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how do c-sections fit into a natural birth framework? - Page 2

post #21 of 260
Storm Bride, Exactly! DD was in the NICU and I could hardly get to her because I was in so much pain after laboring for so long, pushing and the c/x plus all the drugs. I would literally be falling asleep in the chair within 5 minutes of walking (if you could call it that) down the hall to the NICU. I was so drugged that it took me hours to even remember that I should nurse her after the c/s- very different from the "nurse right away while the cord is still pulsing" I had planned. It made me unable to protect and care for my child! THAT is what my biggest struggle has been.
post #22 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I think people forget that death is natural too.

Mother nature does not care about you or your child. Yes, in the natural world in order for an entire species to survive, many members of that species need to survive (although obviously for some species, very few do to adulthood).

But mother nature does not care if ONE baby or ONE mother survives. Or if there is damage.

My baby died because we were not able to have a c-section in time for various complicated reasons. There is no question that had we had a section at the critical point, she would have been fine. Instead I watched the very natural process of her oxygen-starved 4 days of life culminating in death.

It was biology at its most dictatorial, really. Natural does not necessarily mean safe or risk-free. People who think that are enjoying a luxury in their experience.

So - basically I think that unless people are ready to return to losing babies at delivery at the same rates that they would die naturally, yes, absolutely there is room for intervention including c-sections.
Oh my goodness I am so sorry, and you are so right. Somehow the word "natural" has some to mean something akin to sweetness and light, when it is not really that at all. Yes, most women are able to give birth the way "nature intended", but some are not. I don't see why we should ever feel shame for it when we have healthy babies.

There is certainly a degree of hubris with making a birth plan in the first place. I know that I researched the heck out of birth interventions, and how to circumnavigate them. I did not research the complications of a C-section because I knew that armed with my new knowledge I would never need one. So basically what Kayla said above.

Hah!

I don't personally know anyone who has had a C-section who leview judgement on others who have, so in a way I think that judgement stems out of naiveity.

I am really not that bitter that I had a section because after 30 hours of labor I had a gut feeling that something.was.not.right. What I am bitter about is that they seperated me from my baby for a few hours waiting for my bloodpressure to "get high enough." Heck it only ever gets close to "normal" when I am super stressed out. I kept telling them that too...but they blew me off. THAT is what pisses me off when I think about it today. I think I was lucky that the kid nursed as well as he did after waiting for so long.

Oh, and the scar bothers me quite a bit. Its really purple and raised and ugly. I am trying to come to terms with that scar more than anything else...vain, I know.

Everyone, this is my 1000th post and I am thrilled to be a part of this community! Y'all have helped me out more than I can express. Thank you so much.
post #23 of 260
The intuition thing always upsets me. I don't have it. I had no idea that ds1 had flipped breech. I really didn't believe anything was seriously wrong with Aaron. I just don't seem to have that awareness at all. Looking back, it should have been obvious that something had changed with ds1, but I thought he'd just rotated and his bum was pressing out. He'd actually flipped, and his head was pushing out beside my navel.
post #24 of 260
I can't say much more than the previous posters, but I wanted to say that I identify with the feelings expressed, especially Altairs description of the surrender to the lost ideal of natural birth (especially homebirth). I also agree that there are so many aspects of NFL that come into play after birth that for me, time does heal the wound of my 2 failed natural births. The important role of raising my children has taken over a lot of my feelings of guilt over the way they have come into the world. I do feel little pangs of sadness when I read many of the typical natural birth catch phrases (your body won't grow a baby that you cannot birth, or trust birth, or have a homebirth- its the only way to have a natural birth). I feel like these blanket statements might inspire some false confidence. Even as a mama who had a c/s I STILL felt judgemental towards people who were planning c/s because I was going to "get it right" the next time. Have a homebirth and avoid all that intervention stuff.

