendation of Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese if you have it at your disposal. It’s far better than the usual crap, especially if you get the one with the cheesy goo in a foil package, rather than the powder. Environmentally friendly, too!

    And boy oh boy, what a wonderful Aunt you must be! Lucky you and lucky Rotel to have the time to spend together! The blaming shall continue in your absence.

  26. BubbasNightmare

    “…the supposed stupidity of parturient people who disdain to be medicalized”

    Goddamn it. Another word I had to go look up.

  27. Edith

    “..I spent a disproportionately large portion of my time during residency on the labor and delivery floor managing the pains of laboring women and deriving substantial satisfaction from doing so.”

    Yeah, a man feels satisfaction from women’s pain. Color me surprised.

  28. B. Dagger Lee

    I’ve added another feature to my dual-purpose sausage-making and textual-analysis machine: the Idiocracy Translator Attachment. It makes a hell of a noise and keeps falling off, but, anyway, here’s what it said after I put Dr. Switchblade’s comment through it:

    “Dr. Switchblade to Twisty: ‘Dude, your shit’s ‘tarded and you talk like a fag!’ ”

    yrs,
    B. Dagger Lee

    P.S. Sometimes Miss Patsy brings me macaroni and cheese from Whole Foods and that shit makes me happy.

  29. Edith

    On nurse midwives:

    “they’re acerbic, ignorant and foolhardy and generally built like linebackers”

    Hott. I want to be described in such a manner one day.

    I have a confession to make. I like Kraft mac and cheese. Can I still play?

  30. hedonistic

    Oh my goodness what an overweening, snot-nosed douchebag!

    I took every drug possible during my High Risk Pregnancy From Hell (unfortunately the epidural I requested during Bunny’s premature birth only “took” from the spine on up, leaving my nether regions completely unmedicated. She had a 14 inch head, augh!). STILL, I absolutely REFUSED my catheter, preferring to pee naturally, thank you very much. Enough pain was enough pain.

    People are allowed to refuse medical care, PERIOD, so if a woman is willing to endure the pain of childbirth without meds I’m sure she has her reasons. She’s an adult, not a child.

    I would never go to a doctor who went by his handle. Ew. Obviously the man has no respect at all. In fact I’d be willing to venture a guess that he suffers from a pathological psychiatric disorder. Any guesses as to which one I’m thinking of?

  31. smmo

    Dr. Hideous Syntax is a knob of the knobbiest order.
    His attack on natural childbirth, nurses and midwives is simple misogyny and that he is allowed near any laboring woman is scary.

    All that said, I’ve got problems with natural childbirth as well. Plenty of women-hating religions (redundancy) forbid pain relief for labor. The movement to make women more powerful in childbirth is laudable, but to me it fetishizes the birth experience. There is also this wacky “Pain Olympics” aspect of it in which the woman who suffered the most wins the gold medal. There are excesses on both sides of the debate, to be sure. I loved my medical birth and most of the doctors etc. who attended me were women. The drugs were really good too. Mmm, drugs.

  32. Orange

    My kid likes Annie’s, but I can abide only standard Kraft mac & cheese. Is this considered a disability?

    If Rotel will eat ramen noodles and hot dogs and you’ve got green food coloring (or if you’ve got green pasta), green noodles = seaweed plus hot dog = cephalopod makes a cute dish. Slice the hot dog most of the way up two or three times to make tentacles and drop in boiling water to curl the tentacles. This combo should rack up a few more points for you in the Best Aunt contest.

    Wow, Switchblade Sociopath is an ass.

  33. FemiMom

    Blaimers: I have consulted Dr. Femi, the medical half of the FemiDyad. Dr. WomanSlicer (or whatever the heck his name is) sounded too demented to be true. My other half (who is a feminist, hetero dude and physician) concured. Our guess is that Dr. AssHat (WomanSlicer, whatever) is not a real doctor, but the creation of some unemployed, unloved woman hater. Since he lists all his alleged credentials, his existence can be proven/disproven. If he is found to be a bonified medical professional, I would love to e-mail his rants to all his colleagues. How dare this man, who surely has female patients, conduct a misogynist jihad under the radar!

  34. LL

    Wow. I’m a lesbian now. I woke up this morning a man-lovin’ het and I read Twisty’s site and now I’m a man-hatin’ homo!!

    Way to go, Twisty!!

    Dr. Switch, I had an epidural when I had my kid and I still think you’re a jackass.

  35. Keeshond

    The request the young ‘un made for boxed mac and cheese is an obvious cry for help, Twisty. As most favored spinster aunt, you’re in a unique position to influence her tiny taste buds with some of the more scrumptious morsels you’ve featured here. Yeah, I know, wishful thinking. I have a newphew who is seven and refuses to eat anything but chicken nuggets, cheese pizza and bacon. What’s a doting aunt to do?

    As for the good doctor, what a terrible burden for him it must be to know everything. The weight of all that knowledge must be crushing. No wonder he’s so cranky.

  36. bitchphd

    Orange is correct: only Kraft brand boxed fluorescent dye and macaroni is acceptable. That Annie’s stuff is just wrong.

