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Birth is NOT normal - Page 5

post #81 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaharrison View Post

That just isn't true. As a licensed Massage Therapist, I can inflict great bodily harm on people without alerting them to it with any kind of pain during the process. I mean, gentle is a subjective term anyway and only the person experiencing the process could really identify whether they felt it was gentle or not. Traumatic is also subjective, this is why we should just allow everyone their won experience without trying to impose our own paradigms on them--for some women vaginal birth is a gentle choice, for some it would be horrific {history of sexual abuse as an example} and for some women cesarean would be a gentle choice while for others it would be very traumatic. Why the need to label either method?? It is for each mama and baby combo to decide for themselves.

If you want to be completely accurate the baby in your mama/baby combo is not making any decision for him/herself, and I don't think traumatic, when describing the physical process of birth for the newborn, is really subjective. Honestly, the journey down the birth canal can be a rough one, babies born quickly come out bruised, shoulder dystocia can cause some pretty painful injuries to a baby, cord compression due to tight nuchal cord wraps, all things that are possibly unknown during labor but certainly complications that could have been avoided through a c/s. Does that make the risk that comes with a c/s worth it in every case - absolutely not.

Chances are very good that my 1st dd would have avoided her 4 day NICU stay and a few thankfully minor birth complications if she had been born via c/s instead of vaginally. Of course there was no way to know this is my case and honestly, I did feel some guilt over my desire to avoid a c/s if at all possible.
post #82 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

If you had to choose for your baby, either a brain bleed which has no long-term measurable impact or a permanent scar on their face from the surgeon's scalpel, which would you pick?  Or a brain bleed as delineated above OR 4 days in SCBU with wet collapsing lungs being intubated and resuscitated periodically.  Or a brain bleed as stated OR 4 days in SCBU just unable to be held and nursed by you as much as they need?   

 

These "choices" seem a little disingenuous - it's not like the chance of a brain bleed with no long-term morbidity is the only risk to a vaginal birth, and a CS is not a guarantee of NICU/SCBU time for the baby. All the risks on both sides have to be acknowledged and weighed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
I agree that evolution is far from perfect, and that its aim is only to continue the life form we are or might have to become to survive. But i also have to acknowledge that my newborn babies ARE the result of the evolutionary process, and are set up to be optimally able to cope with what the normal process might throw up. Sure, there are risks, and they could be avoided if i elected surgery. But the baby is helpless in the face of the surgical risks in a way that they are NOT in the face of the inherent risks.

 

I'm not quite following how a baby is better able to deal with say, oxygen deprivation during a vaginal birth, than they are able to deal with minor breathing problems after a CS, for example. In either case the baby is "helpless". Also, saying that evolution is "far from perfect" and then saying babies are "optimally" able to cope with birth seems a bit contradictory to me. There are many babies who are not "set up to be optimally able to cope with what the normal process might throw up", but enough that our species survived until we got to the point where we figured out how to save almost all babies, whether evolution had set them up optimally or not.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaharrison View Post

Also, the three things you list--head entrapment, cord prolapse, and shoulder dystocia--do actually occur in cesarean sections, too and cause damage in those scenarios as well. A surgeon can easily miscalculate the size of the baby or position and make the incision too small leading to these issues during the extraction which can lead to pulling the baby and severe traumatic injury.

 

A cord prolapse only causes damage when it is compressed for a significant amount of time, thus depriving the baby of oxygen - this would be practically impossible with a CS. For one, how would the cord come out first, unless the OB pulled it out first (which would be extremely unlikely), and second, how would it become compressed for a long enough period of time to cause damage?

I could see how, technically, head entrapment and shoulder dystocia could occur with a CS, but again, I can't imagine how damage could be caused in these situations - it is simply too quick and easy to resolve in the setting of a CS for there to be time for damage to occur. I am certainly open to being proven wrong however - just provide me with the stats showing how many babies in elective CS suffered injury/damage due to cord prolapse, head entrapment, or shoulder dystocia.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaharrison View Post
Elective cesareans without medical necessity are not safer than normal vaginal birth. period. and never will be.

