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"i did it natural, with an epidural of course" - Page 2

post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by noorjahan
Can I tell you something? Back home where I am from there is no epidural, you have either c-sec or you say normal.We say did you have baby normally or you had complication. We never say the word natural. So, in my previous job there was this girl who had a baby and when I asked her if she had c-sec she replied "no, it was natural." I was so confused. I was like what is natural? I thought all births were natural either with complication or without complication. I never got the courage to ask her what she meant by natural caz I didn't want her to think I was stupid! Then she would say how she didn't have epidural caz she didn't want to mess her back. And to be honest before I started reading birth stories I really didn't know in US what is considerate natural and what is not. But saying having a natural birth with epidural is REALLY funny!
In some US hospitals, it might be more accurate to ask "did you have the baby normally or was it a vaginal birth?"
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldsapmom
I don't see an issue with letting a woman define her birth the way she wishes. I define mine accordingly, and let her define hers as well. We may be saying, "I'm not judging," or "I don't want to judge," but really, we are. So what if a mom says she had a natural birth when really the only natural thing is a baby sprang from her vagina -- her experience, her definition. I would never pop in with with my own definition to try to "help" her see her definition is out of alignement with mine. I am satisified with what I did and the experience I had to let her hold her own memory of birth.

It really is true -- there is no medal for going with no pain meds, but to some of us, that is our utmost goal and desire. Even a smaller percentage of us actually get there, while many more do not. Who am I to tell you how to perceive your experience?
I completely agree with what you have said here.

-Laura
post #23 of 55
As someone who had an induced, medicated c-section, I certainly wouldn't use the term natural to describe my son's birth, but the use of the word natural at all sort of annoys me (in a small, nitpicky way). I carried my son for nine months, he came out of my body, and it's an absolute miracle that he's here at all given my medical history. The use of the word natural to describe unmedicated, vaginal births implies that other births are unnatural and that bothers me. I'm planning an unmedicated VBAC for my current pregnancy, but I won't ever use the term natural to describe it....unmedicated vaginal delivery is what I'll be saying (if anyone asks).
post #24 of 55
I was induced, and got an epidural, but it only worked on one side. The Dr. called for the anesthesiologist to come back to fix it. He took it out completely and did it again, only the second time it didn't take at all. He said I had too much fluid for it to work. I had no intentions on having a natural labor. I definitely wanted an epidural. Right after I delivered my son, I got right off of the bed and went to the bathroom. They looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "Wow your epidural really didn't work." As if I was lying!!!

Anyway, I still don't say I had a "natural" birth, because to me, I technically didn't. I just say, I had an epidural that didn't take at all. I let whomever I'm talking to decide if it was natural or not. I personally don't put myself in the "natural" category though.
post #25 of 55
<My most recent doula client had her baby in-hospital, and because of some slightly elevated blood pressure, the docs insisted on Pitocin augmentation. She got through all of labor and birth without pain meds, though.

Would you call this a "natural" birth? Just wondering . . . when I talk about the birth I say that she did it "drug free . . . except for the Pit".>

I tell ya what- any woman who can birth a baby with no artificial pain relievers while being augmented/induced with Pit, is my HERO! No joke. My hospital vaginal birth was a cakewalk next to some of what I have seen as a doula....( I *have* had 2 induced clients to birth with no pain meds, but it is fairly rare, I try to prepare them for this if they decide to be induced).
post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
In some US hospitals, it might be more accurate to ask "did you have the baby normally or was it a vaginal birth?"
Ruthla, I'm sorry but I didn't get it. Can you please explain it a little bit. I'm confused again! Thanks. By normally do you mean naturally well, vaginally but without epidural? It's really confusing to me!
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by noorjahan
Ruthla, I'm sorry but I didn't get it. Can you please explain it a little bit. I'm confused again! Thanks. By normally do you mean naturally well, vaginally but without epidural? It's really confusing to me!
I think she means that the C-section rates are so high at some hospitals that it's becoming what a "normal" birth is. Am I right, Ruthla?
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spark
Seems like another case of "Formica" meaning all "Laminate Countertops!" It's just much more annoying! I also get annoyed at the whole "Birth Center" meaning "Hospital Maternity Ward". And I certainly annoyed with "I nursed him for a long time" meaning "the whole six months".

Would it be rude to ask people for a definition of these words they throw around so casually?


I hear ya.

If someone is in a car crash, is it rude to ask what kind of crash? Wanting details, accurate details, isn't only for nosey judgemental people--it's also something that caring conversation partners ask for. And in this crazy world of birth, where the word VAGINA is taboo and the USA c-sec rate is 28% and epidural use can be 80% at some hospitals and Pit is pumped into practically every pregnant woman lying on a gurney, we gotta know what people's definitions are.

