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AwaitingJuno 11-06-2012 02:10 PM

My first birth experience happened in a baby friendly hospital with the lights turned low, a nurse reminding me that "my body was made to do this", and resulted in the vaginal delivery of a 6 pound 4 ounce girl after just five hours of labour and fentanyl and gas for pain relief. There were some tears - 3 second degree tears that were repaired by way of stitches. I was told how good of a job I had done by everybody...One of the nurses quipped to me in the day or so following delivery that if I had wanted an elective cesarean that "I should have gone to Brazil".

I'll be blunt: it was the worst experience of my life - it was the most painful and terrifying thing I have ever been through. It left me feeling violated, betrayed and abandoned and shattered my trust in my care providers and the health care system. At my follow up appointment with my doctor she made a comment to the effect that I had done so well, that I should have more children. I retorted that "I needed to get over this birth first".

The thing is that I never wanted to experience a conventional birth. I knew that there were two ways that babies made their way into this world, vaginal and cesarean and that neither method was risk free. I had carefully examined the risks of each delivery method and determined that I preferred the risks of an elective cesarean. From the first prenatal appointment on - I had done everything to avoid a conventional birth.

Despite that horrid experience, I determined that our family was not yet complete...but I was terrified of a repeat experience. I found a doctor and a hospital in the US that could facilitate my request...I even determined how much it would cost - a small fortune but likely worth it to avoid a repeat experience. Then a miracle happened. A friend let me know about an ObGyn in Vancouver who would do patient choice cesareans. I contacted the doctor - told him of my previous experience and he reassured me that I would be given a surgery date and time and that there was a 99 percent likelihood that I would not be bumped and that if I were it would be by no more than a half hour. I asked my family doctor for a referral as I wanted my prenatal care to be undertaken by the same doctor who would do the delivery.

Despite seeing a therapist and planning to deliver at a different hospital, in a different city, with a different doctor - my pregnancy was plagued with anxiety. My first birth experience continued to haunt me. Further, I was acutely aware that should I go into labour before the planned cesarean date, I would be forced to deliver at my local hospital and I dreaded the idea of another vaginal birth. A week before the scheduled surgery date - I relocated to Vancouver - where the planned delivery was to take place.

It was the day before delivery and we went to the hospital for the pre-surgical admission appointment. Everything was still a go for the next morning - and I was told to come back to the hospital at 6am as the delivery was slated for 8:00am.

That night, we slept knowing it might be the last good night of sleep in a long while and the next morning we checked into the hospital. I changed out of my street clothes into a hospital gown, cap and booties. My husband changed into scrubs. It was shortly before we were to go to the OR when I heard over the PA system "code pink" (a placental abruption, both mom and baby were fine, saved by an emergent cesarean) - shortly thereafter we were told that my surgery was going to be delayed. I reminded myself not to worry too much - different hospital, different doctor, it had to be different this time. The delay proved to be short (maybe 20 minutes) and before long I was wheeled into the OR and moved onto the table. The anesthesiologist told me what to expect with the spinal and I was hooked up to a variety of monitors. The spinal was placed and the lower half of my body went numb. A drape was positioned between me and the lower half of my body. My husband was in the OR with me. It was a relaxed environment. Then surgery began - my husband was invited to watch when my son was about to be delivered and asked to record the moment. Shortly after he was born, I heard the sweetest sound of my son crying - APGARS 9 and 9.5. He was checked out by the paediatrician and weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces - he was then brought over to me and the paediatrician took our picture as I was being sewn back up. I had a bit of nausea but the anesthesiologist was able to give something and it quickly abated. We were then wheeled to recovery where I spent some time snuggling my new born and getting him to suckle. Once feeling had returned to my legs we wheeled back to my room. I had a bit of nausea and some itchiness but it subsided in a few hours. Later that afternoon I was up out of bed. The next day I showered and the following afternoon we were discharged. I felt amazing - I kept on top of my pain medication (Tylenol and ibuprofen) but by the fourth day after surgery I was off of even that.

The whole experience was a night and day difference from my first birth experience - and has left me feeling incredibly grateful and proud - grateful to be able to make the choices that best met my needs and those of my child and proud of the healthcare providers who facilitated the safe arrival of my son and respected my right to make informed healthcare decisions. Beyond giving me a healthy baby, my sons birth went a long ways to healing the scars that had been left behind by the birth of my daughter.

My son's birth was what every birth should be - the result of informed choices that best meet the needs of both mother and child.