 

Sorry, just because you say it is so, does not make it true.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaharrison View Post

 only the person experiencing the process could really identify whether they felt it was gentle or not.

 

Unfortunately, we can't ask the babies if their birth was gentle or traumatic for them.

post #83 of 119

My first birth i was neutral regarding having an epidural or not. ended up i arrived at the hospital 7-8 cm dialated and NO TIME for an epidural. Natural all the way, all 7lbs 12 oz (mind you im 108 lbs normally-small person). i have a high pain tolerance and told the midwife & husband that "W e can have another" 20 minutes after my son's birth. I had 2 tylenol my entire stay. It is one hell of an accomplishment to go natural but with that being said i dont think it is for everyone.

 

My second son i thought i might have an epidural (and get to the hospital sooner) but he was full-term stillborn & i decided, the hell with ADDED pain ontop of this loss. I had the epidural which was no big deal. (my only big regret is that i could not walk with my son or really sit up with him and even lean up and this was the only time i ever got with him-stuck in a bed). i do think that if i went natural i would not want to TTC right away due to the reminder of the pain...

 

i pray i get the chance to have another living baby and now that i have epxerienced natural and epidural, i still dont know what I would choose. i will just be happyenough getting to the point where i get to make that decision.

PS with a loss so far along, i will never attempt a home birth.

post #84 of 119

For what it's worth, I had essentially an elective cesarean with my oldest. I was told I needed to have a cesarean due to a lovely forever present from my ex and was told I needed to schedule the surgery. I had a lot of incontinence afterward, yet I had been under the impression that it wasn't supposed to happen with cesareans. Yeah, they lied. I also now have a nine year old that - based on some new study that came out that showed that even two weeks early may be premature - may have actually been born too early, which would go a long way into explaining some of the behavior issues we deal with on a regular basis. Following that, I had one very medicalized birth which included pitocin and - finally - an epidural. It was the most traumatic experience of my life. I wound up with PTSD and was just all around miserable. Oh, and did I mention that I was left with yet more incontinence?? Very shortly after that I had a natural hospital birth that was so much better, but not as wonderful as my next birth, a home water birth, in which I barely tore at all - it was so minimal they didn't even stitch me. According to my husband, who admittedly was concerned about such, there was no difference in my vagina. It's amazing what kegels will do. LOL 

 

ETA: I forgot to mention that my youngest was 10 lb 13 oz. No change in anything.


Edited by SmtmsAlwys - 9/23/12 at 4:59pm
post #85 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmtmsAlwys View Post

For what it's worth, I had essentially an elective cesarean with my oldest. I was told I needed to have a cesarean due to a lovely forever present from my ex and was told I needed to schedule the surgery. I had a lot of incontinence afterward, yet I had been under the impression that it wasn't supposed to happen with cesareans. Yeah, they lied. I also now have a nine year old that - based on some new study that came out that showed that even two weeks early may be premature - may have actually been born too early, which would go a long way into explaining some of the behavior issues we deal with on a regular basis. Following that, I had one very medicalized birth which included pitocin and - finally - an epidural. It was the most traumatic experience of my life. I wound up with PTSD and was just all around miserable. Oh, and did I mention that I was left with yet more incontinence?? Very shortly after that I had a natural hospital birth that was so much better, but not as wonderful as my next birth, a home water birth, in which I barely tore at all - it was so minimal they didn't even stitch me. According to my husband, who admittedly was concerned about such, there was no difference in my vagina. It's amazing what kegels will do. LOL 

 

ETA: I forgot to mention that my youngest was 10 lb 13 oz. No change in anything.

Yup. We've had the same conversation, and I got the same response. 

post #86 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmtmsAlwys View Post

For what it's worth, I had essentially an elective cesarean with my oldest. [...] I had a lot of incontinence afterward, yet I had been under the impression that it wasn't supposed to happen with cesareans. Yeah, they lied.

