You know how in every crowd there’s one mom—at least!—who acts all sanctimonious about her parenting choices, making everyone else feel crappy and angry and irritated?
Well, today Dr. Husband and the baby and I attended a reunion of our Lamaze Class From Hell and the worst person in the room was the facilitator who was as nightmarish as she was originally, twisting every epidural into a “medical intervention” that ideally would have been avoided.
When it came my turn in the circle to tell my “birth story” (when did this become a thing, by the way? Did 19th century moms have birth stories? Well, the mister boiled some water and I screamed and pushed real hard and didn’t die and here we are…) I delighted in announcing that I lasted all of an hour without an epidural, getting one as soon as the nurse answered my question of, “Well, how much worse are these contractions going to get?” with, “Oh, honey. So much worse.”
I didn’t want to feel like a failure for getting an epidural—it was pretty much always plan “A” for me.
Lamaze Lady made herself feel better by summarizing our collective birth stories with, “Well, it sounds like all five of you had really hard labors and used epidurals only when necessary.”
I wanted to shout out, “Not me! Not me! I got an epidural long before I needed one!” but managed instead to just exchange a meaningful glance with Dr. Husband.
When Lamaze Lady left I thought the judgmentalism part of the event was done—but then the mom hosting the event brought up one of those dangling toy “gyms” for another mom’s baby to play with while the grownups ate cookies. I remarked how nice it was that the gym was made entirely of fabric rather than a bunch of made-in-China plastic. The hostess casually mentioned that they try to avoid plastic whenever possible. “Oh, us too!” I cheered, thinking nothing of it.
Well. As one of the other moms was getting her baby situated in her carseat for the ride home, she pointed to some toys dangling from the handle of the carrier and said that, like my child, her baby hated traveling in the car, too—until she’d attached toys for her to play with. I nodded and smiled and started to say, “Good idea—I should totally get some—” When she added, “They are plastic and they are made in China.”
I was so startled that I stupidly—stooo-pid-leee—said, “Oh, that’s okay, it’s not like she can put them in her mouth.”
And then the baby grabbed the cute plastic made-in-China dragonfly hanging in the middle and mouthed the hell out of that thing.
Yes, today I was that mom.