Please don't say "they took the baby"! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is just a major, major pet peeve of mine, and I need to rant! I fully accept that there are legitimate, life-saving reasons for having a caesarean birth, and my beef is not with that or even (this time) about the times when it's not so necessary, but I HATE it when women say "the dr took the baby" or "the dr will take the baby" when talking about a c-section. It just sounds so violent and victimizing to me. I can understand that many women may feel that way about a c-section, but it's often said in a very blaise fashion, as if it doesn't bother them at all. Or more often, it's said by other women outside of the birth dyad: "The dr is taking Bethany's baby next Tuesday." If I were faced with having a caesarean birth, there is no way I would talk about someone "taking" my baby? My baby would still be "born."

Is anyone else bothered by this? What do you think it comes from?

Please understand, I'm not meaning to be harsh toward women in their most vulnerable moments, it just really, really bugs me that this is how so many of us view birth.

Amy (34): mommy to DD1 (11/07) and DD2 (7/10), wife, wohm, and wannabe suburban homesteader.
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#2 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Someone on my facebook from high school has this caption under her c-section birth pic:

"Right after the doctor removed him"

Is that awful or what?

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#3 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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I guess because I see the term birth for the natural process of vaginal birth, I feel weird about thinking of a baby being "born by cesarian".

Though I also do not like the idea of the baby being "taken" or "removed." For me, I guess the only language I find best suits the situation is "delivered." While I don't like the use of the word delivered as it relates to natural childbirth, it seems most appropriate for the act of cesarian.

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#4 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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In my case, it did feel like they were "taking the baby", since he had to be born and taken to the NICU right away. I don't know that I use that terminology though. I think I usually just say that my babies needed to get out!

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#5 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Taking the baby sounds odd to me, too (and I've had 4 c-sections).

I have never used that term. It makes it sound like they literally took off with your baby!

ETA: I would/have said, "after the baby was born" or "after the c-section". Regardless of how the baby comes out, they are all born.

I know some people object to the term cesarean or surgical birth, b/c they don't think it was a birth - but that just seems like silly semantics to me.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#6 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

I know some people object to the term cesarean or surgical birth, b/c they don't think it was a birth - but that just seems like silly semantics to me.
I've only just started using the term "cesarean birth" after reading Birthing from Within. For me, I think it would be important to still consider my child "born" even if it wasn't vaginal because for me, birthing with midwives and having been through an unmedicated vaginal birth, the situation would have to be pretty dire for me to have a cesarean birth, and there's no way I would want to differentiate between my girls. One was born and one was taken? I don't think so.

So I have to disagree with MacBeth's witches on this one. Not born of a woman? Sure he was.

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#7 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
In my case, it did feel like they were "taking the baby", since he had to be born and taken to the NICU right away. I don't know that I use that terminology though. I think I usually just say that my babies needed to get out!
And yes, I can TOTALLY understand it feeling that way in many circumstances. This is what I was guessing that at least some of that usage comes from.

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#8 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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It bugs me too, like when people say, "they needed to take the baby early."

I would personally say, "they needed to deliver her early" or "she needed to be born early," because I agree that taking sounds violent and also sounds like the baby is some kind of object and not a person.

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#9 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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see, and I would never say I've given birth, b/c despite enduring a combined total of 75 hrs of painful labor, I underwent c-sections.

But, my babies were certainly all born... and on their birthdays, we celebrate this. We don't celebrate the-day-the-Dr-ripped-you-out-of-my-body-and-took-you.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#10 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Is this a colloquialism? Because I've never heard this.
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#11 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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I don't like the phrase because it implies that the decision-making power is and should be 100% with the HCP...kwim?

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#12 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
see, and I would never say I've given birth, b/c despite enduring a combined total of 75 hrs of painful labor, I underwent c-sections.

But, my babies were certainly all born... and on their birthdays, we celebrate this. We don't celebrate the-day-the-Dr-ripped-you-out-of-my-body-and-took-you.
HA! I was just wondering about what you would call birthdays if you don't consider a c-section a birth! I guess I can't say how I would really feel about the semantics, since I've not had a c-section. I'm glad you do at least accept "being born" if not "giving birth." I couldn't figure out what word to use other than "born," like when telling a child about "the day you were born."

So I'll just leave the semantics to those who've been in the trenches other than that "taking the baby" business. That one simply has to go.

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#13 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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I don't like the phrase because it implies that the decision-making power is and should be 100% with the HCP...kwim?
Me neither.

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#14 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is this a colloquialism? Because I've never heard this.
It may be a southern thing.

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#15 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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I've never had a c-section myself, but because it is something that actually scares the hell out me (the idea of having to have one that is) and because of this i would never say the "the dr. was taking the baby" or "took the baby" i would say the "baby is going to be born on x date" or "baby was born on x date"

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#16 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Is this a colloquialism? Because I've never heard this.
I've never heard this either. I am in the midwest. I always hear "born by a c-section" or "cesarean birth". But I agree that saying 'took' the baby seems kind of weird, like the baby is an object or something!

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#17 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
It may be a southern thing.

I don't know that I've ever heard it said, but I've certainly read it online. Even on FB. It is definitely an odd phrase.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#18 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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#19 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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With my c/section I do sometimes say "when they took them out" but for me it doesn't come from anything traumatizing, they were not even MY babies so I guess part of me is detached from it.

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#20 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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They say "take the baby" ALL the time here in Pittsburgh (midwest.) You hear it more than "had a c-section," esp. with older women. I HATE the phrase and it makes me crazy to hear it.

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#21 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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I think each woman decides how she feels about her birth and how her treatment (and her babies treatment) can color what terminolgy she uses.

