Thursday, April 21, 2011

Were You There



CJ reflected on this post and provided a profound summary of what I hope people can take away from the images and lyrics below. This was not an effort to raise any particular thing (e.g. c-section) up as equal to Christ's crucifixion, but to acknowledge the people who have walked their own passion during Passion Week.

“Only one man ever completely understood Christianity, and none of us are Him. Easter itself celebrates Christ's resurrection and ascension to Heaven. But, what many of us often forget is, Easter isn't an isolated holiday; it comes at the end of Holy Week. During Holy Week, we're asked to focus on Christ's Passion--on His sacrifice, submission to God's will, and on His suffering. When we do this--when we re-experience His human nature--we both bring Christ into our lives, and experience His resurrection as all the more meaningful. Reading about others' pain--their walks in darkness--is one way to do that.

Jesus' experience is a universal one. You don't have to be crucified, or have experienced anything to which crucifixion is an appropriate analogy, to identify. Everyone's had her own private apocalypse--whether in the form of an unnecessary medical intervention or other physical violation, the death of a loved one, etc. Everyone knows what it's like to be completely, utterly alone, and to feel hopeless. We all suffer in our own way. 

If someone says, "this is my apocalypse", or "this is my crucifixion", who am I to question that? It's the height of folly to presume that, as outsiders, we can know and catalogue others' pain.

The whole point is that we're supposed to relate. If it weren't necessary for us to relate to Jesus' experiences on a personal level, then there would've been no reason for Him to live as one of us. Jesus' humanity was, and is, part of His ministry. I feel very aggrieved at the idea that some people are offended by the idea of a comparison. Isn't it more offensive to claim that Jesus is not relevant to our daily lives?”

Before scrolling down to read the lyrics and look at the images, please be mindful that they may be triggering to those who are processing their experiences. The images show c-section, vaccination, circumcision and loss. 


As we enter the Easter Triduum, let us remember those children and their parents impacted by this culture of death. You might never forget, but you can always find mercy, forgiveness and peace. In memoriam of all victims of unnecessary medical interventions:








Were You There

Were you there when they cut open my body?

Were you there when they cut open my body?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they cut open my body?



Were you there when they circumcised my son?

Were you there when they circumcised my son?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they circumcised my son?



Were you there when they pierced her with vaccines?


Were you there when they pierced her with vaccines?


Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble


Were you there when they pierced her with vaccines?



Were you there when they put my baby in the tomb?

Were you there when they put my baby in the tomb?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.



Were you there when they put my baby in the tomb?


The song doesn't stop here, though does it?




Were you there when God raised me from the fear?


Were you there when God raised me from the guilt?


Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.


Were you there when God raised me from despair?











Hear the original song:



© Guggie Daly

If you would like to submit a photo, please email it to me in .jpg format.

69 comments:

  1. oh gosh...comparing CS to Jesus death...... Might be the time to find a new hobby....what about knitting???

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  2. Actually, the maternal mortality rate in America is steadily increasing. It is now more dangerous to give birth in a hospital than to drive a car. Women do die giving birth surgically.

    But that's not the point of this post. The point was to provide Lenten meditation to those impacted by these practices.

    If you aren't impacted, then you don't need to leave disrespectful comments.

    If you are impacted, please find support here:

    http://blog.ican-online.org/tag/c-section/

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  3. "Lenten Meditation?" I think it might be time for a little "Lenten MEDication.." ya think? Seriously, you need help sister. Please see someone asap. I birthed all three sons via cesarean and never got caught up in this gore complex and night of the living zombie craziness that you are preaching. This is insanity and how dare you use Jesus to superimpose over your gore fest. You're truly sick and deranged.

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  4. Here's your homework for the evening:

    Go research mortality rates for car accidents in America. Do the math to get the population statistic. (Was 11.6% last time I checked for adults).

    Go research maternal mortality rates for America. Do the math to get the population statistic. (Won't give this one to you.)

    You can use the Centers for Disease Control CDC and the NHTSA to find your information.

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  5. To anonymous/Concerned:

    Please remember that women who suffered unnecessary interventions are trying to heal and find meaning in their pain and the injustice done to them.

    If you are happy with your experiences, I'm glad for you. The least you can do is be respectful of others who are healing and growing. They deserve to not have their photos and experiences related to zombies and gore fests. That is extremely rude and hurtful.

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  6. I think I am suffering from this. Where should I get therapy? Really. This is kinda gross. Bleeech

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  7. Really? Greater than 11% of women experience death as a result of a c section or vaginal hospital delivery? Hurry and call Faux news...this is exactly the type of news they report!

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  8. Guggie, I can totally appreciate the sentiment of having something significant to compare what are sometimes tragedies in Cesarean birth. Healing needs to take place, and proper information to prevent unnecesessary Cesareans needs to proliferate.
    However, I would caution you against using such sensationalized material in the context of Christianity. Let me make my warning clear: don't tempt God. God ordains Cesarean as a life-saving tool. Man is who misuses it.
    Please do your own research:
    2 Peter 3:16
    Matthew 15:9
    Deuteronomy 4:2
    Proverbs 30:6
    Revelation 22:19
    Genesis 3:1

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  9. As a Catholic, I think this is unbelievably offensive and blasphemous. Any Christian woman trying to compare an intervention during birth to our Lord being brutally tortured, mocked, and murdered should be ashamed.

