You might be a birth junkie if…

With a tip of the hat to Jeff Foxworthy of “You Might Be a Redneck…” fame, I thought of a series of things that may be tip-offs that you just might be a birth junkie (in no particular order). (By my definition, which is, I suppose, an infatuation bordering on addiction [if not actually there] for birth and all things related to it.) Without further ado…

You might be a Birth Junkie…

  1. if you blog about birth (more than just your own birth for historical purposes) or if your birth story is at least two pages long
  2. if you failed math, but can quickly convert grams to pounds and ounces (approximately)
  3. if you can say “vagina” in a sentence without blushing
  4. if you can correctly use “os” in a sentence
  5. if you can’t remember who won any gold medals for the US in the last Olympics, but you know US statistics for maternal and infant mortality, and the national C-section rate (bonus points if you know your local hospital(s) epidural, induction, and C-section rates) — if you’re not from the US, insert your own country
  6. if you can list the mother-friendly and baby-friendly guidelines from memory, and know which hospital in your area (if any) fulfills those goals
  7. if you can recite the midwifery model of care
  8. if when you’re discussing something related to birth, you receive those polite but puzzled looks… right before your conversation partner moves away
  9. if you see a circle about 4″ big, and you think “that’s fully dilated”
  10. if you have birth-related artwork somewhere in your house (includes placenta pictures and belly casts, etc.)
  11. if you currently have or ever did have a placenta in your freezer
  12. if you have ever consumed placenta
  13. if you have a model of a pelvis, uterus, or some other female organ
  14. if you always keep honey sticks on hand
  15. if you’ve ever gone to the bookstore and hidden “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (or some other similar non birth-junkie book) and replaced it with some pro natural-birth book
  16. if other women get tired of telling you their birth stories before you get tired of hearing them
  17. if you have a library (or would love to acquire one) of birth-related books and videos
  18. if you have 10 or more birth-related videos saved to your account on YouTube
  19. if you appear on any YouTube (any internet) video talking about birth, in labor, or giving birth (picture montages count)
  20. if at least half of the blogs you regularly read are birth-related
  21. if someone tells you she “had to have” a particular intervention and you can come up with several alternatives that were never mentioned to her (bonus points if she doesn’t get mad or defensive)
  22. if you refuse to play the “my birth was worse than your birth” game
  23. if you feel like you know your fellow online birth junkies (even though you’ve never actually met them) better than you know some of your flesh-and-blood friends
  24. if ten or more of your Facebook friends (or other equivalent) are people you’ve never actually met but know them through birth-related functions (blogs, email lists, etc.)
  25. if you’ve ever gone to a birth conference
  26. if you’ve ever emailed, mailed or called your state or national representatives about a birth-related matter
  27. if someone tells you her baby is breech and you give her names (bonus points if you know phone numbers) of chiropractors skilled in the Webster technique or people who can perform moxibustion
  28. if you know what counterpressure is and how to apply it (bonus points if you’ve done it)
  29. if you know what a rebozo is (bonus points if you’ve used one)
  30. if you encourage your children, especially young children, to watch birth videos
  31. if you can get hoarse from watching TV birth shows (like A Baby Story), because you’re yelling through the screen at the woman or her care providers
  32. if you hear “prom” and don’t think about dancing, but think “preterm/premature rupture of the membranes” [thanks to Desirre for that one!]
  33. if you carry a “due date calculator” in your purse [again, thanks to Desirre!]
  34. if you get paid to catch babies all day, and you come home and talk about it all night with your husband who just nods his head and say “uh huh”. [Reality Rounds in the comments]
  35. if a majority of your internet bookmarks are contained under the heading “birth” [Cuddlebaby in the comments]
  36. if you sit as far away from others at the restaurant after a birth so you can discuss the birth without offending anyone. [Sally Stevens in the comments]
  37. if the ‘user ID’ that you most frequently use has something about birth in it. [Knitted in the Womb, in the comments]
  38. if you see someone else’s poop and you are happy! [this and the next two from Brenda, in the comments]
  39. if you can wake, dress and leave your house in less than 20 minutes with enough supplies to last you until you come home – with no idea how long that may actually be.
  40. if you can be next to a woman groaning, howling and sweating and know that it’s a good sign.
  41. if you have 10 or more birth related apps on your iPhone [Juliet in the comments]
  42. if you see someone spell epitome “epitomy” and you do a double-take as your mind registers “episiotomy” [added June 20, 2010]
  43. if you see “perennial” and your mind registers “perineal” [added Aug. 10, 2010]
  44. if you’re searching your email for “Frank” and you have more birth-related emails (“frank breech”) than you have from your friend or family member named Frank [added Sep. 1, 2010]
  45. this whole blog post written by my friend Diana — funnily accurate! [added Sep. 4, 2010]

