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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Childbirth, Dr. Quinn-style

I just watched "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" where she delivers her baby in the woods with her petrified husband by her side. Well-done overall and captures our society's stereotypical view of childbirth while getting some things exactly right.

I LOVE the scene where he's hovering over her in the middle of hard labor.
He asks, "What do I do?" and she answers "Nothing" between gritted teeth and shoves him away, "Don't touch me!" I remember that feeling of tight control, turning inward and thinking it could all be shattered by someone's touch.
In the next moment, the contraction passes (yeah, they're contractions, NOT "surges") and she wants him to hold her. He desperately seeks something useful to do and asks if he should build a fire and boil some water. Reminds me of a class discussion where my colonial history professor said if you ever notice that's what they always seem to tell men to do. "Boil water." It's a lengthy process perfect for keeping him occupied and away from the real work of labor & delivery.

My other favorite part, absolutely stereotypical, was when her husband looks at her panic-stricken, when told he was going to have to cut the cord. SERIOUSLY? She's delivering a baby in the middle of the woods with her FIRST AID KIT and you're all squeamish about cutting the umbilical cord? Way to man up.

My eyes prickled with tears so I would count that as an acceptable birth scene since I always cry when babies are born.