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post #21 of 53
I do agree that people have severely become overly dramatic about both birth and sex actually. My mom always told me that sex was a wonderful thing to be shared with your spouse and I was a virgin until the day I got married and you know what, I did just fine and I think birth will be the same for me. Since I got pregnant I've told many women that I feel no trepidation for birth and I don't really have any fears about anything about it.

Maybe it helped that I got to see my sisters give birth as well. I've never denied that I will feel pain during labor and it'll probably be extremely painful. I have also seen the joy of when the baby comes out and how the pain seems to just go away for the mom as she greets her baby for the first time. I've cried at every birth I've been to, because it's such an emotional high and it's really beautiful to see.

Maybe it's a good experience for a girl to see what happens and that it's not something to be totally feared, but can be a wonderful thing!

I think people in general focus only on the pain and not the blessing of a new baby coming into the world. I, as a first time mom, look forward to birthing my baby, because I know what comes at the end will be so worth it and wonderful!
post #22 of 53
The thing I find saddest is when the mothers dont even realize how their interventions were unnecessary. Im talking about the domino effect, when one unnecessary intervention leads to another. A lot of women who never thought to question the medical field, never even think to question it after either. They truly believe the doctors 'saved' them and their baby.

I know someone through a friend whose baby's skull was crushed by forceps because the doctor used them so violently. I just heard she's pregnant again, and is using the same OB! Her son nearly died the first time (from the skull crushing that is, not from being in the birth canal) Im becoming a bit jaded because I get sick of people's ignorance about birth. Even more so when its the mothers themselves who dont bother to become educated about their own lives and their children's.
post #23 of 53
I do not agree with the original analogy at all.

Sex is intended, biologically and physically, to be a pleasurable experience, complete with orgasm and other good sensations. That doesn't mean that all people enjoy it, but a great deal of people do.

Labor, for most people (not all, but I'm guessing most) is not pleasurable. It may be tolerable, but I'd wager a bet that in the vast, vast majority of cases it is painful. Very, very painful.

I think women who say that they actually enjoy labor physically, who actually find it physically pleasurable (aside from the emotional component of knowing that birth is coming, and that's wonderful) are in a very small minority.

I don't think it's our mentality going into childbirth that makes it either painful or pleasurable. I think that can help or hinder, but not shape the entire experience.

I love sex. I hate labor. And I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way!
post #24 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeny View Post
I do not agree with the original analogy at all.

Sex is intended, biologically and physically, to be a pleasurable experience, complete with orgasm and other good sensations. That doesn't mean that all people enjoy it, but a great deal of people do.

Labor, for most people (not all, but I'm guessing most) is not pleasurable. It may be tolerable, but I'd wager a bet that in the vast, vast majority of cases it is painful. Very, very painful.

I think women who say that they actually enjoy labor physically, who actually find it physically pleasurable (aside from the emotional component of knowing that birth is coming, and that's wonderful) are in a very small minority.

I don't think it's our mentality going into childbirth that makes it either painful or pleasurable. I think that can help or hinder, but not shape the entire experience.

I love sex. I hate labor. And I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way!
Aha! I was waiting for that one. Thanks for responding. Going back to my original analogy I said
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle View Post
...What if sex were like birth? You could only do it a handful of times in your life. Everyone who had ever done it told you that it was the most excruciating thing ever and the only way to do it was to be numb from the waist down and to leave everything up to the care of "professionals". As a virgin you lived in fear of the big event...
I don't think I'm stretching things by saying that the first few times most women had sex were not pleasurable and probably painful. So if it was only done a couple times in a person's life this is not an unrealistic analogy.

According to Ina May Gaskin 21% of women who birth with her have orgasms during birth. I doubt there is such a large number of such women in the general population. While not a majority by any means, it is a sizable number. This is in the ideal situation where the mother is supported and feels safe and no fear. She also mentioned somewhere. (I think it Rikki Lake's new book) that the women who are most likely to have a birth orgasm are the ones who aren't afraid to fart in front of others. I thought that was really interesting.

