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The balance between education and respect - Page 3

post #41 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by miserena
Could you elaborate on what was different during your second c/s that made the experience better for you?

Michelle
mama to Eileen, 11/04/01, unplanned c/s
Wow, well so much took place. First of all a little history. My first csection was an emergency after a failed ECV. I had a spinal that did not take correctly and ended up higher in my chest than in my abdomen and it suppressed my breathing. To get to the point, I felt my entire csection. About fifteen minutes into my csection I was screaming, cussing (my OB said she had never heard such fould language come out of woman mouth) and bucking off the table. Two nurses were called to hold down my legs. I was given 250 mg of demoral, verset(sp) -- amneisa medication, phenegran, and zofran, ephedrine, sedatives and multiple other drugs. My csection lasted 75 minutes. That means for 75 minutes I felt someone manipulating and carving my guts. They claim they could not knock me out because he spinal was too high in my chest. My nurse in the OR told my family "She had never seen a more horrific birth in her career", my mother told me that one of the other nurses left the OR in tears, and my husband got kicked out of the OR trying to advocate for me. My recovery was almost as horrendous.

With my second birth child, I knew that things would have to be different. I was plagued with terrible images and memories and even had very vivid dreams of my doctor performing my csection on a concrete slab in a cememtery. For me, I had to have as much control as I could possibly have in that OR, or at least percieved I had.
My csection was scheduled. I had picked my nurses from labor and delivery and requested an assistant. I also chose my own anestesiologist and pain medication. I opted to have no pre-op drugs or sedatives. I had an epidural ten minuted before going to the OR. My arms were not strapped to the table or anything like that. I had my hair fixed and make up on. I had a detailed birth plan that everyone followed. I had two support people in the OR, my sister who stayed with me the entire time and my husband who stayed with our baby while they sutured me up. I had no sedatives during my csection nor did I get any drugs for nausea. I did get three doses of ephedrine for blood pressure problems (Something I expected) I was able to see, hold, and touch my baby after being born. My doctor explained everything to me and talked to me the entire time. She even asked me if she could use the vacuum to unlodge my baby's head. (It was stuck in some cockeyed way in my pelvis) I did feel pushing and I did feel him leave my body which was neat. I got stitches instead of staples. My csection lasted 30 minutes from start to finish. I had my baby in my arms, sitting up in the bed and talking on the phone fifteen minutes later. For pain management, which was key for me, was that I had my epidural cath and line remain for the next 17 hours in which I was administered small doses of a block a few times every hour. I could also dose myself. At no time was my mind in lala land and I had my full faculties. I never experienced drowsiness or any sedating feelings because the drugs were not going in my head. I also ate after I had my surgery and moved, a lot. The nurses I had in the hospital thought I had a vaginal delivery because I was up and out of there in less than 48 hours.
This is the short version, but all in all it was a wonderful experience. I made thoughtful educated choices and I did leave room for the unknown, just not a lot!

Kim
post #42 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by OnTheFence
This is the kind of comments I think that bothers me the most. They are arrogant and said with suoeriiority where there is none. It is these comments that turn me off.

Well, then I'd venture to say that THIS is the kind of insta-defensiveness *I'M* talking about. Greaseballs comments wasn't arrogant at all....then again, I don't have anything to feel defensive about in her comment, so theres just no way for me to read arrogance into it I guess. She *IS* right. How much babying does one need to use when presenting what ammounts to really really REALLY basic facts??? How can that be presented without offending????

I totally believe in not TRYING to offend, but there comes a point where you have to kind of shrug your shoulders to it....if you aren't trying to be arrogant and you TELL people that, and they still insist on saying "Oh but you are"...well, they have to own that, not the person who made the statement.

And, I've said this in other posts of mine....I really feel like you can only dilute it so much with pats on the back and "oh you poor baby!"'s before you are really just kinda lying to other women and .... really... does that help anything?
post #43 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by OnTheFence
The above two statements is the arrogance and judgement that makes some of us angry here. Because we defend our choices doenst make us any less right than you defending or advocating your decisions to do something different.
I KNOW my surgical births were necessary. I KNOW that it wouldnt have been any different. I am insulted that someone can be so arrogant to think they know what is best for me, my child, and can make medical claims about my body they have never seen.
Kim

There was no arrogance or judgement at all in my statement. I'm sorry you read that into it.
There *is* a difference between doing something "different" as you say and making and educated decision. Just pointing that out.
I don't really see anywhere where anyone claimed to know what was best for you personally, your child personally, or saying they've got the right to make medical deicions for you. So I'm a little confused how you got that.
post #44 of 144
OTF - I don't make this stuff up out of my head. I am just as educated as any of us here. But if what I say or how I say it turns you off, you are free not to read it.

LianEmma - No, nothing was directed at you. I'm talking about things I hear in general, and not from anyone on this thread. I was also saying that anyone who doesn't like what I or someone else has to say can always choose not to read it. They can scroll past whatever I post, or they can put my username in the ignore feature. I don't understand why people in general often make themselves look at things they would rather not see. Pertaining to this board, I don't know why they read or join threads they know they will not like.

