TV Births

Speaking of tv, I don’t know if I can watch it any more. There are too many, well, births. Sitting and catching up on a show while crafting the other day, I was surprised with a birth out of the blue (it’s that kind of show, not much warning). We’re in the hospital and the doctor puts his hands on the mom’s belly, looks into her eyes and tells her the baby’s in distress. Cut to other plotlines, then back to the birth. “You have to have a c-section!!” and then adds, “Now!” trying to convince her to agree. Not 1.5 seconds later, the nurse calmly lifts the drape between the mom’s legs and informs the doctor that the baby’s crowning. Really? Baby seems fine to me, no need for a cesarean birth. They didn’t even resuscitate the baby, let alone check it’s heart rate or breathing. Must have been a very distressed baby. Then we cut to a picture of the mom holding the baby and (I know it’s an older baby dressed up for tv) if I ever saw a newborn that was as relaxed and unflexed as that baby was, I would definitely be checking to make sure everything was ok, even though it looked well-perfused and healthy.

Do you see what I mean? These thoughts running through my head certainly don’t belie the suspended disbelief one needs in order to indulge in television. I can’t get past the fact that these births aren’t in any way realistic, even for a hospital birth. It irks me to no end that this is the view of birth Americans are most familiar with. But even more than that, it’s become amusing to me that I can’t turn off the student midwife voice in my brain, even when participating in a leisure activity like this. At least I don’t talk back to the tv (in public) during these scenes.

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