I'm still not sure where I fit in around here. I started my journey here SO pumped about a natural birth and after the first c/s made it my LIFE to prepare for my perfect home VBAC, and then now 2 c/s under my belt I feel like the black sheep of the natural birthing community. All that desire and research, and trust in my body, for nothing. No credibility. I feel like its my job now to comfort other mamas who have been through the same ordeal as me. So I peek back in here occasionally. But I have moved on and try to fill my life with other things besides birth- the thing that has consumed me for the last 5 years.

And your question OP how can the idea of trusting your body be reconciled when your body doesn't do what everyone has been telling you it is natural for your body to do? _is_ that woman's body a failure? Perhaps the view of natural birth is too idealistic? Setting women up for failure? It seems that many women don't seem to particularly care how their babies get here as long as they are healthy and alive.....maybe we could learn a thing or two from them?
post #25 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotus.blossom View Post
But I have moved on and try to fill my life with other things besides birth- the thing that has consumed me for the last 5 years.
Yeah. I know that one. My life has been consumed by ttc, and trying to VBAC, for 17 years. Now, I need to figure out what else there is left...
post #26 of 260
lisa
post #27 of 260
Very interesting thread. I just wanted to throw out my two cents, that the term "natural" birth has always rubbed me wrong. It seems that the message is, unless you have an unmedicated, vaginal birth, you've done something wrong. I know most of us at MDC would agree that c-sections are abused in the USA and many other countries, and that it's preferable to encourage non-drug pain management techniques over automatically reaching for the epidural. But I think it's condescending and unfair to call someone's birth "unnatural" because there was a legitamate need for and use of medical technology.
post #28 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair View Post
Having been a HB doula for 10 years prior to getting pregnant, I had *no* doubt I'd have a blissed out waterbirth in my living room. We even filmed our trial runs and made a blog/documentary about how excited and unafraid we were of our birth.

And then it started... and it was all the huge amounts of pain I knew it would be, but I was so grateful to be doing it. One of the most poignant, and heartbreaking moments of my life came over 60 hours later, after 15 hours of pushing a big headed stuck baby, when I just stood up naked in the tub and grabbed on to my partner's neck and sobbed sobbed sobbed. He knew at that moment what I meant by those cries. My dream of a homebirth was dying. Baby was healthy, I was healthy, but he just simply wasn't being born. Slipping in and out of life and death I felt in the last of those hours of pushing... and I just stood up and made the decision to live. But at that same moment I was giving up the moment I had been dreaming and dreaming about, feeling my boy push out and slide up my body to my breasts. I ached for that sensation my entire pregnancy.

I chose to get a c-section at that moment because I believed 100% his chances and my chances of health and life were stronger with that choice. But in that choice I had to give up my coveted place in the natural birth community. I was so *bitter* about all my friend's homebirths happening in the same few weeks. I was so sensitive to ANY questioning of mothers who had never had c-sections going on and on about how horrible they are.

A year later my scar is so dark and prominent and much higher than any other I've seen. Every day when I look at it I feel slightly less bitter, but it's a long, hard process. My son is worth any ideal being broken, he's worth any pain on my part. If it takes ripping my body to shreds to get this big and beautiful guy out of me, sign me up.

But you're exactly right, OP, it's so hard to see where you fit in the NB community anymore.
The bolded is exactly how I've felt, but unable to put so poignantly. Ugh. I am a LLL Leader, and everytime birth comes up, I feel sort of sick.
post #29 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Yeah. I know that one. My life has been consumed by ttc, and trying to VBAC, for 17 years. Now, I need to figure out what else there is left...
Lisa, I only spent 10 years on that train, but that was long enough. Peace to you.
post #30 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
This is related to my issues, as well. I don't exactly feel that I failed to protect my child (except for poor little Aaron) with respect to the birth. But, I went through hell being unable to care for him properly afterwards. (This was particularly true of my first one, because of the drugs they gave me, and the lack of food, on top of the labour and surgery.) I had this tiny little person I was supposed to be totally responsible for, and I couldn't even take care of myself. It was an absolutely horrible initiation into motherhood. And, honestly...if I hadn't been so bloody-minded about breastfeeding - and so incredibly broke - I don't think I'd have managed that, either. It just hurt so much, and it was so much work to get him positioned, latched, etc.