MeepyCat 11-06-2012 02:15 PM

Yay!  Congratulations!


josie423 11-06-2012 02:32 PM

Congratulations!


violinwidow 11-06-2012 02:53 PM

Good for you!!!1


loveandgarbage 11-06-2012 03:07 PM

Congrats mama! Good for you for birthing how you want to and glad it was a much better experience for you.


Alenushka 11-07-2012 12:35 AM

Congratulations!  I am glad to hear it was healing experience for you.

 

My first labor was epidural free for 18 hours and it was horrific. I was hallucinating from pain. I am so glad DH had the presence of mind to call the anesthesiologist but I remember being really depressed for 2 weeks after birth. I felt that I  failed as song Russian woman, yoga practitioner and meditator.  The memory of pain made me anxious. I felt so sad.

 

With my second labor I decidesd"Screw the natural. Pain is not good. I drunk enough Kool Aid". I came to the hospital, requests epidural and pitocin . I had lovely calm birth. It was amazing actually. I did not feel sad or depressed afterward. Every ting, from sleeping to nursing was easier because of that.

 

 

You are strong woman for getting what you wanted!


newsolarmomma2 11-07-2012 01:36 AM

I am so happy you got the birth you wanted, and needed! I watched your pregnancy, and hoped you would make your CS date right along with you. It is really great how it was so healing, and the awfulness of the first birth has been lifted from your mind.

This goes to show how Informed CHOICE is so very important, regardless of what birth a mom wants.

Good for you for advocating for yourself!
Congrats on your sweet baby.

Sarah5772 11-08-2012 01:02 AM

Can I ask why you didn't end up having a C-section in your first birth?  Was it agreed with your provider beforehand but you went into labour early, or did your provider refuse to allow you to have a c-section?

 

My provider is very supportive of my decision to have a C-section - it was so important to me, that I discussed it with her before I was even pregnant and chose her as my ob-gyn on the basis that she understood my  psychological reasons!

 

However my biggest fear is what happens if I go into labour before the date?  Can the hospital decide that despite my ob-gyn's recommendation that I have a C-section, I don't really need one? 


zenmamasan 11-08-2012 05:59 AM

I just recently learned that PTSD from veterans is about 3%, but the actual event of childbirth accounts for 4%. {doesn't include the possibility of prior sexual abuse - the birth ITSELF was traumatic enough to cause the PTSD} 

 

My heart goes out to you for having suffered something akin to PTSD  [I say only akin, as I can't diagnose you with this, and I don't want to seem presumptuous about what you went through} that you suffered from your first birth, and thrilled that you found your second one peaceful and satisfying. 

 

I though maybe this link might be helpful too, it almost sounds like you still have an eensy bit of guilt surrounding your Cesarean - no need for that. But recognizing that your care providers from the first birth may have led to your traumatic experience may help you find some final closure.

 

http://www.birthtakesavillage.com/causes-of-birth-trauma/

 
I am not related to this person, it isn't an advertisement, I just wanted to be a doula one time in my life, and I thought this person was pretty rare. Canada too ! 
 
Hope this helps, I'm a mama way past birthing, with two lovely fabulous teen girls, and I hope that my perspective only helps, and never harms.

AwaitingJuno 11-08-2012 11:42 AM

The back story is at www.awaitingjuno.blogspot.com - and the short answer is that I don't know why a csection didn't happen with the first birth. It was agreed to before the delivery date, and I didn't go into labour early (I was in the hospital for 2 days before I went into labour)... I am currently pursuing a lawsuit in part to figure out what happened.

AwaitingJuno 11-08-2012 11:54 AM

I have absolutely no guilt around having a cesarean nor around asking for one the first time. I have a lot of anger about what happened the first time, but guilt? For what? For choosing a safe and effective form of childbirth that best met my needs and those of my child?

Why should a woman feel guilty for opting out of what is a very painful and unpredictable process? I don't believe that mothers need to go through natural childbirth if they don't want to nor do I believe they should feel guilty for not wanting to - the only people that need to feel guilty are the ones who seem to want to make others feel guilty for making choices that are different from the ones they'd make.

Joy. Relief. Satisfaction. Happiness. These are the feelings I have associated with the cesarean I chose. The memories of my son's birth - are truly positive ones that I will cherish and celebrate. There is no shame nor guilt and there is no reason for there to be either.

alaskanmomma 11-08-2012 11:25 PM

I'm glad you got your amazing birth heartbeat.gif.

I am actually contemplating trying to find an OB who will let me have an elective c-section.. I've had two vaginal births(one with the epidural, one drug free), and neither were traumatic like yours, but .. I just have this strong feeling that this baby will be born via c-section anyway. I rather just plan it and KNOW it's coming instead of ending up in an emergency c-sec. Since I got that + test, I can ONLY picture this baby being born via c-section. No one really understands within my "crunchy" pals, but.. meh! Isn't the saying "trust your body"?


