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Dispelling the "perfect birth theory" - Page 5

post #81 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by pickle18 View Post


For example, I find this very interesting.  Personally, I have felt the impulse myself to justify every medical intervention in my labor, and have many friends who have done the same (for everything from c-sections to epidurals to pitocin).  Some of these were medically unavoidable, some were personal choices, for reasons such as pain relief.  And you're right, for me, part of that is coping with it and forgiving myself - but part of the reason I feel the need to forgive myself is from perceived pressure from the "how natural was YOUR birth" pissing contest - part of it is feeling like I didn't handle the situation to the best of my ability, part of it is any effect it may have had on my son, etc.  Just goes to show how differently women process things - like I said before, we need to respect the diversity instead of trying to pigeonhole everyone.



This part makes me feel bad sometimes. One of my main frustrations with birth interventions, in general, is that I truly don't believe we (midwives, doctors, etc.) know enough about what the long term effects can be. The entire process of labour, birth, bonding, establishing breastfeeding, etc. is so much more complicated than people treat it as being, yk?

 

Maybe I just don't run into the pissing contest aspect of it, because I'm the one who's really upset about my c-sections, and I don't think they were necessary in the first place. I can't justify them, because I don't believe they're justified. So, it's just not something I've ever run into.

post #82 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

 

What I see on these forums, pretty often by the way, is the attitude "I sought the perfect birth, I had it, and if you didn't, that's because you didn't work hard enough for it, and you are an epic fail because of that". Not nice. And it's also a form of control. And that's what (I think) is the topic of this thread.

 

Birth was over-medicalized for a long while, and now the push in the opposite direction is starting. Which is great, and normal - every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and it's healthy in general, but it has a potential to turn nasty in its own way and push a bit too far. I'll give examples below.

 

What makes *me* see red is the insinuations that non-perfect births are somehow a woman's fault. And the gloating that the perfect births are all due to the perfect poster's diligence (and very few admit to just pure luck, such as not having pre-e and not needing an emergency c-section at 31 weeks.) Humility and "Here but for the grace of God go I" is often conspicuously absent from these forums. I've seen it so many times here, it's tiresome.

 

Same for cesareans - I've always felt this vibe here (not from all members of course, but it's very pronounced nonetheless), that people look down on those who have c-sections. This thread about a cesarean forum was very educational. In fact, the cesarean forum didn't even exist a few months ago - as if women who had it didn't exist either!

 

And now that whole thing with the orgasm during birth - why thanks, let's raise the plank a little higher still! I've seen a woman ask about it, in full seriousness, about how to do that during birth. Some described their nice experiences that came pretty close to that, others were nice enough to explain that it was just a function of that particular person's neurology and while possible, it's not a requirement (yet, thank God) for everyone to have a "When Harry met Sally" moment during birth.

 

Another example is that people can's even say they were unable to breastfeed, without humbly apologizing fifty five times that they had the nerve to bleed severely and to have Sheehan's syndrome. That atmosphere is not supportive. Yes we know breastfeeding is best, everyone on these forums knows, so if she said she couldn't, just lay off.

 

Anyways... *some people* manage to turn the healthiest, most natural ideas into mommy wars and "I'm better ("stronger", crunchier etc) than you" games. That's what I thought this thread was all about.

 


I'm catching up on posts in this thread, and this one caught my eye.  Take a look at the words that I've emphasized.....all extremely subjective terminology!

 

Your impressions seem to be based not on evidence or actual things that women have said, but on "what I see," "insuations," and a "vibe."  A woman describing a personal birth experience that she considers beautiful and idyllic is "gloating" (even though it's impossible to prove that that was her intention!), and from the phenomenon of orgasmic birth, you've somehow gleaned that it's considered a "requirement."  What I'm trying to say--as delicately as possible--is that these messages are coming from within yourself--your own perceptions and projections--and not other women.

 

As has been reiterated in this thread, we each experience something unique during childbirth.  And we each are the judges of our own experiences and authors of our own life narratives.  We have no right to step in and write other women's narratives for them.  This means that we accept a woman's story at face value for its validity.  This means that we respect and honor every lived experience from the traumatic birth to the orgasmic one! 