  37. thebewilderness

    His argument seems to be that it is more convenient for him to risk the complications inherent in an early epidural on the off chance that he may have an opportunity to slice and dice a c section later. Oh, and the noise, of course, he shouldn’t have to put up with all that noise.
    I also noted that the anesthesiologist is a he, nurses are all she, and the baby was the one dr slice and dice seemed to think was being put at risk. This is not a man I would ever want to be in the same room with.

  38. buggle

    Ok, so who is going to find out who this guy really is and expose him for being a total fraud? I think if he isn’t a fraud, emailing his colleagues would be quite a nice idea. He’s put these ideas online, so it’s fair game.

    Ass.

  39. arlene

    My friend who has had three babies- the last two sans epidural- can attest to how much easier it is to recover after the birth if you can stand the pain and forego the epidural. I had my daughter almost 16 years ago with an epidural and found the numbness lingered and made walking about difficult for two days afterwards. Given the option to give birth again I would do my utmost to keep it as natural as possible, for both my benefit and for that of my baby.
    This man sounds both ridiculous, ill informed and childish, a most unattractive combination.

  40. Vera Venom

    “Fifty bucks says Dr. S. can’t get it up. ”

    I raise you a “has never gotten laid. Hence, the blustering misogyny”.

    That said, Dr. Woman-hater does make me exceedingly happy I only see female OB/GYNs.

  41. ms_mutt

    If anyone needs more evidence that the “doctor” is a total asshat, just check out his opinion of nurses.

    Here’s a paticularly gag-worthy bit from the “Clown” post.

    “Clinical nurses specialists are nurses who realize too late that nursing is servile and generally unrewarding and view the specialist route as a way to reclaim a modicum of dignity. Unfortunately, those of us who are actually smart enough to get into medical school have to suffer through working with these ignorant gadflies”

  42. Tanya

    I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if Dr. Asshole is the same guy that delivered my first kid. He was an arrogant prick that would not answer any of my questions at all. While the kids’ head was crowning he injected some anaesthetic in preporation for an episiotomy, which I had said I did not want. Then he did not bother to tell me not to push and everything tore. It took at least an hour to stitch everything back together. Doctor Incompetent got his intern to stitch everything back up. I could tell that the intern was pissed off at the way I was treated and ignored but he felt obligated to shut up and keep his opinions to himself. Luckily, I didn’t suffer any longterm damage although it did take at least a year for the ugly and painful vaginal scarring the heal. It increased my recovery time and pain substantially. When I rode a bike I was sitting on a lump of skin. He also made bad jokes about my pubic hair. What a prick. I was quite bitter about that.

    When my second kid was born I had a woman doctor. She wasn’t nearly as rude and fucktarded as the doctor that delivered my oldest kid. But the baby was facing upwards, which made it harder for her to come out. She was stuck and the doctor wanted me to lay on my back with my knees in the air and push. After trying this several times and getting extremely frustrated at my lack of progress I suggested that I sit upwards instead of laying on my back. She insisted that I lay down. Then she got a suction thing and stuck it to the babies head and tried to yank her out. That failed. I have to tell you that the feeling of a baby almost coming out your wazoo and then getting shot right back inside you is the most bizarre and terrifying thing I have ever experienced. So then she wanted to get out the forceps. I was quite pissed off so then I insisted that my man help me sit up. I was as numb as could be and I couldn’t tell I had legs at all and moving on my own was out of the question. I decided that the only way that I was laying down was if they hold me down and even though my legs weren’t working my fists still were! Anyway, about 4 pushes later after sitting upright and my baby was born. When I confronted the good doctor about this the next day, she completely denied my story. She said “You just decided to get serious about having that baby.” That bitch. How dare you! I was so pissed that I told her to leave.

    I tell everybody that is having a baby to make sure that they have competent support. I think putting the burden of support on a partner is too much and there really should be somebody there to make sure that the doctor does not treat you like a piece of meat. They really are arrogant assholes a lot of times.

  43. cycles

    I’m very sorry to use all caps, but I beg you, plese, DO NOT ADULTERATE KRAFT MAC & CHEESE for Rotel’s visit.

    Kids know what they want when it’s a familiar treat, and she specifically asked for it. Altering the orange goop any way will only end in tragedy.

    My ex was a picky eater, and it was like catering to the Princess and the Pea (“You added an eighth teaspoon of cumin to the rice? Noooooo, it’s awwwwwfulllll!”)

    Maybe next time she visits, you can slowly wean her with Annie’s, or the homemade deliciousness, when she’s not expecting the Kraft stuff. As a child, I didn’t appreciate “baked noodles” because I had very rigid expectations of what The Food Known As Mac & Cheese was supposed to be.

  44. octogalore

    Like LL, I had an epidural but agree that Switchblade is an ass.

    I could not, as a matter of fact, get my epi as early as I wanted it. I had a ruptured placenta, quick contractions, and was going to be induced the following day. I was given some pre-induction meds, and got shooting pains in my lower back. Somehow the docs didn’t think I could be dilated, didn’t bother to check, and didn’t get why I was in pain. I had to become hysterical to get the epidural. When checked shortly thereafter, I was already almost 10cm and ready to go.

    I wonder if there is a medical database by which FemiMom could find out who Switchblade is, like the equivalent of Martindales for lawyers. Switchblade may have altered one or more of his creds to prevent this, however. I do think it would be very appropriate to alert his higher-ups to his misogynistic comments about female nurses and patients.

