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#31 of 42 Old 08-12-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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quote: "One "key phrase" I learned during training is that you should think about "what will the mama remember?" and that a doula's job is to make sure those memories are positive ones, even when events start moving in a less than positive direction."

This scares me. I do not believe that it serves a woman to hide the truth. Sure, a c-section or traumatic chaotic birth can be better with good support and a doula who is informing the mama each step of the way what is going on and that they are right there WITH her, but we cannot paint a rosy picture for the mama to remember when that is not TRUTH. Doulas cannot make sure her memories are positive ones, I think what they can do is inform the mama every step of the way and let her know she still has choice, then after a traumatic or "less than positive" birth be there to listen as she grieves.
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#32 of 42 Old 08-12-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hajenkatt
Ammaarah--is it okay for me to PM you some questions about your anesthesia experience?
Go right ahead!
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#33 of 42 Old 08-12-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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Nurnur, you may have misunderstood the context of that quote from my doula training...it can be hard to convey everything without body language and tone of voice! Let me see if I can explain better...(and apologies for a slight thread departure...)

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but we cannot paint a rosy picture for the mama to remember when that is not TRUTH
A "positive" memory is not necessarily a "rosy" one. For example, the memory of breathing or toning through a labor contraction can be a positive one if the woman remembers her strength in that moment and her amazing power in opening/growing through that contraction. But that same contraction could be a "negative" memory if she remembers only the physical pain that may have accompanied that contration instead of her strength in riding with it.

Does that make sense? A labor contraction isn't a "rosy" memory, but it can be positive or negative one depending on which portion the mama choses to focus on. The idea isn't to create a memory that isn't "true". The idea is to make sure that the mama knows how strong, brave, powerful, capable, amazing, wonderful, lovely and loved she is no matter what happens. She is no less strong, brave, powerful, capable, amazing, wonderful, lovely and loved if she has a c/s. A c/s mama needs to process her experience (not all c/s mamas find it a traumatic experience btw), grieve or not as she needs, and have the support of those around her to heal physically and emotionally.

Helping a mama find her memories of strength and power isn't "hiding the truth" or denying the trauma of a c/s. It's helping the mama find what has been there all along.

The "What will the mama remember" question actually came out of an assignment...find several women who have given birth in the various decades (the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, etc) and ask what they remember from their births. It's shocking how many remember the doctor yelling at them, or a nurse ignoring them, or the way they were embarassed by the "labor prep" even 50 years later. Yes, these "negative" memories are part of the truth of those birth experiences, but so are the memories of joy at their baby's cry, their suprise at how strong and capable they really were, the discovery of huge resources they never knew existed inside them.

And part of a doula's role is to help people in the birth environment realize that they are creating memories with this mama, and those memories are going to last a lifetime, and they should act with respect and kindness towards that mama no matter what. So that in 50 years the mama I stay with today will remember her amazing strength, her baby's first smile, the way the doctor respected her desire to nurse her little one right away... before she remembers the rude nurse or the fact that she didn't get to use the tub or the million and one horrible "what if I had/hadn't"s that plague every mama who's birth wasn't what they had hoped. Not instead of those memories, but with those memories.

I'm not sure that makes it clearer but I didn't want you to think that a doula's role is to "lie" to a mama or create some sort of "false memory"! It's not. For me, the role of a doula is to help a mama find and remember her strength. No matter what life throws at her.

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#34 of 42 Old 08-12-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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I am still healing from the emotional scars of my c/s 4.5 years ago.
I've since had a VBAC, but I still mourn my c/s situation.

The first few months were especially rough and we had so many bf'ing difficulties that were compounded by the c/s. I had PPD and the first month or two were a haze There are a lot of things I don't remember (not to mention the whole afternoon and evening after his delivery)

Please know that you're not alone

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#35 of 42 Old 08-14-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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Wombatclay: Thanks for clarifying.
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#36 of 42 Old 08-14-2006, 01:24 PM
 