 

A woman who has a great birth and feel that her own diligence paid off is sharing her personal experinece, not super-imposing it on everyone else.  I'm pretty damned diligent and had an excrutiating first birth, but I'm not going to take it out on other women or accuse them of demeaning me just because they had better experiences.  

 

We tread into murky territory when we start accusing women of saying things they didn't say and doing things they didn't do.  If anything is going to fan the flames of what you call a Mommy War, it's going to be our personal sensitivities, defensiveness, and projections.

 

I no longer post much about my personal experience because I no longer feel that this is a safe and supportive place to do so.  I really don't want to be judged as "whining," "First World," and "wanting a Perfect Birth" if I write about a bad experience...or "gloating" or making nasty "insinuations" if I write about a good one.  If more people listened with non-judgmental ears and responded with non-judgmental keystrokes, I'd probably be a lot more active in this forum.

 

I have to say in all fairness, however, that I'm impressed with the direction that this thread has taken and the overall civil and insightful dialogue that is ensuing here.....

post #83 of 178

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

 

I no longer post much about my personal experience because I no longer feel that this is a safe and supportive place to do so.  I really don't want to be judged as "whining," "First World," and "wanting a Perfect Birth" if I write about a bad experience...or "gloating" or making nasty "insinuations" if I write about a good one.  If more people listened with non-judgmental ears and responded with non-judgmental keystrokes, I'd probably be a lot more active in this forum.

 

I have to say in all fairness, however, that I'm impressed with the direction that this thread has taken and the overall civil and insightful dialogue that is ensuing here.....

 


I agree with you.

 

I also think we have to keep in mind that a lot of the topics on mdc are not practiced/accepted by the vast majority of society - hb, uc, extended bfing, alternative vaxing, non-circ, homeschooling, etc. None of these choices are "easy" especially when you face resistence/rejection in real life, maybe that makes some people a little bit sore about the topic to begin with, and maybe a little too excited to find like-minded people. Also in terms of all these judgemental crunchier than thee moms... there are crappy judgemental people in all segments of society, just because someone is into homebirth doesn't mean she's a perfect angel. Dealing with crappy people is part of life. Ignore them, avoid them, confront them, whatever you feel is best. I haven't been around here forever, but lurked a lot several years ago. I saw that a lot of times, when someone went over the top in the crunchy judgment dept, she got called out on it. Now we are in a backlash here where there are people judging others for being upset about their c/sections... so I guess we just have to deal with this too... stop posting and reading here, or call them out on it, those are our options I guess. I am not petty or spoiled because I want to make certain choices for myself or my children. We aren't complaining about designer shoes here... we are talking about our health, our bodies, our babies. and NO ONE should be telling a woman how to feel about her personal experiences, especially the life-altering, major event experiences. 

 

post #84 of 178


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

I'm catching up on posts in this thread, and this one caught my eye.  Take a look at the words that I've emphasized.....all extremely subjective terminology!

 

Your impressions seem to be based not on evidence or actual things that women have said, but on "what I see," "insuations," and a "vibe." 

 

Ok, I'll provide the evidence - it is sad that I have to prove that it's not "all in my head". All the quotes are from *one* thread only that I linked to previously. Imagine what else is out there, I just don't have the energy to look for it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwomyn

After I had my c-section, I was honestly glad that I hadn't really posted much here and that no one would notice if I never shared a birth story. Because I knew it would wind up in me being told that I was duped and naive and maybe I would be able to have a baby the right way someday if I tried hard enough.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma

I joined MDC after an unexpected emergency c-section and felt kind of alienated sometimes and like I shouldn't admit I had to have one.  I can't be the only one who has felt that way.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amma_mama