    Looking briefly at the “love/marriage” section on his site, he has clearly been righteously dumped, hard, and is looking to air out his grievances on unsuspecting patients and nurses. This guy needs a warning label, stat.

  45. Clio Bluestocking

    What arrogance and disrespect he displays toward his patients, toward other medical professionals, toward women. I would never want him as my doctor for anything. He seems like the sort who never listens to what you say about anything having to do with your own body. There seems to be this virulent paternalism still surviving in medicine where expertise in the functions of the body automatically translates into expertise on the life choices that a woman should make, no matter how well-informed she is about those choices.

  46. nina

    Assholes like Dr. S. are exactly why I stayed as far away as possible from them and any of their institutions when I was pregnant and then giving birth. I loved my midwives, I was lucky and had an easy birth after a healthy pregnancy (wide hips!), and actually think that the first weeks of breastfeeding were the most painful part of the whole deal.

    I can’t believe he couldn’t come up with something more clever than the tired ol’ “man-hating lesbians” line, either.

  47. quite contrary

    Well, it makes me feel a little better that Dr. Asshat is getting pounded in his comments section. He’s written a follow-up post called “Medieval Childbirth, Redux” where he complains about the stupid women not understanding his post, wah wah wah. In my response to that post, he called me a “harpy.” How cute.

  48. Betsy

    Ugh — I acted on my impulse to read the linked material.

    So dated. I bet he is inordinately proud of his foreplay skills.

  49. kcb

    My scorecard (at least where it concerns pregnancies that made it to labor and delivery):

    1. Epidural from an asshole who was upset that I hadn’t scheduled it beforehand — I spent three hours pushing b/c he turned the damned thing up so high. I literally could not feel Rocketboy being born.

    2. Epidural from hell (at the recommendation of my midwife) from the kindly staff who knew I’d been laboring three days after a ‘fetal demise.’ The epidural took only on one side, which is about as useful as no epidural at all, with the added bonus that I could now no longer change positions without risking a blood-pressure crash.

    3. No epidural but something called Stadol that the nurse promised would make me feel like I’d had three margaritas. And it did — I yelled like a drunk being beaten in an alley. But Hurricanehead and his 14-inch head (I hear ya, Hedonistic — ouch!) came out just fine, I could still move and feel my legs, and I recovered much faster than my previous two births.

    I know women who swear their epidural was great, but I guess that’s because theirs were administered properly. There’s apparently a skill to it that not all anesthesiologists have, and Dr. Switchblade (if he is a real doctor and not a troll playing dress-up) has no business judging anyone for not making the choices he would make if only he had a uterus.If he hates people that much, he should find a line of work in which he can avoid them. Pathology, maybe?

  50. dr_igloo

    Oh my god Nina — except that I would have substituted “asshat” for “asshole,” you wrote EXACTLY what I was gonna write!!!

  51. ChapstickAddict

    Call me optimistic, because I haven’t had any kids, and I hardly get a period more than once every six months, but when I’m ready to have children, I want a natural childbirth. (I know, I reek of inexperience and idealism, but at least I admit it.) I’ve read too many horror stories about the after effects of epidurals and the lack of understanding doctors have about the whole process of birth (given the fact that 30% of all births are c-sections and that around 70-80% of new mothers are given episiotomies, in the US).

    If I am in a hospital, I am going to have someone there to make sure the doctor does NOT give me an episiotomy or sneak painkillers into my system.

    Tanya: Speaking of inappropriate comments from a doctor, last time I went for a physical, I had to wear that stupid paper-towel gown (and I would’ve been naked except for the fact that I refused to let the male doctor give me any sort of breast or pelvic exam, so they let me keep my underwear on), but the doctor did comment on my “good looks” during the rest of the exam. Creepy. Later, because I talked about having my last exam at Planned Parenthood, he sent me a brochure (with my physical results) about how I should accept the lord into my life, or face an eternity of hell. Nice.

  52. Jodie

    My comment here didn’t make it through. I think I inadvertently used the dreaded ellipsis. Darn.

    And the comment I left over there was deleted (probably because it didn’t fit his thesis; why bother with pesky facts if you can ignore them?).

    Not having an epidural meant that I could get up and walk right after giving birth which was a very cool thing; in addition, my baby was alert and feeding right away. Was laboring painful without drugs? Yes, but in a “getting things done sort of way” (much the way I think a runner’s high feels) instead of a “getting your teeth drilled without drugs sort of way” (a long story, which has happened to me, and not by choice, either).

    Having said that, I’d never question the choice of someone who wanted the epidural; every woman’s different, and we all expect and want different things. I don’t drink and don’t like to take medications (except for drilling teeth), so going without was (pardon) a natural decision for me.

  53. Lisa

    When I was pg, I studied the research and decided that it very much depended on the personal, medical situation of each woman to weight her own risks regarding natural vs. medical interventioned childbirth. Obviously, a low risk no problem pg is safer the natural way, whereas other women have to obviously weigh the risks of all options. (I had pre-eclampsia and two breach twins, so it was all epidural and scheduled C-section for me.) Other women will make different decisions.

