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Think I want a midwife this time - Page 2

post #21 of 50
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The implication is that if the birth doesn't go off without a major hitch or without needing some prodding, that the mother has either a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual deficiency that resulted in the birth not being a simple, relatively easy UC.
I wouldn't necessarily call it a "deficiency" but what else would it be if not a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual issue?

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That if the mama had just been in touch with her body and had released her fear, or however someone might put it, she wouldn't have had to transfer, or nothing would have gone awry. For example, she had an unresolved fear of something-or-other - say, pushing - and not experiencing that urge was a result of the fear, which she probably had whether she realized it or not. That kind of comment/attitude is not uncommon here and while it's often given gently, it still carries with it a certain amount of condescension and judgment (maybe even denial?).
I'm especially sensitive to this issue because *I* was judged in this way. It's one of my biggest pet peeves, to blame a labor's dysfunction or atypicality on fear or some character deficiency in the mother. While it can be an aspect of labor dysfunction, it's incredibly arrogant and presumptive to imply that it's probably the case for a specific mama, when no one really knows except perhaps for that mama herself. I have to say, though, that while I do see this here at MDC, I honestly have not seen it much in the UC forum.
post #22 of 50
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
I wouldn't necessarily call it a "deficiency" but what else would it be if not a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual issue?
What I see here sometimes is a kind of belief that "issues" do not occur to UCers if you are just patient enough, strong enough, bold enough, informed enough, etc. It's the underlying assumption that we are can be in control of everything if we are just left "alone". An assumption that all the problems other women have in labor and birth are due to someone (presumably an attendant, sometimes the mother) messing with nature. I guess I notice these things because I used to believe them too, and I learned the hard way that I'm not in control of everything and I better exercise some humility and gratitude.
post #23 of 50
I wanted to add a thought to the original topic -
I've birth twice and each time had plenty to criticize. However, I did find that there was *one* thing that I had really focused on each time that I got. The first time I really wanted a self directed pushing phase, no body touching me, catch my own baby. That is exactly what I got - if you had a video of that part of my labor you would think I had a very successful UC. (The reality is that it was midwife attended and a very traumatic labor experience.) The second time I still wanted that, plus I wanted to avoid suffering in labor. I got a nearly painless hypnobirth, no suffering, and still self directed my pushing (though I did not catch). This time my focus is on an undramatic labor and birth and a post partum period at home (added to self directed pushing and no suffering). UC seems the perfect way to achieve my goal for this birth. I think it is good to boil down to the essence of what you really need, and then plan from there.
post #24 of 50
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
What I see here sometimes is a kind of belief that "issues" do not occur to UCers if you are just patient enough, strong enough, bold enough, informed enough, etc. It's the underlying assumption that we are can be in control of everything if we are just left "alone". An assumption that all the problems other women have in labor and birth are due to someone (presumably an attendant, sometimes the mother) messing with nature. I guess I notice these things because I used to believe them too, and I learned the hard way that I'm not in control of everything and I better exercise some humility and gratitude.

I have noticed this here as well. And I sometimes have to watch what I say very closely so as to not ruffle feathers. I see it as a two fold problem. On one hand we are very controlling by nature (human beings) and we like things to go the way we planned them. I know more than one mom who planned a "perfect" birth. Is there such a thing? I desire only to be in control of my body and my decisions. The second thing I see is the "blame the mother" syndrome. If birth didn't go well, then it must be the mother's fault. For not being strong enough to say "no", for not choosing a better place of birth, or better attendant, etc. But life is life, and it's a messy crap shoot sometimes. For lack of a better expression....shit happens, kwim? I think what is most important is that women are treated in a respectful manner when they seek outside intervention. From what I read/hear, that happens very little of the time.
post #25 of 50
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
What I see here sometimes is a kind of belief that "issues" do not occur to UCers if you are just patient enough, strong enough, bold enough, informed enough, etc. It's the underlying assumption that we are can be in control of everything if we are just left "alone". An assumption that all the problems other women have in labor and birth are due to someone (presumably an attendant, sometimes the mother) messing with nature. I guess I notice these things because I used to believe them too, and I learned the hard way that I'm not in control of everything and I better exercise some humility and gratitude.

I think I always had some unconscious assumption that most c-section mamas just didnt try hard enough.. Well now I learned the hard way that sometimes you can do your very best and things still dont turn out the way you hoped and planned (maybe I was meant to learn that lesson? )Whether we like it or not there is a certain element of luck involved in how your birth turns out..
post #26 of 50
I haven't seen a lot of that kind of attitude here though I have only been a regular poster for a few months (off and on a lot before that though). Most UCers seem to recognize that sometimes, things go wrong, and accept that as part of UC (just as it's part of any birth), knowing that by having a UC they are minimizing the likelihood of many things going wrong (since so much is iatrogenic).

