VEs in Late Pregnancy- Their Emotional Value? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 76 Old 08-04-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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I've never had them. I figured they were useless and painful.

However, if I have another, I may. My 2nd labor was about 2 hrs long and I nearly had the baby in the car. So if I'm walking around at a 4 maybe it'd be good to know...
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#62 of 76 Old 08-04-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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MsBlack - I always love your posts. But if I were to intimate that every time, you would think I was stalking you.

Isn't it also true that a woman can be not quite 10 cms, have the urge to push, and quickly dilate as baby is pushed out? Dilation is really irrelevant.

I do support a woman's right to have whatever or whomever in her vagina, though.
Yes, a woman can be even less than 'not quite 10'--even 8 cms (or possibly less, I don't really know) and have the urge to push--and dilate quickly as baby descends. I don't always check, but mainly listen to women in labor (look, listen, etc) and support them in doing what feels right to them at the time. But there have been a couple times someone wanted me to check, I found they were a 'loose/stretchy 8" (or 9)cms...I advised they wait, they couldn't, and baby was born soon!

Otherwise, people, sorry to hijack with a little personal neediness with my earlier comments about that post of mine Thanks for your affirmations though I know I go ON AND ON at times...and also venture into kind of obscure/abstract realms...I really don't expect *everyone* to read and comment...really! But it is a nice thing to know at least some do read, and some do appreciate, for sure. My need has definitely been filled for the week
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#63 of 76 Old 08-04-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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...They DO routine VEs before labour??? My midwife didn't do any until I was in labour. I absolutely hate VEs... there's no way I'd have up to 6 of them for no good reason! Yikes!

Also, in New Zealand people ask about a baby's weight, but not length. I'd always thought knowing the length was an American thing?
I had my membranes stripped at 41 weeks by my midwife. I was shocked to learn that VE's are routine well before labour in other countries too. It's just not done here (by midwives anyway).

No one here in NZ asks about head circumference either.

Mama to DD Feb '08 (9lbs), DS Oct '10 (10lbs) hbac.gif, DD Jan '13 hbac.gif

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#64 of 76 Old 08-04-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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I have to share my favorite quote on the subject, that I found on a blog....

" your pre-labor cervical dilation is not a Magic 8 Ball. It cannot predict when you will go into labor."


Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#65 of 76 Old 08-05-2010, 01:19 AM
 
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I'm curious about what is going on with my body. I always interrogate my acupuncturist about what is going on with my tongue/pulse too. I don't seem to find VE nearly so painful as many of you. I don't have many I've had one this pregnancy and I doubt I'll have another pre-labor. I had that one because I wanted to know if the CONSTANT REALLY ANNOYING contractions were causing any actions. My midwife more or less told me, "This is the point in pregnancy when some health care providers start doing them weekly, I don't see a need for that but I'll do it if you want me to." I did want her to so she did. It really wasn't a big deal.

And I was really freaking glad that I had them last time. I didn't start to dilate at *all* until 36 hours in (with contractions every six minutes) when my midwife checked me and broke up the scar tissue. When I hadn't made much progress four hours later and I was starting to hallucinate I had a lot more information for the hospital. When the doctor kept telling me that they should give me pitocin because I wasn't progressing I felt really ok with yelling (rather loudly--I was pi$$ed that they were waking me up from my nap for this) "Have you f'in checked me?! How the f do you f'in know if I am progressing if you haven't f'in checked me?!" She would check and I had made more progress and I told her to get out of my room. I was SO ok with those exams. They gave me a lot of basis for resisting interventions.

I promised my midwife that I would try not to yell like that this time.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#66 of 76 Old 08-05-2010, 07:37 AM
 
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I don't seem to find VE nearly so painful as many of you.
I think it depends on the OB/MW. Mine never makes VEs uncomfortable. You literally barely feel it and it takes all of three seconds. I have heard that some OB/MWs have to like, dig around in there-- I probably wouldn't be so okay with it if that was the case with mine.

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

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#67 of 76 Old 08-06-2010, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it depends on the OB/MW. Mine never makes VEs uncomfortable.
Yeah, I just had an initial check-up with my MW since I'm 8 weeks & decided to consent to a pap smear & pelvic exam. It was soooo no big deal! She's kind of a small woman, so I guess that helped, but it was the least uncomfortable pelvic exam I've ever had! It really wasn't uncomfortable at all!

The MW who attended my DS' birth did check me to confirm I was 10 cm & that wasn't painful either.