My whole pregnancy and birth experience was not what I had hoped for or planned. I ended up with severe pre-term labor and was on strict bed rest for a good chunk of my pregnancy, then ended up with an emergency c-section, which the docs were actually trying to AVOID due to my condition. But it was what it was. [...]
I have pretty much avoided the Birth forums at MDC, as I did not have the "right" kind of birth experience. I did not want to "mourn" the loss of my perfect birth, nor feel traumatized. It is like MDC wants people like me to end up with PPD because I did not have a fantabulous homebirth or UC experience. [...]
It would be nice to have a place on MDC to share my experience, without pity or judgment.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Z

Both [cesarean] experiences impact my life.  Both made me feel alienated when I came back to my friends here to share the experience.  It didn't matter that I cloth diapered for 6 years straight, breastfeed, including tandem, for 7-8years, babywore, heck, just go down that NFL checklist, I did it.  I also homeschooled and had a SN kiddo and dealt with all of that.  But every time I mentioned my births, there was either an undertone of "well, if you had done _____ than you could have controlled it", or "your doctor lied", or "well, *maybe* you were one of the few", or I was accused of promoting birth with interventions because I dare be happy about my (second) experience.  Why am I not allowed to be at peace with and proud of how I birthed my children?  I am nearly a decade away from that first birth and my reception I got here afterwards still makes me angry.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeepyCat

And now, two years post-c/s, I still feel that I can't talk about my daughter's birth here, because it was surgical, but I didn't feel traumatized or upset by it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwomyn

It seems fairly obvious that one of the primary reasons people are asking for a c-section forum is so that there would be one place on the board where women who had a c-section and weren't traumatized by it would be able to mention this fact without being told to shut up, sit in a corner and think about what we've done, and come back when we feel bad like we should.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EuroMama
I just would love a place, where I can share about my section and not feel like I committed the worlds biggest crime.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rutabega
Being supportive of natural birth isn't the same thing as marginalizing women who have had c-sections, absolutely right.  And yet that has been the clear point of view of the Mothering community at large as long as I have been reading here (which is much, much longer than I've been registered as a member).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwomyn

A pro-NCB environment doesn't have to marginalize women who had c-sections, but this place always has, and it is completely disengenous to pretend otherwise.

 

  Quote:

Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe

That is the vibe here.  If you had a section it's YOUR fault for not birthing 'right'

 

 

Ok I'll stop now. I guess I am in a good company of "extremely subjective" people with similar "projections". smile.gif

post #85 of 178

In my experience, the language of birth and mothering is so polarized in our culture. It feels to me like I'm either in the natural birth camp, or in the epidural/hospital/c-section camp, and there's no middle ground, you know? For example, how many of us have heard totally inflammatory statements about homebirth? How it's dangerous or selfish or other things like that? On the other side of the coin, I recently saw an article in Harpers with the title "The Tyranny of La Leche League." My point isn't to take sides, but just to point out here that the language surrounding mothering and birthing choices is so intense and polarizing. The "TYRANNY," I mean just listen to how that sounds. Wow. I just often feel, IMO, that there's a real lack of middle ground that allows for all women to feel that they can celebrate whatever birth experience or mothering choices they make. 

 

One of the midwives who attended my homebirth/transfer/c-section birth told me she would never put my birth story on her website because it wasn't a home waterbirth. She didn't want any c-section stories on her site.

 

This upset me a little because the truth is that some women need c-sections in order to survive, and for their children to live. I was one. And while I understand her perspective, it saddened me that she only really wanted to "talk" about ideal births she attended. It was clear that my birth wasn't viewed as "ideal," or "beautiful" to her, and that saddened me. I was healthy, my son was healthy, and born just the way he needed to be. But I felt like when my birth was said and done, it wasn't, I guess, embraced as a birth worth trumpeting about in the same way natural, vaginal home waterbirths were. I mean, IMO, the very best HB midwives are the ones who know when to say when. They know when to say- this is beyond what we can take care of at home, and it is time to seek other tools, and more intervention. I am thankful my midwives did that. If they hadn't, my son and I wouldn't be here. I guess I was left feeling, in my experience anyway, that my birth should've been viewed as just another type of birth that HB midwives sometimes attend. But it wasn't. Instead, it was a birth that was... less, in some way.

