Please don't use the restraints: forgetting, failure, and childbirth
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Workapplication/pdf
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
Citation of Original PublicationRowe, D. D. (2016). Please Don’t Use the Restraints: Forgetting, Failure, and Childbirth. Qualitative Inquiry, 22(6), 484–489. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800415622486
Gender and sexuality
Methods of inquiry
The end of the story is all you care about. So, let’s get that out of the way first. Penelope Jane was born on March 23rd. She was healthy. The trauma of that day still resonates within my body, called into being through subsequent visits to the hospital and a review of my own medical records from that day. A life-threatening fever and 9 hours of pushing led to a powerfully negative birth experience, one that I am consistently told to just forget. After she had a weeklong stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), I have a healthy daughter. In this article, I use auto/archeology as a tool to examine my own medical records and the affective traces of my experience in the hospital to call into question Halberstam’s advocacy of forgetting as queer resistance to dominant cultural logics. While Halberstam explains that “forgetting allows for a release from the weight of the past and the menace of the future” I hold tightly to my memories of that day. This article marks the disconnects between an advocacy of forgetting and my own failure of childbirth and offers a new perspective that embraces the queer potentiality of remembering trauma.