Who controls childbirth — expectant moms or doctors? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This woman's story made me sick to my stomach .
A few things she says rubbed me the wrong way, but interesting read.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38129344...lth-pregnancy/

Likes a little crunch with occasional sogginess~Misty,Mama to L1, L2, L3, L4,L5 and Loving J!
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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Just...wow. I can't believe the behavior of the staff at the hospital (especially the last doctor who broke her water). Very disturbing story.

I before E, except after C.  Weird.
DD: 8/2010.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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Wow! What a powerfull and disturbing story. I can't even imagine... Can you sue a doctor for malpractice for the things he did? I understand why it was so hard for her to come to grips with the natural mothers approach to childbirth. Most people are told, their entire lives, not to question authority, and doctors are about as officially authoritative as our society gets. They are the ones who make us better and keep us safe, right? I can't believe how this story affected me. I am feeling a little sick and terribly disgusted. It is so unfortunate that stories like hers exist, and that for so many years women were told this is the way things were done. (not exactly like this, but my bp's mother can tell some horrible birth stories!)

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bank balance smaller, home happier, clothes dirty, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for." ~A.U.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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BBM: Your point about suing the doctor's an interesting one. I was just on the phone with DH, who is a lawyer, telling him about the story, and he also mentioned that the doctor's actions might make him liable for legal repercussions...

I before E, except after C.  Weird.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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Depressing story, but maybe since she is stopping her preconceived notions of how us hippie-dippies do it, she might get her VBAC.

Goes to show that just showing up at the hospital, figuring birth just happens, is NOT a good idea, nor is blindly trusting any doctor.

So my answer is doctors control birth in the hospital, but women are responsible for birth everywhere. A good birth is rarely handed to you.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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Haven't read the link, but the thread title made me smile:

"Who controls childbirth — expectant moms or doctors?"

Neither, although both would like to. I think the only person in control of childbirth is the baby.

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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Old 07-14-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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This article has made me angrier and angrier all morning.

Angry at the medical system, for making it impossible for a woman to trust that her doctor will do right by her.

Angry at the author/mom, for being so dismissive of us crazy hippies with our prepared approach to birth. So angry at her attitude and that of her new doctor: "Women who have a birth plan or do Bradley always end up with a c-section b/c they're uptight." Uhhh... right....

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Thats not a normal hospital birth at all in my eyes...

Ive had two hospital births and neither of them involved stupid decisions despite them being informed of possible side effects (with DD I told them when admitted that I cannot have an IV due to anxiety about it... I was never even offered one after that) or them making decisions on my behalf without asking me (even my induction with DS, they explained to me what they were going to do and why... and in the middle of the night they woke me up to put an oxygen mask on me... explaining to the very tired laboring mother what it was and why and that it was not actually something to worry about.)

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Old 07-14-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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Huh.

I guess mostly, it seems to me a very poorly-written article. The author is obviously still processing her ideas, and maybe that's the point, but she goes back and forth between a respectful discussion of NCB and ridiculing, doubting comments about it all. She still doesn't seem like she's read a whole lot, and instead is reacting to very specific comments or ideas that seem pretty unrelated to each other or to a typical approach to NCB.

And the Dr. Gregory character is...just.... Seriously. It makes me so sad when characters like that are held up as a representative of the hospital/ob model of care. My hospital births were nothing like what Dr. Gregory or the author described...and the idea that preparation (beyond a hospital course) or a birth plan will somehow make it more likely for you to get a c-section is laughable.

My birth plan was so respected at both of my births, it makes me proud to say I had a hospital birth. I LOVED it. I loved my OB and the nurses for advocating for me, for respecting me, and for respecting our wishes as a couple. It was an incredibly warm atmosphere. Not once have I ever been given the impression that the doctors or nurses view birth plans as the realm of anxiety-ridden, control-freak mothers, nor do I think anyone is under the illusion that a birth plan is anything more than a birth wish, should birth go as births normally do.

The author, unfortunately, seems to be one of those people that is deliberately uneducated about childbirth. She admits as much for her first birth, and based on how she discusses some of her new "knowledge" of NCB and homebirth, my guess is that she still hasn't cracked the spine of many books about birth or natural birth. When you're deliberately uneducated, what do you expect? That a natural birth, free of interventions, will just be handed to you? Sorry, lady, that's not how it works. Not with midwives or homebirths, either. Especially not with OBs, or any health care provider, you don't trust or really know all that well.

