or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › What to do about sister (and me)?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What to do about sister (and me)? - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 

Okay, let me flat-out say that even before I asked this question I had ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of saying "zomg you have to do it this way or your life will be ruined!!!!!11!"  If she chooses a planned c-section that'd be just super, as long as she's choosing it and not someone forcing it on her.  Likewise, if she goes all-natural with a doula and tells everyone to kiss off, more power to her.  I wanted to know if there was a way to bring about more choices for her without putting any pressure on her, to which all of you are saying "no".  Okey-dokey, I'll keep my trap shut.

post #22 of 32

I think most of us were responding to this line in your OP:

 

Quote:
I really want to get her reading about normalizing birth and how a lot of hospital procedures are unnecessary and even harmful

 

The way to bring about more choices without also putting pressure on her is to wait for her to ask before you give her this information.

post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeMommy View Post


Okay, let me flat-out say that even before I asked this question I had ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of saying "zomg you have to do it this way or your life will be ruined!!!!!11!"  If she chooses a planned c-section that'd be just super, as long as she's choosing it and not someone forcing it on her.  Likewise, if she goes all-natural with a doula and tells everyone to kiss off, more power to her.  I wanted to know if there was a way to bring about more choices for her without putting any pressure on her, to which all of you are saying "no".  Okey-dokey, I'll keep my trap shut.




 



I don't think you have to keep you trap shut. I think to many of us have met people who think their way is the only way, so we are a bit sensitive to that, particularly from family! You are right to be a bit wary, and tread lightly. But you don't have to be totally mum on the subject. If you were my family, that in itself would be uncomfortable!

I think one way to do this is by asking. So you might say "what are your options for labor and delivery? Does your OB have privileges at several hospitals? Which hospital are you thinking of going to? Have you considered a doula and/or childbirth classes? What can I do to help you during the pregnancy? Are you going to be on bed rest? Can I cook you some meals/clean your house/do your laundry? Why does your doc think a planned c-section might be better than induction?". The kicker here is you have to be willing to support whatever she decided. If she hasn't considered them, it might make her think about things. Obviously don't ask them all at once, since nobody likes to be grilled.

The other tactic i've used in the past is the simple statement "if you have any questions about X, feel free to ask. I'd be happy to discuss it with you or recommend some books.". Fill in the X with whatever you have experience with that is relevant to the situation. So nutrition during pregnancy, pain management during labor, breastfeeding, etc. That way the door is open, but no pressure. Say it once and let it go.

Good luck and I hope your sister makes it full term this time.
post #24 of 32

She may be fully aware of all the options & perhaps has put more effort into her decision-making than you realize. Also, she may already know where you stand on the issue of c-sections. However, you know her better than anyone on these boards.

 

There are gentle, non-invasive ways to both express your support for her and offer to provide more information. Just tread lightly, and only offer info if she requests it. Know what I mean? Something like, "you are my sister, and I love and support you in any decision you make. Have you and your provider discussed other birthing options besides C-section?", and feel her out. Gauge her response. Ask open-ended questions just to give her freedom to talk about issues, and let her direct the conversation. Focus on feelings, like "how are you feeling about" or "I felt this way during my pregnancy", etc... Don't give advice. If she clams up, that's your cue to stop probing & just focus on pure listening and support. It is a delicate conversation.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeMommy View Post

Okay, let me flat-out say that even before I asked this question I had ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of saying "zomg you have to do it this way or your life will be ruined!!!!!11!"  If she chooses a planned c-section that'd be just super, as long as she's choosing it and not someone forcing it on her.  Likewise, if she goes all-natural with a doula and tells everyone to kiss off, more power to her.  I wanted to know if there was a way to bring about more choices for her without putting any pressure on her, to which all of you are saying "no".  Okey-dokey, I'll keep my trap shut.

post #25 of 32

I had three first trimester losses (one at 7-8 weeks, and two at 12 weeks) between ds1 and dd1, as well as years of secondary infertility. I can't speak for your sister, but I've pretty much wanted to punch people - all people - in the face when they've volunteered their opinions about why I had the losses, what I should be doing, or anything to do with any of my decision making around birth.

 

I'll be honest. Reproduction broke me. I highly doubt I'm ever going to put the pieces of myself back together. And, every single person - family, medpro, or otherwise - who felt the need to tell me the way they thought it was, instead of listening to me and accepting that I was where I was, contributed to that. If your sister isn't asking, she doesn't want to hear it.

post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeMommy View Post

Okay, let me flat-out say that even before I asked this question I had ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of saying "zomg you have to do it this way or your life will be ruined!!!!!11!"  If she chooses a planned c-section that'd be just super, as long as she's choosing it and not someone forcing it on her.  Likewise, if she goes all-natural with a doula and tells everyone to kiss off, more power to her.  I wanted to know if there was a way to bring about more choices for her without putting any pressure on her, to which all of you are saying "no".  Okey-dokey, I'll keep my trap shut.


