motherhood


Topic from class discussion:
great article concerning the woman who wanted to have a vaginal delivery for the birth of her child but was being forced into a C-section:

Mom fights, gets the delivery she wants

disturbing statistics here: 1 in 3 babies are delivered by C-section

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I was trying to find a current image of the Duggar Family to place into this post.

But then I realized that each picture I found had me questioning if the latest Duggar child was present in the shot.  Since the purpose of this post to alert you all to the fact that the 19th Duggar was born—three months premature—just today, means that finding a current image will be a futile google search.

I doubt that the American media, and especially TLC, will advertise the image of a baby that weighs only 1lb, 6oz and is currently in stable condition in neonatal intensive care as the representation for celebrating babyhood.  I cannot imagine that the baby has that newborn glow that we are constructed to “ooh” and “awe” over (even though many newborns actually look like odd amoeba-like sausages).  Sadly, at only 25 weeks, this child is in for a possible lifetime of health issues.

There will be a lot discussed about this latest Duggar baby from many communities, from the conservative Christian Right to the far leaning Left and everyone in between.  After all, it’s less than 24 hours since baby Josie Brooklyn was born and I am already blogging about her arrival.  One of the first articles I read was on Salon.  I found it interesting because it actually is about Michelle Duggar and how her health can be affected by this latest pregnancy.  You can hit it up here:

The Duggars’ quiver grows fuller

Sorry for the external link…embedding just did not work for me tonight. You may have some ads to tolerate but they are short:

Video Part 1

Video Part 2

QuiverFull.com

The Impending Double Standard…
The Difference Between Bristol and her Ex- Boyfriend

palinLevi

Oh Bristol Palin. I give her kudos for being the daughter of Sarah Palin and a teen mother under the spotlight. Political views aside, I read a recent article about how her baby’s daddy has been offered to pose for…oh no… playgirl. That seems appropriate right?

Levi Johnston gets to play the stud while Bristol campaigns for abstinence (ugh, her choice I suppose). Johnston’s offer exploits the unfortunate double standard between men and women, something we lightly brushed on during class. While Bristol now has a bad reputation and has probably been called a slut among other atrocious names, Johnston gets glorified in a pornographic magazine. If Bristol was doing the same for playboy, there would be a media frenzy. But Johnston’s offer has only some media coverage and no one really cares about his reputation. It is what men do. But I suppose the joke is on him since he probably doesn’t realize that the main demographic for playgirl is of the homosexual nature. Here comes the new gay icon from Alaska Levi Johnston!

Bristol has been working hard to maintain her dignity after her pregnancy. It could not be easy to be the pregnant daughter of a Born Again Christian that was running for vice president. Since then she has preached for abstinence under the idea of becoming a born again virgin. I am not at all for abstinence and as a lesbian with negative experiences with the Assembly of God Church, Born Agains make my skin crawl. But Bristol Palin has been trying to fix her mistakes and stay composed under the media spotlight, not an easy endeavor. While her preaching ignores how much teen sex actually does happen and ignores the great side effects of contraception (like not getting pregnant in the first place) it is her belief and that is protected under the constitution. I have a new found respect for Bristol Palin, which shocked me, because she is attempting to regain self respect while her ex-boyfriend gloats about his sexual prowess.

Of the people that have commented on the Duggar’s post, several have mentioned the fear of giving birth to so many babies. Imagine my giggles when I saw that MTV is running a 16 and Pregnant marathon. On Labor Day. Get it? Labor? Labor Day?

I got sucked into this show this summer. I swore I wouldn’t watch it because it was MTV and I figured it would pull a Juno and glorify teen pregnancy.

juno
After a year of Jamie-Lynn and Bristol having babies,

ms_spears_out_a282_large

bristol

did we really need to see 16-yr-old girls celebrating the impending birth of their babies by registering for the latest Baby Burberry, dressing their kids like Suri Cruise?

burberry

But the show surprised me. Instead of glamorizing teen pregnancy, the network came through and managed to show an honest, if not gut-wrenching display of the realities of life as teenage parents.

While the show is not perfect—of the six, only one teen gave her baby up for adoption and the show never once presented the emotional turmoil that comes with the decision of abortion (not to mention the legal ramifications)—it does come close to giving an idea of how difficult it is to be a teenager and pregnant, difficulties felt by both the teen female and male.

What we know is that teen pregnancies are on the rise. Many health care professionals are attributing this to the slow down of education where sex education is concerned—Abstinence Only education has failed, an issue we will certainly discuss later this semester when we move into discussions regarding reproductive health.

Teen pregnancy is certainly not a new issue; as we know from our reading, girls were often shipped off to relatives or another “safe space” out of town when they got pregnant in high school, only to return to rumors and whispers of gossip.

How did your high school handle teen pregnancy? Do you recall anyone leaving the school because of pregnancy? Were the pregnant girls allowed to continue attending classes? Did they face verbal abuse when signs of their pregnancy became clear? How did the boys fare in all of this? How did the community as a whole respond?

It seems that the Duggars, TLC’s first-family of multiples—way before the Gosselins—are expecting their 19th child next spring. Yeah. You read that correctly. 19. Nineteen babies running around, all from one family. And filmed for our viewing pleasure.

duggars

I don’t know how I feel about the Duggars. On one hand, live and let live, right? They not only feed and cloth all these kids—and are supposedly debt-free, which is more than I can say about most of America, including me—but all the kids are healthy, including the mother. So who am I to approve or disprove and even offer an opinion about this issue? It has nothing to directly do with me and does not affect any of my day-to-day living.

But there has got to be something to say here about the mother as machine, I am sure. We will discuss things such as multiple families and even the QuiverFull movement later this semester when we discuss reproductive health. But for now, let’s just drop our jaws in amazement as we realize that Michelle Duggar is a woman that has been pregnant for 21 years.

Yeah. You read that correctly. 21 years.