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support for UC in a UC forum

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I'm starting this thread as a spin-off from Jessjoy's thread about maybe choosing a midwife next time around...because I want to discuss some of the issues that came up, without causing Jessjoy any disrespect or invalidation.

I didn't know there were so many mamas that felt concerned or.....what's the word, less than supported in the UC forum. I'd like to make that better.

From my perspective, there is an underlying assumption that birth for *me* and for other women like me who desire a UC, is that things will work out best for us if we are left alone. Not that we can be in control of everything, but that being without interference & intervention from birth professionals is our optimal way to birth. I guess that's why we have the UC forum at all, right? So we can support each other and talk & know that there are other women out there in the masses of those who birth with birth attendants, who choose UC. It's part of what differentiates us from the category of Homebirth, Birth Professionals, VBAC, & Birth Stories.

But how to DO that without offending those who changed their minds about UC, or those who transferred, or those who want attended births? The only way I can imagine doing that, is by doing what I would do if I had a good friend sitting right here with me who had experienced a problematic birth...just give her a hug, listen to her, and offer my friendship.

Still, I want to be able to discuss UC frankly, without having to give disclaimers every step of the way.
post #2 of 44
i agree with greenlee on everything she said. Dont have answers to the questions at the moment. But wanted to say, i'm here, and feel as you do
post #3 of 44
I wondered when this thread would appear. I knew that her thread could possibly cause some feelings to be hurt and/or not validated.

I've often wondered this myself. I transferrred with DD and as a result did not com back in here until I became pregnant again. It's only recently that I have started posting often (and due to circumstance less often ).

I soooo wish discussions we had here did not always have to have some sort of disclaimer....whether it be about a person, or legit medical event etc. I am so tired of having to say "yes I know BUT as a ucer...".

Hmmm....off to ponder this some more.
post #4 of 44
I completely agree, MITF.

I have never seen what I would consider rude or disrespectful comments directed at someone because they transfered or chose to have a mw attend their birth or whatever the situation. I HAVE seen lots of accusations of being insensitive, but I've never understood what they were talking about. I've only been on MDC a year, so maybe it was different before? :

I also see a lot of having to defend the choice to UC~ on the UC forum! This is what I don't get. This is where I want to come to discuss UC openly and not tiptoe around. Obviously no one should ever be rude, and UC is not for everyone. It is for me, and I assume by the title of the forum, it is for the other women here. There are all kinds of offshoots of that, such as changing minds at the last minute, or transfers, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I do not like feeling as if I have to censor myself, in the UC forum. I generally just do not post if I feel as if there is any possible way my thoughts would be interpreted as offensive. I really don't want to upset people. I would just like to be open and honest.
post #5 of 44
It's interesting that we talk so much about baggage from previous attended births without necessarily paying much attention to the baggage incurred from attempted UCs.

Obviously though, it's out there! I honestly just don't know how to be MORE supportive of women who planned a UC and for whatever reason didn't get it.

I personally am pretty annoyed by some things....I don't think I'm quite ready to hash it all out yet though.....I'll have to think about it more, and maybe WHY it annoys me before I put my foot in my mouth and say something I regret~ it's been known to happen.

Kat
post #6 of 44
Well, I'm tiptoe-ing here by mentioning the other thread, but I'm talking specifically about MY post.

I was one of the first to respong and my initial instinct to reply with my story how with dd3 I wanted a UC, it didn't happen, and I really regret.

That could TOTALLY be viewed as unsupportive and telling her she should have a UC. (I'm sorry!!!)

BUT, if you knew me IRL you would find me soooooo unlikely a person for UC activism, especially to random pregnant women. I have no desire to tell a woman what to do and STRONGLY believe in a woman's own personal evolution to whatever that may be.

So much just "comes out" online in a way you don't mean.

I think the UC forum is a great place to get info and support for UC's. But what is the overall purpose of the forum?

Would discussion about women's rights and support and praise for a woman's decision to NOT UC be better suited for a more general audience than that UC forum?