Sarah5772 11-08-2012 11:29 PM

Just read your story.....that is absolutely shocking!

 

I wish you lots of luck with your lawsuit....you deserve to win.

 

Any ideas for those of us desparately trying to avoid this happening to them?  I'm thinking I'm going to need to get my psychologist to write a letter essentially saying that a natural birth will cause me major emotional trauma and that a c-section is 100% necessary.


alaskanmomma 11-09-2012 05:18 PM

Sarah, a letter from the psychiatrist would probably work as a legit excuse, especially if you're seeking it not to be considered "elective" for insurance purposes. However, it's best to really look over your insurance policy. My insurance won't cover a c-section as medically necessary unless it's an emergency c-section or repeat, ugh! 


Linnaea 11-11-2012 01:53 PM

I'm a bit confused headscratch.gif  You say that your first birth was traumatic, is that because there were people making you feel violated or rushed or was it because you had to lay on your back which resulted in 2nd degree tears?  I'm just not sure which part traumatized because, from the sounds of it, it was a pretty good birth.  It sounds like the medical help there was respectful, seeing as how they kept the lights low, encouraging you to trust your body, giving you pain meds, and whatever else.  You also had a very fast labor compared to most first labors.  This also makes me scratch my head because you said you wanted an elective cesarean right off the bat without having even experienced labor and birth.  I don't understand why anyone would want major surgery that has a risk of infection, increased blood loss (vs a vaginal delivery), possible injury to your bowels or bladder, higher risk of maternal mortality, higher risk of breathing problems for the newborn, lower APGAR scores, and a higher risk of additional surgeries.  A lot of women say it's more difficult to bond with their baby after having a c-section as opposed to a vaginal birth.  It sounds to me like you had trauma before your first birth to make you want to go the route of surgery even before you've experienced birth.  Or maybe you had heard one too many times how "excruciating" it is, so you were terrified of it before it even began.  I'm all for informed choice as well, but it sounds like you have psychological issues that pushed you towards the decision you made--issues that are very possible to work through.  I'm sorry if that sounds condescending, I really don't mean it to, it's just from reading your story I got a strong feeling of terror from your words, terror that was there even before you became pregnant the first time.  If it was the environment that was traumatizing, home births are much more gentle and you can find a more hands-off type of midwife to be present.  I have a feeling, though, that that's not important--for you, it's the whole experience of labor and birth that you're terrified of, which, if you see opting for major surgery as being a good solution then so be it.


Alenushka 11-11-2012 05:18 PM

You are very condescending. For some women c-section is a better choice. It is safe surgery and please, do not go on about APGAR scores when there some many stories of babies dying in vaginally childbirth form shoulder distocia because no c-section was available with the hands off MW at home.

 

 

Vaginal childbirth in itself has risk of additional surgeries. I work with many women who suffer incontinence issues as result of vaginal childbirth and end up with all sort of prolapse related surgeries.

 

 

This mother clearly understood risks and benefit of c-cestion in a hospital setting which has good safety statistics.  

 

Please , post a link to a peer reviews study that shows bonding issues in mothers who had c-section


loveandgarbage 11-11-2012 05:47 PM

It's really not up to anyone else but the person who has experienced trauma to decide what is and what is not traumatizing to them.