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  10. Your husband girlfriend is prettier than you isn't she? What is missing from your life that is causing you to use your children for your self esteem? You're sick. I hope for your children, that either CPS comes a puts them in a heathly family or you get over yourself ASAP!

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  11. According to the WHO, women who live in countries where there is limited access to modern hospitals are about 100 times more likely to die in childbirth than women in the US. Where is your compassion for their pain?

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  12. How very very dare you wenches attack Ms. Guggie! She is just trying to get her message out and spread the word that C-sections ARE the same as murdering an innocent man. Do you think that Mary would have been forced to have a c-section? In today's times she would have been--and then the baby Jesus would have been taken off an Circed ASAP! It's vile and this post is wonderful at pointing it out. You're jsut scared by the tactics and blaming it on others! Please remember Numbers 1-14!

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  13. It is beautiful, Guggie! Thank you! Our Lord sheds tears when He watches His children hurting, even more so when His children suffer because of another man's greed and power. I think this is a wonderful analogy on two levels. First, the obvious comparison of suffering. Secondly, Jesus showed compassion, understanding and forgiveness while never forgetting his primary objective was teaching right up to His very last breath (and beyond). As a mother, who like Mother Mary has buried a child, I believe that Easter is a perfect time to reflect on the suffering of my fellow man. I believe that God is happy when we do this, especially when we use these reflections to try to help improve the lives of others, exactly as you are doing here. Thank you, Guggie!

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  14. I'm in shock that anyone would attack this posting. How incredibly disrespectful of the suffering many women have endured. :(

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  15. laughing my head off at this twisted postApril 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    So you are claiming that the death rate in hospital labor and delivery units is higher than 11.6%? LOLOLOLOLOL. Not only are you an idiot, but you can't do math worth sh!t.

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  16. Guggie, you have no idea what you are talking about. How very offensive to compare a lifesaving surgery to the DEATH of Jesus! Talk about a culture of death- home birth advocates have NO care for the baby! I have never seen such callous attitudes as those displayed by HBers.

    CS saved my sons (and my) life, it is nothing like crucifixion. Lowering the CS rate raises the neonatal death rate, btw. NOT vaxxing is dangerous! it does not cause autism. Home birth is 2-3x more dangerous than hospital birth- up to 10x in some states! Check out Colorados stats, on the DORA site- yep, the Midwife organization. the rates of death are appalling! I won't even comment on every ignorant thing you said, it would take too long.

    Get a clue, and some therapy.

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  17. It's fair enough to laugh about the 11.6% error I made. :) If you look at the 2008 NHTSA statistics, it's 11.6 per 100,000. In my haste, I added a % symbol.

    I'm curious why no one has posted the CDC's maternal mortality rate per 100,000 yet? Then everyone can see if it is more or less than 11.6.

    I have no idea why I am being warned about tempting God. This is a meditative art piece so that those who have been hurt by others can find communion in uniting their suffering with Christ. And then at the end is a strong reminder that Christ can raise us out of our fear, guilt and despair. Just as Christ rose from the dead.

    That any Christian finds this post deleterious to their faith is a sign that she might be worshiping a false idol above Christ and His Passion, along with His clear call to unite our suffering with Him.

    "Then Jesus said, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me and for the Good News will save his life forever. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he loses his soul {in hell}. A person could never pay enough to buy back his soul. The people that live now are living in a sinful and evil time. If any person is ashamed of me and my teaching, then I will be ashamed of that person. I will be ashamed of that person at the time I come with the glory of my Father and the holy angels."

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  18. "And those who passed by spoke reproachfully and abusively and jeered at Him, wagging their heads" (Psa. 22:7-8; 109:25).

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  19. I respect what you are doing, and I understand that you feel passionate about that, but those comparraison are just terrible! using a dead fetus to prove your point is pretty disgusting, do yo have the parent consent at LEAST to use it???
    Florence

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  20. Guggie, this was beautiful.. Even from an observing Jew's viewpoint. Thank you for spreading the word against unnecessary medical interventions. Key word UNNECESSARY! I never heard you say every cs is a crime against the woman and baby!!

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  21. This is beautiful Guggie! And how dare the rest of you posters!!! Get off your high horses and understand woman are traumatized every day because of c-sections pushed onto them... THEY DO SUFFER FROM PTSD... Thank you again for this Post and to those whose pics are in the post.

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  22. I support you! Don't let the crazies get to you :) It's a beautiful post and I started tearing up because it's so true.

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  23. Incredibly moving. Shocked at the hateful responses you've recieved. I was tortured and mocked into a cesarean, publically humliated, forced to endure sexual assualt in the presence of family.

    The cesarean rate is triple what it should be for optimal health of mothers and babies. Bringing it down would save lives. The countries with the best fetal and maternal mortality and morbdiity have lower cesarean and intervention rates.

