Dispelling the "perfect birth theory" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 178 Old 02-14-2012, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 

 

 

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#2 of 178 Old 02-15-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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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. 

 

 


I'm happy to hear that you had a great c-section birth and that you and you DC are doing well.

 

I do, however, disagree with the statement, "Whatever way your baby comes doesn't take away from the happiness and joy you experience for the rest of your life." While this may be true to you (and if it is, that's wonderful!), it is not the truth for so many women who have had c-sections. 

 


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#3 of 178 Old 02-15-2012, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm happy to hear that you had a great c-section birth and that you and you DC are doing well.

 

I do, however, disagree with the statement, "Whatever way your baby comes doesn't take away from the happiness and joy you experience for the rest of your life." While this may be true to you (and if it is, that's wonderful!), it is not the truth for so many women who have had c-sections. 

 


I know it's not true for many but it shouldn't have to be that way.  C-section is not the end of the world or worse seen as a failure.  Delivery shouldn't be a focus your newborn baby should be.  It's a joyous event bringing a baby into this world regardless of how it happens. 

 

 

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#4 of 178 Old 02-15-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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I believe in pushing to get the natural delivery that you want. It doesn't have to be drug-free, but C-sections just have so many complications and risks that could come up. Plus recovery time is much worse. (So I hear) So unless it is life threatening, I see no problem in avoiding it at all costs.
There are times when a c-section is necessary so I'm not saying that they shouldn't ever be done. But the way that it was created to be is what I feel is safest. And from my personal experience from a natural drug-free labor, I enjoyed every minute. It was painful, but it was pain with a purpose. Not to mention, there's nothing like the feeling of "I can conquer the world" after accomplishing the huge task!

So I don't blame woman for wanting a natural birth!

However I do agree that baby is very important! Of course if there's a chance of them being harmed, and a c-section is the only way, then it should be done.

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#5 of 178 Old 02-15-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can't have your cake and eat it too!

 

 

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I disagree, as a christian, I firmly believe in pushing to get the delivery the way that God made it to happen!

 

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There are times when a c-section is necessary so I'm not saying that they shouldn't ever be done.

Well which one is it? 
In your words then since I didn't deliver my baby naturally (emergency C-section) then I should have died along with my baby.  Since God only wills natural childbirth?  I don't know of which religion you speak of.  But as a CATHOLIC God would never will that!  He gave us incredible minds to create unimaginable things.  Modern medicine that saved so many lives including my baby and myself.  Next time you post leave religion out of this since I don't subscribe to fanaticism. 

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#6 of 178 Old 02-15-2012, 07:14 PM
 
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Jeesh.

 

The OP is not blaming women for wanting a natural birth or stating that a C-section is the ideal way to bring a baby into the world. She is not saying that women who have experienced birth trauma should deny that and the opportunity to heal.


It seems she's seeking support - assurance that it's okay to be at peace with a birth that wasn't up to "ideal" standards. She cannot redo her birth, and through it she fought to bring her amazing child into this world. For that, she should feel SO PROUD.

 

Like all mothers doing their best with what they have, she deserves to be at peace and to truly cherish her birth for its ultimate success - her child.  Not all mothers are able to feel this way about surgical births, and we should absolutely support those who can in an effort to slow the perpetuation of struggle.

 

I think it's amazing, Lulu, that you are able to see your birth for the gorgeous event that it was in the life of you and your child.

 

Natural birth is amazing and, well - natural. But, in our society, it's a privilege that is not afforded to every woman who would seek one, if she even knew to seek it. Elements of intersectional privilege/oppression, including class, race, access to education, access to relatable support, physical/emotional (dis-)ability, access to good healthcare, mental health, family pressures/influence and circumstance all factor into accessibility to natural/medicated/surgical birth.


Again, every mother doing their best deserves to be at peace. Mothers deserve to be at peace. Their children deserve mothers at peace. Let's not perpetuate trauma for women who are healing or feel that they have healed.


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#7 of 178 Old 02-15-2012, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Habitat--- What you wrote is exactly what I was thinking!  Thank you for your very dear and beautiful words!  Also helping me to spread the word that ALL births are to be cherished! 

 

 

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It's okay to be at peace with a birth that wasn't up to "ideal" standards that doesn't exist.

 

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Every mother doing their best deserves to be at peace. Mothers deserve to be at peace. Their children deserve mothers at peace. Let's not perpetuate trauma for women who are healing or feel that they have healed.

I seriously could not have written that any better!  Thank you! 