 

Anyway, just my two cents on my own experience. I think this thread is very interesting!

post #86 of 178
Double Double, the women you quotes fear being judged, just as I do, albeit or different reasons. But it's not evidence that anyone here has said, "You had a Cesarean and not a natural birth? Oh, you bad, bad, inadequate woman!".. It's also not evidence that someone gloated, "I had a Perfect Birth, and you didn't! Ha! Ha!". I'm just cautioning against reading into women's stories and posts for things they never said.

Now I definitely agree with a previous poster that marketers in the childbirth ed industry are shameless about promoting a Perfect Birth in order to sell women on their products. That's not to say that individual CBE's aren't more realistic while teaching the classes. But just as self-help authors promise perfection in your relationships and diet programs promise the Perfect Body, various childbirth programs mislead us into believing that they have the magic-bullet method for the Perfect Birth.. This was definitely my experience with Hypnobirthing, in which we watched video after video of women "breathing down" their babies. eyesroll.gif. Those videos forgot to mention that at least one of us would be pushing for 4 hours, and all of the cutsey calm-blue-ocean visualizations in the world wouldn't take the agony away. greensad.gif. But I digress....
post #87 of 178

Turquesa-

That was my experience w/Hypnobabies (similar to Hypnobirthing). The course emphasized the "Bubble of Peace," in which you visualized being totally calm and at peace with your baby, and didn't allow in any "negative" birth stories or talk. The course actually tells you to put up your hand and say "stop" when another woman tries to tell you about a painful/difficult birth.

 

While I see the point of this approach, I felt like I shouldn't read anything about anything other than ideal, painless birth, otherwise it could actually cause my hypnosis training to fail me. 

 

Cut to my 70 hour labor followed by a c-section, and I was totally unprepared for everything that happened, and I felt like a complete and utter failure.

post #88 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

Double Double, the women you quotes fear being judged, just as I do, albeit or different reasons. But it's not evidence that anyone here has said, "You had a Cesarean and not a natural birth? Oh, you bad, bad, inadequate woman!".. It's also not evidence that someone gloated, "I had a Perfect Birth, and you didn't! Ha! Ha!". I'm just cautioning against reading into women's stories and posts for things they never said.
Now I definitely agree with a previous poster that marketers in the childbirth ed industry are shameless about promoting a Perfect Birth in order to sell women on their products. That's not to say that individual CBE's aren't more realistic while teaching the classes. But just as self-help authors promise perfection in your relationships and diet programs promise the Perfect Body, various childbirth programs mislead us into believing that they have the magic-bullet method for the Perfect Birth.. This was definitely my experience with Hypnobirthing, in which we watched video after video of women "breathing down" their babies. :eyesroll. Those videos forgot to mention that at least one of us would be pushing for 4 hours, and all of the cutsey calm-blue-ocean visualizations in the world wouldn't take the agony away. :(. But I digress....

 

This isn't a digression...it's at the heart of the issue. To the extent that natural birth has become a product that someone can market, it does promote an image of perfect birth, and that is detrimental to women. Partaria's examples of a midwife who won't post a c-birth story on her website and a childbirth prep class that doesn't allow discussion of difficult/painful labor are heartbreaking, in my opinion. This is the kind of thing that creates an environment where women feel pressured to have a perfect birth and feel inadequate if they don't.

 

It's ironic...as I understand it, the natural birth movement really grew out of the desire to reclaim women's experiences and put women's wisdom at the center of birth. And yet we still struggle to validate each woman's experience and it seems radical to assert that women's wisdom can come in many forms, not all of the peaceful, painless, or pretty.


 

 

post #89 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post


I'm catching up on posts in this thread, and this one caught my eye.  Take a look at the words that I've emphasized.....all extremely subjective terminology!