    Keep sharing Guggie, please don't stop sharing, you are brave.

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  24. Guggie,

    Your post is beautiful and undoubtedly meaningful to many who see it, but even more amazing to me is your grace at answering the people who have attacked and belittled you. Folks, it's very simple. If you don't like this page just click the little X at the top of your screen and leave. Guggie is not forcing you here. There are some people out there who feel comforted by the idea that their suffering has brought them closer to their Lord. There is no reason for you to take that away from them.

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  25. Posting basically the same reply here that I posted on Mama Tao's post about this one.
    -------------
    I found this post kinda healing.
    I am a woman of faith and I had a c-sec due to doctor error.
    Not sure why Mama Tao got so upset about this.

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  26. This is a very moving post Guggie. I have been reading the comments as they appear APPALLED by them. I haven't posted because I haven't really known how to respond. But I have to say this. It is a beautiful post and you have handled this mess so very gracefully. Wonderful job Momma.

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  27. To answer the question, the maternal death rate in 2006 was reported at 13.2 per 100,000 live births. So, yes, giving birth is more dangerous than driving a car. The maternal death rate for home birth is likely less (but do not include many high-risk pregnancies or transfers).

    The death rate per 100,000 was 500 in 1900. It was 100/100,000 in 1950. Frankly, 13 is a huge improvement, and *part* of the reason for that is cesarean section. 13 is not the low, however. The low of 10.2/100,000 occurred in the late 1990s, when the c/s rate was lower.

    The *overuse* of that life-saving surgery may be costing lives. It's a delicate balance. To the woman who is struggling with healing from a c-section (necessary or not), who are we to judge what may or may not comfort?

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/vol72/issue1/images/large/011384a.jpeg

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  28. To the haters:

    Do you have critical thinking skills? Do you really think that Guggie, a devout Catholic woman, is attempting to say that ALL cesarean births are EXACTLY like Christ's crucifixion? Really?

    Unless there is actually an issue with your ability to use rational thought, it is clear that you are just desperately reaching for a reason to blast the natural-mom world. Anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of psychology can wager a guess that your main issue is that of jealousy, guilt, & inadequacy. I do actually recognize the humor in the too-crunchy motherhood, but what you are doing is nothing but spewing negativity. Go watch the hippie-mom scene in "Away We Go" & settle down.

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  29. I think it's really, really important that women dwell on their suffering and disappointments as often as possible. That's what Jesus would do!

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  30. If you want to help women who have suffered a loss find healing this Easter season you can do it in a much more tasteful way. Did you ever think that maybe these images might be triggering to some women who have lost a child? I'm a christian and I found this very offensive.... and just because people don't agree with this post it does not mean that they are worshiping false idols (and when you quoted Psalms you made it sound as if the people who disagree with you are comparable to those who jeered at Jesus. i.e. you are comparing yourself to Christ) If I were you I would be a little more careful to not twist scripture into something to suit your needs/agenda. To all women reading this who have lost a child there are better ways to encourage healing in your life. Go to church and pray (a lot of churches have groups for those going through a time of suffering), read your Bible, get down on your knees and talk to your Lord. For more ideas you can check the Facebook page Remembering Our Babies and the group Remembering Your Baby. Guggie, I think if you really want to show respect for women who are going through loss then you will take down this post and put up something that really reflects the need for Christ in a time of hardship.

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  31. Dear Patricia,

    My photos are not in this post. The quotation compares the women who are being mocked and attacked here to Christ, who was also mocked and attacked. It seems quite fitting.

    I am glad that you have found multiple ways to experience healing and find meaning in suffering. It would seem since you recognize the need for multiple options, you would be respectful enough to acknowledge that art and connecting to Christ is one such way for some people. To say there are "better ways" is a judgment, as if you are saying those women who find this cathartic should be ashamed of themselves or are processing grief the wrong way.

    When dealing with an injustice or a loss, no matter how "big" or "small" no one has the right to define that grief or to tell that person how to process that grief.

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  32. If that's the case then I think you are mistaking people attacking your choice to post this with attacking women who have suffered a loss or trauma. No one wants to attack women who have suffered. I'm not trying to disrespect anyone who may have found this healing... I just find this to be an improper use of the suffering and death of our Lord.

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  33. My daughter died. She was stillborn, birthed drug-free via VBAC. I was there when I laid her in the tomb. Today, Easter Sunday, is her first birthday.

    This post is a disgrace. When my sons were born, alive, by c-section, lifted into the light of the world, I didnt look like the maudlin women in your photos, depicted as though birthing via section is a fate worse than death.

    I tell you...it isnt.

    This post is misleading, deliberately provocative and it literally makes my stomach turn.

    And I believe the gorgeous Carly Dudley, stillbirth survivor, would be less than impressed that you are using her photography in a post such as this. Interestingly, she mentions that her 4th birth, a section, was the most peaceful of them all. Something to think about.