 

For the record I have absolutely no regrets!  I would do it the same way regardless because I know the outcome.  A healthy precious son and the honor and privilege to be his mother. 

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#8 of 178 Old 02-15-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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Whoa whoa whoa!! In no way was I saying that you should have "died along with your baby" I'm saying that woman shouldn't be put in a category for wanting a natural birth.. You said yourself that you wanted a natural birth as well.

I'm glad that God saved you and your baby with the much needed c-section! I was merely stating that sometimes it is a big deal to someone who was looking forward to a natural birth and ended up with a c-section.

Please do not take it the wrong way. I'm sorry if I offended you.

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#9 of 178 Old 02-15-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by habitat View Post

 

Like all mothers doing their best with what they have, she deserves to be at peace and to truly cherish her birth for its ultimate success - her child.  Not all mothers are able to feel this way about surgical births, and we should absolutely support those who can in an effort to slow the perpetuation of struggle.

 

I think it's amazing, Lulu, that you are able to see your birth for the gorgeous event that it was in the life of you and your child.

I totally agree with what was said here. I'm sorry that I mis-interpreted what was being said. Thank you Habtitat for putting it in a way that is much more understandable to me.


 

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For the record I have absolutely no regrets!  I would do it the same way regardless because I know the outcome.  A healthy precious son and the honor and privilege to be his mother. 
 

This is true. I know I would feel the same way if I had to end up having a c-section. All that would have mattered is the baby in my arms. I apoligize for posting immaturely and without thought.


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#10 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 08:26 AM
 
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Lulu!  I couldn't agree more!

 

I attempted a home water birth.  After 21 hours and no progress and midwives trying everything, we transferred.  Shortly after that, there were some dangerous decels and I had an emergency c-section and a perfectly healthy baby boy.  And I ended up with some very serious PPD coping with the aftermath of the birth.  All of the "normal" people in my life were so happy for me - a gorgeous, healthy little boy!  But I was in tears all the time mourning my lost home birth and the "perfect birth" I had planned.

 

Took me months to shake it off and realize I had been duped and it was only all these expectations and promises that if I just believed and prepared and took these vitamins and stuck enough EPO up my hoo hah that birth for me would be peaceful and natural and wonderful.  Lots of women are lucky enough to get that, but that's all they are:  lucky.

 

What makes ME lucky is having a healthy little boy, when positioning myself to give birth 15 minutes away from emergency medical facilities, should they be needed at a moment's notice, could have so easily taken BOTH my perfect birth and my perfect baby.

 

I see you're new to this site.  I hope you last longer than I did.  :)

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#11 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 08:52 AM
 
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I was in 18 hours of horrible pain before I agreed to epidural. I was so deranged from pain  that I was hallucination.   I was in a hospital where doctor and nurse were supportive of natural childbirth and did not push anything on anyone

 

I never thought it would happen to me. I swallowed the Kool Aid. I was sure that with year of yoga and meditation experience as well as my acupressure therapist doula by my side I would make it without any meds. My labor was a the biggest lesson in humility and understand that control is illusion. That one can plan and prepare but life has other plans.

 

 

I was stuck and tired .  It was the kind of pain that meditation, position change and all the unicorns and rainbows in the world could not help.

 

 

I had an epidural, took a nap and pushed my 8.6 lb baby in 30 amazing minutes. Thanks to the skills of my amazing OB I did not not have a single tear.

 

All went well, right?

 

I was so depressed for 2 weeks. I felt like failure. Like I did not achieve what a strong woman was supposed to achieve, the crown glory of natural childbirth. O felt traumatized. I know,,,,I smile now. Tramautized? 

 

Then, I looked at my baby. My happy baby. Then I thought "Fuck that, this is just biological function. All went well. I got lucky. For change, something went well with my body. What is wrong with pain control? Nothing. Nothing is wrong. I have pain control for every other pain in my body I have been brains washed by biological essentialists. What and how I do with my vagina has nothing to do with my strength as woman. I am proud of my work, my education. I am alive and so is my my baby"

 

Pain has no intrinsic value.  Not all pain is avoidable....but if there is remedy for pain it is still not to use it. Pain is knows to have negative effect on the body. To proclaim that labor pain is different is ingenuous. Form the dawn of time humans look for pain relief in pain.

 

 

And just like that I no longer felt traumatized  or depressed.

 

With second baby I arrive to the hospital and requests epidural and pitocin. 12 hours labor. 15 min pushing.  9 lbs baby.  Amazingly, with all those interventions I actually felt empowered And I was not depressed.

