Homebirth and Oppression of Women - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annakiss
but I have been radicalized by my parenting journey. I am still on my way. The realizations are coming though, as evidenced by my ranting.
I love that statement. I feel different and stronger everyday in my feminism, in my mothering...and for me, it did all stem from my initial decision to HB. It lit a fire in me that had been out for a while.
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#62 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 01:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annakiss
I don't think I'm oppressing anyone with my statements. That's frankly impossible. You cannot oppress anyone without power over them. I am not systematically undermining the decisions that women make to birth in the hospital. I am merely challenging the idea that it is an appropriate place to birth under normal circumstances. And I did repeatedly specify "normal" circumstances. It does not sound like your kidneys and liver failing was at all normal and it seems that a hospital delivery was indicated in your case.

It is also surely possible to be a feminist and to birth in a hospital even under normal circumstances. I don't think it's possible to consider birthing in a hospital a radical act, however, and I don't believe that normal circumstances indicate a hospital delivery. I think it is much more in line with a philosophy committed to the liberation of women to realize that the hospital is an institution dedicated in part to undermining a patient's power as part of achieving its normal goals and that as birthing women, we are most vulnerable to the indiscretions and abuses that follow from that.

One can claim to be a feminist and work towards other feminist goals and still be oppressed and completely unaware of that oppression. I see it all the time. It really is what inspired this rant, as I am frankly sick of seeing smart, powerful women obliviously choose to have their power stripped from them. They hand it over on a platter. It is ridiculous to think that we are such amateurs in our own bodies that we need professionals to save us. It is ridiculous that this may in fact be true as we have allowed history and the oppression of women to guide us to this place where we are disconnected from ourselves.

To believe that one is making an informed, empowered choice by going to the hospital to deliver with no risk-factor indicating that this is needed, is to accept the distrust of birth and a woman's body that this medical history has instilled in us. If we truly trusted in birth, birthing at home would make perfect sense.
Again, that's your opinion and your assessment of the risk. It seems, frankly, arrogant to assume that any one way of looking at data is the correct one, and it also seems, frankly, arrogant to use the expression "claim to be a feminist", which implies that the person in question is in no way a "real" feminist. (Which, of course, she would be if she saw the light and agreed.) How is quashing dissent anything other than oppressive?

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#63 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 01:49 PM
 
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you can STILL be a radical s***-kicking feminist and own your birth if you deliver in a hospital.
I have to laugh at that one.. That was so true with me and DS#1............

I looked at it as I 'hired' the hospital I want things my way and the safest way
If i had a a remodeler here I would only expect the best from him for what I would pay..... same goes with medical svcs...

Michele
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#64 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 01:52 PM
 
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annakiss - I was with my post agreeing with you and bringing Periwinkle (and lucysmom and maxmama) into the conversation, by reinforcing your implication (although it wasn't the thrust of your post) that just because we rail against the assumption that hospitals are safe for normal, healthy pregnant women (which they're not, at least compared to at home or birthcenter midwifery care) doesn't mean we think 100% of women belong at home and there's no place for hospitals in birth care. There is, obviously, and the women here have given good reasons why. But those cases are the minority. Which doesn't mean they should be discounted or discriminated against (which would be further oppression), but it does mean that they shouldn't thus indicate how all births should be "just in case".

Of course there's a need for hospitals as a back up for normal birth care. Of course there are real, legitimate indications for hospital or obstectric use (including intuition or "just a feeling"). It just shouldn't be the default, and as long as it is, women are submitted what is rightfully their power to institutions that exist, if not purposefully then simply as a consequence of their design, to disempower women. Hospitals should be at the service of women, mothers and midwives, at our beck and call, waiting on us, obeying our instructions and listening to our instincts, not the other way round. When they are, and like it or not (which they generally don't) many of us already have reclaimed our right to that relationship with them, then the judicious use of hospitals and high technology can be and is part of a feminist movement. But not when hospital birth is viewed by the woman as the default, or the safest for a normal birth. That's an indication that she is submitting her power to the hospital, and that's neither radical nor feminist. I think that's all annakiss was saying (well, not all, obviously, but you know what I mean), and I know that's what I believe, as a woman, a lifelong feminist, and an aspiring mother and midwife.
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#65 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by maxmama
Again, that's your opinion and your assessment of the risk. It seems, frankly, arrogant to assume that any one way of looking at data is the correct one, and it also seems, frankly, arrogant to use the expression "claim to be a feminist", which implies that the person in question is in no way a "real" feminist. (Which, of course, she would be if she saw the light and agreed.) How is quashing dissent anything other than oppressive?
I should have said "call themselves a feminist". I was meaning women who label themselves feminist, not that it is questionable whether or not that is true. I understand the implication though and apologize for that.