And finally

  • if you regularly read this blog, you know you’re a birth junkie!

What others can/would you add to the list? :-)

Update: Welcome SOBers!

I just saw that Dr. Amy, now calling herself the Skeptical OB has linked to this post. Denigrating it and me of course — wouldn’t expect anything else from good ol’ Amy Tuteur!

To those of you who are not familiar with my blog, look around yourself and see if you agree with the SOB’s opinion of me and my blog. Do your own research — don’t just believe everything the good doctor says, because she loves to twist what I and other like-minded people say.]

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36 Responses

  1. oh i am definitely a certified junkie…only a couple of those don’t apply to me! great list!

  2. Wow, very thorough list! Great job! Confession: I am a birth junky, a new birth junky, as in less than 2 months! Thank you for such an awesome blog! I don’t recall how I came across it, but I love it!

  3. Seriously loved this post and I am the poster child for: “if other women get tired of telling you their birth stories before you get tired of hearing them”

  4. Oh, dear… Guess I’d better be committed, I’m definitely on this list (though in a junior capacity – some of those are still way beyond me). However, hopefully I will add placentophagy to my repertoire within the next month, and then I will be one point closer… mwah ha ha!!!!

    Cheers, that was great! If I remember it, I’ll link to it. :)

  5. You are so clever. This is hilarious!!

  6. Great list. Here’s another
    -You get paid to catch babies all day and you come home and talk about it all night with your husband who just nods his head and say “uh huh”. :)

  7. Hey, I read your blog and I am not a birth Junkie.

    • :-)

      Well, I use the term like one might talk about “trekkies” or people who play World of Warcraft (right now my husband is playing on his computer beside me, while his brother is on his laptop on the couch; and he constantly talks to me about Orgimar and flying mounts and Warsong Gulch — my eyes glaze over and I say “mm-hmm” politely… just like he does to me :-)), or those who love to read Jane Austen, or perhaps those that go to these Renaissance Fairs (where they have to dress in period clothing) — basically anyone who enjoys talking about birth more than the average person.

      Fwiw, only about 2/3 of these apply to me.

  8. Best “junk” out there! Yeah!!!

  9. Jill — you got me! Some people like steak. Others like chicken. Me? Gimme a big ol’ bloody placenta to chow down on!

    I remember reading about placentophagy after my first birth, and thinking when I was pregnant about it. Then I thought — NOPE! Now, considering that some people claim it helps to stop hemorrhaging or even the normal blood flow, had I hemorrhaged the second time (without the benefit of Pitocin, or if the Pit hadn’t helped), I probably would have done whatever I could to stop the blood flow — perhaps save me from a trip to the hospital, or just to say I had done “everything” I could — particularly since I didn’t call the mw in time. But I didn’t have PPH, nor have I ever had PPD or even the baby blues (beyond a mild crying episode here and there when I didn’t get enough sleep… which sometimes happens without regard to my pp state!), so don’t know that I have enough benefits to overcome the “ew” factor.

