how do c-sections fit into a natural birth framework? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 260 Old 04-19-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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Thank you so much for this thread. It's fascinating reading.

We had planned a homebirth for DD, but I ended up with a c section due to ROM, wait 24 hrs and then a failed induction. I did all the 'right' things - I had a mw, trusted my body etc. I thought I was educated on unessecary cesareans and that it wouldn't happen to me. BUT when you have an OB (I had a me as my caregiver, but there was a transfer for the induction) who says "I'm offering you a c section" and you say "are there any other options" and he says "no", what are you going to do?

It's all very well and good to say that you should question the OB etc, but when you're actually faced with it you believe the OB knows more than you so you go along with it.

DD did not latch for 5 long, long weeks (though we are still BFing now at 18 mths) and I cried for a year every time I thought about her c section.

Now we are planning a haspital VBAC and I really hope it turns out. It's very difficult watching all your friends plan and having beautiful homebirths while you just dare to hope for a hospital VBAC.

There is so much judgement in the natural birthing community that I feel obliged to say "our homebirth turned c section" when I mention our first. Surely natural family living should also mean inclusion.

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

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#62 of 260 Old 04-19-2010, 10:58 PM
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there are some very powerful and important stories here that i really wanted to acknowledge. thank you for sharing those stories.
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#63 of 260 Old 04-19-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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I guess I just disagree with the statement, sure you didn't say everybody, but the tone of the statement is the odds are you'll get someone who doesn't care. I just don't believe that most providers are uncaring, many yes, most no. IME, the providers I know are kind and do care, maybe that's due to where I live. My provider for DS who was the attending Dr for my DD's birth-did/does care. She teared up when the corner of my placenta lifted causing bleeding when I was 16 weeks along. She was in fact scared for me and my baby, and no one can tell me differently-I'm the one who saw her face.
I have different standards, I'm pretty sure. Tearing up over something like that would prove nothingn to me...nothing at all. The OB who did my 2nd and 3rd sections (and I will never understand why I went back to him, and forgiving myself for it has been a long, hard road) would have been very upset by something like that, as well.

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For me I guess I just don't harbor a bunch of negative feelings about this, I know for myself that the birth of my children was a small portion of the life I lead with them. I just can't dwell on the ways things could, should, would have been-this is how they are and I am at peace with it.
I'm glad that's your truth. The fact that I can't take my kids out without being afraid of pissing myself, because of the incredibly poor condition of my entire pelvis isn't a small part of the life I lead with them. The fact that I'm in pain all the time, because of the poor condition of my "core" (and I don't mean the pregnancy stuff...I mean the stuff that's a direct result of having next to no feeling in the area) isn't a small part, either.

In any case, it sounds like you actually needed a c-section and possibly even consented to it. Maybe if my history was like that, I'd feel the same way. Knowing full well that if you hadn't consented, there's a good chance they'd have gone in anyway, I'm...cynical.

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#64 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have different standards, I'm pretty sure. Tearing up over something like that would prove nothingn to me...nothing at all. The OB who did my 2nd and 3rd sections (and I will never understand why I went back to him, and forgiving myself for it has been a long, hard road) would have been very upset by something like that, as well.

what could a care provider have done for you to show you that they cared? i'm curious as it seems that what others have experienced as genuine concern and compassion for a patient don't seem to be caring actions for you?

...I mean the stuff that's a direct result of having next to no feeling in the area) isn't a small part, either.

i think what she was trying to emphasize was that there is only moving forward. the past is done. focusing on how things would be or could be different are not going to change the life you have now. at the same time, _i_ could see how that sort of personal trauma could be a motivating factor to make things better for other women. having to deal with it daily in the form of continued pain and numbness is a daily reminder of what your body has been through.

In any case, it sounds like you actually needed a c-section and possibly even consented to it. Maybe if my history was like that, I'd feel the same way. Knowing full well that if you hadn't consented, there's a good chance they'd have gone in anyway, I'm...cynical.
i'm not sure i understand this last portion though? could you clarify this a little further? sorry, i have more but my dd is WAY past bedtime!!

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#65 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:17 AM
 
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what could a care provider have done for you to show you that they cared? i'm curious as it seems that what others have experienced as genuine concern and compassion for a patient don't seem to be caring actions for you?
Part of what I'm talking about when I mention getting a provider who doesn't give a crap about you is about what they do, not what they feel. If my doctor pushes me into something he/she knows full well I don't want, because they think it's "prudent", then all their concern and compassion isn't worth crap. One of the doctors who pushed me into my third section was so worried about me that it was affecting her sleep. So what? She still did her level best to push me into something that was causing me nightmares, and ended up causing me long-term physical damage. What the heck difference does it make to me if she was "concerned" or even if she "teared up" when we couldn't find dd2's heartbeat at 14 weeks? Great. She's upset. She gets the "warm hearted doctor" medal. Nice for her. She's over it...but her actions have left a lifelong mark on me, for all her "concern". It's not worth spit. Talk is cheap.

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i think what she was trying to emphasize was that there is only moving forward. the past is done. focusing on how things would be or could be different are not going to change the life you have now. at the same time, _i_ could see how that sort of personal trauma could be a motivating factor to make things better for other women. having to deal with it daily in the form of continued pain and numbness is a daily reminder of what your body has been through.
Yup. And, it makes me more than a little hesitant to buy the party line about "healthy moms and healthy babies". Great - you got my child out, and I'm still alive. If that's your definition of "healthy", then I've had good care. If your definition of "healthy" involves actual health, then...not so much.

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i'm not sure i understand this last portion though? could you clarify this a little further? sorry, i have more but my dd is WAY past bedtime!!
The last part was a reference to the fact that, in 1993, I was told I was having a c-section. I said (well shouted, actually), "No - I don't want a c-section" multiple times. I was completely ignored, and they cut me, anyway. Women who have consented to c-sections don't know if they'd have been in my shoes or not, just as I have no idea what my reaction to everything would have been if I'd actually said "yes" to my first one. Maybe I'd be more inclined to believe my best interests were on someone's radar if they ever had been.