I DO think a lot of people use 'Take the baby' very casually-- not in the emotional response way that some PP have suggested.

In my case my c-section and separation from my child after the surgery did feel very tramatic. I say my son 'was born' but I feel I did not 'give birth'. I only glanced at him for a second all cleaned and bundled before he was taken to the nursery and then hung out with his dad and in-laws for a few hours. HE was taken from me, I was left alone with doctors who were making jokes about their week and working on me like a peice of meat.
My c-section was unnesscary and created by the ole 'cascade of interventions' I occasionally say 'he was surgically removed' because frankly that is what happens in a c-section. My second son was pushed out of my vagina!
You see, I am not a sentimental person. BORN does not have this magical halo around it. Both my children were 'born', yes, they both have birthdays.
But I only 'gave birth' to my second child.

The maternal perspective and the child/mother bond immediately after birth ARE important and transend romantic terms used in newborn poems.
My medical care providers did treat us both (me and my son) with little respect and that can be a BIG difference between a bad and good hospital expereince. Don't underestimate the emotional luggage that using one term over the other can have when talking to a woman reight after birth. It is far better to ask HER what term she prefers to call what happens. If someone used 'cesarean birth' to me I would feel very offended because I would feel they are belittling my expereince. I find just using 'c-section' leaves it open for the mother to let you know if she is alright with things or not.

Sorry, I got carried away,,,,,
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#22 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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RIght before I was about to have the surgery, I asked my midwife, who was acting like my doula, to not use the word cut or incision. It just felt too violent for me. She used the word opened.


Weeks later when DH and I DTD for the first time, we had to stop because I was overcome with extreme feelings of violation. I immediately knew it wasn't DH, it was all of my surgery emotions coming out. The removal of my baby, the tugging, the surgery - I felt like I was physically violated. I tried my best to take ownership of my section while it was happening, but I still felt like it was done to me. I still felt like my son was taken from me.

Honestly, the surgery wasn't too bad. I felt compassion from the OB's (although they did still talk about their golf plans), and the baby was never more than 10 feet from me, and he was in my arms when I was transferred into the recovery room.

So I would never use the phrase "take the baby", I always try to emphasis birth, but it is how I felt.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#23 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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That phrasing totally reminds me of dingos. I agree that it's awful.

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#24 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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My 85-year-old grandma from southern WV says it sometimes. I think she uses in the case of a cesarean that is needed before the due date of the baby. She's the only person I've ever heard say that. I would never use the phrase myself because it just sounds weird to me. I'll give my grandma a pass on it, though. I love her! I would be taken aback to hear a younger person say it.
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#25 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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I think we should afford the mother who had a c-section the privilege of calling the birth whatever she chooses.

When telling my birth story, I often say "when the babies came out", meaning when they came out of my belly. And when asked what kind of birth I had, I just say simply "I had a c-section".
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#26 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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I think we should afford the mother who had a c-section the privilege of calling the birth whatever she chooses.

When telling my birth story, I often say "when the babies came out", meaning when they came out of my belly. And when asked what kind of birth I had, I just say simply "I had a c-section".


If the term "birth rape" is acceptable, "taking the baby" should be.

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#27 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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But they did take the baby, the took him from my body interfering with it's natural process to birth him. It took me over 3 years to call my cesarean a birth, up until that point it was a surgery where my son was taken out of my body.

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#28 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I've never had a cesarean, but when I was 35 weeks pregnant, and had an unusual neurological side effect of pregnancy, the neurologist I saw said, "if the headaches and double vision continue, that's a sign that you have something other than a paralyzed cranial nerve. thankfully, you are far enough along that we'll be able to take the baby and give you a MRI." In my mind, had that happened, they would have been taking the baby--I wasn't in labor, he wasn't ready to be born, and it wasn't a "birth" per se, but a medical procedure that needed to happen so that I could have further medical treatment.

thankfully, as weird as the doc was, he was correct in his initial diagnosis, and I needed neither a c-section nor a MRI, and my son was born almost 7 weeks later as a vaginal birth.

This was in a small southernish city, but I don't normally hear that expression, except in urgent/medical situations where the normal birth process was interrupted due to some sort of other complicating condition.
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#29 of 57 Old 04-16-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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I have had 3 vaginal deliveries (including home birth) and I am preparing for my first c-section due to both babies being transverse. I haven't gone through the c-section yet of course but I am having a hard time referring to it as birth myself. I am saying when the babies are delivered. I am not birthing them the Dr. is delivering them through a cut in my belly. I will not experience any labor (assuming I make it to my scheduled date without going early) and there for have a hard time calling it birth. Yes of course my babies will be born and in my family birthdays are a huge deal so they will of course have birthdays but it isn't the same for me anyway.

I do think that "taking the baby" may sound harsh especially if you have never experienced a c-section but they are taken from you. Even in the best circumstances you can't hold them or be with them immediately after like you would in a vaginal birth. It is one of those things you can't judge a person for unless you have been in their shoes.

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#30 of 57 Old 04-17-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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Huh. I've never heard the term either. If someone mentioned "taking the baby" I'd think it was something to do with adoption or CPS, as in removing the baby from the mother's custody. Seems like a very weird phrase to me.

I agree with PPs that the woman gets to decide what to call her birth. It does bug me when I hear "C-birth" in a manner which seems slightly aggressive - like "MY elective C-section was just as good as your natural vaginal birth!" - by mainstream publications. I may be imagining it, but I've gotten a weird normalising-C-sections vibe from it at times. But you know... your birth, your descriptors! "Birth" is a fluid term, so it's not like someone saying she had an appendectomy when she had a leg set, you know? The baby left the womb and entered the big wide world - seems pretty birthy to me.

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