    FWIW — I don’t have honey sticks, a pelvis (or any other female organ), never made a belly cast nor a placenta print, never saved the placenta — not even to plant a tree on it… um, sorry to say, but I can’t enumerate the “mother/baby-friendly guidelines” (blushing), nor do I know my local hospitals’ intervention rates — I’ve called some sometimes, and they are hesitant to answer, and just latch on to whatever I’ve suggested. Let’s see… what else — Oh, I don’t know anybody who can do moxibustion (although I would recommend my mom’s chiro — not sure if he does Webster, but he could probably help); never used a rebozo, nor applied counter-pressure, but I’m a recipient of it. Oh, yeah, I have to remember that not everyone is as open about birth and female organs as I am, and that although I can say “vagina” in public, it might make some men blush, so I need to watch what I say. This also goes hand-in-hand with my enthusiasm for birth. Not everyone shares it, so I have to tone it down sometimes. Otherwise, it’s like being a Palin supporter at an Obama rally. Gotta meet ‘em where they are, and not overwhelm them.

    I have moved WTEWYE to one side and put “Thinking Woman’s Guide” in its spot — they had it so you could only see the binding, which I thought not right. I did that once, but honestly, I don’t frequent book stores that often. It’s far too easy to spend money or wish I could spend money there…

    I do have a small birth-book library, and always wish to have more to add to my collection — constantly on the lookout at thrift stores, used book stores, and garage sales for any possibilities. Definitely have several birth-related videos saved to my YouTube account, but am not actually *in* any such online videos.

    And I specifically refused to play the “my birth was worse than your birth” game. The group of women were about scaring a first-time mom, so I piped up and said, “Oh, it wasn’t that way for me at all!” And would you believe it? — after I said that and talked about how good and empowering I found birth to be, the other ladies started trying to outdo each other with the good aspects of birth!

  10. Yay! I AM a birth junkie too. :)

  11. Kathy, what on God’s green earth are honey sticks?

    • LOL! I’ve never seen one (except in pictures), and I think I had the same reaction as you when I first heard of them: “Do wha?”

      They’re little plastic tubes filled with honey, to be used for quick energy. Diabetics use them sometimes if their blood sugar gets too low; many doulas keep them on hand in case they, the mom, or anyone in the labor room needs a quick burst of something for energy. I could see hikers and such also using them on the trail.

      I just this link of how you can make your own honey sticks — basically, just fill up a straw with honey. Neat!

  12. […] July 30, 2009 by enjoybirth Well, yes I am.  According to a lovely post by my “friend” Kathy.  You might be a birth junkie, if… […]

  13. Awesome. I am TOTALLY posting my own answers (with all due credit of course). Would you mind if I Facebooked it? (Again with the all due credit?)

    And getting dissed by Dr. Amy? I’d consider it an honor. Seriously!

    • Dou-la-la,

      Sure! Go ahead. Leave me a comment with a link to your post, so others can check it out.

      I don’t worry too much about Dr. Amy — a year or so ago, she started linking to me in a disparaging way from her anti-homebirth diatribe blog, so I went to her blog and thanked her for sending so many people (100+ hits) my way. Told her it was really nice of her to promote me like that and help build up my blog stats and all. :-) I think it p*$$ed her off ’cause she all of a sudden stopped linking to me. For me, it’s a win-win situation. If she links to me, I get hits (especially since so many birth junkies got on her HBD blog, I know I must’ve gotten a lot of subscribers because “anybody Amy doesn’t like must be good” :-) … but I’m not so sure about the SOB site — there were only a handful of hits from it, so either it’s not very big, which is likely, or this site has a different spin on things and people there don’t care too much about birth junkies like us); if she doesn’t link to me, I don’t have to deal with her negative spin.

  14. Haha… I am a wanna-be birth junkie ONLY according to this list. Future doula, (hopeful) future homebirther. I’m fully on the train, for sure, ever since my sister-in-law’s amazing experience with a CNM at her last delivery.

