The case against Epidurals... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
Why should any one person's opinion be more valid than another?
Maybe valid isn't the right word...but maybe more fair? More balanced? How can someone who has only had medicated delivery know how she might or might not feel if she had it unmedicated?

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#62 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ShwarmaQueen View Post
Maybe valid isn't the right word...but maybe more fair? More balanced? How can someone who has only had medicated delivery know how she might or might not feel if she had it unmedicated?
But an opinion is just that - one person's experience. No one's opinion can be more right or more balanced than another person's because they are just opinions. Also, no one can tell another mom what she will/will not feel during and after birth based on the presence or absence of medication in their body.

She was responding to the following statements:

Quote:
the feelings you feel after a natural birth, the love, the bonding, the rush. there are no words to describe the POWER you feel, either.
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it's very sad to me that so many women never get to feel those things.
And (I believe) what she was saying was that just because she had a medicated birth does not mean that she didn't feel the same things that the unmedicated mom did.
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#63 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by *Erin* View Post
it's very sad to me that so many women never get to feel those things. i feel like it's a very primal part of our womanhood that's being taken from us, our birthing power. i don't judge a mama for opting to get an epidural, not at all, but i do wish that HCP were not so fast to push them, and act like they are super safe and effective all the time.
I agree that it's sad that birth is now "high-tech" "medicalized" and, as Dr. Marsden Wagner puts it "not women-centered."

The way birth in America is managed is sickening to me. It shouldn't even be "managed" at all -it should just be subtely monitored/observed & allowed to progress naturally - on it's own time.

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You assume that women who have a medicated birth don't feel those things. That is simply not true.
Well, I can't speak for Erin, who originally said it, but I DO know that the average American birth is NOT empowering. It's just not. Period. It's degrading & horrible. Now that is not to say that it's not possible for a woman to have a medicated birth that IS empowering... but the fact of the matter simply is that it is rare. Heck, empowering hospital birth alone is rare, but medicated & empowering hospital birth? That's gotta be quite rare!
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#64 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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the feelings you feel after a natural birth, the love, the bonding, the rush. there are no words to describe the POWER you feel, either.
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it's very sad to me that so many women never get to feel those things.
You assume that women who have a medicated birth don't feel those things. That is simply not true. You may not have felt them, but that doesn't mean that the majority of women don't. I know that I felt amazing after my birth. I couldn't stop looking at my baby and thinking I did that. My body made this and then brought it into the world. Just because there was pain medicine involved did not change the emotions. Look, I am all for people choosing to birth the way they want and that all of the risks should be evaluated, but what I don't like and will never agree with is the assumption that a medicated birth can not be as spiritual and as rewarding as a non-medicated one. It is insulting and plays down those of who had wonderful medicated births that we are very happy with by saying that it would have been better if we just would have done it the way you would have done it.
AMEN!!

I had three medicated, induced (gasp!) births, and if I ever have any more, I will happily go the exact same route again. To even begin to imply that women who use pain meds don't feel the same love and bonding that those who go natural feel is preposterous.

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#65 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Well, I can't speak for Erin, who originally said it, but I DO know that the average American birth is NOT empowering. It's just not. Period. It's degrading & horrible. Now that is not to say that it's not possible for a woman to have a medicated birth that IS empowering... but the fact of the matter simply is that it is rare. Heck, empowering hospital birth alone is rare, but medicated & empowering hospital birth? That's gotta be quite rare!
But that is just your opinion. No one can decide what is empowering for another mom. While you might not be able to comprehend a hospital birth of any kind to be empowering just read some of the birth stories here, there are many moms that have had hospital births, even some that involved medications, that have felt strong and empowered after birth.

You feel that hospital births are horrible and degrading - I strongly disagree as I birthed my 2 girls in a hospital and felt neither. That does not mean my opinion is more valid than yours because I have in fact birthed two babies in a hospital - it just means that we see things differently.
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#66 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
No one's opinion can be more right or more balanced than another person's because they are just opinions.
Really? Someone who's been on both sides doesn't have a more balanced view of something? I understand that the mom I quoted might have had a glorious, love-filled, spiritual birth, but until she's had an unmedicated birth to compare it to, it's premature to judge a non-medicated birth in comparison. I (obviously) had a medicalized birth and I felt ecstatic upon holding DD and nursed with no problems, and I don't feel at all offended by a mom who's had both deliveries imply that I didn't. She's just stating her opinion too.

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#67 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
But that is just your opinion. [That hospital birth is rarely empowering]
Actually, I don't believe it is "just my opinon." Our "broken" maternity care system (again, quoting Dr. Marsden Wagner) mistreats women. It is because of this mistreatment that I say a truly empowering experience is rare.

Again, some hospitals are much better than others (I switched from a bad to a good one at 24W when I learned the truth.)

And, if a woman gets a healthy baby at the end of the process, she often is happy with her experience. She is also often happy if she doesn't know any better!!! The average American thinks birth is horrible & traumatic & is all too happy to hand over the entire experience to medical experts. She expects the worst anyway. (& I dont' think MDC is representative of "average americans.")

