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Loved my intrathecal! No natural childbirth for me EVER again! - Page 11

post #201 of 225
It is more common then you think to have disgusting men and women who like to cut. It is one of the worst not talked about abuses out there. I am trying to get it into the REAL Vagina Monologues. The more women who know, the better!
post #202 of 225
This reminds me of some of the conversation in the Feminist Mamas Rollcall in FYT.

You know, I think those doctors are sometimes more inclined to do these actions to women who take charge of what they want in labor. What an awful, awful story sevenkids. I'm livid.
post #203 of 225
"You know, I think those doctors are sometimes more inclined to do these actions to women who take charge of what they want in labor."

Absolutely. I happen to know the nurse in attendance at the friend's delivery, and she was quite sure the doc cut her because she'd asked him not to. It wouldn't do to have women thinking they have some kind of choice you know.

And intrathecal is not quite the same as an epidural. Epidural means the space around the spinal cord, while intrathecal is in the spinal space. Intrathecals are not as commonly used, but are becoming more popular at teaching/larger hospitals.
post #204 of 225
Thanks, Apricot and doctorjen.
post #205 of 225
Sevenkids, the story alone is going to give me nightmares. I'm so sorry you had to witness it and even more sorry that any woman had to experience it. I guess it all plays in to my fears (probably unreasonable) of being subject to the power of others in a hospital birth which is what led me to the homebirth of my first. And it hurt. But pain was the least of my worries, and irrespective of the pain it's the same choice I'll make for the next one - Circling back to the OP. For me, I've more fear of psycological trauma than purely physical birth pain perhaps. However, I think we all have a similar need to find a birth that is empowering and not traumatic for us, whatever that is, any debate over pain meds aside.
post #206 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjen
"You know, I think those doctors are sometimes more inclined to do these actions to women who take charge of what they want in labor."

Absolutely. I happen to know the nurse in attendance at the friend's delivery, and she was quite sure the doc cut her because she'd asked him not to. It wouldn't do to have women thinking they have some kind of choice you know.

And intrathecal is not quite the same as an epidural. Epidural means the space around the spinal cord, while intrathecal is in the spinal space. Intrathecals are not as commonly used, but are becoming more popular at teaching/larger hospitals.
THis is just downright scary.. I have avoided being cut by informing my past attendants quite literally "you cut me I sue you" and to be honest they listened.. they had too, its an offense here to conduct any medical procedure without consent..a serious one. I just cannot begin to fathom this.. I feel such pain for womyn who are being violated like this.. it just makes you want to turn the scissors on the offending "attendee" :
post #207 of 225
7kids, I am just, wow, I am really about to cry. Damn
post #208 of 225
I'm coming in w-a-y late on this, but re: fast labors. With my first - 4 hours, manageble (I was 4 cms a week before I ever went into labor, so I'm sure that helped)
#2 - 5 hours, nuchal hand, smaller baby and I can truly say I only felt 'discomfort'
#3, #4 and #5 - just under 2 hours, 1 1/2 hour and 50 minutes and they were all overwhelming. Hurt like a @#($*&, the faster they were, the more so.
#6 - brow presentation, 3 hours (most of them at 8 cms), but managable with ctx. only ever 5 minutes or so.

Oh, I should mention - all with midwives, 3 at a hospital birth center, 3 at home.