Of course, this thread has an interesting, non-threatening title, but if someone sees a thread whose title gives it away, and knows they will not like it, why not just ignore it?
post #45 of 144
Quote:
I dont want you to think that I am judging you or think you are making the wrong decision about any future pregnancy. I just want you to be fully informed and be fully prepared for what might actually happen should you get to the end and realize that a surgical birth is necessary or that things dont go as planned and you end up having a surgical birth. I think its great that your mindset is for a vaginal delivery at that you are aware of the risks.
Thank you Kim. I can only imagine how hard you tried in your quest for your first vaginal birth, how traumatizing and frightening your experience was, and I am so sorry you didn't have helpful, compassionate support from women afterwards. As much as my medical diagnosis have sucked at times, I'm totally grateful things were discovered before I wound up in the very same situation you described.

Quote:
I just hope, and pray that when the time comes, and you are pregnant with your little one, that you not only listen to your head but also to your baby and your gut. I hope you prepare for what could possibly happen, not because it will, but because it might and why be unprepared emotionally and spiritually for that event. I hope you will trust me when I say that being prepared, having a backup in no way means defeat or that it will lead to that outcome, but can provide you with peace of mind.
Well, now I'm teary and my dh is wondering what's wrong with me After my surgery, when c/s/b seemed the only possibility, it was a very, very humbling experience. I was born at home, as were 3 of my 4 siblings, I've had the privledge of being at a friend's 2 births, and then I had the eye opening experience of being with a friend at 2 of her hospital births. I had such a hard time with the hospital births - the monitoring, the epidural, the screaming baby while they did all their measuring and foot stamp and pricking and suctioning, etc. I swore that would never, ever be me and I'd learn every damn thing I needed to to prevent it.

Then I found out I had fibroids - well I was going to eat and think my way out of those. Sheer will power was going to make it happen - because the power of my mind could do it. Then there was the guilt - if I was truly a whole person, my uterus would never have grown these weird things. And even with all the vitamins, good food, bodywork, and introspection they didn't change. Then I found out about my bicornuate uterus - can't exactly think, will power or educate myself out of that one. So for the first time in my life I realized there really wasn't anything I could do to fix it. How ironic is it that my mother, Ms. Health Food Vitamin herself grew a baby with a uterine birth defect? And I wound up doing something I never in a million years expected - having surgery in a hospital. And you know, it really wasn't that bad and I made the situation the best I could within that framework. The tradeoff is now I've got a fibroid free, one cavity uterus! And I realized that healing can come in all sorts of packages.

In the meantime I had a couple friends wind up with very unexpected c/s/b - friends who were educated, supported and wound up with non-emergency c/s/b. I learned (as much as I can from my point of view) that birth is unpredictable and that unfortunate shit happens.

So, yes - I promise to listen to my body, my baby and my gut. I promise not to ignore the realm of possibilities in my birth preparations.

Quote:
I believe and still do that my csectoin was far less risk than a VBAC. I had worked too hard to maintain my pregnancy (one I might add thought I would not ever have) and have another biological child to risk his life or my reproductive organs. This is not to say that I didnt secretly wish that my water would break and I would go into labor and he would slide right out LOL I did however know in my gut that it was the right thing to do. I planned and worked with my doctor and hospital to achieve something in the OR that not many have experienced. What happened in that OR restored me in ways I cant even put words too and I never ever regret.
And what jumps out at me the most is that you knew in your gut that was the right thing for you. That is so awesome - and that you listened to it and found such a positive experience from it. I wish that for all of us. That we follow the path of our healing however a twisty, unexpected path it might be.

Thank you Kim for your concern, your experience and your caring.

LisaG
post #46 of 144
I guess for me, one of the things that is important about a thread like this is that it gives a person who isn't intending judgement a chance to know what sounds judgemental. In general, I believe people here operate in good faith and with the intent to help each other.

The thread started, in part, with this sentiment:

Quote:

How do we continue to empower and facilitate trust with women while offering, sometimes, an alternative to the model of care that most women receive? And, if we do so, why are we deemed as being horrible people?

Are there birth activists that do not understand that cesareans are sometimes warranted?
That's the premise of the thread: that we have to learn how to talk to each other respectfully. In this thread, the onus is on the birth educators to be less accusatory--it's not on the mama who had a necessary c/s to be "less defensive." The idea is to learn how to communicate without attacking.

Why is this a good idea?

1. Because I don't know about you, but I think it would be a waste to ignore your posts, Greaseball. You do know a lot! That's clear. This thread is perfect for you because it's all about how you can get your point across without winding up alienating the people you are trying to help.

2. Because moms can't go back and do births over. The baby doesn't go back in! We can only go forward.

3. Because a mom who had an unnecessary c-section was cheated and often harmed by bad information. She doesn't need to be made to feel bad, she already feels bad.

