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Dispelling the "perfect birth theory" - Page 8

post #141 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by buko View Post

 

I find this interesting because I have never gotten this impression from "natural birth" sources-- or only rarely, or only as shorthand.  Instead, what I get is, "iatrogenic complications are usually/often the cause of such-and-so complication" or "if you do XYZ no-/low-intervention thing, then you will improve your chances of having an uncomplicated birth."  No guarantees.  

 

Guarantees, as a rule, are neither scientific nor ethically supportable.

 

But I feel like I run into these sorts of arguments all the time (speaking generally now), and while I am FAR more intuitive than logical, they confuse and frustrate the logical part of my brain, such as it is.  Like in a business situation, I'll say, "well, studies show that X works 80% of the time, and here is why I think X is the best course of action, blah blah."  And people will respond, "Oh, so if I don't do X, then I'm stupid?" or "I had a friend who did X and it was a disaster for her!  There goes your theory!" And I'm kind of nonplussed.  Just because something usually works (if there's good reason to believe it does), does not mean that it always works, or works for everyone in every circumstance, or whatever.  And it certainly doesn't mean one should place all of his/her hopes on that thing, without considering how s/he will feel and what s/he will do if it doesn't work.  But on the other hand, just because there are no guarantees does not mean, to me, that it's not worthwhile to at least make an attempt to make the choice that carries the best odds.

 

I hope that doesn't sound condescending.  Just "thinking out loud."

 

I'm not suggesting anyone here "failed to take responsibility" in some way by buying into powerful ideas (societally-sanctioned or otherwise).  But I think it's been really, really important to me, personally, to see life as series of risks and rewards and decisions, none of which has a guaranteed outcome. 


I really appreciate this response to my post because it gets me thinking again. I don't take this as condescending. I actually agree with you on pretty much everything. There are no guarantees. The best we can do is improve our odds.

 

I think where I'm coming from is trying to figure out how we support and help women who've had traumatic births. And the message "there are no guarantees, all you can do is improve your odds" is just not helping me move through my trauma. I am a bit stuck in endless second guessing about my experience, especially since I don't know exactly what went wrong with my labor or what would prevent the same disaster were I to try again (not that I'm going to). Did I really do my best and give myself the best odds? Did I really give natural birth every possible chance to succeed? And if I didn't, what does that say about me? Did I deserve what I got? If I really understood that there were no guarantees, then why do I feel so traumatized? And why am I still trying to sort this out more than 3 years later?

 

Which brings me back to something I posted far upstream...the prevailing views of birth trauma. Either I am:

1) Neurotic and need to get over myself.

or

2) I went with the wrong provider/care/method and/or didn't make the right choices and I need to just take responsibility for that and move on.

or

3) Something else, to be determined.

 

What I wish for is a birth conversation context that would not only help women prepare for their best possible birth, but help them move through trauma when it occurs. It seems like the "there are no guarantees, just give yourself the best odds" message would be enough to innoculate women against disappointment and trauma when things don't go well. But that's not what I have experienced.

 

Sorry, I'm not sure I'm explaining myself very well.

 

 

 

post #142 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partaria View Post

Thanks, Youngfrankenstein. :)

 

This thread has inspired me to do something that's been a long time coming. I've decided to finally contact the HB midwives in my area and ask them why they don't include transfer stories on their websites in the "birth stories" section. I didn't do it in a confrontational way at all. But I did ask them why they hadn't posted any of these stories, and pointed out that they are also part of the spectrum of homebirth. I also said that what makes homebirth a safe, viable option is the knowledge and skill of a midwife to know when she needs to reach out for more tools than she has on hand at home. That is also what makes a homebirth midwife worth her salt, and worth hiring.

 

We will see what they say. I don't even know if I really want them to put up these stories, but I want there to be more of a conversation about how transfers and c-sections and interventions do not mean a birth isn't worth crowing about.

Just curious...did you ever get a response?
 

 

post #143 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by buko View Post

But I feel like I run into these sorts of arguments all the time (speaking generally now), and while I am FAR more intuitive than logical, they confuse and frustrate the logical part of my brain, such as it is.  Like in a business situation, I'll say, "well, studies show that X works 80% of the time, and here is why I think X is the best course of action, blah blah."  And people will respond, "Oh, so if I don't do X, then I'm stupid?" or "I had a friend who did X and it was a disaster for her!  There goes your theory!" And I'm kind of nonplussed.  Just because something usually works (if there's good reason to believe it does), does not mean that it always works, or works for everyone in every circumstance, or whatever.  And it certainly doesn't mean one should place all of his/her hopes on that thing, without considering how s/he will feel and what s/he will do if it doesn't work.  But on the other hand, just because there are no guarantees does not mean, to me, that it's not worthwhile to at least make an attempt to make the choice that carries the best odds.