You're using post-modern relativism, saying that we cannot elevate one system of judgment above another, which can devolve into the aphorism that despite science, there are no truths, no real values that can be assessed. Although this is an instructive viewpoint for shedding one's own anthropocentrism/chauvinism, it can lead one into a moral quagmire, a night in which all sheep are black. There is power invested in institutions (such as the hospital) and the architecture of such an institution will allow for a wide array of experiences to be had--including empowered birth. However, we must recognize that the calculus of such a system only allows these options so long as they maintain it. If empowered birth cut into the bottom line, as it did for my mother's practice in Xenia, Ohio, the midwives are sent packing without trite goodbyes by the stockholders.

You can "use" the hospital system to your advantage but must remember that the culture of the medical profession is one of the expert: the patient is to surrender his/her body to their gaze, as Foucault said in "The Birth of the Clinic." That a few "subversive" births take place within the setting only further secures the larger machinations of the system: the dominance of a culture of surrendered bodies to expert advice and the continuation of an order where the profit motive not a patient's health are the prime mover. In such a setting, agency is only an illusion tolerated if it prevents large-scale revolution.

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#66 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Arwyn
annakiss - I was with my post agreeing with you and bringing Periwinkle (and lucysmom and maxmama) into the conversation, by reinforcing your implication (although it wasn't the thrust of your post) that just because we rail against the assumption that hospitals are safe for normal, healthy pregnant women (which they're not, at least compared to at home or birthcenter midwifery care) doesn't mean we think 100% of women belong at home and there's no place for hospitals in birth care. There is, obviously, and the women here have given good reasons why. But those cases are the minority. Which doesn't mean they should be discounted or discriminated against (which would be further oppression), but it does mean that they shouldn't thus indicate how all births should be "just in case".

Of course there's a need for hospitals as a back up for normal birth care. Of course there are real, legitimate indications for hospital or obstectric use (including intuition or "just a feeling"). It just shouldn't be the default, and as long as it is, women are submitted what is rightfully their power to institutions that exist, if not purposefully then simply as a consequence of their design, to disempower women. Hospitals should be at the service of women, mothers and midwives, at our beck and call, waiting on us, obeying our instructions and listening to our instincts, not the other way round. When they are, and like it or not (which they generally don't) many of us already have reclaimed our right to that relationship with them, then the judicious use of hospitals and high technology can be and is part of a feminist movement. But not when hospital birth is viewed by the woman as the default, or the safest for a normal birth. That's an indication that she is submitting her power to the hospital, and that's neither radical nor feminist. I think that's all annakiss was saying (well, not all, obviously, but you know what I mean), and I know that's what I believe, as a woman, a lifelong feminist, and an aspiring mother and midwife.
Thank you. Sorry if it seemed as though I was jumping on you. This says quite well what I intend.

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#67 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annakiss
ARGH! No, I meant "scolopamine" which was a psychoactive drug they used to give birthing women to make them forget their pain (but it also made them completely crazy while they birthed like they were on acid or something). I was talking about the history of childbirth and how obstetrics has tortured women and how we think that in this modern age we're somehow immune to that sort of barbary, when in fact we are not, it has merely been disguised better.

I could not possibly recreate the post. It's hard for me to remember what I was saying. I have not had much time to even be online, so I have missed many opportunities to sit with my thoughts on these matters further. I have to clean my house now...
yes, i really need to do that too... thank you for the word, and definition... that makes so much more sense than the philosophy of self! my head was spinning trying to grasp the relevance. scolopamine is much easier.
you sound a bit... tired? overwhelmed? maybe i'm nuts... if not:
have a peaceful afternoon.
oh, man, stopped to nurse and everyone is gone... oh well.
hope you had a peaceful afternoon.

