“My baby was positive.  The experience was not.”

“They kept coaching me to say it was a positive experience.  The more I withdrew the more cloying they became about it.”

 “Just because you understand why terrible things needed to be done to you doesn’t make them any less traumatizing.”

“I learned things from my childbirth experience and one of those things that stayed with me all these years was how very cruel some women can be to other women.”

 “I wonder - If you tortured a man for two or three days; hooked him up to machines; stuck fingers, hands, needles,  instruments, probes up his ass; bruised, tore and cut his genitalia; sewed them back up;  told him he was a weak failure for expecting pain relief;  gave him ice packs and a squirt bottle; expected him to entertain and celebrate afterwards;  forced sleep deprivation and humiliation; dismissed his health problems afterwards; forced him to accept unwanted ‘help’ afterwards – would the medical community and society try to get away with telling him his inevitable psychological distress was the result of his low estrogen levels, his ‘advanced’ age, his ‘thinking too much’, his inability to relax, his fatness, his weak mind and his poor attitude?   When he said it felt like his guts were coming through his mutilated genitals would anyone tell him this was normal?  Would they, with a straight face, tell him it was a medical mystery why he should feel violated –angry-betrayed and irritable?  Pat him on the head and say “Ahhh…someone is berry, berry gwumpy.  You’ll be better once the raging testosterone subsides.”?  Would he have to listen to someone saying they don’t hate men, they love and care for them!  And then thank him for honouring them with the opportunity to witness his character building experience?  I think the answer to all those questions is an obvious NO.  If obstetrics was about men it would be a very different medical specialty.”

“If you can’t beat them, definitely don’t join them.”

“no way I couldn’t imagine being half naked in front of all those drs and having to go through all that pain and see all that blood and gross stuff vaginal birth is definitely not for everybody it should be up to the women”

“Shouldn’t the goal of quality maternity care be to reduce stress levels for mothers instead of increasing them?   They know how harmful stress is to people, yet they won’t listen.  I know what stresses me out, not them.  I know what risks I’m willing to take, not them.  It is not their life and it is not their body.  Why do the arrogant types feel they have the right to tell me what is stressful to me and what isn’t?”

“Reading about obstetrics, past and present, is like reading about one long and inhumane experiment orchestrated by the totally clueless and those who hate women very much.  I will pass on the motherhood journey, thank you very much.  I also wouldn’t want to bring a daughter into this world and risk her being treated the same way.” 

“I want you to tell other women how hard my life is when you can’t control rectal gas or stool.  I am an embarrassment to my children and my husband.  They make fun of me.  My husband hasn’t found me attractive for years.  He won’t divorce me because he doesn’t want to look like the bad guy.  If I divorced him my children would abandon me and I would have no one.  He has a girlfriend that I’m not supposed to know about.  I can’t be in confined spaces with other people without humiliating myself.  This means I can’t fly and I can’t take public transit.  I have no friends and I have no social life.  I have a job but I can only work in situations where I am alone.  When I shop for groceries I do it when the store is the least crowded and I live with the fear that I could embarrass myself at any time.  I haven’t shopped for pleasure since my second was born.  I obsess about what I eat and when in an attempt to limit episodes, with limited or no success.  Incontinence pads and diapers are good for reducing the smell associated with urinary incontinence but they have no affect on the smells associated with anal incontinence.  I have had anal surgery that was a terrible and humiliating experience – almost as bad as recovering from the vaginal delivery that caused the problem in the first place - and was not successful.  I am chronically depressed and I bet I have tried every anti-depressant available.  If I can save just one woman from my situation I will feel my life hasn’t been totally worthless.”

“My husband calls me the ‘two car garage’ in reference to my new vagina.  That is what my son is starting to call me too.”

“I was left naked in a room of people with the door left open for a time before I was wheeled in for prepping and my eventual cesarean.  When I asked to be covered the nurse sneered at me and told me the hospital was ‘out of sheets at the moment’.  No one can tell me I wasn’t being punished for wanting a cesarean.”

“My Mom lives in an Alzheimer’s ward now.  She hasn’t recognized her grandchildren for several months and she has to be reminded every time I visit who I am.  She is also re-living the terror of her childbirth experiences.  This is something we see all the time, according to the nurses.  They don’t tell you that in prenatal classes either.” 

 “I am so ashamed of myself for being gullible enough to believe them.  I have a PhD for Christ sake.  I should have known better but I so badly wanted to believe them.”

"There is no better example of the blind, unmitigated hatred of women in obstetrics than the phrase “too posh to push”.  No one else undergoing surgery would be subject ed to such brutishness.”

It is a lie that obstetric fistulas don’t happen in this country and only happen in developing countries.  There are lots of us out there who know better.”

