30 Mar 2006, Comments Off on Scream, Katie, scream!

Scream, Katie, scream!

Author: Helen

Warning: Pregnant readers might want to skip this one.

The silencing of womens’ voices has always been a theme in patriarchy-blaming circles. But to silence us in labour?

Katie Holmes, who has probably suffered enough already, has to undergo a “silent birth” because that’s what’s required under Tom’s nutty Scientological doctrine.

Many of us who have one or more sprogs will remember- unless they were more sensible than me – being snowed by the natural childbirth movement. We’d keep fit and healthy through our pregnancy and then we’d just breeeeeathe through the labour, oh yes we would!

Crap. What we expect of our first labour is one thing, the reality often quite another.

As those on the other side of childbirth will know, there are different stages within labour, and the shortest but most intense part – when your body is getting ready to expel the wee thing – is called “transition”. Aah, Katie, let me talk to you about “transition”.

Transition phase. This phase can last anywhere from a few minutes to a several hours. It’s here that your partner is most likely to swear at you like a truck driver. (Don’t take it personally; even women who have coped well up to this point often “lose it” during the transition phase.) Contractions last 60 to 90 seconds and come two or three minutes apart.

During this stage, a woman is likely to experience such things as: Trembling, vomiting, irritability, backache, despair (Can I go home now? I’ll come back tomorrow!), feeling hot or cold, need for support (hear that, Tom?), “loss of modesty” (don’t you love that one?), involuntary bowel movements (that’d be after the loss of modesty), belching, farting, and – not surprisingly – wanting to just bloodywell give up, or yelling for drugs.

From my own experience and the birth stories of others I know it’s more like an episode of Little Britain than a gooey spiritual experience. Some of the language might make a pirate blush. You can have your birth plans, but you need to know disinhibition is going to occur. Since Cruise has been through the process more than once with Our Nic, you’d think this tool might have demonstrated more realistic knowledge of what labour involves. Oh, but he’s going to provide an iPod with soothing music.

How much do you bet she’ll rip off the iPod ear buds before ripping Tom’s bloody arms off and screaming, “Get me outta here, you f###ing wanker!!!”

And whose idea was this jolly Scientologist birth plan, anyway? L. Ron Hubbard? Well, as he’s dead, I suggest we get Tom and John Travolta and tie a string around their nuts for the duration of Katie’s labour. Katie will get to yank it when she feels the need to, you know, share the depth of her womanly experience with these patriarchal potatoheads. Given their commitment to the deep spirituality of the experience, I feel it’s unfair to keep the experience of birth pain away from them. Let’s see how they enthuse about the virtues of silence then.

Comments (0)

  • Paul says:

    Childbirth’s not a spiritual experience? It looks pretty cool when Britney Spears is doing it….

  • Helen says:

    I’ve just been shaking like a jelly with mirth (as I tend to do) reading Twisty’s take on that…

    Then I snapped. I ran out into the street screaming like a mimi. My neighbor looked up from her gas-powered leaf-blower, observed that there was blood shooting out my eyes, and said, “What’s up, Twisty? A sub-par Oregon merlot again?” And I said, “Shit, almost! I’ve looked into the abyss, and the abyss looked back!”

  • tigtog says:

    Much as I like to mock $cientology the same as everyone else, particularly on its view of psychoactive drugs, they’re getting a bum rap on this.

    A “silent birth” means that nobody BUT the mother makes noise (except for medically crucial communications), and she is encouraged to avoid verbalising but encouraged to bellow as much as she likes. One Scientology mum’s experiences here.

    The theory behind it all, is, as one might expect, as hokey as hell – that words heard during such a crucial moment might imprint the child in negative ways even when not meant negatively by the person who utters them.

    And it wouldn’t surprise me either if Mr “I Can’t Handle The Truth About Psych Meds” Cruise had his own personally weird interpretation of it all.

  • L. says:

    Oh, and Katie`s problems are just beginning with the birth, if she suffers from PPD and is told to just take her vitamins.

    I`m all for reproductive freedom, but I don`t understand why some people choose what they choose.

  • Laura says:

    Didn’t Tomandnicole adopt their babies?

  • tigtog says:

    They certainly did, and apparently sordid details of Tom’s low sperm count raised their *ahem* head during his first divorce. There is speculation that when Nicole fell pregnant Tom simply refused to believe the child could possibly be his and thus the divorce (her miscarriage was DNA tested and shown to be Cruise-spawn after all, if you remember the early days of their separation). The well-known low yield of the Cruise-missile is the reason for all the jokes about Katie being artificially impregnated with elRon-spawn.

  • Helen says:

    Oh, that’s right, Tomandnicole did adopt. So he’s legitimately clueless (as I was). Your first comment is interesting too, Tigtog; as Tom is now slightly less popular than Saddam, and he’s no stranger to the media, you’d think he’d put the word out about Katie not being required to stay silent? That’s feeding my scepticism.

