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A Cup of Coffee… And a Whole Lot of Bitterness.

birth center
Looks so peaceful.

Yesterday was… Difficult.

It started out well enough.  I was excited about my very first prenatal appointment with my midwife.  I was happy that because of the generosity of my readers I was able to give my midwife a down payment towards the cost of my home birth.  It was such a relief to hand over that cash.  I felt very blessed, because I had been worried that I wouldn’t be able to give her anything.

Then it kind of went downhill.  I was feeling anxious to hear my baby’s heartbeat.  The whole visit I was looking forward to that, and when the student midwife took my blood pressure, it was 157/100!  She asked if that was normal, and I said no- so she had me lie down and they distracted me talking about the kids and then checked it again.  124/74.  Whew.

So then it was time to get me gooped up for the heartbeat….  And they couldn’t find it.  We tried for thirty minutes.  My tummy and uterus are sore today from the poking, but we couldn’t get it.  We heard the swooshing of the placenta, but not the baby.  I burst into tears.  It reminded me of my last pregnancy, and brought out a lot of trauma I thought I had buried. I cried and cried and told them about my loss.  Both my midwife and her assistant said they aren’t worried, that it could be hard to hear for many reasons.  That because of my extra padding, the placement of the placenta, the tilt or placement of my uterus it can be difficult to find the baby when he or she is still so small.

We are going to try again next week, and if we still can’t hear it, I will have an ultrasound the following Tuesday.  She also took blood to check my levels, which she said was just to reassure me that everything is ok. I felt gutted.  The whole thing reminded me of my lost baby.

After I got home, Hannah wanted to tell me about something personal, but we have a play group on Thursdays at my house so we didn’t really get a chance to talk.  I could tell she was bummed, and I remembered I still had a little left on the gift card Dee sent me, so I offered to take her out for a coffee so we could have some alone time.  I had such a good time talking with her, and it really cheered me up after my failed midwife visit.  It was my happy moment of the day, and I took a picture to share it with my TKW page.

And then….  The comments started.  How dare I buy coffee when I’m asking people for money. Why couldn’t I take my kid out for “special” time that was free?  I’m squandering my birth fund money.  I’m like a person who holds up a “hungry” begging sign and then buys a candy bar and soda. Why do I have a birth fund anyway? I chose to have five kids, I should choose a birth that my insurance covers.  (I don’t have insurance, for the record, we fall into that mythical crack where we make just enough to not qualify while not being able to afford insurance).  How dare I not have insurance.  How dare I have five children.  Its selfish of me to try for a home birth.  It’s selfish of me to ask people for money. It’s distasteful.

This one of those times that I’m weighing the good parts of having a blog and fan page and sharing my life against the hurt and shame and judginess that it can sometimes result in.  The majority of people on my page are so supportive and loving and make me feel GOOD.  It makes me feel like I’m doing something worthy when I hear that someone decided to try a different way of doing things because of something I said.  That’s why I keep doing this.

But yesterday was rough man.  I’m a little tender today.

UPDATE:  I talked to my midwife.  My levels are in the middle of the normal range.  She isn’t worried, she said.  Next Thursday I will go back to try the heartbeat again, and if we still can’t get it she will check to see if my levels are still rising.  And schedule an ultrasound for the following Tuesday.

37 Responses to A Cup of Coffee… And a Whole Lot of Bitterness.

  1. It sounds like you did have a rough day, but you also have a lot of people pulling for you. It takes a village …whether it’s to raise a child, have a child or put food on your table when times are tough. Take all that anyone says with a grain of salt, think on it, and move on. Those people don’t control how you react to what they say, you are the only one who can decide how you are going to let them affect you. Keep on moving forward, it’s all that any of us can do.
    You are very well aware that the Internet can be a very, very ugly place. Things that people would never, ever dream of saying to your face they have no problem at saying when they are hiding behind the anonymity of a monitor or screen. It’s easy to be ugly when you don’t have to bear the consequences of your words or actions.
    May today be a better day!
    Blessed be.