That's one area I have occasionally felt shamed here. It's been a while, but I'd say something about being unable to get out of bed, and get a response like, "having a c-section doesn't mean you can't stand up - I know, because I've had one" (no apparently understanding that they're not all the same) or "I had to get out of bed - I was too concerned about my baby in the NICU to even be aware of my pain" (strong implication that any mom who couldn't get up must not care that much about the baby - or at least that's how it felt). Those comments were really hard to take. I had very little trouble (comparatively) getting up and mobile after ds2 or dd2. I had a ton of trouble after ds1.
I will just second teh idea of not being able to care for my baby after the cs. Although, with my second, I was discharged 24 hours after birth (my choice), immediately after he was born via cs, there was no way I could walk (obviously). If he were in harms way, I couldn't physically go to him with a gaping wound in my abdomen. Cs leaves the mother (and thuis the baby) extremely vulnerable
post #31 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
That's one area I have occasionally felt shamed here. It's been a while, but I'd say something about being unable to get out of bed, and get a response like, "having a c-section doesn't mean you can't stand up - I know, because I've had one" (no apparently understanding that they're not all the same) or "I had to get out of bed - I was too concerned about my baby in the NICU to even be aware of my pain" (strong implication that any mom who couldn't get up must not care that much about the baby - or at least that's how it felt). Those comments were really hard to take. I had very little trouble (comparatively) getting up and mobile after ds2 or dd2. I had a ton of trouble after ds1.
Thank you so much Storm Bride! I had horrible problems with DD#1. My pain control was non-existant, and I had a really hard time getting over to the NICU to see my DD. One of my nurses said to me "The NICU says you haven't been over to see your baby much". I felt incredibly guilty. I was in a lot of pain, traumatised and grieving my 31weeker's early arrival. I've always felt as though I didn't try hard enoug to get over there - if I really wanted to, I could have - at least those are some of the feelings I get when I read other people's ability to get over to their newborns. I'm just very happy to see someone else who really struggled with the same thing. It makes me feel more - normal, for lack of a better word.
post #32 of 260
I am definitely right there with you ladies who have had the planned homebirth turned C-sections...I felt a degree of failure...but it was more how I appeared in the eyes of others...it was and is a long story and a long labor that resulted in a very much needed C-section...I agree with this:
Quote:
Perhaps the view of natural birth is too idealistic? Setting women up for failure? It seems that many women don't seem to particularly care how their babies get here as long as they are healthy and alive.....maybe we could learn a thing or two from them?
and
Quote:
But I think it's condescending and unfair to call someone's birth "unnatural" because there was a legitamate need for and use of medical technology.
I tried to have a homebirth and a natural both with both of my children, both for reasons that may be different than some of yours, or may be the same...I won't bore you with that...but I'll say that at this point and if I have another child, I won't be focusing so much on how the baby is born. I will try to have a VBAC. If it doesn't work, then fine. I just care about a healthy baby. I know that sounds so cliche, but it's so true. I'd say that I parent pretty naturally all the time, so if that one day has got to be a little more unnatural, then so be it. My disclaimer for that is that I just don't give birth good. I know that's horrible to say but it's the truth. I need help on my babies' birthdays, and medical help at that. Ha. Everyone who has to hear my birth story, hears about how I tried. I tried all those many, many hours to push out a ten pound baby and it wasn't happening. So I'm proud when I say I had my C-section after all that time. This is why my C-section ribbon is in my signature. I am an awesome breastfeeder, baby wearer, attachment parenter, etc but I cannot give birth well. And I really do believe it's the other things that make the most difference as a parent.

