People warn you about a lot of things when you’re going to have a baby. You hear a lot about poop, and crying, and diapers, but nobody can really warn you about all the judgment you’re going to face. You’ll get it if you formula feed. You’ll get it if you breastfeed. If you walk outside and your baby is not wearing a hat, a gang of little old ladies will chase you down the street with knives, even if it’s August. One place you don’t expect to get judgment from is a birth photographer, but according to Scary Mommy, one mother over on the Sanctimommy Facebook Group reports that she actually got dumped by a birth photographer when she said she’d be having a c-section.
One would think that a c-section would be great news for a birth photographer. Hey! Now she doesn’t have to be on call at all hours of the day! She can schedule the shoot like a normal photographer. But the mother says that when she texted the photographer to let her know that she’d be delivering via c-section, the photographer snapped back that she would not be taking photos for a woman who “opted” for a c-section.
The mother did not share the name of the photographer who she says did this, but according to Scary Mommy, she shared photos of the texts she says she received, in which the photographer reportedly insisted that a c-section isn’t really “birth” and accused her of “cutting corners” with motherhood.
“A surgery isn’t birth my dear,” she explains. “You aren’t giving birth. You are having surgery to remove your baby from your abdomen. That is not birth no matter how you swing it and I for one don’t want to be there to take pictures of it.”
What an asshole this woman is. That’s several sentences of pure, unbridled wrongness, and somehow it’s the use of the phrase “my dear” that pisses me off the most. Who does this Craigslist photographer think she is?
What is this, Shakespeare in the Park? Every time one of my friends has a baby by c-section, our friends say, “Congratulations! That means your baby can kill Macbeth!” because there’s a part in Macbeth where Macbeth is given a prophecy that he cannot be killed by any man born of a woman and he gets all smug because he thinks that means he cannot be killed, despite the fact that the prophecy is clearly setting him up for a big surprising downfall. So Macbeth gets cocky, as villains do, and boasts of this information to his enemy Macduff, who promptly informs Macbeth that he was delivered surgically, before killing the shit out of him and saving Scotland.
It’s fun to see Macbeth get his in the end, but even for a misleading prophecy, that one skates by on the thinnest of technicalities. Did this crummy photographer read Macbeth in high school and decide the word of some fictional witches was law?
I think we need to take a minute to feel bad for Macduff’s mom, who definitely did not survive a c-section in 15th century Scotland. History is full of women and babies who died because surgical birth was not a safe, survivable option. What person can look logically at all the people who are alive today because of safe surgical birth and still think there’s something wrong with it? (… is she an anti-vaxxer? This smells like anti-vax logic to me.)
Also, she calls a c-section delivery “cutting corners”? Is this woman high? I know she’s probably against epidurals, but does she know that it’s not a good idea to burn sage sticks and essential oils at the same time? Because she has got to be high if she thinks major abdominal surgery is “cutting corners.”
Fortunately we are not living in medieval Scotland and the word is full of women and babies who had access to safe, surgical deliveries. One presumes the mother will be able to find a non-asshat photographer to take all the c-section photos she wants, then she can show them to her baby on its Abdominal Removal Day.