4. Because a mom who had a necessary c/s had a damned difficult birth! Say only 50% of c-sections in the US are necessary. That's still a lot of women with weird birth anomalies that had abdominal surgery to recover from when they had tiny babies to care for.

5. Because you are her ally in having future healthy births, not her inquisitor or her confessor.

One thing cool about being online is that you get to meet all kinds of women, including women who had really anomalous experiences of birth. Some women you meet here will have kinds of pregnancies that only 1-2% of women have. So that's something to take into account when you make generalizations. You know? OnTheFence graciously shared her experiences. There aren't many women like her. Most women can have natural, drug-free births. But you still have to take her and her experience into account when you speak to the general case.
post #47 of 144
captain optimism--THAT was a spectacular post! Here here!

Leah
post #48 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by captain optimism
I guess for me, one of the things that is important about a thread like this is that it gives a person who isn't intending judgement a chance to know what sounds judgemental. In general, I believe people here operate in good faith and with the intent to help each other.

You have an excellent point, and I think that reflection is a very handy tool...

HOWEVER there *does* come a time when you can say it as nicely as you can, reiderate that it isn't personal, and when it comes to THESE issues (mommying things) women will STILL get defensive. Again I ask...how much caudling needs to happen? It seems like so often the whole point ISNT "dont judge me!" its "dont tell me what happened to me could have been different!". And....thats a lie. And, kind of going around to Pams original post...it's defeating the purpose of even getting educated about these things if EVERY TIME you say them, no matter how tactfully and straighforward its done, you are accused of being judging and arrogant, you know?

Sometimes on forums like this, someone will tell me "Hey, that was really offensive" and it makes me think and I go back and re read. And I'll either change what I said or apologize to the person for being offended. But at that point, that person needs to own whatever it is in them that MAKES them so very defensive. And at that point it's not about the message OR the messenger.

Anyways....I've said it a few times....and this thread makes me wonder...can change really ever happen when it's just about impossible to say ANYTHING negative about high intervention birth because so many women will take it all personal. And, because of that...do you stop learning? Do you stop talking? Is that really doing ANYONE any good?

I dunno..........
post #49 of 144
So here's one thing I think would be helpful to consider: once someone has already had their baby, and has already had lots of interventions, what you say about their choices can be quite hurtful. Because really, what are they going to do about it now? This is especially true if they felt pressured into doing a c/s.

There is also this one element that I must acknowledge, which is that youdon't have the whole picture from one post, even a long one. To comment on their choices (or even, more appropriately, on their medical care) based on that information seems to me injudicious.

On the other hand, if someone comes to these boards and says, "I'm pregnant. My doctor said if my baby is too big I'll need another c/s" --then choice words are timely, and as forceful as you might make them, aren't going to hurt the person's feelings. They can only help.

You can say negative things about high intervention birth. I think that's a good tactic. It's different from saying "and all you women who had high intervention births need to come to terms with the fact that you feel bad about it because you made bad decisions." You don't know that that is true. You can have necessary interventions and feel bad anyway.

earlier, Greaseball commented that 50% of c/sections are unnecessary. If that's true (and I don't know where that figure comes from) that means that 1/2 of c/sections are necessary. Which means that any woman on these boards who had one might have really needed one.
post #50 of 144
Thread Starter 
CO, your words on this thread have been incredible. Thank you so much for your wisdom, your empathy and your ability to speak your heart.
post #51 of 144
I was like that for a while. I believed that my caesarean was necessary but I was still angry about it. I was angry at women who could birth naturally. I was angry that I never had those experiences. I was angry that my transition into motherhood happened the way it did.
It took some time before I was ready to say that instead of having a medically necessary caesarean I had one because I was ignorant. I was scared and hormonal when I found out that my perfect pregnancy took a "wrong turn".
The way it was presented to me I didn't know I had options and I believed that what happened to me was the only way it could be.
I couldn't understand why I couldn't take the advise of others and "be happy you are both healthy".

Some women have medically necessary caesareans, some have completely unnecessary caesareans, and some will never know.
But the feeling of doubt in ones self is what really bothers me. The future pregnancies and births being compromised by a potentially unnecessary intervention is what pisses me off.

My body is forever scarred inside and out because my doctor didn't know how to deliver a breech baby vaginally and I was too stupid to seek other care.
It is embarassing and it was hard to accept that in my case it was my own "fault" that my birth happened the way it did.
The only thing I can do now is take more responsibility for my own birth and when I find someone else in the position I was I tell them my story so they know they have other options.

Birth is completely personal and like any personal issue it will hurt women when their choices are questioned. Even the perception that we have done something to harm our child will bring out the beast in us.

Yes, we are glad that we "both turned out healthy" and some of are happy enough with that but others aren't.