OK, I'm not trying to take over this thread, but I have had a little more time to think & I want to respond to this.

 

I have come to believe that determining "the odds" of how a particular birth will turn out is almost impossibly difficult. When we think about "odds", we usually turn to statistical research that presents those odds in a variety of ways. The stats that are out there tend to focus on maternal & infant mortality. There may be stats that indicate risks for particular interventions (or lack of intervention) or methods of care, but they don't necessarily tell you your likelihood that you'll need that intervention or whether that method of care is right for you. Knowing how a risk factor impacts an entire population isn't the same is knowing how it will impact you.

 

Based on what I've seen on MDC and elsewhere, I believe that most of us form a world view about birth and birth care, and then we select & interpret stats that support that view. Pretty much very stat about birth I've ever seen has been highly contested and debated. Safety of homebirth, safety of epidurals, you name it. Depending on your world view, the research is either helpful and useful information that all pregnant women should use in their decision making, or it's flawed and skewed to scare women away from things in their best interest. The only stat I've ever seen somewhat "universal" agreement on is that the c-section rate in the US is too high (though no one seems to agree on what it "should" be...topic for another thread perhaps).

 

I believe that our expectations about birth and birth care is not really shaped by facts and statistics as much as by stories, experiences, faith, political views, personality, and all of the personal things that make up our world view. And our world view is also what shapes our sense of belonging in community and our feeling of ownership over our own stories.

 

Some births seriously challenge this carefully constructed world view, and that can be incredibly painful and disorienting. It can feel like we're not just losing "a birth" but we're losing our faith, our community, and our right to have authority over our own stories. At least, that is partly what it felt like to me. In my longer term experience, it can also be humbling (in a good way) and freeing.

 

Anyway, I'm not sure I'm arguing with you over anything, buko, but your post made me think about all this so I wanted to share.

post #144 of 178

Quote:

Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post


I really appreciate this response to my post because it gets me thinking again. I don't take this as condescending. I actually agree with you on pretty much everything. There are no guarantees. The best we can do is improve our odds.

 

I think where I'm coming from is trying to figure out how we support and help women who've had traumatic births. And the message "there are no guarantees, all you can do is improve your odds" is just not helping me move through my trauma. I am a bit stuck in endless second guessing about my experience, especially since I don't know exactly what went wrong with my labor or what would prevent the same disaster were I to try again (not that I'm going to). Did I really do my best and give myself the best odds? Did I really give natural birth every possible chance to succeed? And if I didn't, what does that say about me? Did I deserve what I got? If I really understood that there were no guarantees, then why do I feel so traumatized? And why am I still trying to sort this out more than 3 years later?

 

Which brings me back to something I posted far upstream...the prevailing views of birth trauma. Either I am:

1) Neurotic and need to get over myself.

or

2) I went with the wrong provider/care/method and/or didn't make the right choices and I need to just take responsibility for that and move on.

or

3) Something else, to be determined.

 

What I wish for is a birth conversation context that would not only help women prepare for their best possible birth, but help them move through trauma when it occurs. It seems like the "there are no guarantees, just give yourself the best odds" message would be enough to innoculate women against disappointment and trauma when things don't go well. But that's not what I have experienced.

 

Sorry, I'm not sure I'm explaining myself very well.

 


I get your point, but I am personally clueless as to the answer. I guess we all are... especially because there is so much difference between individuals and births.

 

...but, we discussed for a long time in this thread that it is wrong for natural birth community to send the message "do a, b, and c and you will have perfect birth... oh you had bad outcome? obviously you didn't do l,m,n,o,p right... and maybe not enough x,y,z"

Now it sounds like you are saying that even if the general rhetoric were more (or is), "do a, b, c and you can improve your chances but anything can happen in birth/life" it is still not good enough.

 

I don't think there is a way to "innoculate" humans against diasppointments. I have not had a traumatic birth, but I have had lots of other crap happen to me in life, some of which I am not over yet either. Maybe it is more that we should be discovering ways to deal with it after instead of trying to "innoculate" before. Birth trauma has long been ignored or downplayed (ie neurotic, or you get what you deserve because of your choices, or the whole spoiled 1st world woman thing). I think even if you go into birth with the best possible mindset/preparation/etc there is always going to be possibility for disappointment, and, there is the possibility for some very, very bad outcomes, I think it would be a bigger problem if one weren't upset about some things.

