Friday, July 23, 2010

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

I suppose it was only a matter of time. When I posted Margaret's birth story, I got a lot of hate mail about the pictures. I figured it might happen again, so I wrote up a post earlier this year as a preemptive strike. But trolls don't read your old posts. Sigh. So I guess there's only one thing to do now: mock them.

I got my first birth picture-related hate comment yesterday. The brave person signed a generic name (Mary) attached to an empty blogger profile. It went like this. My mockery is in italics. :)

I would not be posting pictures of your naked breasts and blood dripping from your vagina.
Thank you. It would be really disconcerting if strangers were posting pictures of me on the Internet. Also, I must not know what a vagina is because I'm pretty sure I've never posted a picture of my vagina, but you seem to think I have. I must be missing something.

I gave birth to twins in March and I would never show such images... Most mothers have much, much more CLASS!! Whats next a play by play of how you have SEX??!!
You know what's classy? Typing in all caps. The exclamation points are like the jazz hands of the Internet: SEX!! By the way, your lack of apostrophes is a nice touch, too. It's almost too easy to go after a troll's poor grammar, but since I have no CLASS!! so I'll do it anyway.

I'm a mormom too,
Because of my limited vocabulary, I had to look up "mormom." What do you know- urban dictionary says it's a word! I'm always grateful when I learn new things from my readers.

and no one I know would post pictures such as this nature.
Hi, I'm Heather and I post pictures "such as this nature." Now you do know someone! Having a diverse friend base is important, don't you think? You're welcome.

If you think this is so wonderful, then why dont you submit to the Ensign your story and your birth pictures.
Please let me know your responce from the Ensign... think about it.
I'll do you one better: I love them so much I'm going to marry them!

You could share your birth story in a more tasteful manner and get your point across.
I'm sorry I offended your delicate sensitivities. And I'd like to know what you thought my point was. There wasn't a point. It was a story, not an opinion column.

The two pictures where your little girl is by her new baby brother is a great picture.
The two pictures? The first one is the one I'm not clothed in, which I thought was the one you took issue with. Are we talking about the same post?

I also feel that the one where you are fully clothed is how a mother should appear. The pictures I disagree with are the ones that you are not clothed in.
"Should" is a loaded word, but whatever. That's fine by me. These things happen.

Thank you, mother. :)

Ah. As for the more serious stuff: I will not post any more "OMG YOU'RE NAKED!" comments. As I've mentioned above, I've already addressed this issue and I will not be revisiting it. Also, for the past many months, McKay has been the one who has been approving the comments. I only see comments that he approves, so you won't even get the satisfaction of knowing I've read it, because I won't.

Unless it's as hilarious as this one. Then, McKay and I will have a good laugh. Thank you for brightening my day. Have a wonderful weekend.


  1. really? it never even occurred to me that people would say anything about it. i was just like OH LOOK! she had her baby!

    i forget how uptight people can be sometimes.

    but oh look! you had your baby! so happy! yyayayay!

  2. All of that came from ONE troll? Wowsers!

    Heather, you know I'm also a mormom and I know you don't need any encouragement but I thought you should know you're not the only one who is judged by fellow mormoms.

    I'm a convert, though, so they all feel they're "helping" me when they judge. Heck, even my bishop thinks their gossip and judgment is "helpful."

    Keep on mothering and birthing the way you do! You know how important it is to share healthy positive birth stories and you're doing exactly what you should be doing.

  3. Meh. IMNSHO they can take their puritanical hang ups and shove 'em up their...assinine little selves. ;)

    I think it's an excellent idea to have McKay do the approving {hi McKay!}. You do not need to deal with this crap. You just enjoy that new, little cutie! He's lovely. You're lovely. And there is nothing shameful about what you've posted. Their discomfort is all about them and has nothing to do with you.

  4. I love your attitude about this. It's hard for me not to take things like that personally, so I admire your ability not to do that! Plus, I totally agree with you about birth nudity; there's not one thing that's offensive about using your body to usher a child into this world!

  5. Ashley Gleeson, Apex, NC8:53 AM

    I actually thought your pictures were beautiful and inspiring. And I wanted you to know that, in light of such hateful comments. Congratulations to you and your family on such a wonderful birth. :)

  6. Oh man, hate comments are horrible! I had to laugh a little at the suggestion to submit your birth story and photos to the Ensign! hehehe! Now, I'm all for being nice, and "no evil speaking of the Lord's anointed" and such (assuming this really is a church member?), but the "mormom" trolls need to remember that they are responsible for being just as nice and evil-speaking-less, too (assuming this really is a church member?)