Keep up your advocacy. Any change that is worth fighting for will cause debate.
I, for one, do not take your advice/information as an attack on our birth experience but rather enlightenment for our future experiences. I know your heart is to empower women to take control and have the births they want. And I know that is your passion.
post #52 of 144
Quote:
earlier, Greaseball commented that 50% of c/sections are unnecessary. If that's true (and I don't know where that figure comes from) that means that 1/2 of c/sections are necessary. Which means that any woman on these boards who had one might have really needed one.
That comes from the World Health Organization.

Of course, I think a lot more than 50% are not needed, and several others would agree. I doubt that 13% are medically necessary. Other countries have a 5 to 10% rate, which seems to be working for them. I seriously doubt a British pelvis is that different from an American pelvis.
post #53 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by captain optimism

There is also this one element that I must acknowledge, which is that youdon't have the whole picture from one post, even a long one. To comment on their choices (or even, more appropriately, on their medical care) based on that information seems to me injudicious.


You can say negative things about high intervention birth. I think that's a good tactic. It's different from saying "and all you women who had high intervention births need to come to terms with the fact that you feel bad about it because you made bad decisions." You don't know that that is true. You can have necessary interventions and feel bad anyway.

earlier, Greaseball commented that 50% of c/sections are unnecessary. If that's true (and I don't know where that figure comes from) that means that 1/2 of c/sections are necessary. Which means that any woman on these boards who had one might have really needed one.
Good points.

*Re: commenting based on one long post....women CHOSE to put there stuff out there, that I really lack sympathy for. Nothing irks me more than a woman who will, in the midst of a C Sec discussion, post her story and yet be unwilling to discuss it. Its like saying "This is the real deal THE END! YOU SHUT UP BECAUSE THATS MY STORY". I hate that. I know...I know...that sounds harsh. It isn't really directed at anyone in particular...it's just unfair. Its one thing to post in a support group or post in response to someone asking just about the experience....but when you post in the midst of discussion, the words are UP for discussion, so you (general you) need to keep that in mind. I hope that makes sense....

* Just to be clear, I NEVER said that "and all you women who had high intervention births need to come to terms with the fact that you feel bad about it because you made bad decisions." Focus on the word ALL. I don't think ANYONE said that. I do, however, firmly believe in instinct and emotion. And the incredibly strong knee jerk reactions I see often (again, not just here, but everywhere) make me think. The vast majority of the time when *I* have a knee jerk reaction like that, that is THAT strong and THAT emotionally charged...it's usually because the thing I'm being accused of has some ring of truth. Humans are humans and we aren't that complicated...we all kind of work the same. Just in my personal experience, I know moms who really honest to God DID HAVE to have their interventions in their birth, whatever they were. I'm sure we all have a friend or two like that. And you know what? Most of them get *a bit* irked at stuff like this, but deep down they know they have nothing to defend...they honestly had no choice, so whats to argue? And I have some friends who are UBER high interventionist and will FREAK out on you if you even MENTION something *sorta* related to natural birth. I used to be on a really mainstream board and there were a couple women who were ALWAYS the first to reply to birth questions with all sorts of "Dont let the wackos talk you into naturl birth! Intervention birth is FINE!!! See? My baby turned out just fine so it must be ok!!". They'd also admit to NOT reading up, to blindly listening to their docs, etc etc etc. I know it's not PC to say and it's not nice to say maybe but it's honestly what I believe...if you have that violent a reaction to something, maybe it's because deep inside you know you could have made better choices. Again, I TOTALLY sympathize with that...its HARD to be questioned about your parenting...its one of the most personal things you can be called on the floor about. I didn't say it was EVERYONE, but I bet it's a significant ammount.

I had some interventions in my daughters birth that, looking back, I wouldn't have chosen. I was younger, single, and totally new and learning. I thought I made the best choices at the time but now I realize I could have done things differently. I've been there. I remember I was BREIFLY at AMU and got the crap FLAMED out of me for some of the things that happened with my when I birthed and when my dd was young. And I was OUTRAGEOUSLY defensive about it......because I knew there *was* a thread of truth to some of what was being aimed at me. But it wouldn't have helped me or my child or future children to just staunchly stand by my mistakes and do them over and over again.

I knew better afterwards and resolved myself to DO better the next time. And now I kind of think I am.

Which brings it all back around for me.....sometimes it's hard to take a really honest look at yourself and your life and often times its VERY hard to resolve to change. Very.

But, say back when I weaned my dd, everyone would have said "Awww....You poor thing.....you did what you could and you made the right choice" without giving me ANY info.....that would have been detrimental to me and to any other children I may have had, you know? And, it could have been detrimental to my friends, because what if I then went around spouting that what I did was just fine and so whatever THEY wanted to do what fine, too.

Also, I think the IMPORTANT number to keep in mind is that over 90% of women in the US (93-97 depending on the studies you read) can give birth normally. No interventions. So when you start talking about who NEEDS interventions, it's not especially likely you are talking to them online. It's POSSIBLE and I'm sure there are a few....it's just not as common as you'd think reading various online forums.