 

ETA: oops, you posted last reply while I was working on this... didn't read it before typing this...

post #145 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

Quote:


I get your point, but I am personally clueless as to the answer. I guess we all are... especially because there is so much difference between individuals and births.

 

...but, we discussed for a long time in this thread that it is wrong for natural birth community to send the message "do a, b, and c and you will have perfect birth... oh you had bad outcome? obviously you didn't do l,m,n,o,p right... and maybe not enough x,y,z"

Now it sounds like you are saying that even if the general rhetoric were more (or is), "do a, b, c and you can improve your chances but anything can happen in birth/life" it is still not good enough.

 

I don't think there is a way to "innoculate" humans against diasppointments. I have not had a traumatic birth, but I have had lots of other crap happen to me in life, some of which I am not over yet either. Maybe it is more that we should be discovering ways to deal with it after instead of trying to "innoculate" before. Birth trauma has long been ignored or downplayed (ie neurotic or the whole spoiled 1st world woman thing). I think even if you go into birth with the best possible mindset/preparation/etc there is always going to be possibility for disappointment, and, there is the possibility for some very, very bad outcomes, I think it would be a bigger problem if one weren't upset about some things.

 

ETA: oops, you posted last reply while I was working on this... didn't read it before typing this


Ha, ha, what are we both doing sitting at our computers on a Saturday night? smile.gif

 

I think you are really onto something here. Maybe its more about figuring out how to not ignore & downplay the hard stories, how to make space for them. I don't know. Sometimes the more I think about this, the more I get confused. But it's more helpful to think about it out here on MDC than in the echo chamber of my own mind.

 

post #146 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

Ha, ha, what are we both doing sitting at our computers on a Saturday night? smile.gif

 

haha, smile.gif yeah, big saturday night!

 

I think this is really important, what you said in last response, (not sure for everyone, but sounds like for you personally, and I can totally see it applying to most people, when I think about big disappointments in my life that have really affected me, I would say yes, they changed/destroyed my worldview at the time, which is really traumatic on many levels).

 

Quote:
Some births seriously challenge this carefully constructed world view, and that can be incredibly painful and disorienting. It can feel like we're not just losing "a birth" but we're losing our faith, our community, and our right to have authority over our own stories. At least, that is partly what it felt like to me. In my longer term experience, it can also be humbling (in a good way) and freeing.

 

It makes it even harder in some ways, I think, for others to interact with someone going through this, since it may not just be the one, straight and clear issue that the person is upset about, it goes into levels others have no way to even know about. Thinking about some of my own issues, I would get mad and frustrated at people trying to comfort me when they just didn't *get* it, they would address like 1 thing when I was upset about like 80. Personally, I have found some freedom because of some "world view" destruction, but it took a really long time, and well, I'm still confused about that "freedom" too.

 

The only thing I know for sure, is that people who have had some major disappointment or trauma, one thing that certainly does not help is dismissing them, blaming them, or downplaying their feelings/experiences.

 

 

 

post #147 of 178

This is a really interesting thread - I've read the whole thing in a few dif't sittings and it's brought out a whole range of emotions/thoughts in me personally.  Maybe I can contribute something to the conversation.  First off - I have been on MDC for a few years, and having basically become a mother abroad (I live in China) - it's been a tremendous resource for me.  Also, since I do tend to be on the crunchier-ish side, it's a great support when many people in real life don't really support/relate to some of my parenting choices (no spanking, for example - and I have a really spirited little boy).  It's been invaluable and confidence building as well as just a nice place where I find some other moms to chat with.  I may not be on the boards enough or post enough to feel judged about much of anything - so overall, for me, MDC has been a godsend.  

 

A caveat: I have had two births thus far - both homebirths, one midwife-assisted, and one unassisted.  Both were empowering experiences for me - very challenging, very difficult (31 hour first labor - very slow slow dilation - it was exhausting - 2 sleepless nights!) - but empowering and beautiful.  Especially because of all the work/study that went into preparing for my second, unassisted birth, I consider myself fairly well-versed in the natural childbirth literature.  I have never really felt that they speak in outright guarantees about childbirth outcomes - as in, "If you do x,y, and z, then you are guaranteed a perfect natural childbirth."  And for what it's worth - I don't really think any birth is 'perfect' - birth is hard, demanding, exhausting, and fraught with challenges - challenges that I believe, whatever form they take, can transform us into better and stronger people.  Life is hard, parenthood is even harder :).  Although I have had two natural births, I got mastitis with my first two weeks post partum.  After my second child's natural, uncomplicated birth, I got Bell's Palsy (for the second time in 3 months - which is statistically really rare, lucky lucky me) that lasted for a month (it's a half-facial paralysis - totally not fun).  Pregnancy and birth are physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding and not without risks.  I think we all do the best we can to prepare and to cope with whatever happens.  I may not have torn with either of my births, but I had to nurse through 3 days of 104 degree fevers, and I had to live with paralysis for a month while caring for a toddler and a newborn.  Nobody gets off scott free; as my friend said once, "The pregnancy fairies visit everyone, one way or another."  

