Christy needs to Blog: Can you tell the difference between feeling judged and being judged?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Can you tell the difference between feeling judged and being judged?

Today we had a lovely visit with some friends who had a baby just a few weeks ago. It was great to see people who we get together with only occasionally and so nice fawn over a cute new baby.

The only slight mar in our visit was when I was talking to the mom briefly about her birth experience. She had wanted a natural birth and ended up needing some medical intervention. So, I tried to make polite and supportive conversation:

Me: So I'm impressed that you wanted to do a natural birth and I'm sorry that you didn't get to have it.

Her: I'm sorry, too. I hated the epidural. It felt wrong.

Me: Really? I loved mine, but since you hadn't planned on it I could see how...

Her: (interrupting) No. It felt wrong. Everything up to then felt good and right and the epidural was just so unnatural. It was wrong. But I was desperate at that point; I needed some rest to get through it.*

Me: Well, uh, I'm just glad everyone is okay. So breastfeeding is going well?

Who knew that breastfeeding would be a safer subject?

So, yeah, I felt judged by her statements. It made me feel like she was saying that by having an epidural, I had failed woman-kind; that somehow I wasn't as true a mother because I chose to have the pain relief.

But the thing is, I'm totally fine with my decision. It was right for me and my family. I can understand and appreciate that some people want a natural experience, but me, well, no so much. For me, the epidural allowed me to be more present and actually enjoy my birth experience; something that I don't think that would have been possible - not for me, anyway. I'm not so good with the pain.

So I ask your opinion: Given the conversation above and the fact that I'm fine with the decision I made for myself, am I just feeling judged, or was I actually judged?**

*I swear that the emphasis in this part of the conversation was hers, not mine. And, ahem, if it felt so good and right, why was she so desperate?

**Please don't take this to think that I have my feelings hurt. I don't, but I find the whole episode interesting.
posted by MamaChristy at 6:11 PM | 7 comments | links |