Do the work. Read up. Just because, in the end, birth is unpredictable, doesn't mean that preparation is useless. Preparation does not guarantee an easy birth, and goodness knows you can be educated/prepared and still have a traumatic birth...but just because the worst case scenario can happen to the prepared does not mean it gives everyone the excuse to be unprepared. And sheesh...just because you can find a hospital, somewhere, with a Byzantine approach to midwives and Bradley methods....and because you can find an OB that thinks birth plans are crap...that does not mean it excuses you from educating yourself, from preparing, and from learning about what your body needs and does during labor and birth.

She seems determined to be the victim, to find every excuse out there (based on stereotypes of doulas, homebirths, and mean OBs) that says she was justified in not educating herself, having a birth plan, hiring a doula, or doing a homebirth.

PUH-LEEZE.

If I was injured in car accident, but hadn't prepared myself by say...buckling my seatbelt, having safe brakes, or practicing defensive driving....even if I'd been "victimized" by getting hit by a bad driver. Aren't the extent of my injuries, to some extent, my own fault? So no matter if I can go out and find some quack that says seatbelts can really kill you, or safe brakes are over-rated, or people who practice defensive driving are really just anxious control-freaks who end up getting in more crashes...no matter how I try to justify my own bad choices, my own stupidity, the reality is my bad choices led to my injuries.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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I had a doula, took out of hospital CBE classes, had a birth plan and a CNM and had a horribly traumatic birth with my son. The doctor came in just to see how things were going and did the exact same thing to me that he did to her "Well just let me check you." he then stripped my membranes, broke my water, AND inserted IFM all in one fell swoop. WITH me and my husband yelling NO.

I'm having a homebirth this time. Can't wait!

SAH Mama to Cooper (3-9-08) and Sawyer (9-3-10).   
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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My natural birth wasn't handed to me. I had to work for it. I wasn't a control freak or over anxious when I discussed all my wants and desires with my midwife, I always felt I was raising my chances for the best outcome because there were no doubts with anyone about what I wanted and what I was comfortable with. I knew the midwives and what they believed and so I was able to trust that they could make decisions if I couldn't (like when I hemorrhaged and they needed to act swiftly.)

I'm glad I didn't just walk into a hospital assuming I'd figure it out as I go. Birth is natural and women have done it since forever, but there is still a rhythm to learn and know, still odd but normal things that can happen sometimes and not all the time, and still options that can make the experience better or worse. I can't imagine doing ANYTHING without even a little bit of research, especially where my child is concerned.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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Hi folks I've returned the thread and I'd like to leave it open so please avoid posting or quoting UA violations. Thanks for your understanding.

ribbonyellow.gif Army wife ribbonyellow.gif - Mama to Liam waterbirth.jpg (9/07), Laine uc.jpg (5/09), and Eliza h20homebirth.gif (7/11)

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Huh.

I guess mostly, it seems to me a very poorly-written article. The author is obviously still processing her ideas, and maybe that's the point, but she goes back and forth between a respectful discussion of NCB and ridiculing, doubting comments about it all. She still doesn't seem like she's read a whole lot, and instead is reacting to very specific comments or ideas that seem pretty unrelated to each other or to a typical approach to NCB.

And the Dr. Gregory character is...just.... Seriously. It makes me so sad when characters like that are held up as a representative of the hospital/ob model of care. My hospital births were nothing like what Dr. Gregory or the author described...and the idea that preparation (beyond a hospital course) or a birth plan will somehow make it more likely for you to get a c-section is laughable.

My birth plan was so respected at both of my births, it makes me proud to say I had a hospital birth. I LOVED it. I loved my OB and the nurses for advocating for me, for respecting me, and for respecting our wishes as a couple. It was an incredibly warm atmosphere. Not once have I ever been given the impression that the doctors or nurses view birth plans as the realm of anxiety-ridden, control-freak mothers, nor do I think anyone is under the illusion that a birth plan is anything more than a birth wish, should birth go as births normally do.

The author, unfortunately, seem to be one of those people that is deliberately uneducated about childbirth. She admits as much for her first birth, and based on how she discusses some of her new "knowledge" of NCB and homebirth, my guess is that she still hasn't cracked the spine of many books about birth or natural birth. When you're deliberately uneducated, what do you expect? That a natural birth, free of interventions, will just be handed to you? Sorry, lady, that's not how it works. Not with midwives or homebirths, either. Especially not with OBs, or any health care provider, you don't trust or really know all that well.