But, as I said, there are so many other reasons for declining - like if I was 41W & still hard & closed, I would have been that much more disappointed. (Cuz I was already quite disappointed!)
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#68 of 76 Old 08-06-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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At my appointment yesterday we discovered that I had not changed over the past week. I'm still 2cm and 50% effaced. Okie dokie.

I said to the midwife, "Well, I know it means nothing. I could go into labor tonight or three weeks from now."

She said that she wished all of her clients understood that and took the same attitude.

I did not have my membranes swept, which took an amazing amount of restraint on my part. I'm not the most patient person but I'm only 38 weeks. Baby will come when he's ready.

I just wish I knew when that would be!

Catholic homeschooling mom of two daughters and four sons... baby Mark born on 8/27/10. Kidney Disease Awareness
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#69 of 76 Old 08-10-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
To my way of thinking, prenatal VE is primarily if not entirely a ritual with various underlying meanings and purposes. I agree with Pirogi that it's a paternalistic thing, one of numerous acts and words used by OBs (and sometimes hb mws too) designed more than anything else to serve the creation of a power structure in the mother-doctor relationship. Well, not just ' doctor control over patients', and the corresponding participation by patients to essentially 'submit' to the doc's power--but also feeding both parties' sense of 'power over birth'.

As some have pointed out, VE has no true value as a measure, or predictor; even within minutes of birth, VE can be misleading as a source of info (thinking now of the mama whose baby was posterior, cervix was high and very posterior, no more than 3-4 cms--hard to tell because hard to reach--and having contrax every 4min but only 45 seconds long--who had a sudden, VERY intense shift in labor and was pushing her baby out 15 min later). The informational/predictive value of VE is even LESS reliable prior to labor's onset. It has NO predictive value, at any time! But it has come to be so important, one way or another in the course of care, and a woman's experience of, and relationship with, her care provider (and the provider's relationship w/her of course).

We have been taught, over the course of one short generation, to accept and even 'believe in' the power of prenatal VE (and I'm so glad to be older than that...never had ONE VE during pregnancy, never had it offered even, never missed it!). We were taught by OBs in the last 20 or so years...whether directly by our own OB, or indirectly by our friends/relatives who went before us in babyhaving...not just to 'allow' prenatal VE, but to WANT them, to VALUE them, to feel that something is 'missing' if they don't occur!

As a feminist, as a 'rhetorical critic' (an analyzer of words, images and actions under the assumption that they all have symbolic significance to people along with any 'material', literal significance), as a mom and 'Trust Birth' mw, I've had some 30 yrs to consider all matters 'pregnancy and birth'. And I will tell you that the great majority of VE is done as a ritual with almost NO real value as an assessment tool (occasionally it can be--at least for those of us with insufficient knowledge of 'non-VE methods' of determining some issues w/labor). Actually, a great deal of what happens in our care has far more symbolic significance than of actual value. Not to say that there should never be anything 'ritual in nature' in our lives or prenatal care...that would be impossible, for one thing--ritual and symbol are enormously important to us, are an intimate part of how we communicate and form our selves and relationships, our lives and societies, religions, all of it. It's just the things we don't KNOW are ritually based, the things we believe have 'real', material value, that have so much power over us.

But, with or without 'actual assessment value', VE can sure be of great value in the establishment of power relations between doc/mw and 'patient', and in the securing of our sense of control over birth! So, anyway--I won't say that a woman should or shouldn't have VEs in pregnancy, and I won't tell anyone how to feel about their prelabor VEs, should they choose some...I just hope to prompt further thought about all this, so that women can make truly informed (informed and aware on all levels) and FREE decisions about it.

So--maybe, knowing (well, agreeing to some extent anyway?) that VE is so primarily a symbol, a ritual with 'hidden agendas' and not so obvious impact on us, a woman might even choose to allow them so that her doc/mw won't feel threatened by her, will have some notion of her 'adequate compliance with protocol' and not get buttons pushed that don't warrant pushing. By the same token, a woman who really wants, say, a normal birth with no/few 'interventions', might begin during pregnancy by refusing VE as a way to show that she is already taking charge of things.

People have different ways of establishing their power in relationships, and getting what they want, however--I'm not saying that 'refusing VE/other testing' is THE way to demonstrate your will to take charge of things. Still--when you know what's going on beneath the surface, are aware of the symbolic force of particular words/actions, you give yourself more power to choose, and more understanding of why one might make this choice or that one!