CallMeMommy, it sounds like you want to be supportive of your sister and HER choices. If it were me, I wouldn't necessarily bring up any particular perspective, but I would probably just say:

 

"I really want you to know that I'm here for you. When I was pregnant and afterwards, I think I lot of people wanted to support me, but the things they said and did really didn't feel supportive. And sometimes, even though I'm sure they were well-intentioned, I just wanted to say "Uh, yeah, you have no idea how much reseach I've done, you don't get what I've been through, and you  just don't understand ME at all." I really don't want to be one of those people! So, is there anything I can do or not do to support you during this pregnancy or during or after the birth? And if I do something that that's not helpful, will you please let me know?"

post #27 of 32


Wow, great advice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHappyMommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeMommy View Post

Okay, let me flat-out say that even before I asked this question I had ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of saying "zomg you have to do it this way or your life will be ruined!!!!!11!"  If she chooses a planned c-section that'd be just super, as long as she's choosing it and not someone forcing it on her.  Likewise, if she goes all-natural with a doula and tells everyone to kiss off, more power to her.  I wanted to know if there was a way to bring about more choices for her without putting any pressure on her, to which all of you are saying "no".  Okey-dokey, I'll keep my trap shut.


CallMeMommy, it sounds like you want to be supportive of your sister and HER choices. If it were me, I wouldn't necessarily bring up any particular perspective, but I would probably just say:

 

"I really want you to know that I'm here for you. When I was pregnant and afterwards, I think I lot of people wanted to support me, but the things they said and did really didn't feel supportive. And sometimes, even though I'm sure they were well-intentioned, I just wanted to say "Uh, yeah, you have no idea how much reseach I've done, you don't get what I've been through, and you  just don't understand ME at all." I really don't want to be one of those people! So, is there anything I can do or not do to support you during this pregnancy or during or after the birth? And if I do something that that's not helpful, will you please let me know?"

post #28 of 32

Talk about if if she asks, otherwise, let her be. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if she could care less about the process as long as she had a living baby in arms at the end. If so, I don't blame her at all.

post #29 of 32

I think the best way to go about it is to discuss your own experiences and see how she reacts.

 

For example, i am one of 4 birthing sisters (2 left that don't have kids  yet) and i was the first to homebirth of us 4. My oldest sister thought i was nuts and i told her to shove it. But we have that kind of relationship and she knew i knew what was best for my body and my babies. My 2nd sister had the hardest time with my decision about homebirths, she always had to say that she wanted the epidural to birth and how much better my births would be if i had an epidural (my 1st of 4 was an epidural and it sucked). Finally i acknowledged to her that her births and babies were beautiful and just what she wanted, that was what brought us to the realm of her being able to accept my homebirths and with the birth of my last ds she called me with in 5 minutes of him being born and said 'you are amazing and you have such a gigantic heart and are full of woman power' without ever having to diminish my birth choices or talk up her birth choices.

 

So ultimately, i say, share your experiences but listen to what she says. Sometimes there are others who are perfectly content with a birth experience 100% different than what we would choose ant that is ok. Hear what she says, share what you feel you have to share and if she chooses what is right for herself than that is all that matters!

post #30 of 32


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post Reproduction broke me. I highly doubt I'm ever going to put the pieces of myself back together. And, every single person - family, medpro, or otherwise - who felt the need to tell me the way they thought it was, instead of listening to me and accepting that I was where I was, contributed to that. If your sister isn't asking, she doesn't want to hear it.

 

This is so so true. She is probably holding her breath thru this whole pregnancy & all she wants is for everyone around her to shut up about their knowledge and birth experiences. Whatever anyone else knows or has experienced, it isn't her experience. It just isn't. Her experience thus far is dead babies. She might desperately want to hear what you have to say but frankly just can't because her heart just wants a warm baby in arms. It really has nothing to do with you, so please please don't take it personally if right now she can't hear you as you want to be heard when talking about natural birth, etc.

 

When I was pregnant after a stillbirth and miscarriage, sometimes the kindest thing I could do when people yammered on about natural birth was distance myself/ignore them. It hurt too much, took too much energy, and broke my heart to engage in that discussion when I was pregnant post-loss. I did not want to hear about other people's experience at all because my experience held absolutely no comparison and was dark and unspeakable to the average person. I knew those people meant no harm but I just could not take part in that discussion then.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHappyMommy View Post

"I really want you to know that I'm here for you. When I was pregnant and afterwards, I think I lot of people wanted to support me, but the things they said and did really didn't feel supportive. And sometimes, even though I'm sure they were well-intentioned, I just wanted to say "Uh, yeah, you have no idea how much reseach I've done, you don't get what I've been through, and you  just don't understand ME at all." I really don't want to be one of those people! So, is there anything I can do or not do to support you during this pregnancy or during or after the birth? And if I do something that that's not helpful, will you please let me know?"


 

This is great advice.

post #31 of 32

I think most posters above are basically right, but if I was going to recommend a book to someone that might get them thinking about birth but which is not overtly like beating them over the head with The Thinking Woman's Guide, it would be Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf.  This is the first book that I personally read that led me down the road to favoring natural childbirth and raising my awareness of the cesarean epidemic.  It is a general interest book about the road to becoming a mother and has discussions of lots of issues, problems with maternity care being one of them.  I would feel pretty comfortable recommending it to "mainstream" friends having their first baby.  I've never seen this book mentioned on this board but it definitely was the catalyst for me!

post #32 of 32

In the vein of msmiranda's post, she might find Birthing from Within helpful.  But sensitivity to her needs is utmost before recommending reading.  When I read Birthing from Within, I didn't feel it was focused on one type of birth, stressed natural birth or anything like that, but was more about working through your birth fears and learning about yourself and how to make decisions to relieve birth fear.  This might be very useful for her.  Or it could just stress her out more, so I would wait for some cue from her before offering a recommendation.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › What to do about sister (and me)?