Even if she is happy in the end, I would argue that she was treated poorly and even in a degrading way if she was/ had:
  • not allowed to drink
  • cEFM for low risk birth
  • regular vaginal exams (particularly if she was not medicated!)
  • ANY procedure without informed consent (that means not just telling her she's about to have a procedure done, but fully informing her of risks & options & ASKING for permission.)
  • Episiotomy without real, valid cause
  • coached to 'purple push' - hold her breath beyond the point of comfort (without cause due to fetal distress)
  • immediate (aka "premature") cord clamping
  • early separation of mom & baby for no valid reason
  • subjected to an outright BAN on VBAC
  • pushed into things for doctor's convenience (i.e pit augmentation, vacuum, or CS just because doc is tired of waiting & wants to go home)
  • not allowed to move about freely & push in the position of her choice for doc's convenience
  • otherwise insulted or degraded or criticized for stupid things like the sounds she made (HB MWs apparently even do this - just read a birth story about it yesterday)

These things happen every day in American hospitals & they are horrible and degrading. PERIOD!
That is why I say it is not just my opinion that hospital birth in America is "rarely empowering" to women.

Incidentally, I did have an empowering, all-natural hospital birth myself! Again, I didn't say it was impossible, only that it was rare.
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#68 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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She is also often happy if she doesn't know any better!!!
<snip>

Even if she is happy in the end, I would argue that she was treated poorly and even in a degrading way if she was/ had:
  • <snip>
  • ANY procedure without informed consent (that means not just telling her she's about to have a procedure done, but fully informing her of risks & options & ASKING for permission.)

These things happen every day in American hospitals & they are horrible and degrading. PERIOD!
I snipped a lot, because these things together really struck home with me.

I wasn't happy after I was forced to have a c-section with ds1. I wasn't happy at all. However, when I finally - 14 years later - got my records, I was furious...and totally disempowered. I didn't know I'd been given a sedative the next day...not only was I not told beforehand, I wasn't told at all. They had me on an IV for antibiotics (which I objected to, and was completely ignored...no I didn't fight back, because I didn't have the energy...but I did say "no"), and slipped other drugs in without telling me. That is degrading...and I didn't even know.

When I had dd, they gave me dicoflenac suppositories to help with pain management. They gave me the first one while I was still under spinal...and I didn't even know until 8 (12?) hours later when it was time for the next one.

When I had ds2, the anesthetist added that morphine crap (duramorph?) to my IV for post-op pain relief...without my knowledge or consent.

I'm going back for my last c-section in less than three months. Despite the fact that I have a good OB, I'm not really fighting that hard, anymore. Losing Aaron psychologically broke me. I fully expect to be emotionally abused and treated like a brainless idiot at the hospital. I'll endure it for the three days, and then I never have to go back. I honestly find the idea of empowering hospital birth completely mind-boggling, and I can't imagine what kind of strength is must require.

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#69 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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It's getting kinda stormy in here so I'm reluctant to put my two cents out there, but here I go.

I'm a L and D nurse in a busy urban hospital. We have wonderful CNMs, wonderful OBs, and not so wonderful ones of each as well. I agree that the AVERAGE hospital labor and birth are not particularly empowering. They are moving, exciting, and of course filled with love for most families. However, I do think that in the majority, the system interferes with women's feeling of independence--even if it is willingly given up. And because of that, I wouldn't call them "empowered". Now, obviously, not all experiences are the same and I've been priviliged to be at so many awe-inspiring, incredible births as well--that took place under all sorts of medical intervention (some needed, some per protocol). It definitely happens--I just think the current system with multiple providers, shift work, and assembly line type protocols is set up to make it more difficult instead of being set up to be supportive.

My take on epidurals are that they are not without risk--my biggest concerns are bp drops and contribution to malpositioning and difficulty pushing (all three statistically recognized common side effects), but I think that for some women, it dramatically improves their ability to cope with the pain and the anxiety of childbirth.

Mama to P. born at home 10/09, and W. born in the hospital 2/13

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#70 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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I'm going back for my last c-section in less than three months. Despite the fact that I have a good OB, I'm not really fighting that hard, anymore. Losing Aaron psychologically broke me. I fully expect to be emotionally abused and treated like a brainless idiot at the hospital. I'll endure it for the three days, and then I never have to go back. I honestly find the idea of empowering hospital birth completely mind-boggling, and I can't imagine what kind of strength is must require.
Oh, mama. I am so sorry.

This brought me to tears.

Best wishes to you.

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#71 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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hmmm... lots of food for thought here.

FWIW, I'll offer my experiences as yet another example of the possibilities - I've had a c-section, had two epidural vbacs, one unmedicated vbac. All in hospitals. I was never separated from my babies, not even after the section (breech singleton), except for my premie twins who went to the nicu for a few weeks (that was vbac #1). Two different hospitals in different states.

On the epidural front: in my case, the epidural made for a far more peaceful birth than unmedicated. Quiet, calm, happy. With my unmedicated birth, which was a short, fast, intense labor with no break in the pain between contractions, and complete with the fetal ejection reflex a.k.a. freight train, I was physically in shock afterward. My arms were shaking. The OB wanted to put the baby on my chest but I had to say no, "I can't" because literally I could not lift my arms, and this is what I was thinking in my mind: "Get that thing away from me!!" That's a horrible thing to say, even in your head. That aside, I was plenty happy with the environment, quiet and dark in the middle of the night, no one bothered me, no one told me when to push, or interfered in any way.

I guess I can say that in my experience, the unmedicated birth was empowering in a ran-a-marathon, climbed-a-mountain sort of way, briefly anyway. Kinda like, give me my bananas and my race medal, can I go home now (as in, could I live a full, whole life as a woman without having done an unmedicated birth? *yes*). The hit-by-a-truck feeling was a bit more pronounced after the unmedicated birth than the epidural one. The recoveries were similar. One thing that makes it difficult to compare recoveries is that the more children I have, the more painful the cramping during the nursing - the most recent time, after the unmedicated birth, the cramping during our first nursing session was so fierce it was quite a lot like labor all over again and I actually had to stop.