Linnaea 11-11-2012 06:04 PM

C-sections are intended for medical purposes, not simply because a mother prefers it.  There is a reason for this, it's not simply because doctors are being obnoxious or what have you, it's because it's MAJOR surgery.  This is why the issue of elective c-sections is a heated one in many areas of the Western world.  What if someone came in with a toe infection and said, "I prefer it if you would cut off my toe" instead of the recommended antibiotics that would have easily cleared up the infection.  It would be over-the-top, completely unnecessary, and possibly cause a lifetime of problems.  That's exactly what the OP did.  And, on top of that, she posted it in an AP forum where the majority is mothers who were coerced into c-sections, who are now hoping to have a vaginal birth.  I don't understand what she is trying to prove here--that major surgery is okay as long as she made an "informed" choice?  Even if c-sections were safer than a vaginal birth (which they're not, according to many studies), her choice was deeply biased by the fact that she was clearly terrified of birth even before she experienced it firsthand.  THIS is the reason for her c-section, something she could have sought help for (and if her OB had been willing and/or able, could have assessed her for at the time of wanting a c-section and referred her to a psychiatrist).  By the way, the analogy I gave above isn't completely indicative of what happened here since what she had was very much NOT an infection nor a medical problem of any kind, but the normal circumstance of being pregnant.  Vaginal birth is not a medical problem, a c-section is a medical problem.  You need doctors to perform it, doctors to stitch you up, doctors to make sure you don't have any problems after the fact.  None of that is inherently true of a vaginal birth.  To state, then, that a c-section is somehow safer than a vaginal birth, is not looking at that basic fact.  You see, this appears to be a case of a woman having psychological issues surrounding birth, which then made it reasonable to her to choose the route that would ensure she wouldn't have to face these issues.  It just so happens her c-section went well, but looking at the basic facts comparing the two types of births, vaginal birth is clearly much safer all-around than a c-section.  If I need to cite studies then I will, but I think most of us know this already.  I'm not one to sit back and not point out details that are pertinent to the reality of a given situation, especially when that situation goes against the very basis of this forum.  The OP has made 3 posts on MDC, all in this thread.  Does this not suggest to anyone other than me that she is simply trolling this site?  Not everything is about "informed" consent and I think when those boundaries aren't enforced, people take things way too far.  


TCMoulton 11-11-2012 07:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post

It's really not up to anyone else but the person who has experienced trauma to decide what is and what is not traumatizing to them.

Exactly. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Linnaea 11-11-2012 08:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post

It's really not up to anyone else but the person who has experienced trauma to decide what is and what is not traumatizing to them.

 

True, but should they do whatever they want to make sure they don't have to deal with that trauma?  


TCMoulton 11-11-2012 08:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnaea View Post

True, but should they do whatever they want to make sure they don't have to deal with that trauma?  

Yes. Unless you have personally ever experienced some form off birth trauma you really cannot understand how debilitating it can be.

Linnaea 11-11-2012 09:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post


Yes. Unless you have personally ever experienced some form off birth trauma you really cannot understand how debilitating it can be.

 

I've experienced sexual trauma, which has made birth challenging for me in different ways.  I know how hard it can be to work through trauma, but I don't think that gives people a carte blanche to do whatever they can to avoid having to feel it.  If I let the trauma I experienced dictate my choices then I would never let anyone touch me below the waist, which I'm sure you can imagine is sub-optimal for various reasons.  Also, it sounds like it wasn't birth trauma that made her want a c-section; she felt this way before she gave birth the first time.  I know she didn't post her story to create a discussion about what she should have done, but I couldn't pass by without saying anything.  If this forum is intended for polite convo only then I apologize; hopefully it's okay to argue against what's said.  


Storm Bride 11-11-2012 09:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnaea View Post

I'm a bit confused headscratch.gif  You say that your first birth was traumatic, is that because there were people making you feel violated or rushed or was it because you had to lay on your back which resulted in 2nd degree tears?  I'm just not sure which part traumatized because, from the sounds of it, it was a pretty good birth. 

 

She wanted a c-section. She didn't want to go into labour, or have a vaginal birth. It's not hard to understand why that would be traumatizing. A large part of my trauma from my first c-section..and my second one...and my third one - came from the fact that I didn't want them and was forced/coerced - both verbs apply, depending which baby we're referring to - into having them (the staff completely ignored my verbal refusal, even though there is nothing in my records to indicate a need for a crash c-section, which is what I got). While I can't relate at all to wanting a cesarean, I can absolutely relate to going through one of the most major events of one's life and having the people around one completely and utterly disregard one's needs. It doesn't really matter which direction that comes from - it's abusive and traumatizing.


bmcneal 11-11-2012 09:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnaea View Post

I'm a bit confused headscratch.gif  You say that your first birth was traumatic, is that because there were people making you feel violated or rushed or was it because you had to lay on your back which resulted in 2nd degree tears?  I'm just not sure which part traumatized because, from the sounds of it, it was a pretty good birth.  It sounds like the medical help there was respectful, seeing as how they kept the lights low, encouraging you to trust your body, giving you pain meds, and whatever else.  You also had a very fast labor compared to most first labors.  This also makes me scratch my head because you said you wanted an elective cesarean right off the bat without having even experienced labor and birth.  I don't understand why anyone would want major surgery that has a risk of infection, increased blood loss (vs a vaginal delivery), possible injury to your bowels or bladder, higher risk of maternal mortality, higher risk of breathing problems for the newborn, lower APGAR scores, and a higher risk of additional surgeries.  A lot of women say it's more difficult to bond with their baby after having a c-section as opposed to a vaginal birth.  It sounds to me like you had trauma before your first birth to make you want to go the route of surgery even before you've experienced birth.  Or maybe you had heard one too many times how "excruciating" it is, so you were terrified of it before it even began.  I'm all for informed choice as well, but it sounds like you have psychological issues that pushed you towards the decision you made--issues that are very possible to work through.  I'm sorry if that sounds condescending, I really don't mean it to, it's just from reading your story I got a strong feeling of terror from your words, terror that was there even before you became pregnant the first time.  If it was the environment that was traumatizing, home births are much more gentle and you can find a more hands-off type of midwife to be present.  I have a feeling, though, that that's not important--for you, it's the whole experience of labor and birth that you're terrified of, which, if you see opting for major surgery as being a good solution then so be it.