Jennie Young

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#68 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 03:33 PM
 
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Here is my take:
I had my first baby at a hospital with a midwife. It was a wonderful experience with no complications. We made the decision to go that way because we live very far out in the country and felt it might be a safer option. (I know, I know... just stay with me here )
I am a devout fan of Ina May Gaskins, and have read her books and seen her talks for the past 7 years. She exposed me to the joy of a natural birth, and even to the fact that birth is not a medical condition I did not decide to have an unmedicated birth in a hospital for myself, I did it for Piper. Every decision I make around a birth is a decision for my sweet child, not to toot any feminist horn or show others how it "should be done" (I am not saying this is what the other posts here are saying, either.) I guess as a result of the decisions I've made I can be viewed as "radical" or "feminist" or what-not label people want to attach to me, but I am not trying to make a stand here. I just want a healthy little person who comes out, says hey there folks, and "gimme some milk" like Piper did, and thrives because of the decisions I've made. I have really been struck by others reactions to us having a homebirth this time though, it seems such a normal thing to me. I guess I tend to live in a bubble sometimes too. I am having a friend come who gave birth in a hospital and eats the OB model of care up with a spoon, I hope it will really open her up to what birth can and should be like. I think that by example is usually the most effective way of shattering certain ignorances.
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#69 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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I rememeber being the talk of the L&D Floor because of how well I handled it all. Im sure there were Drs and nurses making bets ( from the comments my DH overheard). Piper you are correct many believe that many choose HB to just say they CAN do it etc without realizing that we find it the safest when it is a healthy normal pregnancy.
I saw a neat shirt on CafePress and it stated Start your children drug free early.. Homebirth....
Yes i know like myself there can be drugfree hospital births but I believe the majority ( for hear anyway ) is IV in the arm, pitocin, epidural and maybe add in a pain killer. And those procdudres were for normal, healthy pregnancy moms

michele
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#70 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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sorry to post again but I wanted to add something...
Anna I can see where you are coming from, and maybe I was ignorant in your opinion in my decision to give birth in a hospital, but here is a point no one has made... I was in control in that hospital. I would not let anyone force me into any situation (ie c-section, or timed labor, etc.). I know the risks, the statistics, all of it. I was a first time mama who, once again, wanted the best for my daughter. How in the heck does that make me an opressed woman? I can be an educated impowered woman and still make the decisions that I have made. I live in a state where there are very few choices to even birth with a midwife, let alone homebirth. To be honest I am having a homebirth this time because my M/W has swiched to a homebirth practice, which I am of course over the moon about. I have complete trust and faith, as well, in my midwife and husband and to be honest with you if those two people were with me I would feel fine giving birth in a truckstop, and I have told them both so.
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#71 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaSong
I love that statement. I feel different and stronger everyday in my feminism, in my mothering...and for me, it did all stem from my initial decision to HB. It lit a fire in me that had been out for a while.
:


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#72 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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I can be an educated impowered woman and still make the decisions that I have made. I live in a state where there are very few choices to even birth with a midwife, let alone homebirth.
This is part of the problem as I see it. The state has limited your choices already. So even though you were educated, you were restricted from the start. HMO's and the health insurance industry do the same thing. Most people don't even think about going "outside the box" to a birth center let alone homebirth because a hospital is what their insurance covers. (sure, people find the resources for a homebirth all the time and midwives take payments, etc but the point is most women don't even explore those possibilities because they are not presented as options)

If my body didn't decide to kick my babies out early (6 and 5.5 wks premie), I would have loved a homebirth. Although I was quite in control the with the second one, there were still more interventions that I think were necessary (automatic abx for one thing).