 

That said, I feel very blessed in my birthing experiences - I'm glad that I was able to birth naturally, and that was my goal from the start.  I never thought of it as a 'right' or a 'guarantee' - but I did try to do everything in my power to push the odds in my favor.   And so, when people in my life cluck at my birth choices and just chalk it all up to "luck" - I do, I admit, become rather indignant.  I worked hard, I studied hard, I met and spoke with every midwifery practice in my area and visited every hospital with a long list of questions, interviewed references, read 14 childbirth books and spoke to my doctors - that led me to choose a homebirth for my first birth - which I believe was a smart, informed choice for me. It wasn't all luck.  Same with my second birth - I took all the knowledge from my first birth and built on it with more study, more preparation, and very careful prenatal care.  Again, it wasn't all luck.  

 

So when people say to me, "Gosh you were just lucky." I feel deflated and completely misunderstood.  I worked so very hard, and you chalk it up to luck?  Sure, in part, YES, it was luck - and I mean this next statement in a completely un-self-righteous way - but I did a heck of a lot of homework and other grunt work to hedge my bets for a natural childbirth - don't you dare chalk that up to simple coincidence and dismiss me or my decision-making process so easily.  A lot of people who say this are women who've had a birth not go exactly as they had planned, and in conversation with them - I never even try to play the role of armchair quarterback (unless the individual opens the door to that) because I know that in my position I could easily be misunderstood as being judgmental and I have no such intentions - but sometimes I end up feeling judged.  And I try to just swallow that and let it go, because I really don't feel like women need to feel so awful about a c-section, an epidural, or whatever.  I feel like I wish more women knew they could have greater control over their births if they so wished or if they had the confidence to strike out against the grain, but I also really believe, that bottom line, women should be supported in their opinions and in their circumstances - regardless of the type of birth they had.  

 

And yes, some women do all that homework/preparation and it doesn't go their way - I really do get that - and realize in all humility that my birth outcomes are a combination of things (blessing, hard work, luck, whatever you want to call it).  

 

I don't think though, that negates the goodness of the natural childbirth movement, nor does it excuse the mainstream childbirth system as it stands from the need to reform in many areas.  

 

 

post #148 of 178

How about we try a few other scenarios, starting from here:
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lizbiz View Post

 

And so, when people in my life cluck at my birth choices and just chalk it all up to "luck" - I do, I admit, become rather indignant.  I worked hard, I studied hard, I met and spoke with every midwifery practice in my area and visited every hospital with a long list of questions, interviewed references, read 14 childbirth books and spoke to my doctors 

 

AND THEN got pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, emergency surgery; 

 

OR got placenta previa, C-section

 

OR 50 hour birth, fetal distress, C-section

 

OR... any other scenario. Use your knowledge from books here.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lizbiz View Post

 

So when people say to me, "Gosh you were just lucky." I feel deflated and completely misunderstood.  I worked so very hard, and you chalk it up to luck?  Sure, in part, YES, it was luck - and I mean this next statement in a completely un-self-righteous way - but I did a heck of a lot of homework and other grunt work to hedge my bets for a natural childbirth - don't you dare chalk that up to simple coincidence and dismiss me or my decision-making process so easily.

 

Gosh, like nobody else does homework or reads anything. It's not rocket surgery, you know.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lizbiz View Post

 

And yes, some women do all that homework/preparation and it doesn't go their way - I really do get that

 

No, not really. Sorry you just don't. The privilege of only nice experiences shows through.

 

I think your post is a perfect illustration for what is discussed in this thread.

 

It's not all about studying, talking to midwives, and reading 14 books.

post #149 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

How about we try a few other scenarios, starting from here:
 

 

AND THEN got pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, emergency surgery; 

 

OR got placenta previa, C-section

 

OR 50 hour birth, fetal distress, C-section

 

OR... any other scenario. Use your knowledge from books here.

 

 

 

Gosh, like nobody else does homework or reads anything. It's not rocket surgery, you know.

 

 

 

No, not really. Sorry you just don't. The privilege of only nice experiences shows through.

