Jan 14 2009

Double Prejudice

Yesterday was my second midwife appointment. My midwife is super gregarious and talkative (which I like a lot), so her appointments tend to run long. I got there on time, but had to wait at her dining room table for a while (her office is in her house).

During the first appointment, John and I stayed in the room where she holds all of her appointments, and never got a look around at the other parts of her house. We had gone over all of our relevant personal information, including the fact that John and I are atheists.

This time, while sitting at her table and waiting for my turn, I glanced around at her bookcases and decorations (which were numerous and eclectic), and noticed the undercurrent of a theme.

I believe that my midwife may be a “Jew for Jesus.” I come to this conclusion due to the number of hebrew spiritual texts alongside the rather large, framed picture of Jesus.

Does it matter? No, I don’t think so. She’s given me no indication that the quality of care she will give me is diminished in any way because of the mis-match in our beliefs. But it gave me pause, because I have come to realize that I live in constant fear of being retaliated against for my beliefs.

At the same time, I recognize that in feeling that all religious people will be prejudiced against me, I have a prejudice against religious people. Rationally, I realize that not all religious people care of you are of their religion or religious at all, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying every time I’m in a situation where I must reveal that I am not.

I didn’t say anything to my midwife, and I will not unless something comes up that I can’t ignore (trying to pray at the delivery or something). I know that my first midwife was religious also, and I got wonderful care through her while I was pregnant with Cole.

But I can’t stop thinking about this double prejudice, something that I think is more common than we’d like to believe. So I am wondering: are there things for which you feel you are judged unfairly by a certain group or groups, and do you judge them for your perception of their judgment in return?

In happier, more non-thinky news, our baby’s heartbeat was good and strong, and my midwife was able to find it immediately. Everything looks good, which was nice to hear because I was going through one of those times-between-visits-when-you’re-sure-it’s-dead things. I’m looking forward to being able to feel its movements daily so that I don’t have to feel quite so paranoid every month.

And lastly, I really think that we need to come up with a “before we know the gender” name for this child, because I’m sick of calling it “the baby” or “the child” or, the worst of all, “it.” Cole’s came to us naturally (we called him “Piglet”), but this one just hasn’t named itself in the same way. Any ideas? Nice ones only- I’m not going through several months of calling it “Leech.”

3 Comments

  • By NGS, January 14, 2009 @ 5:59 pm

    MY SIL called the fetus “the bean” while she was pregnant. I thought it was cute and non-gendered.

    I am prejudiced against religious folks too. I think it just has to do with thinking that people are just silly to believe in things like resurrection and reincarnation and transubstantiation. But, then I have to tell myself that belief is not necessarily a bad thing. I’m just not capable of it.

    I have to tell myself that if believing in these things helps people sleep at night, good for them. That usually helps me to just let it go. Usually.

  • By Jami, January 15, 2009 @ 7:13 am

    We have good friends who didn’t want to know either of their kids’ gender before birth, but like you wanted a name to use instead of “the lump”. They chose “Scooter” for both their kids – one boy and one girl – and it doesn’t seem to have traumatized them. Of course, the kids are in their 20′s now and have had extensive therapy, but still …

  • By HeatherPride, January 16, 2009 @ 11:03 am

    Glad to hear that everything is on track with the baby!

    As for the religious stuff, well, at different times in my life I have believed many different things, so I think I can empathize with your point of view. I know you read my blog so you know where I stand now, and it doesn’t keep me from coming here! I’ve even commented in the past about how much I appreciate the way you recognize different points of view without being critical of them. I respect your right to believe any way you want to. I think you are a great person, and a terrific mother! I would be happy to know you in RL.

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