I think there are so many variables. But I am astounded that there are people that still think that if you 'relax properly' or 'aren't afraid' or have the right attendant that it won't hurt!
post #209 of 225
Quote:
If you have personally experienced rape, I grieve with you and feel so sorry your first birth renewed that pain for you. If you have not been raped, I would ask that you not use it as a reference point out of respect for those who are still dealing with the severe emotional trauma is represents.
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmabella
Wow, some of you gals are nasty. I purposefully did not mention birth rape in my response to mamasaurus because it did not seem to be what she was referring to in her post. My assumption was that since she mentioned rape and being "drawn and quartered" (which obviously has NOT happened to her) in the same breath, that she was using a random word to describe her experience. I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center and deal extensively with women who have experienced both what you would call a "traditional" rape and birth rape, where someone has willfully and maliciously violated them. Both are valid, both are horrific. However, they are different. My only purpose of posting was to encourage people who have experienced neither circumstance to not use that reference point casually. My heart goes out to my fellow sisters have been violated in this way.
I imagine that, to most women, the word "rape" conjures up the most terrible sense of violation possible. To say that a woman who has not been raped according to a certain definition has no right to use the word is highly disrespectful. Feelings are so subjective and there are many ways to violate another person.

I had a c/s w/ my DD. Afterward, I felt terribly violated by the surgery. I couldn't help thinking over and over about how the doctors had their hands inside my body, how they had handled my internal organs and discussed them like so many bits of meat. I did feel raped. Is it okay for me to use that word b/c I was sexually abused as a child? If I had not been, would I have no claim to it?

Birth is profoundly sexual, whether we always aknowledge it or not. I have had surgery before and not felt that sense of terror and violation. Yet, w/ my c/s (scheduled and ultimately chosen by me to boot) I experienced horrible and completely unexpected trauma. I had many moments of irrational terror afterward. I have mostly healed, but am left w/ a profound distrust for doctors and surgery in general.

And whether the trauma was caused by malintent on the part of the doctor is not really a good measure either. I've no doubt that my doctors had no intent of causing me harm. They had no idea how the c/s would impact me. They believed it was the best possible course of action...and I agreed until I actually had the c/s. Does that mean I have no claim to feel violated?

I think I can understand some of the sensitivity about the use of the word "rape." If one was recovering from rape, the idea of another using the word casually would beyond horrible. I don't think it was used casually in this context. If the discussion had been about paying too much for internet access and a person used the word "rape" that would be casual. The use of the word in the context of a traumatic birth could never be called casual, IMO.
post #210 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmabella
Your description makes me so sad... I'm sitting here trying to find a way to respond without crying. As someone who has been raped (on two separate occasions) and is anticipating the birth of my first child, this really offends me. I'm just shocked that you would so casually refer to an act that's sole purpose is to degrade & violate women in the most intimate manner possible. If you have personally experienced rape, I grieve with you and feel so sorry your first birth renewed that pain for you. If you have not been raped, I would ask that you not use it as a reference point out of respect for those who are still dealing with the severe emotional trauma is represents.
Hi Emily,

I am so sorry that you were raped and that I offended you. I really am. I would not intentionally try to offend someone who had been raped. Thanks for telling me how you feel. I guess I just don't know another good word or words to use right now to describe how I felt during my first birth. I've never been raped, but I can only imagine.

I wish there were other words I could use to describe how I felt. If I could try, I would say that I felt horrific pain beyond anything I could have imagined, I felt violated in my body and outside my body, I felt like someone was taking me over and using me against my will, I felt like I had no support or help from those people who were witnessing my pain, I felt lost, alone, in the dark (my eyes were closed the whole time), I felt tortured and abused.

No matter what words I use to describe the pain, it always seems that I have to come back to some sort of analogy - for example, I was going to say that I felt like I was being possessed by a demon, but of course, I wasn't. It's just a pathetic attempt at trying to describe the pain. But again, I didn't mean to offend you and I'm sorry.

edited to add: Believe me, I was not using the term "rape" casually... I thought carefully about using that word. It was the strongest word I could think of to describe my pain. Sometimes the only way you can get someone to understand you is to use a single, strong word to make a point.

I guess I've tried explaining my pain in more complete sentences to certain people (birth trauma counselors, my midwives and doula at my first birth, other doulas I interviewed for the second birth.) and they just don't get it - how bad the pain was, I mean. I really had to resort to strong language and even then, they still didn't seem to get it.