    So, notice Doctor Switchblade, I refer to the decision making process as that of the woman and entirely the woman. Sure, she will consult with medical professionals, and then make her own decision. It is no one elses business. One thing I know that I would decide wholeheartedly is that I would want to give birth as far away as humanly possible from an asshole like you. You really shouldn’t set foot around children, or women for that matter.

    And another thing, I have worked in hospitals and have the utmost respect for CRNA’s, CMW’s, RN’s and other allied health professionals. They RUN the hospital and health care would break down without them. You know that they are all talking about what a dick doctors like you are when you aren’t around and also fixing your mistakes.

    Sorry for the hijack, Twisty, but the arrogance of that doctor puts the medical profession to shame. Also, as a disabled woman, I’m pissed at his hate speech against people with cognitive disabilities. Unprofessional and uneducated bigotted speech like that should be cause for automatic revocation of his liscense.

  54. Keeshond

    If he hates people that much, he should find a line of work in which he can avoid them. Pathology, maybe?

    Or perhaps coroner. I’m sure he’d get along great with the dead.

  55. Isabella

    I’ve never had a baby, but I hope to someday.
    Reading this asshat’s post is the first time I’ve ever been afraid of labor. What if I ended up at the mercy of someone like him??? yick!!

    Notice how he blogs his speculation as to why women don’t get epidurals, hire doulas, etc- but can’t seem to be bothered to actually ask any of his patients about their decisions (of course, coming from him, I’m sure such question would come across as an accusation of bad decision-making rather than a genuine question- but at least he might learn that the doula is not a stranger). It would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

  56. kathy a

    rotel will want her specific favorite brand, but annie’s is better if you can get her to eat it. plus, cute bunny on the package.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    it is really hard to have confidence in the opinions of a professional who answers disagreement by calling his critics man-hating lesbian retards. i’m pretty sure they frown on that kind of behavior even in medical school.

    as it happens, i wanted meds for my last labor. the doctor-who-knows-more-than-me “wasn’t ready to call it labor yet.” by the time they rousted him back out of the card game, i was delivering and it was too damned late. almost nothing makes me more furious than being denied decisions that are mine — only mine — to make.

    [as a matter of fact, i had a good medical reason for wanting an epidural in *addition* to pain relief. my first child had been delivered by c-section, and there was a risk going with VBAC for my second child. had i needed an emergency c-section, they would have had to knock me out. when the doctor declared he wasn't ready to call it labor, i had been in intense labor for 6 hours, sometimes on oxygen, and there were some signs of fetal distress -- hence the oxygen. he probably left the room muttering about how i'm a retard. this delivery was at an overseas hospital where the staff could not be sued, which may have contributed to the air of superiority.]

    dealing with doctors who lack respect for their patients and the boundaries of their own roles adds immensely to the tension and discomfort of medical care. childbirth is an intensely personal event, and women both experience it differently and have different priorities and needs. aside from taking reasonable steps to monitor and ensure safety, it is really nobody’s business if someone labors in different positions, chooses to have certain kinds of personal support, chooses to have or not have pain relief, etc.

    it’s kind of funny, because when i was first pregnant 20 years ago, there was a lot of social pressure to give birth naturally. everyone went to lamaze classes — do they still? — to learn more, even those of us wimps who wanted meds. it wasn’t new age or uninformed, it was mainstream. my OB that pregnancy was just fabulous, more bedside manner and respect in his little finger than dr. whozits will ever enjoy in his career.

  57. CafeSiren

    My nursing-student friend tells me that VBAC is illegal in the state of Kansas…

  58. Twisty

    “This is apparently a blog which caters to rabid (and exceedingly retarded) lesbian manhaters.”

    Classy.

  59. Twisty

    To alleviate all yall’s fears (except those of the small but fierce Kraft faction), Rotel’s preference is for Annie’s brand in a purple box.

  60. kate

    When I gave birth to my first child at seventeen, I requested that I receive no epidural or any other pain killer. My decision was questioned, but I was adamant. There wasn’t much at that time in my life that I cared about, but once pregnant, that all changed and I read up voraciously and was ready for what was coming.

    My memory of the first birth was not having insurance and having to be wheeled into a stark 50′s style room complete with tiled walls, one clock across the wall above me and a rock hard operating table bed. I laid there for ten hours with an old shriveled nurse checking my progress in dilation about every four hours and insisting that I wasn’t ready and making every opportunity possible to smirk and make comments about my youth.

    By the time I was getting into serious contractions my then husband panicked and started demanding that I receive ‘something’ for it. By that point I didn’t give a damn anymore, the shame that had been heaped on me for hours having set in and taking away my sense of entitlement to demand anything.

    I don’t know if I received an epidural, I know that the delivery was absolutely excruciating and that I was told to ‘hold back’ even though the nurses were running around saying, “It’s crowning!” and “Where the hell is he? Page him again!” since apparently nurses aren’t allowed to catch babies. See, since I didn’t have insurance, it took them some time to figure out who I had seen for prenatal, even to the point of asking me a few times and how often since he never bothered to put his name in as my physician, which also explained the surprise at the front desk and the resultant, “Where do we put her?” which led to my quarantine in tiled room at the end of the triage. “We never use this room, why did they put you in here?” was what the next shift of nurses asked when wheeling me out of there for child 1 to make his big entrance to the world.