Interesting thread - thanks for starting it Annakiss.
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#73 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Piper's mama
sorry to post again but I wanted to add something...
Anna I can see where you are coming from, and maybe I was ignorant in your opinion in my decision to give birth in a hospital, but here is a point no one has made... I was in control in that hospital. I would not let anyone force me into any situation (ie c-section, or timed labor, etc.). I know the risks, the statistics, all of it. I was a first time mama who, once again, wanted the best for my daughter. How in the heck does that make me an opressed woman? I can be an educated impowered woman and still make the decisions that I have made. I live in a state where there are very few choices to even birth with a midwife, let alone homebirth. To be honest I am having a homebirth this time because my M/W has swiched to a homebirth practice, which I am of course over the moon about. I have complete trust and faith, as well, in my midwife and husband and to be honest with you if those two people were with me I would feel fine giving birth in a truckstop, and I have told them both so.
Would you have been in control if your labor was more than 24 hours? If your water had broken prior to getting there? If you pushed for more than an hour? Did you have an IV? A heplock? Did they ask to give you one? Did they make pain assessments? Were you wearing your own clothes? Was there anyone in the room you didn't know prior to arrival at the hospital? Was your baby bathed? Did you have to make requests so they wouldn't do things? Did you have to work to make sure that the hospital knew ahead of time that you wanted to avoid standard protocol? Did you push on your back? In the bed? Did they cut the cord right away? Were you given pitocin after the birth to make the placenta come? Did they do abdominal compression? Did anyone speak to you during pushing? Coach you?

I'm not trying to say there is something wrong for the choices you made. I understand and have stated quite explicitly why homebirth is not an easy choice to make or even available as a real, viable choice in many cases. I'm just saying the hospital is oppressive.

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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#74 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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I have to agree here. I was a HB transfer 24 hours of labor with early pushing contractions at 6cm that I fought for 12 hours till I started to swell shut. When I got to the hospital. It was a constant battle with the medwives there. They were ready and preped for a c-section from the moment I walked in the door. Here I am in labor (with a VERY clear just in case hospital birth plan) I had to fight them on IV, Pitocin, Epidural, Blood Work, EFM, IFM, on and on...I was in no condition to be waging war here!! Fortunately my DH, Doula and HB midwives did most of the fighting for me. I had to work hard to keep my freedom in birth there.

What I'm saying here is that some hospitals don't know any other way but to oppress woman and "beat" them into submission. I think having to fight for your right to birth the way you want to birth is oppressive!

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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#75 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 06:28 PM
 
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This is part of the problem as I see it. The state has limited your choices already. So even though you were educated, you were restricted from the start.
:

Pipersmom, sounds like you made good decisions that were right for you. And you're proof that it is possible, with education and work, to make the system work for you. But as annakiss said, the hospital, by its nature, is still repressive and anti-woman (at least when it comes to birth).

I dread having to transfer for a c/sec from a homebirth, not because I think it means I've failed, or because c/secs are inherently bad (though they're not fun), or that c/secs can't be good experiences, or that I think they're never necessary (they sometimes are and thank God/dess we have them!) but because I know I'll have a hell of a hard time, and probably fail, in getting it done the way I want, the way evidence and my instincts tell me it should be - let me see the surgery; let my baby nuzzle my nipple; if not warmed on me, give the baby to my DP (with his shirt off) and wrap them up together; no prophylactic antibiotics; no workup for the baby; don't even talk to me about vaxing or circing or eyegunk; NOTHING by mouth other than my breast or my or DP's pinky; no separation from either of us, ever; rooming in (in a bed big enough for the three of us!); etc. There's nothing inherent about a cesarean that negates any of these things, only "hospital policy", and that's anti-mother, anti-family, and anti-woman. That's my problem with hospitals as the situation currently stands. Until all that changes, hospitals will remain anti-feminist places that feminists and other women can occasionally get to work for them, but that mostly act to strip us of power, and certainly don't empower us as either women or mothers.
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#76 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Fyrestorm
I think having to fight for your right to birth the way you want to birth is oppressive!
:
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#77 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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I labored for 12 hours naked, sometimes on a birth/yoga ball, sometimes on the bed with my husband letting me push on his hands with my feet (felt really good). I could have crawled around the room making tiger sounds and no one would have said a word. I also tried out the jacuzzi (hated it). I knew what the hospital situation was before I went, and my midwife was THE care provider, not the O.B. she worked with. The only disruption was a single nurse who I didn't know-I guess hospital policy-but she actually really helped me out during transition (I was more glad she was there than my mother-in-law, not sure why I made that decision ) My midwife & husband knew I didn't want my daughter bathed, and she wasn't, without a fight. She also was never away from either one of us for even a second the entire time and she slept in the bed with me. Nobody asked to give me any kind of pain meds at any time, or pitocin, or anything. I even had the option of walking to my room, which I couldn't do because I was so darn dizzy after birth. And my midwife waited until the cord stopped pulsing to cut it, and my husband caught our daughter. His hands were the first to ever touch her. And of course I was encouraged during pushing. Not all CNM's are crazy wanna-be OB's. I felt like my birth in a hospital was very close to a birth at home, with obvious irritants like hospital beds and crappy foods, and yes, I was woken up during the night by nurses. But I toured the hospital before we ever went in, made a birth plan for my midwife (which was pretty much a duh situation with her) and knew what to expect. Don't get me wrong here- I am not trying to wave the banner of hospital births here...I am just saying that it is possible for a person who is educated about birth to have a really positive experience with the right midwife (very important) in a decent hospital. I really didn't feel opressed at all, and that nurse I mentioned... she had 3 kids, all born without any drugs, at a hospital. She even commented that she liked the altar I had made in the birthing room and said she had done the same thing. My daughter was also born to Van Morrison's Veedon Fleece. I actually don't think my homebirth will be that different, except this time I have to walk up a flight of stairs. I just think it would be great to take it a little easier on people. Its a sensitive area and I, as much as you, want women to be really educated about birth. I believe our bodies were made to work. I have no doubt in that fact. I actually have an overwhelming desire to buy "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" for every pregnant woman I know, I think it' s a very important book. Unfortunatly I can't afford to... I actully had someone tell me the other day that I should just schedule a C-section, that the recovery time was quicker. What do you say to that? I didn't think it was constructive to tell her she was totally insane. I just know if you try to educate someone by making them feel like a dummy it's not going to work.
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#78 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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That's my problem with hospitals as the situation currently stands. Until all that changes, hospitals will remain anti-feminist places that feminists and other women can occasionally get to work for them, but that mostly act to strip us of power, and certainly don't empower us as either women or mothers.[/QUOTE]