  2. Oh man, I cannot imagine. I think it’s distasteful and rude for people to make comments like that on your FB page! Do they not get that there is a human on the other end??? If they don’t want to donate they don’t have to, it’s a choice, folks! Hooray though for all the blessings in your life and the support of readers and fellow bloggers who know and love you. Hang in there with the heartbeat, it will come, and an ultrasound will be reassuring if not. So glad you were able to find a midwife!!!!

  3. We couldn’t hear my girl’s heartbeat forever! and it was very scary because I was sick. Also, It is hard to be a sensitive person. I struggle with this but I have to try really hard to let things slide off because otherwise I simply could not go on and that wouldn’t be fair to all of the people who love me. I have a weird prescription for you, ready? Make online friends with more people who have big followings which include a lot of haters. You can have something to compare it to, you can see how it slides off of them or how they ignore it totally. I think I’ve told you this before, but the only reason you even get to have mean people is that you are successful. As a blogger, artist, creatrix, partner and mom. You are successful at all of those things and people are terribly, terribly jealous. But if you weren’t so successful (and if you didn’t have such a wide following), you wouldn’t deal with any of this. Probably all or most of the people giving to you are not the ones criticizing your choices. They are likely the people who didn’t give. Because people who give freely aren’t mean.

  4. Those nasty people who have to make rude comments have never been in a position before where they wanted something – maybe even needed something – out of their reach. They bring negativity on themselves and their desperation to bring it to you as well is awful. No doubt they are jealous – that your readership is willing and able to help you make this happen, that you have children that love you, I don’t know them or their situation – but delete and move on, I say. I’ve been on that end, and it is awful. But you are stronger than that. Candles are lit for you, and that all is well with you and your newest addition. <3

  5. This makes me so terribly sad! I hate how people think they have a right to judge when they are not in the situation. Some of us WANTED to help, even before the fundraiser was set up. Nobody is forcing anyone to help you and nobody has the right to judge you for doing something nice for your kid. If they don’t like that you are accepting help for something so important then they don’t have to participate.
    I will certainly be thinking of you and the baby this week. Please remember that the few hateful people are not the majority and that there are so many of us who do care and are sending all the love and uplifting thoughts we can!

  6. It makes me sick that people would attack you for wanting a birth the way nature intended. Those people must really hate themselves deep down and that’s why they attack others.
    A home birth with a midwife is WAY less expensive than a hospital birth if you don’t have health insurance. You are doing the right thing for YOU. If people don’t approve of your lifestyle, they should stop reading your blog and fb page.

    If your readers want to donate to help you achieve your dream, then that’s their business. If someone doesn’t want to donate, they should just shut up.

    Even if you didn’t have a giftcard to Starbucks, spending $9 for a special teen daughter and mom bonding moment is worth it. It certainly isn’t squandering money. It was for a moment that your daughter will always remember and be thankful for. She will remember that you cared enough to treat the two of you so that you could have some special time with her.

    Many hugs to you.

    • Exactly! I’m the youngest in my family of origin and I know that my siblings & I never had enough one on one time with our parents. My oldest brother didn’t get anything like what you did with Hannah yesterday, and was in fact, expected to do a lot of work – both around the house and on the paper route – without any kind of compensation or praise for it, and he’s still bitter about that. But your children will remember that when they really needed you, you MADE time to have these special moments with them.

      I’m proud of you, Joni! You’re a terrific mother. And I can’t believe how people are criticizing you for having another child, either, as you and James were smart and waited until what should have been a good time to have another. Hang in there. The pregnancy hormones probably aren’t helping how you are being affected by those people, either. I was a wreck emotionally when I was pregnant and I didn’t have nearly as many people openly judging me as you do.

  7. Don’t let the mean people get you down…it is easy to be rude and nasty over the internet, when you don’t have to look the person in the eye and spout garbage. It was a giftcard anyway you can do what you like with it! I feel sad that people can be nasty without even reading all the info on your post and callously hurt your feelings and your daughter’s too.
    I have also lost babies and have had difficulty hearing heartbeats, anterior placenta and extra chub, hang in there and think happy thoughts. By the way I have 6 kids and we are trying for 7! Love your posts!