Or, since the medical community doesn't recognize INTUTION, and intuition is a foundation for UC, should should most/all discussions of a woman's intuion-based choices be discussed here?

I think there's not really a line, but I'd certainly like to see this forum stay based on info and support for UC. It would also be great if there was a sub-forum for UC activism. And also a sub-forum for those on the fence about UC. But then it all gets grey right there and I'm just rambling and back to nothing I guess.
post #7 of 44
I am annoyed by what I perceive as the expressed sentiment that I as a UCer do not acknowledge that there are circumstances that genuinely require medical assistance.

I do acknowledge there are circumstances that genuinely require medical assistance.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
I am annoyed by what I perceive as the expressed sentiment that I as a UCer do not acknowledge that there are circumstances that genuinely require medical assistance.

I do acknowledge there are circumstances that genuinely require medical assistance.
BINGO! I'm annoyed that I have to voice that, here in the UC forum, whenever "touchy" topics are discussed.
post #9 of 44
I think it's great that this is brought up. I myself had wondered how I'd be perceived being on the fence. So far so good. It seems that UC mamas want to speak frank about UC, but other mamas don't want to feel judged. Is this possible. Like another poster said things come out online that might not IRL. I hope that this can be a great place for support as I go through my journey of deciding for sure to have an UC or a midwife attended VBA2C.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
I am annoyed by what I perceive as the expressed sentiment that I as a UCer do not acknowledge that there are circumstances that genuinely require medical assistance.

I do acknowledge there are circumstances that genuinely require medical assistance.

I acknowledge this as well. Its been my experience that most women on this forum do, too. Maybe I'm missing something~ it's certainly possible. I know that natural options and alternative ways of looking at complications are generally what are discussed first, but I personally have never read posts where the need for intervention was dismissed in any and all situations.
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot mama View Post
I acknowledge this as well. Its been my experience that most women on this forum do, too. Maybe I'm missing something~ it's certainly possible. I know that natural options and alternative ways of looking at complications are generally what are discussed first, but I personally have never read posts where the need for intervention was dismissed in any and all situations.
I agree.

I'm fairly new here but the mood to me seems very supportive, even if interventions become necessary during a UC.
post #12 of 44
I DREAMT about this last night. And I wanted to add something else. It is important to remember that each person is coming from a unique spiritual perspective, each has her own view of reality, if you will.

So if a mother believes something like every birth will go off with no problem if given enough time, or not observed, or in a state of complete trust, or without any fear, then it can be true FOR HER without being a reflection on anyone else or a condemnation of another person's birth experience. It's HER reality!

This is very different (at least to me) than saying directly to someone that "Your birth would have been fine if you had just..xyz" THAT is insulting, and THAT I have very rarely seen, especially here. And frankly, I"M INSULTED by the statements that were made to the contrary! If you have issues with someone and what she said about your birth, then take it up with HER. Don't come here and make blanket statements about generalized feelings and underlying assumptions.

I am upset by what I perceive to be the belittling nature of some of the statements made. If a woman DOES hold the belief that she has control of her reality, then I find it just as offensive that anyone would feel it was okay to preach the need for humility. Why would it be so important to convince her otherwise? It's like messing with peoples religion, IMO

That being said, I don't personally feel that way, I tend to lean a bit more towards fate. But I know my husband does. He is very much of the mindset that you make your own reality. Hmmmm, some how we manage to get along just fine:
post #13 of 44
I agree with everything mama in the forest said, and I think she put it beautifully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
This is very different (at least to me) than saying directly to someone that "Your birth would have been fine if you had just..xyz" THAT is insulting, and THAT I have very rarely seen, especially here. And frankly, I"M INSULTED by the statements that were made to the contrary! If you have issues with someone and what she said about your birth, then take it up with HER. Don't come here and make blanket statements about generalized feelings and underlying assumptions.
The exact kind of comment you're talking about happened to me, here in the UC forum, and I have seen it occasionally happen to others too. I'm glad I waited six months to post my birth story so that I had really started processing and working through it and the comments didn't affect me the way they would have a week after giving birth. I wasn't insulted or offended, but comments of that nature always feel unsupportive and critical. I chose to ignore it, but it of course shaped my feelings of support and safety in this forum.

