Dispelling the "perfect birth theory" - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#61 of 178 Old 03-02-2012, 10:18 PM
 
tangledblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 268
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

nm

tangledblue is offline  
#62 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 11:12 AM
 
pickle18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

This thread is about a lot of things...one of which is how our expectations shape our birth experience.

 

And I think it's really important to understand that a woman who is processing her birth (no matter how it went) and/or coping with a trauma has a really different relationship to expectations than a woman who is preparing for a birth (especially a first birth). Birth is such a big unknown, and so for the woman preparing to birth, it makes sense to do a lot of research, learn about all the possible things that might happen during birth, understand what options will be available to her in different scenarios, etc. Putting birth in a cultural context, having a theory about how to make it the best possible birth...these are important tasks for the soon-to-be-birthing woman. It's a nice idea that we can all do this work & preparation while at the same time letting go of all expectations, but in reality I think only a few enlightened souls really have that capacity... 

 

To praise or blame ourselves or other women for our expectations & hopes is to give them a power that they don't have. Yes, there is a body-mind connection and yes how we think about birth matters. But that doesn't mean that our expectations and hopes have the power to determine the outcomes of our births. Our expectations & hopes are important because they are pieces of our stories and our stories matter. But our birth experiences are not narratives to be written by our minds.

 

As I've been processing my birth experience, I have found that the most healing and beneficial thing is just have space to tell it like it was, and to feel that my story is heard & valued. And for some reason, this is a very difficult thing for us to do in community, especially when it comes to difficult experiences.


clap.gif This is the heart of the matter.  Before my birth, I read many books on hypno and other strategies, took classes, spoke with women in my family and was overall VERY confident in my ability to control pain (I have a high tolerance anyway, practice yoga, etc.) and give birth naturally - expecting not a pain-free experience, but a natural and positive one.  I believed that my body was made to do this, that this type of birth was critical to my son's future health and development, that I had to be on my toes because the medical community was out to get me, etc. etc.  

 

I was in labor for 40+ hours.  I delayed going to the hospital for about a day and a half, staying in communication with my OB-GYN.  I was a newbie and GBS+ so when my water did break, I waited several hours and then decided to go in at the urging of my doc.

 

DH was essential in dealing with the medical staff and the onslaught of procedures/meds/etc. pushed on me.  I wanted natural - I brought my own ball, my zen music, my birth plan.  Yet I had been in labor so long without sleep that I was a little delirious.  My cervix wasn't dilating.  They broke the bag in a lower spot (my first concession) to release more fluid and try to "jumpstart" dilation.  Well, that dropped the entire baby on a shut cervix that couldn't budge and sent my pain level through the roof.  

 

I was exhausted, and this new level of pain just felt wrong.  Enter epidural (second).  Then, they said I needed pitocin (third).  THEN they finally realized it was scar tissue from my previous cervical surgeries that was halting dilation, and "broke" my cervix manually (this I would have required an epidural for anyway).  Jumped to 6 cm from 3 cm!  Enter pitocin...and more pitocin...and more (they were freaked out about the 24 hour mark - like it was the strike of midnight in Cinderella uhoh3.gif).

 

Eventually, after two tears (2nd and 3rd degree) my son arrived.  It took a long time for us to really bond.  There was no real stars-in-the-eyes, super lovey dovey moment right then.  And there were alot of tears shed during my labor, and more grief than disappointment.  I was really very upset about the whole experience for a long time.  I felt I had let myself down -  I had let my husband down - I had let my son down.  


That is my story - everyone should be encouraged to share theirs, to deal with it in their own time and their own way.  It is what it is.  Everyone deals with things differently - everyone makes some choices they like, some they regret.  We process some things quickly, others slowly.  That is life in general.  Why should birth, the very act of introducing new life, be any different?  We needn't chastise ourselves or blame others for our hopes and expectations, but we shouldn't tolerate condescension or discrimination either.  Can't we just respond with a listening ear, with kindness and respect, instead of judgment?  

 

ursusarctos and CI Mama like this.

~ Lucky wife of DH blowkiss.gifand loving mama to DS biggrinbounce.gif (04/11) ~

 

treehugger.gif * femalesling.GIF * ecbaby2.gif *cd.gif * familybed1.gif * bf.gif * namaste.gif *

pickle18 is offline  
#63 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 11:21 AM
 
pickle18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

One last note:  in the final phase as I was pushing, my contractions slowed to 7 or 8 minutes apart - which the doctors had never seen before and thought was totally weird.  Just saying, birth is as individual an experience as a fingerprint.


~ Lucky wife of DH blowkiss.gifand loving mama to DS biggrinbounce.gif (04/11) ~

 

treehugger.gif * femalesling.GIF * ecbaby2.gif *cd.gif * familybed1.gif * bf.gif * namaste.gif *

pickle18 is offline  
#64 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

@DoubleDouble (can't quote the quote):  "if evolution and Mother Nature cared that much for birth success, the first menstruation would come after the age of 20, when the bones stop growing (actually pelvic bones keep growing and spreading till old age.)"

 

I have to disagree there. While I think 12 is too young for birth success in most women, it's not necessary to be as old as 20. I've known multiple women who have had their first baby at 17 (and a couple at 16), and they have, by and large, some of the best/easiest birth stories I've ever come across. And, I don't think that first menstruation is a prime time to get pregnant, anyway. That may be a biological flaw, but I still think it's true. Most women I've ever talked to had at least a few irregular cycles in the early days, and everything took a while to settle in. That doesn't suggest to me that we're really biologically meant to conceive right at puberty, yk?

 

That said, I don't think the idea that patriarchy and conditioning is the cause of childbirth pain makes any sense at all. Whenever I hear this, I can't help but wonder, if childbirth pain is all about conditioning, then how did that conditioning every get started? I do think conditioning and horror stories can make it worse (aside from anything else, people tend to tense up when they're worried, afraid, etc. and that will make the pain worse, all by itself). I do think external forces (from little things like light levels or discomfort, to induction, all the way to the extreme forms of FGM) can make also make the pain worse. But, I'm not on board with the belief some people seem to have that birth/labour pain is some kind of mental construct. (I've heard the same about menstrual cramps - mostly from men, unlike the labour pain thing, which I mostly hear from women - and it's bullshit, too.)

 

I think it's great that some people have pain-free labours. But, that doesn't mean that every woman could have one if she tried hard enough, or wanted it badly enough. (FWIW, I've only had significant amounts of labour with two of my five babies. It hurt. It hurt quite a lot. But, I don't think it was the worst pain I've ever felt and it didn't really bother me very much...except that I was exhausted with one of them, and couldn't sleep. That doesn't mean other women don't have more significant, unbearable levels of pain to deal with.)

pickle18 likes this.

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

Storm Bride is offline  
#65 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post


And I also wanted to say that I think it's really hypocritical that some here are insisting that women be allowed to heal from birth issues in their own way but are angered about how some have gone about doing just that. Everyone has their own way of coming to grips with things.  The OP and others have had to find their way through this mess and are just expressing what they needed to do to get past it.  For pete's sake just let them. It's not like the OP thread crashed in the birth trauma forum and told people they were being ridiculous. 