 

Yeah, elective CS does not prevent incontinence, but it is generally less likely and less severe with an elective CS (but not always!). I already have a urinary incontinence issue (I have had the issue for as long as I can remember....fun times, let me tell you), so if there is any way of lessening the chances of further damage/problems, I am all over it thumb.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmtmsAlwys View Post

 

Following that, I had one very medicalized birth which included pitocin and - finally - an epidural. It was the most traumatic experience of my life. I wound up with PTSD and was just all around miserable. Oh, and did I mention that I was left with yet more incontinence?? Very shortly after that I had a natural hospital birth that was so much better, but not as wonderful as my next birth, a home water birth, in which I barely tore at all - it was so minimal they didn't even stitch me. According to my husband, who admittedly was concerned about such, there was no difference in my vagina. It's amazing what kegels will do. LOL

 

ETA: I forgot to mention that my youngest was 10 lb 13 oz. No change in anything.

 

 

I'm glad your last birth went so well and you got what you wanted smile.gif 

 

While there is no way of knowing for sure, births tend to get easier as you go (all other things being equal!), which could at least partially account for why the last birth was so much easier with less damage.

I wish I could do kegels, they would probably help, but alas I have personal issues making it extremely difficult to do so. I am planning to see a PT about the issue though, since I want to avoid a bladder sling/vaginal mesh if I can.

post #87 of 119

Yeah, I'd have to say that if I couldnt physically do kegels I would probably schedule a c section. (not sarcasm- totally honest).

post #88 of 119
Quote:

Originally Posted by trimommy2009 View Post

 

She said when her OB asked what kind of birth she wanted, her OB was thrilled when she stated an epidural because she see's too many things go wrong with natural births.  

 

 

This confuses me. I get that people have different levels of comfort with birth interventions, and I get the feeling that one needs a hospital, in case things go wrong. I get all that.

 

But, what complication can possibly happen, because a women doesn't have an epidural? I just don't get it.

post #89 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

But, what complication can possibly happen, because a women doesn't have an epidural? I just don't get it.

Maybe something along the lines of her being in too much pain to relax, and labor being prolonged, and mom getting exhausted, and all the various stuff that goes with that? There's an argument for epidurals that is along the lines of yeah, they may prolong labor sometimes, but the moms also aren't in pain and so the prolonged labor isn't as big a deal for them. 

 

OTOH, maybe that OB has seen a few trainwreck unmedicated births and is biased. 

post #90 of 119

OB's often like their patients to have an epi because they are then prepped for a section. The issue may be that the doctor has seen things go wrong because of the need for an emergency section when the mother did not get medicated quickly enough? At least that is what the high risk doctor told me about why I "just had" to have an epidural with the twins. eyesroll.gif

post #91 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

This confuses me. I get that people have different levels of comfort with birth interventions, and I get the feeling that one needs a hospital, in case things go wrong. I get all that.

 

But, what complication can possibly happen, because a women doesn't have an epidural? I just don't get it.

 

So...my friend had her beautiful healthy baby a couple weeks ago...via C-Section and I've been meaning to update this thread because I'm hoping to get some insight here.  What is crazy about your comment is her OB forced her to labor for 12 hours on pitocin with NO epidural and eventually the C-Section.  My friends water broke (small leak and they said there was meconium, so she was immediately plugged into a pitocin drip).  Because she wasn't dilated at all and the babies station was relatively high they were concerned an epidural would slow down her contractions...so 12 hours later my friend hadn't even dilated to 1cm and into surgery she went.  She is pretty sad about the c-section and is having a hard time recovering and breastfeeding now but otherwise doing well and working through the BF issues.  

 

Here's where I am confused...I would think giving someone who was terrified of the "pain" of labor an epidural, that maybe she would have relaxed enough to dilate and have a shot at a vaginal birth.  There is after all a compassionate use of pain relief, isn't there.  I don't know, I'm not a Dr, Midwife, doula or anyone else that has been around many births, just my own experiences...but geesh.  Her experience sounded awful.  I've never had pitocin, but Ive heard it makes regular contractions seem like nothing and I can't imagine.   

post #92 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

But, what complication can possibly happen, because a women doesn't have an epidural? I just don't get it.