 

Your impressions seem to be based not on evidence or actual things that women have said, but on "what I see," "insuations," and a "vibe."  A woman describing a personal birth experience that she considers beautiful and idyllic is "gloating" (even though it's impossible to prove that that was her intention!), and from the phenomenon of orgasmic birth, you've somehow gleaned that it's considered a "requirement."  What I'm trying to say--as delicately as possible--is that these messages are coming from within yourself--your own perceptions and projections--and not other women.

 

As has been reiterated in this thread, we each experience something unique during childbirth.  And we each are the judges of our own experiences and authors of our own life narratives.  We have no right to step in and write other women's narratives for them.  This means that we accept a woman's story at face value for its validity.  This means that we respect and honor every lived experience from the traumatic birth to the orgasmic one! 

 

A woman who has a great birth and feel that her own diligence paid off is sharing her personal experinece, not super-imposing it on everyone else.  I'm pretty damned diligent and had an excrutiating first birth, but I'm not going to take it out on other women or accuse them of demeaning me just because they had better experiences.  

 

We tread into murky territory when we start accusing women of saying things they didn't say and doing things they didn't do.  If anything is going to fan the flames of what you call a Mommy War, it's going to be our personal sensitivities, defensiveness, and projections.

 

I'm starting to wonder if the Mommy Wars and the perception of a "pissing contest" among women isn't the real issue. The idea that birth is a product that can be marketed seems like a more likely culprit to me. There are certainly individuals and businesses who have a lot to gain by offering women a guarantee of a peaceful, enjoyable birth. And they have everything to gain by making it seem like it's individual women who are to blame for their own difficult experiences, not the method or the product or (gulp) birth itself. There's got to be a middle ground. Not "natural birth is a crock" and not "natural birth is the guaranteed result of a perfect preparation" but something else...

 

 

 

I no longer post much about my personal experience because I no longer feel that this is a safe and supportive place to do so.  I really don't want to be judged as "whining," "First World," and "wanting a Perfect Birth" if I write about a bad experience...or "gloating" or making nasty "insinuations" if I write about a good one.  If more people listened with non-judgmental ears and responded with non-judgmental keystrokes, I'd probably be a lot more active in this forum.

 

I have to say in all fairness, however, that I'm impressed with the direction that this thread has taken and the overall civil and insightful dialogue that is ensuing here.....

 

This is the most reasonable and thoughtful conversation that I've seen on this topic since I started MDC. So good for us!



 

post #90 of 178

Quote:

Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

I'm starting to wonder if the Mommy Wars and the perception of a "pissing contest" among women isn't the real issue. The idea that birth is a product that can be marketed seems like a more likely culprit to me. There are certainly individuals and businesses who have a lot to gain by offering women a guarantee of a peaceful, enjoyable birth. And they have everything to gain by making it seem like it's individual women who are to blame for their own difficult experiences, not the method or the product or (gulp) birth itself. There's got to be a middle ground. Not "natural birth is a crock" and not "natural birth is the guaranteed result of a perfect preparation" but something else...

 


I hadn't thought about that aspect. I wonder if you guys feel this is maybe true for other mommywar/crunchy issues? With more interest in AP/crunchy lifestyle, products catering to that have come to market. I don't think it's bad there are alt. birthing classes or cloth diapers, midwives, slings, etc. for sale/hire ( i like it!), but I can see where "industry" needs to "protect," just like in more "mainstream" industries. And maybe some rhetoric/advertising from industry can have a lot of impact on us, maybe it's not just the other "judgey" mommies online?

 

Partaria - I'm sorry your mw acted that way ... honestly, I think it would be a good advertising/testimonal to have a transfer/c-sec mom say something  - like you said this here :

 

IMO, the very best HB midwives are the ones who know when to say when. They know when to say- this is beyond what we can take care of at home, and it is time to seek other tools, and more intervention. I am thankful my midwives did that. If they hadn't, my son and I wouldn't be here.

But I guess she was reacting to what she perceives her customers want...

post #91 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

Double Double, the women you quotes fear being judged, just as I do, albeit or different reasons. But it's not evidence that anyone here has said, "You had a Cesarean and not a natural birth? Oh, you bad, bad, inadequate woman!".. It's also not evidence that someone gloated, "I had a Perfect Birth, and you didn't! Ha! Ha!". I'm just cautioning against reading into women's stories and posts for things they never said.