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#66 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 04:15 AM
 
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Okay - I just read the rest of the comments.

Where did I say that good care providers don't exist? Where did I say that all medical professionals are disinterested in the mother and baby?

...

Marylizah: "They truly wanted what was best for us." In some ways, those ones are the worst, because ime, they also tend to be the ones who feel that their definition of "best for us" is the only one that matters.
Nobody on the thread said "all" OBs are bad. But it seems to me that in the NBC there's a huge distrust of medical professionals (and given the rate of unnecessary interventions, we all know why that mistrust exists). But the truth remains that not all of them, not even most if them are uncaring. And then when a NCB educated woman undergoes an intervention during bith, it's assumed or implied that she was "had", that she got duped into something unnecessary. And your comment to me about how to define what is best is a good example of that. They did what *they* thought/defined as best-- the implication being that it might not *really* have been the best for me or for my baby. So was I duped, or taken advantage of? I'll say it again: I knew in my bones that I needed a c-section. I was relieved and grateful when the decision was made.

My grief over the section comes mostly from the fact that the epidural didn't work and I was put under and therefore DH and I both missed our son's birth. I also grieve because my experience pretty closely mirrored what happened to my mom when I was born, although with one major improvement: my son wasn't left alone in the nursery for 12+ hours. Instead, he was placed, still steaming, on my husband's bare chest until I woke up-- then he was placed on me. My healing began at that moment-- when I smelled him and felt his warm weight on me. Alive. Safe.

Storm Bride, I am so sorry you've had such horrible birthing experiences. I can understand why you feel the way you do, even though I don't agree with some of your perspectives.
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#67 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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Bottom line is, if you're pregnant, and things don't go well, you have a pretty good chance of ending up in the hands of someone who does not care about you or your baby. That's the truth. We can pretty it up all we want - and I understand why we do - but the chances are pretty good that's what's going to happen.
I don't think this is helpful, or possibly even accurate. "That's the truth" is a big statement to make based on just one person's experience. The truth of my experience is very different:

My first pregnancy was with twins, who had heart conditions (tumors), who started out high-risk because I had been taking typhoid and malaria pills AND because there were initial concerns that they were monoamniotic. In addition, a genetic disorder was suspected. I went into pre-term labor at 6 months, then went past my due date (40 weeks). If ever there was a high-risk pregnancy, I had one. NSTs, ultrasounds, you name it. But you know what? The neonatologist AND my OB were 100% behind my birth plan and our wishes for a natural birth. And they did everything they could to make it happen.

Some OBs, some teams, some hospital staffs (really...I got to know a whole mess of people during THAT pregnancy) ARE amazing. Things didn't "go well" from the start of that pregnancy onward, and I was high risk before I was even 7 weeks along. The OBs and other doctors didn't push for interventions, they didn't disrespect my birth choices...they used their medical expertise to gather evidence that supported my ability to birth our sons naturally. They listened to me and we had respectful, back-and-forth conversations about risk, choices, and interventions.

I was terrified that one of my children would die. Much more terrified of that than of a c-section, though of course I didn't want a c-section, and my OB knew that. Everyone knew that. Everyone also knew that my husband and I were terrified because of the health of our babies. NO ONE ever played the health card, or the death card, or even a "possible harm" card...no one ever pushed for a c-section, or meds, or interventions.

In the end, it was a natural birth (a beautiful one!)...of overdue twins with heart conditions, and one BREECH. Our OB was such a guide, such an amazing soul and comfort to us during those traumatic, worrisome months, that we named one of our sons after him. And he's not the only amazing doctor, supportive doctor, I met in that pregnancy--he was one of many. To have that many things going wrong, and to have not. one. doctor. play up the fear, but rather to reinforce our ability and belief in natural birth--that's my experience.

I think we do people a great disservice by generalizing about OBs in negative ways. OB or midwife, you can still get stuck with a rotten example of what the profession should be.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#68 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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One of the troubling themes emerging in this thread is how many women feel cut off from communities of support following their c-section.

When the natural birthing community prescribes a narrow range of acceptable birth practices and then discounts the experiences of women who don't fit that "norm," it becomes exactly like the system that it claims to oppose.

We c/s mamas need to hold high expectations for the natural birthing community. It is not enough to plead for "understanding", like beggars at the feast. We belong at the table. If the natural birthing movement wishes to make any claim for representing women's authenticity, then our voices are a necessary part of the chorus.

When the movement's ideals harden into rigidity & arrogance, we can bring much needed humility into the conversation.

When the movement tells us what we "should" do, think, or feel, we can say, "Stop. Listen. Don't judge."

When our community circles tighten and start to push people out, we can remember to open the embrace.

Where the natural birthing movement ostracizes c/s mamas and discounts our experiences, it does so at its peril. The only way to be a healthy community and a force for real, positive change in the world is to make space where we can listen, learn, and grow. We can't do that if only one way is the "right" way!

The true measure of a movement is not how loudly it applauds its heroes. It's how deeply it touches each person who steps onto its path.

OK, that's my manifesto!!!

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#69 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the troubling themes emerging in this thread is how many women feel cut off from communities of support following their c-section.

When the natural birthing community prescribes a narrow range of acceptable birth practices and then discounts the experiences of women who don't fit that "norm," it becomes exactly like the system that it claims to oppose.

We c/s mamas need to hold high expectations for the natural birthing community. It is not enough to plead for "understanding", like beggars at the feast. We belong at the table. If the natural birthing movement wishes to make any claim for representing women's authenticity, then our voices are a necessary part of the chorus.

When the movement's ideals harden into rigidity & arrogance, we can bring much needed humility into the conversation.

When the movement tells us what we "should" do, think, or feel, we can say, "Stop. Listen. Don't judge."

When our community circles tighten and start to push people out, we can remember to open the embrace.