Do the work. Read up. Just because, in the end, birth is unpredictable, doesn't mean that preparation is useless. Preparation does not guarantee an easy birth, and goodness knows you can be educated/prepared and still have a traumatic birth...but just because the worst case scenario can happen to the prepared does not mean it gives everyone the excuse to be unprepared. And sheesh...just because you can find a hospital, somwhere, with a Byzantine approach to midwives and Bradley methods....and because you can find an OB that thinks birth plans are crap...that does not mean it excuses you from educating yourself, from preparing, and from learning about what your body needs and does during labor and birth.

She seems determined to be the victim, to find every excuse out there (based on stereotypes of doulas, homebirths, and mean OBs) that says she was justified in not educating herself, having a birth plan, hiring a doula, or doing a homebirth.

PUH-LEEZE.

If I was injured in car accident, but hadn't prepared myself by say...buckling my seatbelt, having safe brakes, or practicing defensive driving....even if I'd been "victimized" by getting hit by a bad driver. Aren't the extent of my injuries, to some extent, my own fault? So no matter if I can go out and find some quack that says seatbelts can really kill you, or safe brakes are over-rated, or people who practice defensive driving are really just anxious control-freaks who end up getting in more crashes...no matter how I try to justify my own bad choices, my own stupidity, the reality is my bad choices led to my injuries.
Amen. Again.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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It bugs me when pieces like this are referred to as "articles." An article is fact-based. This is a personal essay. I think the distinction is important, because an article is something a person can refer to and source for information. There's not a lot of "info" to be found in this essay, just opinions (many of which are second and third hand). I don't see why it's causing such a stir on the net. Who cares what this one rather angry woman thinks?

I mean, I guess it's received some press, but my point is that it's not really press-worthy. It reminds me of that article in the Atlantic a year or so ago by some woman who hated breastfeeding. Opinion masked as fact and presented in a sensationalist package with an eye-catching headline. Meh.

ETA: oops, I saw this in new posts and didn't realize it's in a DDC. sorry! hope i'm not intruding.

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Old 07-14-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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Eh, I tend to think we need to cut mama a break. I can understand being aggravated by some of her statements, but being wrong about the NCB community and not having done as much reading/educating/homework or whatever, does not mean she deserved to suffer the kind of dehumanizing/traumatizing treatment she received. Not saying that anyone here is saying she deserved it or anything...just making the point that regardless of her views or level of understanding/acceptance...it's incredibly sad that she ended up with such extreme mistreatment.

I also tend to think that the more "mainstream" mamas don't want to seem overly "crunchy" because they are afraid their thoughts will be discredited. She probably feels like she has to have those disclaimers out there to be more credible....silly.

It's true though, people find out I am having a homebirth and stop listening to anything I have to say about parenting/pregnancy etc because I must be a "crazy hippie" lol

Marilyn, married to my soulmate Jay and mommy to Elijah Blaze 08/04/2003 and Mila Soleil 10/02/2011 . 
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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Eh, I tend to think we need to cut mama a break. I can understand being aggravated by some of her statements, but being wrong about the NCB community and not having done as much reading/educating/homework or whatever, does not mean she deserved to suffer the kind of dehumanizing/traumatizing treatment she received. Not saying that anyone here is saying she deserved it or anything...just making the point that regardless of her views or level of understanding/acceptance...it's incredibly sad that she ended up with such extreme mistreatment.

I also tend to think that the more "mainstream" mamas don't want to seem overly "crunchy" because they are afraid their thoughts will be discredited. She probably feels like she has to have those disclaimers out there to be more credible....silly.
Exactly. And it breaks my heart.

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Old 07-15-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Eh, I tend to think we need to cut mama a break. I can understand being aggravated by some of her statements, but being wrong about the NCB community and not having done as much reading/educating/homework or whatever, does not mean she deserved to suffer the kind of dehumanizing/traumatizing treatment she received. Not saying that anyone here is saying she deserved it or anything...just making the point that regardless of her views or level of understanding/acceptance...it's incredibly sad that she ended up with such extreme mistreatment.
No, she didn't "deserve" such a bad doctor, but her willful ignorance and dismissal of any birth preparation or education directly led to her experience. I agree with ROM that she is acting like a victim, and if she chose to keep her head in the sand, how much of a victim can she be? If you expect other people to do your work for you, then you are volunteering to be at the mercy of others.