Well there are definitely lots of cases where posters make it clear that they believe they got the births they wanted because they 'did everything right,' implying that if you didn't get the birth you wanted it was because you didn't 'do everything right.'  There's an example on page 2 of this very thread actually:

 

"Eh, I did have "perfect births". I talk about birthing with a huge smile on my face even many years after. Yeah, I did have a midwife, I exercised, took Bradley classes and did the Brewer diet. And it is peaceful post-partum not to have any birth regrets or anger like so many of my friends had. But maybe I was just lucky."  (That last thrown in there as a sop to those who would point out the many women who did the same type of preparation but ended up with very different births - but obviously not something this poster really believes very fervently.  And the bit about the birth regrets of the friends, doesn't that sound just a little gloaty to you?)

 

And then there's this on page 3:

 

"she envisioned the experience she wanted to have and made it happen by actively de-programming herself from the mainstream expectations of birth as horrible and painful. I don't think she was just 'lucky'"

 

 

I wouldn't say that labor preparation makes *no* difference, because I believe I've read that there have been studies showing that women who do birth prep classes are more likely to end up with drug-free births (though I haven't read these studies myself so don't know if that's possibly a selection bias effect of the women who choose to take the classes in the first place).  It's perfectly reasonable to believe that preparation makes *some* difference.  But there are still tons of cases where things are just not going to go perfectly, and labor prep/positive thinking/whatever is just not going to cut the mustard to turn a transverse baby, drop a skyrocketing blood pressure, reverse disseminated clotting, or whatever.

 

By having a natural vaginal birth be 'lucky' I don't mean that it's rare, lucky like one-in-a-million-lucky.  But regularly lucky, in the sense that things went normally well and didn't go wrong in the way that they a minority - but a significant minority, not a tiny rare minority - of the time.

 

Now painless (unmedicated) labor, that's lucky like the rare kind of lucky.  My mom got that kind of lucky.  (She doesn't do 'active de-programming by envisioning the experience' - she is a very nuts-and-bolts kind of person.  No labor prep.)  It exists, but I don't think it's very common.

post #92 of 178

She totally is reacting to what she thinks her customers want. I mean, she and I had a very candid conversation about it, and she wasn't rude to me by any means. She put this question to me: "Would you have hired an HB midwife with c-section stories on her site?"

 

And you know, now that I have a more realistic understanding of birth, having gone through it, the answer is yes. Yes I would. But when I was shopping around before I had my son? No. In fact, one of my questions when I interviewed MWs was "what's your c-section rate?" I think I came to HB with this silly idea that I would be ENSURING beyond all doubt that I wouldn't have a c if I went this route. I am not saying all HB mamas think that, and I am not saying that the HB movement promises that. That was simply my desire and my perception, and I take responsibility for that. 

 

That said, I really did have to honestly answer that no, given my attitude and ignorance before I had my first baby, I would probably not have hired that midwife. I do think it's a vicious cycle, though. I mean, what if all the HB midwives in my area had a collection of stories on their sites that showed the full spectrum of birth? I mean in that case, perhaps it would've become clear to me that all birth outcomes are possible with any care provider. I did come to HB with this poorly founded attitude that it would guarantee me a natural birth. But, I do have to say, none of the childbirth educators or midwives or folks I encountered in the world of NCB did much to dispel that idea.

post #93 of 178

Hmmmm...the plot thickens.

 

Every source I read prior to birth said to ask about a care provider's c-section rate, because a rate that is "too high" is a "red flag." Our local birth center proudly states that they have a very low c-section transfer rate. It is a point of pride, but more than that, I think we use c-section rate as a overall indicator of competence and as a natural birth litmus test.

