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VBAC and The Walking Dead

***There are spoilers in this post. Read at your own risk.***

I had a post about naps and nap time all typed out in my head. As if there are fingers in my brain typing away as I think. Which would be cool but yet very weird somehow.

And then I watched last night’s episode of The Walking Dead.

And then I wanted to punch something.

My VBACtivist hackles are all sorts of raised and I’ve had a glass and a half of pinot greeeeeeg. So I’m gonna go ahead and rage against the TV machine here on Ye Olde Mommy Blog and talk about what bullshit TV can be sometimes.

And yes, I’m fully aware that I’m raging against a show about zombies.

Lori didn’t have to die.

Okay, so I despise the character because I think Sarah Wayne Callies can make exactly one face to convey every emotion in the entire range of human emotions.

This face, if you’re wondering: O_O

In Lori’s case, the entire situation was set up JUST SO they could lose the character.

A casual mention of her previous c-section a few episodes back. Carol practicing on a walker in case that’s what Lori needed and Hershel couldn’t help.

In hindsight, I should’ve seen this coming, really. I should’ve seen the writing on Lori’s non-existent chart.

But part of me held out hope that they’d show a VBAC on TV. That she’d go into labor and deliver a baby vaginally, without issue, and people would all “YES! LORI! You did it! And your eyes didn’t explode from your face while you pushed! Huzzah!”

Instead we got “Oh no, the baby’s coming! Take off my pants! I NEED TO PUSH! There’s some blood! I’m gonna die. You have to do this, Maggie. Cut me here on the dotted line.” Lori dies, baby cries, end scene. (And then that thing with Carl that I won’t mention because get the kid some therapy.)

But she didn’t have to die. She didn’t have to have something go tragically wrong with her pregnancy so that she’d have a failed VBAC and then have to have a hack job c-section where she would ultimately die because HELLO! ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.

I get that it makes for high drama and the stakes are up now because the menfolk have to raise a baby and it’s “The Luck of Roaring Camp” and a Zombie Apocalypse and all that. As someone who both loves and gets paid to write about television I GET IT.

I do. Trust.

But as a woman? And as a woman who had a successful and unmedicated VBAC  after  a traumatic and unnecessary c-section the first time around and who would have rocked the shit out of a VBAC EVEN IN A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE?

I’m a little ragey. Ahem. In case you hadn’t noticed.

It’s not that I expect TV shows to be socially aware or conscious all the time and to always present best-case scenarios, especially in a Zombie Apocalypse, which is pretty much as worst-case scenario as it gets.

But I want TV shows to start showing birth in ways that don’t 1) make women seem like drug-seeking crazy people and 2) engender fear. And that second point is really more important than that first point but I hate that women who go into labor on TV seem to lose their minds and blame their husbands and beg for drugs. And while I know art imitates life and all that jazz, enough already.

But back to point #2.

Every time a girl who is afraid of birth or uneducated about birth sees a birth that is scary, she starts to think that birth is scary.

Birth is not scary. It doesn’t have to be scary.

Are there scary moments? Yes. Sure.

White-knuckling the armrest of my Highlander to the point that I broke it while Dan was weaving in and out of rush hour traffic would have been scary if I’d been, you know, not in transition labor and therefore unable to do anything except white-knuckle the armrest.

But the idea that women are at the mercy of the medical establishment to keep them alive and they aren’t capable of giving birth without the medical establishment ready to swoop in with the big save makes me insane.

I get that what’s really the scariest part of birth is the unknown.

Will things go “according to plan”? Will an issue arise that presents a major problem? Can I do this? Will my husband still love me if he sees me poop on the table?

But you know? Television doesn’t have to worst-case scenario this every time there’s a birth. Even in a Zombie Apocalypse. And it’s time our culture stopped perpetuating the idea that birth is bad and scary and awful.

So here’s where I tell you, people of the Internet.

Trust yourself. Trust your body. And don’t believe everything you see on TV. Because real birth doesn’t look like that.

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Another Breastfeeding Soapbox Rant

Wednesday 9th of January 2013

[...] across her lap. A cover even. But even more than that, they make birth scary. Miranda covered that here when talking about zombie birth but she is right. Hollywood makes birth so scary and full of drama. [...]


Thursday 8th of November 2012

I'd missed the foreshadowing when they mentioned her earlier c-section {we watch a lot of TV with babies fussy in our arms}. But Jason & I said all through Sunday's show that Lori's birth experience {thankfully} isn't true to life. And it wasn't necessary to the show for it to be all high drama craziness. I too would've loved for the birth to be more true to life, less gushing blood & cutting her open in a way they couldn't close her back up. & a VBAC would've been too cool.

Jason was glad she's now gone. I might've shed a tear. That poor baby.

Jason hopes Carl's next to go. I hope he gets therapy.

Paige @ Little Nostalgia

Tuesday 6th of November 2012

Somebody I follow on twitter just linked to this article, and I'm glad I read it. I'm one of those women who's completely freaked out by the idea of childbirth, and the media is definitely part of the problem. I have literally never seen a birth sequence on TV or in a movie that makes it appealing in any way. It ends up seeming like something out of the 7th ring of hell. Obviously that's not true, otherwise nobody would ever have more than one child, but I feel like I'm bombarded with negativity about the process and that sucks.

Elizabeth Flora Ross

Tuesday 6th of November 2012

So, this may sound a little weird, but I actually thought of you when I saw this all go down. I knew what they were leading up to as well, and I told my husband how off base it was. I'm glad you wrote this post, because I know you are passionate on this topic, and you always express yourself so well. Great post!

Emily @ Baby Dickey

Tuesday 6th of November 2012

GREAT POST. Love you, mama!!! The way birth is portrayed by the media is disgusting. It's no wonder there's a feeling of doom and fear surrounding it. Women shouldn't be afraid of what is the most wonderful and memorable and amazing experience of their lives. <3

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