 

I think your post is a perfect illustration for what is discussed in this thread.

 

It's not all about studying, talking to midwives, and reading 14 books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

The only thing I know for sure, is that people who have had some major disappointment or trauma, one thing that certainly does not help is dismissing them, blaming them, or downplaying their feelings/experiences.

 

 

I think Lizbiz was trying to say she doesn't want her "good" experience dismissed or downplayed either.

post #150 of 178

I get that. Now let's imagine, a few women read the same books, talked to the same midwives, rented the same kind of birthing pool, etc. And for some, things still went wrong. For those who had a great outcome, would it be ok to say "It's not luck, I did everything right, I did a lot of homework". - "Really? Well so did I!" It takes a lot of nerve to be that condescending to others.

 

By golly, I'm going to read 28 books, and talk to 14 midwives, and if things do go well, oh I'm going to lord that over everyone else! (Ok, after I figure out if it's the number of books or the hours of homework that is crucial for success.)

post #151 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

How about we try a few other scenarios, starting from here:
 

 

AND THEN got pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, emergency surgery; 

 

OR got placenta previa, C-section

 

OR 50 hour birth, fetal distress, C-section

 

OR... any other scenario. Use your knowledge from books here.

 

 

 

Gosh, like nobody else does homework or reads anything. It's not rocket surgery, you know.

 

 

 

No, not really. Sorry you just don't. The privilege of only nice experiences shows through.

 

I think your post is a perfect illustration for what is discussed in this thread.

 

It's not all about studying, talking to midwives, and reading 14 books.

Hi Double Double, 

 

I know - these things can and do happen - even with the best of preparations.  I thought I had acknowledged that in my post - but it didn't come through clearly enough.  I apologize for that.  I was truly trying to share my own honest thoughts, emotions, and experiences.  And I'm open to being teased about how overboard I went reading up when I first got pregnant (it was a bit intense) - but not made fun of seriously - please back off.  I don't think the sarcasm is really that helpful.

 

I also know that lots of others do their homework and read things too.  But you know what?  A good number of women (meaning a LOT) that I know in real life did not really do as much preparation as I did.  They trusted their doctors or mainstream opinion too much (for good reason - our doctors should be trustworthy and are often trustworthy - but they are also human) and then had a few regrets in hindsight.  We've all been in situations like this, where we wished we had known better to look into things more deeply ourselves before leaping in, and then we learn great lessons from this - I know I have had this experience in lots of other areas of my life so I can relate - however thus far I haven't had it in my birth experiences, but I may (I'm not done having kids yet) one day.  I've had lots of opportunities to be humbled in this life, luckily - because being full of pride generally makes one a complete pain in the a$$ :), and I truly don't chalk up my birth experiences to my own hard work alone.  

 

I was just trying to say that I don't want it all discounted as luck either.  Or just privilege. And yes, I feel privileged and blessed and I recognize and am grateful for that.    

 

Please understand that what I am NOT saying is that every woman who had an unplanned c-section or some kind of intervention that they weren't planning on just wasn't prepared enough and should have done exactly what I did - that's so so so so so not what I am saying, and I think that's a terribly unhelpful and wrongheaded way to think.  I've never brought that mindset to any conversation I've ever had about birth, ever.  Birth is far too complicated for such a radical over-simplification.   

 

OK - I'm signing off on this thread - truly, I wanted to share on a thread that seemed as though we were having an intelligent, courteous conversation and I thought I could add a perspective.  I will say that in my real life, no one has ever talked to me in such sarcastic tones about my birth experience.  

 

~Lizbiz

 

 

 

 

 

post #152 of 178

I was not talking about your birth experience. I was sarcastic about the assumptions that a lot of prep work translates into perfection if done right. You just seem to be among many others who hold that view as well, and you articulated it here, loud and proud.

post #153 of 178

Quote:

Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

I was not talking about your birth experience. I was sarcastic about the assumptions that a lot of prep work translates into perfection if done right. You just seem to be among many others who hold that view as well, and you articulated it here, loud and proud.


I think we are just going around in circles here. I didn't see Lizbiz say that her preparations ensured 100% her outcome, I think she admitted there were no gaurantees, but felt that her preparation helped her birth. Is the message we want to send, nothing you do matters? don't even bother trying? I thought we had moved past the rhetoric of perfect preparation = perfect birth in this discussion. 