    I know that with all three births I had I was up and walking around after a good few hours sleep, if I recall correctly. Frankly, the birthing experiences, contrary to popular mythology, were not the highlights of my life and therefore, I haven’t quite etched all of it into a permanent memory bank. Some details are fading over time.

  61. Jezebella

    You all must have scared Dr. Asshat thoroughly, because the link requires login now, which I assume he’s done so that nobody can check his credentials and out him as a woman-hater to his medical colleagues.

    I kind of want a t-shirt that says “retarded, rabid, lesbian man-hater.”

    By the way: I’ve been reading Shulamith Firestone while in airports and airplanes this last week, and find that it serves as a powerful deterrant to unwanted chat while on public transportation.

  62. kathy a

    wow, cafe siren. i had heard that the rate of VBACs has gone way down, but hadn’t heard it was illegal anywhere.

    did a quick google search for VBAC [which confirms that VBAC remains a viable option, though much less used the last 10 years] and kansas. the kansas chapter of the international cesarean awareness network posted a press release saying that over 300 hospitals nationally refuse to do VBACs. http://www.ican-online.org/press/articles/20041215-ican.pdf not exactly illegal; just not available, across the board.

    that seems pretty stunning to me, denying across the board a medical option that is safe and successful for the vast majority of us who have had prior c-sections with low incisions. there were ways that my first delivery [by c-section] was easier for me during the event itself, especially because my frank breech baby was unlikely to depart the premises that way — but it was major surgery, carries its own risks, is expensive, and requires a solid 6 weeks of recovery. i mean, i could not drive my car for 6 weeks, because the pedals required use of severed muscles.

    i guess it is easier for the docs to just schedule a repeat c-section, not have to worry about doing a trial of labor. major surgery ain’t a walk in the park for a new mother, though, unless maybe she has substantial quantities of household help and enough meds to keep her loopy for the duration — and those circumstances are not ideal for the early bonding and breastfeeding. IBTP

  63. kcb

    You all must have scared Dr. Asshat thoroughly, because the link requires login now, which I assume he’s done so that nobody can check his credentials and out him as a woman-hater to his medical colleagues.

    Of course, his mental fly is still flapping open in Google’s cache, but the less I have to read of his puerile, grammatically impaired prose, the better. My favorite line from one of his posts was “Women need a safe, birthing environment.”

    Hey, if the environment could birth, I wouldn’t have to.

  64. kanea

    I too tried to look at the link but it required a loggin. does anyone remember his credentials? I know there is away to find doctors via diplomas, resumes(sp). this doctor makes me very very happy that fate saw fit to make me barron(sp)…..I hope this Dr. sadist winds up with a retarded rabid lesbian man-hater for his proctologist. (please forgive my horrid spelling mistakes)

  65. kcb

    Google “switchblade doctor” and you’ll get several results. The links won’t work, but if you click “cache” you’ll be able to get to an ugly version of the pages.

  66. Morgaine

    “I’m a thirtysomething physician and recently completed residency training at MGH. I studied neuroscience as an undergraduate at Cornell University. My medical degree is from Cornell University Medical College. I also have a masters degree in public health from Columbia University. Currently, I live and work in Northern California.”

    Seems like he might have made up these credentials though…..

  67. kcb

    On the other hand, is it worth that much effort?

  68. Samantha

    I spent about two hours today trying to find out who this guy is (yeah, I know. I have OCD) based on his touted credentials in his “about” section in an effort to email that post of his to his supervising physician or whomever might find it of interest. He should be called out by his medical peers on this one, as I believe this borders on malpractice. Sadly, I found no one fitting his description.

    But, in a subsequent post, someone writes (paraphrasing), “I know this guy. He’s an ObGyn Fellow at Johns Hopkins. And yes, he’s arrogant, and no one like him.”

    Searching the Johns Hopkins site, I still didn’t find anyone with his educational and residency background. Perhaps he’s exaggerated his credentials? Surely not. But I find it telling that he has now restricted access to his site.

    I encourage someone with more time on her hands (or access to records of Johns Hopkins staff, perhaps?) than I have to pursue this worthwhile endeavor in patriarchy blaming.

  69. cycles

    Likes Annie’s already? Good kiddo.

    I have nothing to add to the childbirth discussion, as I’m a nulliparous bitch with no immediate plans to spawn. I don’t doubt that childbirth is stressful for the medical staff, as it requires full participation by the patient. Other than physical therapy, I can’t think of other medical procedures that require such a high level of cooperation. This means the staff needs to be able to lean on their people skills, which they may lack completely, and I’m sure that this makes it no fun for doctors who think of patients as macdhines or stupid animals.

    Oh, how much easier it would be to just put all women under and carve them suckers out. Bonus: doctor doesn’t have to share credit with anyone. Hassle-free apotheosis!

  70. kathy a

    kcb, excellent!

    kanea, i believe dr. big-guy is blogging anonymously, in between saving women from themselves and his hobby as a rather uninventive troll. if this crap is stuff he feels comfortable writing about, don’t think that his views have been missed at work. HR probably has him on radar; the nurses probably have a game of “idiot doctor bingo” going.

  71. kcb

    “idiot doctor bingo”

    Love it, kathy — sounds like an album name to me.