    I'm glad McKay is taking care of the comments. He can keep you from being bombarded and feeling overwhelmed with the really horrible ones. What a good husband you have!

  7. As an aside, I'm taking this pretty well. I've been giggling about my "I'm going to marry them" retort all morning. Hehehe! How clever I am!

    I considered taking the high road on this and ignoring it, but I don't have that kind of grace at the moment. Don't worry. We'll get back to the scheduled programming soon: tandem nursing, bed sharing with 2 babes, newborn EC, and more!

  8. The most pointed comment I want to make is directed to the "good" "Mormons" who commented on your birth story. I am appalled at their rudeness, and it makes me think of Jesus' message in the New Testament. Too few people understand that one of Jesus' most important messages was to not let the lesser details of religion get in the way of the heart of religion--loving others and caring for them. These people have missed the mark and I feel sorry for them.

    I also agree on your take on nudity. Our simultaneous sexualization and shaming of the body is tragic, and I feel that the areas of breastfeeding and birth are ideal moments to normalize the celebration of God's image, as you said.

    Thanks for the beautiful posts and congratulations on the birth of Isaac! (this is Katrina's husband by the way)

  9. Gigantic eye roll at those silly comments!

  10. I can't believe the things some people feel it is acceptable to say. No one is forcing them to read your blog, much less view your birth pictures. I assumed there would be such pictures with your birth story and while I was mildly shocked at the exposure I quickly got over it and was so proud of you for being so comfortable with yourself and your body and your ability to birth a baby!
    And I'm so glad McKay takes such an active role on the blog!!

  11. I thing the people who wrote all this crap are jealous since you came up with idea first and have many fans and they are just losers who have nothing to do but insult good people. I have my opinions and thoughts, but it is your life not mine to live. I send my congrats to you and your growing family.

  12. While I wouldn't post pics of myself naked right after giving birth, that doesn't mean you are wrong to do so. Just because I'm not comfortable with something doesn't mean I should force that on you. When I saw that you had written up Issac's birth story, I assumed a pic (like the one "in question") would be in there too, I still chose to read the story(and it was beautiful and facinating). It's not like you hid your opinions on this and then all of a sudden posted "scandalous" pics of yourself, shocking all your readers. This is your blog and you are free to post what you wish on it, I'm gald you do. I'm not brave enough to do some of the things you do, but I've learned a lot of interesting things because you are.

  13. I stand by what I said earlier.

    Birth is beautiful... Bodies are beautiful.

    The high road is overrated sometimes too ;-)

  14. Loved your birth story and lived vicariously though it.

    Had my "home birth" via c-section at 30 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia-not exactly my plan.

    At "4 months" of age, he's smaller than your son was at birth! (but I am proud of him for gaining 7 lbs!)

    I knew your birth story would have pictures, and so would anyone else who regularly reads your blog. You are fighting a good fight-I fight too by gasp, breastfeeding in public. A friend of mine just told me it was inappropriate to do so. Argh!

    Keep up the great writing.

    Tandem nursing my preemie and 2.5 (now 3 year old) has not been like I expected. Hope it's "better" for you!

  15. I'm glad you are who you are and I've found a friend in you through your blog. Some people just like drama...

  16. Why do people always try to compare mothering things (i.e. breastfeeding and birth) to sex? Or poop? It really makes me wonder what's wrong with their heads.

  17. Loving the mockage! It's good for the soul :D I'm glad you're having a good chuckle at their expense!!

    Keep on keeping on dude, you're doing great things :D

    (yes, I know mockage is not a real word, I just made it up, it sounds good with an English accent, trust me)

  18. I'm glad you posted this, it gave me a good laugh. Sorry about the hate mail, though. She should know that people with CLASS!! don't deliver rude anonymous messages to people.

  19. Birth is a most sacred experience. The conception and delivery of a new human being are probably two of the most sacred experiences a woman can have. I can't imagine a time where Divinity could be more near. I feel true sorrow for the women whose births are more like rape than the spiritual process they were intended to be. The normalizing of traumatic and surgical birth is a shame. It's horrifying to see women so desensitized to the beauty, majesty, and power of their own bodies that they think normal, natural birth is somehow unclean, immoral, or otherwise inappropriate to share with others. My heart aches for them. I applaud you Heather and McKay for sharing your beautiful journey and helping this great cause by sharing your experiences with others. Birth is beautiful and needs to be seen more often happening the way Mother Nature and Heavenly Father intended it be. Well done! Well done!

