Sunday, January 29, 2006

Scariest birth film ever

John Lithgow is probably a really nice guy. He's certainly talented, and he was pretty funny in Third Rock from the Sun. But John Lithgow has also played a lot of scary, creepy villains (Raising Cain, anyone?) and, for this reason, should never have been allowed to narrate a childbirth video.

See what I mean?

This PBS video is seven minutes long. But you only have to watch the first two minutes to hear Lithgow's sinister pronunciation of the word "baby." Watch for the footage of the woman in her prenatal yoga class and listen for the menacing sound effects under this horror-flick narration:

"Late in pregnancy, the baby's need for fat becomes so great the mother can't keep up. If it stays inside, the baby will begin to starve. Somehow... it's got to get out."

Lithgow goes on to warn about how impractically designed are humans for childbirth and how very many women used to die in the pre-surgical era. Birth may be considered one of the most powerful experiences, but, Lithgow reminds us, it's also "the most painful." (Is that a note of sadistic glee I detect in your voice, John? Why are you going all Vincent Price on us?)

20 Comments:

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...

Ew. Are you sure it wasn't intended as a scaring teenagers away from sex movie?

 
At 9:32 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

it does sound very ominous, like the setup to some "little did she know everything was about to go horribly wrong!" show, complete with re-enactment of the 911 call.

 
At 11:47 PM, Blogger ArticulateDad said...

You know, I'm a guy. It's just not fair for me to comment on this stuff. But I have to say, after watching my wife give birth (sadly, there's not much more a guy can do, except have all the blood squeezed out of his hand, wishing that he could take away even just a little bit of the strain), I can't help but think about evolution.

Intelligent Design? What are you talking about, who in their right minds (deity or otherwise) would DESIGN such a thing as human childbirth!? It's amazing, and primitive! One of the few times in life that one fully understands how linked we are with the rest of the animal kingdom.

But... it'll be wonderful. I can guarantee that.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger effective nancy said...

I wholly agree that Lithgow should not be allowed to narrate these things. I was in an embryology class last year, and we watched something PBS about development that he narrated. My skin crawled for days.

I'd prefer it were David Attenborough for all PBS-type shows that have to do with things that might affect my life. His voice captures so much wonder and wit that it's like the proverbial spoonful of sugar. Think what that charm could do with a phrase like "75% effaced!".

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Hee hee. Thanks for letting me share the trauma. PPB, I think you're on to something... although I also think it could scare anybody away from sex, not just teenagers. Adding to the horror film/"little-did-she-know..." mood that Lucy points out is the rapid cut to the laboring woman having a literal PANIC ATTACK, while clinging to the bars of her hospital bed.

Am filing this in my head in hopes that it makes my own labor seem a breeze by comparison. (More David Attenborough-ish?, Effective Nancy? :-) ) I was tempted to share this video with my husband, AD., but then I decided against it since he was already stressed out about the start of the new school term. Funny how he and I seem to try to protect each other. That's one weird/nice thing about this experience so far...

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Jeannette said...

Impractically designed for childbirth!?

I have to disagree. After giving birth, (and I'm not one of those people who thinks labor is a great experience. it's horrible!!) I will still say that it is amazing to watch your body all come together to give birth. How the contractions, your need to push, and everything work together to accomplish this amazing feat! Which is what the natural childbirth people are trying to say: if you understand what's going on and how to work with it, it can be a "great" experience. It's still painful as hell. But it can be managed. One doesn't need to be knocked out so they can drag the baby out. (I'm not knocking epidurals if you decide to get one. I was on the verge myself, though, ended up not getting one. But I'm just saying: the body works together. You're not sick!

(Sorry. didn't mean to get carried away there.)

 
At 1:27 AM, Blogger Breena Ronan said...

Actually, I don't think its that women aren't designed well for childbirth. I recently read some stuff on this subject and it seems that if women's hips were any bigger they wouldn't be able to walk properly. What I don't understand is why the baby's brain as to get so huge before its born. The brain isn't damaged by all that squishing during birth and the baby doesn't do much for the first few months anyway. Couldn't the brain just grow more after birth?

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger YelloCello said...

As I recall, the "design" argument that Lithgow enunciates is all about the fact that people do walk upright, and the (pelvic?) implications that follow from that. But I've also heard the same "bad design" argument made about head/brain size.

For this moment, though, I'm going to believe that the design is good enough. Especially since a midwife once told me that I had a "nice big pelvis." What sounded sort of like a bad thing 8 months ago now sounds terrific.

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger Psycho Kitty said...

My favorite childbirth video of all time was the one we saw back in college, where the woman is doing lamaze and focusing on a picture on the wall, and her concerned and cooing husband gets in the way of her focal point, and she totally belts him in the head and knocks him to the floor without missing a breath. Heh.
Nothing against concerned and cooing husbands, mind you.

 
At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Charmaine said...

Doesn't it just infuriate you when men, especially, judge the female body as incapable of giving birth. Where do they think they came from, anyways? I'm reading a great book right now called "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" and I just read the chapters on birth etc. and it actually cites a study done on "pre-surgical" times and the reason for the higher percentage of mortality rates was largely due to nutrition, lack of pre-natal education and general health.

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Jyn said...

I love that series, and I actually have the links posted on my blog. :-) Im about to have my 5th baby (this week maybe?) and to me, it's incredible. :-)

-jyn

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting video. Quite educational especially for those new to the topic. care

 
At 4:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 癌症康复网 中国皮肤网 感冒 支气管炎 气管炎 哮喘 肺癌 肺炎 肺结核 打鼾 鼻炎 咳嗽 咽炎 肺心病 肺气肿 鼻窦炎 鼻息肉 扁桃体炎 喉炎 支气管扩张 肺水肿 肺脓肿 肺不张 尘肺病 肺栓塞 鼻咽癌 鼻窦炎 呼吸衰竭 呼吸道感染 呼吸困难 口咽癌 咽部异物 喉癌 喉麻痹 喉头水肿 新生儿窒息 胸腔积液 气胸 胸膜炎 鼻疖 咯血 胸膜癌 急性会厌炎 禽流感 麻疹 风疹 猩红热 百日咳 呼吸机 氧气机 工作总结 个人工作总结 半年工作总结 年终工作总结 述职报告

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous worldpeace said...

very interested video. It's very scary for me

 
At 8:34 AM, Anonymous kittie said...

im scared of biths*______*
i think ill do a caesers cut *_*

 
At 2:34 AM, Anonymous Unit Trust said...

Hi
I need to get ready as my wife will give birth some where end of June next year...

Cheers,
Unit Trust

 
At 5:56 AM, Blogger ACE Soft said...

Nice blog for new generation


alstair
Kolkata Web Design Company

 
At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Push, push, push, is all I ever heard about labour. Then my body pushed all by itself. "I" didn't have to do anything.
The schism between medical knowledge and nature never seemed so large.

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger Suseela Susiee said...



Great and useful article. Creating content regularly is very tough. Your points are motivated me to move on.


SEO Company in Chennai

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Suseela Susiee said...




Great and useful article. Creating content regularly is very tough. Your points are motivated me to move on.


SEO Company in Chennai

 

Post a Comment

<< Home