  72. Twisty

    “Currently, I live and work in Northern California.”

    When I read his site, it said D.C.

  73. Malibu Stacy

    Yep, he changed his location from D.C. to No Cal and his university affiliation from Harvard to Cornell. Apparently the jolt he received from the audacity of female disagreement was enough to displace him by several time zones and jumble his c.v. like a bag of Scrabble tiles.

  74. octopod

    Wow. Alright, I’m convinced now — the guy’s a total fake, a troll in a lab coat.

  75. Bitey

    When I read it, it said he’d done his undergrad work at UCLA. And yes, I remember rolling my eyes over his writing that he lives and works in “the District of Columbia” rather than just saying D.C. Stupid asshat. I hope he gets what’s coming to him.

    I would totally buy a “Rabid Retarded Lesbian Manhater” t-shirt.

  76. Spinning Liz

    Does Rotel play poker? My children (whom I birthed noisily and naturally while out working in the fields etc. etc.) loved playing poker more than anything at that age. Youngsters can be pretty brutal though, so be careful: my youngest boy won my damn car from me when he was four, and I haven’t been able to win it back from him yet. And that was 20 years ago.

    Idiot doctor bingo sounds fun too.

  77. PhoenixRising

    My sister is a CNM. Stories like the ones told by the doctor, cast from her perspective, are the reason I adopted. Specifically, once I found out that ‘episeotomy’ means ’26 year old resident cuts a swath across my business’, I started filling out the homestudy paperwork.

    As to the 3 year old, Annie’s rocks. Keep in mind that you can get it microwavable at the Whole Foods on 6th which is really near the Childrens’ Museum, which also rocks.

    OTOH, at that age, you can pretty much strip her, put her in a bathtub with half a can of shaving cream, and get on with your day. Vodka martinis yes, 95 mile per hour ride out.

  78. MzNicky

    Okay. I tried to get to this sadist’s site but had to register or some such shit so forget it. I think I get the picture anyway from the comments here.

    Fuck him. Well, not literally. Who uses a male ob/gyn? Please.

    Childbirth tales are the female war stories. In brief, here’s mine: First kid, totally natural (it was 1979). Dr. Wonderful came in at the last minute, parked his golf club in the corner and “caught” her. Second kid: Line up all the drugs you got and give ‘em to me as soon as you can. I call Dr. Himself after 10 hours of labor and Dr. Himself says, “oh okay, come in and let’s see what you got.” (Shitbag. I switched to a female ob/gyn immediately afterward.) Epidural headache (couldn’t sit upright without being slammed back down); went back for the spinal patch three days later. Permanent back trouble. NO REGRETS. As a writer I know says, “What pain can teach you isn’t worth knowing.” Amen to that.

    Now my daughter wants a baby. I know, whadda ya gonna do. She and her husband want a C-section to avoid all the, well, wear and tear on the ol’ vagina.

    Here’s what I want to know. What is so fucking great about the birth process? Why should women lie in what (from my experience) can only be described as torture for hours, and hours, on end, when the child can be brought forth conveniently and expressly and relatively painlessly? Yeah, there’s a longer recovery time. BFD. What about 25 years down the road, when the uterus falls and you pee yourself everytime you cough? Is that worth it? What’s the advantage to vaginal birth? Let’s set aside that (male) docs prefer its scheduleability and so forth. I’m asking honestly; I’ve been out of the childbirthing game for nearly 3 decades now. Anyone? I really am open to everyone’s thoughts.

  79. vera

    MzNicky, I loved giving birth. The first time was long — 28 hours — and I ended up having a caudal (a low epidural). The second time was without anesthesia. I didn’t even need a painkiller. I was up and about within a couple of hours. In contrast, the epidural the first time left me woozy, unable to pee, and unable to walk. In my opinion, natural is easier, all things considered. But that’s my experience. I was fortunate; I got to make my own damn choices.

    Dr. Switchblade, easily cowed by us lil’ ol’ feminists, took his site down. I guess he doesn’t stand behind his words, despite his macho bluster.

  80. MzNicky

    Thanks, vera. I actually “loved” my Ms. Natural experience as well, although these days I can’t imagine recommending it to anyone. Nor breastfeeding for six fucking months, gimme a break already I’ve got a life of my own. I’m just thinking Donna Haraway a lot lately. When can we turn this whole bullshit enterprise over to the cyborgs/virtual uteri? Wouldn’t that solve a whole shitload of social problems already? I mean really.

  81. vera

    Ha! *These days* I’m 53, and damned right I can’t imagine breastfeeding. (If I was doing it, though, I’d be doing it in public just to piss off godbags.)

    In my personal opinion, which usually causes people to edge nervously away from me, sometime in the next six years we will pass through the cultural equivalent of a black hole’s event horizon, and the inevitable transformation of human culture into cyborg culture will begin. The patriarchy is doomed, because cyborgs won’t stand for it. But I’m an optimist.

  82. MzNicky

    It’s gotta happen. Think about it: How much more primitive, in terms of human development, can the birth process itself be? It’s got to be taken over, sooner preferably than later, by machines. (Patriarchy is of course to blame for the fact that it hasn’t already.) But just try to advance that theory amongst one’s acquaintances and loved ones in, for example, the Bible Belt, in which I for example dwell.