Also, some thing in this C-section and hospital stay were comforting and conducive to natural parenting. My anesthesia guy was really great at talking to me about the baby and about how huge he was and how about how I didn't fail, during the surgery. They had left the baby's cord on for a few minutes and left it long so my husband was able to cut it still even though it was a C-section. He was shown to me, taken away for a little while, given back to my husband who brought him back to show me. Then I was put in the recover room, I was passed out but my husband latched him on my breast for me. I only vaguely remember this but there is a picture of it and I love it. I was put into my room and didn't think about the C-section or anything much. I couldn't believe how cute my little guy was. And the hospital was really good about a lot of the things like the baby was never really taken from me, he was allowed to sleep with me in my bed (which the hospital I was at with my daughter didn't allow this) they encouraged breastfeeding, breastfeeding only, and lots of it. They give you a cart with diapers and stuff on it, and there is a stack of prefold diapers, good quality too...so you can pick what you want to use. I loved them. I definitely believe your C-section experience can and does fit in with being natural.
post #33 of 260
I am a natural birth advocate, I've had 2 c/s. I totally believe that natural is better, but for me my dream of a waterbirth got taken away purely by all the natural aspects of birth. I have felt labor, I had my water break, I puked every contraction and felt like I was literally being ripped in half, I finally got an epi after 18 hours of labor so I could relax a little, it barely took, but it took the edge off. I took 27 hours to dilate, then spent the next 3 pushing in different positions only to have my DD wedged so far into the left side of my pelvis that it made me have to have a T incision on my uterus, and the dr could barely get DD out. My uterus stopped contracting due to extreme fatigue, I'd been up for over 40+ hours, so yeah I was tired. I watched as the nurse felt my stomach go soft, I felt it go soft. I saw the looks on the faces of my DH and mom, my Dr, it was obvious that my c/s was necessary. With the way I felt, there was no second wind for me or DD. It was a dangerous situation and I am glad that I was in the hospital. We were not coerced, it was not forced-I did do the best I could, but because of my broken tailbone when I was 20, I don't think that DD could come out-at least that's my theory.

I am personally only bitter about one aspect-my treatment by the natural birth community. The local midwife who had recently graduated told me that the only reason I had a c/s was because I was scared. I still barely talk to her because it pisses me off to no end. My birth was honestly none of her business, she wasn't my midwife or my Dr, she didn't know a damn thing. I honestly hate how many people who have had hb or uc act, like well I did it why can't you?! I feel like it really is like pouring lemon juice on an open wound. I was told after DDs emergency c/s I would never be a candidate for a VBAC because of that T on my uterus, it almost made me never want to get pg again. I read I studied, I found out that a VBAC was very dangerous given my type of situation. When I went in for DS's I found out that there is a 15-25% chance of rupture.

Personally I DO believe that attitude is everything, at least for me. I did birth two beautiful children, and yes I believe they are births-that is my choice of wording. I hate to feel like we as women are pitted against one another because somehow I failed or am broken. I'm not. I've grown two beautiful, healthy children from my womb, and for me I feel like it is an insult by anyone to deny me the fact that they were born. They may have been surgical births, yes that is true, but they are MINE and my DH's so it's really no one else's business how they came out.
post #34 of 260
My midwife gave me a hard time about my C-section too. She said I was scared. She said I wasn't trying. Being dramatic. All things like that.

So when I was transferred (by my request) the ob who did my section and anesthesiologist have more a "you poor baby!" attitude, I end up liking them better...at least for the time being. The things I was against in the beginning. I ended up liking. Ha.

Luckily my midwife later apologized and said she should've listened to me earlier...but I know what you mean....
post #35 of 260
My planned home birth turned into a C-section at term because of undiagnosed placenta previa. I was upset and disappointed, not to mention scared for my baby, but never felt the least guilty or inadequate. I underwent surgery to save my son's life, and I was glad it was available.

