Getting negative comments about my body shape and a VBAC - anyone else? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the doubts that I keep dealing with as I think about and plan for my VBAC is my body type. After I had DS, my mother actually said something about my hips and having wondered if I'd have issues with that. Yes, I am fairly petite on the bottom - I've never been very 'hippy'. My OB (who I'm in the process of replacing, providing I find someone I like more) said that if I could grow a smaller baby or widen my pelvis that would be a plus. And then, just the other day, I got another comment, all well meaning... I was talking about my VBAC hopes/fears, etc, and was stating the 'your body doesn't make a baby that it can't deliver' theory and was told that that's not true, followed by a comment about my hip size.

So anyone else have this. DS was a c/s because he didn't descend, so these comments speak to my greatest fear - that my body literally is just not able to give birth vaginally because I am too small in the pelvic region, and that I'm one of the people who would have died in childbirth were it not for medical intervention. I'm afraid it hits too close to home and has come from too many people who I genuinely like or should have knowledge that it's near impossible to truly just ignore it and not let it get to me at all.
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#2 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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Here is one way I see it. (I am narrow hipped as well and have had 1 vaginal birth, then a c/s for breech who turned breech at the last moment).

People have been birthing for ages. If narrow hipped people like us weren't able to birth babies, we would have died out and only women with wide hips & pelivises would remain.

rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#3 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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Musette,

Have you ever heard of The Pink Kit? It is so fantastic for opening up the pelvis and helping you to understand your own unique pelvic shape. It also gives some great position tips and helpful things to do during labor to open your pelvis up just a teeensy bit more.

I have a very shallow pelvis and not much in the way of hips. I am going to do my best to grow a nice compact healthy baby this time, and Id like her to come out alot sooner then the last one (43.2). Regardless tho, the pink kit has really helped me understand my pelvis and I have helped many women as a doula using the tools.
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#4 of 13 Old 09-10-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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According to my mw after my failed VBAC, it *is* true that you can grow babies that are too big for your body to birth. HOWEVER this isn't necessarily going to be the case for you. The measurement of the hips on the ouside has nothing to do with the space inside.

I think you could just take this on board and remain positive about your VBAC, but I think it's also important to realize that it might not happen too - you don't want to be too devastated if it doesn't happen.

There is a really good chance that you'll have a sucessful and beautiful VBAC. Good Luck.

Leila, mama to Eleanor (10/08) and Emmett (4/10)

Visit my blog! www.rookblog.com

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#5 of 13 Old 09-11-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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Musette, I second the Pink Kit. It also taught me about my pelvic shape which is a less common shape. I have a very narrow pubic arch due to an athropoid pelvis so decision is more difficult for me. I was able to birth a 9+lber with a 15 inch head after being dilated to 10cm for 20 hours and baby was a -2 station with an intact water bag. At the 20 hour mark we broke my water and I had the urge to push. Two hours later she descended to a 0 station and two more hours later out came Stella Rose. If I can do it anyone can!

Amy, Army wife living in S. Korea, mama to my inverted t c/s baby 04.05.08 and my VBAC with inverted t baby 07.24.10
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#6 of 13 Old 09-11-2010, 08:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Amynf1 View Post
Musette, I second the Pink Kit. It also taught me about my pelvic shape which is a less common shape. I have a very narrow pubic arch due to an athropoid pelvis so decision is more difficult for me. I was able to birth a 9+lber with a 15 inch head after being dilated to 10cm for 20 hours and baby was a -2 station with an intact water bag. At the 20 hour mark we broke my water and I had the urge to push. Two hours later she descended to a 0 station and two more hours later out came Stella Rose. If I can do it anyone can!
Amynf1--the bolded part...did you mean to say that given your pelvis type, baby's descent is more difficult? Just wanting to clarify.

Musette--it is pretty rare for a woman to grow a baby she can't birth. It can happen--but's it's pretty rare. And many a woman who had a first cesarian due to CPD--baby too big for mama's pelvis--has gone on to have a vaginal birth. Often with an even larger baby than before! ICAN has a great photo montage story of this.

For many, as others have said, it is about working with the pelvis you have. In your case, it might also be about trying not to put too much stock in people's comments about your hips! I've known some very tiny ladies to birth normal sized or even large babies just fine. I second the idea of getting to know your pelvis very well, and looking into all the techniques available for working with your pelvic type during birth.

And sure, you might well prepare yourself for another surgery--couldn't hurt! Then again, I urge all women to understand and be prepared for all possibilities, because we don't control birth and the unexpected can occur. That is just common sense. For you, 'being prepared' for possible surgery does NOT have to mean 'expecting' it--or giving up before you've even tried. Prepare yourself for a vbac, in all the ways you can , and in doing so, be generally prepared for all possibilities, have a backup plan in place....just as anyone might benefit from.
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#7 of 13 Old 09-11-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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Amynf1--the bolded part...did you mean to say that given your pelvis type, baby's descent is more difficult? Just wanting to clarify.
Yes, sorry, spell check got me. My babies have a hard time descending.