 

I just went back and re-read the OP. It wasn't about her way through the mess, or what she needed to do to get past it. It was about how other women should feel about their experiences. She was slamming her relatives for being upset about their cesareans, and then basically telling other women how to feel about their births. She touches on the fact that she has a 17 month old, and doesn't otherwise mention her birth at all.


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

Storm Bride is offline  
#66 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 12:37 PM
 
AbbyGrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

     Quote:

Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

This thread is about a lot of things...one of which is how our expectations shape our birth experience.

 

And I think it's really important to understand that a woman who is processing her birth (no matter how it went) and/or coping with a trauma has a really different relationship to expectations than a woman who is preparing for a birth (especially a first birth). Birth is such a big unknown, and so for the woman preparing to birth, it makes sense to do a lot of research, learn about all the possible things that might happen during birth, understand what options will be available to her in different scenarios, etc. Putting birth in a cultural context, having a theory about how to make it the best possible birth...these are important tasks for the soon-to-be-birthing woman. It's a nice idea that we can all do this work & preparation while at the same time letting go of all expectations, but in reality I think only a few enlightened souls really have that capacity. We enter our labors with expectations & with hopes. That's just how it is.

 

But for many of us, perhaps most of us, birth is going to present things that we don't expect, and that's why we also have to put our faith in something, because there are unknowns and the only tool we have to face the unknown is faith. We put our faith in our caregivers or a system of care, or in our bodies, or in our belief in something bigger than ourselves to carry us through.

 

And then the birth happens. And sometimes our expectations are met & our hopes are realized & our faith appears to be rewarded. And sometimes, there is disappointment, trauma, and betrayal of faith. Sometimes we're happy, sometimes we're not. Many of us have an experience that is a jumbled up mix of things that don't necessarily make logical sense. But whatever expectations we had, they are in the past now. The birth is no longer a theoretical future thing, it is a known past thing. Our expectations ring true or they ring false. Our faith is strengthened or it is betrayed. Our relationship to those expectations has shifted, and the conversation has to shift, too.

 

To praise or blame ourselves or other women for our expectations & hopes is to give them a power that they don't have. Yes, there is a body-mind connection and yes how we think about birth matters. But that doesn't mean that our expectations and hopes have the power to determine the outcomes of our births. Our expectations & hopes are important because they are pieces of our stories and our stories matter. But our birth experiences are not narratives to be written by our minds.


My expectations absolutely affected the outcome of my births.  They did have power.  They affected decisions I made, and they affected the way I felt after.  I'm not blaming myself or other women for them.  I just think it's sad that there is this cult of ideal birth out there that gets perpetuated and that there is this cultural obsession with pregnancy and birth as made evident by all the books, TV shows, magazines, websites, seminars, classes, etc that are out there.  Of course there are financial reasons in the form of advertising revenue, book sales, fees, and so fourth to perpetuate all of this. It's hard not to get caught up in it. But not all that long ago, women had few expectations about birth and did little in the way of preparation.  There was no nine months of researching every single detail. I'm not saying I wish things would go back to the good ol' days of little to no information, but I think the pendulum has swung a bit far in the other direction.  

AbbyGrant is offline  
#67 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 12:41 PM
 
AbbyGrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

I just went back and re-read the OP. It wasn't about her way through the mess, or what she needed to do to get past it. It was about how other women should feel about their experiences. She was slamming her relatives for being upset about their cesareans, and then basically telling other women how to feel about their births. She touches on the fact that she has a 17 month old, and doesn't otherwise mention her birth at all.



Slamming?  Really?  That is not how I read it at all.  I guess we all have our own perception of things.  I thought she felt they had been sold a bill of goods and felt empathy for them. Maybe that's because that's how I feel though.  

AbbyGrant is offline  
#68 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 12:44 PM
 
AbbyGrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

And the OP said she had an emergency c-section. 

AbbyGrant is offline  
#69 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 01:09 PM
 
AbbyGrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Serial posting, sorry.  But I just wanted to mention that what I was talking about with all the researching and information and media leading to some possibly unrealistic expectations is indeed a "first world" problem.  I'm not sure that's how the PP who brought that issue up meant it, but I think it's a legitimate issue to look at critically. So many women seem to be having such a hard time dealing with having a less than supposedly perfect birth, and I personally think at least sometimes that is due to external pressures. I hear so many mothers at playgroups and the park and wherever trying to justify to themselves and others why they had a c-section or Pitocin whatever as if they had committed a crime. It's sad. I don't mean that in a judgmental way like they shouldn't feel bad and should just be happy their baby is alive.  I mean it's sad that such a culture has been created where women feel bad about their births because they didn't fit some ideal that wasn't necessarily even hers to begin with.  I think in other parts of the world, a live mama and baby is enough and there might be something worth learning from that. And that doesn't mean we should all just accept the status quo or women who are unhappy should be shamed into keeping quite.  Women can have whatever feelings they like about their births. I'd just like to see a world where those feelings were always truly her own.  

CI Mama and DoubleDouble like this.
AbbyGrant is offline  
#70 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 01:33 PM
 
CI Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post

     Quote:


My expectations absolutely affected the outcome of my births.  They did have power.  They affected decisions I made, and they affected the way I felt after.  I'm not blaming myself or other women for them.  I just think it's sad that there is this cult of ideal birth out there that gets perpetuated and that there is this cultural obsession with pregnancy and birth as made evident by all the books, TV shows, magazines, websites, seminars, classes, etc that are out there.  Of course there are financial reasons in the form of advertising revenue, book sales, fees, and so fourth to perpetuate all of this. It's hard not to get caught up in it. But not all that long ago, women had few expectations about birth and did little in the way of preparation.  There was no nine months of researching every single detail. I'm not saying I wish things would go back to the good ol' days of little to no information, but I think the pendulum has swung a bit far in the other direction.  

 

Thank you for this comment, as it makes me think more carefully about my previous statement. Like you, I feel that my decisions during labor and my recovery afterwards were very shaped by my expectations. I was sure that interventions would be the kiss of death for my labor, and so I held off for many exhausting, unproductive hours before agreeing to pitocin. And my cervix didn't open until I got an epidural, which was well past 24 hours after my labor started. I have often wondered if I had come into labor with a different mindset if I would have accepted interventions sooner and had a better shot at a vaginal birth, since I would have still had some energy left by the time I got to the pushing stage.

 

When I said earlier that our minds can't write the stories of our births, I was thinking more about the mindset that we should be able to use our brains to create specific physiological results in our bodies, something I thought I was seeing in previous posts, and I have certainly seen elsewhere on MDC. For example, the idea that by thinking in a positive way, a woman can make her cervix open or make her baby reposition itself. In a similar vein, I have seen it suggested that women should banish all negative thoughts and emotions prior to labor and should focus only on "positive" stories about birth, since the presence of "negative" thoughts (such as imagining the possibility of anything other than a peaceful vaginal birth) is enough to trick our bodies into doing something less than perfect.