I think this is a wonderful place. I don't take any issue with mamas who insist that, for them, just knowing they'll have a perfect, intervention-free birth makes it manifest. But at the same time, I should be allowed to share my perspective, too - that sometimes, even when you do everything "right" and are completely uninhibited and unafraid, things might not work out. It's not an idea based on a personal religion, but it is based in personal experience and it's important to me to talk with other UC mamas, especially those planning UCs, so they have access to information that I would have found incredibly helpful prior to my UC. I think that a lot of mamas, especially FTMs who come here, are (for very good reason) swept away by the idea of UC and do not always have realistic expectations or understanding of birth. I don't expect everyone else to make disclaimers to satisfy me, but I just want to be able to add my own perspective, too. A lot of my searching regarding UC was hearing other mamas' experiences and stories because I hadn't yet had a birth of my own. If every mama who had a UC/transfer felt she couldn't discuss or post about what she learned from her experience because doing so would be unsupportive of UC, then we do a great disservice to mamas who come here looking for wisdom and experience. That includes the wisdom of "failure." (I do not consider my birth a failure, which is why it's in quotes, but it was not a UC.)

I also think almost everyone here agrees that medical complications can and do arise, even when everyone's healthy etc. It shouldn't be necessary to repeat that in every post. However, I always add a disclaimer to my posts on the subject, and state that my experience was not the norm, because I recognize that it was not, and I would not want to give the impression that an 8+ hour second stage is normal.

I am very sorry to read that mamas feel there isn't support here for UC mamas. I don't feel that way, and I would be very disappointed if I did. I'm still leaning 70% UC for next time, but I don't know because I'm not pregnant yet, and I don't think I can make that decision when removed from the pregnancy.

I hope that this forum is a place where we can offer each other support, both for successful UCs and for UC transfers and other emergencies, and for UPs, without either tiptoeing too delicately or having to place disclaimers everywhere.

I guess this thread also makes me wonder if I'm not considered a UC'er by other UC'ers here because I ended up transferring. I do consider myself a UC'er; I think it's an entire mindset, a way of thinking about birth, and involves physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual preparation fundamentally different from an attended birth. I wouldn't ever say I had a UC, but I do consider myself a UC'er. Especially since I feel so drawn towards it and feel that it's more likely than not that I'll choose to UC next time.

But I hope to that I can share my insecurities, uncertainties, and thought processes here. Wondering about weighing important factors, thinking about the past birth, and seeking the thoughtful input of others who have made a similar decision.

I am deeply sorry that UC mamas felt attacked or unsupported because of the other thread. I felt that I had been alone in my feelings for over a year, and when the topic arose, it was a great relief to find someone else had sensed the same impression. I don't want to see anyone change their behavior; if I was angry or offended I would have said something a long time ago. It just made it more difficult to share freely, to "admit" to transfer because it opened me up to criticism that I was not interested in hearing, but needing support dearly. To be fair, I have seen other transfer stories where everyone was nothing but supportive, and with only a few exceptions, people were very supportive of me too.

I really don't think anyone should censor themselves or make broad disclaimers anytime they talk about the safety of UC, the ability of the body to birth beautifully when unattended, etc. And while acknowledging all of those things, because I do believe in them deeply, I have the same need to add my own thoughts about UC, and give the perspective that I wish I had received when I was deciding to UC. It would not have changed my decision, but it would have helped me when I needed it.



I really care about the UC community here. I think next time if an issue like this comes up (i.e., perceived criticism of imperfect births/mamas), I will either keep to myself, as I have in the past, or take it to PM to avoid seeming unsupportive of all the UC mamas in this forum.

Julia
dd 1
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
I am upset by what I perceive to be the belittling nature of some of the statements made. If a woman DOES hold the belief that she has control of her reality, then I find it just as offensive that anyone would feel it was okay to preach the need for humility. Why would it be so important to convince her otherwise? It's like messing with peoples religion, IMO
I find this a tad offensive because I think I know what you are referring too - and I was never preaching. I was sharing *my* own personal experience - I never tried to convince others of anything, only to express that from my own personal spiritual journey I have found this belief to be false and detrimental to my well being. *My* experience is just as valid and important as *yours*.