Where the natural birthing movement ostracizes c/s mamas and discounts our experiences, it does so at its peril. The only way to be a healthy community and a force for real, positive change in the world is to make space where we can listen, learn, and grow. We can't do that if only one way is the "right" way!

The true measure of a movement is not how loudly it applauds its heroes. It's how deeply it touches each person who steps onto its path.

OK, that's my manifesto!!!


i think that is what i've been coming too in my own mind as well.

there are a LOT of women on this thread that feel that they've "lost their place" in the natural birth community and that they don't belong.

THIS exact reason is why i asked at the beginning of the thread if it was more important to support natural birth or mothers? i notice no one on this thread has suggested that natural birth (ie non-surgical birth) is more important, but in the day to day experiences in the community MOTHERS ARE BEING TREATED THIS WAY!

i'd like to do something within the mothering community to address this issue?
i wonder if mdc would consider publishing something that addresses how c-section mothers fit into the community? something that is NOT just about, as Marylizah put it, how they've been duped by doctors but something that encompasses the range of experiences that can lead to the birth of a baby.

i think i'll start a thread in suggestions. does anyone else have any other ideas as to how this can be addressed?

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#70 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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Nobody on the thread said "all" OBs are bad. But it seems to me that in the NBC there's a huge distrust of medical professionals (and given the rate of unnecessary interventions, we all know why that mistrust exists). But the truth remains that not all of them, not even most if them are uncaring. And then when a NCB educated woman undergoes an intervention during bith, it's assumed or implied that she was "had", that she got duped into something unnecessary. And your comment to me about how to define what is best is a good example of that. They did what *they* thought/defined as best-- the implication being that it might not *really* have been the best for me or for my baby. So was I duped, or taken advantage of? I'll say it again: I knew in my bones that I needed a c-section. I was relieved and grateful when the decision was made.
I'm not talking about your situation, specifically. I'm saying that a care provider wanting what's best for the expectant mothers doesn't necessarily mean they'll actually do what's best. They'll do what they think is best. That may or may be best.

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My grief over the section comes mostly from the fact that the epidural didn't work and I was put under and therefore DH and I both missed our son's birth. I also grieve because my experience pretty closely mirrored what happened to my mom when I was born, although with one major improvement: my son wasn't left alone in the nursery for 12+ hours. Instead, he was placed, still steaming, on my husband's bare chest until I woke up-- then he was placed on me. My healing began at that moment-- when I smelled him and felt his warm weight on me. Alive. Safe.

Storm Bride, I am so sorry you've had such horrible birthing experiences. I can understand why you feel the way you do, even though I don't agree with some of your perspectives.
I'm used to people not sharing my perspectives, so no worries there. Personally, I much prefer to have my sections under general anesthesia, as I find being conscious for them almost literally more than I can bear. I know general is worse for the baby, and dh can't be there with his baby, but if I were the only one affected, I'd choose general every time (not that I have that choice, because "what's best for me" is determined by...the doctor...again).

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#71 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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coming back to read the entire thread (sorry at work!) but I just wanted to say to the OP this is one of the reasons I am becoming a doula (I've had 2, with one as a failed vbac) and a huge advocate of my local c/s support group.

This is a wonderful thread and I'm looking forward to finish reading it.

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#72 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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I don't think this is helpful, or possibly even accurate. "That's the truth" is a big statement to make based on just one person's experience. The truth of my experience is very different:

My first pregnancy was with twins, who had heart conditions (tumors), who started out high-risk because I had been taking typhoid and malaria pills AND because there were initial concerns that they were monoamniotic. In addition, a genetic disorder was suspected. I went into pre-term labor at 6 months, then went past my due date (40 weeks). If ever there was a high-risk pregnancy, I had one. NSTs, ultrasounds, you name it. But you know what? The neonatologist AND my OB were 100% behind my birth plan and our wishes for a natural birth. And they did everything they could to make it happen.
What does your experience have to do with whether or not people have a good chance of getting a provider who doesn't care about them?? That's like me saying that women never consent to their c-sections, because I didn't!

I never said that all care providers are anything. I said we have a pretty good chance of getting a care provider who doesn't give a crap. That does NOT mean that it always happens or happens to everybody.

Quote:
Some OBs, some teams, some hospital staffs (really...I got to know a whole mess of people during THAT pregnancy) ARE amazing. Things didn't "go well" from the start of that pregnancy onward, and I was high risk before I was even 7 weeks along. The OBs and other doctors didn't push for interventions, they didn't disrespect my birth choices...they used their medical expertise to gather evidence that supported my ability to birth our sons naturally. They listened to me and we had respectful, back-and-forth conversations about risk, choices, and interventions.

I was terrified that one of my children would die. Much more terrified of that than of a c-section, though of course I didn't want a c-section, and my OB knew that. Everyone knew that. Everyone also knew that my husband and I were terrified because of the health of our babies. NO ONE ever played the health card, or the death card, or even a "possible harm" card...no one ever pushed for a c-section, or meds, or interventions.

In the end, it was a natural birth (a beautiful one!)...of overdue twins with heart conditions, and one BREECH. Our OB was such a guide, such an amazing soul and comfort to us during those traumatic, worrisome months, that we named one of our sons after him. And he's not the only amazing doctor, supportive doctor, I met in that pregnancy--he was one of many. To have that many things going wrong, and to have not. one. doctor. play up the fear, but rather to reinforce our ability and belief in natural birth--that's my experience.
Awesome. You had a great experience. Therefore, there are only a few rotten apples, and the huge numbers of women who have been disrespected, ignored, talked down to, bullied, etc. just don't exist. Or...maybe they do exist, and there's a pretty good chance that any given pregnant woman might meet one?

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I think we do people a great disservice by generalizing about OBs in negative ways. OB or midwife, you can still get stuck with a rotten example of what the profession should be.
I'd like to point out that I never said anything about OB's. I spoke specifically about care providers, because I was actually making the point that there are plenty of arrogant, crappy ones in both models of care.