If I have a choice this time around, I'll choose epidural. I'm assuming a low probability of that happening though, due to a fast labor and anticoagulants on board, so assuming I go unmedicated again, I'll probably ask for some pain medication immediatelly following the birth so that I can nurse - I'm guessing the cramping will be even tougher than last time.

(maybe I'm just lucky. I thought it was pretty cool that my old OB actually suggested and recommended that I vbac my twins, but my new OB is even cool-er, if there is such a thing - mother was a midwife, and the OB has personally read "Birthing from Within," which I haven't).
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#72 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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I think it is VERY rude for people to assume that a mom who has had a medicated birth does not feel the rush, love, empowerment, after their child's birth. I think any mom who has experienced birth would say that that assumption is complete B.S. It is UGLY and MEAN to make assumptions about anyone else's birth.

I think people are forgetting that a hospital birth is what some women want and are completely fine with. It is a service that a mom pays for...it is a business. Why degrade the hopitals is it's something you choose??!!! Choose a home birth if you don't agree. It's unfair to lump all hospitals and care providers into one group.
If a mom does not have the sense to educate herself about the birth she wants and is fine with the mainstream hospital birth then god bless her.
I get just as angered seeing women on "bringing home baby" "a baby story" who go to the hopital and lay in the bed on their back and expect to dilate, but I just write it off as something that I would not choose to do.

Modern medicine is modern medicine and a lot of the rules/treatments/decisions are made because of hospital policy....policy that is dictated by the hospital and the insurance companies. Rules and policies are based on worst case scenario and to be as "sue proof" as possible. Working as a social worker in a bigger city, our "big" hospital has mom's come in all the time high on crack, or any substance for that matter ready to give birth, or women who didn't even know they were pregnant, or women who have tried to self abort. I mean the numbers are staggering. There is just no way to have seperate rules for seperate circumstances....a hospital and ALL of it's practicing doctors have standard operating procedures, that for insurance reasons they cannot stray from. People ASSUME that ALL women are equal when it comes to birth (as crappy as that sounds). How in the world is a woman who has gotten high on meth, prostituted herself all day and then goes into labor being degraded by having to adhere to the mainstream rules. If she has not given a crap about her baby this far along...why is the hospital the bad guy when it comes to her birth. (true story here by the way...was in the news). No amount of changing our broken maternity system is going to fix this situation. When policy makers write policy for the safety/security of their business...they write it for worst case scenarios like this.

A PERFECT example of hospital policy so that they "sue proof" is a local doctor in my area who was as adament about not preforming C/S's as we are. He was very natural minded. About 2 years ago he was assisting with a birth and the baby had some decels in heart rate. Standard Operating Procedures, say, "okay time for emergency C/S... baby might die ". But he knew that this was a normal part of some birthing processes and saw nothing that would signify a danger to mom or baby. He encouraged the mom to continue...gave her the option of C/S but advised that he felt there was more risk in a C/S. Baby was found to have CP 7 months later, and the doctor was blaimed!!! (even though it could not be directly proven that the CP was caused by not doing an emergency C/S and that CP can often be caused in utero). He was sued...the hopital was sued....etc, etc. People are wrong in assuming that decisions are based on the Dr's convience.
A lot of OBs go into business because they do have a genuine love of pregnancy and birth. BUT if they want to do what they love, they have to abide by the rules and regulations...EVEN if they don't agree.

Anywhoo, this is my grumpy pregnancy rant. I had a hospital birth and LOVED it!!! I had to have pitocin for labor that wouldn't start after PROM at 35 weeks(which knowing then what I know know I wouldn't have agreed to). Epidural followed pitocin because there was no way to go from 0 to 10 contractions out of no where without me feeling like I was going to panic and die. I won't be having an epi this time but I am not expecting this birth to be ANY MORE BEAUTIFUL than DD's birth.
I felt like a million bucks after birth...was able to feel to push...no one counted for me (the nurse even told my DH to stop counting for me)....and I was up and walking 15 to 30 minutes after birth and showered an hour later. Enjoyed buffalo wild wings and a large coke an hour after that .

I love birth...I would do it everyday if i could relive DD's birth. My epi is insignificant in what a beautiful experience it was.

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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#73 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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I think it is VERY rude for people to assume that a mom who has had a medicated birth does not feel the rush, love, empowerment, after their child's birth. I think any mom who has experienced birth would say that that assumption is complete B.S. It is UGLY and MEAN to make assumptions about anyone else's birth.

I think people are forgetting that a hospital birth is what some women want and are completely fine with. It is a service that a mom pays for...it is a business. Why degrade the hopitals is it's something you choose??!!! Choose a home birth if you don't agree. It's unfair to lump all hospitals and care providers into one group.
If a mom does not have the sense to educate herself about the birth she wants and is fine with the mainstream hospital birth then god bless her.
I get just as angered seeing women on "bringing home baby" "a baby story" who go to the hopital and lay in the bed on their back and expect to dilate, but I just write it off as something that I would not choose to do.

