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January 03, 2009

Comments

Annika

I don't get why any of those things are considered scandalous or even noteworthy.

Except maybe the fake babies, but even that one just makes me a little sad.

Catherine

First, I am of the 'different strokes for different folks' mindset; whatever works in your home is best for you (not YOU you, Annika, but 'you' in general).

I consider some of the things from last night's show not "scandalous" but definitely unusual. For example, the orgasmic births: I consider myself a well-rounded person and I had never heard of them until last night. It surprised me. If a woman is able to experience a labor orgasm during childbirth and if it eases her discomfort, then that is great. That said, I still find it different because I knew nothing about that until then.

The families featured in the breast-feeding older children segment (the oldest child featured in the piece last night was eight) all seem well-adjusted and happy, so I can't fault them for that. I can, however, think breast-feeding an eight-year-old is unusual if not somewhat alarming, but - again - if it works for them and their actions don't affect me, then fine.

I had heard of serial surrogates and at-home births (the other segment from last night's show), but those didn't bother me too much. Okay, the only thing that bothered me about the serial surrogates segment was that I don't know how it's possible to put your body through that so many times. I mean, I know it's POSSIBLE, but how long does it take for the surrogates to recover before they do it again?

As for the fake babies segment, it too made me sad, but it also really disturbed me. I came away from that segment thinking that those women needed some type of help because it isn't okay to use a fake baby as a prop for attention, which is what they all seemed to ultimately crave. BBC America aired a documentary on reborns late last year (which is when I first learned of them), and in it a woman and her mother flew from England to Texas to pick up her newest doll. The woman immediately started "bonding" (her term) with the doll as soon as she got it, but then when she found a minute crack near the back of its head, she immediately pushed it away and called it "imperfect." It was creepy as hell.

Laurie Ann

The fake babies reminds me of the book "Children of Men." Also, I think the Orgasmic Birth should be more widely known because who wouldn't want that?

Gwen

Seriously, all I'd ever heard about until now was that you can involuntarily poop during labor, which sounds far less pleasant.

Gwen

Now that I've actually clicked on all the links (despite how squeamish I am, damn you), I have to say the fake babies totally freak me out. Sad, yes, but also very, very creepy that such an industry even exists.

Annika

I would have given anything to spontaneously poop during labor. I was the freak who was constipated during labor. (I have never, ever heard of anyone else with that problem. And I do apologize for the TMI.)

On a far more important note: should I read Children of Men? I did not care for the movie, but I take it the book is quite different.

Dawn

I didn't watch it, but now I"m sort of wishing I did....

Allison

Discuss? Are you sure you want to go there? You are brave, my friend.

PS: I've known about reborns for some time, given my involvement with eBay. Do a search for "reborn doll" and be prepared for an education.

Katie

I've posted before about the late breastfeeding thing. I think it's a little much that kids breastfeed for so long. Two maybe three years, I can see, but any longer just seems a little strange.

As for orgasmic births -- I've heard about these, but have never heard of anyone I know having one. Maybe it's because we're stuck in hospitals hooked up to machines and not allowed to birth naturally in a medical environment??? I do have to say, though, that orgasms during pregnancy (sorry, tmi time for me too -- esp. late pregnancy) while they may be intense, are painful, so I can't imagine that having an orgasm during birth would be any different....

Joan S.

I just watched it earlier today, and while I think some of those things are unusual, they didn't strike me as particularly scandalous. I think that increasing awareness about alternative birthing methods is important because c-section rates in the US are skyrocketing (I think the 20/20 segment said 1 in 3, but I believe some hospitals actually have closer to a 50% c-section rate). I could NOT imagine having given birth without an epidural, but I know plenty of women who've gone without meds and I think their recoveries were generally quicker.

The extended breastfeeders did seem a bit odd (I can't imagine my daughter nursing at 8 years old!), but it doesn't seem like the children are abnormally attached to their mothers. I thought it was a bit sad that they featured a woman nursing 2 1/2 year old twins as part of the "unusual" extended breastfeeding group because I believe that the worldwide weaning age is 4 (WHO statistics cited in the 20/20 segment). I know plenty of people with toddlers my daughter's age (20 months) who are still nursing and I think it shouldn't be viewed as "wrong" or "icky" or anything other than a nourishing, nurturing experience between a mother and her child.

The one thing that I did think was sad was the woman who was using the reborn dolls to get attention in public. That just sounds like a cry for help, not normal behavior. From what I understand, some women who suffer late-term miscarriages sometimes use these dolls to help them through the grieving process (which I could understand and find normal and necessary), but that didn't seem to be the case for the women featured on the show.

Sorry for such a lengthy response- especially since it's the first one I've ever posted to your blog! Just had a lot of thoughts floating around on this and figured I may as well get them out there.

jen

ha...i read this after my blog. i am kicking myself. but great thoughts. my question is there nothing else that 20/20 could have covered? are their writers/story people taking a long holiday?

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