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  34. staceyjw, you are completely ignorant. Japan has one of the BEST infant mortality rates yet their c-section rate hovers right under 10%. We are what, 35th in the world for infant mortality, behind several third world countries, and our c-section rate keeps rising...as does our infant mortality rate. Get a clue, do some reading. It's amazing what you might find.
    75% of C-section used in the US are medically UNNECESSARY. Mine were unnecessary and I am forever traumatized by what was stolen from me.

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  35. Beautifully done...and, equally; respectfully, tastefully and thoughtfully put together. I am a mother of four, and although I have not suffered all of the painful situations depicted here, this tribute gave me a small (but tangible, thanks to the beautiful and also the harder-to-view pictures which were shared by these women) insight into the pain many of us mothers have endured at the hands of others. Doesn't the Lord also teach us to have empathy for our fellow man. That is a big part of what I am taking away from this post. It reminded me to soften my heart this Easter...that others, just like our Lord, himself (and His loving mother the Blessed Virgin) have suffered unspeakable pain and it does us all a bit of good sometimes to reverently and quietly offer up a prayer of thanks for the many blessings in our lives. Perhaps a few of us could spend a little more time this weekend doing that and a little less time calling names and spouting profanities? Thank you Guggie for providing me with a moment of reflection.

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  36. I see the same lunatics that parrot dr. amy are here prank commenting. they have such deeply rooted inferiority and developmental issues they need serious deprogramming help. The more they post the sadder they sound.

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  37. Bwwahahaha!!!!
    This a joke, right?? Really, more dangerous than driving a car?? A 10% mortality rate? You must seriously live on another planet. There is no way these 'stats' are true. You are irresponsible for posting this and leading impressionable parents astray. Shame on you.

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  38. None of you are Christ. Hell, I'm not even a christian and found this crap disturbing! Thanks to homebirth, I know what it's like to lay my perfectly formed baby in a tomb UNNECESSARILY! Now, if you bring up loss, you may want to look at how many babies are UNNECESSARILY dying due to homebirth (1.3 in low risk situations, 7.84 total and that's out of 1000). Your maternal mortality rate being 11.6 in 100,000 would make it 1.16 per 1,000. How many times does 1.16 go into 7.84?? So, who's suffering and dying UNNECESSARILY??

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  39. Chick, you have some serious balls comparing unsatisfactory medical experiences to a crucifixion - and I'm an atheist, by the way, Wow, You need some serious meds and your computer taken away, STAT,

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  40. Bambi, quoting one flawed study does not help your argument.

    For those interested in an analysis of homebirth mortality rates:

    http://www.homebirth.net.au/2008/06/homebirth-vs-hospital-statistics-to-die.html

    Steph,

    Look at the photos at the bottom. They aren't all vaginal/homebirth photos. You are simply projecting your own guilt/worldview.

    Patricia,

    I'm interested to hear how you think Christian women uniting their suffering with Christ on the cross and finding solace and meaning during PASSION week is somehow an improper use of His suffering.

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  41. Look, every person on the planet suffers. That's part of life - we're guaranteed disappointments, losses, sadness, pain. We pray for peace and healing and carry on with life.

    The thing is - Christ willingly gave his life (and submitted to a heinous execution) for the good of mankind. You did not humbly and freely submit to your suffering, like Christ. You are still bitching about it. You did not willingly forfeit your well being for the good of others - you are still second-guessing what happened. You certainly did not give your own life so that others may live. Because here you are carping on a blog.

    Christ gave mankind the capacity to practice medicine. This is a GIFT from Him so that we may live better lives with LESS SUFFERING. Fewer dead babies, fewer horrendous illnesses, fewer dead mothers, better outcomes. For you to even compare your suffering to that of The Christ's and THEN spit on His gift of medicine in the most ungrateful, shameful of ways is appalling.

    You need to check yourself and let go of your overinflated view of your own suffering.

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  42. Well, looking at the MT blog, it's nice to see how cruel and hateful you and your followers are, Guggie. Really, you're "pro-life" yet you wish other women's children had been aborted or miscarried? You're a "devout" Catholic, yet other human beings who don't agree with you are "shit on your shoe?" Very loving, nice Easter message from you and your friends.

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  43. Anonymous, I'm very concerned that you are saying I wish children were aborted, spontaneously or voluntarily? What are you talking about?

    Sister Gypsy, do you feel that women aligning their pain and violation with Christ's pain and violation of crucifixion is "bitching" about it? Are you trying to say that because these people, men, women, children, were forced to suffer, they cannot find any comfort or meaning in Christianity and with Christ? I am very, very confused.

    Question, I post from a variety of sources, and NO, the CDC's numbers are not good enough for me on anything, other than to share them with people who reject sources that do not align with their own worldview.

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  44. I think it's great if people find meaning in Christianity - and certainly, Christ handled the most excruciating pain, betrayal and fear with grace and dignity. That is something to strive for and emulate.

    Do you think Christ, after having been betrayed by His friends, tortured, hung up on a cross and suffocating to death in front of a jeering crowd has anything to do with an unwanted Cesarean section or a vaccine? That's like me complaining about my hairstyle getting rained on while thousands of people across the world are swept away in a devastating tsunami, and then trying to find comfort in the fact that we are all suffering!