Modern medicine is modern medicine and a lot of the rules/treatments/decisions are made because of hospital policy....policy that is dictated by the hospital and the insurance companies. Rules and policies are based on worst case scenario and to be as "sue proof" as possible. Working as a social worker in a bigger city, our "big" hospital has mom's come in all the time high on crack, or any substance for that matter ready to give birth, or women who didn't even know they were pregnant, or women who have tried to self abort. I mean the numbers are staggering. There is just no way to have seperate rules for seperate circumstances....a hospital and ALL of it's practicing doctors have standard operating procedures, that for insurance reasons they cannot stray from. People ASSUME that ALL women are equal when it comes to birth (as crappy as that sounds). How in the world is a woman who has gotten high on meth, prostituted herself all day and then goes into labor being degraded by having to adhere to the mainstream rules. If she has not given a crap about her baby this far along...why is the hospital the bad guy when it comes to her birth. (true story here by the way...was in the news). No amount of changing our broken maternity system is going to fix this situation. When policy makers write policy for the safety/security of their business...they write it for worst case scenarios like this.

A PERFECT example of hospital policy so that they "sue proof" is a local doctor in my area who was as adament about not preforming C/S's as we are. He was very natural minded. About 2 years ago he was assisting with a birth and the baby had some decels in heart rate. Standard Operating Procedures, say, "okay time for emergency C/S... baby might die ". But he knew that this was a normal part of some birthing processes and saw nothing that would signify a danger to mom or baby. He encouraged the mom to continue...gave her the option of C/S but advised that he felt there was more risk in a C/S. Baby was found to have CP 7 months later, and the doctor was blaimed!!! (even though it could not be directly proven that the CP was caused by not doing an emergency C/S and that CP can often be caused in utero). He was sued...the hopital was sued....etc, etc. People are wrong in assuming that decisions are based on the Dr's convience.
A lot of OBs go into business because they do have a genuine love of pregnancy and birth. BUT if they want to do what they love, they have to abide by the rules and regulations...EVEN if they don't agree.

Anywhoo, this is my grumpy pregnancy rant. I had a hospital birth and LOVED it!!! I had to have pitocin for labor that wouldn't start after PROM at 35 weeks(which knowing then what I know know I wouldn't have agreed to). Epidural followed pitocin because there was no way to go from 0 to 10 contractions out of no where without me feeling like I was going to panic and die. I won't be having an epi this time but I am not expecting this birth to be ANY MORE BEAUTIFUL than DD's birth.
I felt like a million bucks after birth...was able to feel to push...no one counted for me (the nurse even told my DH to stop counting for me)....and I was up and walking 15 to 30 minutes after birth and showered an hour later. Enjoyed buffalo wild wings and a large coke an hour after that .

I love birth...I would do it everyday if i could relive DD's birth. My epi is insignificant in what a beautiful experience it was.

You said it much better than I did.
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#74 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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A lot of OBs go into business because they do have a genuine love of pregnancy and birth.
Really? They hide it well. I think they go into OB, because they either love surgery or they love the feeling of giving birth, even if they're men. I've seen quotes from OB's mouths about how great it would be to work in a 100% c-section hospital, so they wouldn't have to worry about odd hours...yeah - real love of pregnancy and birth there. I've seen OBs talk about how it's always the woman actually giving birth...except during a c-section.

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BUT if they want to do what they love, they have to abide by the rules and regulations...EVEN if they don't agree.
Do you even see what you just typed? If they want to do what they love, they have to follow the rules and regulations. So, you're basically saying that doing what they love means the woman doesn't matter, and it doesn't matter how badly she is treated, as long as they get to do what they love. If the rules and regulations are abusive of the woman in labour, that's okay, because they are doing what they love. You actually just reaffirmed every negative thing I've learned about OBs over the years.

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#75 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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...mom's come in all the time high on crack,....There is just no way to have seperate rules for seperate circumstances....a hospital and ALL of it's practicing doctors have standard operating procedures, that for insurance reasons they cannot stray from.

<snip>
a woman who has gotten high on meth, prostituted herself all day ...When policy makers write policy for the safety/security of their business...they write it for worst case scenarios like this.

Your post has made me kinda sick. Are you really saying that:
1. There is "no way" for hospitals to have "separate rules for separate cirmustances" - in other words, they must treat all women as if they are sick & irresponsible?
2. The must expect every birthing woman is as bad as a "worst case scenario" & thus treat them all the same - treat them all as if they were that worse case scenario?

If I have indeed understood you correctly (and please disregard if I have misunderstood) those are sickening statements. Sickening & horrifying.

What if you went to your dentist & he said, "Well, everyone I've seen lately has a cavity, so I'm going to drill & fill holes in your teeth anyway, just in case?"
Or you just had some anxiety issues to work through and went to a psychologist who said, "i don't think you're depressed & you don't require medication, but the majority of my patients do need it, so I'm going to put you on an anti-depressant."

Seriuosly?! How is that any different??!?!
Performing medical procedures on every patient even if they are not necessary is unethical. To treat every patient the same & not administer procedures ONLY as needed is an atrocity.

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Originally Posted by jeliphish View Post
...People are wrong in assuming that decisions are based on the Dr's convience.
No, we're not wrong in "assuming" that. It's statistically proven that the CS rate - even the "emergency" CS rate - goes UP approaching dinner time, and getting late in teh evening like before midnight. You really mean to tell me that docs feel there is a higher rate of being sued if they wait until 3 AM to do the CS? I don't think so.


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A lot of OBs go into business because they do have a genuine love of pregnancy and birth. BUT if they want to do what they love, they have to abide by the rules and regulations...EVEN if they don't agree.
Wrong. Very often, docs are free to deviate from hospital policy. Even the nurses will tell you that - "Well, it's hopsital policy that XYZ, but if your doc says you can deviate, that's fine."

