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the attack of the know-it-alls!

May 9, 2009

Best example yet. Dean has a friend who, apparently because she was a biology major, knows everything about childbirthin’.

OK, so I’m probably exaggerating. What she has is a less-than-favorable opinion of traditional midwifery, and it sounds like it may be colored by some firsthand knowledge of a bad experience. But she sicced that opinion on Dean with “I vote no on traditional birthing..” as if my choices were some committee’s to make and insinuating, with “ignorance is bliss,” that *we* don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies. And since she busted out the all caps, I busted them out right back, because I’m no stranger to having strong opinions, but I’m also of the mind that mine are better informed than hers are, because (a) I’ve read two thousand-page obstetric texts cover to cover from back in my I-want-to-be-a-nurse-midwife-days and (b) I know the context of my pregnancies better than anyone.

It’s _really_ difficult for me to deal with the “you shoulds” in the information age. It was one of the things I noted when friends of mine were pregnant and participating in pregnancy communities on LJ, and would come back with these horror stories of the everywoman’s opinion bullshit that would make me go, I’m so glad I had my kid before there was an internet. And now, while I’m glad it’s so easy to find information online, I still resent anything I perceive as being dictated to. Add to that the fact that I’m a lot more likely to take things personally right now, and wham. Deadly mix.

It’s funny the difference between Dean’s temper and mine. He gets frustrated with things, and I get frustrated with non-things–people’s attitudes and opinions they impose on me. Of course, a side effect of this is that I tend to get angry at Dean for getting angry at things, and have learned it’s better for me to remove myself when he starts screaming and cussing violently at something that’s fallen to an inconvenient location.

And it’s not that I don’t think people should have their opinions, or that they should always agree with mine. It’s just that I respect differences in opinion in general and try to avoid debating-to-persuade, because I know it’s futile to try and change other people’s opinions; they can only do that on their own. You can give a person information, to be sure, and I know a lot of times that’s people’s intent when they do things like vote no on my committee-driven pregnancy.

Oh, to hell with it. I’m just going to put my pregnancy on the Today Show and let people vote on it. Are they going to vote for the gender, too, like our kids are doing? Dean just suggested, actually, I put the management of my pregnancy on e-bay.

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