 

My epidural didn't prevent any complications, but it may have saved me some, if that makes sense.  My DS was posterior, and labor got extremely painful very quickly.  The epidural turned off the pain, and I napped while I was getting to fully dilated.  It took me about eight hours to go from 3 cm to 10 cm, but he was still posterior.  I had really good control of my pelvic muscles - I could feel and individually contract and relax them, I was pushing hard - but the kid wasn't coming out.  I got him down to an outlet position, and then the epidural meant that I could still have a relatively not torturous vacuum delivery.

 

My epidural wasn't perfect - it developed a window, so I felt a fair bit of pain anyway - but it meant I was able to participate coherently in conversations about my care all night, it allowed me to rest and conserve energy for the pushing phase, and it made instrumental delivery much easier on me then it otherwise would have been.  If I hadn't had the epidural, I think I absolutely would have needed a c-section.

post #93 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by trimommy2009 View Post

 

So...my friend had her beautiful healthy baby a couple weeks ago...via C-Section and I've been meaning to update this thread because I'm hoping to get some insight here.  What is crazy about your comment is her OB forced her to labor for 12 hours on pitocin with NO epidural and eventually the C-Section.  My friends water broke (small leak and they said there was meconium, so she was immediately plugged into a pitocin drip).  Because she wasn't dilated at all and the babies station was relatively high they were concerned an epidural would slow down her contractions...so 12 hours later my friend hadn't even dilated to 1cm and into surgery she went.  She is pretty sad about the c-section and is having a hard time recovering and breastfeeding now but otherwise doing well and working through the BF issues.  

 

Here's where I am confused...I would think giving someone who was terrified of the "pain" of labor an epidural, that maybe she would have relaxed enough to dilate and have a shot at a vaginal birth.  There is after all a compassionate use of pain relief, isn't there.  I don't know, I'm not a Dr, Midwife, doula or anyone else that has been around many births, just my own experiences...but geesh.  Her experience sounded awful.  I've never had pitocin, but Ive heard it makes regular contractions seem like nothing and I can't imagine.   


Pitocin is made by the devil himself. Just sayin'.

post #94 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

 

My epidural didn't prevent any complications, but it may have saved me some, if that makes sense.  My DS was posterior, and labor got extremely painful very quickly.  The epidural turned off the pain, and I napped while I was getting to fully dilated.  It took me about eight hours to go from 3 cm to 10 cm, but he was still posterior.  I had really good control of my pelvic muscles - I could feel and individually contract and relax them, I was pushing hard - but the kid wasn't coming out.  I got him down to an outlet position, and then the epidural meant that I could still have a relatively not torturous vacuum delivery.

 

My epidural wasn't perfect - it developed a window, so I felt a fair bit of pain anyway - but it meant I was able to participate coherently in conversations about my care all night, it allowed me to rest and conserve energy for the pushing phase, and it made instrumental delivery much easier on me then it otherwise would have been.  If I hadn't had the epidural, I think I absolutely would have needed a c-section.

A friend of mine had hours and hours of back labor with her son and ended up with an epidural and Pitocin, but was able to have him vaginally. Same thing with her--having the epidural helped her conserve a little energy. I'm sure she would have ended up having a c-section otherwise. 

post #95 of 119

I also know moms who, despite previously thinking they never would, had epidurals during long/painful births and it helped them relax and they were able to deliver vaginally. Would most of them still delivered vaginally without the epidural? Of course. But it certainly made the process more doable for them.

 

I've had, and grappled with since, a difficult labor that had me question whether or not I or the baby would still be alive or damaged in some way if I didn't have a c-section. But I go back and forth on it. He was almost 12 lbs and was in a "sunny side up" position and his (16") head was stuck sideways pressing on my cervix. It was a hospital birth, and there was pitocin involved to try to get me contracting more and dialating more, so I'm not sure what would've happened if the birth had been completely natural. And I'll never know. I always hate to be the person who's like "but my birth was unique and I NEEDED a c-section" but I'm honestly about 50% convinced that I did.

post #96 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

 

My epidural didn't prevent any complications, but it may have saved me some, if that makes sense.  My DS was posterior, and labor got extremely painful very quickly.  The epidural turned off the pain, and I napped while I was getting to fully dilated.  It took me about eight hours to go from 3 cm to 10 cm, but he was still posterior.  I had really good control of my pelvic muscles - I could feel and individually contract and relax them, I was pushing hard - but the kid wasn't coming out.  I got him down to an outlet position, and then the epidural meant that I could still have a relatively not torturous vacuum delivery.