  8. Sometimes people suck. I remember being blasted once for letting my daughter (who was maybe 5 at the time) get some candy at the store…and I bought a premade birthday cake for her. When someone saw I used food stamps they started to publicaly ridicule me. I coupon and the entire order of everything was originally over $100, with coupons and sales I spent maybe $25 on my FS card. The candy was fas from a free coupon. The person started with the ‘how dare you buy a premade cake! Why dn’t you just bake one you lazy cow” The cake was half off and my oven doesn’t work anyway. ‘Why does your daughter need a cake?” For her party. “how can you afford a party?” A friend is using her credit from volunteering at a local Toy library and giving her the party as her gift. “oh, so you can beg for others to give gifts?” The invitations specifically said we wanted no presents..just our friends presence. But the person persisted. I was fne with the stupid attitude but in front of my daughter?
    I can’t send you money sweetie, but you have my thoughts at ritual and meditation. Those people will be Karma’s 3×3…extra for being hurtful when you do something nice for you teen.

  9. I am so sorry those people got you down. It was rude and inconsiderate when they obviously didn’t know the whole story.

    Incidentally, my mom adds funds to my Starbuck’s card all the time. I haven’t paid for a drink in months. She’ll add a random 10 for me, or throw 20 on and tell me to take the kids. In fact, the other day I mentioned I hadn’t decided what to do for lunch and she offered to add enough to get lunch AND drinks at Starbuck’s. She likes to treat us, and since I bank in an obscure location, it’s the only way she can give me money without being with me, lol. Anyway, my point was that my husband thinks I spend a lot of money at Starbucks…but he’s more concerned that it’s OUR money that we can’t necessarily afford to spend. I have to tell him when the money comes from my mom so he’ll chill.

  10. Wow!!! how rude of anyone to say those things!

    Joni… there is great satisfaction in the delete button. You are not obligated to KEEP those crappy comments on your blog or your FB page.

    And I agree with the midwife. All will be well and you will hear the heartbeat soon. That baby is probably just nestled in there deep. :)

  11. Wow, I am sorry that you had a rough day!! I am sending you love, and strength for this and any day that some unsensitive, judegmental person decided to write any nastiness on your blog or facebook. I do not understand how people can be so mean.

  12. I had a similar experience with my second pregnancy and even when you know logically why they can’t it’s still scary when they can’t find the heartbeat (I’d even had my NT scan two days before and seen that everything was fine!).

    I have some serious issues with Shakesville but I wanted to share part of a post she wrote when she started asking for donations.

    “I also want to say this about the fundraising: Asking for money is incredibly hard for me. I hate doing it. I hate doing it so much, in fact, that there are times I’d actually rather be shit-broke. Part of it is just an innate aversion to asking for anything; part of it is that those threads always end up being extremely upsetting, for reasons that I imagine are evident to anyone who’s read any of them.

    But fundraising is also one of the most feminist acts I do here. Women’s service work, whether it’s mothering, elder care, volunteering, philanthropy, social work, employment in any “pink collar” profession, or social advocacy, is gravely devalued, frequently to the point where it is unpaid work altogether.*

    And when I don’t ask that my work be valued by the community, I’m feeding that narrative; I’m implicitly saying, “It’s okay to expect this from me. It’s okay to feel entitled to the product of a woman’s work for nothing in return.”—and that makes me feel even worse than asking for money does, because it’s counterproductive to the work we do here every day. It’s antifeminist.”


  13. Joni, those people can suck it, to be frank. If they want to hate, they find it easy to pick on someone they don’t have to face. The internet is a dream come true for gutless losers with an axe to grind. They can hide behind the anonymity of the web and attack people at whim. Do your thing and let those of us who care be a part of your journey. We are grateful for your openness and willingness to share and stand up for what you believe in. Because of you and your pic of your lovely daughter yesterday, I took my baby girl to Starbucks and a nice walk around the neighbourhood. She’s only two, but the bonding over a nice coffee (for me and soy milk for her) can’t start soon enough.