Oh honey,
it's not just hospitals and it's not just feminists. The entire medical establishment sees women as a whole as broken. They are ready to tear out our insides and throw them aside at a moments notice whenever we show any sign of anything being "wrong". I want to scream and raise holy hell every time my mother-in-law tells me I should "have everything removed" after I have kids because I have HPV and had a cancer scare (which, by the way was when I really had to fight - to keep them from removing a chunk of my cervix. I was kicked out of my Dr's practice by certified letter, and it was a WOMAN doctor!)
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#79 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 07:04 PM
 
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You're right of course. But we were discussing, in particular, birth and the oppression of women so I was attempting to restrict my comments to those, rather than fantisize about restructuring the whole of western society.

(I actually had an experience with hospital recently that, due to crap that is very similar to what I see wrong with hospital births, very nearly killed my father and made what we thought, because of them, were his last days very miserable. No exageration. And I've seen my DP in the hospital and although they treated him medically alright, he would have died without the advanced tech and medicine, and he doesn't remember anything bad because he was drugged, I remember a lot of dehumanizing crap they did. But again, I was trying to limit my comments to birth, specifically. Or I'd go crazynutshideintheforest, and I love my running water too much for that. )
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#80 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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Your are right. Guess I'm in pregnant rant mode today
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#81 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 07:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annakiss
ARGH! No, I meant "scolopamine" which was a psychoactive drug they used to give birthing women to make them forget their pain (but it also made them completely crazy while they birthed like they were on acid or something). I was talking about the history of childbirth and how obstetrics has tortured women and how we think that in this modern age we're somehow immune to that sort of barbary, when in fact we are not, it has merely been disguised better.

I could not possibly recreate the post. It's hard for me to remember what I was saying. I have not had much time to even be online, so I have missed many opportunities to sit with my thoughts on these matters further. I have to clean my house now...
Yep hon, you better clean that house, you know I'll be there with my white gloves on tonight!

