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On Epidurals & FEelings Twords Women Who Get Them - Page 3

post #41 of 106
Woman talk about this subject with so much superiority, fear, and judgment that I found it impossible to get a balanced and educated perspective on the subject until I went though it. I have heard women on both sides make sweeping statements that are very offensive. If we want women to make smart educated decisions I think there is a need to examine how we talk about this subject. The OP wanted to know why there was judgment, it the same reason no matter what the subject is, fear, need to defend one's choices, and seeing the world form only their personal perspective. I agree with PP that most people try to do their best with the information that they have, that is why smart nonjudgmental conversation on this subject is so important. Also, most MDC members do not try to judge any individual person and their decisions, I just think they feel strongly about a subject and it may come across in the wrong way.
post #42 of 106
I don't judge the women, I judge the "system." The mandatory, bed confined, monitoring that all hospitals require to some extent. Most women who do not have a doula/do extensive research do not know that they can request intermittent monitoring (btdt) and just lay on the bed *in the one position that picks up the baby's HR the best* and suffer. What other choice do they have?

The nurses and Drs who play the "dead baby card" at every turn. Oh, you want to walk around? WEll, we really need to monitor this baby, which is more important than your silly *desire* to move during labor....

The friends and media and family members who relish in sharing grisley stories of who had the most miserable birth experience, who almost died and who's OB is the biggest hero....

The idea that the medical establishment pushes that out-of-hospital birth is risky and you are taking chances with your babies life if you even consider it...

The tests, tests, and more tests that pick up every little cyst and bone and blip on the developing fetus and turn it into a huge batch of worry for the mom. Or the GD tests and others that scare moms into fearing the gigantic babies they have inside....

The legal system that holds even good doctors accountable for every little variation in nature and has everyone scared to keep their hands off of a laboring mother....

The insurance system that will pay 100% for a birth at a hospital with a 40+% Csection rate, but refuses coverage for a homebirth....

Those are things I judge. For the moms themselves, I offer my ideas, my support (as a doula) and my information. Most choose not to accept it, because they "love" their doctors and they trust the nurses at the hospital will take care of them.
post #43 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandib50
from a feminist stand point i see epidurals as a way to prevent women from claiming their power as birthing mama's and to reap the personal benefits that come from giving birth without medication which could ultimately change our culture. not only which, it's another way of making sure that a medicalized culture of birth is the norm and this culture discourages women from choosing midwives and having homebirths (because you know, we wouldn't want to have women trusting their bodies and having other women supporting that notion).
This is my issue with it right here. It's the big picture that bothers me, not necessarily each individual.
post #44 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe
But OH MAN!!! needle, spinal column - I'm so with you! I don't understand people who rave about epidurals - it's horrible, and nothing like having a baby - you're lying there, numb...
This is one of the reasons I have trouble seeing my c-sections as "births". I mean...except for a little bit of a tugging sensation sometimes, I felt nothing when my babies were delivered. That just doesn't seem like a birth to me.
post #45 of 106
There have been alot of great posts that I agree with, so I'm not going to re-post the same ideas again. I just wanted to tell a little of my experience. I was induced with my dd and truly wanted a natural childbirth because I believed that it was safer for us both. I was pressured into one by the nurses after about 18 hrs of labor when I was having a very weak moment during a bad contraction. Unfortunately the epidural only worked for about 10 minutes, then I went from trying to take a little nap to feeling the strong contractions (they turned the pit up once the epi started). They took out the first epi and 'insisted' on putting in another one. That one made my feet numb and heavy but I could feel ALL of the pain from my knees up. So I was stuck there laying in bed with excrutiating pit induced contractions. My dd's heartrate did not do well after the pit was started, so I ended up with an oxygen mask. Also my labor slowed down tremendously and I was told I'd probably have to have a csection. Luckily I ended up dialating a bit more then and being able to deliver vaginally after a 27 hour labor. My dd was extremely sleepy and had sucking problems which we believe were from the epidural. She ended up the Children's hospital at 6 days old from dehydration from refusing to nurse. It took 4 weeks of intensive work with a lactation consultant and a speech pathologist (for her sucking problems) before she was able to nurse properly.