So - does anybody have any counter to "there's a pretty good chance" that something will happen other than "it didn't happen to me"? No one person's experience means anything with respect to how often things go the other way.

I'm sorry if I sound annoyed, but in this thread, I've had an awful lot of responses to something I did not say.

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#73 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i'd like to address this so that everyone feels heard and this thread remains unheated.

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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
So does the OB community. They claim to be all about "healthy moms and healthy babies" and it's a crock.

Bottom line is, if you're pregnant, and things don't go well, you have a pretty good chance of ending up in the hands of someone who does not care about you or your baby. That's the truth. We can pretty it up all we want - and I understand why we do - but the chances are pretty good that's what's going to happen.
at the beginning of this post is where you specifically referenced OBs and it was in response to someone stating that they felt the nbc often did a disservice to women by their attitudes.

i realize that later in the post you said, "someone who does not care about you" but coming after the ob criticism i can see how it would be interpreted as saying something about obs.

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What does your experience have to do with whether or not people have a good chance of getting a provider who doesn't care about them?? That's like me saying that women never consent to their c-sections, because I didn't!
someone's positive experience with their team (midwife or ob) is relevant because it is a counter point to the idea above that "you have a pretty good chance of ending up with someone that doesn't care about you or your baby". i think a more effective statement may have been something like, "you could end up with someone that doesn't care about you or your baby like i did" with the caveat that by "care" you mean someone that _specifically_ does not listen to you as a mother.

i think women are saying that their providers cared for them because it was true in their situation and to say that most care providers do.not.care. about mamas or babies is to discount and marginalize their experiences.

which, i think, is something that is a source of great pain for you.

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#74 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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In reading this thread, it is apparent that the problem is the same every time we try to have this conversation: anyone who did not experience the exact same thing as a previous poster feels compelled to come on and say, "You're wrong! You don't speak for me! Stop making me feel bad!" It comes down to everyone taking everything personally when it was never intended to be personal.

Like Storm Bride - she didn't call out anyone in particular - she wasn't talking about YOU - but people take it personally and attack her.

I suspect it is b/c people who had c-sections feel marginalized on a forum DEVOTED TO NATURAL PARENTING. And I can see why. But the fact remains that this particular space on the internet is about advocating for all things natural parenting. In advocating this, people may say things like (this list is not exhaustive and is just a few examples):

-Choosing your HCP carefully can lower your chance of c-section.
-Avoiding induction can lower your chance of c-section.
-9/10/11 lb babies can be birthed vaginally.

In making these statements, we are advocating to a world that thinks that all babies must be born in a hospital, elective inductions are fine, and any baby over 8 lbs must be born surgically. We all know that none of these things are always true - but in advocating for all women to have the right to labor and birth without unnecessary interventions, it is important for us to confront the myths rampant in our society.

So YOU in particular may have chosen your HCP carefully and still had a c-section. Or you may have needed an induction and had a c-section. Or your 9 lb baby may indeed have been to big to birth vaginally. NO ONE is calling you out and questioning your birth. If reading about ways to advocate for natural birth or increase your odds of a natural birth upsets you, and makes you feel like a failure, then maybe reading these sorts of threads is not the best thing for you.

But the fact remains that in general, there are things that can be done by women and their HCPs to increase their chances for a natural birth. There is no guarantee of a natural birth and a healthy baby in any birth, ever. We are just talking about the statistical risks. And this is a really important conversation to have so that all women, not just those who read Henci Goer, can have a better chance at a natural birth. We need to be able to educate women about the risks that choice of HCP/induction/etc. can bring.

So, I have to beg everyone - is it possible to have a conversation about how to discuss this, without everyone who had a c-section taking it personally and derailing the thread? I cannot find one single example in this thread of anyone's particular birth choices being questioned - but I am quite sure that more than a few people will read my general examples of birth education above, take issue with them, and tell their birth stories as an example of how I am wrong. I beg you not to - there are always exceptions to everything - you didn't do anything wrong - emergencies happen - but we need to be able to talk about ways to increase your chance of a natural birth without it always turning into people's feelings being hurt, personal attacks, and threads being closed.

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#75 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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i think women are saying that their providers cared for them because it was true in their situation and to say that most care providers do.not.care. about mamas or babies is to discount and marginalize their experiences.
But is it, really? I think if the topic were not birth, which is an emotional experience no matter how it happens, then b/c one person says "this happens often" it doesn't mean that she is out to discount or marginalize others' experiences. In fact, I might say that everyone here who is telling stories of loving their HCP is actually discounting and marginalizing all the awful experiences I have had with various HCPs. But I wouldn't say that. B/c we can have different experiences and we can share them without it being a personal attack against those who did not share our experience.

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#76 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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i'd like to address this so that everyone feels heard and this thread remains unheated.



at the beginning of this post is where you specifically referenced OBs and it was in response to someone stating that they felt the nbc often did a disservice to women by their attitudes.

i realize that later in the post you said, "someone who does not care about you" but coming after the ob criticism i can see how it would be interpreted as saying something about obs.
Yes - but I started off saying "so does" the OB community...in response to someone's comment about the natural birth community. I was adding the obestrical community to the mix, not elminating the other.

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someone's positive experience with their team (midwife or ob) is relevant because it is a counter point to the idea above that "you have a pretty good chance of ending up with someone that doesn't care about you or your baby". i think a more effective statement may have been something like, "you could end up with someone that doesn't care about you or your baby like i did" with the caveat that by "care" you mean someone that _specifically_ does not listen to you as a mother.

i think women are saying that their providers cared for them because it was true in their situation and to say that most care providers do.not.care. about mamas or babies is to discount and marginalize their experiences.

which, i think, is something that is a source of great pain for you.
Okay. "Most" does not equal "all" and saying "most" (which I didn't!) has nothing to do with anyone's experience with any given provider/team.

I'm out. We're having two different conversations.

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#77 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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i think that is what i've been coming too in my own mind as well.

there are a LOT of women on this thread that feel that they've "lost their place" in the natural birth community and that they don't belong.