    Please, do look to The Cross for comfort and peace. Remember Christ's sacrifice and let it strengthen you when you find yourself suffering. But to take a sacred song about Jesus' death and rework it to be about C-sections and vaccines? It's one thing to say, "I look to Christ for strength when I am feeling despair." It's quite another to say a birth that was a bit of a bummer is in any way akin to being crucified in order to take on the sin of all mankind!

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  45. Claire A FacationApril 24, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    @Guggie,

    Anonymous is refering to one of your defenders telling Jade Jymson that her children would have been better off aborted or Miscarried than having a mother like her. It's on the post about you over at MT.

    I don't think that this comment came from you, but you should watch out what others are saying in your honor.

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  46. Oh wow, Claire! That's horrible! :O I haven't been back to MT's page so did not know she was approving such horrific comments. I'm not sure how to stop people from saying such horrible things, nor do I see how that is "in my honor."

    Rather, I'd think anyone who said that and connected it to me has ulterior motives. I've never hidden the fact that I'm an anti-violence activist for babies/children.

    Sister Gypsy, it sounds as if you need to spend more time learning about birth trauma, whether those births were in the hospital or not and c-sections or not. Experiencing a traumatic or abusive birth is certainly not a "bummer." Please broaden your compassion for others.

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  47. I was so traumatized by my needless section and subsequent treatment by my dr/nurses/hospital that I was left with months of PTSD. It was so far BEYOND a bummer I can't even say. Me and my newborn did not deserve to be treated so callously, and more importantly, it adversely affected us both. There are others like me, who were not so lucky to have a supportive family, or be able to talk about the experience to find healing, as I did. Those women slid into depression, and some killed themselves. This is NOT WHINING.
    And Christ, having suffered more than I can imagine, knows my pain, cries with me when I am hurting. He tells us to cast all our cares upon Him, and this post was helpful for me emotionally, along with many other women.

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  48. I personally felt this post was a bit much, but having said that I understand why you posted it, Guggie, and I really don't think that people's reactions here are warranted. I think that anybody who can liken birth trauma to a 'bummer' has obviously not suffered from it.

    I think the sentiment of this post is a great one. Good on you for having the ovaries to post it when i'm sure you knew it would receive reactions like those you have received.

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  49. Hi Everyone, I'm the CJ who contributed to this post.

    I've read this comment thread twice now, and I'm still confused about why, exactly, the notion of women finding comfort in Jesus is so offensive. I've read a lot of bitter, vitriolic statements, but no actual explanations. "I don't like it" isn't an explanation, and it certainly isn't an excuse for this kind of talk.

    Several people have mentioned their religious beliefs. Whether Christian, Jew, or Atheist, the Golden Rule is relevant to everybody. You know, the one you learned in kindergarten? If you can't explain yourself without launching personal attacks, you may want to sit back, count to ten, and reconsider that, maybe, you don't have anything to say.

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  50. I know it's a bit late to weigh in on this, and maybe I'll regret doing so, but I've been thinking about this post since it was first brought to my attention, and needed to make sure I sorted out why it bothered me so, when I'm ostensibly on "your side", at least in some regards.

    On that note, maybe I should state upfront that I DO consider myself a birth advocate (though I'd personally define me as a 'birth choice' advocate rather than ONLY a 'natural birth' advocate). I am opposed to circumcision. I am wary of vaccination at best (I went delayed and selective, long story). I think the cesarean rate is a serious, serious problem. And I will stand up and defend the legitimacy of any woman to describe an assault on her body in any way she feels is accurate to her own experience (this absolutely does NOT mean all cesareans are birth rapes, nor does it mean a 'disappointing' experience is a birth rape - we're talking about specific, individual forcible violations against a woman's consent, in specific, individual cases, but to discuss it further is a huge digression).

    But there's something here that really rubbed me the wrong way, and as I followed the ensuing conversation, I tried to put my finger on it. I think I might have at least part of it.

    Here's the thing. What we're missing in these analogies is the intention. And intention is, well, everything.

    What was the purpose of Christ's crucifixion? I'm not talking about the fulfillment of prophecy or in any other theological sense, I'm talking about what the intention of a sentence ofcrucifixion was, period. It was punishment, torment and also humiliation.

    None of the people who are here cast in the role of perpetrator - individually, collectively or even institutionally - had this as their intention. And that IS a huge problem with the context here.

    YES, we can talk all day about the problems in the current maternity system (and I often do!), and about the risks of an excessively high cesarean rate. But the doctors who perform them are not mustache-twisting villains that are out to butcher women for kicks. I might disagree with their perspectives on some things - hell, I might disagree with their entire worldview. But a cesarean, when needed, is a lifesaving operation. And the thing is, even when it's not (necessarily) needed, this is still INTENDED to be lifesaving.