 

I bought into this a bit myself. I did a lot of chanting during my labor, saying things like "I'm helping my baby" and "I can do this" over and over again. During several hours of pitocin labor with no pain medication, I chanted these positive affirmations over and over again. I think the act of making tones and modulating my breath was moderately helpful. But honestly, if I had intoned "goddam motherfucking cocksucker" I doubt the outcome would have been any different than it was. After several hours, the pain was completely unmanageable, and my body still was not responding the way that I expected it to. 

 

So, I think my views are actually not that different from yours, but I appreciate that we can keep this conversation going to move towards greater clarity.

 

I also want to add that I realize there's always the risk when talking about birth that our own personal experiences will seem universally applicable. Since I had a difficult labor and many of the strategies for achieving a natural birth didn't work for me, I am a skeptic that these are magic bullets for anyone. But perhaps it is a norm that women can control their cervixes through positive visualization and I am an outlier? Perhaps the only honest thing we can say is "we don't know." The woman whose positive birth experience seems to flow from her preparation may indeed have simply prepared better than the woman who had a rough time. But I guess my inclination is to say, "we can't know for sure."

 

 


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!

CI Mama is offline  
#71 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 01:38 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post



Slamming?  Really?  That is not how I read it at all.  I guess we all have our own perception of things.  I thought she felt they had been sold a bill of goods and felt empathy for them. Maybe that's because that's how I feel though.  


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lulu0910 View Post

After having my 17MO lately I've been on a "One born every minute" "baby story" don't know the name of it on Discover health about birth? kick.  In all of these and including myself (emergency C-section) all ask for the same thing drug free natural birth.  That is what we are trained to believe that we have to have.  After watching so many of these show the "perfect birth" theory just doesn't exist.  I watched my SIL and friends despair over having a c-section.  They all felt robbed of what??? Seriously what??  We are led to believe that c-sections are evil and that they are done 99 percent of the time because we have sadistic dr's that are knife happy.  So not true a doctor and a midwife are there for the baby.  Whatever way your baby comes doesn't take away from the happiness and joy you experience for the rest of your life.  Rather then push "perfect birth" push your baby will come out the way that suits him/her best. 

 

 



Maybe "slamming" is the wrong word, but I see no empathy here at all. She doesn't mention that her SIL or friends have ever mentioned wanting a perfect birth. She states as a fact that the way you have your baby doesn't take away from your happiness (ie. it didn't take away from hers), even though that's clearly not true of her SIL and friends. This is just one more person deciding that since she's okay with her c/s, and it was necessary, then everyone else should be okey, too, and that theirs were also necessary. "So not true"?? Seriously? what does that even mean? Her doctor/midwife was a good care provider, therefore every c/s that's done really is necessary? We've been "trained to believe" we have to have a perfect birth? Because....that's the only reason someone might be upset about a c-section???

 

My sister, who was, and is, all about the "epidural in the parking lot" flat out told me that she couldn't understand why I was so upset about having a c-section, and then having a second one. Then, a few weeks after dd1 was born, she had her twins, and her second one was a c-section. And, she told me it wasn't a big deal, and she still didn't understand why I was upset. And...a few months, or maybe a year, later, she told me she "wouldn't wish a c-section on my worst enemy". My mom, who had her first baby in 1963, when nobody was talking about "natural birth", and who fully expected that having a baby was going to hurt like hell, was devastated by her c/s.

 

Some people buy into the perfect birth thing, and then have a bad experience, and believing they could have a "perfect birth" makes that harder to take. I get that. That doesn't mean that's the case for everybody who has a negative birth experience.

 

Some people have c-sections that are absolutely necessary to save the baby's life, and, in some cases, the mother's life. I get that. That doesn't mean that every c-section that's done is necessary.

 

And, if having a c-section wasn't important to the OP, because the way the baby comes out doesn't take away her happiness, that's great. I get that. That doesn't mean that it doesn't matter to someone else.

 

Her entire viewpoint here is contradictory. She wanted a perfect birth, but is okay with her c-section, and the way her baby arrived doesn't take away from her happiness. So...the fact that her SIL and her friends are upset about their c-sections is because they expected perfect births? If expecting a perfect birth is the reason for being upset about a c-section, then why is the OP spouting out stuff like, "Whatever way your baby comes doesn't take away from the happiness and joy you experience for the rest of your life."? She wanted a perfect birth, and is okay...so obviously, whatever's going on with her SIL and her friends isn't just about having wanted a perfect birth, is it?

 

OP can feel whatever way she wants about it. If she wants to say, "whatever way my baby comes out doesn't take away from the happiness and joy I experience for the rest of my life", then she can have at it. Deciding why other women feel the way they feel is not even remotely a demonstration of empathy, and neither is assuming that their negative emotions are caused by the things she's assuming they're caused by.

CI Mama and thegoodearth like this.

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

Storm Bride is offline  
#72 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 01:47 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post

Serial posting, sorry.  But I just wanted to mention that what I was talking about with all the researching and information and media leading to some possibly unrealistic expectations is indeed a "first world" problem.  I'm not sure that's how the PP who brought that issue up meant it, but I think it's a legitimate issue to look at critically. So many women seem to be having such a hard time dealing with having a less than supposedly perfect birth, and I personally think at least sometimes that is due to external pressures. I hear so many mothers at playgroups and the park and wherever trying to justify to themselves and others why they had a c-section or Pitocin whatever as if they had committed a crime. It's sad. I don't mean that in a judgmental way like they shouldn't feel bad and should just be happy their baby is alive.  I mean it's sad that such a culture has been created where women feel bad about their births because they didn't fit some ideal that wasn't necessarily even hers to begin with.  I think in other parts of the world, a live mama and baby is enough and there might be something worth learning from that. And that doesn't mean we should all just accept the status quo or women who are unhappy should be shamed into keeping quite.  Women can have whatever feelings they like about their births. I'd just like to see a world where those feelings were always truly her own.  


I disagree. A live mama and a live baby are a good goal. But, if a live mama and a live baby are "enough", then a care provider is entitled to do whatever he/she feels necessary to achieve that goal, no matter what damage it does to either the mama or the baby.

 

Mind you, I don't hear mothers trying to justify why they had a c-section. i read about it online, but I've never actually come across it in real life. The one person who went into detail about why she had her c-section, in my hearing, was a friend who had her baby 22 years ago. She was the first in our circle to have a baby, and none of us had ever really thought a lot about this stuff (me possibly more than average, simply because of my mom's scar, but even I hadn't given it much thought yet - I was a few years away from starting a family). She talked about it a lot, but she wasn't trying to justify it to anybody, because there was no pressure from anyone else about it. She was trying to cope with it, because she was devastated.

 

I think the reason this topic gets to me so much is that it drives me nuts when people perpetuate the idea that someone who is upset about being cut into, sometimes against their will, is just some spoiled, First World brat mourning a "perfect birth". I hate surgery. I had cosmetic surgery to fix a lazy eye when i was 23, and swore I'd never have surgery again, unless it was a matter of life and death. And, not a year and a half later, I was cut open, after I refused consent, for reasons nobody has ever been able to explain to me (ds1 was frank breech, but our hospital had a vaginal breech birth protocol at that time). It's effing insulting to me, and to women like me, to spout off about how women only care about c-sections, because they're living in some kind of perfect birth La-La Land.