 

I have never told anyone this, other than my husband and gyno, but I think it is relevant here. I had a uc. I prepared a lot. I had a cervical lip, and had to push it over my baby's head. I was only able to do this because I read enough to recognize the problem and had the resources to tell me what to do. I am not proud of this. I regret ucing on some levels because of this - it was difficult and sucked, and I know if I had a mw, it would have been a lot easier on me, (long story why I didn't). Had I not done that, I don't think the lip would have resolved on its own, and I doubt I could have gone another hour or so. I would have transferred for a c/s, that is the only realistic option the hospital would have offered me where I live.

Maybe if I had done MORE preparation, or knew MORE about fetal positioning, I could have resolved or prevented the problem some other way. But I didn't. 

 

In preparing for a uc, I knew there were certain things I could NEVER handle and I knew there are, sometimes, no way to prevent these things. Placenta previa, pre-eclampsia, cord prolapse, etc. etc. I knew in the face of those issues, I would be in for a different birth, I didn't believe myself immune to complications either.

 

So my preparation did get me the outcome I wanted? - yes, to some extent. Could my preparation get me the outcome I wanted in all possible circumstances - NO.

 

We are all at risk, everyday, for all sorts of bad crap to happen to us. Are we lucky or privileged any given day we don't get into a car accident or get assaulted? Can you do things to try to minimize your chances of car accident or your house broken into? I think we need to move past this and get more onto what CI Mama was saying about how to handle disappointments/trauma after... because there is no way to ever fully prevent. 

 


Edited by slmommy - 3/25/12 at 10:00am
post #154 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

Quote:


I think we are just going around in circles here. I didn't see Lizbiz say that her preparations ensured 100% her outcome, I think she admitted there were no gaurantees, but felt that her preparation helped her birth. Is the message we want to send, nothing you do matters? don't even bother trying? I thought we had moved past the rhetoric of perfect preparation = perfect birth in this discussion.



For real! Because when you talk to someone the way you just did, DoubleDouble, that's exactly what you are doing. You are saying that, since sometimes things don't work out, it's all pointless. We might as well just show up for every OB appointment, with any old OB our finger lands on in the phone book, and do everything he or she says, without bothering to read a thing in advance, because hey, it's all just a matter of luck anyway. That's ridiculous. It has been repeatedly stated by LizBiz and others that they understand that luck played a big part in it, but to say that it played the ONLY part is just as bad and hyperbolic as it is when people say that luck didn't play ANY part at all.

 

Sure, sometimes a woman gets no prenatal care from a professional or herself, doesn't take care of herself, shows up at the hospital in transition and pushes a healthy baby out within 30 minutes with no interventions, and yeah, that's luck. That happens to very few of us. If a woman does everything she can to have a safe birth, and goes into it knowing that she still might need interventions she didn't necessarily want in order to achieve that, then whatever she did is helpful, EVEN IF SHE ENDS UP WITH [INSERT UNWANTED INTERVENTION OR BAD OUTCOME HERE], because she will have the knowledge that she did what she could, and that at least things went as well as could be expected under the circumstances. We can't prevent all complications. I have GD this time and it's not my fault. I couldn't have prevented it, no matter what I did or what anyone else says about how I could. However, knowing how to take care of myself, understanding what truly normal glucose levels are for pregnant women so that I can achieve them, those things matter. The OBs I see give target levels that are 20 points higher than what's actually normal. If I followed their advice, I wouldn't be achieving normal blood sugar levels. I might still have a healthy baby, but then that would be luck. Reading, doing what I can to make sure I really know what's best, that is NOT luck, whether everything works out perfectly or we wind up with interventions. I can do things to prevent complications like macrosomia, which might necessitate a c-section, or hypoglycemia in the baby. I can't prevent the GD, but I can do things to reduce its impact. I can only do that, though, if I know what I need to do.

post #155 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
I have GD this time and it's not my fault. I couldn't have prevented it, no matter what I did or what anyone else says about how I could. However, knowing how to take care of myself, understanding what truly normal glucose levels are for pregnant women so that I can achieve them, those things matter. The OBs I see give target levels that are 20 points higher than what's actually normal. If I followed their advice, I wouldn't be achieving normal blood sugar levels. I might still have a healthy baby, but then that would be luck. Reading, doing what I can to make sure I really know what's best, that is NOT luck, whether everything works out perfectly or we wind up with interventions. I can do things to prevent complications like macrosomia, which might necessitate a c-section, or hypoglycemia in the baby. I can't prevent the GD, but I can do things to reduce its impact. I can only do that, though, if I know what I need to do.

 

But that's just normal behavior (in my book). A smart thing to do. I don't see anything too special about that. Everyone should prepare the best they can, and react to new developments in an educated way. What's so special about that? That's like... I don't know... learning about traffic rules before starting to drive. Normal and logical thing to do, but not worthy of an extra achievement award.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

 

Is the message we want to send, nothing you do matters? don't even bother trying?