To wind it up...VE is a ritual, and has little to no material value. Use it accordingly or don't, all for your own good, and nothing else!
Ms. Black, this post has absolutely NO PLACE on MDC.

. . . . It belongs in a women's studies journal. Don't post too many astute insights. I'd hate to see somebody pilfer them.

In God we trust; all others must show data. selectivevax.gifsurf.gifteapot2.GIFintactivist.gif
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#70 of 76 Old 08-10-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Ms. Black, this post has absolutely NO PLACE on MDC.

. . . . It belongs in a women's studies journal. Don't post too many astute insights. I'd hate to see somebody pilfer them.



Yeah, if I'm going to spend so much time thinking and writing about this stuff, I suppose I should do under my real name and seek some recognition and maybe even some income from it LOL

thanks, I needed that!
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#71 of 76 Old 08-10-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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Wow MsBlack. I just read your post. And I have got to say, in my situation, the VE I had at 18 weeks was totally about 'adequate compliance with protocol' . I had declined a pap and a breast exam. My Dr. asked if she could at least, please, check my cervix. It was completely unecessary and I felt so beat up by the visit at that I point I just said "yes". I actually find that most things I agree to at prenatal visits are about protocol...not because I think they are important. Interesting.

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#72 of 76 Old 08-11-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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Wow MsBlack. I just read your post. And I have got to say, in my situation, the VE I had at 18 weeks was totally about 'adequate compliance with protocol' . I had declined a pap and a breast exam. My Dr. asked if she could at least, please, check my cervix. It was completely unecessary and I felt so beat up by the visit at that I point I just said "yes". I actually find that most things I agree to at prenatal visits are about protocol...not because I think they are important. Interesting.
Yeah--because if she doesn't *at least* get you to lay down and let her put her hand in you for NO reason whatsoever, how on earth will she begin to assert her control over your body...and mind???

Sheesh. I'm glad you posted that story...it really does emphasize, IMO, my point about the ritual nature of VE. That might be the most ridiculous thing I've yet heard about VE during pregnancy (showing how ridiculous SHE was--not you! Well do I know of that 'beat up' feeling that basically coerces women to feel they must allow--can't deny anymore-- *some* needless invasion just to placate the aggressor a little)
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#73 of 76 Old 08-11-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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I actually find that most things I agree to at prenatal visits are about protocol...not because I think they are important.
Oh, wow. That is not cool. I'm sorry that you were (are) treated that way.

My end-of-pregnancy VEs are all about my wishes and my curiosity. My midwife would be perfectly happy to do none, if that's what I prefered.

I love midwives.

Catholic homeschooling mom of two daughters and four sons... baby Mark born on 8/27/10. Kidney Disease Awareness
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#74 of 76 Old 08-11-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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A coworker's daughter recently had a baby and after her appointments, her mom would come in and report the daughter's dilation, effacement, etc. Once, she asked me if I'd dilated before DD was born and was totally surprised when I said that the midwives gave me the option of VEs at the weekly exams, which I consistently declined. The mom was totally surprised that I was given a choice in the matter. *That's* what weirded me out - why wouldn't it be my choice?
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#75 of 76 Old 08-11-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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I had my first experience trying to buck the system today. I declined a CE at my 36 week visit. My doc came in and LAUGHED at me, called me a "silly goose" and then proceeded to lecture to me about why she would be doing a CE on me next week. Her reasoning? Because she cant be sure if the baby is head down if she doesnt, that I might be seriously advanced in dilation and not know it (Im not, my cervix is WAY posterior right now), and she NEEDS an exam to tell her how things are going. All I could think in my stunned shock was "Lady, if you havent figured out how to palpate a baby and tell head from butt, you shouldnt be here!" Didnt say that though.

And no, I wont be going back to her. Period. There was no discussion, just her informing me I WOULD be having one next week. That = fired in my book.
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#76 of 76 Old 08-12-2010, 01:42 AM
 
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If your seriously advanced in dilation and don't know it...you don't need to know it. And calling you a silly goose? I know it would go nowhere, but I'd be tempted to report her for it, just to make her aware you know that she shouldn't have been talking to you that way.

It's weird how the VE is so ingrained in us. I had 2 UC's and there was still a part of me during my labours that wanted to know how dilated I was. I had dh check me when pushing was the only thing that relieved the contractions to make sure that I wasn't swelling my cervix. Was so relieved when all he could feel was membranes & ds3's head.

mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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