 

I agree with your last sentence, btw. I just don't think the OP does. Her first post certainly doesn't seem to be on board.


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

Storm Bride is offline  
#73 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 02:09 PM
 
CI Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post

Serial posting, sorry.  But I just wanted to mention that what I was talking about with all the researching and information and media leading to some possibly unrealistic expectations is indeed a "first world" problem.  I'm not sure that's how the PP who brought that issue up meant it, but I think it's a legitimate issue to look at critically. So many women seem to be having such a hard time dealing with having a less than supposedly perfect birth, and I personally think at least sometimes that is due to external pressures. I hear so many mothers at playgroups and the park and wherever trying to justify to themselves and others why they had a c-section or Pitocin whatever as if they had committed a crime. It's sad. I don't mean that in a judgmental way like they shouldn't feel bad and should just be happy their baby is alive.  I mean it's sad that such a culture has been created where women feel bad about their births because they didn't fit some ideal that wasn't necessarily even hers to begin with.  I think in other parts of the world, a live mama and baby is enough and there might be something worth learning from that. And that doesn't mean we should all just accept the status quo or women who are unhappy should be shamed into keeping quite.  Women can have whatever feelings they like about their births. I'd just like to see a world where those feelings were always truly her own.  



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post


I disagree. A live mama and a live baby are a good goal. But, if a live mama and a live baby are "enough", then a care provider is entitled to do whatever he/she feels necessary to achieve that goal, no matter what damage it does to either the mama or the baby.

 

 


Perhaps we need to distinguish between a perspective that might help a grieving mother understand her experience vs. one that would be used to shape birth care.

 

Now that I'm 3+ years out from my c-section, I do have moments when I think, "I'm here, DD's here, we're alive and life has moved on. That's good." And that's a comforting thought to me. Obviously, it's not going to be a comforting thought to everyone, but it's OK if a mama arrives at that conclusion on her own and finds that it works. It's something I would never say to a mother by way of solace.

 

And I 100% agree with Storm Bride that if the "live mama/live baby" goal is a minimum standard for birth care, with no regard for many other desirable outcomes, we are all in big trouble.

Storm Bride and AbbyGrant like this.

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!

CI Mama is offline  
#74 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 02:29 PM
 
AbbyGrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I disagree. A live mama and a live baby are a good goal. But, if a live mama and a live baby are "enough", then a care provider is entitled to do whatever he/she feels necessary to achieve that goal, no matter what damage it does to either the mama or the baby.

 

I'm talking about this on more of an individual level not a large scale healthcare kind of level. I don't think women trying to keep things in perspective allows caregivers to do anything they want. I'm not suggesting anyone just takes what she can get as long as everyone comes out alive.  

 

 

   

      Quote

Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Mind you, I don't hear mothers trying to justify why they had a c-section. i read about it online, but I've never actually come across it in real life. The one person who went into detail about why she had her c-section, in my hearing, was a friend who had her baby 22 years ago. She was the first in our circle to have a baby, and none of us had ever really thought a lot about this stuff (me possibly more than average, simply because of my mom's scar, but even I hadn't given it much thought yet - I was a few years away from starting a family). She talked about it a lot, but she wasn't trying to justify it to anybody, because there was no pressure from anyone else about it. She was trying to cope with it, because she was devastated.

 

And that's perfectly understandable.  I'm not saying that women can't have their own feelings about their births. I'm saying that I do hear many mothers IRL beat themselves up for things they feel they didn't do right based on some ideal standard, and I think it's unfortunate that that's what things have come to. 

 

     

      Quote

Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I think the reason this topic gets to me so much is that it drives me nuts when people perpetuate the idea that someone who is upset about being cut into, sometimes against their will, is just some spoiled, First World brat mourning a "perfect birth". I hate surgery. I had cosmetic surgery to fix a lazy eye when i was 23, and swore I'd never have surgery again, unless it was a matter of life and death. And, not a year and a half later, I was cut open, after I refused consent, for reasons nobody has ever been able to explain to me (ds1 was frank breech, but our hospital had a vaginal breech birth protocol at that time). It's effing insulting to me, and to women like me, to spout off about how women only care about c-sections, because they're living in some kind of perfect birth La-La Land.

 

That's certainly not what I'm suggesting.

 

 

 

     Quote

Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I agree with your last sentence, btw. I just don't think the OP does. Her first post certainly doesn't seem to be on board.

 

I think we just have a different take on the OP based on our own experiences. I see frustration, and you see judgment.  Maybe we're both wrong or the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  Who knows? But I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree.  

 

 

 

edited to fix typos and add something 

 

AbbyGrant is offline  
#75 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 02:44 PM
 
AbbyGrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

 

Thank you for this comment, as it makes me think more carefully about my previous statement. Like you, I feel that my decisions during labor and my recovery afterwards were very shaped by my expectations. I was sure that interventions would be the kiss of death for my labor, and so I held off for many exhausting, unproductive hours before agreeing to pitocin. And my cervix didn't open until I got an epidural, which was well past 24 hours after my labor started. I have often wondered if I had come into labor with a different mindset if I would have accepted interventions sooner and had a better shot at a vaginal birth, since I would have still had some energy left by the time I got to the pushing stage.

 

When I said earlier that our minds can't write the stories of our births, I was thinking more about the mindset that we should be able to use our brains to create specific physiological results in our bodies, something I thought I was seeing in previous posts, and I have certainly seen elsewhere on MDC. For example, the idea that by thinking in a positive way, a woman can make her cervix open or make her baby reposition itself. In a similar vein, I have seen it suggested that women should banish all negative thoughts and emotions prior to labor and should focus only on "positive" stories about birth, since the presence of "negative" thoughts (such as imagining the possibility of anything other than a peaceful vaginal birth) is enough to trick our bodies into doing something less than perfect.

 

I bought into this a bit myself. I did a lot of chanting during my labor, saying things like "I'm helping my baby" and "I can do this" over and over again. During several hours of pitocin labor with no pain medication, I chanted these positive affirmations over and over again. I think the act of making tones and modulating my breath was moderately helpful. But honestly, if I had intoned "goddam motherfucking cocksucker" I doubt the outcome would have been any different than it was. After several hours, the pain was completely unmanageable, and my body still was not responding the way that I expected it to. 

 

So, I think my views are actually not that different from yours, but I appreciate that we can keep this conversation going to move towards greater clarity.

 

I also want to add that I realize there's always the risk when talking about birth that our own personal experiences will seem universally applicable. Since I had a difficult labor and many of the strategies for achieving a natural birth didn't work for me, I am a skeptic that these are magic bullets for anyone. But perhaps it is a norm that women can control their cervixes through positive visualization and I am an outlier? Perhaps the only honest thing we can say is "we don't know." The woman whose positive birth experience seems to flow from her preparation may indeed have simply prepared better than the woman who had a rough time. But I guess my inclination is to say, "we can't know for sure."


Ah, I see where you're coming from now. Thanks for clarifying.  

