Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who's Laughing Now?

Ok...so last week in the store, I did something I've never been tempted to do before. I picked up a Jenny McCarthy book. Her first book on dealing with her son's autism (There is a new one due out in the stores soon or now?) and as I sat there, reading her parenting thoughts, I was overwhelmed by what we had in common. I was floored by that "moo" that her son gave her, because I remember coming home from the ICAN conference in 2003 and sobbing because someone else's little 2yo told their mommy "I love you" and mine couldn't. Mine couldn't say "I love you" because his tongue couldn't make those sounds. His brain wasn't there. He was lovable, sweet, but refused to be touched. I heard her anger, hurt, self-pity and it felt so real...

So I picked up her other books and wanted to see what was there, underneath, in her life. I wanted to hear her ridicule other women and be mean about "Breastfeeding Nazis" and make comments about how great her epidural was (though it helped to cause her cesarean). I wanted to know what her life was like before she really had to care about her choices. How it felt back when things just "happened" and before the reality hit. How cavalier life is before the impact crater sends out wave after wave of destruction through your life, rewriting everything you thought you knew. She took everything for granted that it would all just work out...right?

Now, today...I wonder...does she regret her choices? Is she aware that her choices might have MEANT something, in the case of her son?
Knowing that pitocin, epidurals, cesareans, not nursing..lead to higher rates of autism.

I don't know. I only know that I'm not laughing. As I watch these rates rise, I can't help but wonder how many women don't know that autism is one more thing affected by interfering in birth without respecting the process.

2 comments:

SheGotHipsLikeCinderella said...

I wondered that too. I read her books and I felt so sad for her.

womantowomancbe said...

I also recently posted something along these lines. In it, I ask the question whether there are any researchers looking at "common threads" among children with autism, the way people look for commonalities among infants who die of SIDS. Do you know of any such research? It seems like with the high rate of autism in the country and the world today, that it would definitely merit close inspection, even if babies aren't dying.