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can we talk about alienating c-sec moms, or moms who had epidurals? - Page 2

post #21 of 62
I think - I hope - that there is a revolution going on. I want more folks on the side of natural birth. But I don't focus my persuasion efforts on moms who have recently given birth unless I get some serious signals from them that they are open to it. Instead, I try to talk to friends (and students sometimes, since I teach) about the dramatic increase in the c-section rate, about how many women are induced, about how inductions can lead to premature babies. I let my own story - especially the part where I changed care providers mid-pregnancy to move to a less interventive practice - stand on its own. I think it's hard to change someone's assessment of their own birth experience and it's possibly not my business. But I try to plant the seeds of a more natural approach to child birth before the birth itself happens. This has sometimes worked.

Sarah
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaxmama View Post
it would belittle MY experience and somehow give the impression that it was a failure...I have 2 happy healthy boys... I am in no way a failure.. the fact that they ended up being extracted from my abdomem rather then pushed through my birth canal..doesn't really make a difference in the end.

But Everyone is entitled to there own opinion..
This is very interesting. I just want to say that i honor your experience and i am glad that this is your outlook

My experience is quite the opposite. It does bother me that i was robbed of what would probably have been three uneventful vaginal births had i only had a care provider that practiced evidence based medicine (that is the simplistic version). I hate that it was a "baby extraction" and that i was drugged and sick and in pain the first few hours of my first two babies lives. I hate that my vba2c left me with PTSD from an unwanted vaginal check that led to me asking for an epidural.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
It's a lot to take in, especially if you've had a traumatic experience. I know I would probably feel defensive if I had just trusted the system, had a traumatic experience, and then been told that if I had only been proactive, I could have avoided it. I'd feel blamed, I guess.

Plus, separately from that, women need to come to terms with their experiences, and probably the most common way is to justify it. To feel that I had a traumatic birth but it was all for the best is one thing, but to feel that I had a traumatic birth that could have and should have been avoided is much more difficult to come to terms with.

My neighbor had a traumatic hospital birth with SD last year. The doctor broke the baby's collarbone and cut the mama up pretty badly. They are both ok, thank goodness, but that's something she's had to come to terms with. When she told me a little about it, I asked "Oh, did they have you in a lot of different positions to get him unstuck?" a look crossed her face and she said "No." I can't tell you for sure what the look was, but I interpreted it as a painful reaction to the very idea that the doctor might have messed it up, or that it could have been avoided. Naturally, I just told her it must have been very scary, and I never brought up or hinted at the idea that it could have been avoided again.

Some of it feels like "blame the victim" - you could have avoided trauma if you had only researched it more, chosen a better care provider, stood up to the staff, said no, hired a doula, written a birth plan, whatever.

I think with these mamas we just need to be very gentle and remember that they were doing everything they thought was safe. They have been taught not to trust their bodies, and that doctors are all-knowing, and birth is dangerous and many interventions are necessary. If they didn't research more, it's not because they failed themselves, but because they've been trained into trusting the system. What's to research, right? I already have a great OB, right?

I think we should focus on how others failed the mamas, not on what the mamas should have done to help themselves. I'm not saying mamas have no responsibilty to research, etc., but rather that it is entirely understandable that most mamas don't, and that they are not ultimately to blame. And that to understand what happened to them, they don't need to be told what they did wrong. If they start to see the big picture, they will naturally take on more responsibility themselves.

And, we need to respect the pain that the mamas have been through and recognize when they are not ready to wonder if their experience was entirely unnecessary.

ETA: I also realized I've been writing as if I am exempt from this, since I am soooo enlightened, etc. But it's not true, I have much to learn, and I did not do everything right with my first birth (even though it was a home birth). It's difficult for me to come to terms with some things, and it's also difficult talking to others about it since they will naturally blame the home birth, and my decisions.
Thank you. Your post really resonates with me.
post #23 of 62
In the general public I feel more alienated for having a homebirth so I dont know about alienating mothers who had c-secs or epidurals. It seems like they can talk as much as they want about their births but as soon as I say 'homebirth' the conversation pretty much stops and ive never onced judged them. I dont even feel welcomed in the moms group in my town.
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
BUT- a HUGE portion of the population doesn't yet know that anything is going on and are going to be offended.