As a CBE, I blame our culture and the system, not individual women. Sure, most of the time you can trace things that go wrong with hospital births in particular back to birth attendant/place choices the women made, but the women are only making the best choices they know how with their cultural influences and what they know to be true (even if what they know isn't really true at all). A lifetime of culturally reinforced doctor worship and fear of birth is not an easy thing to overcome.
post #27 of 50
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Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
I haven't seen a lot of that kind of attitude here though I have only been a regular poster for a few months (off and on a lot before that though). Most UCers seem to recognize that sometimes, things go wrong, and accept that as part of UC (just as it's part of any birth), knowing that by having a UC they are minimizing the likelihood of many things going wrong (since so much is iatrogenic).

As a CBE, I blame our culture and the system, not individual women. Sure, most of the time you can trace things that go wrong with hospital births in particular back to birth attendant/place choices the women made, but the women are only making the best choices they know how with their cultural influences and what they know to be true (even if what they know isn't really true at all). A lifetime of culturally reinforced doctor worship and fear of birth is not an easy thing to overcome.
I think that is really true, but I also think you can do everything "right" and still *need interventions at your birth. The most important aspect of UC for me was the ability to call the shots. I was in charge of my body and the decisions being made over it at all times, and that was an amazing freedom I did not feel at the previous 3 births.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
What I see here sometimes is a kind of belief that "issues" do not occur to UCers if you are just patient enough, strong enough, bold enough, informed enough, etc. It's the underlying assumption that we are can be in control of everything if we are just left "alone". An assumption that all the problems other women have in labor and birth are due to someone (presumably an attendant, sometimes the mother) messing with nature. I guess I notice these things because I used to believe them too, and I learned the hard way that I'm not in control of everything and I better exercise some humility and gratitude.
Is it possible that the assumption is on the part of those who believe these things are being said? Often our own issues or previous beliefs color our interpretation of what we read from others and we infer things that aren't meant. I know this happens because it's led to misunderstandings on my part (to be clear, I mean that *I've* misunderstood,) and since we clearly have very different experiences here, I can't help but think that others make this mistake too. It makes me wonder how many times I've said something about the unnatural causes of dysfunction and the benefits of privacy in labor, only for people to assume that I'm implying that *all* problems are due to unnatural causes, or that we can *guarantee* a good outcome if we do everything "right", or that all issues are due to character flaws, or whatever. I really, really believe that if we did a poll and asked people if they believe these things, the answer would be an overwhelming NO.
post #29 of 50
No, it's not, because I had at least one woman tell me point blank that I screwed up my last birth by not being patient. I left after that feeling I needed to focus on my family not on defending myself to women who haven't even gone through one birth experience yet.
post #30 of 50
I can point to several threads going on right now where I see this subtle implication going on. One particular thread someone just dismissed the story another woman shared as not legitamately pertaining to the question asked!

The other thing I see is we can't just say "yes, this happens but it is rare" we have to go over and over that most of the time it was a false diagnosis. This resistance to simply stating there is a very very small risk leads to a feeling "this can't possibly happen to you - you're safe".
post #31 of 50
Something about all this is just not sitting well with me - I think the thing is even if the "assumption" is entirely on the part of the receiver (which I don't think it is, but for the sake of argument...) several women have meantioned receiving this impression. The feelings are valid - and I wouldn't want it to come back around at this point to "it's just *your* issue" - which is kind of the attitude we are feeling sensitive about! YWIM?

The other thing is I don't want to leave the impression I'm feeling very badly about the community here - I just have noticed several women have expressed feeling uncomfortable here when their plans didn't go off without a hitch, and I want to do what I can to make women feel more comfortable.
post #32 of 50
Thanks, 2bluefish, for your thoughtful replies. I feel you really expanded on what I was saying and clarified things. Thank you.

I'd like to say that I too love the community here. I've just noticed the same things, that's all.

Julia
dd 1
post #33 of 50
Okay, case in point. <deleted for UA violation, sorry everyone! >

Mama in the Forest, you were one of the very most supportive people <edited for UA violation, sorry! >. I was never trying to say that you personally were unsupportive or "blaming the mother" in your comments - it was just generally acknowledging that such attitudes to exist on this forum.

Julia
dd 1
post #34 of 50
Hi, everyone

Please let's keep this on-topic and remember the MDC User Agreement states that we're not supposed to talk about other threads or other members (whether or not they are named). Please feel free to start a new thread to discuss any spin-off topics that have come up in the course of the discussion

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Do not start a thread to discuss member behavior or statements of members made in other threads or to criticize another discussion on the boards. Do not post to a thread to take direct issue with a member.
If anyone has a problem with attitudes or anything similar, please consider PMing the original poster to ask for clarification or simply utilize the "Report" button (the red, black and white triangular button in lower left-hand corner) to notify a moderator.