    I also wrote a slightly pissy rant over on SOB’s blog. I’m just honestly glad that there aren’t any OBs in my family — I’m in the “cage stage” of being a birth junkie (i.e., I’m ready to rumble with naysayers and just oughta be locked up until I develop a sense of mercy) and it might make for a tense Thanksgiving, you know?

    • Laura, LOL — love the “cage stage” — that’s too funny and too accurate!

      I’d add one more to the list — “if you think you’re a birth junkie… you are.” :-)

    • Oh, Laura! You should make a list of birth junkie stages – that ‘cage stage’ comment was so pithy. Love it!

  15. Ok, the Midwifery Today E-News had a “how-to” on drying out the placenta. I think that’s the only way I’d consume it. I’m a little squeamish that way. ;-)

  16. […] had a lot of blog posts over this past year. I think my favorite one, though, has to be “You Might be a Birth Junkie.” It was a lot of fun to come up with those […]

  17. how about, “if a majority of your internet bookmarks are contained under the heading, ‘birth’ you are a birth junkie”

  18. If you sit as far away from others at the restaurant after a birth so you can discuss the birth without offending anyone.

  19. LOVE it!

    I may have lost count there…I think that I qualified for 25 of those, and I didn’t even bother to keep track of “bonus points,” which I got a lot of.

  20. Oh, you should have as one of them “the ‘user ID’ that you most frequently use has something about birth in it.”

    Case in point, I nearly always put my user name as “Knitted in the Womb.” If a particular website doesn’t allow me that many letters, I will come up with ways to abbreviate it.

  21. lol- quite the birth junkie over here.

  22. How about,
    • If you see someone else’s poop and you are happy!
    • if you can wake, dress and leave your house in less than 20” with enough supplies to last you until you come home – with no idea how long that may actually be.
    • if you can be next to a woman groaning, howling and sweating and know that it’s a good sign.

    Love your blog!!!

  23. @Brenda I like those too.
    @knitted in the womb
    I feel you on that one. I don’t believe I have used my “real” name for years.

  24. How ’bout “If you have 10 or more birth related apps on your iPhone”
    Guilty!

  25. I’m definitely a birth junkie! I love this list! Great for a laugh and thought-provoking as well! Great job!

  26. You might be a birth junkie if…..your friends post a link to this list on your Facebook page, which is how I got here!

    Thanks, lovely post. I don’t qualify for all, but wear my birth junkie label proudly (obviously, since my friends seem to think I am one!).

  27. From an old birth junkie:
    When you get divorced and immediately decide that you need a second car in case the first one breaks down.

    Before you knew about rebozos, you took your own baby to births and wore him/her in the front pack or backpack while catching the baby.
    If you have pictures of your own older children with the new baby and the family. (Bonus points if your child is there to help entertain the laboring mother’s children.)

    If one of the children who attended the birth (yours or otherwise) goes home and writes a paper for school about the birth.

    If your own baby is especially fussy at the birth and you find that the next morning that she has broken out with the chicken pox. AND the new father you have just left has not had the chicken pox.

    If you took your own mother to the birth with you because your daughter had the chicken pox and she sat on the front porch with your baby all night in a not great section of town so that the baby would not contaminate anyone at the birth (and there were 43 people there).

    If your husband/son/son-in-law/brother/cousin tries to make all his friends who are expecting consider a home birth. (Bonus points if you refer to him or he refers to himself as a ‘born-again homebirther’.

    If every time you order your Mary Kay, you check the bag in your trunk (which has a full set of all your cosmetics) to see if you need to order double.

    If you nearly miss your grandchild’s birth because you are at a birth conference because your daughter promised she would not deliver until you got home.

    If you are 2 hours away from your daughter’s rehearsal dinner for her wedding and your apprentice calls to tell you she can’t get a baby out and you go and get the baby out and make it to the rehearsal dinner only 5 minutes late.

    If you can fall asleep on a cement floor with a pack of blue pads for a pillow and be asleep in three breaths, get up 10 minutes later and catch the second baby of the night.

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