Some people are very offended to have their world-view challenged. We can be gentle in our wording, but some of that is still going to happen.
I agree that people are often resistant to having their world view challenged, but if a woman is offended by this song, I don't think that's necessarily going on here. I think the offense may be coming more from a place of pain and feelings of being let down by the very establishment that promotes itself as the group who is there to help us through in case we cross harm's path.

I've had 2 c/s births. The first was absolutely unnecessary, I believe. The pain and trauma I went though with that was horrible and I lost a lot of faith in both my ob/gyn of 10 years and the medical industry as a whole. If I had heard that song anytime with in the first 2 yrs after that birth, I probably would have been terribly hurt and offended, as I was still processing the pain of my experience and I was not yet through it.

But that experience led me to a place of trusting my intuition and with my next pregnancy, and I planned for an HBAC. I didn't go into labor until 42.5 weeks, but it eventually happened and although I labored at home until I was completely dilated, my very anti-hospital birth MW advised I transfer due to dangerously low decels (50bpm). So I transfered. And I had another c/s. Something in my intuition told me he just wasn't going to come out on his own without some sort of serious trauma. I was right. The cord was not only compressed, but around his neck twice, in a way that my MW would not have been able to unwrap it properly. In that case, the c/s was necessary and the fact that I was in control of the situation and I made all the decisions made it an unexpectedly healing experience for me. I did trust my intuition and I did the right thing for my baby boy.

So now that I have been through all of that, I am able to hear/read a song like that and I am able to nod in agreement, even though I've never had a vaginal birth. But I can only do that because I've worked through my own pain and those wounds have healed.

But you know... you just never know why someone is offended by something. Because after writing all of that, I am recalling a woman I know who had an elective c/s because wanted to be "in control" of the whole experience. and she would likely be offended by the song, because it does challenge her world view. So I suppose Angela is not really off base. But that's not the only reason a person would be offended. Sometimes, there's just too much pain to be able to see the humor in something.
post #25 of 62
I had a c-section that was probably unnecessary and thought that song was kind of funny in a sad way. It is not very crunchy where I live at all.

I remember we had a lady that came in with a ¨crunchy birthplan¨* (ie no drugs, no epidural, no IV and so on...my guess is she may have birthed at home or a birthing center, if it seemed like a viable option to her) and the staff was so perplexed by it. Some of them even mocked her behind her back. Unfortunately things did not go the way she planned...she had her unmedicated birth, but she ended up with an epis and the baby came to the NICU. And of course certain buttheads were very smug about it...itś almost as if they thought she ¨deserved¨ it for being so ¨difficult¨ Like she was the cause of her baby ending up in the NICU. It really upset me. I really felt bad for this mom.

Even though I had a c-section...I can honestly say I´m not that bothered by it at all. I don´t feel sad, I don´t feel a sense of loss or any shred of dissapointment. I honestly don´t care. I feel nothing one way or the other about my birth experience. It´s not what I would have chose, but it is what it is. I´m not hurt or offended by the song, but I can see how some women that ended up with a c-section could be. My main objective was that the baby and I come out healthy and I was okay with our outcome. But I don´t think that every mother needs to think that way. And of course this is easy for me to say...because my child was healthy, nothing went wrong and she never went to the NICU. I´m quite sure my feelings would be different if things had happened otherwise. I had a c-section...but absolutely nothing about my experience could be described as bad or traumatic. (by my standards)

I don´t know why I feel like that...because I certainly recognize all the unnecessary interventions that are foisted upon mothers and babies. And I feel really bad for the moms that have been violated, lied to and traumatized. Blah...I´m not very eloquent at all. I´ll just stop.

***I´m not putting ¨crunchy¨ in quotes to demean it...it´s just the only way I could explain it. By ¨crunchy¨ I just mean natual...little to no intervention.
post #26 of 62
nak

the song doesn't offend me but it does enhance my feelings of loss. i had a c-section after my bp spiked to 200/119 and the drs were worried about siezures. i only got to hold my dd for 5 minutes before she was taken to the NICU and i didn't get to see her again till the next day. songs like this just remind me of what i never got to have, i would have loved a midwife and a homebirth but no midwife would take me due to my underlying bp issues.:
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
ok, THAT would offend me. i had a c/s, why would i need condolences? because i have a healthy, beautiful baby? because i missed out on the experience of delivering a dead or brain damaged baby?