Anyone who doesn't think that hospital birth in America is, for the most part, negative to women is sorely in need of some education.
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#76 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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Modern medicine is modern medicine and a lot of the rules/treatments/decisions are made because of hospital policy....policy that is dictated by the hospital and the insurance companies. Rules and policies are based on worst case scenario and to be as "sue proof" as possible. Working as a social worker in a bigger city, our "big" hospital has mom's come in all the time high on crack, or any substance for that matter ready to give birth, or women who didn't even know they were pregnant, or women who have tried to self abort. I mean the numbers are staggering. There is just no way to have seperate rules for seperate circumstances....a hospital and ALL of it's practicing doctors have standard operating procedures, that for insurance reasons they cannot stray from. People ASSUME that ALL women are equal when it comes to birth (as crappy as that sounds). How in the world is a woman who has gotten high on meth, prostituted herself all day and then goes into labor being degraded by having to adhere to the mainstream rules. If she has not given a crap about her baby this far along...why is the hospital the bad guy when it comes to her birth. (true story here by the way...was in the news). No amount of changing our broken maternity system is going to fix this situation. When policy makers write policy for the safety/security of their business...they write it for worst case scenarios like this.
So, how do women who are addicted to hard drugs, or have had no prenatal "care" or who have tried to self-abort explain giving people medication without their consent? How do these things explain performing a c-section on someone who says "no"? How do these things account for putting a sleeping pill in a woman's mouth when she's still completely foggy from a general anesthetic (foggy, as in "didn't remember she'd had a baby") and unable to refuse it? How do these things account for snapping at a woman to "hurry up" when she's exhausting herself trying to roll over on the bed, so that she can feed her baby? How do these things explain a "lactation consultant" grabbing a woman's breast without permission, in order to interfere with breastfeeding? Would any of those actions actually accomplish something positive for a mother with a crack addiction?

The problems in the hospital go way beyond policy on performing surgery. They're equally rooted (maybe more so) in the assumption that the patient has no say, because the doctor - or nurse - is the expert.

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#77 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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Do you even see what you just typed? If they want to do what they love, they have to follow the rules and regulations. So, you're basically saying that doing what they love means the woman doesn't matter, and it doesn't matter how badly she is treated, as long as they get to do what they love. If the rules and regulations are abusive of the woman in labour, that's okay, because they are doing what they love. You actually just reaffirmed every negative thing I've learned about OBs over the years.
Not every woman under an OBs care is mistreated....It's rediculous to assume that all OBs are wonderful and care as much about birth as we do BUT it's equally as rediculous to assume that they are all out to abuse women during labor.

If they want to work as an OB in the hospital then they have to follow hospital policy...no matter how they may personally feel. It's just like me, as a social worker, WANTING desperately to take one of my client's teenagers for the night so they can each cool down...knowing THAT would be best for both....BUT NOT BEING ABLE TO because of City policy. I would be fired and god forbid, my dog bite the teen and he and his family then turns around and sues me and the city. Different rules can't be made for different situations on a "business" level. It would be one hell of a liability. It's not that I agree with this practice....I just understand why.

There are starting to be more and more doctors, and specifically OBs opening up private practices all over the place so they don't have to follow "hopital/insurance" policy. But the reason why they are not popping up more frequently is because they have an extremely difficult time being insured. Have you not seen all of the national news about the Physican in New York cutting ALL ties with insurance and treating his group of patients for a monthly/ yearly flat rate. His idea is wonderful......he was able to serve so many people who would otherwise not come in because they didn't have insurance. 6 months into this the STATE OF NEW YORK, forced him to stop this business because of the liability. He was forced to have dealings with the insurance company again or the state medical board was going to pull his license.
Placing blaim in the OB is not going to fix anything!!!! It's insurance companies!!

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Epidurals have risks, though slight, and some women generally want them and should have them if they feel they need them. The woman will still be over the moon in love and in awe of her baby.

I think the difference, and the only difference in emotions, of the unmedicated and medicated birth is just the endorphins that come from unmedicated. It is a high and cannot occur with an epidural. So both moms are over the moon but one is over the moon and high as a kite (in a good way).

It is something great. I won't ever say it is not as I found it the most definable moments of my life. However, it isn't needed nor important for the mom and baby to be happy and bonded. I wouldn't want any woman to suffer just for the good chance of getting that high. Every labor is different and while I have handled mine without medications, I can see where they would be wanted if my labors were different.

Hospitals aren't geared for normal birth, a peaceful birth, a great birth but they can happen even though everything is set up so it doesn't happen. I had one unmedicated birth at a hospital, one pit but unmedicated birth at a hospital. I beat the odds but I had a great midwife and great birthing room and knew what I wanted.

I blame the OB's for making birth a medical event which in most cases it just ISN'T and taking away the spiritual event which it IS. That is a disservice to women.

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#79 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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Not every woman under an OBs care is mistreated....It's rediculous to assume that all OBs are wonderful and care as much about birth as we do BUT it's equally as rediculous to assume that they are all out to abuse women during labor.

If they want to work as an OB in the hospital then they have to follow hospital policy...no matter how they may personally feel. It's just like me, as a social worker, WANTING desperately to take one of my client's teenagers for the night so they can each cool down...knowing THAT would be best for both....BUT NOT BEING ABLE TO because of City policy. I would be fired and god forbid, my dog bite the teen and he and his family then turns around and sues me and the city. Different rules can't be made for different situations on a "business" level. It would be one hell of a liability. It's not that I agree with this practice....I just understand why.