 

Where did I said that? I'm not talking about being prepared, I'm talking about what happens afterwards.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
For real! Because when you talk to someone the way you just did, DoubleDouble, that's exactly what you are doing. You are saying that, since sometimes things don't work out, it's all pointless.

 

Ok, officially: everyone should be prepared. Read books, search forums, go to PubMed, explore other sources of info, learn self-hypnosis, meditate, whatever. It's all good. Books, research, midwives, et cetera, ad nauseum.

 

And for some people, all that would still be pointless. And then, the things-went-well crowd should not treat them as lepers.

 

 

What is the message I want to send? It's simple. And it's not about being prepared, it's about handling the aftermath, graciously. After all is said and done, after the birth happens, the perfect birth crowd shouldn't act like those women who didn't have the perfect birth are failures. They shouldn't judge and make smug remarks. I know it might be too much to ask, looking at some threads here on MDC and on other sites. But one can dream, right?

 

See this post (and the beginning of this thread, for a refresher) - for examples of how other women feel judged, here on MDC and in real life.

 

post #156 of 178

I've been following along this thread from the beginning & finding the conversation quite interesting. It's really had me thinking about my own births. With both I did a lot of reading, a lot of research, really did the best I could to find a doctor I liked/trusted but the outcomes were still not "perfect".

 

With ds I was induced with cervical gel & ended up with a 3rd degree tear due to a forceps delivery. Recovery was awful, awful. But I felt fine with his birth.

 

With dd I did even more reading & prep & had my Mom do more reading too. I had 3 weeks of prodromal labour, was induced with cervical strip which didn't really help, doctor broke my water, one dose of narcotics, iv antibiotics for gbs+, a little bit of pitocin & freezing around my vagina 'cause the doctor was worried he might have to cut due to all the scarring from ds (he didn't & I had a 2nd degree tear). Recovery was awesome.

 

With dd's birth some things came up about ds' birth, specifically that the cervical gel induction was likely the reason I had such a bizarre labour (hard, hard contractions with no rhythm). But even then I was able to deal with the negative feelings that arose fairly quickly 'cause I felt like we had made good decisions at the time.

 

But despite what many would call "bad" births full of interventions I felt & still feel really good about them. Yes, I prepared for a "perfect" birth. I went in ready to fight for my rights. I really, really wanted a natural birth but it didn't really happen.

 

The reason I don't feel traumatized by the disappointment of not realizing the births I dreamed of is that I felt in control. I asked lots & lots of questions (the poor nurse who was instructed to give me pit probably never had a labouring woman ask her more questions!), I spoke clearly & directly to my care providers & made sure we were on the same page. I don't feel disappointed 'cause I feel like I was respected & we worked to make the best decisions for the situations we were presented with.

 

It might not work for everyone but it is working for me.

post #157 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

 

But that's just normal behavior (in my book). A smart thing to do. I don't see anything too special about that. Everyone should prepare the best they can, and react to new developments in an educated way. What's so special about that? That's like... I don't know... learning about traffic rules before starting to drive. Normal and logical thing to do, but not worthy of an extra achievement award.

 

 

Where did I said that? I'm not talking about being prepared, I'm talking about what happens afterwards.

 

 

 

Ok, officially: everyone should be prepared. Read books, search forums, go to PubMed, explore other sources of info, learn self-hypnosis, meditate, whatever. It's all good. Books, research, midwives, et cetera, ad nauseum.

 

And for some people, all that would still be pointless. And then, the things-went-well crowd should not treat them as lepers.

 

 

What is the message I want to send? It's simple. And it's not about being prepared, it's about handling the aftermath, graciously. After all is said and done, after the birth happens, the perfect birth crowd shouldn't act like those women who didn't have the perfect birth are failures. They shouldn't judge and make smug remarks. I know it might be too much to ask, looking at some threads here on MDC and on other sites. But one can dream, right?

 

See this post (and the beginning of this thread, for a refresher) - for examples of how other women feel judged, here on MDC and in real life.

 

But you're doing exactly what  you don't want the rest of us to do.  I thought we were making a lot of progress in this thread.  I thought many of us were getting more complete understanding of this whole topic.  You've barely been a member for long as far as I can tell so I have no idea if you have seen the shit storm that has been waded through even in the short time I've been here.  To have this kind of dialogue here is monumental and I am finding it very educational.

 

I feel venom in your responses.  You are poking at threads just to be contrary.  We all can see it.  I never feel like you're posts leave room to let a little of the other side sink in.  It's your loss and I would hate to see the judging and cat-fighting begin again.  I'm not going to be a part of that.
 