Just speaking for myself. While I did have an emotional rush, it was nothing to the physical sensations I felt. I had both pain and pleasure. But I can't share this with anyone. I want to stand up on the roof and let people know that it is possible not that it is a guarantee.
post #25 of 53
what if i told you that my DD2's birth was ecstatically joyful, that i was on a newborn high for months, that every time people asked me about her birth i couldn't help but grin and gush? that it literally felt like heaven touched earth for a moment when she was born? what, then, if i told you it was an elective c-section?

i think you're probably just SO overwhelmed with joy at having given birth (totally understandable!) that you're misattributing the source of some of that joy. it's not that ecstatic childbirth is possible only if you have a NCB and open your mind to the process--it's that childbirth can be estatic if you let go of EVERYTHING, all your preconceptions about birth, and just BE in that moment when your baby is born.
but you know what, i think it's also OK if you just feel tired when your baby is born. or angry. or in pain. my best friend took 3 months to really bond with her second DD. but she still feels the same mystery, wonder, and joy when she holds her 2 year old. everyone has their own journey, you know? their own story.
post #26 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
what if i told you that my DD2's birth was ecstatically joyful, that i was on a newborn high for months, that every time people asked me about her birth i couldn't help but grin and gush? that it literally felt like heaven touched earth for a moment when she was born? what, then, if i told you it was an elective c-section?

i think you're probably just SO overwhelmed with joy at having given birth (totally understandable!) that you're misattributing the source of some of that joy. it's not that ecstatic childbirth is possible only if you have a NCB and open your mind to the process--it's that childbirth can be estatic if you let go of EVERYTHING, all your preconceptions about birth, and just BE in that moment when your baby is born.
but you know what, i think it's also OK if you just feel tired when your baby is born. or angry. or in pain. my best friend took 3 months to really bond with her second DD. but she still feels the same mystery, wonder, and joy when she holds her 2 year old. everyone has their own journey, you know? their own story.
That's wonderful! I'm thrilled that you feel that way about your daughter's birth too. : I've never experienced anything but non medicated birth so I really don't have anything to compare. I just know that the descriptions of agony and torture are far from what I experienced.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle View Post
Aha! I was waiting for that one. Thanks for responding. Going back to my original analogy I said I don't think I'm stretching things by saying that the first few times most women had sex were not pleasurable and probably painful. So if it was only done a couple times in a person's life this is not an unrealistic analogy.

According to Ina May Gaskin 21% of women who birth with her have orgasms during birth. I doubt there is such a large number of such women in the general population. While not a majority by any means, it is a sizable number. This is in the ideal situation where the mother is supported and feels safe and no fear. She also mentioned somewhere. (I think it Rikki Lake's new book) that the women who are most likely to have a birth orgasm are the ones who aren't afraid to fart in front of others. I thought that was really interesting.

Just speaking for myself. While I did have an emotional rush, it was nothing to the physical sensations I felt. I had both pain and pleasure. But I can't share this with anyone. I want to stand up on the roof and let people know that it is possible not that it is a guarantee.
So you are agreeing that most of the time birth is painful and not pleasurable, just like sex is for a lot of people the first couple of times. You know what, if I was only going to experience sex a couple times in my life and it was going to be like my real first couple of times, then sign me up for the pain meds. Nobody warned me it was going to hurt that much. I actually really was glad the whole ordeal was over.

And I am another c-section only mother who had ecstatic, wonderful, empowering births. And the funny thing is, I went into my first c-section with compleat and total terror. I thought it was going to be the most horrible experience of my life, and instead it was one of the most amazing ones.
post #28 of 53
Hmm, I wouldn't want to orgasm in birth unless I was by myself, and I am not real keen on a UC right now. I don't consider that a requisite for a good birth though. I don't even know if that is a desire. I think the fear in the culture can make for a bad experience. If you don't have any idea what to expect than you are likely going to have unnecessary fear. I think we just needc to get out info on what actually happens all of it, from an early age so it is not a huge fear.
post #29 of 53
I think there have been some fantastic responses here from all different angles. I took my births as they came. So far all have been different from an induced, non-medicated, to a "natural labor", medicated....

I look back on them and remember things I'd do again and things I'd do differently. That doesn't mean I don't remember the births fondly.

I will say that with my first, with no medication, I was way more wiped out and feeling bad than with the next two in which I had epidurals.

I take each labor as it comes and I'm never going to say I must or I can't have an epidural. I am happy not to. I only ended up having one with #2 because it was an induction from "nothing" and after laboring all day, I made very little progress. After the epi, I finished dialating in an hour. It was worth it to me then.