    Nothing will advance the course of human evolution more than the relieving of the fear of extinction by a reliance upon technological means. Within the context of “human” I almost exclusively emphasize “female,” the only real hope for the continuation of the species.

  83. MzNicky

    Twisty: At the risk of over-posting, but then again I’ve been silent for a while:

    Give the child the alarmingly-orange-colored mac and “cheez.” Listen, when my ungrateful whelps were being reared I would toil over MzNicky’s Fabulous Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Casserole with hand-shredded organic Cheddar and fuckall for the little ingrates, and to what end? XY would whine, “I want Velveeta® Shells n Cheese!” and XX (the one who now wants a C-section) would turn up her snub nose and leave the table. Fucking brats. Give the kid her powdered Agent-Orange cheese mac. She’ll remember you fondly for it, and in the end, I’m convinced that’s what matters above all else.

  84. Jen H

    My kids know two kinds of macncheese, Mommy and box. Lucky for me , they eat both. I prefer Kraft to the Annie’s, no doubt due to the heavy programming I had as a kid. The Annie’s is just yucky, I think, thin and chewy in a bad way. When I saw this article in Salon it sort of summed up some of my feelings:

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/food/eat_drink/2007/01/30/annies/

    I offered to have friends over for a lunch playdate once upon a time. My friend asked what lunch would be. I told her I’d make mac and cheese and have fruit salad. She said, “My kids don’t eat that crap.” I told her I’d be making the dish from ingredients, not a box. This confused her–she had no concept of the dish outside of the box, whatever color it might be. And who the hell says that in response to a lunch invitation?

    Food can be made of food. It’s not too tricky. I’m not that bright, and I manage. I love my Kraft Dinner now and then, as many do, but the whole issue of feeding kids has become public domain in a way that I find maddening. There are a lot of impossible to enforce rules, and it pits mom against mom. IBTP.

  85. Jen H

    And Twisty, head to the Austin Science and Nature Center. Just right for a three year old–dig for bones in the sand, watch bees, check out the hawks.

  86. vera

    I made my daughters mac and cheese from organic pasta and hand-grated Jarlsberg with freshly picked, just-shelled English spring peas. They didn’t eat that, either.

  87. Lara

    A lot of people feel compelled to issue a boilerplate disclaimer every time they talk about the rights of women to be free from patriarchopathic docbag behaviour while birthing. “Oh, but modern medicine is wonderful reeeally, in its place, and for those women whole need interventions, C sections are a godsend!”

    This reminds me of nothing more than the irrelevant and desperate tagline to many protofeminist declarations (those I see here at IBTP and similar sites excepted, of course) – “…but I’m not a man-hater! And I like sex! Honest!”

    The disclaimers might be factually true (for some at least), but they’re out of place in the context, and they distract from the message. I recognise this tendency to derail by tilting at strawmen in my own discourse, but I’m working on it – so that the core message, that women are people, might have its moment in the sun.

  88. Alarming Female

    I’m not rabid (though certainly MAD); not retarded (says Mensa); not a man-hater (some exceptions, certainly); not a lesbian (more’s the pity). I do have an autistic child; that’s gotta count for something.

    But more to the point: I chose “natural” childbirth twice, and even though the first labor lasted 14 hours and produced a ten pound baby I was exhilarated at its conclusion and looking forward to doing it again. The birth experiences were not painless, but neither is a marathon, and one doesn’t get an epidural for that. The pain of hard work isn’t pathological, it’s normal, and healthy labor is certainly endurable. Especially if you’ve not been conditioned to think it’s going to be unbearable, and therefore are not terrified going in.

    American woman-hating culture teaches us, from that first drop of menstrual blood, to not trust our bodies and to fear their functions.

    After my first child was born, eighteen years ago, my confidence in myself and my conviction that I was a powerful human being was astounding. Ever since then I’ve had a hypothesis: if all women felt this powerful, creative, and confident, we’d be well on our way to a fucking MATRIARCHY.

    And while I defend any woman’s right to choose a medicated birth, I believe those that frame birthing as a pathological event are participants in a “vast patriarchal conspiracy” designed to keep women unaware of their potential to run this place the way it should be run. Damn straight.

    I’m only half joking. No, not even half. Just a little smile playing around the edges of my mouth.

  89. Renee

    MzNicky: Like Alarming Female, I also chose a natural birth. A home birth, in fact, attended by 2 nurse midwives, my mother and 2 friends. There were no men present whatsoever, as I was a single unwed mother and the father was (blessedly) estranged. I was on Medicaid, so I saved all you taxpayers a whole lotta dough by having an intervention-free birth. You’re welcome!

    I’d agree that natural birthing isn’t for everyone, and in an ideal world each and every woman should be able to make an INFORMED choice about her birth experience from beginning to end.

    Regardless of where you give birth, however, there is one thing the Patriarchy doesn’t want women to know: It’s a whole lot easier to push a baby out of your vagina if you GET OFF YOUR BACK. The secret to a better birth is squatting – make gravity work for you! Which is kinda tricky if you’re numb from the waist down or strapped to a bed, but hey, the Patriarchy must make things easier for doctors. To hell with the laboring woman.