There are starting to be more and more doctors, and specifically OBs opening up private practices all over the place so they don't have to follow "hopital/insurance" policy. But the reason why they are not popping up more frequently is because they have an extremely difficult time being insured. Have you not seen all of the national news about the Physican in New York cutting ALL ties with insurance and treating his group of patients for a monthly/ yearly flat rate. His idea is wonderful......he was able to serve so many people who would otherwise not come in because they didn't have insurance. 6 months into this the STATE OF NEW YORK, forced him to stop this business because of the liability. He was forced to have dealings with the insurance company again or the state medical board was going to pull his license.
Placing blaim in the OB is not going to fix anything!!!! It's insurance companies!!
CNM's and midwifes are into normal labor and birth.

OB's don't get into their profession because they love normal birth. They love crazy/scary cases. Why they are there for most American births is a mystery to me.

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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holy cow. I feel like chairs are about to start flying so why not a good time to jump right in I suppose...

Jelliphish. First I love your name! I don't know if it has anything to do with the band but for some reason I like it a lot. Anywho...

Jelliphish, I think it is just getting personal for you and a lot of the other ladies here maybe. I don't think anyone is trying to tell you specifically that your birth experience was not everything you remember it to be. Unfortunately if you loved your hospital experience that is generally not the norm for the rest of the women who have hospital births.

I myself am giving birth in a hospital, A because there is no birth center close enough to me, and B because DH completely nixed the idea of homebirth even though I really wanted one.

I have already taken steps to make it as natural and intervention free as possible. ie great midwife, hospital with lowest c-section rate in the state, researched possible interventions they might try to do and made a very clear, my DH says even slightly b*** birth plan....

Unfortunately a lot of women don't do this or even take the time to research their pregnancy at all. For these women I do believe that they are more often than not taken advantage of because they frankly don't know any better! Is it their fault for being uneducated on the matter? Yes. Is it the hospital/OBs/nurses faults for performing these procedures unnecessarily without even explaining them to the women. Absolutely.
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#81 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 04:22 PM
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on a side note, Obstetrics is the specialty of diseases of pregnancy and birth. There is nothing normal about what they learn in medical school, they are trained to look for and treat diseases of pregnancy/birth. Sadly they are not trained to enjoy a normal healthy birth. That is why I like midwives better personally. It is what they trained for, normal birthing.
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#82 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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I agree that it's sad that birth is now "high-tech" "medicalized" and, as Dr. Marsden Wagner puts it "not women-centered."

The way birth in America is managed is sickening to me. It shouldn't even be "managed" at all -it should just be subtely monitored/observed & allowed to progress naturally - on it's own time.



Well, I can't speak for Erin, who originally said it, but I DO know that the average American birth is NOT empowering. It's just not. Period. It's degrading & horrible. Now that is not to say that it's not possible for a woman to have a medicated birth that IS empowering... but the fact of the matter simply is that it is rare. Heck, empowering hospital birth alone is rare, but medicated & empowering hospital birth? That's gotta be quite rare!
Maybe for you it would be degrading, but that is not the case for everyone. I have had two c-sections and one pregnancy that was full of every intervention I could get. And do you know what, I don't feel degraded at all, in fact I feel quite empowered because I CHOSE this type of birth. I'm not stupid or uneducated, I did my research and this type of prenatal care and birth was right for me. And I came out of both c-sections feeling like I had just experienced the most amazing event ever.


And in case anyone is interested, my mom had six unmedicated births and one with an epidural, and she says that the medicated one was hands down the best birth experience for her. I think her opinion is pretty valid and balanced.

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#83 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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So, how do women who are addicted to hard drugs, or have had no prenatal "care" or who have tried to self-abort explain giving people medication without their consent? How do these things explain performing a c-section on someone who says "no"? How do these things account for putting a sleeping pill in a woman's mouth when she's still completely foggy from a general anesthetic (foggy, as in "didn't remember she'd had a baby") and unable to refuse it? How do these things account for snapping at a woman to "hurry up" when she's exhausting herself trying to roll over on the bed, so that she can feed her baby? How do these things explain a "lactation consultant" grabbing a woman's breast without permission, in order to interfere with breastfeeding? Would any of those actions actually accomplish something positive for a mother with a crack addiction?

The problems in the hospital go way beyond policy on performing surgery. They're equally rooted (maybe more so) in the assumption that the patient has no say, because the doctor - or nurse - is the expert.
I'm not saying that the medical profession can do no wrong by any means. I am as discusted by some nurses, OBs, LCs, as everyone else. My point was just to say that in the midst of crappy doctors, there is an even bigger problems of the insurance companies...
Not every examply can be argued...but I think the example I gave of the OB in my area being sued for something, that in all of our minds (MDC members) was a healthy decision for mom and baby, exemplifies a "good" natural minded doctor being slave to the system. This doctor's mother was a midwife, his dad was a Chiro and they were by ALL means a "hippy family" :. He was the "perfect" OB according to my standards and even greatly supported homebirths. (Popped in on a few of our church members as a "friend" during their homebirths for support).

I just think there are two maybe three very different issues at hand. The OBs, and nurses who perform "birth rape" and treat women like you suggested above, should be fired...there should be no tolerance of them. But you have to agree that not all OB's are like this.

Another seperate issue is the hospital rules/regulations/policies. These are created seperate from the OB to protect the "business" as a whole. Good and Bad OBs have to adhere to these rules, or face being fired. Insurance companies have control over the hospital policies. They can't adhere to the policies, the hospital looses funding in ALL areas not just the OBGYN practice.
If they make seperate rules for seperate pregnancies they run the risk of being sued that way too.