  • tigtog says:

    As with any urban legend, the debunking has troubles. People like to believe that THEY (for various values thereof) are doing WEIRD SHIT, and therefore it’s OK to distrust/shun/persecute THEM.

    $cientology has enough legitimate weirdness that it’s very easy to believe this bit as well – I did for quite a few years when I first heard of wrt Lisa-Marie Presley giving birth.

    There’s a theory I’ve heard lately that the last year of Tom losing the PR plot, when previously he’s navigated it so well, may possiby indicate a legitimate case of bipolar disorder, which of course $cientology condemns taking proven psychoactive medication to treat.

  • rachy says:

    tigtog, there was also an article in the Sydney morning Herald recently by a female Australian Scientologist saying that she did a silent birth and everything went fine, but that a friend of hers who did not do a silent birth properly (read: dared to scream out) has a child with, God forbid, asthma!

    As though asthma has got anything to do with what a mother might scream or yell during childbirth. I will try my darndest to get a copy of this article, otherwise you will just have to trust my very good memory of newspaper articles.

    Anyhow, Scientology doctrine does call for the mother to be silent. Moaning is acceptable, yelling disturbs the child apparently. Obviously it doesn’t matter if the mother is in distress, she just has to shut her mouth because in my opinion, no one else can handle hearing the pain

  • rachy says:

    I love google news

    check out the second last paragraph, as well as the overall patronising tone of the lovely Virginia

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/people/mission-impossible-staying-mum-in-childbirth/2006/03/29/1143441203511.html

  • tigtog says:

    Thanks rachy! The lovely Virginia could smarm at an Olympic level.

    I get the feeling that the strict teaching is no words and as little noise as physically possible from others in the room, and that the rank and file have pushed that to be ‘no noise at all’ from anyone including the mother. Typical cultic Chinese whispers.

    I love the idea that giving her music through headphones is somehow sticking to the “quiet room” idea though – that music is going to be conducted through her bones straight to the womb, so Katie and the baby will hear it just fine even if nobody else can. Heh-heh.

  • Helen says:

    Very good idea. My sprogs were subjected to nothing but the best thrash and metal (I lie, actually, my tastes are much more eclectic, but I do like a bit of crunch with my music sometimes.) As a result their tastes are impeccable… well, the girlchild’s is. She had Velvet Underground on today, and not because I bought it for her. The boy found the Numa Numa song for me, so he is not going too badly, but he still thinks the Spongebob movie is the height of musical achievement. I’m sure Tom would disapprove of them both, praise be.

  • brownie says:

    The Cruiser’s first spouse – Mimi Rogers – had a child in the first year of her 2nd marriage.
    ‘Our Nic’s’ conception at the height of her marital wrangle, seemed quite extraordinary to me.
    Defamer.com are saying Katie has a strap-on fake tummy.
    Well, I suppose they would say that wouldn’t they?

  • Jane says:

    I am an expert on the Scientology silent birth method – since I have given birth 7 times since becoming a Scientologist 16 years ago!

    Contrary to the crazy media stories (which, I believe are all based on ONE story that has been re-hashed over and over again by journalists who have lost sight of what it means to do their own research), “silent birth” does NOT mean the mother cannot make noise.

    I moan, groan, yell, and have even been known to scream during birth (one baby had a rather large head.) NO ONE would ever tell a birthing mother to not make noise during birth. Rather, many women familiar with the book “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” have requested that their doctors and nurses refrain from unecessary chitchat during our labor and birthing.

    This is not so unusual or restricted to Scientologists – both Dr. Bradley (of the well-known “Bradley Childbirth Method” and Dr. LeBoyer (of the well-known LeBoyer birthing technique) suggest that the birthing room be kept quiet. Even animals will stop labor in a noisy room. For humans, that is not really an issue – if the room is chaotic and labor stalls, the mother is just given pitocin, and if that doesn’t work, a c-section. (Which may be a factor in the 1 in 3 c-section rate we have in the U.S.)

    At any rate, you can read about an actual “Scientology silent birth” at: http://www.geocities.com/kiduniverse.geo/scientology-silent-birth.html?20065

    -Jane
    mommy of 7

  • brownie says:

    Seven Little Thetans – good on you Jane.
    Came here from a Technorati Search did you?
    To me, he most fascinating thing about followers of L. Ron Hubbard is that none of them are POOR. It takes a good income to support seven children.
    I am thinking about joining your movement.
    In case you come back here to check reactions, I would like to tell you that all the blog comment on Thetans is NOT because we want to ridicule anybody’s religion, it’s because we all think Tom Cruise is a LoveRat.

  • “Silent Birth” as described by the new sources is oh so much like the Grantley Dick Read and LeBoyer in Birth Without Violence – babies being born into quiet environments.

  • Zoe says:

    Silent birth means you miss out on the re-enactment by husbang with a snorkel of birth noises next time you’re at the Coast.

    And apparently Japanese women aren’t encouraged to let all the hairs hang out either.

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