    Again, again, again, we might disagree and point out that it wasn't indicated based on thusandsuch, and again, again, again, I am likely to agree in many cases. But with a precious few exceptions, they really are doing what they think is best for mother and baby, much as we disagree. So to compare them, essentially, to Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, and the thugs who carried out literal, INTENTIONAL torture beyond description? Yes, it can cause many people to balk and chafe, especially in such a maudlin presentation.

    And that's just the doctors - what about the instances you include where it is the PARENT who is the perpetrator? Again, again, I oppose circumcision. I am wary about vaccination. But I also know that parents who choose this for their children are doing so because they believe it is best for their children. They ARE doing it out of love. They, too, are unfairly cast in the role of the evil persecutors. Can't you see why they would be angry if they read this post? I sure would be.

    One last time, I DISAGREE with them, but if you refuse to take in the fact that they really do love their children and are acting accordingly with regard to each choice, and prefer instead to wallow in martyrdom, we're never, ever going to get any closer to any sort of mutual understanding.

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  51. P.S. This doesn't negate the reality of birth trauma, whether it's trauma directly from an emergency itself or whether it's from an assault, whether or not the mother experiences something that would be akin to rape (and this does happen). And I can see the value of taking comfort in Jesus if that's your belief, and knowing that he felt anguish too. I can understand why that would be therapeutic, and I have much compassion for those working through such complicated, difficult things. But please give some thought to some of the feelings brought up by commenters here. They have valid points, too.

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  52. Anne,

    You seem to think this post was intended to persuade people to believe something about themselves. This post was provided as a source of acknowledgement for the parents and children who were hurt by specific things.

    I'm saddened at how many people have attempted to apply political, theological or idealogical motive to this post. It's a voice, a perspective, a nod in their direction. A call to "memoriam."

    As for the distinction of intention...that is no different than the distinction between necessary and unnecessary intervention. We know that the majority of interventions for various issues (aka c-sections) are perhaps necessary. But that doesn't mean they are all necessary.

    The same can be said for intent. We know that most people, be they doctors or midwives, nurses or doulas, have good intentions. And yet it would be wrong for us to conclude that every person has good intentions. To claim that birth rape or birth trauma was accidental is misleading. When you read stories of women kicking and screaming "no no no" while being held down, intent is absolutely questionable. Or for example, when you research Brian Morris and his online ring of circumfetishists (adults who are sexually aroused by performing or watching infant circumcisions) the intent behind the surgery is definitely questionable.

    And that is all this post attempts to do...provide a small snapshot, a small viewpoint, a tiny step in the long journey of a dark road that others have walked.

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  53. Projecting my GUILT? My GUILT? What am I guilty of? Having sections that saved my sons' lives?

    To the people who call you brave: You're not. To the people who call you inspiring: You're not.

    This outspoken, judgemental, holier than thou blog is an insult to mothers everywhere and you have no business proclaiming yourself as an "activist for infants and children." You are not their saviour. Simply a weak little girl with an intensly frightening parochial worldview.

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  54. Yes, Steph, your guilt, for lack of a better word. You assumed that the "rise from despair" photos at the bottom of this page only show vaginal homebirths. That's your projection onto this article.

    An activist is not a savior.

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  55. *sigh* I thought I was clear in what I said. I'm not saying that it's bad or wrong to find comfort + healing through prayer and the teachings of Jesus. In fact I encourage it. Christ wants you to lean on him in good times and bad. However I do think it's wrong to see our suffering as equal to that of his crucifixion. I think it's disrespectful of the gift he gave to us (the gift of life) to say it compares to anything that we may understand. We can sympathize in his suffering (no problem there) but we are not equal to it. If your post had included just a few tasteful photos with some scripture then it would not have offended anybody. But when you take the photos you chose and add them to the hymn you changed it makes the post come across as our human suffering being comparable to his death. And i'm not even touching on how incorrect it is to compare his death with children who get vaccinated and children who have been circumcised. That's just way off base.

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  56. Reading a blog is optional; follow Thumper from Bambi "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say nothing at all"April 25, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    I would like to ask everyone to re-read the original post. Guggie is very clear about her intentions, they are not to offend or hurt, but to encourage. Those of you who claim to be Christian, yet are throwing rude banter at Guggie, should be ashamed. What a very un-Christian thing to do. Those of you who are doing it -regardless of religious beliefs- should also be ashamed. You behave in the same way that a young child does, immediately countering any slight dislike with angry and hateful actions.

    Guggie,
    You are a truly amazing woman. I have never, thank God experienced the loss of a child -you have- I cannot imagine how that hurts. I have lost many brothers and sisters, and that pain leaves a scar on your heart. The fact that you are trying to help heal those scars for others is wonderful! Take heart and do not let hateful comments offend you, they are just small temptations for the devil to undermine your calm and loving approach.

    And for those who said you should not compare c-section to the passion of Christ -actually you should try to tie all your sufferings with those of Christ. You should be using them to "carry your cross" whether the c-section was necessary or not -I would like to re-iterate what many have said in affirming that Guggie did not ONCE claim that all c-sections are bad. Just as not all natural births are good, just as not every food or book or movie or any other thing in this world is good-
    Tie your sufferings to Christ's passion! Whatever form your suffering came in, always, always tie them to Our Lord's passion! He will cherish the fact you have done so! The Lord said take up your cross, He never said that He wouldn't help you carry it.