Thirdly
And please note in my original post I never stated "no prenatal care". I truly wish people could see the type of parents who come into the hospital. I could tell stories that would make you cry for days. I personally do not care if some of these moms are "snapped" at because I would snapp at them too.
Doctor abuse is Doctor abuse, no matter what the case.... but if it's not something that is completely abusive/illegal not all woman's treatment has to be equal. Expecting a medical professional to treat a mom nice who has just given birth and then said "F this" and abandoned her child to go out for the evening and come back high....is rediculous.

Anywhoo...I don't mean to offend. I just personally, try to start at the top (insurance companies) to find ways for change. I don't have an opinion for every situation and certainly know that abuse in the hospital setting occurs. That is why I research and choose wisely.

I can't remain online right now so can't support this opinion further...DH just called and was in a wreck, and I have to go pay a freaking tow truck.... :

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#84 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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Thirdly
And please note in my original post I never stated "no prenatal care". I truly wish people could see the type of parents who come into the hospital. I could tell stories that would make you cry for days. I personally do not care if some of these moms are "snapped" at because I would snapp at them too.
I don't care what they're like, as they have nothing to do with the "snapped at" scenario I mentioned above. If you would snap at a woman who was just trying to roll over - while recovering from a c-section 24 hours prior, while under the influence of drugs she didn't even know she'd been given, while not receiving any food - in order to feed her baby, and was unable to do so, then you would also deserve all the scorn I'm heaping on these people. That woman didn't bite my head off because of how I treated my baby in utero, or because I was a crazy-acting drug addict. She bit my head off, because I couldn't move fast enough for her convenience.

I find it interesting that you're blaming the insurance companies. All of the things I cited in my prior post took place in my own situation. All of them took place in Canada (which I see cited here frequently as some kind of haven of abuse-free medical care). While insurance companies are still a factor here, they don't play anywhere near the role they do in the US.

I'm not saying that all OBs treat women like that. However, I disagree with you that "it's the only way they can do what they love" is some kind of excuse for treating women badly. No profession has the right to carve women up against their will, because they (the OBs) "love" pregnancy and birth. Just how screwed up is that, anyway?

Quote:
Doctor abuse is Doctor abuse, no matter what the case.... but if it's not something that is completely abusive/illegal not all woman's treatment has to be equal. Expecting a medical professional to treat a mom nice who has just given birth and then said "F this" and abandoned her child to go out for the evening and come back high....is rediculous.
You know, it sucks that you see stuff like that. It sucks that doctors see stuff like that. However, treating women badly doesn't help anything, even if they did walk off and abandon their babies. Sure - I'd be tempted to be nasty, too...it hurts like hell that some women easily have babies they don't even want. But, it doesn't accomplish anything. In any case, those women are one segment of the birthing population, and the fact that some women are addicted to hard drugs, or don't want their babies, has nothing to do with how every other woman should be treated.

And, how do you define "completely abusive"? I'm pretty sure it was illegal to do a c-section on me after I said no...but oddly enough, the fact that I refused doesn't appear anywhere in my records. I guess it doesn't matter, though...after all, the OB probably had to do it, so that he could keep doing what he loves...sure...

Anyway...this has gone way beyond how much I hate having a needle in my spine...way beyond. I think I'll call it a day.

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#85 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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Wow, this is becoming a heated topic . Having one birth in the hospital with the epidural and routine junk, and one at home, I feel very strongly about how wonderful homebirths are and how natural childbirth is, and shouldn't be messed with! In MY experience, birthing at the hospital was not "empowering" at all. It felt like I was not regarded as an individual that they should support in labor, but just another patient that they wanted to just get through to the end. KWIM? My nurses were nice ladies, my CNM was a nice lady, the doctors were nice people. I had a healthy baby, so all in all, it was a good day and a good experience... but I didn't know what I was missing until I had my homebirth

When I arrived at the hospital in labor, the first thing they did after I got into my gown was have me lay down. I didn't think anything of it because that was "normal." That's what you do in a hospital. Then once contractions started getting more intense, the only thing I could do was clench the bars on the bed and tense up in pain. Next thing I know, I'm offered complete pain relief, just sign these papers and you'll be feeling great in no time! No horror story here...my epidural went in (painful, but eh, it's a big needle going into your spine!) and within 5 minutes, I felt better. I constantly switched sides in the bed so I would be evenly numb, and even got up to use the bathroom! Lucky for me, the nurses forgot to put a catheter in . I felt pressure and the urge to push when it was time and baby came out in 20 minutes with a fairly minor 2nd degree tear. Like I said, all in all, a good experience.

I did have a few things that I didn't like about my birth experience, such as them INSISTING on giving my baby antibiotics and keeping her for an extra day, just in case...because when she came out she didn't scream vigorously. ( I now know that this is common with epidural births.) They also made a big deal about her being bluish for the first few seconds of being born. They did not allow me to videotape my birth, which I will ALWAYS regret...my mother was not in the room when she was born because we were only allowed 3 people, and to not cause issues, we just decided it would only be DH. I also spiked a fever shortly after delivery and even passed out in the shower. Some of their other protocol was obnoxious: the armcuff that automatically squeezed my arm every few minutes while laboring (sooo annoying I kept taking it off as soon as they left the room) and being woken up every 2 hours at night to draw blood and take my temperature. Not to mention the dirty looks of "you're a horrible parent" for questions some of the shots they gave her and delaying our discharge by hours and ignoring me when I asked when they would let us go.

