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Saturday, March 27, 2010


I admit it - I often defy authority (bats eyelashes). If someone tells me I can't, or shouldn't, do something, that often only makes me want to do it even more. So when I again submit myself to routine punishment on pregnancy and birth forums like the one on BabyCenter, I probably come off as quite pushy and bitchy, I'm sure. 

Ahh...BabyCenter. About as bad as Yahoo! Answers. It's often like the internet version of The Learning Channel's "A Baby Story," often very one-sided and equally frustrating. 

I was engaged in "conversation" on a VBAC thread there a few weeks ago (before I dropped off the blogosphere for awhile due to the Sinus Infection from Hell) after a mom had posted awhile back on whether or not to have a RCS or attempt a VBAC. The post was old, she'd already had her baby, but I commented anyway, thinking that other women in the same situation could possibly benefit from it. 

To them, it opened a can of worms. The original poster jokingly said "I wish this thread would just die!" The board owner said (half-jokingly) that she wanted to ban VBAC threads because they created such controversy. I kind of blinked at the screen like, "Wha....?!" There were some good stories on there from women who have VBACed, those who needed support and were thinking about it, and then the one that pissed me off royally: "No VBAC for me! I love my baby!" The original poster felt that "c-sections were more mundane," and therefore more predictable, a sign that they were 'safer,' I'm sure. 

The kicker, though, is that there is a doctor who apparently devotes his time to answering questions about certain topics. Dr. So and So weighed in and offered his opinions, most of which presented uterine rupture at its highest estimate and made it sound like insurance companies were the ones solely to blame for the lack of VBAC options available. I respectfully questioned him, only because I thought his estimate was high, and was able to back it up with evidence (which he, and the other posters, ignored). This didn't go very well, either. Apparently, if you're not a doctor, you can't possibly know anything about birth, apparently.

The board owner then responded by saying 'women' (me) come on here and try to be teachers, etc. to other women, and her bet was 'with the doctor' because "he's a doctor." Apparently by questioning him (which is against board rules, by the way) I was somehow out of line, even though Dr. So and So said he invited healthy debate, which I think this was. By posting another differing statistic, suddenly it was perceived that I thought I knew more than he did. 

I wanted to ask Ms. Board Owner, "Do you go along with everything your doctor says? How about your kids' pediatrician? Hasn't there ever been something you've respectfully questioned, even though you're just the patient?" Give me a freakin' break, lady. 

Yes, it's great that Dr. So and So devotes time and energy to a lowly pregnancy message board full of hormonal women. But these are our bodies, too. Our babies. And that should mean something. 

The latest post on the Talk Birth blog tells women how they can be  better educated birth consumers by learning all they can. The question is, how can we help others to be better birth consumers? Certainly not by cramming it down their throats. But I find it troubling that so many of them don't want to be, it seems. And by their behavior, they are effectively encouraging other women not to be, either. Or harshly criticizing those who are, and who do encourage other women to be as well. 

Some of these women were basing their decision solely on the opinions of one doctor, who, actually seemed somewhat fair, but of course was protecting his best interests as a physician as well. I pointed out that he was just one opinion, and not the be-all end-all supreme authority on VBACs. (Well, you can imagine how that went over.) 

I guess in the meantime I'll just have to keep crashing message boards, one at a time....(respectfully, of course) :P


AtYourCervix said...

You go girl!!!

The Deranged Housewife said...

The minute I read the "board rules" about not challenging the doctor, i was like, "F that!?!" LOL

Kristen (BirthingBeautifulIdeas) said...

Oh man, I completely stay away from anything on Babycenter EXCEPT for the VBAC Support Board. Lots of reasonable and very well-informed women on there...AND lots of women who appreciate a good dose of snark and "thinking for yourself, dammit." :-)

TracyKM said...

Is anyone actually positive he's a 'real' doctor?

The Deranged Housewife said...

Maybe he's a veterinarian?? LMAO

Or he could be the same kind Dr. Amy is, who was once upon a time, but isn't any longer and yet still makes it look like he's practicing medicine.