 

post #158 of 178

Quote:

Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post
After all is said and done, after the birth happens, the perfect birth crowd shouldn't act like those women who didn't have the perfect birth are failures. They shouldn't judge and make smug remarks.

 

Lizbiz wasn't speaking about anyone else's birth but her own. You made the jump that her stating that she feels preparation helped her birth outcomes = she is judging and being smug to other "failures", even though she said the opposite. Let's remember the OP of this thread was judging women for feeling like failures or being upset, too. 

 

I thought we were getting somewhere. People complain about this so much on mdc that maybe we should let the thread move forward to get somewhere, to some more understanding, more perspective. Going backward and just complaining about the "perfect birthers" judging the "birth failures" isn't productive, and I honestly thought we were beyond that in this thread.

 


 

 

post #159 of 178

 

Quote:
But that's just normal behavior (in my book). A smart thing to do. I don't see anything too special about that. Everyone should prepare the best they can, and react to new developments in an educated way. What's so special about that? That's like... I don't know... learning about traffic rules before starting to drive. Normal and logical thing to do, but not worthy of an extra achievement award.

 

Where did I ask for an achievement award? Oh, that's right: NOWHERE. You are, quite frankly, just trying to be antagonistic and rude. The point wasn't that someone deserved a special award for educating herself. The point was that education CAN affect outcomes. I'm sorry that you are so upset by whatever has upset you, but understand that the fact that you are unable to see past your hurt feelings and understand what people are actually saying vs. what you are accusing them of saying isn't going to make you feel any better. And in the end, you are engaging in the same tactics you claim to be so upset about: discounting other people's feelings and using hyperbole to support your position.

 

Furthermore, if you believe that it's "normal" for a woman to hold herself to a higher standard of blood glucose levels than what the OB suggests...I'm just going to laugh. I recently discussed GDM on facebook with several of my friends who also had it - 4 of them. Guess how many of them had bothered to find out what normal blood glucose levels were during pregnancy. None. Zero. Because people DO rely on their doctors to tell them what they need to know. And my friends aren't idiots. They're just normal, mainstream women with college degrees who believe that OBs are always armed with the latest information. What you believe is "normal" behavior isn't the same thing as what actual "normal" behavior is. I assume you're living in some kind of crunchy bubble somewhere, where women rely on themselves more than their OBs, when it comes time to gather information. The rest of the world isn't like that. Doesn't mean I need an award, want an award or feel deserving of an award. It does mean that, yes, I do feel I'll probably have an easier labor with a lower risk of shoulder dystocia than my tiny friend, who delivered 3 ten pound babies, after staying in her OBs recommended blood sugar levels throughout each of her pregnancies. Award worthy? Absolutely not. Less likely to result in complications? Absolutely. Is it a guarantee? Absolutely not. Hear what I am SAYING, not what it is easy for you to argue with. Straw men are lame. And before you set up another one, let me be very clear: I admit that it's quite possible my friend would've had 10 pound babies even staying within the true normal blood glucose range, rather than the ones her OB told her to shoot for. But with recent research showing that at every increase of bg levels, even in the normal ranges, babies get fatter, I'd say the odds are slim. Also, despite what I'm sure will be your insistence that I must be judging women's birth experiences by daring to even talk about this, she had normal, intervention-free, drug-free births every time, and her babies were healthy. Nothing there to judge. However, I don't personally want to have a 10 pound baby. Nothing wrong with them, of course, but I had enough trouble getting my 8 pounder out. I'm not built for 10 pounders, and I'm trying not to have one.

 

 

Quote:
What is the message I want to send? It's simple. And it's not about being prepared, it's about handling the aftermath, graciously. After all is said and done, after the birth happens, the perfect birth crowd shouldn't act like those women who didn't have the perfect birth are failures. They shouldn't judge and make smug remarks. I know it might be too much to ask, looking at some threads here on MDC and on other sites. But one can dream, right?

 

And YOU shouldn't act like EVERYONE who dares to suggest that education played a part in their outcome is doing that, but "one can dream, right?"

post #160 of 178

Quote:

Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post

 

I'm sorry that you are so upset by whatever has upset you, but understand that the fact that you are unable to see past your hurt feelings and understand what people are actually saying vs. what you are accusing them of saying isn't going to make you feel any better.

 

That's true. I think I am very, very bitter. It took me years of hearing judgements and "helpful suggestions" to get to such levels. I'll have to work for a long while to reset and see things differently.

 

I am sorry everyone. 

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