It is annoying. It's difficult to make a connection with someone, talk about important life-changing events, and not be on the same page.
post #29 of 55
I don't consider my labor with my ds to be natural because I had pitocin but I did NOT have any pain meds. I say I birthed w/o pain meds but the pit made it unnatural on so many levels. Oh and he did exit out my vagina.
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldsapmom
I don't see an issue with letting a woman define her birth the way she wishes. I define mine accordingly, and let her define hers as well. We may be saying, "I'm not judging," or "I don't want to judge," but really, we are. So what if a mom says she had a natural birth when really the only natural thing is a baby sprang from her vagina -- her experience, her definition. I would never pop in with with my own definition to try to "help" her see her definition is out of alignement with mine. I am satisified with what I did and the experience I had to let her hold her own memory of birth.
True enough, but it muddies the issue with unclear categorization. As someone else pointed out, there are women who are so conditioned to the epidural/lay in bed kind of birth that they are genuinely unaware of other options. If we had clear labels for the different choices, maybe more women would have greater awareness (even if that didn't change their choices).
post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline248
I tell people my last birth wasn't natural but it was pain-med free because I had pitocin. People look at me like I am crazy for not having pain meds anyway....

~C~
ditto here. I was induced, EEZI, enima, broke waters, then pitocin, but no pain meds. I say it was pain med free, but certainly not natural.
post #32 of 55
I don't know.. I don't think people should judge really. I had pitocin with my first labor, but because I didn't know it until after her birth I don't consider it any less "natural." It wasn't as if I asked for pitocin to botch the whole thing. They literally did not tell me what it was, only that they were giving me an IV of fluids. :

With my second labor I was given Stadol without my consent or knowledge. It was only when I heard them talking "I gave her meds, but they didn't seem to help any." that I realized what they had done. I was hooked up to an IV because of Group B Strep so it was easy for them to slip things in. My chart specifically said no medication unless I asked for it, and they did not listen to me. Did that make me angry? Yup. But in my eyes it didn't make my daughters birth any less "natural"..especially considering the Stadol really DIDN'T work!

So no, I don't alter the story to say that it was vaginal but not natural...because to me it most certainly was! I also don't find it nessasary to go into every detail with exactly what went on that day with every person who wants to know if it was "natural" or not.
post #33 of 55
I know what my definitions mean....and realize that to some women its different. But I would never "correct" someone, who say, tells me she had a "natural birth" and means that the baby came out of her vagina and she had pain meds.

Listen, I loved my epidurals and wanted to marry the anesthesiologists who gave them to me. But when I refer to my first child's birth, I always say "un-medicated". Because I was. No pain meds, no pit. Just a help lock in my wrist
post #34 of 55
The reason I don't really feel the need to define another's experience is due to an experience I had with my best friend a couple of years ago. She had her third repeat cesarean. They kept the baby away from her for 3 hours, not due to any reason but hospital policy which does not typically allow baby in recovery. I was there when baby was born and watched as they wheeled baby to the nursery. I stuck around for about 40 minutes and then decided to go get some lunch and make childcare arrangements for my boys.

When I came back (three hours later!) my friend was all cozied up in her postpartum room, but no baby! I said, "Where's the baby?" and my friend told me they had not brought Her to her yet. I was thinking "What the heck?" I went out to the nurses' station and said, "Um, can she have her baby now?" The nurses made up some excuse about why baby was no in there and then immediately brought her to mom (they had not even nursed yet!).

I was horrified -- absolutley horrified -- but my friend seemed to think it was all perfectly normal. At that point, tempting as it was, what would have been the point of me pointing out to her that her experience did not need to be that way? That in that same hospital if you ask and get your doc's permission, you CAN have baby in recovery and then taken with you to your pp room? I really had to check my anger, outrage, and disappointment at the door because as frustrating as it was for me (and I was so pissed off!) she was at perfect peace with the whole thing. Here, let me come along and tell you how imperfect the whole situation was so maybe you can have grief and stress about it...no thanks -- not my place.

So I guess I figure if a mom is okay with her experience, I let her have it, no matter what our differences in definition are .
post #35 of 55
ldsapmom, I totally agree with your choice in your friend's case. I didn't mean to suggest that we should be judgemental to people we are talking to, especially when their birth has already occurred (in fact, that is the worst time to make them second-guess or regret their decisions! I know, believe me!). All I meant was, the term "natural" needs to have a single, clear definition so that women know what it means and can know all the choices available to them (including unmedicated birth).

I suppose one could argue that it has been given such a definition by the medical establishment (equivalent to "vaginal"), but probably not all practitioners and hospitals use this term in the same way. If I knew a woman well enough, and she said she had had a "natural" birth, I would probably ask her to clarify, simply because of the issues we've talked about here, but I wouldn't express anything but support for her response unless she asked my honest opinion.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndiB
I suppose one could argue that it has been given such a definition by the medical establishment (equivalent to "vaginal"), but probably not all practitioners and hospitals use this term in the same way. If I knew a woman well enough, and she said she had had a "natural" birth, I would probably ask her to clarify, simply because of the issues we've talked about here, but I wouldn't express anything but support for her response unless she asked my honest opinion.
The thing is, I think the medical establishment's definition (and, actually, I don't think this is the medical establishment's definition--I think it's just a definition often used by women who have had "mainstream", medicalized births, in part out of discomfort saying vaginal and in part due to a very real misunderstanding of what "normal" birth is like) is actually a distortion of the word's intention. When I think of "natural birth", I think of the "natural birth movement"--which is to say, a specific philosophy of birth meant to counter the hyper-medicalized model that's prevalent in the US.