I've been thinking about this tread today, and I've decided that it is very empowering for a woman to be strapped down, hooked up to monitors and IVs, deprived of food, squeesed by a BP cuff periodiclly, and have various people sticking their finger up her yoni and making absurd proclamations about the "progress" she is making! Not to mention the very enlightening aspects of being cut and torn to make room for hands that shouldn't be there to begin with, and then being stitched up nice and tightly! I don't know about you, but I'm thinking this treatment is certian to give her that boost of self confidence and creativity that she will need to mother her child, and fuction as whole woman in this mixed up society. I don't know, maybe I'm just jaded.
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#82 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 07:39 PM
 
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I agree with Periwinkles and Maxmama's points. Sometimes, even for totally healthy women, a hospital is the best, most empowering place to be. An example: I have a planned HBAC in November, hopefully in water. My midwife may accept delivering breech presentation at home, but I do not. That is my choice. If the presentation is breech during labor, I will do whatever I can to try and change the position. I'll use a rebozo, lean down the stairs.... That is being given a less than ideal situation and trying to do something about it.

I could stay at home and birth breech. But I do not like the idea at all of holding in my urge to push for an hour or so, while my 15"+ head circumfrenced baby can get enough room to fit. Even if I wouldn't have to wait an hour, the idea of the possibility is uncomfortable to me. It doesn't mean it is, or should be, uncomfortable for other women. But my choice, at that point, would be to transfer to the hospital for a cesarean. Yes, I know the risks for cesarean. For me, this would be the best choice for my body, but also my mind. I believe this is truely empowering, to make the choices I deem best, and to be respected by those around me to comply with my request.

On a slightly different note, I want to say thanks Barbara for pointing out that regardless homebirth or hospital, we don't have REAL choices in childbirth. I'm in Denmark, which is supposed to be one of the best, pro-woman, pro-midwife places to be. But I am going underground, in order to have a midwife for a homebirth! Nothing odd here, I'm perfectly healthy.... one previous cesarean... but no, can't homebirth, and if I could "officially" it would be with a total stranger I have never met before, whom I am just supposed to accept into my home and HOPE she will know everything about me and respect my wishes.

Allison
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#83 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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After my second birth, in hospital with a good midwife who was in control of the hospital, i felt like, Hey, maybe the hospital isn't so bad.
Then i had the third boy.
The hospital is bad. if you lose control for one milisecond all of that stuff that should just be a given: who touches you, where, when, how, why, who touches your baby, where, when, why.... do you get to hold your baby? how long do you have to sit in a wheel chair in a nursery bleeding and shaking so no one does anything unwanted to your newborn who isn't allowed to leave or they will call cps on you?
My dh had to go home. He had to watch our boys. I was alone, 4 hours after birth. My midwife went home. My ped was at home sleeping. There was nothing wrong with our baby. NOTHING.
But, the nurses, they had a grudge. They wanted to give my baby a bath. Why? Control? It is the only thing they like to do? So, they kept him.
Someone came into my hospital room at 4:15 in the morning and took him from the room... from my bed where we were sleeping. I woke up frantic. I got out of bed and fell on my face. I was crying, sobbing, the lights were out i couldn't find the door. i looked under the bed, in their plastic baby basinet. he was no where. i went out into the hall in my paper gown with my bloody behind hanging out.
I found him in the nursery, screaming so hard he could barely breath. They had him for 15 minutes. They had bathed him, given him shots, x-rayed him, taken his blood, taken his picture, put him in a disposable diaper. I ran to him terrified and checked to see that he was still intact. (he was)

I have never written of this experience. I am sorry if I am being emotional. This is too raw and I wasn't going to talk about it until I processed it.

The hospital that I trusted took advantage of me. Me! I don't know what to say. You can have a good experience in the hospital, but that doesn't change the reality of them. Just wait until your midwife isn't there. Your husband. Your friends. Take that security blanket away and you will be treated worse then the woman who takes the epidural and the nursery care. They hate you when you don't play by their rules.

You want to know the best part? I called my husband from the nursery. He called my midwife and our ped (a great guy, btw). He brought the boys. They all showed up at the same time and the nurses started shaking in their little white padded shoes. Know who they feared? The men. We left 2 hours later. They were not going to let me leave. They take advantage of you when you are down, alone. And then they hide it. They hide themselves. They cry and apologize and say they misunderstood your wishes. And for one horrible sick second, you believe them.

That ladies, that is oppression.

ps. as i said, i know i am being emotional. please do not feel obligated to tip toe around this post. i say these things not for pity.