 

 

 

CI Mama likes this.
AbbyGrant is offline  
#76 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 06:29 PM
 
mambera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

When I said earlier that our minds can't write the stories of our births, I was thinking more about the mindset that we should be able to use our brains to create specific physiological results in our bodies, something I thought I was seeing in previous posts, and I have certainly seen elsewhere on MDC. For example, the idea that by thinking in a positive way, a woman can make her cervix open or make her baby reposition itself. In a similar vein, I have seen it suggested that women should banish all negative thoughts and emotions prior to labor and should focus only on "positive" stories about birth, since the presence of "negative" thoughts (such as imagining the possibility of anything other than a peaceful vaginal birth) is enough to trick our bodies into doing something less than perfect.


Absolutely yes.  I have seen this type of pressure fall also on cancer patients, where the 'power of positive thought' is supposed to be so healing that well, if you're not in remission, your thoughts must just not have been strong and positive enough.  What a burden of guilt to add to an already suffering person.

 

 

Quote:
But honestly, if I had intoned "goddam motherfucking cocksucker" I doubt the outcome would have been any different than it was.

 

Totally.  In my first birth I recall screaming "No," "I can't," "I'm not having a contraction" (I was), and "I changed my mind, I don't want a baby."  In my second I yelled "No no no!  Shit!" over and over again until she crowned, and then I screamed "Oh no, get back in there, that hurts!"  Yeah, not my proudest moments.  If birth outcomes depended on chanting positive, calming thoughts I'd be in trouble.
 


Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.

Vaccines save lives.

mambera is offline  
#77 of 178 Old 03-03-2012, 08:09 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

 

I bought into this a bit myself. I did a lot of chanting during my labor, saying things like "I'm helping my baby" and "I can do this" over and over again. During several hours of pitocin labor with no pain medication, I chanted these positive affirmations over and over again. I think the act of making tones and modulating my breath was moderately helpful. But honestly, if I had intoned "goddam motherfucking cocksucker" I doubt the outcome would have been any different than it was. After several hours, the pain was completely unmanageable, and my body still was not responding the way that I expected it to. 

 

I actually missed this the first time I read this post. I love it!

 

I also want to add that I realize there's always the risk when talking about birth that our own personal experiences will seem universally applicable. Since I had a difficult labor and many of the strategies for achieving a natural birth didn't work for me, I am a skeptic that these are magic bullets for anyone. But perhaps it is a norm that women can control their cervixes through positive visualization and I am an outlier? Perhaps the only honest thing we can say is "we don't know." The woman whose positive birth experience seems to flow from her preparation may indeed have simply prepared better than the woman who had a rough time. But I guess my inclination is to say, "we can't know for sure."

 

The other thing that the positive thinking approach overlooks is that there are two people involved in a labour and birth. I was positive, excited, handling labour well, etc. etc. etc...but my little boy wasn't involved in all that. There really wasn't much my positive thinking was going to do about a vertex baby turning breech during labour, yk? (I'm not at all surprised he ended up doing gymnastics, since he as practicing before he was even born!) I don't know what was going on with him, but he very definitely wasn't going to stay head down, no matter how positive I was about labour and birth.



 


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

Storm Bride is offline  
#78 of 178 Old 03-04-2012, 08:47 AM
 
pickle18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

 

I also want to add that I realize there's always the risk when talking about birth that our own personal experiences will seem universally applicable. Since I had a difficult labor and many of the strategies for achieving a natural birth didn't work for me, I am a skeptic that these are magic bullets for anyone. But perhaps it is a norm that women can control their cervixes through positive visualization and I am an outlier? Perhaps the only honest thing we can say is "we don't know." The woman whose positive birth experience seems to flow from her preparation may indeed have simply prepared better than the woman who had a rough time. But I guess my inclination is to say, "we can't know for sure."


I think this is very honest and rings true.  I think the tone of this thread has turned into the "preparing for a positive, natural birth totally DOES work and works out beautifully" camp vs. "preparing for natural birth sets women up for failure and is an illusion" camp, and I think that is missing the point.  When we say one or the other, we are letting our personal experience cloud the conversation - in the EXACT same way the OP did, when she posted seeking consensus that she could rubber stamp all of her friends experiences in the same color as her own.


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

Some people buy into the perfect birth thing, and then have a bad experience, and believing they could have a "perfect birth" makes that harder to take. I get that. That doesn't mean that's the case for everybody who has a negative birth experience.

 

Some people have c-sections that are absolutely necessary to save the baby's life, and, in some cases, the mother's life. I get that. That doesn't mean that every c-section that's done is necessary.

 

And, if having a c-section wasn't important to the OP, because the way the baby comes out doesn't take away her happiness, that's great. I get that. That doesn't mean that it doesn't matter to someone else...

 

OP can feel whatever way she wants about it. If she wants to say, "whatever way my baby comes out doesn't take away from the happiness and joy I experience for the rest of my life", then she can have at it. Deciding why other women feel the way they feel is not even remotely a demonstration of empathy, and neither is assuming that their negative emotions are caused by the things she's assuming they're caused by.

 


Every woman is entitled to her own hopes and expectations, her own preparations, her own feelings after the fact, and an endless combination of reasons for them.  Making generalizations in order to validate your own experience (which is what I feel OP was doing) is impossibly misguided.  There is no need to stuff all the square pegs around you into a round hole, just because that's your shape.  We could learn alot more just by listening to each other, supporting each other, and celebrating the diversity of experiences (which we will realize could have easily been our own, if we take our ego out of it).

 

 

Youngfrankenstein and CI Mama like this.

~ Lucky wife of DH blowkiss.gifand loving mama to DS biggrinbounce.gif (04/11) ~

 

treehugger.gif * femalesling.GIF * ecbaby2.gif *cd.gif * familybed1.gif * bf.gif * namaste.gif *

pickle18 is offline  
#79 of 178 Old 03-04-2012, 08:59 AM
 
pickle18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Mind you, I don't hear mothers trying to justify why they had a c-section. i read about it online, but I've never actually come across it in real life. The one person who went into detail about why she had her c-section, in my hearing, was a friend who had her baby 22 years ago. She was the first in our circle to have a baby, and none of us had ever really thought a lot about this stuff (me possibly more than average, simply because of my mom's scar, but even I hadn't given it much thought yet - I was a few years away from starting a family). She talked about it a lot, but she wasn't trying to justify it to anybody, because there was no pressure from anyone else about it. She was trying to cope with it, because she was devastated.


For example, I find this very interesting.  Personally, I have felt the impulse myself to justify every medical intervention in my labor, and have many friends who have done the same (for everything from c-sections to epidurals to pitocin).  Some of these were medically unavoidable, some were personal choices, for reasons such as pain relief.  And you're right, for me, part of that is coping with it and forgiving myself - but part of the reason I feel the need to forgive myself is from perceived pressure from the "how natural was YOUR birth" pissing contest - part of it is feeling like I didn't handle the situation to the best of my ability, part of it is any effect it may have had on my son, etc.  Just goes to show how differently women process things - like I said before, we need to respect the diversity instead of trying to pigeonhole everyone.

DoubleDouble likes this.