I don't want to see us have to give disclaimers all the way either. But I think that women who feel the same way should be allowed to share their experiences, feelings and thoughts with one another and not be made to feel that they must keep their feelings to themselves when they do not agree with the consensus.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2 View Post
I wasn't insulted or offended, but comments of that nature always feel unsupportive and critical. I chose to ignore it, but it of course shaped my feelings of support and safety in this forum.

I think this is a wonderful place. I don't take any issue with mamas who insist that, for them, just knowing they'll have a perfect, intervention-free birth makes it manifest. But at the same time, I should be allowed to share my perspective, too - that sometimes, even when you do everything "right" and are completely uninhibited and unafraid, things might not work out. It's not an idea based on a personal religion, but it is based in personal experience and it's important to me to talk with other UC mamas, especially those planning UCs, so they have access to information that I would have found incredibly helpful prior to my UC.

: My thoughts exactly.
post #16 of 44
"But at the same time, I should be allowed to share my perspective, too - that sometimes, even when you do everything "right" and are completely uninhibited and unafraid, things might not work out."

Of course. It nevers bothers me that women share their transfer stories. I'm often disappointed FOR them, but never IN them. It saddens me that mamas feel shame or guilt or are afraid to come back here to share their stories. I really, honestly, don't get it. Yeah, there is always the flukey who is overly accusational, but to my eye, she rarely sticks around in the forum. The women who are HERE regularly are overwhelmingly supportive.....at least I think so.

I would really want to hear from women who felt that I had personally been unsupportive towards them after their transfer. At worst I don't say anything (and I feel badly about that too!) simply because I don't know what to say.

Maybe the women who feel unsupported could better explain the feeling. I would love to understand. Sometimes I feel as though after a transfer the mother comes back gung-ho on making sure we know how necessary it was. Frankly, I don't give a hoot if a mama's transfer was medically necessary or not. I think as long as SHE is convinced it was necessary, medically or otherwise, then that should be enough for all parties involved, right? And if she knows it was the best decision for her to make, and is secure in the decision, then why does she CARE what I or anyone else think?


"especially those planning UCs, so they have access to information that I would have found incredibly helpful prior to my UC."

Do you mean you never read a transfer story the entire time you were pregnant and planning a UC? WOW! It must have been a good run then. It seems to me there is often a pattern, a string of babies born UC, no problems, then a string of transfers.
post #17 of 44
I think that sometimes, women might feel unsupported because they are using what some of us might consider to be "non-legitimate" reasons for not UC'ing, transferring, choosing an assisted birth, etc.
sort of like when a women says she doesbn't want to BF because "it will make her boobs sag"....i think pretty mich everyone here would jump on her for using such a stupid excuse for not BF'ing, and try to overload her with the 213, 654, 765 reasons why her choice is a porr one. I think we get that a lot on the UC forum...and then, our "honest advice" seems unsupportive, because it is...well, negative.
but, negative does not necesarily mean unsupportive!!! If someone posts on a public forum, and asks for advice, suggestions, etc, and then gets mad because the advice is not what she WANTED to hear....well, that is not the people who replied's fault!!! As long as they posted in a respectful manner, of course. It is possible to disagree with someone...or point out why you think they are making a poor choice.....or not considering all the facts.....or whatever..etc, etc, etc....without being rude. BUT..I think that a lot of times, any disgreement or critical commentary, can be interpreted as unsupportive, or mean, or whatever.



Just some thoughts.
post #18 of 44
"not be made to feel that they must keep their feelings to themselves when they do not agree with the consensus"

And I think it's the perception that there is a "consensus" that leads to the us against them mentality. I don't find there to be a consensus here. We don't even agree on what UC is! Heck, I want to BE a midwife and that's about as ANTI-UC as you can get!
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
what some of us might consider to be "non-legitimate" reasons for not UC'ing, transferring, choosing an assisted birth, etc.
Case in point - what gives you the right to decide if a woman has made a legitimate choice?