I do not see why a CS would imply a woman's body has failed, any more than undergoing a medical procedure to set a broken bone or stitch up a bad laceration would imply failure. A healthy body works beautifully - at reproduction just like anything else - but when the system occasionally does not work perfectly, medicine can sometimes help. That is the approach I take as a "natural" birth advocate.

Where the guilt really lies is with members of the medical profession who have made normal birth so difficult, unsafe, and stressful, it ends in surgery far more often than is needed. The way to remove the burden of guilt from CS mothers is to hand it over to those who really deserve it. I rarely see a woman choose CS lightly, but I could not say the same for obstetricians. There is nothing the OB/Gyn system would like better than to have women blaming themselves, and each other, for that system's mismanagement.
post #36 of 260
Every now and then I'm tempted to start a tribe for mamas who went to the hospital to have their babies via ambulance. We could talk about the paramedics, and the things we packed or didn't manage to pack and how we feel about the phrase "trust birth."

I am with Guild Jenn - death is natural. Medicine can help. I had a c-section because of placenta previa and natural birth advocates made me want to tear my hair out while I was still pregnant. I hated the way they walked around feeling sorry for me in advance about the birth experience I wasn't going to have and how it was going to screw up my relationship with my baby and my ability to breast feed.

I made it to the NICU fairly soon after the birth - first on a gurney, then by wheelchair, not on my own feet until the next day - but the "I was so worried about the baby I didn't notice the pain" thing ticks me off too. I have never been that worried about anything. The thing that made me not care about the pain? I'm pretty sure it was morphine. I recovered really well from the surgery and I was moving around very soon afterwards, but in the weeks before my daughter's birth, when people told me how fast they'd gotten out of bed ("five hours", "two hours", "an hour and a half!") I felt terrified at how fast I was evidently supposed to stagger to my feet with a brand new gut wound. I gave my husband this long lecture about how he was absolutely not to base his expectations on these statements.
post #37 of 260
This thread has been an interesting read.

I've had an epidural birth, a med-free hospital birth, and an emergency c-section.

My c-section was for a placental abruption. I woke up at home in the middle of the night to pee, my water broke and I was hemorrhaging. A very short time later, I was under general anesthesia. Baby and I are both fine and I'm *THANKFUL* for my c-section. I took me a bit to get to that place, but it saved her life and maybe mine. I don't have anything to look back at and say, "Gee what if I'd done this instead of that? Would I have had a different outcome."

Yet, I still find myself writing about it defensively. I want to make sure people know that this was a 'real' emergency, that my abruption wasn't the result of an induction or drug use or a car accident, that it wasn't anything *I* did.

I often find myself in a weird place between my crunchy, pro-natural birth friends and my more mainstream friends. I have mainstream friends who have had c-sections and rave about how wonderful they were and insist that if I ever have another one that a scheduled section doesn't hurt as much as an emergency section. When I say that I'll never lay down for a voluntary c-section, and will in fact travel more than 2 hours for a VBAC, it's like I've suddenly started speaking a foreign language. It literally does not compute with them. They look at me vaguely and move on to talking about something else.

I do believe in the 'intuition' that a PP mentioned. I'd planned a home birth with that 3rd baby, but never felt good about. After a lot of thought and prayer I resigned myself to another hospital birth. I had a vague feeling my entire pg that it might end in a c-section and gave my husband a lot of instructions 'in case'--all of which he followed to a T (as a result, nobody else but him and the nurses held the baby and I was stitched instead of stapled).

