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As a tribute and a farewell to a show that we loved, even if it left us with no real answers, Bonnie, Jill and I give you Lost Births.
Each image links to a photo gallery of births and birth-related scenes in the six seasons of Lost, including a few screencaps from the final episode.
What did you think of how birth was portrayed on Lost?
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On the downside......all LOST women of course go into labor at the drop of a hat and they scream their ways through their entire 5 minute labors (from first "oh, something's happening" contraction to birth). And of course, all women need forceful direction on how and when to push.
On the plus side, it showed that birth can safely take place in hospitals, roadsides, and mysterious desert islands.
Another one on the plus side, at least most of them seemed really happy and elated after birth. Except, of course, the moms who ended up dying or getting immediately killed after birth. I guess you can't win them all.
I enjoyed the different areas, medical scenes and so on... it was nice to see the diversity in birth.
BUT, and it's a big butt... I will never, ever stop being bored to tears with the classic 'screaming banshee birthing woman' while attendants order, "PUSH PUSH PUSH" thing that TV/movies do. I *hate* it. While birth may be that traumatic for some women, it isn't the standard to be laying there screaming and screaming and screaming like you're being brutally murdered because the pain is so bad you think that brutal murder would be preferable to the last few pushes. Ugh. What I wouldn't give for birth imagery of a woman quietly moaning, rocking, vocalizing and naturally giving into her body's reflexive pushes...
PS. I don't know why, but the two slides with captions, "Claudia asks to see her babies", "Mother hits Claudia with a rock" made me splorfle a little bit.
agreed. i do like that the show had birth happen normally, without complication and "medical" intervention in various scenes. but yes--can we please get a woman who has actually had a natural birth writing a birth scene on tv? just once? i have only birthed two children, but the last thing i needed for either birth was to be told to push. no woman, birthing out in the jungle or backstage or where ever else not in a hospital, would be lying on her back screaming while some one yelled "PUSH!" it just wouldn't happen.
I vehemently disliked the direction to PUSH! in last night's episode. This notion that a relative stranger who (we assume) has zero experience with birth, and let alone not being the actual woman doing so at this particular moment, has to be told when to push like that was just too much for me.
The out of hospital and unmedicated births were a refreshing change of pace, absolutely, but the laboring woman was always still shown as a helpless vessel who needed someone, anyone, to rescue her.
A resounding 'meh!' from me, I'm afraid.
"Another one on the plus side, at least most of them seemed really happy and elated after birth." - Augusta
So if they had portrayed a mom who wasn't happy after birth and failed to bond with their baby, that wouldn't have been realistic?
Up to 80% of women end up with baby blues. 20% go on to develop full blown mood disorders.
These disorders interfere with bonding, breastfeeding, and the overall well-being of both Mom and infant.
ALL of this is largely ignored and/or greatly sensationalized on TV and in the media. Moms with PMD's are largely portrayed as psychotic when in actuality there is quite a range of mood disorders on the Postpartum Spectrum. Just because Mom is depressed doesn't mean she's gonna go murder her child in some dramatic way. But alas, it's what gets ratings so that's what happens.
I would welcome a program that showed a mother realistically portraying a Postpartum Mood Disorder or failing to bond with her infant after birth.
But I fear it will be quite awhile before this happens on mainstream television here in America.
I have extremely passionate reactions to birth on television. My husband often has to remind me that it is make believe when I start screaming at the TV. With Lost, I was mostly okay. I definitely rolled my eyes and groaned at several things, but I had to give credit that most of the births were more natural and 'normal' than a lot of the stuff I see on A Baby Story. My biggest complaint was actually after a birth, when Amy was laying in a hammock with newborn baby Ethan, just a day or two after a c-section. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! I haven't had a c-section, but the very idea of laying in an not-really-supportive, constantly moving hammock, where you need strong stomach muscles to get yourself out, right after you just had your stomach sliced open, sounds beyond horrific to me. I yelled (a lot) at the TV about that one.
I loathe Lost Births. They are all the same, just like nearly every other TV birth: mom always goes, "ZOMG, baby's coming!" and is INSTANTLY in transition. Everyone freaks out and scrambles around while she screams and her eyes bug out. Someone swoops in to Save The Day and yells at her to PUSHPUSHPUSH! Sometimes they throw in a little medical non-emergency or a dead mom to spice it up a little. Then, a 3-month-old covered in jam and cream cheese (really, that's what they use for vernix on Lost) appears, and everyone cries and smiles. Yay! Ugh.
Claire's birth (the real one, not the alternate reality) was only slightly less aggravating and more realistic than the rest. She had false labor a few times. She was afraid when it finally happened and went off on her own instead of spazzing out and screaming for help. Kate was annoying with the coached pushing, but not nearly as bad as it was in the alternate world
Sun's birth: cord around the neck, we need to do a C-section?? :headdesk:
Ethan's birth: weren't they still doing vaginal breech births in the early 70s?? That REALLY annoyed me, that they were all, "ZOMG, Cesarean, it's breech!" I tried bringing this up on my Lost forum and no one really cared.
Penny's birth: ugh, I know we don't really know details, but the whole "here comes the doctor with the mighty forceps to save you!" just got under my skin.
Jacob and Samuel's birth: it really struck me as odd that, however many MILLENIA ago this was, they still portrayed a birthing mother on her back, with her legs pushed back, yelled at to push. I really don't think the writers have much knowledge of birth culture or history other than what they've seen on TV as well.
As much as I love Lost, it's disappointing to see birth continuing to be portrayed in in such an inaccurate, sensationalized light by the media. For many people, this is the only frame of reference they have.
I thought the best one was probably Claire's first birth (on the island). Otherwise, I had to chuckle at the sudden transition labor and delivery. I do have one friend with precipitous labor who delivered that way, but let's face it, most of us labor for hours and hours and hours before delivery, and it isn't "super painful panicking time" for at least most of that. In that way, Jim and Pam's delivery on "The Office" was much more realistic in that she was in labor for a very long time.
ITA that I hated the PUSHPUSHPUSH of Kate delivering Claire's baby at that concert. How would Kate know how to coach someone, anyway?
During the twin delivery of Jacob and Samuel, I said, "Wow, I like how they didn't make her stomach get flat immediately after delivering the baby. It's more realistic!" but then it turned out she had a second baby inside.
I think the relative normalcy in the Lost births is nice...but yes, I am SO VERY tired of the "Hmm....I think that might be a contrac...I CAN FEEL THE BABY'S HEEEEAAAAD!" And except for the chick in the room next to me during my first birth...I have NEVER EVER NEVER heard a woman scream like a nut when birthing...unless she was on one of those baby shows...and no one told her to shutup.
In an episode of ER, when Carol Hathaway goes into labor, Luka coaches her to make low moaning sounds. :) When I saw that (not ever having had a baby, but witnessed a few births) I actually cheered. :D
I rolled my eyes when a c-section was suggested for Ethan. And NO, 2 days post birth. you are not swinging in a hammock. My husband tapped my foot around the 48 hour mark...sent jolts of pain through my entire body.