I tried and tried to explain to my second doula how bad the first birth was, and it wasn't until she was in the delivery room with me, witnessing me climbing the walls (another descriptive phrase, I wasn't actually climbing the walls...), that she understood the level of my pain.
post #211 of 225
Mamasaurus-
I have read this post many, many times and everytime I feel so badly for you. And I have actually had the thought that you were deprived of you rightfully, happy birth experience... and the word "rape" did come into my mind as I have used that word to describe my birth and post-partum experience.

I thought I would just post a definition of "rape" from dictionary.com, which is very similar to the big dictionary we have in hard copy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dictionary.com
rape1 ( P ) Pronunciation Key (rp)
n.
The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.
The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction.
Abusive or improper treatment; violation: a rape of justice.

tr.v. raped, rap·ing, rapes
To force (another person) to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse; commit rape on.
To seize and carry off by force.
To plunder or pillage.
No one group has "ownership" of the term rape. People who use it to describe atrocities aren't minimizing the experiences of those who have experienced rape in another way. There are many ways to experience rape. And if you think of it... all of them involve the "Raping" of dignity from the victim. That term is frequently used to describe how people misuse the earth and resources.

Emmabella, I am truly, truly sorry that you had that awful, terrible experience... Please try to see that there are many ways to suffer loss of dignity and rape. Just as you have a right to grieve about your rape and talk about it in those terms, so does mamasaurus.
post #212 of 225
Wow! What a thread! I hope the OP doesn't feel bad that it's gotten so OT, because there have been some really good tangential discussion here that wouldn't have happened without the OT.

So, rape. Yeah, I agree that the word does not belong only to those who've had penises forced into their vaginas. I do question whether it should be used to describe a violation that was not intended. My first birth, for instance, was emotionally and physically traumatic, mostly due to the actions of my birth attendants, including those involving my genitals. I believe that they did not perceive their actions to be harmful or forced though, so I do not call it "rape". I have however read many stories by women who used the word "rape" very appropriately to describe their birth attendants' actions, and I've read many stories that didn't use that word, but it certainly came to my mind.

On birth pain being a biological necessity: There's no evidence for this. Also, it makes no sense evolutionarily speaking. As our heads became bigger and we started walking upright, our pelvises would have evolved at the same time to accomodate this, as they needed to. The difference between us and other animals that is relevant is our highly developed neocortex and our extreme dependance on it. I would bet anything that if apes came to rely on the neocortex as much as we do, that they would have as much trouble as we do giving birth. Sex is different (and more fraught with dysfunction) for us too, for that very reason.

On pain and attendants: I haven't read all of marsupialmom's posts, but I think I basically agree with her. For most women, an attendant is going to be a distraction to some degree. She may be self-conscious or inhibited, feeling observed. Or the attendant may attempt to guide her, or "ground her" with eye contact. These things stimulate the neocortex, which interferes with hormonal release, which interferes with the functioning of the uterus, which, yes, makes birth painful. How easy would it be, after all, for you to become aroused, lubricated, stretchy, and come to orgasm if a midwife was there with you? That is just straightforward physiology. There are situations I can think of in which this is not an issue, but those are pretty rare I think. Why then have women always been attended by other women in birth? Well actually, we don't know that they have. The vast majority of recorded observations we have about birth have been in patriarchal, aggressive societies, and there's some conjecture that that type of society is served by ritually disturbing the birth process in some way. Traditional and modern midwives both commonly do things to disturb the process.