So anyways.....I don't mean to be offensive.....in the context of this discussion, nothing I say has been aimed at anyone. I think about what Pam said almost every day and I see it as a very hard thing to do, advocate for better births.....because too many women are too defensive. And we have this notion that if you don't just smile and nod then you aren't being supportive. And if you bring up ANYTHING negative or you bring up ANYTHING that *may* make a mom question her circumstances, you are a militant wacko and out to sabatoge women. It really feels like you CAN'T say straight forward facts, like Grease said, because it can *possibly* be construed as negative and then you are slammed for being insensitive. Honestly...is it asking to much of women to develope a little tougher skin?

The reality is that when you talk about online forums such as these, when a woman asks the "my doc says my baby is too big" question, when someone chimes in with "Well mine really WAS too big so you should get the section!" then your doomed....you can't say anything to that because you're a bitch for critisizing their birth choice. There *has* to be a way to approach the situation as a Monday Morning Quarterback. And, I've said it a few times, there really does have to come a point where some women own that their defensiveness is theirs alone and not the product of what anyone else said.

This discussion is discouraging for me. I feel like it's a brick wall. Theres nothing you can do because no matter what, you'll offend someone and thats a no-no. We women can't be honest with one another because feelings get hurt and then that negates what was said. I can't go protest C Sec rates because it means I am questioning the choices of someone I don't even know. I can't tell a mom on a board that she should try for non med birth because someone who HAD it will chime in and say it's perfectly fine and if I say anything about THAT, I'm insensitive, arrogant, and judging.

I keep asking and I think I'm getting my answer....you can't win. You can't speak out unless it's in private. You can't be an advocate because it automatically makes you arrogant, judgemental, mean, a bitch, etc etc etc.

I don't know how to be an advocate and still make everyone else happy and I'm begining to think it's just impossible. I don't know how to make other moms understand I respect them as mothers, but I don't respect the medical establishment, because no matter what you say, people still say "Well! Your words were very judging and who are you to judge!".

I just don't know.
post #54 of 144
I want to thank you all for your honesty and your willingness to participate in this discussion. As a birth professional (I'm a doula), I have found that the psychological and emotional aspects of giving birth--and we all shout about their importance--are completely lacking in the available reference materials, and even in the support groups/discussions I have participated in. I want to support women--whether that means supplying information, or just holding their hand. It is crucial that I know what is most appropriate at any given time.

So, thank you, Kim and Leah and Captain Optimism and amarasmom and cortsmommy, and those who have posted previously. Thank you for putting your stories and your perspectives out there.
post #55 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by anothermama

Humans are humans and we aren't that complicated...we all kind of work the same.
No. I don't agree with this. I think humans are very complicated and we don't all work the same. there are generalizable principles about birth and lactation, but there are also lots of documented exceptions. This is why I think it makes sense to put out what you know to be generally true, as that. That can really help women reading what you write.

This is why reading people's birth stories (including c/s stories) is rubbing you the wrong way. People aren't looking for you to validate their c-sections, they are looking for you to validate the individuality of their experience. I think a lot of women would like to know that their bodies were actually capable of giving birth, but not with the implication that they were foolish or immature for not having known that.


Quote:
I used to be on a really mainstream board and there were a couple women who were ALWAYS the first to reply to birth questions with all sorts of "Dont let the wackos talk you into naturl birth! Intervention birth is FINE!!! See? My baby turned out just fine so it must be ok!!". They'd also admit to NOT reading up, to blindly listening to their docs, etc etc etc.
This is not that place, however. Most people here are committed to learning as much as they can.

Quote:

Also, I think the IMPORTANT number to keep in mind is that over 90% of women in the US (93-97 depending on the studies you read) can give birth normally. No interventions. So when you start talking about who NEEDS interventions, it's not especially likely you are talking to them online. It's POSSIBLE and I'm sure there are a few....it's just not as common as you'd think reading various online forums.


What are you going to do, diagnose who really needed one and who didn't, through the computer? And when you have made your diagnosis, and you tell the woman that she was wrong and didn't need a c/s, what's she going to do about that? Thank you? Or is she going to tell you the specifics of her experience--which you will naturally find defensive.

Sometimes people really didn't need a c-section and knowing that can help them avoid another. Sometimes letting people know about birthing classes, yoga, whatever can help them avoid an epidural. But it seems kind of cruddy to me to to say, "Well, I had a baby once myself and that's how I know more than your midwife/doctor/doula."

Quote:
I see it as a very hard thing to do, advocate for better births.....because too many women are too defensive. And we have this notion that if you don't just smile and nod then you aren't being supportive. And if you bring up ANYTHING negative or you bring up ANYTHING that *may* make a mom question her circumstances, you are a militant wacko and out to sabatoge women. It really feels like you CAN'T say straight forward facts, like Grease said, because it can *possibly* be construed as negative and then you are slammed for being insensitive. Honestly...is it asking to much of women to develope a little tougher skin?
Yes, of course it's asking too much. For goshsakes, you are talking about the birth of people's beloved children here.