It is really sad that people can't trust their doctors - really sad, and it makes me crazy angry, enough to chuck it all and go to med school - but that means that we have even more of a responsibility as pregnant women to take care of ourselves. Where else in life is it a good idea to just show up with no prep, throw yourself on the mercy of others, and hope for the best? When applying for jobs? When taking a test in school? Women need to wake up to the fact that it is not patchouli vs. modernity and they need to stop falsely framing the debate that way. I absolutely do not wear patchouli, nor burn sage, nor wear flowy skirts, nor chant, nor anything in the stereotype. Yet I do take responsibility for my own health, and to do so is not being a weird hippie - it is being a responsible adult. This does not mean you have to have a OOH birth - but it does mean that you learn about birth and your options and not dismiss it all as being a control freak or a crazy hippie.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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I think it's interesting, and sad, that what she takes away from it is this:
Quote:
By now, one movie, two books, four doulas and approximately 15 mothers had told me that my traumatic birth was my fault, the problems all stemming from my not believing in my body. But what if my body wasn't meant to do this?
That's not what I get from it. I get that she has partial 'blame' because she didn't get educated. She could have learned that so much of what is done in US hospitals is not evidence-based practice. Simply reading the brief chapter on AROM in "The Thinking Woman's Guide" would have shown her it's rarely, if ever, a good idea. Then maybe she would have discussed it with her OB. Then maybe she would have seen he either thinks it IS good, or shown that doesn't give a hoot what mamas think, he'll do as he pleases. (Granted, he could have deceived her on either counts, but I doubt it.)

The fact that she didn't bother to learn & blindly trusted is, I think, where she went wrong. Of course not that that at all excuses the doc's behavior!!! But, I think she 'went wrong' on that count. It is NOT about the "not trusting your body" business. It's the lack of education.

As DH & I both often say, people spend more time researching, learning about, & planning their nursery decor & their stroller purchase than birth! Call me insensitive & a snob, but I think that's silly & wrong.

Another quote from the article:
Quote:
Would we ever tell someone whose liver has failed that it was because she didn't believe in it?
She just doesn't get it. Her body did not "fail" to birth her baby! The induction failed, so the OB did a CS!!!!!! That's NOT a "failure" of her body! Yeah, it's no guarantee that she would have had a vaginal birth had the OB had a shred of respect for her autonomy & discharged her so she could go home, but still, ya never know. What really "went wrong" was that the induction failed so the OB did a CS. Her body did not "fail" --> Induction failed. It's sad that she doesn't see that & doesn't understand the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Just because, in the end, birth is unpredictable, doesn't mean that preparation is useless. Preparation does not guarantee an easy birth, and goodness knows you can be educated/prepared and still have a traumatic birth...but just because the worst case scenario can happen to the prepared does not mean it gives everyone the excuse to be unprepared.
emphasis mine


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I absolutely do not wear patchouli, nor burn sage, nor wear flowy skirts, nor chant, nor anything in the stereotype. Yet I do take responsibility for my own health, and to do so is not being a weird hippie - it is being a responsible adult.


That all applies to me as well, BTW. I'm so 'mainstream' in a lot of ways that I even wear eyeliner, high heels & my DH drives a (OK, small) SUV! I guess we're "closet hippies."
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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Yeah, I daw that, and even blogged about it.

Katielady, if all "articles" were fact based, that would be wonderful. What would you call most of the... pieces that appear in tabloids? Even if there are facts in it, every newspaper article has a certain spin on it, and I have never, ever seen anything that is a 100 percent factual.

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Old 07-15-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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I actually think it's a good personal essay. Although I agree that I am horrified at the hospital experience as even my very poor one was nothing like that.

Sure, some of her statements are a bit over the top but I agree with her core point which is that last time, her birth was traumatic. This time, she is looking for help - real, solid information and help - and instead she's getting a lot of the trust birth stuff from the NCB community that I personally find unhelpful.

I've personally experienced this myself and I find her experience rings true with me. So go her.

I don't think blaming her for her lack of preparedness around her first birth is right, and I also don't think it relates to her central point which is how do you find your way through a birthing experience after one has gone so badly.