I much prefer the attitude rajahkat expressed - as long as the woman feels she made the right choice, then that's what matters. That *is* what matters! I don't want to come back and tell my story of my transport to convince people that what I did was *right* and others should make my choice. I do think it was right for me - but I'm not happy about everything I chose to do. I just want to share my experiences because I enjoyed support through my pregnancy and I just wanted to share what I've learned. I don't share my experiences because I'm looking for others opinions about it - unless I *ask*. I read lot's of UC stories where I think "I wouldn't do it that way." But I don't tell people that unless they ask!
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2 View Post
But at the same time, I should be allowed to share my perspective, too - that sometimes, even when you do everything "right" and are completely uninhibited and unafraid, things might not work out. It's not an idea based on a personal religion, but it is based in personal experience and it's important to me to talk with other UC mamas, especially those planning UCs, so they have access to information that I would have found incredibly helpful prior to my UC. I think that a lot of mamas, especially FTMs who come here, are (for very good reason) swept away by the idea of UC and do not always have realistic expectations or understanding of birth. I don't expect everyone else to make disclaimers to satisfy me, but I just want to be able to add my own perspective, too. A lot of my searching regarding UC was hearing other mamas' experiences and stories because I hadn't yet had a birth of my own. If every mama who had a UC/transfer felt she couldn't discuss or post about what she learned from her experience because doing so would be unsupportive of UC, then we do a great disservice to mamas who come here looking for wisdom and experience.
I completely agree with everything you're saying here (and appreciate the thoughtfulness in the rest of your post ) but I'm still perplexed. Because (I'm assuming) you wouldn't bring up these issues if you didn't consider them to be issues. That is: do you really feel you haven't been allowed to share your perspective? That people really are saying that if you've done everything "right" you're guaranteed a desired outcome? That "failed" UC stories are not welcome here? That the general concensus is that to discuss possible negatives to UC is to not be supportive of UC?

I really, really hope that new people coming here don't assume *any* of this. It's simply not true of us as a group as a whole, applying possibly only to a very small minority of individuals who tend that way. A while back -- maybe a year -- there was a person who was posting here a lot that was very dogmatic and, well, she didn't last long, she got a lot of flack for that and was eventually banned. And there *are* UC spaces on the internet that are generally dogmatic. We are different here. We believe very strongly that there is great value in UC principles, but we don't proselytize. We don't think our way is the only valid way, or that there is nothing to be learned from births that are less than full-on UCs. But we will question and analyze and conjecture, especially when questions are asked or advice asked for, and sometimes it's not what people want and it's not pleasant for them. So it's really important to understand that while all stories are welcome here, if the writer does not want certain kinds of responses, she *must* specify "Support only" or "No critical feedback" or something of the kind.
Quote:
I hope that this forum is a place where we can offer each other support, both for successful UCs and for UC transfers and other emergencies, and for UPs, without either tiptoeing too delicately or having to place disclaimers everywhere. [...]

But I hope to that I can share my insecurities, uncertainties, and thought processes here. Wondering about weighing important factors, thinking about the past birth, and seeking the thoughtful input of others who have made a similar decision.
I think we'd all agree that that's exactly what the UC forum is for.

Quote:
It just made it more difficult to share freely, to "admit" to transfer because it opened me up to criticism that I was not interested in hearing, but needing support dearly. To be fair, I have seen other transfer stories where everyone was nothing but supportive, and with only a few exceptions, people were very supportive of me too.
I understand this totally, and you're right, the possibility of someone commenting negatively *does* make it difficult to share freely. But unfortunately, this just isn't something we can control. We can't make this a totally safe space; things that hurt or offend or are unsupportive *are* occasionally going to get written. It's just the unpleasant reality of a public forum. But in general, like you alluded to, people here attempt as much as possible to be gentle and understanding. This is a much safer place than anywhere else I can think of on the internet.
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