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First my apologies for detouring from the OP topic. How insensitive of me, as I am a 2 time c-sec mama and went thru a very long process of healing. The pain can still come up for me at times, especially when I see one of my childrens birth trauma come out in them. For myself, when the emotions/pain/feelings come up I allow myself to cry/rant....FEEL it. It usually is just one of many waves of feeling to arise, but the acknowlegement of that REAL pain on my part has been very good. Sending to you as you process. Anger is the first step in grieving. Do you have any good literature on grieving. Anyone else on here have any good sites on grief?
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#37 of 42 Old 08-17-2006, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those of you who have had VBAC's esp HBAC's, does it help to further the healing process. I thought I was done, esp right after the c sect, but find myself wanting to be pregnant again, wanting another baby (obviously after some more time passes). I've always felt confident in the birth process, did any of you find yourself very nervous attempting it after the c sect? The first comment I heard when I first mentioned the possibility was "You could die!", nice eh? I've heard many comments since the surgery from people who should know better, that will stay with me.
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#38 of 42 Old 08-18-2006, 04:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay
A care provider is there to help you have the best birth possible, and I really think some of the anger and pain of a c/s is feeling like you have "failed" in comparison to the natural birth you wanted and deserved.
But if the doula is there to help protect the mom from unnecessary intervention, (and I believe she is, else she wouldn't have gotten hired) doesn't that mean that the doula has not done her job, if the hospital staff is doing what they want to the mom, even if mom specifically says don't do it? The reason I ask is there have been a couple of births i have been to as a doula, where I have been called out of the room, and while I was gone, drugs have been given to the mom and other interventions she didn't want, didn't ask for, and specifically refused. Then I was let back in the room, and mom was conked out....so did I do my job as her doula? (the client was happy with my work, but she did not remember much of the actual birth). Does this make being a doula a joke in the medical community? (I wonder sometimes if we aren't being laughed at behind our backs. I was referred to as "the little doula" with one client) Or if, as doulas we will be ignored, then why bother with hospital births at all?(said rhetorically). I just wonder sometimes if we ought to lay it all out, and just tell the moms, especially VBACs, that if you want a vaginal birth, you better do it at home....

Quote:
The attitude of the care provider could go a long way to helping mamas realize they didn't fail, even when things don't work out the way you hope. One "key phrase" I learned during training is that you should think about "what will the mama remember?" and that a doula's job is to make sure those memories are positive ones, even when events start moving in a less than positive direction.
But what the moms remember afterward isn't necessarily what they remember during the birth...or so it seems to me. I think most of the medical care providers are chamaleons, changing to suit the atmosphere at the time. But i have worked with some excellent docs, (and nurses) who I would love to see cloned, they were so amenable...there are just so few of them!
So back to my question- Have we failed the client, because the staff worked against us in our better judgement and the wishes of the client? And if so, how to prevent it....
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#39 of 42 Old 08-18-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Quote:
So back to my question- Have we failed the client, because the staff worked against us in our better judgement and the wishes of the client? And if so, how to prevent it....
that sounds like a good thread for the birth attendant forum! And it's a question I see in the literature a lot ("should" doulas work in hospitals? what is the role of the doula at a hospital birth? the doula at an unplanned or planned c/s birth?)

Personally I felt my doula failed me...not because I had a c/s, but by her response to the news that I was having a c/s and her behavior after the surgery (see my original post in this thread). If someone had told me right then that I hadn't failed by having the c/s, or hadn't implied (by word or action) that "I should have done more" then it may have made a difference to my sense of self-loathing after the surgery.

I guess I feel strongly that a doula is there to support a mother during birth, no matter what happens...not all interventions can be avoided, or will be avoided, or should be avoided, and good or bad the mama has to deal with what happened. The doula's attitude during these events can help the mama come through with her dignity, pride, and a sense of self worth intact, or they can add to the hurt. I know what my doula's attitude did for me and hope I provide a totally different experience for my clients!

Healing emotionally and physically is so hard even in the best of situations...