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Old 07-15-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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Women need to wake up to the fact that it is not patchouli vs. modernity and they need to stop falsely framing the debate that way. I absolutely do not wear patchouli, nor burn sage, nor wear flowy skirts, nor chant, nor anything in the stereotype. Yet I do take responsibility for my own health, and to do so is not being a weird hippie - it is being a responsible adult. This does not mean you have to have a OOH birth - but it does mean that you learn about birth and your options and not dismiss it all as being a control freak or a crazy hippie.

These were my exact thoughts when I saw this thread yesterday.

I feel for this woman because she experienced something seriously traumatic, but it kills me, because she could have been informed. Or at the very least, be informed for the future, i.e. her impending child. I get the feeling from the essay that she is not really preparing herself for this next birth, she just knows she wants something better than last time. I am hopeful for her that acquiring a doula for this birth will benefit her in the end.

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Old 07-15-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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I thought it was really interesting, actually. I can relate in a lot of ways. I'm pregnant after a very hard birth, and I was not stupid. I didn't think I was in control then, and I don't think I am this time around either. It's like trying to be in control of a glacier. I'm not saying there's nothing a person can do to try to have a safe, good birth, but it's not always as easy as being educated. Hell, I know plenty of women who never read a thing about childbirth and had lovely births. It's not that simple.
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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I thought it was really interesting, actually. I can relate in a lot of ways. I'm pregnant after a very hard birth, and I was not stupid. I didn't think I was in control then, and I don't think I am this time around either. It's like trying to be in control of a glacier. I'm not saying there's nothing a person can do to try to have a safe, good birth, but it's not always as easy as being educated. Hell, I know plenty of women who never read a thing about childbirth and had lovely births. It's not that simple.

Right - even someone trained in martial arts can't physically get up after having an epidural, to prevent a c-sec, and who would expect their OB to break their waters after saying they were just doing a VE before allowing them to go home? That's 100 percent the OB's responsibility, fault, whatever you want to call it.

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Old 07-15-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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I thought it was really interesting, actually. I can relate in a lot of ways. I'm pregnant after a very hard birth, and I was not stupid. I didn't think I was in control then, and I don't think I am this time around either. It's like trying to be in control of a glacier. I'm not saying there's nothing a person can do to try to have a safe, good birth, but it's not always as easy as being educated. Hell, I know plenty of women who never read a thing about childbirth and had lovely births. It's not that simple.
No, being educated nor uneducated about childbirth guarantees no specific birth outcome - but being educated does help raise your chances of having a satisfying birth. No one ever claims that if you do x, y and z, you will be guaranteed an amazing birth, so please don't try to make it into that. No one is promised anything in birth - but educating yourself raises your chances of getting the birth you hope for. This woman didn't educate herself at all, dismissed the type of education that would have helped her recognize this care provider as unlikely to be supportive as "too hippie," and then is still failing to help herself this time around. She writes off VBAC as impossible b/c of the risk of rupture, even though this is patently false, and appears to be just sitting there hoping and wishing for this time to be different.

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Originally Posted by GuildJenn
This time, she is looking for help - real, solid information and help - and instead she's getting a lot of the trust birth stuff from the NCB community that I personally find unhelpful.

I don't think blaming her for her lack of preparedness around her first birth is right, and I also don't think it relates to her central point which is how do you find your way through a birthing experience after one has gone so badly.
She is not looking for information - if she were, would she quote that untruth about VBACs causing rupture? Or the part about how prepared women are uptight and definitely get c-sections?

And you really think that she didn't have a responsibility to educate herself or be prepared? Really? She doesn't appear to be doing anything to find her way through a bad birth except blame the hippies and the doctor and the nurse.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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Yeah, just lovely. THIS is exactly why we must be educated. I am 100% responsible for the crappy maternity care I received for children #1-4.

I grew up mainstream, didn't research, believed the almighty Dr's, and am STILL paying for THEIR choices-which were largely based on THEIR knowledge that I WAS IGNORANT to any other choice!

I don't blame the mother for malpractice issues, but I sure believe we are setting ourselves up for failure when we walk into an OB office/hospital, completely at the mercy of "whatever Doc thinks is best...the most important thing is a healthy baby". I believe that so much, that I am NOW taking control of my body and MY baby ENOUGH to have a homebirth. My last birth was a hospital birth more on my terms, but I STILL fail when confronted with paternalistic OB males...so it just isn't going to happen anymore.

I also agree it's not an "article" influenced by evidence and facts. It's a personal opinion piece-still just as valid to the author, but not to those seeking truth in information about birth/VBAC.