Is the reason that women don't have better births that they are defensive? Or is the reason that they don't have good support at the moment that they go into labor? Or good information during their pregnancies? It just seems like you aren't going to accomplish much by "questioning her parenting" by accusing a woman of making a dumb mistake during her labor. What is she going to do about it? Feel bad, I guess. Maybe for some women it's empowering to feel bad.

The time to advocate for better births is before and during pregnancy and labor, not after. Advocate for VBAC by giving information. Advocate for no c-section by telling people which interventions can lead to them--before they are in the L and D room!
post #56 of 144
Someone mentioned about not saying things after the birth when there was nothing that could be done - I think that's a good point. I remember once when I first started posting on MDC a woman was talking about her c/s and I posted something like "I had the same thing happen and didn't have a c/s" and what I was trying to say was "Doctors don't know everything" but I could see how she thought I was bragging or saying she did it all wrong.

A friend was telling me she had two c/s because of herpes and then she "didn't have enough milk" and of course then it was too late to tell her that she had been lied to the whole time, but if she were pg again I would tell her about vbac and bfing.
post #57 of 144
Quote:
The vast majority of the time when *I* have a knee jerk reaction like that, that is THAT strong and THAT emotionally charged...it's usually because the thing I'm being accused of has some ring of truth. Humans are humans and we aren't that complicated...we all kind of work the same.
Well, in some respects yes, but also, some people knee jerk because they have not yet worked out the emotionality of an event. An example. Years ago I was with some friends and they were skeet-shooting. We were at an area that was generally used for shooting by people in the area (went to college in a rural area), but was not an official range. While we were there, a man was shot by a young boy through the heart three or more times. I no longer remember the number of times. I talked and talked and talked that through with people. The first several times I got winded, cried, a little hysterical, actually. As I worked through the emotions, and habituated to it a little, the hysteria and emotional part of the response died down. I very rarely discuss it now--it's been more than a decade, so I sometimes get a little freaked when I find myself with reason to bring it up, but the point is, that when trauma is new, or has not been worked through, the emotionality of it is very very high, and defensive, knee-jerk reactions, etc., arise. I do agree that sometimes it is because of the ring of truth, but not in every case, and that's the thing anothermama, there will always be exceptions. Everything is not black and white. There are shades and even colors.

Quote:
I don't know how to be an advocate and still make everyone else happy and I'm begining to think it's just impossible
Well, you can't. But the person you're supposed to be angering is not the one who had the csection. It's the one who is not allowing women to make decisions during birth, not encouraging them to learn beforehand, etc.

Here's a miriam-webster dictionary definition of advocate;

one that pleads the cause of another; specifically : one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court

So, following that, in theory you'd be pleading the case of the csectioned woman, not dragging her to the trough to drink from the knowledge. Really, especially on this board, we cbirth mamas know those statistics. You're preaching to the choir here. I don't think anyone refutes the statistics, people are refuting the way the message is being delivered, not the message. That's very different. kwim?

I'm so sorry you find this discouraging. I, for one, find it encouraging. I think all discourse, especially that which maintains civility and listening, educates all involved. I think there have been lots of great posts in this thread and that most of us here are going away thinking, hmmmm, and yeah, and ohIsee. And that's important. It means that the activists on all sides are making gains.

I still say that the way to get the message out to people is to do it in large groups. It takes the personal out of it. Say you speak at a symposium, or to a high school classroom, a college class on sexuality or human development. They welcome guest speakers generally. And that's how you get the message out and get people thinking. It's hard to get the abrasive out of a message. I don't think anyone expects coddling. But I do think that people expect advice when they ask for it, and sometimes it's okay to just give a noncommittal, "Man that sucks." or a "mmm, sounds hard." when they aren't asking for advice, just empathy. We all have to pick and choose our times to deliver messages. I don't think it's too much to ask that people develop thicker skin. I also don't think it's too much to ask that people exhibit a little discretion. It's give and take, you know?



edited for typos
post #58 of 144
I'm not a birth activist, but I am interested in the subject because I had the unfortunate experience of discovering that even talking about my c/s birth experience could negatively influence another's woman's birth. My interest in exploring how the personal can be political as regards birth led me to your message board.

When I offered the details of my daughter's birth to a friend who was TTC at the time, I had no idea of how deeply my story would effect that friend. I lost touch with her for nearly a year (we lived several states away from each other at the time). In that time, she conceived and gave birth to her daughter via c/s. Turns out that her OB gave her the option of an induction or a c/s at 37 weeks because an ultrasound suggested macrosomia (!). She took the option of c/s because, in her words, "I didn't want to go through the hell that you did." I felt awful in realizing that I helped cause what was probably an unnecessary c/s. I felt great guilt in hearing that when she saw her 9lb15oz daughter for the first time she cried not tears of joy but of relief in thinking that she'd been spared the "agony" of a vaginal birth of a "big" baby. She didn't even have the chance to experience labor.