Maybe I'm trying to say that no matter what choices you make, if YOU make them and you're aware and in control, you feel good about the experience.
post #30 of 53
OP- I feel the same as you. People think I am crazy bc once I give birth I am ready to do it again. I LOVE giving birth. For me its as painful as I let it be and I chose not to let myself get discouraged if I was in pain but encouraged myself to focus and do it naturally. I felt every bit of it and while the end was intense I truly love every minute of it. I felt like I was superwoman as well My husband treated me like a queen pp and he was very supportive while I was in labor and knew when to help and when to give me space. He made me feel like a superwoman as well


Sorry If I ramble a bit I was just telling someone today how I really enjoyed childbirth and she remarked that I always was an odd one
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
This is the problem with bad education about these things. If some has an epidural, they need to have IV fluids, they need to have cEFM, they are most likely going to have to push in the lithotomy position. You're going to look worse than foolish asking for an epidural but trying to refuse the IV and monitors that come along with it.
Ah I should have clarified. I understand cEFM with an epi, but at least you don't need cEFM before the epidural. (And I would imagine lots of women could labor a bit longer before asking for the epi if they weren't tied to the dang machine & so could get into a shower or bath!)

Also, I didn't think IV fluids would be required. An IV port, sure (Hep-lock, I had one even with my 100% natural birth - hospital policy to have the port there.) As another poster said, "nothing by mouth" is to prevent mama from aspirating stomach contents if she vomits when asleep under general anestheia due to needing CS. well, if she already has an epidural, then she DEFINITELY won't need general anesthesia anyway! Besides, even WITH general anesthia, it's not that great to do nothing-by-mouth:
  • clear fluids drain from the stomach quickly anyway
  • nothing by mouth makes stomach contents very acidic (natural stomach juices) which can damange the esophagus when coming up
  • aspirating vomitus was more an issue decades ago when they used black face masks, but now that they're clear, much less of an issue
To me, "nothing by mouth" is a PINNACLE of stupid, non-evidence-based maternity care. If they want to really play it safe, OK, I can sorta understand a "clear-fluids only" rule - but nothing at all? Asinine! (& it STILL makes me angry that this is the standard at world-famous Johns Hopkins hospital!)

As for pushing, I thought mamas with epis could be raised up into a semi-reclining/ supported squat? That's how my sister pushed out both of hers with epis - not flat on her back.
post #32 of 53
But they are refusing mothers food and drink with an epidural. I ate 3 crackers while in labor with my daughter. I asked for an epidural and one anethesologist (sp?) refused to give me one. Another anestheologist agreed.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaBear View Post
But they are refusing mothers food and drink with an epidural. I ate 3 crackers while in labor with my daughter. I asked for an epidural and one anethesologist (sp?) refused to give me one. Another anestheologist agreed.
There is no evidence to support this, please make a formal complaint to your hospital. The more women who complain about shoddy treatment, the sooner things over there will get changed. It's not going to happen any other way.

I hate the birth= sex analogy. It's not like sex. It's a rite of passage, an initiation, sheer hard work. It's NOT about getting on with someone else or intimacy because it's something that a woman has to get through as best she can. It's exhilarating, yes, and inherently joyful but to compare it to sex trivialises both.
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaBear View Post
But they are refusing mothers food and drink with an epidural.
I know... and that was my point.. I was trying to say that American women need to:
  1. Get educated on what evidenced-based care is
  2. DEMAND IT!

Even if you DO want an epidural - you still have to get educated & demand evidenced-based care. Although, yeah, you may lose the battle anyway, but it's a battle we need to work for.