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#40 of 42 Old 08-23-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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Well, I can tell you after the depression lifted, I was angry for a long time (years) and still am. I had my 2nd child via planned sch c/s at the advice of a gyn, who didn't know all of my hearts desires and he meant well. In hind sight, I needed the first c/s scar tissue and one heck of a horrible job repaired, so my 2nd c/s really holds no pain for me. It actually was a good experience in comparison to the first. I thought I was over it all while I was planning my vba2c as a hb. I was on cloud nine for months, but honestly the fact that I did do it just made me more angry at the 1st situation and lack of knowledgable care received during OB visits and at the hospital.
I still feel like I was cheated and my body has been cut open and sewed back together -- it bares the scars and it bares the physical pain that comes with each subsequent pregnancy pulling on those scars that should have never been there. I feel like I've been broken.
I started working with legislation in this state, I could be aggressive and angry and it was a suitable avenue for my anger (politics are a b-tch). I know I can not work with other women b/c I am very opinionated about c/s and what they do to women. But on the same hand maybe some day all of my experiences will be for a greater good to help women, when I'm ready to move on.
I think I'm still hanging on to my anger for strength or at least motivation to continue to be aware of the disservice to women the medical community is doing.
I'm planning my 2nd hb for my 4th child. So it's been almost 8 years since my 1st c/s and first child was born. I still harbor some anger, although less. It was at it's peak after my hb, while in bliss of hormonal serge as it wore off I really angry. I came here about it too.
If it really bothers you, you can seek counseling, I would suggest from a woman with midwifery experience. We have a former mw around her who does such therapy for women. I probably should go see her when I'm ready to let go of my own anger... Or you might try channeling your anger to the benefit of other women as I feel I have with the passing of new laws allowing the practice of hb mws in our state legally.
I will say though my own anger is not outwardly displayed. I'm not kicking in doors, knocking down tables, etc. I'm not hostile to family or friends. Mostly I feel it when I read post about women being "allowed a trial of labor" or such horrid language used to degrate. So, I try to avoid such post or talking about vbacing to other who are not yet fully embracing that pregnancy is natural and birthing is not to be managed. I will on occassion, but I must bite my tongue and usually I'm just ferrious when I'm done.
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#41 of 42 Old 08-24-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by spyder
For those of you who have had VBAC's esp HBAC's, does it help to further the healing process. I thought I was done, esp right after the c sect, but find myself wanting to be pregnant again, wanting another baby (obviously after some more time passes). I've always felt confident in the birth process, did any of you find yourself very nervous attempting it after the c sect?
I'm only partway into my HBAC journey, but I wanted to say that:
1. I wanted a "do-over" immediately. It's taken a long time to know within myself that this second child isn't a "second chance to get it right" or anything, but a person who is dearly wanted in my family.

2. Being pregnant again has meant upheaval for me--the huge emotional risk of trying for a VBAC and reviewing my first experience all over again. I finally got my labor and surgical records recently, and it led to a couple of sleepless nights, and long tearful discussions with dh. But we did work through it; I'm back to feeling "normal" just with a bit more information.

3. About "trusting birth"--I found some insight in reading Birth as An American Rite of Passage--that maybe my reaction to having been "told" that I can't birth was to completely change the way I react to mainstream American culture (thus began my path to crunchiness, mixed with other reasons too). I have never doubted my ability to give birth--everything else changed because of the paradox of having a c/s. I have also discovered an old book: Pregnant Feelings by Rahima Baldwin (of Special Delivery)--It's in the same vein as Birthing From Within, focused on helping you to work on birth-trust and body-trust issues.

ICAN is great. There's also a new kind of group starting up- http://www.trustbirth.org/main/ maybe there is one near you?
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#42 of 42 Old 09-01-2006, 10:33 AM
 
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I'm nearly 7 years post-cesarean and still angry. But you know what? I'm okay with that.

In preparing for my HBAC (due around Thanksgiving), I'm reading REBOUNDING FROM CHILDBIRTH. One thing I really liked was the author's comment that its okay not to reach the "forgiveness stage" but rather be just at a place of "acceptance."

I don't forgive my OB (or any OB) for their failure to learn midwifery techniques in order to truly help babies get born.

In the book the author addresses anger and says that "anger is a gift of energy." I fully agree. The first thing I did postpartum was track down the Maryland hospital cesarean percentages (a 2 week process to find) and now I hand them out like candy to women.

Then I became a doula and educated the heck out of some clients to help them have better births. Not all escaped cesareans mind you but some certainly did because of my support.

Then, when being a doula showed me that supporting women one-on-one was NOT changing the system, I dropped all paid work and became an unpaid birth activist.

My efforts have made an impact nationally and I'm very proud of that. Locally, one of our state's two VBAC banning hospitals recently reversed their VBAC ban due to "community pressure." I.e. the rally we held then the continued harassment I did for the following year and a half. We've already had one ICANer VBAC there just a week after the reversal and she was so happy!

I consider my anger to have been very productive and showed me that that was why the goddess above plucked me to have a cesarean and become one of her birth warriors.

-Barbara Stratton
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