    Of course, when I tried to share my experience with Dr. Switchblade, he diagnosed me as insane and stupid and he pities my children. Which only confirms the general consensus here: He’s a misogynist asshat.

  90. Hawise

    I always get depressed at these birth horror story lines, I also always get hit. I had a thing called Silent labour- and no, I hadn’t heard of it either. I spent a day thinking that I had a really bad urinary track infection and after my husband got home it just got worse. The nurses on the phone thought it might be Branxton Hicks even though I was a week late and to stand under a hot shower. My husband called my sister who was to drive us but that there was no rush and she could finish her favorite show. My water broke in the shower and the nurses insisted I get in -NOW. I quickly got into my ugly pregnancy sweats and we were out the door the second my sister showed up. The whole thing is a blur but long story short- I gave birth within fifteen minutes of arrival at the hospital, my Ob. never had a chance of getting in and I was already for drugs but never needed them. I had zero pain and it would appear that is relatively common in my family. When planning a pregnancy talk only to your maternal female relatives to get some clue what might happen, and once pregnant, nod pleasantly as every breeding age female gives you the most horrific stories imaginable.

    As for Dr. Switchblade, I’ll stick with my geriatric ObGyn, who walked in the next day, told me I had caused quite a stir and by the way that was silent labour. If you have another, book into the hospital a week in advance.

  91. FemiMom

    Alarming Female: I am with you on the matriarchy track! When my 15 yr. old son brags that he can bench press more than I can, I counter that I am tougher cuz I birthed him. I swear, I was high on oxytocin for weeks!

  92. Joanna

    There are other options besides an epidural that leaves you numb from the waist down and no meds. I was all up for the natural childbirth, but my water broke, my contractions were weak and there was a risk of infection, so I accepted the use of pitocin to start contractions. A few hours later, when there was almost no time between contractions, I was given a shot of intrathecal morphine–masked the pain, but left me able to move, push, etc, and didn’t affect the baby. I had no side effects, but it can cause itching and puking. The whole experience went well, even though it wasn’t what I’d imagined. I was treated with respect and kindness by every single doctor, nurse, resident and medical student who trooped through the room. By the time my baby was crowning, it was like a party.

  93. Spit The Dummy

    Lipstick-and-Birk-Wearing Momma says:

    “I believe that the lemaze classes are an evil creation of the patriarchy whose primary purpose is to give the fathers something to do during the delivery. “Breathe, honey.” I wanted to rip his fucking penis off!”

    Actually, while I agree that lemaze was pretty much a waste of time (NONE of those damned positions worked for me at all) the “breathe” thing was the one bit that did serve a useful purpose. With my first kid I had a very painful posterior labour and I would literally forget to breathe when the pain apex hit, so hubby’s main job during the 24 hours before I had an emergency caesarian (kid was going into distress and I hadn’t dialated even a little) was literally to remind me to breathe. I figured I’d be a yeller during labour and really snarl at everybody but the truth is I found I was literally speechless with the pain of it all. I haemorrhaged after the caesarian and had to go back into surgery for a little repair work. Kid was 23 inches long and weighed 9&1/2 pounds, most of it head, hands and feet. His brother was born by caesarian after a placental abruption and was 10 pounds and 24 inches long and all head. Apparently it took 3 doctors to haul him out, as he was stuck. I don’t remember – they put me under a general ASAP.

    Of course, when all the drugs and shock had worn off – both times – I wanted to rip off my husband’s fucking penis, too. And the ob/gyn’s. I’m sure there are decent male gynaecologists out there; it’s just that I haven’t met one yet. And there aren’t any female ones in my area – the male ob/gyn mafia squeezes them out, afraid of the competition. IBTP.

  94. Mar Iguana

    “I was given a shot of intrathecal morphine–masked the pain, but left me able to move, push, etc, and didn’t affect the baby.” Joanna

    How is that possible? I thought anything that goes into a woman’s body shoots right into the unborn’s system within moments.

  95. Hawise

    No, not everything passes the barrier system in place to protect the baby or the barrier system that protects the brain. That does not mean that finding out which drug does and does not is not a medical hassle that anyone wants to participate in. Most such drugs are discovered accidentally because the mother’s live is at such a risk that no other choice is possible.

  96. Urban

    Jezebella: “By the way: I’ve been reading Shulamith Firestone while in airports and airplanes this last week, and find that it serves as a powerful deterrant to unwanted chat while on public transportation.”

    Me too! It’s great. Some dickwad tried to engage me in conversation across the aisle and I repelled him with the ‘The Case for Feminist Revolution’ tagline adjusted to his line of vision.

    It’s a small book, fitting neatly into the Urban bag. I’m thinking I should just carry it around permanently.

  97. Mar Iguana

    Joanna and Hawise, that intrathecal morphine stuff sounds like great stuff then.

    Lamaze definitely isn’t for everyone. After all the women in my Lamaze class delivered we had a little reunion and it turned out I was the only one out of the entire class who had a painless birth.

  1. Doctor Switchblade « Touchingly Naive

    [...] Here is a nice man who looks after labouring women. My own words are failing me, so I’m just going to give you his (via Twisty): I never understood (and still don’t understand) why a birthing woman in pain would not want pain control any less than a person with appendicitis would not want anesthesia for an appendectomy. [...]

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