~ Lucky wife of DH blowkiss.gifand loving mama to DS biggrinbounce.gif (04/11) ~

 

treehugger.gif * femalesling.GIF * ecbaby2.gif *cd.gif * familybed1.gif * bf.gif * namaste.gif *

pickle18 is offline  
#80 of 178 Old 03-04-2012, 09:07 AM
 
AbbyGrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
*
AbbyGrant is offline  
#81 of 178 Old 03-04-2012, 05:59 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by pickle18 View Post


For example, I find this very interesting.  Personally, I have felt the impulse myself to justify every medical intervention in my labor, and have many friends who have done the same (for everything from c-sections to epidurals to pitocin).  Some of these were medically unavoidable, some were personal choices, for reasons such as pain relief.  And you're right, for me, part of that is coping with it and forgiving myself - but part of the reason I feel the need to forgive myself is from perceived pressure from the "how natural was YOUR birth" pissing contest - part of it is feeling like I didn't handle the situation to the best of my ability, part of it is any effect it may have had on my son, etc.  Just goes to show how differently women process things - like I said before, we need to respect the diversity instead of trying to pigeonhole everyone.



This part makes me feel bad sometimes. One of my main frustrations with birth interventions, in general, is that I truly don't believe we (midwives, doctors, etc.) know enough about what the long term effects can be. The entire process of labour, birth, bonding, establishing breastfeeding, etc. is so much more complicated than people treat it as being, yk?

 

Maybe I just don't run into the pissing contest aspect of it, because I'm the one who's really upset about my c-sections, and I don't think they were necessary in the first place. I can't justify them, because I don't believe they're justified. So, it's just not something I've ever run into.


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

Storm Bride is offline  
#82 of 178 Old 03-04-2012, 06:45 PM
 
Turquesa's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,073
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

 

What I see on these forums, pretty often by the way, is the attitude "I sought the perfect birth, I had it, and if you didn't, that's because you didn't work hard enough for it, and you are an epic fail because of that". Not nice. And it's also a form of control. And that's what (I think) is the topic of this thread.

 

Birth was over-medicalized for a long while, and now the push in the opposite direction is starting. Which is great, and normal - every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and it's healthy in general, but it has a potential to turn nasty in its own way and push a bit too far. I'll give examples below.

 

What makes *me* see red is the insinuations that non-perfect births are somehow a woman's fault. And the gloating that the perfect births are all due to the perfect poster's diligence (and very few admit to just pure luck, such as not having pre-e and not needing an emergency c-section at 31 weeks.) Humility and "Here but for the grace of God go I" is often conspicuously absent from these forums. I've seen it so many times here, it's tiresome.

 

Same for cesareans - I've always felt this vibe here (not from all members of course, but it's very pronounced nonetheless), that people look down on those who have c-sections. This thread about a cesarean forum was very educational. In fact, the cesarean forum didn't even exist a few months ago - as if women who had it didn't exist either!

 

And now that whole thing with the orgasm during birth - why thanks, let's raise the plank a little higher still! I've seen a woman ask about it, in full seriousness, about how to do that during birth. Some described their nice experiences that came pretty close to that, others were nice enough to explain that it was just a function of that particular person's neurology and while possible, it's not a requirement (yet, thank God) for everyone to have a "When Harry met Sally" moment during birth.

 

Another example is that people can's even say they were unable to breastfeed, without humbly apologizing fifty five times that they had the nerve to bleed severely and to have Sheehan's syndrome. That atmosphere is not supportive. Yes we know breastfeeding is best, everyone on these forums knows, so if she said she couldn't, just lay off.

 

Anyways... *some people* manage to turn the healthiest, most natural ideas into mommy wars and "I'm better ("stronger", crunchier etc) than you" games. That's what I thought this thread was all about.

 


I'm catching up on posts in this thread, and this one caught my eye.  Take a look at the words that I've emphasized.....all extremely subjective terminology!

 

Your impressions seem to be based not on evidence or actual things that women have said, but on "what I see," "insuations," and a "vibe."  A woman describing a personal birth experience that she considers beautiful and idyllic is "gloating" (even though it's impossible to prove that that was her intention!), and from the phenomenon of orgasmic birth, you've somehow gleaned that it's considered a "requirement."  What I'm trying to say--as delicately as possible--is that these messages are coming from within yourself--your own perceptions and projections--and not other women.

 

As has been reiterated in this thread, we each experience something unique during childbirth.  And we each are the judges of our own experiences and authors of our own life narratives.  We have no right to step in and write other women's narratives for them.  This means that we accept a woman's story at face value for its validity.  This means that we respect and honor every lived experience from the traumatic birth to the orgasmic one! 

 

A woman who has a great birth and feel that her own diligence paid off is sharing her personal experinece, not super-imposing it on everyone else.  I'm pretty damned diligent and had an excrutiating first birth, but I'm not going to take it out on other women or accuse them of demeaning me just because they had better experiences.  

 

We tread into murky territory when we start accusing women of saying things they didn't say and doing things they didn't do.  If anything is going to fan the flames of what you call a Mommy War, it's going to be our personal sensitivities, defensiveness, and projections.

 

I no longer post much about my personal experience because I no longer feel that this is a safe and supportive place to do so.  I really don't want to be judged as "whining," "First World," and "wanting a Perfect Birth" if I write about a bad experience...or "gloating" or making nasty "insinuations" if I write about a good one.  If more people listened with non-judgmental ears and responded with non-judgmental keystrokes, I'd probably be a lot more active in this forum.

 

I have to say in all fairness, however, that I'm impressed with the direction that this thread has taken and the overall civil and insightful dialogue that is ensuing here.....


In God we trust; all others must show data. selectivevax.gifsurf.gifteapot2.GIFintactivist.gif
Turquesa is offline  
#83 of 178 Old 03-05-2012, 03:13 AM
 
Slmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 875
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

 

I no longer post much about my personal experience because I no longer feel that this is a safe and supportive place to do so.  I really don't want to be judged as "whining," "First World," and "wanting a Perfect Birth" if I write about a bad experience...or "gloating" or making nasty "insinuations" if I write about a good one.  If more people listened with non-judgmental ears and responded with non-judgmental keystrokes, I'd probably be a lot more active in this forum.

 

I have to say in all fairness, however, that I'm impressed with the direction that this thread has taken and the overall civil and insightful dialogue that is ensuing here.....

 


I agree with you.

 

I also think we have to keep in mind that a lot of the topics on mdc are not practiced/accepted by the vast majority of society - hb, uc, extended bfing, alternative vaxing, non-circ, homeschooling, etc. None of these choices are "easy" especially when you face resistence/rejection in real life, maybe that makes some people a little bit sore about the topic to begin with, and maybe a little too excited to find like-minded people. Also in terms of all these judgemental crunchier than thee moms... there are crappy judgemental people in all segments of society, just because someone is into homebirth doesn't mean she's a perfect angel. Dealing with crappy people is part of life. Ignore them, avoid them, confront them, whatever you feel is best. I haven't been around here forever, but lurked a lot several years ago. I saw that a lot of times, when someone went over the top in the crunchy judgment dept, she got called out on it. Now we are in a backlash here where there are people judging others for being upset about their c/sections... so I guess we just have to deal with this too... stop posting and reading here, or call them out on it, those are our options I guess. I am not petty or spoiled because I want to make certain choices for myself or my children. We aren't complaining about designer shoes here... we are talking about our health, our bodies, our babies. and NO ONE should be telling a woman how to feel about her personal experiences, especially the life-altering, major event experiences. 

