Friday, July 29, 2011

For lovers of "baby stories"

Before I had Reid, I'd casually sift through friends' birth stories. Some made me cringe, and I just couldn't finish them (and even after I had Reid I still couldn't get through one of my dearest friend's story). Others surprised me by how "detailed" they were. Overall, I was intrigued but never engaged.

Now, I love them. Can't get enough.

If you agree with those last sentiments (or happen to be a curious reader with a spare minute) go check out NPR's "Baby Project."

NPR put up an add of sorts on facebook, asking women due in the last half of July if they'd be willing to blog about their journey and share it with the NPR community.  This stuff is a blogger heaven.

Though I haven't read all the entries, I've really enjoyed Lucy Peck (from Logan, UT).  She's covered the most "normal" topics, but also ones that bring out peoples passions: medicaid, circumcision, natural delivery. In following Lucy I've acknowledged the bravery these ten women have for sharing their story.  Lucy has been called selfish (for being on medicaid and WIC and for saying "nay" to circumcision) and the name calling also includes words like stupid, idiot (for planning a natural delivery and for saying "nay" to circumcision).

I'm sure she went in prepared to roll the comments off her back, but I still doubt that makes it any easier. People get too passionate about other's choices. It's kind of hysterical to wade through some of the comment threads. The Lesbian couple has likely taken more heat than Lucy. I didn't take an interest in their story and haven't really followed them. Most recently they wrote about their donor plan.  Naturally, I'm curious as to how that all works, so I read the post. And I thoroughly enjoyed it (though it also made me uneasy at times). Mostly I enjoyed the hypocrisy of the commenters. One reader harassed NPR for not maintaining balance. I suppose his idea of fair and balanced means he's looking across the scale to see an exact replica of himself, balancing things out. I'd argue NPR having one lesbian among 10 women is pretty balanced.

Another writer that has intrigued me is Lateefah.  She explored the complexity of name choosing, what a universal topic.  Her most recent post warns someday-mothers about Angry Vulva Syndrome -- recovery from a vaginal delivery.  That one was particularly fun for me to read.

The couple from Maine always focuses on how quaint their island town is. Another (the youngest mom) gave birth while her husband was away in Afghanistan.  One couple is having twin girls, after adopting two boys. And there are more (that I haven't really gotten in to). As you can imagine, ten pregnancies can cover a lot of different issues. It's what some might call "balance," others call it propaganda. 

It's been a delight to meet these complete strangers and laugh as they experience for the first time, things that totally rocked my world (Angry Vulva Syndrome and more).

If you have a spare second this weekend, I'd really suggest you check The Baby Project out.    

1 comment:

Polly Blevins said...

After you have a kid, it is like men with war stories! Women can sit and talk for hours about being pregnant and childbirth. If you have never had a child, you most likely don't care to participate...kind of like war stories (although those may be a little more interesting to the inexperienced.) It is something that connects most women together no matter what your walk of life.

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