Blessed Christian Wife and Homeschooling Mother to 8: 17 (our 1st homeschool graduate!), 12, 11, 9, 5, 4, 2 and with blessing #9 and #10 due to arrive April 2015



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Old 07-15-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Galatea View Post

She is not looking for information - if she were, would she quote that untruth about VBACs causing rupture? Or the part about how prepared women are uptight and definitely get c-sections?

And you really think that she didn't have a responsibility to educate herself or be prepared? Really? She doesn't appear to be doing anything to find her way through a bad birth except blame the hippies and the doctor and the nurse.
I think interviewing four doulas and reading all the books she read qualifies as educating herself.

And although I think self-education is important, I don't think it is right or helpful to blame a woman for a bad birth. This is actually one of my biggest issues with the NCB community - when someone comes and expresses their truth, there is a LOT of armchair quarterbacking that basically comes down to:

"If you only would have known/done/thought what *I* have, you wouldn't have had such a bad experience." So, too bad for you missy. How is this helping or empowering women?

Even if that's true -- and I really don't see how that would have stopped this doctor from stripping her membranes and some of the other difficulties she had -- it is NOT HELPFUL. It is not helpful to other women and it is not helpful to her and it will not help her feel brave and strong enough to have a better experience next time.

It is exactly the same as someone saying they were unhappy with their care and someone pulling out all the old warhorse arguments about how great hospitals are.

Also, I don't personally believe women should have to research everything about birth to get good care in a hospital. It may currently be the reality. But it's a systemic, patriarchical issues. Blaming the woman at the bottom of the totem pole is just wrong, in my opinion.

And it really saddens me that this is still the response - woman-blaming.

~ 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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Old 07-15-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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I stand by my original point - where else in your life is it a good idea to walk blindly into a situation and expect others to watch out for your best interests? I have to manage my bank account - it is not the job of the bank or any merchant to make sure that I have enough money or am not overcharged for something. If prices matter to me, then I have to read the grocery circulars to get the best deal. I can't just walk into Kroger, shop, and then complain that Kroger didn't give me the best price. What her OB did, though not okay by any means, was pretty common for OB behavior and happens all the time - see the comments on the 2nd or 3rd page by the L&D nurse - and if she had educated herself at all on her options, including taking some influence from those crazy hippies - she would have been aware of that. Anyone who still has the idea that they will be attended by the doctor in Norman Rockwell's paintings, in any medical setting, is in for a painful awakening. This woman was presented with this info, and she chose to disregard it.

I get tired of having the same argument with you, GuildJenn, b/c you are coming from a very specifically awfully painful place, and any time this topic comes up, I feel like you want it to be that birth is totally, completely and in every way out of anyone's hands, and that there is no way anyone can influence or deal with it at all. Though I understand why you would want to feel like this, it is just not true. We, as adult human beings, have a responsibility to take care of ourselves the best we can, and to say so is not to say that this woman deserved punishment, but that she needs to own responsibility for her choices and their likely or potential outcomes. I also reject the idea that we can just float into birth blindly trusting our bodies - this is as stupid an idea as blindly trusting our doctors; they are flip sides of the same coin, and she, unfortunately, subscribed to both views.

I am not saying that if she had done x, y or z, that she would have been guaranteed a good birth - but I do maintain that it would have increased her chances. That is what I said earlier in this thread, and I am saying it again, and will say it in every other thread we clash on - self-knowledge and education about childbirth will raise your chances of having a satisfying birth, but it in no way guarantees it. Yet, as another poster said, just b/c we cannot be guaranteed a satisfying birth DOES NOT MEAN we should not try as best we can. Life is unpredictable, and bad things happen, and people will not always do right by us, but that does not mean that we can just throw our hands up and say "Whatever will be, will be." It means that we prepare ourselves, and take care of ourselves, and part of that is owning our emotions and doing the work before and after birth to be able to process whatever the outcome is.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I think interviewing four doulas and reading all the books she read qualifies as educating herself
Well, you have a good point there, but I think she still doesn't seem to "get it." She seems to think her body failed at birth - rather than realizing that the induction (the intervention) is what failed. A vital distinction, IMO.