I don't know what to say to this friend regarding the dubious circumstances of her c/s and the probable influence my story uttered months earlier to her had on her birth. Had she called me for my opinion before the c/s, I probably would have urged her to refuse a c/s w/o a trial of labor and even consider switching doctors.

When I confided in her about my c/s birth, I didn't anticipate that my story would influence her so negatively. She is a well-educated public health professional. On the personal side, she was a vaginally-born footling breech, her mother's first child. Her mother-in-law vaginally birthed two 10 lb. babies (not a bio relation, but still living proof of the possibility of avoiding a c/s for a "big" baby). Why oh why did she latch on to my negative birth experience?

I am not ashamed or regretful of my c/s, even though my c/s may have ultimately been unnecessary. However, considering the role I inadvertently played in my friend's elective c/s at 37 weeks, I am wary of sharing my birth story, especially with nulliparous women. I may as well relate the basics in this forum, for I strongly doubt that in doing so I'd influence anyone here toward an unnecessary c/s.

I don't remember all the details of my daughter's birth, due in part to unresolved "issues" about choices I made once I reached the hospital. While I'm at peace with the c/s itself, I do have some post-traumatic stress about my experience in the hospital prior to the c/s. BTW, I decided against a home birth because of odd medical issues which could have had an unpredictable impact on the pushing stage (had I ever reached that point). One of my ears is in poor condition due to previous tumors and resulting surgeries, bad enough that had I built up excessive pressure while pushing, I could have sustained disabling vertigo or permanent one-sided facial paralysis due to a perilymph fistula and a damaged facial nerve, respectively. My ear conditions didn't contraindicate a vaginal delivery, but they made pushing inadvisable. I know that it is possible to have a vaginal birth with little or no pushing; my doula had a past client who did so because of a past severe head injury. I felt that a hospital birth would be safer for my daughter in the event that I needed the assistance of the dreaded forceps or vacuum during her birth (and if my OB had suggested their use purely out of impatience, I would have refused).

Onto the birth . . . after several days of prodromal labor, I went to L&D after a few hours of regular contractions which were four minutes apart lasting 45-60 seconds each. I had hoped to delay my arrival at the hospital until I was close to transition, but I had also developed continuous, seemingly bone-deep pain in my pelvis, a pain which was worse than my contractions at their peak. When I was examined at the hospital, I was demoralized to discover that I was only 3 cm, 50% effaced, and that my daughter had turned posterior (she'd been anterior at my OB appt two days before). My OB suggested that I walk for an hour to see if I made any progress. I didn't progress at all during that hour, but my daughter shifted around enough that I was relieved of the continuous pelvic pain, a pain which would appear again twice before her birth. My contractions became irregular, so my OB suggested that I could go home or stay to augment my labor w/pitocin. I left the hospital and tried some of my doula's suggestions for turning a posterior baby. Pelvic rocking on all fours did turn my daughter, but only temporarily. For the next three days, I had contractions that seemed like active labor but stalled a few times for 2-3 hours.

On the third day away from the hospital, the continuous pelvic pain returned, worse than the last time. I returned to the hospital to discover that I was 4 cm, 50% effaced. I accepted an offer of "therapeutic rest" with morphine. When I awoke, I was 5-6 cm, 80%, free again of the odd pelvic pain. I had 8 positive hours of coping med-free with my doula's help. My fondest memory of labor was walking on the sidewalk outside the hospital and having my doula proudly announce that I was 6 centimeters and coping like a champion to anyone who inquired.

When we returned to my room for periodic fetal monitoring, the odd, constant pelvic pain returned. Between that pain and discovering that I hadn't progressed at all during the previous 8 hours, I lost all of my resolve. In short order, I consented to AROM, which revealed mec, and fentanyl. I regret the fentanyl because it did nothing for me aside from frying my judgment and memory. I next remember consenting to an epidural because pitocin felt like hell on earth to me (I don't remember consenting to the pitocin, but I assume that I must have because my doula insisted that the medical staff explain all procedures and receive clear consent from me). The anethesiologist quite possibly had the world's worst bedside manner, and I won't give examples of what he said because thinking about him still hurts. I don't know what went wrong, but I had a massive back spasm while he was administering it. Thank God I couldn't feel the pain of the spasm for long; just feeling how my back muscles were undulating out of control was scary enough.

The epidural relieved the pain, but I felt intense pressure in my pelvis. Ten hours after AROM, I learned that I had progressed to 7cm, 100%, where I stayed for five more hours. After an intrauterine pressure catheter revealed my contractions were actually very weak despite the abdominal monitor's readings that indicated strong contractions (go figure), my OB offered a c/s, which I accepted in desperation since my epidural had worn off a couple hours beforehand. All in all, I went from 4cm on a Friday at 8 pm to 7cm at 2 am on Sunday (when I opted for the c/s).