 

For whatever reason (which, IMO, is not really our business), the OP stated, from what I understand, prior to her even getting pregnant, that she wanted an elective-c-section. We don't know the reasons, and it's not really for us to know. What happened went completely *against* what she stated her wishes were. Maybe a c-section is intended for medical reasons, maybe there are different (probably greater) risks involved with a c-section that wouldn't necessarily be present with a vaginal birth. Be that the case, the OP seems to have researched, studied, and decided that what she wanted/needed was a c-section. And subsequently, the c-section she had planned did not happen. That can be traumatic. The same as if you plan for a vaginal birth, a home birth, water birth, whatever, and your plans, for whatever reason don't come to fruition. If something happens, and birth doesn't go the way you want it to, however you want it to, it can be traumatic.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post

It's really not up to anyone else but the person who has experienced trauma to decide what is and what is not traumatizing to them.

 

Exactly.

 

 

 

Quote:
I've experienced sexual trauma, which has made birth challenging for me in different ways.  I know how hard it can be to work through trauma, but I don't think that gives people a carte blanche to do whatever they can to avoid having to feel it.  If I let the trauma I experienced dictate my choices then I would never let anyone touch me below the waist, which I'm sure you can imagine is sub-optimal for various reasons.  Also, it sounds like it wasn't birth trauma that made her want a c-section; she felt this way before she gave birth the first time.  I know she didn't post her story to create a discussion about what she should have done, but I couldn't pass by without saying anything.  If this forum is intended for polite convo only then I apologize; hopefully it's okay to argue against what's said.

 

 

Just because some people can work through the trauma, doesn't mean everyone can. And again, who knows what the reason was. The OP, and that's who really matters. I think it is her body, her birth, and while it may not be a decision that many people, myself included, especially on this specific website, would agree with, it was *her* decision. She did what she needed to do for herself. The same that anyone here would do, I think.


Linnaea 11-11-2012 10:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcneal View Post

Just because some people can work through the trauma, doesn't mean everyone can. And again, who knows what the reason was. The OP, and that's who really matters. I think it is her body, her birth, and while it may not be a decision that many people, myself included, especially on this specific website, would agree with, it was *her* decision. She did what she needed to do for herself. The same that anyone here would do, I think.

 

I get your reasoning and other people's reasoning on this thread.  I simply was bringing up the fact that trauma CAN be worked through, it's not some mystical thing that is impossible to accomplish.  No, I don't know for *certain* the reason for her trauma, but the fact that she was afraid of birth BEFORE she's ever experienced it is a sign that it has a psychological foundation.  It sounds like what she needed was a psychiatrist or therapist, not a surgeon.  If I went to a doctor for a problem I believed could only be fixed medically and, as it turns out, it probably could have been helped greatly with psychotherapy then I would feel cheated and angry.  This is why I gave my advice.

 

Also, what's our philosophy on this forum?  To support women by helping them see birth is nothing to be afraid of or to take the completely hands-off approach with "her body, her birth"?  I thought it was the former but maybe I'm mistaken headscratch.gif

 

Lastly, I agree with those who say how traumatizing it can be to not have the birth we very much wanted and planned for.  I'm not arguing against that at all.  My only issue is the birth she had planned may not have been what she had still wanted if she had gotten the help she needed.  In the long run, that is more problematic than simply getting what she, or any of us, believes is best.  To share something personal, I'd like to say that I had a UC with my daughter--this is what I wanted, planned for and believed was best for me and my baby.  As it turns out, it did go smoothly, was a beautiful experience, I have no regrets with that aspect.  What I do regret, though, is my reasoning for wanting one.  I mentioned earlier that I have experienced sexual trauma.  After I had my daughter, I did a lot of soul searching and realized that I didn't want to be touched or watched while in labor because of the trauma I experienced.  This made me profoundly biased towards choosing a UC.  Thus, it has made me wonder if I would have chosen a different scenario for birth if I had worked through my trauma.  My stance on that as of now is, yes, I would have had a midwife.  


