VBAC & small pelvis? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-04-2003, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I had a c-section after about 15 hours of induced labor from failure to progress (well Duh, I was tied to the bed the second I got to the hospital!). During the section & afterwards the Dr. explained to me that I would never have been able to birth vaginally because my pelvis was very small. Now that was a shock of a lifetime to hear because I am a pretty big girl with wide hips. Who woulda thought! At the time it made sense to me but then later on, the more I thought about it, the more I wonder if the dr just said that to make himself look better. I mean, how could I have birthed a baby by laying in a hospital bed for 15 hours?
I really just want to know if the small pelvis is a good excuse or not. I am not pregnant yet, but am planning and would really like to try a VBAC but not if its going to be doomed from the start! Also my family is pretty skeptical about it, so I want to research as much as I can so that I can inform them.
Thanks for any ideas!
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#2 of 6 Old 08-04-2003, 12:45 PM
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Howdy. You are about to begin a journey that will not reach its conclusion until you have given birth to your next child. I've been traversing the way for the past 4 years. I had a c-sec that took me a long time to figure out "why" it happened, and I've spent the past few years reading, getting angry, and finally moving on to my very upcoming birth. My best advise is start with reading "Silent Knife"by Nancy Wainer-Cohen. It's an eye-opener. You'll find out that those "wonderful" ob's dispensing their "wonderful" advise and opinions are so often irrefutably full of s**t. From there, you'll find the rest of the books that will empower and give you the confidence you need. Hey, my pelvis is "too small", but I'm praying for a 9 pounder. I just want to shoot that whole dumb theory out of the water. What happened to you has happened to tens(hundreds) of thousands of us. The difference is, are you willing to swallow that lie, or stand up and say you were wronged? Good luck, I hope to post my vbac story all over the place.....soon
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#3 of 6 Old 08-04-2003, 11:16 PM
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Was 'small pelvis' the only reason? My c/s was cause I was told I had a 'narrow pelvis' plus my baby was posterior (OP). I failed to dilate past 6 - the surgeon explained it as due to the baby's position and failure to turn, that her head wasn't applying enough pressure on the cervix to dilate more. Surgeon also said that I should be fine to VBAC next time. So therefore my 'narrow pelvis' on it's own can't be such a problem.

I didn't feel pressured into a c/s. I had a doula, had the opportunity to try various positions during labor but nothing worked. I just hope my next one isn't posterior!

If I were you, I'd go back to your surgeon and ask for more detail. You can have an odd shaped pelvis but I think it's quite rare. And I'm suspicious about 'small' and 'narrow' because it just sounds so subjective.
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#4 of 6 Old 08-05-2003, 02:15 AM
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Something I learned recently is that a study was done early last century on women's pelvises and birth. They found that the average woman's pelvis could easily birth a 14 pound baby. So much for the small pelvis theory.
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#5 of 6 Old 08-05-2003, 09:45 AM
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Ugh. Sounds like your gut instinct is right on... I am not so easily convinced that your pelvis is too small for birth. It is another birth myth, IMO. A contracted pelvis does indeed exist, I think in like 2% of the population. Have you had a injury to it in the past? A car accident or something? Have you had rickets? Both of those things do cause problems for birth.

Short of that, there are many factors that contribute to FTP- or sometimes I like to call it Failure to Wait. We all know that doctors are not always as patient and trusting as natural birth progression requires. Lying on your back is not usually conducive to irth. Being hooked up to monitors isn't either- or epidural- or having staff poke and prod and hurry you while you are in labor. Fears can slow a labor. Positioning can stall a labor, while baby tries to find the optimal position to descend. Labor and birth holds so much wisdom, and many mothers take a break at, say, 6 cm fore a while before things pick back up again. None of this has anything to do with inadequate pelvises...

It is the easiest route for a doctor to blame it on your pelvis. THat way, he avoids the responsibility of it the "FTP" being iatrogenic. Much easier to make the woman belive her body has failed, and is broken for any birth in the future.

A few suggestions:

check out Gloria Lemay's "pelvises I've Known and Loved" on birthlove.com http://www.birthlove.com/pages/gloria/pelvises.html

If you are not a member, I urge you to join. If you can't, PM me, and I will forward you a copy.

Also, do you have your medical records from the birth? They can help you to fill in the blanks.

ICAn is a great resourse as you discover the truth about your birth for yourself. If you are not a member, tere may be a chapter near you with monthly support groups, or you can join the online support group which is an invaluable resource. Go to www.ican-online.com and then to community. There is a link to subscribe. It is very very high volume, but well worth it.

Also, "The Pink Kit" is great- but expensive. It is a thorough look at the pelvis, and helps you to truly understand the mechanics of it, and even to map your own pelvis. You will most likely find yours is like Lemay says: made to fit a pony through". You can buy it on the web. Just search google.

The words our care providers tell us are very powerful. I am so sorry for the damage done to your faith in your body. I know you are made for birth, just like all the women that have gone before you.

Many blessings on your journey- hope I see you at ICAN!

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#6 of 6 Old 08-05-2003, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much ladies for your words of encouragement. I will definitely look up all the links provided. I had a feeling what the dr said was horsecrap, just wanted to get a second opinion. My younger sister is pregnant right now (just found out!!) and I have soo much advice for her. I am going to try to inform her as much as I can so that she won't make the same mistakes that I did. I would hate to see her end up in the same situation that I did.
Thanks again! I really appreciate your kind and supportive words!
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