My opinion is that there are real SIGNIFICANT risks to an epidural. I have seen them first hand. After my dd was born I decided I would NEVER go through that again. I would take the pain of childbirth with no drugs 10 times over compared to seeing my dd hooked up to monitors in the hospital because she couldn't nurse. I regret my decision to have a hospital birth in the first place because I was very much badgered into making decisions when I was not capable of thinking straight. The baby I am pregnant with now will be a homebirth with caring midwife. I truly believe that women can give birth naturally, because our bodies were designed for it. Epidurals should be saved for the rare cases that really need it.
post #46 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by BensMom
I don't judge the women, I judge the "system." The mandatory, bed confined, monitoring that all hospitals require to some extent. Most women who do not have a doula/do extensive research do not know that they can request intermittent monitoring (btdt) and just lay on the bed *in the one position that picks up the baby's HR the best* and suffer. What other choice do they have?

The nurses and Drs who play the "dead baby card" at every turn. Oh, you want to walk around? WEll, we really need to monitor this baby, which is more important than your silly *desire* to move during labor....

The friends and media and family members who relish in sharing grisley stories of who had the most miserable birth experience, who almost died and who's OB is the biggest hero....

The idea that the medical establishment pushes that out-of-hospital birth is risky and you are taking chances with your babies life if you even consider it...

The tests, tests, and more tests that pick up every little cyst and bone and blip on the developing fetus and turn it into a huge batch of worry for the mom. Or the GD tests and others that scare moms into fearing the gigantic babies they have inside....

The legal system that holds even good doctors accountable for every little variation in nature and has everyone scared to keep their hands off of a laboring mother....

The insurance system that will pay 100% for a birth at a hospital with a 40+% Csection rate, but refuses coverage for a homebirth....

Those are things I judge. For the moms themselves, I offer my ideas, my support (as a doula) and my information. Most choose not to accept it, because they "love" their doctors and they trust the nurses at the hospital will take care of them.
: I agree with that completely!
post #47 of 106
Quote:
This is one of the reasons I have trouble seeing my c-sections as "births". I mean...except for a little bit of a tugging sensation sometimes, I felt nothing when my babies were delivered. That just doesn't seem like a birth to me.
I don't understand not wanting to claim your c-section as a birth. You did the best job you could (You Birthed), would you have rather died like many women did 100 years ago?? I may be missunderstanding this post so I am sorry if I did.
post #48 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by celrae
I don't understand not wanting to claim your c-section as a birth. You did the best job you could (You Birthed), would you have rather died like many women did 100 years ago?? I may be missunderstanding this post so I am sorry if I did.
Come on now... that's clearly not what she's saying. At no time did she insinuate that she would have prefered to die rather than have C-sections. She's just giving her experience.
post #49 of 106
I am wondering what the original poster thinks of the responses so far... ???

My personal feelings about epidurals are along the lines of "nothing near my spinal cord, thanks." However, I also recognize the usefulness of epidurals for cesarean births, for prolonged labors when mama perhaps could use some respite or other labor situations. I choose to believe that most mamas here at MDC have done their research and are making the best choice for them based on their circumstances. My issue with many women in our culture wanting epidurals "as soon as they walk in the hospital doors" is that they may or may not know the risks. I also have issues with partners wanting the mama to get an epidural when perhaps the mama isn't entirely convinced that's what she wants, or even worse, partners making jokes that they want the epidural.

To the original poster, I'm sad that you are feeling judgment in some places here at MDC about women who choose epidurals, but I'm not sure if there actually is judgment happening or just your interpretation. I suppose if you gave us an example of where you read judgment, it would help clarify. I did read a comment of yours on another thread referring to epidurals and immaturity, but when I read the original comment they could have been interpreted as completely separate thoughts. Any other examples you want to highlight? Or is it just a general feeling? MDC is a forum for natural family living, so it's going to be more non-intervention oriented...

~claudia
post #50 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma
I had two epidurals and while the reasons were personal and IMO very justified, I'm not going to expect people here to applaud me for it.
I agree. I had two epidural births and one drug free birth. No IV either.

I don't deserve a medal for the drug and intervention free birth, and I don't expect applause for the epidural birth.

Then again, I don't need anyone here to give me any sort of thumbs up (or down) for my choices. I mean, really, who is anyone here to decide whether what I chose was "legit"?

I figure this message board is NFL, and an epidural doesnt jive. I dont take it personal, kwim?
post #51 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by celrae
I don't understand not wanting to claim your c-section as a birth. You did the best job you could (You Birthed), would you have rather died like many women did 100 years ago?? I may be missunderstanding this post so I am sorry if I did.
I'd actually love to claim them (I've had three) as births. They just don't feel that way to me at all...partly because of the anesthetic (no - I wouldn't want to have a c-section without it!). I just find that feeling of numbness feels...wrong. It feels as though I wasn't even there for my own children's arrivals into the world. It's something I've been struggling with for a long time. I certainly wouldn't have rather died - but neither am I convinced that was likely in my situation.
post #52 of 106
This article on midwifery today is very informative about drug use during labor. I don't think that the risks of having an epi are worth it in most cases.