Incidentally, i was told that at John's Hopkins, I couldn't eat or drink especially if I wanted an epidural. "No anesthesiologist would touch you." So absurd. But they had a "nothing by mouth" rule for ALL laboring Mamas anyway.
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle View Post
What if sex were like birth?
But it's not. Birth is inherently painful. Pain that can be managed a variety of ways and that certainly can be minimized, no doubt. But painful nevertheless. Sex isn't inherently painful. So I don't think the analogy holds. I like the analogy of climbing a mountain or running a marathon better. If all you heard about that was how horrible it was, you may never realize that it can also be rewarding and empowering, for those who want to do it.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
Also, I didn't think IV fluids would be required. An IV port, sure (Hep-lock, I had one even with my 100% natural birth - hospital policy to have the port there.) As another poster said, "nothing by mouth" is to prevent mama from aspirating stomach contents if she vomits when asleep under general anestheia due to needing CS. well, if she already has an epidural, then she DEFINITELY won't need general anesthesia anyway! Besides, even WITH general anesthia, it's not that great to do nothing-by-mouth:
Clarifying that IV fliud running is required at my hospital, other hospitals I worked at, and every hospital I have heard of for epidural because the loss of maternal blood pressure after the epidural procedure is fast and the first line of intervention is a fast running IV fluid bolus. (Its not every epidural that this happens, but a fair number of them.) Many anesthesiologists require a litre of fliud to be infused prior to epidural to prevent this.
Many mothers do require general anesthesia while having epidurals. The reason being if the c-section super emergent, leaving no time to bolus the epidural. The epidurals are bolused prior to c-sections because while they can cover labor pains, they don't cover surgical pains. Another reason for general anesthesia while having an epidural is if the epidural fails during labor, or the bolus given prior to c-section did not work effectivley. Wanted to clarify. And just want to say, I don't agree with nothing by mouth during labor.
post #37 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisegal View Post
But it's not. Birth is inherently painful. Pain that can be managed a variety of ways and that certainly can be minimized, no doubt. But painful nevertheless. Sex isn't inherently painful. So I don't think the analogy holds. I like the analogy of climbing a mountain or running a marathon better. If all you heard about that was how horrible it was, you may never realize that it can also be rewarding and empowering, for those who want to do it.
Welcome to MDC. Birth is not inherently painful. You can't go making general statements like that. Yes, most women experience pain, including myself. But not all women do. If the pain was inherent then ALL women would experience it.

The analogy to sex, while not perfect, was only to show society's views of birth.

Quote:
what if i told you that my DD2's birth was ecstatically joyful, that i was on a newborn high for months, that every time people asked me about her birth i couldn't help but grin and gush? that it literally felt like heaven touched earth for a moment when she was born? what, then, if i told you it was an elective c-section?
Quote:
And I am another c-section only mother who had ecstatic, wonderful, empowering births. And the funny thing is, I went into my first c-section with compleat and total terror. I thought it was going to be the most horrible experience of my life, and instead it was one of the most amazing ones
I think its wonderful that you felt this way about your childrens' births. So I have another question for you. Do you find that people don't want to hear about your positive birth stories either? Are your tales of joy and empowerment dismissed and ignored just as much as the natural birth ones? Are only the tales of terror and pain acceptable to people?
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle View Post
Welcome to MDC. Birth is not inherently painful. You can't go making general statements like that. Yes, most women experience pain, including myself. But not all women do. If the pain was inherent then ALL women would experience it.

The analogy to sex, while not perfect, was only to show society's views of birth.

I think its wonderful that you felt this way about your childrens' births. So I have another question for you. Do you find that people don't want to hear about your positive birth stories either? Are your tales of joy and empowerment dismissed and ignored just as much as the natural birth ones? Are only the tales of terror and pain acceptable to people?
Pretty much. With dd2 I had people e-mailing me c-section horror stories and telling stories about a friend of a friend who had awful things happen to them during their c-section. Happy stories make less drama then the painful ones. Nobody wants to hear my happy, not that painful c-section story, they want to listen to the ones that are full of gruesome details.
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by by-the-lake View Post
Clarifying that IV fliud running is required at my hospital, other hospitals I worked at, and every hospital I have heard of for epidural because the loss of maternal blood pressure after the epidural procedure is fast and the first line of intervention is a fast running IV fluid bolus.
Yes, I remember reading that in "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a better birth." I know it's often done, but I thought the evidence showed that the bolus IV fluids were actually not that effective in counter acting the BP drop?? I can't check, as my copy of the book is out on loan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by by-the-lake View Post
Another reason for general anesthesia while having an epidural is if the epidural fails during labor,
Oh yes, good point. I know they fail or only work on one side enough that an epidural is certainly no gaurantee that general anesthesia won't be necessary for CS. True. I stand corrected.
post #40 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
Pretty much. With dd2 I had people e-mailing me c-section horror stories and telling stories about a friend of a friend who had awful things happen to them during their c-section. Happy stories make less drama then the painful ones. Nobody wants to hear my happy, not that painful c-section story, they want to listen to the ones that are full of gruesome details.
What an awful thing to do to an expectant mother. Ugh. I just don't get people. Why would someone do this?
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