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  57. Your false idols comment is amusing. Your entire blog reads like a prostration to the gods of natural child birth. Your hubris in assuming that God of course agrees with your views on birth and parenting are interesting, as well. Can you give citations from the CCC or any encyclicals, anything, that shows God hates vaccinations and c-sections? Do you perhaps fancy yourself a modern day prophet and believe you're speaking for Him?

    I was traumatized when my attempted hbac left my child severely brain damaged and permanently disabled. Too bad you have no sympathy for mothers like Steph and me. You'll have to forgive me for having none for women who walked away with healthy babies but are "traumatized" because they didn't get the birth of their dreams.

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  58. Steph, if you're truly happy with your choices, and with your life, then why do you feel a need to be so hurtful? What's the point of calling another person--someone you've never met in real life--names? It's not that we don't believe you; it's that you're defeating your own argument by being so cruel. Mood, like disease, is infectious; we tend to spread what we have. Truly happy people want others to be truly happy...and visa versa. I've never yet met a contented, fulfilled person who wanted to tear others down and make them feel bad about themselves.

    Anne, like I said in the post itself, identifying with Christ's pain doesn't mean, literally, thinking you ARE Christ, or that the circumstances of your unhappiness are, therefore, trying to crucify you. Rather, what we're speaking to here is the universality of despair, and the redemptive power of empathy.

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  59. Anonymous, yes, yes! You are asking the right questions! Please continue to ask questions about the ethics of medical interventions when they are used unnecessarily. Continue to meditate on the rich heritage of your Catholic faith, on the teachings in the CCC about the dignity of the personhood, the respect that ALL humans deserve, the call to bodily integrity and the error of Monophysitism.

    Think of those cases where women were forced into c-sections without informed consent or true medical necessity and are now infertile from those surgeries.

    Think of those cases where innocent, healthy children were injected or amputated without medical need and without informed consent. It's time for you to learn which vaccines used aborted human cells (including a flu vaccine that uses a newly established cell line). It violates several passages in the CCC. It goes against much of what the popes have written.

    Yes, indeed! You are on a journey. If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart. Your faith has answers.

    I make it quite clear that I focus my time on specific issues, the same as anyone else focuses on their issue of breast cancer, or mood disorders, or theft, or teen violence. Everyone has their own talents and their own spot in the world. If you feel called to write about the abuses of poorly trained or unethical midwives and/or the potential risks of birthing outside the hospital, then I encourage you to do so! When we find our place in the world, we feel at peace.

    "Together with Paul, he [St Barnabas] then went to the so-called Council of Jerusalem where after a profound examination of the question, the Apostles with the Elders decided to discontinue the practice of circumcision so that it was no longer a feature of the Christian identity (cf. Acts 15: 1-35). It was only in this way that, in the end, they officially made possible the Church of the Gentiles, a Church without circumcision."
    - Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, January 31, 2007

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  60. I'm starting to see that maybe not everyone understands what Jesus meant when he said "Take up your cross and follow me"... He wasn't talking about our burdens or personal suffering. Taking up your cross is to leave behind worldy things so that you can follow Jesus in his teachings. He was talking about dying to ourselves so that we will be free to follow him wherever he might lead. This is different from seeking healing in Christ. If Guggie wanted to use something from the Bible to show healing and joy growing out of suffering then I think Romans 5:3-5 would have worked better.... "And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."

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  61. CJ, I am truly happy with my life and my choices. My words appear hurtful because they are in retaliation to a blog which is hurtful.

    Guggie, how many of the joyous photos are post section? The truth, now.

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  62. Guggie, I am well aware that a few vaccinations were cultured using fetal cells from an aborted baby (one aborted baby, who was killed over 40 years ago...still evil, but you make it sound as if babies are currently being slaughtered just to make vaccines). You, however, are apparently unaware that the Vatican has NOT forbidden usage of those vaccinations, and in fact, urges parents considering skipping them to take into consideration the risk not vaccinating can pose to the public- http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0504240.htm Yes, according to the Church, you personally have a right to refuse vaccinations, but the Church is NOT anti-vaccination, and to attempt to portray her as such is dishonest. You could easily argue that the Church is *pro* vaccination and pro-appropriate medical treatment in general.

    For the record, I'm the mother of an intact son, am very much against RIC, and agree that Catholics (and Christians in general) have no business doing it. Which is why I didn't mention it previously.

    I also genuinely feel for women who have not been fully informed of their rights as patients and have suffered as a result. I don't have an issue with those women offering their personal suffering up in unity with Christ as a sacrifice to God. I have a problem with people claiming there's nothing worse than a c-section (irregardless of the reasoning for it or whether or not baby is okay), or that it's on par with being crucified. Surgery sucks, it sucks even more if you weren't fully informed of the risks or felt pressured into doing it. But offer it up and let it go. Obsessing over it and idealizing a specific birth scenario as perfect isn't helpful, and yes, can become a false idol.