 

Slmommy is offline  
#84 of 178 Old 03-05-2012, 05:20 AM
 
DoubleDouble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

I'm catching up on posts in this thread, and this one caught my eye.  Take a look at the words that I've emphasized.....all extremely subjective terminology!

 

Your impressions seem to be based not on evidence or actual things that women have said, but on "what I see," "insuations," and a "vibe." 

 

Ok, I'll provide the evidence - it is sad that I have to prove that it's not "all in my head". All the quotes are from *one* thread only that I linked to previously. Imagine what else is out there, I just don't have the energy to look for it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwomyn

After I had my c-section, I was honestly glad that I hadn't really posted much here and that no one would notice if I never shared a birth story. Because I knew it would wind up in me being told that I was duped and naive and maybe I would be able to have a baby the right way someday if I tried hard enough.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma

I joined MDC after an unexpected emergency c-section and felt kind of alienated sometimes and like I shouldn't admit I had to have one.  I can't be the only one who has felt that way.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amma_mama

My whole pregnancy and birth experience was not what I had hoped for or planned. I ended up with severe pre-term labor and was on strict bed rest for a good chunk of my pregnancy, then ended up with an emergency c-section, which the docs were actually trying to AVOID due to my condition. But it was what it was. [...]
I have pretty much avoided the Birth forums at MDC, as I did not have the "right" kind of birth experience. I did not want to "mourn" the loss of my perfect birth, nor feel traumatized. It is like MDC wants people like me to end up with PPD because I did not have a fantabulous homebirth or UC experience. [...]
It would be nice to have a place on MDC to share my experience, without pity or judgment.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Z

Both [cesarean] experiences impact my life.  Both made me feel alienated when I came back to my friends here to share the experience.  It didn't matter that I cloth diapered for 6 years straight, breastfeed, including tandem, for 7-8years, babywore, heck, just go down that NFL checklist, I did it.  I also homeschooled and had a SN kiddo and dealt with all of that.  But every time I mentioned my births, there was either an undertone of "well, if you had done _____ than you could have controlled it", or "your doctor lied", or "well, *maybe* you were one of the few", or I was accused of promoting birth with interventions because I dare be happy about my (second) experience.  Why am I not allowed to be at peace with and proud of how I birthed my children?  I am nearly a decade away from that first birth and my reception I got here afterwards still makes me angry.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeepyCat

And now, two years post-c/s, I still feel that I can't talk about my daughter's birth here, because it was surgical, but I didn't feel traumatized or upset by it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwomyn

It seems fairly obvious that one of the primary reasons people are asking for a c-section forum is so that there would be one place on the board where women who had a c-section and weren't traumatized by it would be able to mention this fact without being told to shut up, sit in a corner and think about what we've done, and come back when we feel bad like we should.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EuroMama
I just would love a place, where I can share about my section and not feel like I committed the worlds biggest crime.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rutabega
Being supportive of natural birth isn't the same thing as marginalizing women who have had c-sections, absolutely right.  And yet that has been the clear point of view of the Mothering community at large as long as I have been reading here (which is much, much longer than I've been registered as a member).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwomyn

A pro-NCB environment doesn't have to marginalize women who had c-sections, but this place always has, and it is completely disengenous to pretend otherwise.

 

  Quote:

Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe

That is the vibe here.  If you had a section it's YOUR fault for not birthing 'right'

 

 

Ok I'll stop now. I guess I am in a good company of "extremely subjective" people with similar "projections". smile.gif

girlfromthenc likes this.
DoubleDouble is offline  
#85 of 178 Old 03-05-2012, 06:21 AM
 
Partaria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wisconsin, Baby!
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

In my experience, the language of birth and mothering is so polarized in our culture. It feels to me like I'm either in the natural birth camp, or in the epidural/hospital/c-section camp, and there's no middle ground, you know? For example, how many of us have heard totally inflammatory statements about homebirth? How it's dangerous or selfish or other things like that? On the other side of the coin, I recently saw an article in Harpers with the title "The Tyranny of La Leche League." My point isn't to take sides, but just to point out here that the language surrounding mothering and birthing choices is so intense and polarizing. The "TYRANNY," I mean just listen to how that sounds. Wow. I just often feel, IMO, that there's a real lack of middle ground that allows for all women to feel that they can celebrate whatever birth experience or mothering choices they make. 

 

One of the midwives who attended my homebirth/transfer/c-section birth told me she would never put my birth story on her website because it wasn't a home waterbirth. She didn't want any c-section stories on her site.

 

This upset me a little because the truth is that some women need c-sections in order to survive, and for their children to live. I was one. And while I understand her perspective, it saddened me that she only really wanted to "talk" about ideal births she attended. It was clear that my birth wasn't viewed as "ideal," or "beautiful" to her, and that saddened me. I was healthy, my son was healthy, and born just the way he needed to be. But I felt like when my birth was said and done, it wasn't, I guess, embraced as a birth worth trumpeting about in the same way natural, vaginal home waterbirths were. I mean, IMO, the very best HB midwives are the ones who know when to say when. They know when to say- this is beyond what we can take care of at home, and it is time to seek other tools, and more intervention. I am thankful my midwives did that. If they hadn't, my son and I wouldn't be here. I guess I was left feeling, in my experience anyway, that my birth should've been viewed as just another type of birth that HB midwives sometimes attend. But it wasn't. Instead, it was a birth that was... less, in some way.

 

Anyway, just my two cents on my own experience. I think this thread is very interesting!


"The Mothers are the brave ones." - Call the Midwife

Partaria is offline  
#86 of 178 Old 03-05-2012, 06:55 AM
 
Turquesa's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,073
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Double Double, the women you quotes fear being judged, just as I do, albeit or different reasons. But it's not evidence that anyone here has said, "You had a Cesarean and not a natural birth? Oh, you bad, bad, inadequate woman!".. It's also not evidence that someone gloated, "I had a Perfect Birth, and you didn't! Ha! Ha!". I'm just cautioning against reading into women's stories and posts for things they never said.

Now I definitely agree with a previous poster that marketers in the childbirth ed industry are shameless about promoting a Perfect Birth in order to sell women on their products. That's not to say that individual CBE's aren't more realistic while teaching the classes. But just as self-help authors promise perfection in your relationships and diet programs promise the Perfect Body, various childbirth programs mislead us into believing that they have the magic-bullet method for the Perfect Birth.. This was definitely my experience with Hypnobirthing, in which we watched video after video of women "breathing down" their babies. eyesroll.gif. Those videos forgot to mention that at least one of us would be pushing for 4 hours, and all of the cutsey calm-blue-ocean visualizations in the world wouldn't take the agony away. greensad.gif. But I digress....

