My husband loves the AMC show The Walking Dead. If you aren't familiar with it, it's a bloody, gory zombie series. Definitely rated M. I watched the first season with him (I admit, some of it is too much for me, call me a wuss, I don't care), skipped the second, and I'm again watching it now for the third season.
What on earth could this have to do with Momaroo?
***SPOILER ALERT!! FINAL WARNING!**
A couple of episodes ago, one of the main characters (Lori) was very pregnant. Lori's previous child was born by cesarean. Well, during a controversial scene, and of course there were no doctors around to help, Lori went into labor during a zombie attack. Her (unrealistic - whatever) labor was crazy fast, "something" went wrong, and Lori was supposedly dying (? She was turning grey) from childbirth. Her son was with her (a tough as nails kid, about 10/12 years old). They said goodbye to each other before she instructed her friend to do a crude c-section to try and save the baby. No anesthesia. No medical training. No clean instruments. With the knowledge that it was going to kill her, and it wasn't even going to be necessary to close her back up.
This episode (4) is available here:
Her friend simply followed the scar from Lori's first cesarean with her knife. It was horrifying. I guess the only consolation is that soon after the gory, traumatic cut (which she did with finality, in one sweep) Lori passed out. Her friend got the baby out unharmed, alive. They cut the cord, and the scene was left that Lori's son apparently (? Unless you see it, it can't be said for certain with these shows) shot her to prevent her from becoming a zombie (and to end her suffering for which there was no help).
When Lori's husband saw what had obviously happened, his reaction was so raw and ugly it almost made me physically gag, it was so upsetting. Even though I was PISSED OFF at what had happened with Lori and the decisions made.
Here are my issues with the whole scene:
The way Lori's labor went (and it must have been 5-10 minutes in entirety before she was ready to push, if that) was strange. My problem isn't that it was simply unrealistic (it's a zombie show for heaven's sake). My problem is that after she labored, she pushed like twice, and then there was some blood and a statement that "something" was wrong. The next thing we knew, Lori was on the floor, having given up on a vaginal birth, resolving herself to a crude cesarean in front of her son and death. They didn't even try. It is just a show - I know. But I hate that the message is perpetuated, "once a cesarean, always a cesarean." With the consequence being that you'll die if you don't, and you likely can't deliver vaginally anyway - something is different about your body and your babies can only be cut out of your abdomen.
There is something, too, about the idea that the mother is of less importance than the baby itself. At all consequences to the mother, the baby must be saved. The problem with this is that a baby needs a mother, too. I can remember with both pregnancies and deliveries always being asked how the babies were, how the babies were so cute. Baby. Baby. Baby. Meanwhile I had just had major abdominal surgery (with one) or had just fought the world (and won) to successfully vaginally deliver my second. I'm not saying the baby isn't important, obviously. But sometimes, remember the Mama, too!
I know that my feelings on this show's episode were highly influenced by personal experience. Both because I'm a mother and because I'm a VBAC mom. But even besides that, I was disturbed (even more so than usual) by what I watched on TV.
Did anyone else watch this? Do you think Hollywood's portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth has an impact on the culture of what we expect?
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