That said, I know that pain in birth is not all about environment. There are SO many reasons that modern women experience pain in birth, many physical. In my case my hormonal process was not disturbed by the presence of birth attendants (because they weren't there!,) but I was still in my head to some extent. I wonder if something about my lifestyle had something to do with it -- Michel Odent in his book The Scientification of Love writes that the more often we do things that facilitate the flow of oxytocin, the more open the receptor sites become to receiving oxytocin. Another factor yet is that my body is in no shape at all to give birth. I have spent so much of my life sitting in chairs, even reclining on soft surfaces. How could that not have an effect? And I have had other health issues as well that I am positive have affected my body's ability to adjust smoothly to the movement of a baby through it.
post #213 of 225
Hang around on ICAN and you are sure to hear from women who have been both raped and had a c-section, and who feel more violated by the latter.
post #214 of 225
Linda,
I think you made some excellent points about pain. Many (probably even most) modern western women are not in the same physical or emotional shape that our ancestors were in (in terms of being ready to give birth). I've taken a lot of that to heart this pg and am squatting and tailor sitting like crazy.
post #215 of 225
I'm new here, but can't help but feel the point of MDC is to help support women to make informed choices around having and raising children. I am happy you found a birth option that works for you, and glad you are trying to support others by sharing your experience. I would like to think of myself as a homebirth advocate, but recognize it is not the ideal choice for everyone. The undue stress she could have been under from her perception of pain (everyone is different) imo could be just as bad as an epidural for her baby. I have seen women fight labor and in terror tense every single muscle, making a natural delivery so ugly and miserable (and longer), not beautiful or peaceful or empowering at all. I hope through making her own decisions (whatever they may be) she feels empowered and strong and justified. Congratulations, mama! We all must try to choose the best for us and our children, right?
post #216 of 225
I wonder how much is also due to the knowledge in the back of every woman's mind that "it doesn't have to be this way?"

I mean, every woman who decides on a home or unmedicated birth knows that there are hospitals and drugs available to her and all she has to do is ask. I knew that I could ask for an epidural or c-section at any time. Especially at birth #2, I was thinking to myself that I had already had an unmedicated birth with #1 so therefore no one would judge me for taking drugs with #2.
post #217 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
On birth pain being a biological necessity: There's no evidence for this.
Is there evidence that it isn't? It may not matter if there is a biological reason for pain. Did anyone check out the evolution thread?
post #218 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
On birth pain being a biological necessity: There's no evidence for this. Also, it makes no sense evolutionarily speaking. As our heads became bigger and we started walking upright, our pelvises would have evolved at the same time to accomodate this, as they needed to.
I think that would only be true to a point, wouldn't it? It seems to me that, evolutionarily speaking, our pelvises would have to adapt enough that we could give birth. As long as women had no recourse to birth control, there wouldn't be any evolutionary advantage (or disadvantage) to making the birth pain free.
post #219 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I wonder how much is also due to the knowledge in the back of every woman's mind that "it doesn't have to be this way?"

I mean, every woman who decides on a home or unmedicated birth knows that there are hospitals and drugs available to her and all she has to do is ask. I knew that I could ask for an epidural or c-section at any time. Especially at birth #2, I was thinking to myself that I had already had an unmedicated birth with #1 so therefore no one would judge me for taking drugs with #2.
I honestly didn't know this was an option. I think I wrote this before but it never ONCE occured to me while planning either homebirth (no one mentioned it) - or during for that matter - that transferring was an option for the sake of drugs. That's one of the reasons I chose a homebirth - b/c drugs were absolutely not going to be an option. So I feel that I can say very honestly that there never was a thought in my mind that drugs were an option to *me* during childbirth. And I think that for me it made it easier to cope (because I had to).
post #220 of 225
I have mixed feelings about the OP. On one hand I support women in getting the births that are right for them. Even those gals who choose elective cesareans. I'm glad the author of the OP got the birth she wanted the second time. One thing that sometimes pains me is how judgemental we can be of one another, and I wish there was less of that.

On the other hand, my first thought when I read the OP was that if I had read that when I was pregnant with my first baby I would have found it *very* undermining. It would have scared the crap out of me! I think that's why many pps have wondered whether the OP was appropriate. I'm struggling with how to reassure first-time moms-to-be without seeming to invalidate the OP's experience.

I will just say that many, many of us who have opted for natural childbirth have found it was difficult, but not more than we could handle.
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