I’ve gone over to the dark side. Or, more correctly, I’m openly admitting I’ve always been enthralled by the dark side of life. Meaning, the grotesque, obtuse, and that which is socially inappropriate hold my fascination.
By trade, I am a childbirth educator. My professional life intersects with my personal interests in that I get excited over news of the birth of conjoined twins. I find the failings of Mother Nature worthy of my attention. The plasticized placenta with the velamentous insertion at the Mutter museum had me enraptured for a good fifteen minutes before I could be dragged away from it.
Even more than birth defects and placental abnormalities, the historical evolution of how pregnant and laboring women were served by their medical professionals, intrigue me. I am a feminist who understands that social norms change with time and with location. I see historical events, or practices, within greater cultural context. So, when I address these practices it will be with the eyes that see the larger perspective and not my modern feminist eyes.
My modern feminist sensibilities will address more controversial topics, like access to abortion and birth control, without reservation or polite filters. I will take these topics back in history as well. To understand why we behave as we do, we must know the origins and route those behaviors and belief systems took to arrive at their current destination.
Here, on this blog, I will be honest and authentic with you, dear reader. I will not hide things because they are ugly or offensive to some. As I quietly creep up on my fortieth birthday, my need to fit in and to play well with others, slips away like an unattended toddler.
To learn, we must have our sensibilities challenged. We must be pushed out of our comfort zone. My intention is to show you and tell you what I feel you need to know about pregnancy and birth, both in historical context and through the lens of modern feminism.
Birth isn’t always beautiful and joyful. It’s messy, full of bodily fluids, sometimes doesn’t work well at all and can lead to maternal and fetal demise. The tools of the trade for obstetricians and midwives can appear as if they are medieval torture devices, draconian in their usage. I happen to collect such implements. I will showcase my collection here and provide you as much accurate information about each antique piece to the best of my research ability.
Dear reader, I implore you to continue to push the boundaries of your individual universe and read on. When a post causes you to twitch and feel repulsed, or sickly fascinated, share it with others. Expand your view and come over to the dark side with me.
Please support The Silent Mother by becoming a patron through Patreon.
Your generous donation allows me to keep writing.