 “Consider the failure on the part of society to comprehend the moral structure of the world as evidenced by the sanctioned immorality of the Christian Inquisition, the millennia-old failure of society to recognize women as persons, slavery, torture as ‘enhanced interrogation’, residential schools, etc.  The list goes on.  The abysmal treatment and attitudes toward women during and after childbearing, throughout time, present time included, isn’t just about misogyny.  Sanctioned inhumanity can extend to all races and genders, although I do submit that most is directed at women.”

“A medical specialty that is hell bent  on maximizing a woman’s suffering instead of minimizing it, who has the audacity to call that normal, who deliberately blocks advancement and who is unable (or unwilling – I don’t know which is more despicable) to recognize how immoral that behaviour is will continue to be a medical specialty I will avoid.”

“Misogyny towards women willing to mother is just plain stupid.  Is there is a better way to ensure a low fertility rate and our eventual extinction?”

I’m having a real problem finding anyone that isn’t seriously loopy.”

 “If childbirth is supposed to be such a positive experience for a woman how come I’ve never heard any woman describe her child’s birth where it didn’t sound like a horror story?”

 “I won’t have children because of my friend’s experience.  It was terrifying.  Her husband is a spineless weenie, her in-laws make her life miserable and her son is a spoiled brat.” 

 “Contraception has always been my best friend.”

 “Thank you for existing and thank you for sticking up for mothers.”

 “Thank you for your honesty.  My daughter told me what **** showed and told her.  She listened to **** when she wouldn’t listen to me.  The boyfriend was toast the next day.  Her grades were up the next report card.  I am worried I won’t ever be a grandma but I didn’t want her to learn by experience either.”

 “Never, ever again.  Only a fool gets burned by the same match twice.”

 “Baby paparazzi.  What a good term.”

“I don’t know how many times I passed out.  I can’t remember.  It was lots.”

“If women were told about the real extent of the damage done to them by vaginal births they would clamour for planned cesareans.  I was never told what the risks of vaginal births were and I took all the prescribed courses to ‘prepare’ me.  They never talked about it at all in my class.  Some friends say it was mentioned in a dismissive, brief, round about way in their classes.  That is NOT informed consent.  THAT IS NOT RIGHT.”

“My vaginal (first birth) was sanctioned sexual violence against women attended by those who got their jollies from that.  My planned cesarean (second birth) was neither sexual or violent.  Simple as that.  If I had to do it again I would have had a cesarean with my first.  The nightmares of that experience are still with me.”

“Lots of drama and a big production about ‘giving’ me MY baby.  God, I hate those people.  Such arrogance.”

The OB told my husband to hold me down as he couldn’t stitch me up because I was screaming and struggling because it was so painful.  And my husband did.  I’m supposed to be happy but all I feel is hatred for him, for the doctor and for the nurses who obviously were appalled by what was happening but didn’t do anything effective to stop it. I was raped.  There is no other better word for what happened to me and everyday I look across the breakfast table at one of my rapists.  I have no money and a baby to care for so I can’t leave.

I had two midwives and I would not recommend them.  They were cruel, sadistic bitches and liars too.

“Your privacy isn’t important.  Leave your dignity at the door.  It is a good pain.  Isn’t your baby worth it?  These are things women are told to groom them for the entrenched status quo in maternity care.  In my case it was not a man saying these things.  It was not a man with his hands in my vagina ‘massaging’ it before the baby would stretch it beyond its limits.  It was women.”

“I would like to share my brief story if I may.  I am not a mother but I did take midwifery training.  I quit in a moment of clarity when I realized I wasn’t cut out for the job.  I lacked the desire to diminish women.  I couldn’t desensitize myself enough to see normalcy in suffering and the appalling things done to birthing women.  I couldn’t close my ears to the apologies and gratitude when they understood them and their babies had survived that sounded more like Stockholm Syndrome than genuine appreciation.  I didn’t care that women who wanted epidurals and caesareans were decreasing our market share of a lucrative birthing business.  I didn’t have the ruthless, competitive need to annihilate other women who were sexually attractive nor did I have the manipulative nature to do that in the sweetest of voices.  I couldn’t listen to the behind the back gossip and comments about ‘teaching them lessons’ or ‘giving them a dose of reality’ or ‘ending their sense of entitlement’.  I saw men be cruel to labouring, delivering and postpartum women but the women were the worst.”

“The best way to describe how I feel now is that I don’t.  I used to experience life.  Now it seems like my brain has been replaced by a movie camera that just records what goes on.”

“Normalizing the abnormal is how the wicked justify cruelty.  Pain and damaged bodies are not normal, nor do they become ‘normal’ when the victims are women.”

“It is not just the traumatic bodily experience she is living through, but the simultaneous and incongruous reassurance that no trauma is being inflicted.”