I don't know that I really feel like my body 'failed'. 'Malfunctioned' might be a a better term, but I'd had 2 successful vaginal births before so maybe that colors my thinking. Still, I have to look at what went right. . . she was at term, she was healthy, she breastfed beautifully (easier than my natural birth baby, who was actually my most difficult ), and I recovered really well from my section. If we have a fourth, then I'll definitely attempt a VBAC. I do think unmedicated vaginal is the best way to go. But yeah, there's room for medicine and it's skills sometimes too.
post #38 of 260
is there a way that natural birth advocates can include c-section mothers?

there are lots of ways that c-sectioned mothers are included in natural birth dialogues.

first, there are those women who have necessary (whether planned/scheduled or unscheduled) c-sections. these are the easiest to include, i suppose, because we all agree to the value of the c-section when it is necessary.

second, there are those women who had an emergency c-section. these tend to fall into three categories: 1. believing/knowing it was absolutely necessary (which puts them into that first group); 2. believing/knowing it was absolutely unnecessary; and 3. questioning whether or not it was necessary.

i find that those in the second group tend to be the greatest advocates for natural birth--which naturally arises out of their experiences. they are also a great support for those questioning, and those questioning, in turn, tend to really be the catalyst for finding balance between supporting women who had c-section whether or not we know or they know it was necessary, while also still advocating for natural birth.

all of these women help us understand the value and importance of safe birth--whether with or without interventions.

is the bigger goal to support mothers or to support natural birth?

there are two issues here. what is it to support natural birth, and does that support mothers?

the real question is what are we advocating when we advocate for natural birth? is it that it is important for every woman to birth naturally?

the answer is no.

the point of advocating natural birth is not to be exclusive or unsupportive of mothers who do not have natural births, but rather to open the culture up to the dialogue about birth choices.

for all that people assert that women have choices, culturally speaking, women really only have one "choice" that is unquestioned and fully supported--hospital, OB attended birth. these are rarely intervention free.

so the real purpose of birth advocacy is to talk about what the options are and to support women in discovering those options and choosing from those options what is best for them.

this is not exclusive. it doesn't say that "only those who have a natural birth are good/right/adequate, and everyone else isn't." it is simply saying "we advocate for natural birth as a safe mode of birth, not just hospital births."

So, by opening up this dialogue, it is inherently supportive of mothers. Mothers can choose to birth in the places and ways that they prefer, that they think is right for them, rather than feeling the emotional and cultural pressures to birth in a certain way as dictated by cultural normatives, particularly when that way sometimes leads to harm women and/or children.

what do you do when supporting natural birth gets in the way of supporting mothers?


i haven't seen this happen, as per the definition above, but i can understand how the issue gets confused.

in our culture, there is a lot of confusion about difference. for some people the idea of having multiple "right" answers is confusing. for many people in our culture, there is only one answer for any given question. this is the culturally approved answer.

those who believe in only one answer tend to also hold the belief that those who would disagree are not only wrong, but also bad.

so when someone disagrees with them, they assume that "that person" holds the same assumptive process that they do--disagree. . .wrong. . .bad. so, they 'read in' an implicit moral judgment. i have run into this so many times in our culture, it's kind of freaky.

so, this relates to the natural birth advocacy in this way:

in our culture, there is only one safe way to birth--in a hospital with an OB. if this was not true, then the women who come here would not be posting "how do i convince my husband/mom/partner/best friend/pastor that homebirth is ok?"

thus, it goes this way: anyone who doesn't birth in a hospital is wrong and therefore also bad.

but then, it also goes this way: by having a homebirth, you are demonstrating that you disagree with me/us (that there is one true way to safely birth), and therefore you think those of us who birth in hospitals are wrong, and therefore you also think we are bad (and thus are judging us).

the truth is that advocates of natural birth are not inherently judging hospital birth, but rather simply acting on their own information and birth options, and wanting to open the dialogue for other women to have more options.

options, btw, includes having a hospital birth with an OB *if one so chooses*.

but often in the passions of learning, and the emotions of taking on a new perspective, the language gets confused into an "us vs them" mentality. even i have been subject to it in my own discoveries and explorations of myself in relationship to birth. and, i've made a number of horrible, mistaken, not-really-what-mean/feel statements over the years. to err is human, or so it is said.

so sometimes, feelings get trampled on, judgements happen.

how can the idea of trusting your body be reconciled when your body doesn't do what everyone has been telling you it is natural for your body to do? _is_ that woman's body a failure?