Dr. D*ck, the epidural man, conveniently couldn't be bothered to top off my epidural until he heard I was getting a c/s. The c/s itself wasn't troublesome to me, probably because I had the comfort of my doula's presence. I had also had previous ear surgeries (including 2 mastoidectomies) which seemed much harder to handle than a c/s.

What a great relief and joy it was to meet my daughter. I was impressed with her alertness and strength. One of the pictures my doula took in OR shows that Eileen's eyes were open in a seemingly purposeful gaze before even all of her head was delivered out of the incision in my uterus (she was definitely sunny side up). My doula claims that Eileen was smiling and could hold up her head w/o assistance right after birth. Eileen didn't go into distress during labor. AROM had shown that she'd passed mec, but that may have happened because I was overdue(41w1d).

I don't remember what station she reached before the c/s, but I do recall that she was -2 when I entered the hospital 30 or so hours before her birth. Upon birth her head showed no molding and her ped remarked that her skull was ossified as if she were quite postmature but otherwise didn't seem "overbaked" (again, go figure). Her measurements were 7lb5oz, 19", head circumference 14.7 in.

Sorry I wrote a "book" about my c/s . . . that was actually the first time I attempted to write Eileen's birth story.

What do you think caused my c/s? I'm open to hearing opinions, as long as you refrain from calling me selfish, foolish, or idiotic.

Michelle
mama to Eileen, 11/04/01, unplanned c/s
post #59 of 144
"Honestly...is it asking to much of women to develope a little tougher skin? "-anothermama

Oh my. I believe it is asking too much. Why should anyone have to "develop a little tougher skin" about the experience in their lives that probably puts them in their most vulnerable state? What is this, boot camp?
post #60 of 144
I wanted to say that OTF, LiamnEmma, and esp Captain Optimism have really said so much of what I wanted to say, and said it so very well, so to those with questions like the OP, read and re-read these people's responses- they HAVE answered your question so clearly- if you really want the answer- it is there

A few random thoughts as I nak with my 3rd c-birth baby

First, my problems with some of the people attempting to "educate" all of us c-birth mamas. I take high offense to the idea being repeated by one poster here (can't remember the name right now) that b/c we defend our c-births we must have some inkling that it was unnecessary, that's simple crap IMO . I always hate to hear the, "If it upsets you so much, maybe you should look at WHY it upsets you". Maybe it upsets us b/c of any of the reasons PPs have mentioned, and not b/c we have it somewhere inside that we made the wrong choice. OK, had to get that off my chest

Now, I also am VERY bothered by people who feel that they know more about an individual mama's body than she and her OB or midwife do. I find it a very bad idea for any medical professional especially, to give online advice, beyond- "this may be the case, and here is how you can look into it", as opposed to "you could've done it this way", as, if you have not examined the woman's body- you do not know, and it is dangerous and I think completely unprofessional to tell a woman you have not seen IRL how they could do things. Telling them how to look around for another practitioner or questions to ask their own practitioner, etc. are great though.

I think in general, the way to educate while remaining respectful is not to expect mamas to "get a thicker skin"- you will truly win very few people that way, and also you will not manage to educate many- people have to feel respected to listen to anything you say. But, to truly seek out people who can be helped. People who can be helped are- pregnant women, women who are TTC, and women who ASK how they can do things differently. It is not at all helpful to tell a woman who has just delivered how she was duped by her OB or midwife.

If I saw a woman post about a birth which clearly could've gone very differently (from my POV )- I might post or PM and ask her if she is looking for any information on how things could be done differently in the future. I would be careful to realize that I do not know all that she does about her birth, how she feels about it, how her body actually is, etc. I think asking a woman if she wants my opinion, or would like to hear about similar circumstances handled differently, would be very respectful.

I also think the main thing is not to assume that you necessarily are smarter, more educated about birth, etc. than the woman you are hearing from, reading from. It is always a bad thing, IMO to assume that other people are uneducated and that they "need" someone such as yourself to "set them straight".

I also think that while the c-birth rate in this country is unecessarily high, it is not productive to assume that all OBs are these horrible people who are out to get women, who don't care about their patients as much as getting to their golf game, who are knife happy, who know nothing about natural birth (my OB was/is a midwife as well), etc. I think a healthy suspision of health care providers (of all kinds) is a good thing, but an outright distrust of all in a certain group (OBs in this case)- is silly, IMO.

I would just like to say as a disclaimer that I am a well-educated about birth woman who has had 3 necessary c-births with 2 seperate OBs who are very loving, caring, knowledgeable practitioners with very low c-birth rates- I am educated enough to have chosen my OBs very carefully

I think if you really want to be a natural birth advocate- you can do so with respect for the women you are speaking to, you have asked how to do that, and have gotten great answers, esp from CaptainOptimism so, ignore what I said, and read hers again:LOL she said it all so very well
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