AwaitingJuno 11-11-2012 11:05 PM

To speak for myself - prior to my first birth I knew the relative risks of vaginal birth and cesarean birth and preferred that of cesarean. For the record, prior to the first birth, I had worked with vital statistics data and knew that birth was risky. Prior to the first birth I baby sat a kid with cerebral palsy. Prior to the first birth I grew up with an uncle who was profoundly injured by forceps during his birth. Birth goes fine in the vast majority of cases but in those where it doesn't it really sucks to be that 1/1000 - I was and am wholeheartedly willing to trade a greatly reduced risk of lifelong profound disability of my child for an increased risk of transitory respiratory problems. Never mind all of the other reasons I had for preferring cesarean - including a desire to minimize the risk of damage to my pelvic floor and the risk of damage to my perineum. I had an informed refusal of vaginal birth and was forced to have one -it was traumatic, as traumatic as it would be for a woman to be forced to have a cesarean without there being a medical need for one.

Women do not need psychotherapy because they elect to birth by cesarean - if they are choosing to do so with an awareness of the relative risks and benefits of the two delivery modes.

Further, pregnancy and birth are conditions which often benefit from medical intervention, intervention exists and some women derive great benefits from being able to choose to use it. Are you advocating that because birth is natural (kidney stones are natural, heart disease is natural, cancer is natural) - that women should not have access to medical care of their choosing? Further, patients are entitled to know what their treatment options are, and what the alternatives are - it is reprehensible that a health care provider would violate a patients right to decide what is done with their body .

It was not a lovely birth - as 'lovely birth' is very much so in the eyes of the 'birther' and the only thing 'lovely' about it was that I thankfully got a healthy little girl. It is people who are unable to see that empowerment doesn't come from specific choices (birthing naturally) but from the ability to make those choices in the first place.

Linnaea 11-11-2012 11:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AwaitingJuno View Post

To speak for myself - prior to my first birth I knew the relative risks of vaginal birth and cesarean birth and preferred that of cesarean. For the record, prior to the first birth, I had worked with vital statistics data and knew that birth was risky. Prior to the first birth I baby sat a kid with cerebral palsy. Prior to the first birth I grew up with an uncle who was profoundly injured by forceps during his birth. Birth goes fine in the vast majority of cases but in those where it doesn't it really sucks to be that 1/1000 - I was and am wholeheartedly willing to trade a greatly reduced risk of lifelong profound disability of my child for an increased risk of transitory respiratory problems. Never mind all of the other reasons I had for preferring cesarean - including a desire to minimize the risk of damage to my pelvic floor and the risk of damage to my perineum. I had an informed refusal of vaginal birth and was forced to have one -it was traumatic, as traumatic as it would be for a woman to be forced to have a cesarean without there being a medical need for one.
Women do not need psychotherapy because they elect to birth by cesarean - if they are choosing to do so with an awareness of the relative risks and benefits of the two delivery modes.
Further, pregnancy and birth are conditions which often benefit from medical intervention, intervention exists and some women derive great benefits from being able to choose to use it. Are you advocating that because birth is natural (kidney stones are natural, heart disease is natural, cancer is natural) - that women should not have access to medical care of their choosing? Further, patients are entitled to know what their treatment options are, and what the alternatives are - it is reprehensible that a health care provider would violate a patients right to decide what is done with their body .
It was not a lovely birth - as 'lovely birth' is very much so in the eyes of the 'birther' and the only thing 'lovely' about it was that I thankfully got a healthy little girl. It is people who are unable to see that empowerment doesn't come from specific choices (birthing naturally) but from the ability to make those choices in the first place.

 

I wonder if you've read this: http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10206.  Also, it really sucks for the mother and/or baby to experience one of the many complications that could result from a c-section.  Here's a reasonably concise list: http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10166.  So asthma isn't a lifelong profound disability (I know people with asthma--it's a horrible condition to have to live with)?  Or the higher risk of death for the mother?  How about the higher risks of death, pre-maturity, malformation and central nervous system injury for any babies you have after having a c-section?  

 

So you chose to have a c-section mainly because of what you've seen and read as being possible outcomes from delivering vaginally?  Do you see how this decision was based on fear, not simply an "informed" choice?  You were afraid of what possibly could happen if you let your body do what it would have done ordinarily, so you chose something to prevent that.  Also, If vaginal birth was really that inferior to c-sections then there would definitely be more women opting for them.  Instead, we have many women who hope for and have VBACs.  You decided to go against the grain and choose something most women wouldn't and you don't see that as a cause for concern on a psychological level?  It sounds to me like your uncle and the child with cerebral palsy greatly influenced your decision on a subconscious level.  