trusting oneself and one's body is really separate from whether or not the birth is intervention free.

in the UC construct, the idea is that you trust your intuition, and if your intuition is telling you to get help, then you get help. it is not about whether or not you actually birth unassisted. it is about birthing safely.

thus, it's never about whether or not someone "failed" at birthing or if their body "failed." the mother does exactly what she is supposed to do--get help when she needs it to birth safely.
post #39 of 260
Very interesting topic. After my emergency c-section under general anesthesia, I was in shock. I could hardly believe it had happened to me, the super-duper natural birth advocate. I started to process it, only to encounter pity and condescension from people in the natural-birth community (or that's the way it felt, perhaps I'm projecting...).

I know in my heart that it was a necessary procedure that saved my baby's life. And I also had a nagging sense throughout my pregnancy that I wasn't going to have the perfect birth experience I'd had with my first. So I do believe in the intuition thing. And when the decision was made to operate, I was relieved, because I thought my baby was going to die.

It has been a very, very humbling experience. The most important thing I learned was that I speak for no one but myself. I will never, ever listen to or read another woman's birth story and think to myself "If only she hadn't....". We're all doing the best we can with the information at hand.
post #40 of 260
I haven't had a c-section. I have, however, had birth complications that put me solidly into the "does not trust birth" camp.

The attitude towards c-sections and other interventions that I've seen on MDC makes me deeply uncomfortable, and personally I feel it rises to the level of faith you'd have in a religion. There are so many statements that aren't remotely evidence based, and which basically come down to "birth: YOU DID IT WRONG." Intuition isn't scientific. Trusting birth doesn't keep your placenta from abrupting, and not trusting birth won't somehow cause you to encounter a rare and true complication.

The statement that bugs me the most based on my own history is that "your baby won't grow a baby too big to give birth to." Guess what? My body totally did. My body absolutely grew a baby who was too big for me to give birth to safely, and she was born with a 1 minute Apgar of 0 due to nuchal cord x2 that could not be dealt with until we had resolved her 3 minute shoulder dystocia. She's fine now, but she was born dead and her "big, healthy placenta" was so oversized that I lost 1250cc from the placental separation ALONE. Do not tell me that's normal and healthy because it's "natural." Bigger isn't always better when it involves your child having a full resuscitation on your kitchen floor, and when you couldn't even walk for days after birth because the blood loss was so severe.

I'm shortly approaching my 5th birth. The last two have been complicated home births with very respectful, very skilled midwives. And the problems really were entirely linked to the fact that I had macrosomic infants who were 10 and 11 lbs at birth. A 10 lb infant might not have been too big for some women in some situations, but it is too big for me and I'd really appreciate if people would stop invalidating my experiences because they don't jive with the idea that birth is a perfectly working system as long as people don't mess with it.

In various venues, I've had it suggested that I was really gestational diabetic and didn't know it (nope.. I even pass the stupid glucose challenge with great results.) I've had it suggested that my shoulder dystocias were somehow my midwife's fault and that she must have made me pushing in the "wrong" position in spite of the fact that my choices were always mine and I always picked what position to give birth in. The latest thing I've heard was that your body won't grow a baby too large for you to safely give birth to IF you aren't having too much growth hormone tainted dairy or meat. Dude... seriously!??! Oh, and BTW for me ditching the very often touted Brewer Diet has resulted in my current baby having an estimated fetal weight that is currently about 4 lbs smaller than my last baby weighed at birth.

There is no inherent morality to a birth complication, and no inherent morality to interventions in the birth process. There is most certainly a moral element to deception, coercion, and a cavalier attitude towards a woman's reproductive life and fertility, and a system that functions that way needs to be fought against. Everyone should be able to agree that avoidable interventions and complications are a good thing to, say, AVOID. But they're not always avoidable, and the last thing women need is another group of people telling them that they are incompetent and incapable as mothers unless they follow the script perfectly.
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