Amy, Army wife living in S. Korea, mama to my inverted t c/s baby 04.05.08 and my VBAC with inverted t baby 07.24.10
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#8 of 13 Old 09-11-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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And sure, you might well prepare yourself for another surgery--couldn't hurt! Then again, I urge all women to understand and be prepared for all possibilities, because we don't control birth and the unexpected can occur. That is just common sense. For you, 'being prepared' for possible surgery does NOT have to mean 'expecting' it--or giving up before you've even tried. Prepare yourself for a vbac, in all the ways you can , and in doing so, be generally prepared for all possibilities, have a backup plan in place....just as anyone might benefit from.
I agree with this, only I like to phrase it to myself differently. I feel I have prepared for an empowering birth regardless of the method of her coming into this world. We are having an HBAC, but I have a hospital birth plan for transfer and a hospital birth plan for cesarean. I know that if we have a CS, it's because it's truly necessary, the same with a transfer.

I would say that the vast VAST majority of women will NOT grow a baby bigger than they can birth, and the VAST majority of those women have ricketts, polio, dwarfism, extreme pelvic accidents, poor diets for their bodies that make them grow bigger babies than their body can birth.

There are other reasons a baby doesn't descend. For instance, if they baby has a tight cord around her/his neck (not a danger for suffocation) it MAY Cause them not to drop in the pelvis. Again, this is rare. And like a PP said, you measure pelvic opening not from the outside.

There is a woman with our ICAN group who is less than 5' tall, very petite, had a CS for CPD for her first an 8lb baby, and her second she HBACed her 10lb baby. So it's very very possible, and happens all the time.

Also, pelvis size doesn't really matter till you get in the heat of labor and to the point where the hormones are highest for ligament stretching and baby is in the best position for molding his/her head. So you MAY have had CPD for your first, but that by no means says you have CPD for this baby. It's a new birth.

Much LOVE!
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#9 of 13 Old 09-11-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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I have been through what you are going through right now. My first did not descend fully, and it was due to a very tight cord wrapped around every part of his body . It was absolutely a necessary c/s as he was not tolerating labor and it had been over 30 hours.
I was very positive and optimistic for my hbac attempt. Unfortunately that one ended in a transfer and c/s. I too have small hips and a very narrow pelvic arch. I remember my midwife commenting on it when I had my very first exam for my first baby. And of course since I had homebirth midwives for my second they never did a vag exam till well into labor. For my hbac I had a fast uneventful labor and dilation. I pushed for 5 hours. We were pretty certain that he flipped posterior during my labor and came down acynclitic (as was my first babe) and as a result of pushing for all those hours he had a pretty significant cephalohematoma which calcified. We had tried everything to get him out and he was not budging under my pelvic arch. I'm not telling you my story to scare you but to speak to the reality of a birth that just didn't go the way it was "supposed to go". I have a lot more peace about it than my first because there were so many what ifs with that one. Now that I have gone through it again I realise that there is something about my body that makes my babies come down posterior, acynclitic, and my pelvis makes for that position to get stuck. If I were to have a third I would consider having some serious bodywork done to try to fix this problem. I had gone to the chiro for both pregnancies and that apparently wasn't enough for me.

So- there are many variables surrounding birth. When everything lines up people have easy births. Just because you have a narrow arch doesn't automaticly mean you will have another c/s but coupled with some other issues it could very well end up that way.

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#10 of 13 Old 09-12-2010, 08:43 AM
 
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I agree with this, only I like to phrase it to myself differently. I feel I have prepared for an empowering birth regardless of the method of her coming into this world.
Yes--thanks for this! You said what I shoulda said--it is exactly what I meant.

Prepare for an empowered birth, knowing that we can't control all the factors and outcomes, but we certainly CAN meet with birth and all it's possible permutations, from a position of empowered preparedness.
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#11 of 13 Old 09-12-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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Birthing hips are a myth. You cannot tell from the outside whether your pelvis is adequate. Pink Kit is a must. I am going to start teaching childbirth classes in October to show pictures of different women and going to ask the class who had the easiest birth.

I am short and thin with no hips and had a very easy VBAC (c/s was for breech). My friend who is thinner than I am had two very fast vaginal births. Many of my friends who had c-sections for "failure to progress" "failure to descend" etc. are tall with wide hips. Things like a curved tailbone, narrow pubic arch, etc. can have an effect on baby's descent as can induction before baby is ready or augmentation.

Knowing your own body is very important in birth. I did not do the Pink Kit or map my pelvis before my birth, but if I had known about it, I would have. Even if you have no pelvic shape issues, knowing your shape and creating body awareness can help you feel where baby is where baby needs to go.
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#12 of 13 Old 09-12-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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#13 of 13 Old 09-13-2010, 03:24 AM
 
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My midwife said the same thing and I have BIG hips I had a c/s with her. I ended up traveling for my VBAC w/ baby #2. After my successful VBAC I asked the doctor what he thought and he gave me a look like "well isn't that an odd question" and said I was just fine. Obviously! My baby was 9 lbs. 1 oz. 10 ounces bigger than my first! I gained less than 30 lbs through my whole pregnancy. Somebody, please tell me how you grow a small baby!
You can do it Mama! Oh and both my babies were "stuck" just this time around the doctor turned him (which is what my midwife should have done). The most important thing you can do, if you are going to have a hospital birth, is find a doctor who is 100% on board with you and has a low c/s.
Please read this article when you have a chance. It erased my fears :-)
http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/pelvis.asp

Lovin my Hubby , Serena (10/07)::, and Cedar( 07/09)
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