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Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Even if that's true -- and I really don't see how that would have stopped this doctor from stripping her membranes and some of the other difficulties she had -- it is NOT HELPFUL. It is not helpful to other women and it is not helpful to her and it will not help her feel brave and strong enough to have a better experience next time.
Well, I agree with you in principle that woman-blaming is wrong & not a good solution. But I disagree that it is "not helpful." The moral of the story is: DO NOT BLINDLY TRUST YOUR OB. Ask around, get lots of feedback, ask open-ended questions so you get a feel for how he values patient autonomy (or doesn't.)

This is the horribly reality of maternity 'care' in America today. So I disagree that it's "not helpful" to warn women. If I hadn't read "The Thinking Woman's Guide" I wouldn't have had a CLUE! I would have stayed with OBs at a seriously intervention-happy hospital and....

So, I DO think warnings are helpful. Cuz I think warnings are warranted when it comes to American maternity care.

Furthermore, I think the fact that you CAN "increase your chances" (a point which Galatea so eloquently elaborated on) could INCREASE a feeling of bravery!! If I was faced with 2 options:
1. You can't control birth, don't even bother trying (attempting via birth plan, etc. to do so just increases the odds you'll have a CS)
or
2. While you can't guarantee a great birth or healthy baby, there is still a lot you can do to improve your odds that you & baby will be healthy & your HCPs will treat you with respect, kindness & only recommend interventions that are truly in your best interest.

Well, honestly, facing the #2 situation would make me feel much more brave!
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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I read this as a personal narrative from a woman who has suffered a traumatic experience and is still in the process of trying to come to terms with it. I see her as having left behind her previous notions of what labor/birth is, without yet having arrived at a place of new clarity & confidence about a different way of thinking. I see her casting about for something that resonates with her. I could relate to some of what she wrote, and I found some of her conclusions surprising or puzzling or at least not what I would have concluded from the same information.

What I do appreciate is that she has articulated her thought process very clearly. She is showing us her personal journey with a complex experience. I am a strong advocate for women sharing their stories about birth and for each woman telling it like it is for her.

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Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
I disagree that it is "not helpful." The moral of the story is: DO NOT BLINDLY TRUST YOUR OB. Ask around, get lots of feedback, ask open-ended questions so you get a feel for how he values patient autonomy (or doesn't.)
I personally am very uncomfortable moralizing from someone's personal narrative. Holy cow, I hope no one is reading any of my musings about my traumatic experience and using it as a "cautionary tale"!!!! At most, I hope someone has a frisson of recognition ("so I'm not the only one who thinks/feels that way") or of smug satisfaction ("thank goodness what happened to her didn't happen to me").

But I would consider it a great mis-use of my story to draw any conclusion about how to approach labor. My story is my story. Period. It's full of ambiguities and contradictions and perhaps even mis-information and wrong conclusions because it's based on my perspective & my interpretation of what I see, and I'm not perfect. I'm sharing it as a feeling being who's trying to make meaning, not someone who has great knowledge about how other people should make their decisions.

So that's the perspective I bring when I read someone else's personal narrative. I hope that the woman who wrote this piece isn't done with her journey. I hope she keeps asking questions of herself and of others, and I hope she moves to a place of confidence and clarity, wherever that falls for her.

I think the proper use of story sharing is to listen. Just listen.

Living in Wisconsin with my partner of 20+ years and our DDenergy.gif(Born 10/09/08 ribboncesarean.gif). Why CI Mama? Because I love contact improvisation!

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Old 07-15-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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I get tired of having the same argument with you, GuildJenn, b/c you are coming from a very specifically awfully painful place, and any time this topic comes up, I feel like you want it to be that birth is totally, completely and in every way out of anyone's hands, and that there is no way anyone can influence or deal with it at all. Though I understand why you would want to feel like this, it is just not true. We, as adult human beings, have a responsibility to take care of ourselves the best we can, and to say so is not to say that this woman deserved punishment, but that she needs to own responsibility for her choices and their likely or potential outcomes. I also reject the idea that we can just float into birth blindly trusting our bodies - this is as stupid an idea as blindly trusting our doctors; they are flip sides of the same coin, and she, unfortunately, subscribed to both views.
That is such a misrepresentation of my views that I really don't think you've been reading very closely. I am completely in favour of people being informed. I just don't think the natural childbirth community does a very good job of informing women - and I thought she articulated pretty well why the books and info were not working for her this second time around.

I'm also tired of people taking other people's birth stories -- often off the 'net -- and blaming women over them, shutting down real understanding and compassion.

~ 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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