THIS exact reason is why i asked at the beginning of the thread if it was more important to support natural birth or mothers? i notice no one on this thread has suggested that natural birth (ie non-surgical birth) is more important, but in the day to day experiences in the community MOTHERS ARE BEING TREATED THIS WAY!

i'd like to do something within the mothering community to address this issue?
i wonder if mdc would consider publishing something that addresses how c-section mothers fit into the community? something that is NOT just about, as Marylizah put it, how they've been duped by doctors but something that encompasses the range of experiences that can lead to the birth of a baby.

i think i'll start a thread in suggestions. does anyone else have any other ideas as to how this can be addressed?

Suggestions - I wonder how many communities have c-section support groups? I am surprised that here on MDC we don't have one, as I think many mothers go through a whole range of emotions many of which we do not need judgement upon, but instead support and open ears.

I haven't looked at any post-partum training for doulas - but this seems like "duh" area to start, much like seeing signs of PPD, grappling with the emotions of birth, especially if it ended in c-section seem like a logical place where support could be easily implemented.

Where I am stumped is how to open the minds of the NBC that because you've had a c-section you are not somekind of 2nd class citizen and that all of us have so much to contribute to the greater celebration of life, birth, and motherhood!

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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#78 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I have to beg everyone - is it possible to have a conversation about how to discuss this, without everyone who had a c-section taking it personally and derailing the thread? I cannot find one single example in this thread of anyone's particular birth choices being questioned - but I am quite sure that more than a few people will read my general examples of birth education above, take issue with them, and tell their birth stories as an example of how I am wrong. I beg you not to - there are always exceptions to everything - you didn't do anything wrong - emergencies happen - but we need to be able to talk about ways to increase your chance of a natural birth without it always turning into people's feelings being hurt, personal attacks, and threads being closed.
i'd really like to keep this thread open as well as i feel there are so many important stories and feelings being shared here.

to address the above: i started this thread in an attempt to move beyond "how to avoid a c-section" into "how are mothers that have had c-sections included in the natural birth community?".

there are really two very different issues and what i think you'll find in reading the stories is that many women here are feeling disenfranchised and second-best because they needed a surgical birth. i don't think it's really necessary in this particular thread to bring up ways that women could avoid c-sections. there are lots of mothers here who well-educated about their birth choices.

i'm more interested in moving beyond the issues of education and more into the areas of healing and acceptance.


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But is it, really? I think if the topic were not birth, which is an emotional experience no matter how it happens, then b/c one person says "this happens often" it doesn't mean that she is out to discount or marginalize others' experiences. In fact, I might say that everyone here who is telling stories of loving their HCP is actually discounting and marginalizing all the awful experiences I have had with various HCPs. But I wouldn't say that. B/c we can have different experiences and we can share them without it being a personal attack against those who did not share our experience.
i believe that if the phrase, "that is the truth," had not been used about something subjective such as "caring" then the issue would not have arisen. i believe that there is room for both caring and uncaring HCPs in this discussion. i also feel that "caring" should be clarified and explored perhaps. we can see that there are different definitions of caring and that may not be the most effective way of approaching this aspect of the discussion.

personally, i feel that the women here posting about their caring and positive experiences with HCPs are yet again feeling that they have to justify that their surgical birth did not happen because they did something wrong.

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Yes - but I started off saying "so does" the OB community...in response to someone's comment about the natural birth community. I was adding the obestrical community to the mix, not elminating the other.

i can see that now. i was only trying to point out where the misunderstanding occurred in an effort to clarify the conversation. it seemed that people were attributing something to you that you did not say and i was trying to show where that potential confusion had happened.

Okay. "Most" does not equal "all" and saying "most" (which I didn't!) has nothing to do with anyone's experience with any given provider/team.

I'm out. We're having two different conversations.
i'm sorry to see you go. i think i clarified above what i felt the issues were in that area of the discussion and i feel that there could be a lot more productive discussion regarding other aspects of this topic.

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#79 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Suggestions - I wonder how many communities have c-section support groups? I am surprised that here on MDC we don't have one, as I think many mothers go through a whole range of emotions many of which we do not need judgement upon, but instead support and open ears.

I haven't looked at any post-partum training for doulas - but this seems like "duh" area to start, much like seeing signs of PPD, grappling with the emotions of birth, especially if it ended in c-section seem like a logical place where support could be easily implemented.

Where I am stumped is how to open the minds of the NBC that because you've had a c-section you are not some kind of 2nd class citizen and that all of us have so much to contribute to the greater celebration of life, birth, and motherhood!
i really think a c-section support section would be a very welcome addition to mdc. as i said in the previous post, i'm interested in moving _beyond_ the education for a natural birth and it seems like a forum dedicated to _support_ would accomplish that. i'd like for it not to be in "healing birth trauma" because i think there are plenty of examples in this thread where the birth wasn't necessarily traumatic but that the lack of acceptance by the ncb community has been.

i know that what we do irl can also make a difference and the stories i've read here of women becoming doulas and ob/gyns as a way to make that difference are really inspiring.

this is really exciting! i am going to post this in questions and suggestions. i will link that thread here if anyone is interested in adding their voice.

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#80 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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Storm Bride, , I'm not saying my experience can say anything generalized about women and their experiences, but (and I say this gently), I don't think your individual experience can say there's "a pretty good chance of ending up in the hands of someone who does not care about you or your baby." I agree with the person who posted before me last time..."I am so sorry you've had such horrible birthing experiences. I can understand why you feel the way you do, even though I don't agree with some of your perspectives."

I'm not telling my story because I feel marginalized. I tell it because I want to speak up and share...because as a first time mom, reading some of the posts here on MDC (or comments in the NBC), you might hear so many slights against medical/OB care that you think a hospital means an automatic c-section, or even a traumatic birth. I've been in four due date clubs now and I've seen it, at various levels, every time. Many first time moms are afraid of OBs or hospital care because, in NBCs, they don't hear the positive stories. I'm happy to share mine, because in my experience of birthing I've met some pretty incredible doctors.