  14. What the fuckity fuck??? Tell those people to stuff it up their butt. You rock this birth, mama. I sent a little money, and I don’t give a flying leap if you spent it ALL on coffee! Once I’ve given…it’s YOURS! Sending you so much love.

  15. Screw them! You deserve a cup of friggin coffee and a night out with your girl. You also deserve to have the birth you want and if I had a dime to spare I’d send it your way. I was lucky to have a midwife who worked with me, letting me make payments for over a year because we are poor as well. I got a lot of jibber jabber from others who felt that I should be forced to go to the hospital. Guess what folks not everyone has insurance! It costs two to three times as much, at a minimum, to have a baby in the darn hospital. If anything people should applaud you for choosing an economical and arguably safer path for your baby. You are damned if you do, damned if you don’t with these people. The same ones going on and on about how many babies a person has or if they ask for help for something are almost always the ones wanting to get rid of birth control. This just infuriates me. Those people need to go out and get a life. Even if you spent $20 on Starbucks that isn’t enough to touch the cost of having an attended birth of any type, hospital, home, or other. It wouldn’t even make a dent, wouldn’t even pay for the chux pad that goes under your rear. From what I have read you work your @ss off and so does your husband. You do everything you can to take care of your kids and you are a damn good mom. These people need to get off the internet and get a life…. Sorry for the rant. Nothing makes me angrier than people spewing hatred and negativity in highly unwarranted situations. Grrr.

  16. Sending you gentle hugs Joni, haters gonna hate. It’s what they do. Try to ignore tham and look forward to the next midwife appointment.

  17. Sending you gentle hugs Joni, haters gonna hate. It’s what they do. Try to ignore them and look forward to the next midwife appointment.

  18. Warm thoughts for your family. And remember that when someone works so hard to bring you down, it’s because you are above them. No one with self confidence would need to work so hard to make you feel less. Those are people who need love, and likely don’t know how to ask for it. <3

  19. So, how dare you do something for your oldest child who still needs to feel important and special and loved? I am the oldest in my family and my mom always made a point to spend a little extra time with me away from my brother (not something that I often got to have when visiting my dad), she wanted me to have that special time with her even though he required more attention/care, depending on our ages.
    That said, I don’t see why it would have been a problem to take her to get a coffee ($10 wouldn’t pay for a home birth or the co-pay if you did have insurance), it wasn’t a lot of money and she needed that bit of time with you and from the sounds of it you needed that time with her as well.
    I understand low income, but while you’re pregnant you should be able to indulge once in a while anyway. I know not all the time, but you went for coffee once. I would just let it go, ignore the negative people who don’t see what a beautiful job you are doing with your family and how important it is to make them each feel special individually. Sometimes that little bit of money and time can mean the world to a child. Keep on doing what you’re doing and loving your babies and know that you are an amazing momma! :)

  20. What a long time to wait and worry about that heartbeat. A day is forever when you’re afraid.

    What a good idea to go out to Starbuck’s with Hannah. I think I will tell my oldest that if she needs to talk with me alone about something important, she can just whisper in my ear that we need to go there.

  21. We have five kids too and fall into that same “crack.” If I had the opportunity to post like you did on your blog (I don’t even know how to start one or I would just for some of the causes I believe in) when I was preggo with our last, I would have too! I aplaud you for being couragous enough and loving your baby enough to put your personal business out there. I hope that you do get all the funding for your home birth. Please don’t give up. Just delete those terrible people. I would’ve taken Hannah even if I had to pay cash if she were my child. The oldest always gets lost in the crowd. Your an amazing Mother if your making a special time for bonding that you won’t have for a while. If I had money I promise I would donate. Keep up the love for the kids. The opinion of your family is the only thing that matters!

  22. You’re not allowed coffee? Politicians take millions in donations, eat $100.00 dinners in restaurants on a daily basis, and many have larger families yet you can’t have a coffee with your daughter? Some people have too much free time.