Jennie Young

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#84 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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What an interesting thread! :

Quote:
The entire medical establishment sees women as a whole as broken. They are ready to tear out our insides and throw them aside at a moments notice whenever we show any sign of anything being "wrong". I want to scream and raise holy hell every time my mother-in-law tells me I should "have everything removed" after I have kids because I have HPV and had a cancer scare (which, by the way was when I really had to fight - to keep them from removing a chunk of my cervix. I was kicked out of my Dr's practice by certified letter, and it was a WOMAN doctor!)
I agree- isn't it around 1/3 of women will have a hysterectomy at some point in their lives? Isn't it telling that Dr.s see our sexual organs as totally useless other than childbearing? I bet none of them would be so quick to have their prostate or their testicles removed. : Who cares if the woman has a high risk of sexual dysfunction when all that matters is the male sexual response...

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#85 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 08:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbara
I've decided that it is very empowering for a woman to be strapped down, hooked up to monitors and IVs, deprived of food, squeesed by a BP cuff periodiclly, and have various people sticking their finger up her yoni and making absurd proclamations about the "progress" she is making! Not to mention the very enlightening aspects of being cut and torn to make room for hands that shouldn't be there to begin with, and then being stitched up nice and tightly! I don't know about you, but I'm thinking this treatment is certian to give her that boost of self confidence and creativity that she will need to mother her child, and fuction as whole woman in this mixed up society. I don't know, maybe I'm just jaded.
no wonder women look at me like some sort of crazy masochist when I describe ds's birth as empowering.

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#86 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 08:37 PM
 
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I dont think the traumatic hospital birth my sis had with my niece who has cerebral palsy considers that empowering.

I know several friends that had the typical hospital birth then homebirth with their second made them empowered that they felt they COULD infact do it without every intervention. Every friend that i have that had been through a situation like that all say the same thing. The hospital makes you feel as though you cant , you wont, you shouldnt bother trying, "big deal how you give birth as long as it healthy" ..SORRY but it IS A big deal how you are brought into this world AND being a former therapist with children that have disabilities and such IT DOES MATTER>

Michele
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#87 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 08:42 PM
 
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Allison,


As long as the baby wasnt transverse why would you choose major abdominal surgery over breech presentation? Who says which way is the right way to arrive: feet first or head first...


What scary is that eventually i think even all head first will be born c sect in a hospital

Michele
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#88 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 08:46 PM
 
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Plain and simple to me Empowering means to let your body whole heartly do what it needs to naturally. THose that choose interventions as choice ( not for emergencies) epidurals and such I dont see how that is truly empowering ( just because YOU FEEL you made the choice. Empowering comes from within ( for me anyway) and if i was drugged, ripped open i dont think I COULDNT personally feel empowered. (even if it was an emergency csect.) though maybe im just to hard on myself.....
michele
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#89 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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Michelle - I actually think that in Allison's case, a somewhat borderline one (hbac, possible breech), it's perfectly ok and normal to consider hospital birth and a cesarean. It's probably not the choice I would make, but I don't know 'cause I'm not there, and who knows if she'd feel differently if we were in a society that trusted birth? And who knows if you'd feel differently if we had hospitals that were backups, as they should be, and acted to empower women, not oppress us?

Anyway, HBAC with a breech is NOT the same as no previous history of uterine surgery, vertex presentation. I don't think either previous c/sec or breech are the high risks OBs make them out to be, but they do each have their own risk, and capable women can make an evalution of said risk. And again, that's not what annakiss was talking about. You, Allison, are talking about hospitals exactly the way they should be talked about - as backups for your main gameplan. That's how it should be.
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#90 of 144 Old 06-08-2006, 08:58 PM
 
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I think the saddest part for me about my whole experience with the hospital was the sense of betrayl I felt. My FEMALE OB (pregnant herself at the time and mother of at least one other child) coerced me into a c/s (apparantly "elective" on my part) because of her own fears and issues. My FEMALE ped guilted me into giving my son formula and sabotaged my efforts at breastfeeding even though she herself told me plenty of stories of her own nursing efforts. Why is it that some women (I know that it's not all - at least I hope it's not all of them) in the medical profession sucumb to the system?

I think a radical shift in the way we approach medicine (all medicine, not just birth) needs to take place. I agree with the op, there's no way that's going to happen until we strike where it hurts - their pocketbook!
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