NBR & My Vent on the Bump

NBR = Not Baby Related: 

I have a story to share from this morning… on my way to work, I drive by an area under the highway where a lot of homeless people hang out during the day.  Especially during rush hour, there are often people out there asking for money.  Ordinarily I don’t like to give money to people asking on the street because I figure you never know what they’re going to use it for, and while I’m sure that not all of them are alcoholics or drug addicts, I have this very negative assumption (prejudice?) that a lot of them use the money they’re given for alcohol or drugs and frankly, I don’t want to help fuel their addictions.  I would much prefer to give money to an organization or group that will provide services for them–that’s why I like to donate our old clothes and other things we’re getting rid of to Bridge House and Grace House, residential facilities for men and women, respectively, recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.  It’s an organization that provides services, job training, housing and medical treatment to people in need.  I would much prefer to give to an organization like that or to a homeless shelter, or a battered women’s shelter than to give directly to an individual asking for money on the street. 

This morning though, on my way to work, there was a boy out there asking for money–he couldn’t have been older than about 17 or 18 (he barely had peach fuzz on his face) and he had a sign that said “Homeless and Hungry.”  Suddenly this wave of maternal instinct (?) or guilt (?) or something came over me and I immediately started thinking… this kid has parents somewhere, possibly siblings, aunts and uncles, and he’s here in New Orleans, under the highway asking for money.  I know nothing about the circumstances that got him here (did he run away? was he kicked out of the house? did his parents die?  is he a drug addict?) but if I were his mother, I would be worried sick about him.  If my own daughter ever ended up in a situation like that, for any reason, I would want people to help her out because even if she makes mistakes, even stupid ones that get her into a situation like that, I will always love her and care about her and want her to be safe and healthy and cared for.  There was no way I was going to give this kid money, in case he was going to just go spend it on drugs, but I instinctively reached across to the passenger seat, where my bagged lunch was sitting, and I grabbed the plum I brought for my afternoon snack and I gave it to this boy.  At least he’ll have something to eat today, and something healthy at that!

I share this because this was very uncharacteristic for me… ordinarily when people ask me for money on the street, I try to avoid making eye contact, I ignore them, and I just walk by quickly and say something like, “Sorry, not today.”  But today I felt differently when I saw him.  I don’t know what it was but  maybe it was the soon-to-be-mother in me speaking up and wanting to protect this kid.  Hey, I’d say that was my mitzvah for the day!

And now in more baby-related news, today I wrote a vent on the Bump about inductions and I thought I would share it with all of you… no, you’re not allowed to quote me because I’m sure that when I get to 38/39/40 weeks (if I make it that far), I’m going to be miserable and begging to be induced and to just get the baby out as quickly as possible in whatever way you can, but today this is how I was feeling in response to reading a few posts on the “3rd Trimester” board from women who just want to be induced because they’re feeling impatient and uncomfortable… so here’s what I said in my vent:

“I don’t understand why SOOOOOO many women want to get induced?!?! 

I understand that towards the end of pregnancy we’re all going to be miserable and feel huge, and we’re going to be tired and not sleeping well and in pain and swollen, but we all know that when doctors estimate your “due date,” it’s just that, an estimation… the average is 40 weeks +/- 2 weeks, so anywhere from 38-42 weeks is “normal.”  So why do sooooooo many doctors and so many women opt for inductions right at 40 weeks, or just a few days past 40 weeks?

(I understand that in certain situations it is absolutely necessary–take a woman with Gestational Diabetes who has a very large baby, for example, or a woman whose husband is in the military and is scheduled to be deployed on X date, I can understand in those types of situations why you would absolutely want to induce, but I’m talking about situations where there’s no medical reason to induce and people opt to get induced a few days before or after their “estimated due date” just because they don’t want to be pregnant anymore.)

I know a lot of you have mentioned the movie, “The Business of Being Born” as being very eye-opening for you, and it certainly was for me.  It seems to me that women have been going through labor and delivery for thousands and thousands of years, our bodies are designed to do this, and the best possible outcome is to let the process unfold as naturally as possible.  Inducing a woman to go into labor seems to be asking for complications… you’re artificially starting her contractions, which then make the contractions worse, often cause the baby to react negatively to labor, and cause the need for an emergency C-Section.  Why not just let nature take its course and let things play out the way your body is designed to let things play out?!”

What are your thoughts?


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