|I found this pic here|
I really think that women NEED to hear birth stories, especially positive ones and triumphant ones. Seeing the wide range of experiences, emotions, outcomes, and choices is genuinely helpful and confidence building. I wanted this blog to be a place where women could find modern birth stories that spoke to them and helped them on their journey.
I shared one such story yesterday. It was, as you can read, not an easy birth story but still wonderful in many ways.
I was disappointed to see today a really nasty comment directed squarely at the mother who wrote the story. It was signed by the famous "Anonymous."
Oddly, I find him/her everywhere. The anonymity of the internet seems to make him/her bold and somewhat ruthless.
My initial reaction was pretty ruthless too!
Luckily I wasn't near a computer while I composed a barbed little post in my head in response to this person. Because, you know what, it really bothers me when somebody listens to the birth story that a woman shares and mocks it.
Birth is a sacred time. It impacts women so deeply that they will tell these stories over and over again. It WILL change them. This is not something you can opt out of. Birth is powerful no matter how it is experienced.
So, it bothered me that somebody could be mean to this mother. But my reaction towards Anonymous in anger was wrong too.
As I thought ugly thoughts in my rattled little head, something else crept in.... advice I heard a long time ago.
I remembered my mom telling me of a time she was really struggling with anger towards somebody who had been mean to her. She talked to somebody who she trusted to give her counsel and that person, after listening to her story, recommended something unexpected.
He told her that maybe anger wasn't the best emotion for somebody who was being mean to you. No, maybe the proper way to react was to feel pity for that person. He counseled that somebody who was mean is somebody you should feel sorry for. They are angry. Their anger hurts them, but you don't have to let it hurt YOU.
When somebody lashes out at another it is often because they have been hurt themselves. The easiest thing to do is to get offended, to get our guard up, and to hit back. That was my reaction. That probably isn't the best thing to do though.
We should feel sorrow for that person, that Anonymous commenter, who felt compelled to disregard a mother's feelings on the birth of her baby. They are angry enough for themselves. That is punishment enough.
It is really sad that somebody would take a birth story, an intimate and open account of a vulnerable time, and make fun, mock, and insult the mother who was brave enough to share it.
But I feel sad for them, the mean ones. They hurt themselves. They miss the beauty. They find the ugly. They are their own worst enemy. We don't need to be their enemies too. They have enough of those when they look in the mirror.