    I've been contemplating sharing the video from Elias' birth taken by his big brother to put one more image of natural birth out there to do my part in combating the evil images surrounding the most sacred passageway to motherhood.

  20. You know, if she had such issues with the pictures, she could have just chosen not to finish reading. Honestly.

  21. I just have to tell you, the reason I found your blog in the first place was from a distant friend's blog. She found your blog somehow and thought it was utterly scandalous that you did a homebirth and posted pictures about it. She wasn't trying to be mean, but was saying "Whoa, this is crazy!!" Anyway, I followed the link to your blog and had a very different reaction. I was fascinated. I was newly pregnant with my first child and had never been able to see birth happen in such an honest, natural way. It lead me to have a completely different view of birth and childbearing as a whole. Though I am not doing a homebith, (birth center with midwife instead) I really respect the ideas and experiences you share. Just thought you might like to know that at least one good thing has come of a "troll" reading and sharing your blog. Thanks!

  22. So, I had to go check out the photos, and I do think they're pretty tame. And beautiful. And inspiring.

    Trolls suck. But what they says is much more about them, than about you. I try to remember that, anyway.

    Enjoy that precious baby boy!

  23. Nudity is always wrong. Michaelangelo's David is disgusting. BYU should no longer let art students study the human form. Only women should be able to deliver babies because otherwise a MAN gets to see and (gasp!) touch your vulva and vagina.

    And it's very logical that you would send your birth pictures into the ensign, because other people also send in pictures with birth stories - don't they have a birth story section now?

    And we've been over this a hundred times, Heather. Breasts are for SEXUAL GRATIFICATION. It doesn't matter that Mormon mothers in Europe and South America breastfeed in Sacrament meeting and Relief Society, often with their blouses unbuttoned from the TOP like COMMON WHORES. Here in the US, we know what breasts are really for. How many more of us need to try to shame you with our judgmental comments before you see it our way? You're corrupting the interwebs!

  24. Thanks, Alisa. I always know I can count on you. :)

  25. As a brand new first time mother (my son is 3 days old,) I really appreciate your openness with your birth story. It was very uplifting and encouraging to read just a few days before my own labor and delivery (even though mine wasn't at home - next time.)

    I don't know why trolls even bother. Then again, they seem to have such high opinions of themselves. They must feel they have some calling to "boss" around the world - especially complete strangers.

    Kudos to you!

  26. Kate- Congrats on your new little one!

  27. We are strong people but hateful comments hurt everybody. I think it's a great idea to have your husband monitor the comments. I did that too. I would just rather not know about them at all, then have my day be ruined. I don't like how my heart races and my comeback is on my mind for hours afterward. I would just rather be ignorant of it all!

    p.s. I love what Crystal and Emily said. Now I will be grateful for mean people who send links around to mock us.

  28. I'm sorry you have to deal with that rudeness from people! :( I will quote what Lisa said because it's how I feel too: "I'm not brave enough to do some of the things you do, but I've learned a lot of interesting things because you are." I really have learned a lot from your blog - so thank you for that!

    Also on a side note, my 3 month old baby just came back from spending a week in the hospital and one of the doctors asked, "Is he formula fed or bottle fed?" I said, "umm...breastfed." Seriously??? Like formula or bottle are the only options??? I thought of you when he said that and just thought I'd share. :-p Some people...

  29. I am still amazed at some people's ignorance and lack of self-control. Not sure what they were trying to accomplish with those comments besides being deliberately hurtful or demeaning. Thank you for sharing your birth story, and everything else. I have already told you this, but you have honestly changed my life because of everything you have shared! ;)

  30. I've been laughing at your "I'm going to marry them" comment too.

    This post makes me miss you... :)

  31. Heather, you are amazing. What you do is changing the world. Honestly how many people actually know what birth is really like? They see sanitized versions on TV where fluids are magically whisked away, and not a speck of blood; any on the baby is quickly removed.

    Birth is life and giving birth is normal. Bodily fluids are normal! Why must we gag at a picture of a real, natural, beautiful process and yet have an extreme fascination with watching gory TV shows and movies?

    As always, you are my hero.


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