really, some people are quite happy with their epidural or c/s births. it's presumptuous to assume everyone wants what you want. your views are your views, and that's fine, but they're not necessarily better than anyone else's. i used to believe that the natural way was better, but then i stepped back, gained some perspective, and realized that different women want different things.
i see nothing wrong with Gumby sharing her condolences...you seem really defensive.
i had a c-section and i am pretty okay with it for all the reasons you shared. but i am okay with someone saying they are sorry. i wouldn't think that they think they are better than me or anything weird like that.i would think they were a kind person trying to be nice to me. it's presumptous of you to think that all women feel the way you do.
post #28 of 62
I wouldn´t be offended at all if someone offered their condolences for my C-section. Like I said I personally wasn´t all that bothered by it...but I can certainly see how some women could feel disappointed and sad by it.
post #29 of 62
I would have preferred to receive condolences rather than the comment I most often received: "Well, a c/s is easier than a vaginal birth anyway." I've also been told I'm "lucky" to not have had to go through vaginal birth. Yeah.... lucky me.
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Whenever a friend tells me she had a c-section, I usually offer my condolences, because I am truly sorry for their loss. I'm angry too, and likely they are as well, but I'd rather offer hugs than a grimace. Does the mentioned friend need more time to process?

A revolution is right.
I'm sure you mean well but I would be offended if you offered me condolences. There's no loss. I have a healthy child today because of my c/s. I don't need anyone's sympathy or condolences for my birth experience. Saying you're sorry for my c/s is, to me, the equiavalent of someone saying, "Oh you had a daughter. Oh, I'm so sorry." I don't regret my c-section and I don't have a lot of angst over it. It happened. I've moved on. I realize many other mamas here who feel very differently about their c/s and that's my point. One shouldn't assume all c/s mamas need condolences. We all see our experience through different lenses.

I'm all for empowering women and educating them about all the birth option. We need to create a climate where parents can informed decisions and arm themselves with as much information as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
ok, THAT would offend me. i had a c/s, why would i need condolences? because i have a healthy, beautiful baby? because i missed out on the experience of delivering a dead or brain damaged baby?

really, some people are quite happy with their epidural or c/s births. it's presumptuous to assume everyone wants what you want. your views are your views, and that's fine, but they're not necessarily better than anyone else's. i used to believe that the natural way was better, but then i stepped back, gained some perspective, and realized that different women want different things.

:
post #31 of 62
I repeatedly got told...¨Well you have a healthy baby...that´s all that matters¨ That did mildly irritate me I will admit. Why does it always have to be the choice between a sucky birth experience and a healthy baby...what is wrong with wanting both?

Of course when it comes down to it I think every mothers objective is a healthy baby. And if the choice really comes down to damage to the baby or a medical birth, I´m willing to bet that even the most hardcore natural birth mom would choose a c-section (if it WERE absolutely necessary). I just hate that comment, it just completely invalidates the mothers feelings and makes it seem like she is little more than an incubator.
post #32 of 62
Condolences for a c/s without getting an indication from the mama that condolences are appropriate is a bit risky. As is saying that a healthy baby is all that matters, etc.

The problem is that you, as the observer, are offering judgement on the mama's experience.

The mama has the right to have the final judgement on her experience.

I think that I would always take the mama's lead on that. If the mama is expressing disappointment or something similar, I'd offer condolences. If she does not, I would offer congratulations on the birth. It's not my place to undermine her feelings, whatever they may be. I can still have my own private opinions (such as if I believe the c/s was unwarranted) but not everything is appropriate to share (as is my opinion that my aunt looks hideous in her green pantsuit! ).
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Condolences for a c/s without getting an indication from the mama that condolences are appropriate is a bit risky. As is saying that a healthy baby is all that matters, etc.
I agree. Whenever I hear someone had a c/s or an epidural or anything *I* would preferred not to have, I ask them, "How do you feel about that?" before I proceed.
post #34 of 62
I had an emergency c-section with my first that made it difficult for me to even consider a vbac (I had a t-incision). I had 3 more c-sections, but with each one I was able to labor up until I was fully dilated. For a long time I grieved really deeply for losing my birthing power and it seemed like natural birth advocates had no sympathy for what I'd gone through because it was midwives who had mishandled my birth, and medicated birth advocates blamed me for what had happened and thought I should be grateful to be alive (my first baby died from his birth injuries.) I felt really isolated and the truth is, except for a few close friends, nobody really had anything supportive or kind to say. I didn't fit in with anyone's agenda because I didn't regret trying for a natural birth, nor did I reject the idea of natural birth. At the same time, I knew that my midwives were at fault and that fairly early on my baby's safety became secondary to them getting me off their hands and into the hospital. A midwife can be just as misguided, irresponsible, cruel, etc, as a doctor can. They're all humans. So I'm really glad to hear that people care about whether or not they're alienating moms for any reason. I personally don't find the song at all offensive or invalidating, but I've had 13 yrs to work through these issues. I think it's so important to advocate for natural birth, but a lot of times the advocacy becomes so strident and so disrespectful that the message is definitely not getting out -- it becomes more like a social club than a movement, and anyone who didn't or couldn't have a natural birth is on the outside. When I meet new moms who had unwanted c-sections, I follow their lead but it's never been very hard for me to tell whether they would welcome some sort of sympathy for the manner of their birth or not. I'd never offer condolences simply because someone mentioned that they'd had a cesarean birth, without knowing why they had one but equally I would never say "well, at least you had a healthy baby!" as though that is the ONLY thing that matters. It's the most important thing, yes, but not the only thing.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Condolences for a c/s without getting an indication from the mama that condolences are appropriate is a bit risky. As is saying that a healthy baby is all that matters, etc.