I also don't think that trying to develop accurate definitions of our terms is the equivalent of being judgmental. As a vegetarian (and sometimes vegan), I've seen the problems that this can cause. Every "vegetarian who eats fish" or "vegan who eats eggs occassionally" makes it that much more difficult for those of us who actually use these words properly to find foods we can eat--friends, family, and restaurant waitstaff get more and more confused about what those terms actually mean, because people use them improperly. I have actually been to a wedding where the "vegetarian" entree was fish! Accurate definitions are crucial to conveying meaning--and, in the case of food and birth choices, to conveying our values. I don't look down or judge on a woman who makes an informed choice to have an epidural--but for her to say that she had a "natural childbirth" makes it that much more difficult for people to understand what I mean when I talk about how important it is for me to try to have a natural childbirth.
post #37 of 55
Well said, Amanda. As a vegan, too, I have run into the same thing you mention -- someone who thinks that he is vegan b/c he doesn't eat red meat (but does eat milk, fish, eggs, poultry...) Sometimes terms get so muddied that the person using them to describe themselves (or their birth experience) doesn't even realize that she is misusing the term.

I don't begrudge my sil for having an epidural, but I do think that it muddies the waters for those of us who are meaning unmedicated when we say "natural."

eta: I also don't like the fact that those of us who choose the natural method of doing something often have to change our terminology to define our choices. For instance, we could start using the term "unmedicated" instead of "natural" but, to me, that is causing us to define a normal birth experience in a way that is comparing it to a medicated birth with the medicated birth being the standard of normal (UNmedicated). Much like someone who chose to leave her son intact is often forced to say UNcircumcised b/c intact doesn't have much meaning to the mainstream without the less natural alternative against which to compare it.
post #38 of 55
I personally don't consider most hospital births natural, even if there were no pain meds. Being pumped full of Pitocin, monitored, forced to stay in bed, pushing flat on your back, and having a three-inch cut in your perineum is NOT natural, even if it was unmedicated.
post #39 of 55
I try not to get too worked up over birth semantics. I think most people around me feel that natural=vaginal. I personally feel like there was nothing natural about my first two births (in hospital ) e.i. there is nothing natural about being confined to a bed for 12 hours straight via IVs and EFM and IFM...most mothers dont' "naturally" want to push out a baby while laying on their back while people hold them spread-open, if their left to move about on their own. But that's my personal take that I usually keep to myself when enduring a chit chat about birth with some women. I'm not about to tell them their birth wasn't natural if that is the term they use. I guess that would be a tad bit offensive huh
post #40 of 55
Thanks, JesseMomme & minkajane, for being bold enough to post what I've been too chicken to post...I, too, feel that most nonmedicated hospital births aren't "natural."

What does "natural" mean? Vaginal, yes. I think it also always means drug-free. Most importantly, it describes a labor and birth process that does not have any unwanted or unneccesary interference.

Not to be crude or gross, but indulge me while I use an example free of the politics of birth, or the anger at the attending OB & drug-pushing L&D RNs on duty or whatever:

For example, today I took a poop naturally. I didn't need drugs to get it going, or to ease discomfort during, and I didn't have anyone watching me, making me anxious. I pushed in whatever way I needed to, I felt safe and secure in my own bathroom, and in fact, this was such a natural and private event, it feels wierd talking about it here. My culture dictates that I pooped on a toilet, and wiped my bum with toilet paper, wheras a natural bm in another culture might be in the woods, or might be with water to rinse off afterwards.

I think that's what a natural bowel movement involves. I think a natural birth experience shares quite a few similarities, namely: no drugs, no cutting, no probing, no observation. Sometimes my kids like me to keep them company while they poop. Sometimes I have a kiddo near me, or dh brushing teeth in the bathroom while I poop...and I think many times natural-birthing women have birth supporters, not observers or interveners, in their midst.

There's a group of mamas who call non-messed-with births "pure births", and I think that's an apt term.

I think it's very important that a non-"natural" birth be recoginzed as a valued, potentially wonderful event. A c-section birth is unnatural...and that's why it's great. Women and babies dying in childbirth is natural; babies malpositioned such that they can never be born, so they die in the womb, that is natural. That doesn't make it good.

A natural birth is not automatically a good birth. A non-natural birth can be a good birth. A natural birth is an intervention-free birth. A non-natural birth has interventions. Most USA births involve lots of interventions; many of them drugs, and so most USA births aren't "natural." Many interventions are not "good", like episiotomies, and women think painmed-free births are unusual/unreal, and so "natural" has come to mean "good." (You can buy Natural Cheetos ...."natural" don't mean a dang thang!)
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