 

Maybe it's time to rethink that.

post #94 of 178

Maybe so. There was a midwifery practice here that I also interviewed. I liked them, but their c-section rate was higher than the midwife I went with. Later I found out that they tend to take on tougher cases, and that might actually be why they have a higher c-section rate, not because they are less skilled or anything.

post #95 of 178

This is really all fascinating.  I completely would have been the same as Partaria.  There is such a huge gulf between the rates that the WHO recommends that are 10-15% that seemingly truly are too low to expect and a place like Brazil where the section rate is 90%.  

 

While I have completely let go of judgment regarding how a woman chooses to birth (in most cases), I still think the "system" is broken and it needs to be fixed.  

 

Frankly, I'm not sure there's an answer or a complete resolution to this whole thing.  

post #96 of 178



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

Well there are definitely lots of cases where posters make it clear that they believe they got the births they wanted because they 'did everything right,' implying that if you didn't get the birth you wanted it was because you didn't 'do everything right.'  There's an example on page 2 of this very thread actually:

 

Well, it's ultimately up to these posters to speak for themselves, so I'll be careful with my interpretation.  What I'm hearing is that they are as concerned as the rest of us (whether we've chosen natural childbirth out-of-hospital, in-hospital epidurals, elective, repeat cesareans, etc.)  of their birth stories getting dismissed.  "Oh, you had a good birth?  Well, you were just lucky...." 

 

But again, it's best to get actual clarification directly from them and to be careful of the word "implying"; I don't consider it a synonym for "stating."  Implications are based on inference, and inference is based on our own biases and subjectivity. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post
 

I'm starting to wonder if the Mommy Wars and the perception of a "pissing contest" among women isn't the real issue. The idea that birth is a product that can be marketed seems like a more likely culprit to me. There are certainly individuals and businesses who have a lot to gain by offering women a guarantee of a peaceful, enjoyable birth. And they have everything to gain by making it seem like it's individual women who are to blame for their own difficult experiences, not the method or the product or (gulp) birth itself. There's got to be a middle ground. Not "natural birth is a crock" and not "natural birth is the guaranteed result of a perfect preparation" but something else...

 


 

This conversation is taking a fascinating turn!  So it’s not just childbirth ed programs sending out the Perfect Birth message…..it’s providers, as well!  It’s everybody trying to woo us into parting with our dollars.  Gotta love living in a consumerist culture....     

 

Now I realize that Partaria’s midwife runs a business, and businesses only publish positive client testimonials.  (To get the full picture, you obviously need to go to Yelp, The Birth Survey, Health Grades, and similar consumer-driven rating sites).  But this midwife went so far as to censor even a *positive* client testimonial about a hospital transfer, (a move that’s not only unethical and disingenuous, but also foolish in the long run because, as you said, a positive transfer story bodes well for a midwife).  But in all of this, she’s trying to mislead maternity care consumers into thinking that if they use her services, they’ll have an ideal birth experience.

 

Equally frustrating, however, are the hospital websites and brochures: “Come give birth with us!  Just look at our homey interior decorating, big bath tubs, and state-of-the-art technology!  You’re in great hands with us!” 

 

Good grief!  Just ponder the mixed messages that women are getting.  On the one hand, your providers assure you that have so many satisfied clients and will give you an idyllic experience with the birthing tubs, epidurals, yoga balls, rooming-in suites, aromatherapy, high-tech monitoring, or whatever is applicable to your hospital or homebirth service. 

 

But then—THEN!—if you question what happened to you after the fact……….

 

  1. It must have been something YOU did wrong, (you didn’t focus well enough on your $%$#%# Calm Blue Ocean, you didn’t think enough positive thoughts, you ate too much or exercised too little during pregnancy, you didn’t cooperate with the doctor, you didn't stick with your Brewer Diet, it serves you right for attempting a homebirth, you declined that 11th vaginal exam, etc.)

 

AND/OR….

 

  1. Naughty Mommy!  How dare you act so spoiled ?  You’re lucky to be living in an industrialized country!  The doctor/midwife did all s/he could!  The important thing is that you and the baby (and sometimes not always the baby L)  are alive and healthy!