In God we trust; all others must show data. selectivevax.gifsurf.gifteapot2.GIFintactivist.gif
Turquesa is offline  
#87 of 178 Old 03-05-2012, 07:58 AM
 
Partaria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wisconsin, Baby!
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Turquesa-

That was my experience w/Hypnobabies (similar to Hypnobirthing). The course emphasized the "Bubble of Peace," in which you visualized being totally calm and at peace with your baby, and didn't allow in any "negative" birth stories or talk. The course actually tells you to put up your hand and say "stop" when another woman tries to tell you about a painful/difficult birth.

 

While I see the point of this approach, I felt like I shouldn't read anything about anything other than ideal, painless birth, otherwise it could actually cause my hypnosis training to fail me. 

 

Cut to my 70 hour labor followed by a c-section, and I was totally unprepared for everything that happened, and I felt like a complete and utter failure.

Turquesa and DoubleDouble like this.

"The Mothers are the brave ones." - Call the Midwife

Partaria is offline  
#88 of 178 Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 AM
 
CI Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

Double Double, the women you quotes fear being judged, just as I do, albeit or different reasons. But it's not evidence that anyone here has said, "You had a Cesarean and not a natural birth? Oh, you bad, bad, inadequate woman!".. It's also not evidence that someone gloated, "I had a Perfect Birth, and you didn't! Ha! Ha!". I'm just cautioning against reading into women's stories and posts for things they never said.
Now I definitely agree with a previous poster that marketers in the childbirth ed industry are shameless about promoting a Perfect Birth in order to sell women on their products. That's not to say that individual CBE's aren't more realistic while teaching the classes. But just as self-help authors promise perfection in your relationships and diet programs promise the Perfect Body, various childbirth programs mislead us into believing that they have the magic-bullet method for the Perfect Birth.. This was definitely my experience with Hypnobirthing, in which we watched video after video of women "breathing down" their babies. :eyesroll. Those videos forgot to mention that at least one of us would be pushing for 4 hours, and all of the cutsey calm-blue-ocean visualizations in the world wouldn't take the agony away. :(. But I digress....

 

This isn't a digression...it's at the heart of the issue. To the extent that natural birth has become a product that someone can market, it does promote an image of perfect birth, and that is detrimental to women. Partaria's examples of a midwife who won't post a c-birth story on her website and a childbirth prep class that doesn't allow discussion of difficult/painful labor are heartbreaking, in my opinion. This is the kind of thing that creates an environment where women feel pressured to have a perfect birth and feel inadequate if they don't.

 

It's ironic...as I understand it, the natural birth movement really grew out of the desire to reclaim women's experiences and put women's wisdom at the center of birth. And yet we still struggle to validate each woman's experience and it seems radical to assert that women's wisdom can come in many forms, not all of the peaceful, painless, or pretty.


 

 


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!

CI Mama is offline  
#89 of 178 Old 03-05-2012, 08:28 AM
 
CI Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post


I'm catching up on posts in this thread, and this one caught my eye.  Take a look at the words that I've emphasized.....all extremely subjective terminology!

 

Your impressions seem to be based not on evidence or actual things that women have said, but on "what I see," "insuations," and a "vibe."  A woman describing a personal birth experience that she considers beautiful and idyllic is "gloating" (even though it's impossible to prove that that was her intention!), and from the phenomenon of orgasmic birth, you've somehow gleaned that it's considered a "requirement."  What I'm trying to say--as delicately as possible--is that these messages are coming from within yourself--your own perceptions and projections--and not other women.

 

As has been reiterated in this thread, we each experience something unique during childbirth.  And we each are the judges of our own experiences and authors of our own life narratives.  We have no right to step in and write other women's narratives for them.  This means that we accept a woman's story at face value for its validity.  This means that we respect and honor every lived experience from the traumatic birth to the orgasmic one! 

 

A woman who has a great birth and feel that her own diligence paid off is sharing her personal experinece, not super-imposing it on everyone else.  I'm pretty damned diligent and had an excrutiating first birth, but I'm not going to take it out on other women or accuse them of demeaning me just because they had better experiences.  

 

We tread into murky territory when we start accusing women of saying things they didn't say and doing things they didn't do.  If anything is going to fan the flames of what you call a Mommy War, it's going to be our personal sensitivities, defensiveness, and projections.

 

I'm starting to wonder if the Mommy Wars and the perception of a "pissing contest" among women isn't the real issue. The idea that birth is a product that can be marketed seems like a more likely culprit to me. There are certainly individuals and businesses who have a lot to gain by offering women a guarantee of a peaceful, enjoyable birth. And they have everything to gain by making it seem like it's individual women who are to blame for their own difficult experiences, not the method or the product or (gulp) birth itself. There's got to be a middle ground. Not "natural birth is a crock" and not "natural birth is the guaranteed result of a perfect preparation" but something else...

 

 

 

I no longer post much about my personal experience because I no longer feel that this is a safe and supportive place to do so.  I really don't want to be judged as "whining," "First World," and "wanting a Perfect Birth" if I write about a bad experience...or "gloating" or making nasty "insinuations" if I write about a good one.  If more people listened with non-judgmental ears and responded with non-judgmental keystrokes, I'd probably be a lot more active in this forum.

 

I have to say in all fairness, however, that I'm impressed with the direction that this thread has taken and the overall civil and insightful dialogue that is ensuing here.....

 

This is the most reasonable and thoughtful conversation that I've seen on this topic since I started MDC. So good for us!



 

thegoodearth and Slmommy like this.

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!

CI Mama is offline  
#90 of 178 Old 03-05-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Slmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 875
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Quote:

Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

I'm starting to wonder if the Mommy Wars and the perception of a "pissing contest" among women isn't the real issue. The idea that birth is a product that can be marketed seems like a more likely culprit to me. There are certainly individuals and businesses who have a lot to gain by offering women a guarantee of a peaceful, enjoyable birth. And they have everything to gain by making it seem like it's individual women who are to blame for their own difficult experiences, not the method or the product or (gulp) birth itself. There's got to be a middle ground. Not "natural birth is a crock" and not "natural birth is the guaranteed result of a perfect preparation" but something else...

 


I hadn't thought about that aspect. I wonder if you guys feel this is maybe true for other mommywar/crunchy issues? With more interest in AP/crunchy lifestyle, products catering to that have come to market. I don't think it's bad there are alt. birthing classes or cloth diapers, midwives, slings, etc. for sale/hire ( i like it!), but I can see where "industry" needs to "protect," just like in more "mainstream" industries. And maybe some rhetoric/advertising from industry can have a lot of impact on us, maybe it's not just the other "judgey" mommies online?

 

Partaria - I'm sorry your mw acted that way ... honestly, I think it would be a good advertising/testimonal to have a transfer/c-sec mom say something  - like you said this here :

 

IMO, the very best HB midwives are the ones who know when to say when. They know when to say- this is beyond what we can take care of at home, and it is time to seek other tools, and more intervention. I am thankful my midwives did that. If they hadn't, my son and I wouldn't be here.

But I guess she was reacting to what she perceives her customers want...

Slmommy is offline  
Reply

Tags
Pregnancy

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off