 

From the studies I've read and the people I've talked to, c-section is typically much more risky and inherently dangerous than vaginal birth.  It seems odd to me that anyone would opt for that, especially if they've done their research.  

 

I'm advocating that birth/pregnancy isn't a medical problem.  If someone were to seek medical attention for a normal birth then they're probably being excessive, which might cause problems.  Kidney stones and cancer require medical attention, normal birth does not.  When you treat birth as if it's a problem then I can see why you'd seek medical help.  


Sarah5772 11-12-2012 02:37 AM

My 2 cents-worth.

1. "So you chose to have a c-section mainly because of what you've seen and read as being possible outcomes from delivering vaginally?"

From what I understand, awaitingjuno explored the possible outcomes and risks of BOTH methods of delivery. Nothing is certain - it's all risk and possibility, which means everyone needs to weigh it up as best as they can.  Some people tolerate pain better than others, some people find the presence of doctors stressful, some find it calming.  Everyone will weigh each risk differently depending on many factors - pain tolerance, comfort, personality and of course fear.  You have implied that awaitingjuno's assessment of risk was majorly flawed by her fears, but that's simply your subjective (and in my opinon, wrong) assessment of her.  There is nothing inherently irrational in her choice of risks just because they are different from yours or "the majority of women" (I'll get to that point in a minute).  Have you read her blog?  She is highly informed, intelligent and perfectly capable of making lucid, rational decisions.  

 

On a sidenote, it's actually your assessment of risk that sounds problematic to me.   You describe asthma, a risk associated with C-sections, as  a "lifelong profound disability"  on a par with cerebral palsy (the lifelong profound disability that awaitingjuno gave as a potential outcome of a natural birth)?!  I think you'll find that most people would consider cerebral palsy far worse than asthma!

 

 

2." You decided to go against the grain and choose something most women wouldn't and you don't see that as a cause for concern on a psychological level?"

This is actually a sign that someone is engaging their brain instead of following the masses like a sheep.  Progress comes about by people questioning things in every area of science, medicine etc. Going against the grain takes courage - it's not a psychological problem!

 

3. "I'm advocating that birth/pregnancy isn't a medical problem"

It depends - sometime it is.  Why do you think maternal death rates were so high before modern medicine? Many pregnancies and births can go wrong and medical intervention can save lives.  While it may be true that in some cases, medical intervention today is unecessary  and unwanted by the mother (and I'm by no means in favour of forcing anyone into any intervention), overall we'd have a lot more deaths if nature was left to run it course in all births.


MeepyCat 11-12-2012 06:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnaea View Post

If this forum is intended for polite convo only then I apologize; hopefully it's okay to argue against what's said.  

 

Personally, I prefer it when posts in the "Birth Stories" forum aren't greeted with "you did it wrong."

 

While Mothering.com does have a great many posters who are hoping to VBAC, it's not at all clear that those women are a majority in the world of pregnant women.  Some women genuinely love their c-sections.  It's a preference that's underrepresented here, where we agitated for years to get a forum for Cesearean birth, separate from birth trauma, but it's a fairly strong preference among those who have it.  Preferring to give birth surgically may be a result of a pre-existing phobia, but where such phobia exists, there are very few therapists with a track record in treating it.

 

Maternal request c-sections are controversial - if they were agreed to be either good or bad, there wouldn't be controversy.  There are doctors who absolutely won't do them, and doctors who are happy to schedule.  Personally, I support MRCS for philosophical reasons regarding the mother's bodily autonomy.  On a much less high-falutin note, I support congratulating new moms as (a) a sincere and polite response, and (b) a means of discouraging trolling on the birth forums. 

 

Childbirthconnection.org's writers are pretty sloppy about equating correlation with causation, and it astounds me that the only risk they list of vaginal birth for babies is "brachial plexis injury."  They seem to be pushing an agenda, and breezing over a ton of risks to do it.


Linnaea 11-12-2012 02:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah5772 View Post

On a sidenote, it's actually your assessment of risk that sounds problematic to me.   You describe asthma, a risk associated with C-sections, as  a "lifelong profound disability"  on a par with cerebral palsy (the lifelong profound disability that awaitingjuno gave as a potential outcome of a natural birth)?!  I think you'll find that most people would consider cerebral palsy far worse than asthma!

 

2." You decided to go against the grain and choose something most women wouldn't and you don't see that as a cause for concern on a psychological level?"