I knew a girl that had her baby while I was 6 mo pregnant. She tells me "Definitely get an epidural! Don't be afraid to get it done, because you will not regret it!" Well, of course I didn't regret it, because I didn't need one so I didn't get one. Why do people act like the pain of childbirth is such a hassle? I mean, yeah, it isn't fun, but my body is doing something really amazing, yk?

Also, the women I have known who had epidurals either didn't bf because their babies were so crashed out when they were born, or they had an incredibly hard time starting even with a lot of help.
post #53 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmcitymama
I should stay away from MDC. I had an epidural with my dd (it was wonderful!) and have been contemplating unmedicated birth for this next birth for various reasons. I am leaning away from it as I find some of these posts so offensive. Epidurals really are awesome! Last chance to sleep or get some rest before pushing.
As far as natural childbirth goes, in many cases if the mother is very tired, after she is finished dilating, she will have a period of time that is contraction free, so that she can rest and have enough energy to push the baby out. I only had a couple minutes that were contraction free, but I wasn't really tired anyhow. It was very nice, though, even with the nurse staring at me wondering why I wasn't pushing yet. :LOL Next time, there will be no nurse! hehe.
post #54 of 106
Reader, I recently read a thread on a mainstream board that was talking about epidurals and everyone was heck yeah. I was turned off by that. I think I am more middle of the road. I like to have choices. I still am going to aim for natural for my own personal reasons.
post #55 of 106
Thread Starter 
My first and so far only childbirth was a horrible exp. I was also given pitocin when I was at 8cm... but I never did have an epidural.


But with that said, I wonder if that was actually foolish on my part. I lay there in complete agony and for what? To carry some sort of badge of honor? It could also be argued that having a difficult childbirth could be hard on the fetus as the mother's BP is elevated and the mother of course undergoes other stresses due to the pain of childbirth.

With comments such as going painfree is going through a real childbirth (bascially saying women who choose epidurals are not allowed to say they gave birth : ) and so on is sort of disgusting to me. Just because you felt MORE pain doesn't make you any better than anyone else.

You mention the risks of having an epidural. There are also risks getting into your car and driving on the highway. There are also risks in having a homebirth.

While childbirth is considered "natural" - so is death. Now while I am aware that there cannot be an equal comparison between the process of death and childbirth, it doesn't mean that all things natural are positive or that all things natural feel good. Nor does it mean we should be forced to me a marytr.

I guess what I am getting at is this. I notice a lot of very very negative attitudes on this forum twords epidurals and the women that get them. To judge these woman is very unfair IMO. What about liberating women? What about freedom of choice and the freedom to be who we are, not what others tell us that we should be.
post #56 of 106
Just in case any of us need reminding, heres'a link to some of the risks involved with eppies:
http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/epirisks.html
post #57 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
What about freedom of choice and the freedom to be who we are, not what others tell us that we should be.
You don't have to allow anyone to make choices for you.

Make your choices, and own them.

Just don't be surprised or defensive when others disagree.
post #58 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skellbelle
You don't have to allow anyone to make choices for you.

Make your choices, and own them.

Just don't be surprised or defensive when others disagree.
While I "agree" with natural childbirth and practice it myself... my issue is something different. My issue is the terrible attitude of natural birthing mothers twords women who seek pain relief during labor.
post #59 of 106
i think that babies have the right to be born without drugs in their system, whenever possible. epidurals can be life saving and wonderful, but their use (and the use of other drugs and interventions) in normal labors does the baby a disservice, imo. epidurals cause discoordinated sucking in babies. narcotics cause dopey babies and sleepy moms. what a poopy way to start your life on the outside, imo. epis and other pain relief (as well as efm etc) should be reserved for cases of true need.
post #60 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
While I "agree" with natural childbirth and practice it myself... my issue is something different. My issue is the terrible attitude of natural birthing mothers twords women who seek pain relief during labor.
I dunno. It happens the other way around, too.

Even your comment about being a "martyr" for natural childbirth ain't exactly spotlessly neutral. I've heard homebirth denigrated as "naive" "unsanitary" "ignorant" et cetera.

What are you gonna do? I've had an epidural, but I see no problem with having some of my birth assumptions challenged. I'd head over to babycenter if I wanted to have people pat me on the head for it.
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