  23. As a long time blogger and someone that has shared so much over the years, I know where you are coming from as I recieved harsh comments also when I blogged about my unassisted pregnancies and births and and some forums even criticized me and put me down….. It is one of the big reasons that I am still quite reseved even though my blog is popular among many, it hurts so badly at times even though we don’t let it show…

    All I can offer right now is (((hugs))))

  24. Joni, no one should be able to make you feel like this. Don’t those nobody’s behind the computer screen get to you. You are such an amazing mother. You are creating life with your body and you deserve peace during this time. Have comfort in the fact that you are doing something amazing…you are making a human cell by cell. You are a spectacular, and no one should ever tell you how to feel. I had a free birth almost 1 year ago and I have been on the receiving end of some mean comments (mostly from family) and it hurts! Especially while pregnant. But, ultimaly, I decided that I am the boss of my body and feelings. I tries my hardest ( and my partner helped ) to stay centered and trusting. Things turned out perfectly and my trick was trusting my body the entire time. I am thinking about you and sending positive vibes and good thoughts your way. (I am still sad that we were not able to get together before you moved. I think we would have really hit it off. I am good friends with Shelley Harvey and Stacie did my placenta <3)

  25. I am sorry to hear people are giving you a hard time. Remember you can’t make everyone happy.There will always be some who don’t approve of you in one way or another. Biggest thing is you made one important person happy and she is what matters!
    I also wanted to suggest that you may want to talk to someone about assistance with your medical expenses. I know you stated that you do not qualify (which happens to way too many people!) but this new life in you is counted in your household and might bump you up into qualifying. In my area more midwives are able to bill insurance. And even if yours cannot , it could help with the added expenses (like ultrasounds).
    I have four of my own and hope for two more before I call it quits. You have every right to have the family you feel is right. Bright blessings to you and your family!

  26. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. I quit Facebook for a similar reason. Much happier having weeded out those people.
    How dare you spend time with your daughter AND want a homebirth. How selfish! ;). Good luck with it all!

  27. I’m sorry you’ve had some people leave some not nice comments. I’m shocked that if they are followers and ‘fans’ that they would say such hurtful things to you.

    It’s just one of those situations where you shouldn’t make judgements unless you have all the facts. And quiet honestly, you didn’t take her to Disneyland – you took her for coffee. My goodness.

    Big hugs to you, mama. Hang in there. I’m rooting for you :hugs:

  28. I’ve gotten comments like that too. I’ve been lucky to receive donations on my blog, and then gotten hate when I posted later about being out with my family.

    So ridiculous – As though you shouldn’t spend a dime on anything else for the months leading up until your birth.

    Don’t let it get you down. The people who actually donate understand that life happens. Just keep it honest and those good people will gravitate towards you.

  29. It sounds like you’ve run into something so deeply ingrained in our society that there literally isn’t a parent who has ever lived who hasn’t made that mistake. What is the mistake? Not letting go of a gift when it’s given. That’s what those people who complained have done – given you a gift, then tried to hang onto it & control how it was used.

    It may seem rather flippant, but I’d say, “Ignore them.” Do what you need to do, not just for yourself, but for your whole family. Some people spend their whole lives looking for excuses to complain, and those are not the sort of people you want to be close to.

  30. I’m so glad you were able to have a little time out with your daughter. It must be so few and far between that you get to do that. I wish those people who judge and shame others would keep their mouths shut until they get over their own issues that causes them to lash out at others. Keep on keeping on mama, I’m hoping for my own homebirth for our next babe. <3

  31. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.. I hope the stress will just melt away.. Don’t worry about the negativity that others are spewing toward you.. even if you were spending $5 of your birth fund on coffee and not a gift card.. that’s hardly squandering it.. that was an investment in your daughter’s life that was needed at that moment..

    Many blessings and good wishes being sent your way:)

  32. Some people are just plain mean! My mama always said; If you haven’t got anything nice to say, then don’t say it! Hoping you get to hear the babies heart beat on thursday.
    Blessed be x

  33. Thinking of you! People can be really really mean! Mryddin has a great point. People have a lot of trouble letting go of gifts, especially financial ones. Don’t let their insecurities weigh you down!

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