Storm Bride, I'm not looking to say that your experience doesn't happen, or that mine is more typical. I'm just saying that our own experiences are all we have to go on. I don't think our own experiences can determine what a random high-risk, natural-birth-minded woman "has a pretty good chance" of experiencing. Statistics will tell you that, but individuals' stories will not. Granted, based on our experiences, we're likely to have a more optimistic or more pessimistic view of the entire process. I get that. But that's personal opinion, not actual likelihood.

As for the original intent of the thread, I agree with the very first response (which is buried way, way back there). I think KaylaBeanie put it really well, and I think a great many people here have taken it even further. Is there a way NB advocates can include c-section moms? Absolutely. And they should. I think a lot of people in this thread have come to share their experiences, all over the spectrum of births, providers, and emotions...in a way that says we should ALL be included. All of our experiences should be respected and supported, because I think we all want similar things for women and for birth--regardless of what our own births were like. "Getting" a natural birth is not all about educating ourselves, or about our HCPs...it's also about chance. Marginalizing a group of women who had circumstances out of their control, or a poor HCP, but still wanted a natural birth or believe in it? What's the point in hurting or excluding people like that? It's not right.

I shared my experience to argue against the "That's the truth" statement, but also because I think it's great, a page or so back, that there was a post from a woman who is studying to be an OB so she can be an example of what the profession should be. I shared my story in the hopes of encouraging her, or others, or first-time moms, or first-time hospital birthers in finding/being an OB that really gets it, and respects a mother's right to be a part of the decision-making.

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#81 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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double post.

i've submitted my thread to questions and suggestions. i will link to it if it is approved.

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#82 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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i really think a c-section support section would be a very welcome addition to mdc.
I agree, but for years members have asked - and it's not happened b/c c-sections aren't natural. I guess they consider it similar to a sub-forum on formula feeding, I dunno. If someone were to start a thread asking for one, if it were approved, maybe we could get a clearer answer as to why it won't be considered. But, yes - it would be nice to have a safe place to ask questions, work through emotions, share experiences, heal, etc., w/o others jumping in with stats or anti-cesarean info that wasn't asked for.

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#83 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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in advocating for all women to have the right to labor and birth without unnecessary interventions, it is important for us to confront the myths rampant in our society.
But you see, my experience was not a myth. And the lack of necessary intervention resulted in death. When you use language like that - unnecessary, myth - you are necessarily creating a conflict.

I know it is possible to discuss these things in less inflammatory terms, because I had a team that did just that. And what they did was they said "we want to help you have the safest, best delivery possible however things go, and less is more."

It would not take anything away from your argument to say, "how can we help L&D teams and women to engage in good decision making every time?" without assuming that it's all bad decision making out there.

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NO ONE is calling you out and questioning your birth. If reading about ways to advocate for natural birth or increase your odds of a natural birth upsets you, and makes you feel like a failure, then maybe reading these sorts of threads is not the best thing for you.
Okay, this is what gets me mad.

The NBC does not "just happen" to have threads that some crazy women out there find make them feel like a failure. The NBC expresses itself in a way that creates hurt feelings. A lot of women have said that directly in the last two threads I've read on this -- a start would be not treating them like they are necessarily the only communication problem.

Also...sometimes it is personal. I believe you yourself posted a thread commenting directly on someone's FB post. That women would not be overly sensitive to have thought you were pretty much holding her birth experience up as a failure. There are a lot of assumptions about people who schedule c-sections made here that I've seen. Whereas you just don't know what their stories are.

The thing is do you want to just reach people who are pristine as the driven snow and have never experienced necessary interventions and who have no feelings whatsoever in the matter?

Or would you care to invite those of us who do have feelings and negative experiences into your circle? Because I could have really used the NBC's support in going for my second delivery, but I couldn't stick a toe in a forum like this one because when it's all "C SECTIONS ARE BAD BAD BAD" and my child died because an inexperienced team bought into that... well, you've lost me. And my sister. And my best friend.

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But the fact remains that in general, there are things that can be done by women and their HCPs to increase their chances for a natural birth. There is no guarantee of a natural birth and a healthy baby in any birth, ever. We are just talking about the statistical risks. And this is a really important conversation to have so that all women, not just those who read Henci Goer, can have a better chance at a natural birth. We need to be able to educate women about the risks that choice of HCP/induction/etc. can bring.
I think as long as you are educating about ALL the risks, then I'm with you. But I don't often see that happening here. I see it as rebellion against the mean old medical establishment without always a whole lot of actual discussion of real statistics and real risk and so on.

(Although I do think that in all cases you are NEVER talking "just" about statistical risk; you are talking about real women and real babies. Just as Stormbride's point that for her "survival" was not the only relevant measure of her health is an extremely important one.)

Where are the stories about the actual risks of natural delivery? Of delays at transfer? of rates of cerebral palsy? Because if those stories were here too, then we could have a real discussion about why people might need intervention TOO, and then there would not be a binary sense of:

1) Natural = good
2) Intervention = bad

Because that is what becomes pretty shaming.

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I beg you not to - there are always exceptions to everything - you didn't do anything wrong - emergencies happen - but we need to be able to talk about ways to increase your chance of a natural birth without it always turning into people's feelings being hurt, personal attacks, and threads being closed.
I don't think we do need to talk about "ways to increase your chance of a natural birth."

I think that statement, in fact, sums my problem with these threads up. The thing is, there are women who will have situations where they should NOT increase their chance of a natural birth because it is not going to work that way for them. There just are.

It's like saying "everyone should eat whole wheat." Well not if you have a wheat allergy!