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Any questions or concerns, please feel free to PM me. Thanks!
post #35 of 50
I know Julia, it's hard to discuss these feelings in any inteligable way without referencing things we're not supposed to reference. In thinking more about it, I realized I don't feel like talking about this because I want or expect somebody else to change or even thinking they need to. It's just nice once in awhile to know that others have a shared experience and feelings and offer ((hugs)) YWIM?
post #36 of 50
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
No, it's not, because I had at least one woman tell me point blank that I screwed up my last birth by not being patient. I left after that feeling I needed to focus on my family not on defending myself to women who haven't even gone through one birth experience yet.
Certainly, there are dogmatic individuals (less so here than on other boards I've frequented, thankfully) and I've butted heads with some myself, and been offended. We probably all have. All I'm saying is that I don't see that it is a common sentiment here that nature is inherently perfect and in line with what we want and it sounded to me like that was what you were saying. If you're talking about a person here and there, yes I've seen that, and I said as much before. And what I also see is that the mast majority of us disagree with that. But maybe we're talking past each other and I misunderstood the point you were trying to make -- it sounded like a general accusation to me, and that was what I was responding to.

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The other thing I see is we can't just say "yes, this happens but it is rare" we have to go over and over that most of the time it was a false diagnosis.
What do you mean we can't just say that? It seems to me that (although it also seems to me that it should go without saying) I am constantly saying it. But why shouldn't we also continue to turn it around in our heads? Most of the time it probably *is* a false diagnosis. What good does it do to just simply accept every diagnosis as valid? Why is questioning bad?

Re: birth stories and comments that suggest psychological or environmental possibilities for what happened, a given respondant might be off in the specifics of that as it relates to the story, but regardless the general idea that that there may be psychological or environmental aspects to the birth is true. And I think it's reasonable to point that out when the birth story includes a lot of "Why?" questions. (Speaking hypothetically so that the thread doesn't get shut down for referring to another actual specific thread...)

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The feelings are valid - and I wouldn't want it to come back around at this point to "it's just *your* issue"
I'm not saying that at all. I said that I've experienced it myself, didn't I? Again, though, I thought you were implying that this is a common belief structure here, in which case my statement about mistaken inferrences stands. I don't believe for one second that most people here think that birth is all psychological or that if just left alone it's always perfect.
post #37 of 50
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
it sounded like a general accusation to me, and that was what I was responding to.
I'm certainly not saying everyone in the MDC UC forum is like this. I do see it as a general trend within a certain segment of UCers in the UC community at large, and I do see it crop up from time to time here.

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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
What do you mean we can't just say that?
It feels like I see this "often" - maybe it happens often, maybe not - maybe it's just a pet peeve and it irritates me everytime I see it so it seems like it happens more than it does: this tendency to want to say that different scenarios and problems in labor and birth have identifiable man-made causes, so we don't need to prepare for them because *it won't happen to me*.

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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
What good does it do to just simply accept every diagnosis as valid? Why is questioning bad?
Questioning isn't bad, and I certainly wouldn't suggest we accept every diagnosis. But I don't think it is fair to discount the experiences of other women without asking lot's of questions and listening to the answers (for example - "Do you feel that you were impatient?" "What were your instincts telling you? I want to understand the mindset you were in when you made the choice." Rather than "The way I see it, your problem was you were impatient.")

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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
I don't believe most people here think that birth is all psychological or that if just left alone it's always perfect.
Perhaps not, but that doesn't mean they don't give that impression to others. I have seen a significant number of young women be disappointed with their first births, because of this impression. I feel that accurate depiction and explanation of birth and its risks does more to dispel fear, than allowing an impression to abound that birth is without risk. While the UC community at large may not believe birth is without risk, I do think that impression is sometimes given (perhaps to those most open to receiving that message).
post #38 of 50
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
I know Julia, it's hard to discuss these feelings in any inteligable way without referencing things we're not supposed to reference. In thinking more about it, I realized I don't feel like talking about this because I want or expect somebody else to change or even thinking they need to. It's just nice once in awhile to know that others have a shared experience and feelings and offer ((hugs)) YWIM?
Yes, I think that's where I'm at, too.

I'd like to apologize (to everyone) for quoting from another thread. This bad mama needs to go back and reread the User Agreement!

Julia
dd 1
post #39 of 50
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Originally Posted by Romana9+2 View Post
I'd like to apologize (to everyone) for quoting from another thread. This bad mama needs to go back and reread the User Agreement!
Ditto for me! Why is it that my most interesting thoughts are always against the UA? Rebel without a cause I guess!
post #40 of 50
No need to apologize...it was just a general reminder
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