 

My epidural wasn't perfect - it developed a window, so I felt a fair bit of pain anyway - but it meant I was able to participate coherently in conversations about my care all night, it allowed me to rest and conserve energy for the pushing phase, and it made instrumental delivery much easier on me then it otherwise would have been.  If I hadn't had the epidural, I think I absolutely would have needed a c-section.

 

Yeah -  I get that kind of thing. I just find the way the OB put it (if it didn't get garbled by the "Telephone" effect) really, really strange. It sounded as though the OB was saying that not having pain meds creates complications.

 

Mind you, I don't see any reason why someone can't change their mind and get an epidural if they really need to rest or something. It's not like you have to "get the epi in the parking lot" or refuse all pain medication, no matter what.

post #97 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

OB's often like their patients to have an epi because they are then prepped for a section. The issue may be that the doctor has seen things go wrong because of the need for an emergency section when the mother did not get medicated quickly enough?

 

This is basically what I've always heard - that having an epidural already in place is preferable (especially in a high risk pregnancy, where the chances of CS are already higher) since if a CS is called for, an epidural can just be "topped up" and the CS started. If there is no epidural already in place, and a crash CS needs done, the doctors have no choice but to put the mother to sleep under general anesthesia - which carries much higher risks than an epidural, not to mention the mother can't be awake for the birth of her baby. If there is no epidural and a non-emergency CS is called for, though, it shouldn't be an issue to have one placed before the surgery.

post #98 of 119
Quote:

Originally Posted by trimommy2009 View Post

 

Because she wasn't dilated at all and the babies station was relatively high they were concerned an epidural would slow down her contractions[...]

 

Here's where I am confused...I would think giving someone who was terrified of the "pain" of labor an epidural, that maybe she would have relaxed enough to dilate and have a shot at a vaginal birth.  There is after all a compassionate use of pain relief, isn't there.

 

That is ridiculous! irked.gif Epidurals have not been found (by more recent, rigorous studies) to slow labor, in general. Even if it does manage to slow labor at all, it is usually only a difference of ~20 minutes; basically, it works out that some women will dilate quickly after receiving one, some women will continue to dilate (or not) at the same speed they were progressing (or not) at before, and some women will dilate more slowly after the epi than they were before.

To deny wanted pain relief under the outdated, mistaken assumption that the epi would slow down her labor in any significant way...I'm very sorry your friend had to endure that.
greensad.gif
 

post #99 of 119

I have to disagree that epidurals dont slow labor down. That may be the case in studies that are comparing bed laboring women with and without an epidural, but most people who choose to birth naturally are up on their feet, moving around, and switching positions. Women were not meant to lay down on their backs and labor in a bed, and often times lack of movement does slow labor down dramatically. And, when you get an epidural, that's what is happening- you no longer get freedom of movement.

post #100 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

I have to disagree that epidurals dont slow labor down. That may be the case in studies that are comparing bed laboring women with and without an epidural, but most people who choose to birth naturally are up on their feet, moving around, and switching positions. Women were not meant to lay down on their backs and labor in a bed, and often times lack of movement does slow labor down dramatically. And, when you get an epidural, that's what is happening- you no longer get freedom of movement.

 

Not really sure if there are any data/studies to back up what you're saying about the effect of moving around upright on the speed of labor, but I did want to point out that not all epidurals keep you completely confined to bed.

 

In the particular instance of OP's friend, she may have already been "confined" to bed due to the pitocin drip (especially if they had her on the monitor), so even if you're right about being up and moving around, I don't think it would've applied in her case.

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