What everyone should do is be informed about good nutrition and have whole foods available. It's an important distinction. But when you set the formula up as "good natural delivery vs. bad intervention" you are missing the complexities of women and babies' real, complex experiences.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#84 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Storm Bride, , I'm not saying my experience can say anything generalized about women and their experiences, but (and I say this gently), I don't think your individual experience can say there's "a pretty good chance of ending up in the hands of someone who does not care about you or your baby." I agree with the person who posted before me last time..."I am so sorry you've had such horrible birthing experiences. I can understand why you feel the way you do, even though I don't agree with some of your perspectives."

I'm not telling my story because I feel marginalized. I tell it because I want to speak up and share...because as a first time mom, reading some of the posts here on MDC (or comments in the NBC), you might hear so many slights against medical/OB care that you think a hospital means an automatic c-section, or even a traumatic birth. I've been in four due date clubs now and I've seen it, at various levels, every time. Many first time moms are afraid of OBs or hospital care because, in NBC, they don't hear the positive stories. I'm happy to share mine, because in my experience of birthing I've met some pretty incredible doctors.

Storm Bride, I'm not looking to say that your experience doesn't happen, or that mine is more typical. I'm just saying that our own experiences are all we have to go on. I don't think our own experiences can determine what a random woman "has a pretty good chance" of experiencing. Statistics will tell you that, but individuals' stories will not. Granted, based on our experiences, we're likely to have a more optimistic or more pessimistic view of the entire process. I get that. But that's personal opinion, not actual likelihood.

As for the original intent of the thread, I agree with the very first response (which is buried way, way back there). I think KaylaBeanie put it really well, and I think a great many people here have taken it even further. Is there a way NB advocates can include c-section moms? Absolutely. And they should. I think a lot of people in this thread have come to share their experiences, all over the spectrum of births, providers, and emotions...in a way that says we should ALL be included. All of our experiences should be respected and supported, because I think we all want similar things for women and for birth--regardless of what our own births were like. "Getting" a natural birth is not all about educating ourselves, or about our HCPs...it's also about chance. Marginalizing a group of women who had circumstances out of their control, or a poor HCP, but still wanted a natural birth or believe in it? What's the point in hurting or excluding people like that? It's not right.

I shared my experience to argue against the "That's the truth" statement, but also because I think it's great, a page or so back, that there was a post from a woman who is studying to be an OB so she can be an example of what the profession should be. I shared my story in the hopes of encouraging her, or others, or first-time moms, or first-time hospital birthers in finding/being an OB that really gets it, and respects a mother's right to be a part of the decision-making.
thank you so much for this well thought out response.

and thank you again to all the women that have shared here about their stories. i feel really grateful to have been able to listen and share with you.

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#85 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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I have different standards, I'm pretty sure. Tearing up over something like that would prove nothing to me...nothing at all......

In any case, it sounds like you actually needed a c-section and possibly even consented to it. Maybe if my history was like that, I'd feel the same way. Knowing full well that if you hadn't consented, there's a good chance they'd have gone in anyway, I'm...cynical.
I did consent to my c/s....after 30 hours of labor, 3 of that pushing only to wedge my DD so far into my pelvis that she was so stuck they had to push her both up and out, yep I did consent whole-heartedly. My husband and I spoke deeply about it before my labor and both of us agreed that if it came down to it a c/s would be done, it was in my birth plan as the last resort. After a long and futile labor it was pretty obvious that was what was needed, it was after every other option had been exhausted.

Yes I think we do have different standards.....I'm sorry but I do know that my particular Dr does care, I wouldn't have gone to her or take my children to her if she didn't. For me someone showing emotion is a sign they do in fact care.....maybe I'm naive.

My experiences are just that mine, of course they will be different than someone else's.

I personally think that it would be nice to have some support for mothers who have had a C/S on MDC, unfortunately though I don't see that happening.

Playamama-thanks for starting this thread, it has been an awakening for myself. I realize that there are women who indeed haven't been as fortunate to be in a caring environment, my little hospital is a gem I am finding out. I am very happy to have had the wonderful care that my children and I received there.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#86 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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I agree, but for years members have asked - and it's not happened b/c c-sections aren't natural. I guess they consider it similar to a sub-forum on formula feeding, I dunno. If someone were to start a thread asking for one, if it were approved, maybe we could get a clearer answer as to why it won't be considered. But, yes - it would be nice to have a safe place to ask questions, work through emotions, share experiences, heal, etc., w/o others jumping in with stats or anti-cesarean info that wasn't asked for.
The first line I think is the stumbling block - c-section is not natural therefore cannot be supported aka dismissed within MDC. Yet we find day in and day out families who are trying to live within the natural lifestyle but having to deal with "life" and all its craziness and circumstance. Through the various threads I've popped into and read, I see people struggling with what has been established as the "bar" for natural living and what life has thrown at them and the fear of being ostracized by their decisions which might not have been the natural lifestyle option, but averted serious harm, or danger like not raising your child because they would be in daycare & not breastfed, or having such traumatic guilt or fear over a c-section that was medically necessary for the mother's life or the child's life.


Drummer - I like your vision of an area that's safe for us who have had c-sections. That's what I exactly what I had in mind, it would be needing put out very clear guidelines like other very hot button forums and it would need very strong moderator(s)

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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#87 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Okay - I said I was done, but this one just...ugh...
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I did consent to my c/s....after 30 hours of labor, 3 of that pushing only to wedge my DD so far into my pelvis that she was so stuck they had to push her both up and out, yep I did consent whole-heartedly. My husband and I spoke deeply about it before my labor and both of us agreed that if it came down to it a c/s would be done, it was in my birth plan as the last resort. After a long and futile labor it was pretty obvious that was what was needed, it was after every other option had been exhausted.
Okay. That's fine. I didn't ask why you gave consent, because it doesn't matter to me. I get the feeling (and I could be wrong) that you think I'm making some kind of judgement of the fact that you consented. I'm not. A c-section was the best decision for you at that time. It was the best decision for me last June. I have no problem with someone consenting to a c-section.

My point was that I have no faith that your refusal, had you made one, would have mattered, if a doctor had already determined that a c-section was in your best interests. I was making no judgment about a woman giving consent.