The problem is that you, as the observer, are offering judgement on the mama's experience.
:
post #36 of 62
i keep thinking about what, if anything, i might have to contribute to this thread... i'm just not sure yet.

i think maybe if each person who considers themselves an advocate for natual childbirth would take some time and read some of the posts in one of the c-s threads here on mdc (handy link here), they might find themselves... enlightened... or something.
:

personally, i've no problem with someone advocating natural childbirth. what i do have a problem with is anyone who has an attitude that anyone who has a c-s (or epi, or any other intervention) didnt want a natural birth badly enough.

it is a tough issue, i grant you. i thank you for your sensitivity! :
post #37 of 62
:
post #38 of 62
"i think maybe if each person who considers themselves an advocate for natual childbirth would take some time and read some of the posts in one of the c-s threads here on mdc (handy link here), they might find themselves... enlightened... or something."

I read through the whole Sept c-section support thread this morning. I can't say it really "clued me in" to something new. It's a sampling of what you see out in world, I think. Some women really mourn what they perceive to be loss of a preferred "natural" birth. Some women are really comfortable with what they feel is the best choice they could have made at the time. Some women are truly ignorant and buy that dr knows best and their c-section was one of the necessary ones.

It's difficult to know the right way to respond when someone tells you they had a c-section. Offering condolenses is my natural response- in the sense that "that must have been difficult to you" Then she can take it however she likes (as in major surgery tends to be challenging at best, or I'm aware that it can be trying emotionally, or whatever) and expand on the discussion if she feels like it. I just can't go with the "how do you feel about that?" line. It sounds too much like something an analyst would say.

To the OP:
I think like with many things, if the mother is touchy about the subject for whatever reason (she feels like a failure, or she secretly suspects it wasn't necessary, or she is afraid of being judged) then she'll be easily insulted no matter what your intentions. I find mothers who are truly comfortable with their choice (or have made peace with their lack there of) aren't so easily offended.

Kat
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamameg View Post
I agree. Whenever I hear someone had a c/s or an epidural or anything *I* would preferred not to have, I ask them, "How do you feel about that?" before I proceed.
I think this sounds like a great idea. I personally think that the 'revolution' is not going to come about by making women feel bad about the births they had. They key is educating them before they have them, and helping those who did feel bad about the birth they had find a more positive experience the next time around. The person who had an intervention heavy birth and loved it is probably going to be pretty hard to convince, certainly this song is not going to do it.

I do agree that it alienates those with a cesarean birth. I had two. Unfortunately I haven't yet found a way to get across in less than two pages that yes I knew what I was doing, I was well informed and that nowhere along the way did I feel the wrong decision was made. Telling me that my baby doesn't want anymore life because she was born in a cold brightly lit room, doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy about natural birth. ...and I'm on your side

I think a better song would be one that sang the praises of a natural homebirth rather than demonizing a surgical one.
post #40 of 62
Quote:
The problem is that you, as the observer, are offering judgement on the mama's experience.

The mama has the right to have the final judgement on her experience.
I think it is important, in all situations, to remember that just because you are passionate about an issue or hold a strong opinion, that does not make it right for everyone. Although you may be upset, discouraged, angry, etc over a surgical birth, someone else may not be. Just because you might disagree with another person's choice, that does not necessarily make that choice wrong.
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