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  63. Anon,

    You must have missed my posts on the topic, which include links to Vatican statements. Licit use is based on the premise that vaccinations are absolutely necessary to life and that there are no other options. If either one of those two are incorrect (and they are) then licit use cannot be claimed.

    Here's why cooperating with the manufacturers and using their fetal cell-vaccines was wrong from a commercial standpoint: it drove market decisions. The older cell lines (from more than one aborted human BTW) reached the Hayflick limit for replication. They are currently running trials on a new cell line recently obtained. As long as we continue to cooperate and accept their production behaviors, they will continue to use what is profitable/easy.

    Are you trying to say that presenting these photos is "obsessing" over it? Would you say that mothers who created pages or memory books of children who died are obsessing over it? It is still apparent that you don't understand how traumatizing a c-section can be, especially when forced onto a woman or when it has a grave outcome (aka the woman and child died).

    Anyone else who is interested in the story behind aborted humans and vaccines, I have already written a post on it here:

    http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2010/11/aborted-human-cells-soylent-green-of.html

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  64. Steph, if you experience something hurtful, the correct, adult thing to do is rise above it. Saying to yourself, "I was hurt, so I'm gonna hurt back" is both childish and mean-spirited. Moreover, since you yourself are apparently so willing to cause hurt--and don't seem to care how your words affect others--I have a hard time taking your points seriously. If you'd come to this blog with kindness, I would've given your argument more credence. Instead, all I hear is "do as I say, not as I do".

    Patricia, I have another verse for you: Matthew 23:23--24. There are many who, in focusing on the exactly correct interpretation of every scriptural doctrine, miss the spirit of the law--which is compassion. Jesus wasn't too thrilled with the Pharisees, when they missed the forest for the trees. If you feel you're 100% certain of what Jesus meant by everything He said and did in His ministry, fantastic. I genuinely wish you joy in your discovery. However, it's worth remembering that Jesus, Himself, recommended the humble approach.

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  65. This post did make me uncomfortable....but in a good way, the kind of way that The Diary of Ann Frank, or documentaries about the A bombs dropped on Japan or...in the way Passion of the Christ made me feel
    Naysayers, I am not sure if you are over thinking or under thinking this post, but either way you are missing the point.
    Jesus sacrificed his body, his life for his Father's children. In a similar, note SIMILAR, way mothers whom have cesareans give up the integrity of their bodies as a sacrifice, ever how futile or not, for their children. As the Father painfully watched his son grow and develop then die on a cross so too mothers watch their children grow within them only to painfully see them parish.
    If you can't see past your nose enough to see the point of this post then honestly you should leave, this is not the place for you.
    And for the woman, didn't remember the name by the time I got to the bottom, who said you never think of the babies HOW DARE YOU. You are just like the rest of America....In truth EVERYONE always thinks of the babies and never the mother's. Mother's are left alone to battle their internal demons while everyone dotes on the baby. Birth trauma is very real and very damaging, and when a woman even utters a whisper of her sadness or her pain she is made to feel guilty and ashamed. "Count your blessings you have a healthy child and you are alive to be it's mother" is what they hear. Let me tell you something just because baby and mother are healthy does not mean something bad did not happen. Do you really think we don't love our children or are happy they made it earth side safe and sound? You can still be happy about your baby and mourn your birth. I know because I do. The birth of my 1st was the happiest day of my life but also one of the most painful. I had a ceserean, and at least for me I can in confidence say it was necessary, however despite this it still sucks. I still have bad days where the fear and sadness flood back. Like most I have heard the same lines about how I am being ridiculous or selfish or irrational. Like Christ our grief is ours alone to carry and very rarely will anyone help relief the burden. Rather they mock us. This is not about who is right or wrong in fact in birth there is no right or wrong. Some woman and babies are saved by ceserean some however are bullied into it out of greed and disrespect from inpatient OBs, and even those that are saved are entitled to mourn the peaceful safe birth they didn't have. More often then not a home birth is a beautiful thing but there are people hurt by it. etc etc. The point here is not to point fingers it is to recognize the sacrifice mothers make for their babies every day that are hurting, grieving, regretting....

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  66. Hugs for you Guggie. Too many just don't get it, but you don't need them anyway. Those bored enough spend their time throwing flames all over the net. Total craziness!
    - Whittney
    I am only anon because the page would not load right

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  67. Thank you for your thoughts and for the courage you display in publishing them. I imagine you knew that there would be negative responses, but you said what you had to say anyway. I try to remember often that He suffered not just for my sins, but also my pains, sorrows and sicknesses. In Him there is peace and healing, no matter what trauma we have endured. "Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. The chastisement of our peace was upon him. And with his stripes we are healed." Thanks for being your lovely controversial self. :)

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  68. ...do you realize Jesus was circumcised?

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  69. Yes, exactly J. Star. :) That's the point...Christians uniting their suffering with a God who suffered.

    You can read more about the sword that pierced Mary's heart and her Son's circumcision here:

    http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2011/02/catholics-who-circumcised-do-not.html

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