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What bloggers have to say about childbirth

Two years ago, I had an idea to start a series in which I would choose a random subject, read blog posts about that subject, and try to discern from those posts the themes and narrative structures that were the subject’s hallmarks. My post on university press blogs was an outgrowth of that idea, though I began reading their blogs primarily to learn what the presses were most concerned about. As you can tell from the scads of posts I’ve written since, the idea never took off. I did, however, begin to draft one post—its title graces this one—with the aim of analyzing birth stories. I don’t have links to all of the posts I read at the time, and I don’t really want to research them anew. Suffice it to say that many of the ones I read then were about drugs and how well they worked, and I do recommend the exercise if you’re interested in learning current obstetric (mal)practice.

But I bring up the story now because one of the posts I read for the series is a jewel written by the Io/wa Ci/ty Press-Cit/i/zen‘s Opinions editor. Writing in the third person, he blogged the September 2, 2006, birth of his second daughter. It is a remarkable story for scenes like this:

As the contractions grew in intensity, C grew more easily distracted. Luckily, as if by magic, J started remembering all his coaching tips—especially the one about not overly annoying a woman in labor by giving her too many options. He forcefully—but lovingly—informed C that if she really wanted the baby to come today, she had to be either walking or rocking….

[Later, in the birthing room,] J and C both remembered how, during [their first daughter’s] labor, the toilet was the only place C felt like pushing. It had given C such relief that J, C and one of the nurses kept the progress a secret until the head crowned and their cheers attracted the midwife’s attention. Then and there, J and C both swore that, the next time, they would use the toilet as much as possible.

That first birth, it should be noted, was also documented at great length—and with a lot of pictures which, sadly, are now gone.