This is actually a sign that someone is engaging their brain instead of following the masses like a sheep.  Progress comes about by people questioning things in every area of science, medicine etc. Going against the grain takes courage - it's not a psychological problem!

 

I don't think you should be so quick to make that conclusion.  My mother has an average case of asthma (not severe but not mild, either) and when it flares up, it's the most terrifying, gut-wrenching, horribly out-of-control experience that she has the misfortune of enduring.  She doesn't know if she's going to live or die because every second that passes is another second with very little oxygen.  If she doesn't have her inhaler or an ER nearby she really can die.  She also lives in fear of having an attack every day of her life.  So please don't minimize asthma or say that cerebral palsy is inherently worse.

 

The feminist movement has made "going against the grain" seem courageous and intelligent, but that's not always the case.  When we ignore what other women do but ALSO look to statistics and such to make our choices, we're both rejecting society and using society for our perceived benefit.  In this woman's case, she doesn't look at the fact that most women do not prefer c-sections and a lot of those who have them want to have VBACs for their next children.  She doesn't use that as a factor in her decision, but she DOES look at statistics and risk factors which are compiled completely from THESE VERY WOMEN.  Now if that's not a head-scratcher I don't know what is.  If what other women do truly does not matter then she shouldn't need to look at what's happened to them and their children to make her choices.  Clearly there is a direct connection there, which makes me conclude that she sees what the majority is doing as not the safest approach.  I would feel offended by this if she didn't list reasons that show she has a strong fear of childbirth, which you seem to have glossed over.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

 

Personally, I prefer it when posts in the "Birth Stories" forum aren't greeted with "you did it wrong."

 

While Mothering.com does have a great many posters who are hoping to VBAC, it's not at all clear that those women are a majority in the world of pregnant women.  Some women genuinely love their c-sections.  It's a preference that's underrepresented here, where we agitated for years to get a forum for Cesearean birth, separate from birth trauma, but it's a fairly strong preference among those who have it.  Preferring to give birth surgically may be a result of a pre-existing phobia, but where such phobia exists, there are very few therapists with a track record in treating it.

 

Maternal request c-sections are controversial - if they were agreed to be either good or bad, there wouldn't be controversy.  There are doctors who absolutely won't do them, and doctors who are happy to schedule.  Personally, I support MRCS for philosophical reasons regarding the mother's bodily autonomy.  On a much less high-falutin note, I support congratulating new moms as (a) a sincere and polite response, and (b) a means of discouraging trolling on the birth forums. 

 

Childbirthconnection.org's writers are pretty sloppy about equating correlation with causation, and it astounds me that the only risk they list of vaginal birth for babies is "brachial plexis injury."  They seem to be pushing an agenda, and breezing over a ton of risks to do it.

 

I prefer it when posts aren't greeted like that, too, but I also prefer to read posts that are in line with AP-style parenting (which is what I thought this forum was for but maybe I'm mistaken?).  

 

I used to frequent mainstream forums as well, which has taught me that most women do not prefer c-sections.  A lot of women who've had c-sections end up getting repeat c-sections often because their doctors tell them they can't have a vaginal birth.  

 

I think you're mistaken about why the forum for c-sections (why do people try to make it sound better than it is with wanting to use the word "cesarean" instead?) is wanted and needed.  While I'm sure there are some women who prefer them, from what I understood about the forum (I read the thread awhile back where people were listing the reasons why they wanted it) they mainly wanted support for the fact that they've already had them.  Thus, they want a safe place to be able to talk about what's happened to them freely.  Some of these women have repeat c-sections, some don't.  Some feel they have no other choice but to have repeat c-sections, others have done their homework.  But the core of connection is the fact that they all wanted to be able to discuss their experience(s) of c-sections.  

 

There are few therapists with a track record of treating birth phobia?  While you're probably right, there are many therapists who are highly qualified to treat phobias in general, no matter what the type, since there are similarities and core characteristics of all phobias that some therapists learn.

 

I understand your philosophical reasons for supporting a mother's bodily autonomy.  However, if doctors allowed people to request whatever medical procedure they want simply because it's their body then I'm sure you can imagine what sorts of problems can arise out of that.

 

I give sincere and polite responses to people I don't perceive as trolls.  Given the fact that this is her only post and it goes against AP-style parenting, I'm thinking she probably has a hidden agenda for posting her story here which I do not appreciate.

 

Childbirthconnection.org is definitely not perfect, I have issues with it myself.  I was simply giving some basic info on the risks of c-sections and also how a woman can prevent pelvic floor dysfunction when giving birth vaginally.  



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