Quote:
Yes I think we do have different standards.....I'm sorry but I do know that my particular Dr does care, I wouldn't have gone to her or take my children to her if she didn't. For me someone showing emotion is a sign they do in fact care.....maybe I'm naive.
I never said that your doctor doesn't care. I said that the fact that she teared up over your placenta proves nothing, one way or the other.

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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#88 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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I don't think we do need to talk about "ways to increase your chance of a natural birth."

I think that statement, in fact, sums my problem with these threads up. The thing is, there are women who will have situations where they should NOT increase their chance of a natural birth because it is not going to work that way for them. There just are.

It's like saying "everyone should eat whole wheat." Well not if you have a wheat allergy!

What everyone should do is be informed about good nutrition and have whole foods available. It's an important distinction. But when you set the formula up as "good natural delivery vs. bad intervention" you are missing the complexities of women and babies' real, complex experiences.
I completely disagree. Do you really think that we should not talk about ways to decrease c-section risk? Really? REALLY?

Is this thread not full of women who are upset that they ended up needing a c-section? If there are some here, then doesn't it stand to reason that there are other women out there who also want to know what they can do to minimize their risk of a c-section? So why should we not talk about the best way to reduce the risk? How else are women to learn about the best ways to try to get the birth they want?

There are always other experiences - no one advocates that the c-section rate be 0%. There are women and babies who would be dead if it weren't for c-sections. But that doesn't mean that we should not try to spread the word of ways to reduce your risk. And yet when we do, then someone always has to take it as a personal attack. There are ways to reduce your risk. But biology is not predictable and they are not a guarantee. All you can do is reduce your risk. You can "do everything right" and not end up with the vaginal birth of your dreams. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't help people try.

I NEVER said "should." I NEVER said everyone should have a natural birth or should even want a natural birth. But many people do want a natural birth, and for many of them, they cannot simply trust their HCP to assist them in this. I am guessing that this is what Storm Bride was getting at - many HCPs will nod and smile when you say that you want a natural birth, but in the end, they will not do what is necessary to help you achieve it. The sad reality is that we have to take responsibility for our own education and choices, b/c the c-section rate continues to rise, not drop. And to that end, we need to be able to talk about ways to lower your risk so that people can make choices that help them achieve the birth they want.

I see no shaming here. And as for the FB reference - my OP in that closed thread was not clear and I was editing as it was closed - but I never attacked a woman for her c-section. What happened was that I was commenting on an article about how to succeed at bfing by trying to minimize birth trauma, and I talked about how bfing was easier after my HB compared to my hospital births. And another woman had to jump in to start justifying her c-sections. And that was my frustration - that whenever we try to talk about ways to help women get the births they want, then everyone who had a c-section takes it personally and feels attacked.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
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#89 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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to address the above: i started this thread in an attempt to move beyond "how to avoid a c-section" into "how are mothers that have had c-sections included in the natural birth community?".

there are really two very different issues and what i think you'll find in reading the stories is that many women here are feeling disenfranchised and second-best because they needed a surgical birth. i don't think it's really necessary in this particular thread to bring up ways that women could avoid c-sections. there are lots of mothers here who well-educated about their birth choices.

i'm more interested in moving beyond the issues of education and more into the areas of healing and acceptance.

I was not trying to educate here - I just brought those up as examples of things that you will hear every day in the NCB community. And my intention was to address your OP - the NCB community is about advocating NCB. And if women who have had c-sections want to be included in the NCB community, then they need to accept that there is going to be a lot of discussion about how to educate women about the risks in childbirth, and that some of this discussion may make them feel bad. It may make them feel attacked in that they somehow did something wrong. And that is simply not the case.

Sometimes people do attack you personally. That is not right and that is not what I'm talking about. But talking generally about NCB in the NCB community is ALWAYS going to include educating women about the risks of "routine" interventions and other choices in childbirth, and if this hurts someone personally, and if they take it as a personal attack on their birth, then that is on them.

The NBC community has a responsibility to educate women on the choices in childbirth and the statistical likelihood of any choice ending in a c-section. It also has a responsibility to educate women that they can do their best to reduce their risks and still end up with a c-section. It also has the responsibility to never shame a person or intentionally make them feel like a second-class citizen for having had a c-section. But in the end, the NBC is going to do a lot of talking about the risks of various birth practices and taking such education as a personal attack is not going to help include c-section mamas in the NBC community.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
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#90 of 260 Old 04-20-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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Storm Bride, , I'm not saying my experience can say anything generalized about women and their experiences, but (and I say this gently), I don't think your individual experience can say there's "a pretty good chance of ending up in the hands of someone who does not care about you or your baby."

I get the impression that she is not just referencing her personal experience, but the prevainling gist of stories both here on MDC, and in the wider birthing community. Yes, your description balances hers but by no means discounts it.


I shared my experience to argue against the "That's the truth" statement, but also because I think it's great, a page or so back, that there was a post from a woman who is studying to be an OB so she can be an example of what the profession should be. I shared my story in the hopes of encouraging her, or others, or first-time moms, or first-time hospital birthers in finding/being an OB that really gets it, and respects a mother's right to be a part of the decision-making.
OK, and how does one go about finding that OB? I moved while pregnant so total met about 5 OBs while preggers/birthing and none of them inspired me with much confidence. The one who attended my birth wanted to section me as soon as I arrived at the hospital. I had only been in labor at that point for three hours! I think it wise to remember that most women have limited choices when selecting a caregiver. Often you just get whomever is on call. Not everyone is able to have any sort of relationship with their OB..
I agree with the feeling of marginalization on MDC towards those who have had c-sections. I think it sucks. I also don't think my son's birth was all that traumatic, so that forum doesn't work for me. And frankly, assuming that all c-section mommies should want to post there is a judgment in itself y'know? So Hooray for a C-section support group! While we are at it can we put language in the user agreement against disparaging women who have had one? I also don't enjoy being told that there was no way I could have bonded with my baby; I did something wrong; yadda yadda yadda...
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