For my homebirth, I WAS COMPLETELY IN CONTROL the whole time. I was able to move how I needed to, not rushed at all, push when I needed to ,change positions, etc. That day was the most empowering and wonderfully beautiful day of my life. I was a woman and my body was completely capable of birthing on its own. I didn't have any cervical checks until right at the end when I wanted to push, she checked me. I just did what my instincts told me to do. I also had a much better recovery. The first time around, I felt like I was hit by a bus. This time, I felt better much much sooner. I went to church less than 24 hours after I gave birth lol. I bled less, I was way less swollen, and just felt "normal" a lot sooner.

On the subject of all the love hormones and whatnot, honestly I'd have to say I felt it more with my natural childbirth. OF COURSE I loved my first daughter, but there was something different this time. It's like a more intense feeling of love. From the moment she was born, I've had this ecstatic feeling of overjoy.

I also co-sleep with this one, which I think helps immensely with the bonding and helps with breastfeeding. I didn't co-sleep with my first daughter because before you leave the hospital, they make sure to beat it into your brain that you are irresponsible and will kill your baby if you sleep with them. With my first, I also didn't like breastfeeding, so I stopped soon after she was born. This time, I am loving it. Looking down at my nursing baby makes my heart melt. It is such a special and sweet experience.

Sheesh, sorry for the LOOONG post. Basically, I think the epidural is offered to vulnerable women as the only way to deal with childbirth. Natural methods of handling it have been forgotten by most hospital staff members, and I think the staff THEMSELVES can't deal with a laboring woman and that's why the epidural is basically routine. I think childbirth is wonderful and works best in so many ways when left alone and that a lot of women truly don't know what they're missing!
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#86 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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I would birth in a box, with a fox...with a mouth full of lox...before I gave birth anywhere close to a hospital! (sorry, I figured maybe a little Dr. Suess would lighten things up!) But that's MY pref. I had an amazing, over the moon birth. I would never, ever consent to the checking of my cervix...forget about an epi!! Just wouldn't happen (barring emergency transfer, obviously).

I think that a lot of women who birth in hospitals don't have an empowering experience...but not because of WHERE they are...rather HOW they are. A women who does the research, writes a thorough birth plan and chooses a provider who listens to her and who she feels sincerely comfortable with...is always gonig to have a more empowering birth experience than the woman who delivers where she thinks she's supposed to, with whoever happens to be her CP and accepts the drugs/whatever that she thinks are *required* for birthing a baby.

So....I don't care WHAT a womans birth plan is....I just want every woman to HAVE one. Look at all the pictures of birth...and decide which one you want to be YOUR picture. Don't just know one picture, the picture "they" show you and think that's what you have to have. CHOOSE. That's all!

Also....wanted to chime in, re: crawling nb's. My baby....about 5 minutes old...army crawled up my chest and latched onto my breast with no help. It was like a freakin' miracle. I was in shock and disbelief! But there she was...swinging her hips, digging in with her arms...it was NUTS. I had seen the research on it and saw the video and thought it was neat but didn't really expect it. My little babe did it though. It took her a minute...but she did it. She's my little scout. My little adventurer!! That was her first real adventure!! Right up from the big scary tummy, to the big lovely booby juice fountain!!

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#87 of 92 Old 04-03-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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A women who does the research, writes a thorough birth plan and chooses a provider who listens to her and who she feels sincerely comfortable with...is always gonig to have a more empowering birth experience than the woman who delivers where she thinks she's supposed to, with whoever happens to be her CP and accepts the drugs/whatever that she thinks are *required* for birthing a baby.
This is true. Also, I'm not really sure how to say this gently, but sometimes we block out the bad stuff to protect ourselves from being hurt by the bad things? For example, I really thought my experience (early induction for "big baby", Pit, AROM, epi, leading to c/s) was FINE and was not disappointed at all until I really dug deep into my psych. I realize now that I didn't do nearly enough to prepare, and can only blame MYSELF. And knowing that I'm planning a HBAC where I'm in control is extremely empowering. I want to feel birth and do what my body needs to do to give birth. I refuse to be victimized at the hospital again because of my ignorance otherwise.

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#88 of 92 Old 04-04-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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This is true. Also, I'm not really sure how to say this gently, but sometimes we block out the bad stuff to protect ourselves from being hurt by the bad things? For example, I really thought my experience (early induction for "big baby", Pit, AROM, epi, leading to c/s) was FINE and was not disappointed at all until I really dug deep into my psych. I realize now that I didn't do nearly enough to prepare, and can only blame MYSELF. And knowing that I'm planning a HBAC where I'm in control is extremely empowering. I want to feel birth and do what my body needs to do to give birth. I refuse to be victimized at the hospital again because of my ignorance otherwise.
I agree, but I think that every mother does this to some extent. I know people who immediately following their unmedicated birth could talk of nothing other then the fact that it was the most horrible, painful, traumatic event in their life, and that they wish they had gone to a hospital to get pain medication. But six months later they go on and on about how it wasn't really painful and it was an amazing experience.

I've even done this with my last c-section. I know that the week following my section was painful, but I really can't remember it. I only really remember the happy parts of holding my baby and nursing for the first time.

I think blocking out all the bad stuff is nature's way of getting women to have more then one child.

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. - Linus
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#89 of 92 Old 04-04-2009, 02:46 PM
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I think the biggest reason to not get an epidural is that they significantly raise your risk of a c/s. They also open the door to tons more intervention and cause you to be immobile during labor (which is no fun).
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#90 of 92 Old 04-04-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
I think blocking out all the bad stuff is nature's way of getting women to have more then one child.
*sigh*
I wish I knew how to do that. I'd probably enjoy this pregnancy a lot more...

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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