 

As I process the ideas in this thread—along with so many of the birth stories shared on MDC—it’s becoming clear to me.  Apparently, women are not storming into hospitals and homebirth services as spoiled brats demanding the Perfect Birth; they were misled to believe that such an experience was theirs to begin with!  I’m shamelessly speculating here, but perhaps that’s why I hear so many women (including myself and Partaria) use words like “robbed," “betrayed” and "utter failure" when they describe their feelings toward their birth experiences….

 

 

post #97 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post

This is really all fascinating.  I completely would have been the same as Partaria.  There is such a huge gulf between the rates that the WHO recommends that are 10-15% that seemingly truly are too low to expect and a place like Brazil where the section rate is 90%.  

 

While I have completely let go of judgment regarding how a woman chooses to birth (in most cases), I still think the "system" is broken and it needs to be fixed.  

 

Frankly, I'm not sure there's an answer or a complete resolution to this whole thing.  


I just want to point out that the WHO no longer publishes guidelines for recommended c-section rates. Here are the WHO guidelines on reproductive & maternal health: http://www.who.int/publications/guidelines/reproductive_health/en/index.html

 

No mention of c-section there. If someone can find it on the WHO site, please post! But I believe it has been several years now since any recommendation for c-section rates was mentioned.

 

There may be some way of determining an appropriate c-section rate, but it's no longer coming from WHO.

 

(I'm not trying to jump all over you Youngfrankenstein, I just want to make this point since it's one of those lingering things that pops up on MDC from time to time).

 

post #98 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post


 In fact, a recurring theme for me during the past 3 years is giving up on the notion that there is one perfect way to do this...and by "this" I mean, birth, parenting, and integrating a tough experience into my life. My labor had it's own time frame and it's own trajectory, and my recovery is the same.



I don't have a lot a lot to contribute to this discussion that hasn't been said already, but THIS is absolutely the truth.  Parenting is hard, birth is hard, life has risk and all those things are part of risk.  My husband reminds me all the time that we keep defining a "new normal" with every new adventure.

post #99 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post


I just want to point out that the WHO no longer publishes guidelines for recommended c-section rates. Here are the WHO guidelines on reproductive & maternal health: http://www.who.int/publications/guidelines/reproductive_health/en/index.html

 

No mention of c-section there. If someone can find it on the WHO site, please post! But I believe it has been several years now since any recommendation for c-section rates was mentioned.

 

There may be some way of determining an appropriate c-section rate, but it's no longer coming from WHO.

 

(I'm not trying to jump all over you Youngfrankenstein, I just want to make this point since it's one of those lingering things that pops up on MDC from time to time).

 


 

This is good to know.  It did seem concerning that this number that was being thrown around kept going.  It seemed a bit dangerous.  I will say that even if the WHO doesn't recommend it anymore, I do still hear it a lot as an ideal.

post #100 of 178

 

 

You have to imagine telling your child their birth story.  There they are, sitting wide eyed, staring off into the distance.  You don't want to be saying "and then your heart rate DROPPED, and we were so SCARED, and they raced us to the EMERGENCY".  These stories break your heart over and over again, each time you tell them.  And what a thing to give to your child!  "I almost died.  I almost died.  I almost died". 

 

Tell a different story!  "And after we had been at the hospital awhile, the doctor, who your mommy liked and trusted, decided she would help you come out!  We were so happy to see your sweet face!".  You feel better telling the story that way.  Your child feels wonderful hearing that kind of story. 

 

Every baby was born however they were born.  We can't change that.  But a birth story is POWERFUL.  A child needs to hear that they were brought into this world calmly, sweetly, happily.  You can find those details, whether it was just "and daddy held my hand and I was so glad to know he was there".  Even if you had a true, life-threatening emergency, you can find those details and then tell JUST those details, spin it however you need to.  The more you tell your "version" of the story, the more you feel it inside you.  I promise, not because I am making it up, but because I do it every night when I tell my daughter her story, and the story of her brother's birth.  She doesn't need to hear about fear and blood, just calm and gentle, warm and safe. 

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