 

My second birth, was a perfect one to me. I came without fear of evil interventions. I felt fine if I needed a c-section. I had a great time.

 

 

 

The only type of perfect birth to me is the one that end with healthy mom and baby.  The rest is cherry on top. The rest is the privilege of First World  spoiled citizens.

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#12 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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Lulu0910, welcome to MDC! There is a Cesarean forum where you might find some conversations worth joining.

 

I am another one who would love to see the myth of the "perfect birth" overthrown. There is not one type of birth that is perfect for everyone. An unmedicated vaginal birth is ideal for some, but for others it can be traumatic. In some cases, interventions are truly necessary and essential for a better experience for both baby and mother. And I agree completely with the PP who mentioned that we have only the illusion of control over birth. Sometimes that illusion stays intact because things seem to go so perfectly and according to plan. But there are those of us for whom the illusion is forever shattered, when our births do not follow the plan and things do not turn out the way we expected.

 

I also wish that we could learn to provide better support for moms who experience birth trauma, regardless of what causes that trauma. It is not helpful to assume that a woman must be traumatized by her c-section. It is not helpful to assume that a woman who had an intervention-free vaginal birth couldn't possibly be traumatized by her experience. It is helpful to no one to assume that birth trauma doesn't exist as long as a living baby results from the birth. It is just as unhelpful to assume that women who experience birth trauma must suffer for the rest of their lives, or to discount the reality of resilience and healing.

 

Here's what I'd like: a world that has room for many stories about birth, where many experiences can be honored and celebrated, where women are believed to be the experts of their own experiences and have tools to support them through those experiences. A world where birth is acknowledged to be the wild, untamable mystery that it is...a mystery that touches each of us in a different way. I'd like to see a world where we quit trying to fit birth into a neat, tidy, happy box.

 

 


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Lulu0910, welcome to MDC! There is a Cesarean forum where you might find some conversations worth joining.

 

I am another one who would love to see the myth of the "perfect birth" overthrown. There is not one type of birth that is perfect for everyone. An unmedicated vaginal birth is ideal for some, but for others it can be traumatic. In some cases, interventions are truly necessary and essential for a better experience for both baby and mother. And I agree completely with the PP who mentioned that we have only the illusion of control over birth. Sometimes that illusion stays intact because things seem to go so perfectly and according to plan. But there are those of us for whom the illusion is forever shattered, when our births do not follow the plan and things do not turn out the way we expected.

 

I also wish that we could learn to provide better support for moms who experience birth trauma, regardless of what causes that trauma. It is not helpful to assume that a woman must be traumatized by her c-section. It is not helpful to assume that a woman who had an intervention-free vaginal birth couldn't possibly be traumatized by her experience. It is helpful to no one to assume that birth trauma doesn't exist as long as a living baby results from the birth. It is just as unhelpful to assume that women who experience birth trauma must suffer for the rest of their lives, or to discount the reality of resilience and healing.

 

Here's what I'd like: a world that has room for many stories about birth, where many experiences can be honored and celebrated, where women are believed to be the experts of their own experiences and have tools to support them through those experiences. A world where birth is acknowledged to be the wild, untamable mystery that it is...a mystery that touches each of us in a different way. I'd like to see a world where we quit trying to fit birth into a neat, tidy, happy box.

 

 

 

You said this so beautifully!


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#14 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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I think the bigger picture here is not that there isn't an ideal way to birth, agreeing with that seems an attempt at patronizing those who had experiences different from the ideal. Ideally, a relatively quick, painless, vaginal birth with no complications is ideal. The issue really is that there are women who don't cope well with the fact that life is not always ideal and not a one of us is perfect, nor are we as in control as we think we are. Realizing that actually brings the most peace because you are able to accept reality as it is and be grateful rather than focusing on the lack of perfection. I really believe that the disappointment some women may feel because they didn't have the perfect birth experience is an indicator of a deeper issue not necessarily related to their birthing expectations at all.
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#15 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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I think the bigger picture here is not that there isn't an ideal way to birth, agreeing with that seems an attempt at patronizing those who had experiences different from the ideal. Ideally, a relatively quick, painless, vaginal birth with no complications is ideal.
That is one way of defining an ideal birth. Another way is to say that an ideal birth is one at which the mother is fully supported in her experience, treated with dignity and respect, and given every opportunity to guide her experience in the way that feels right for her, when circumstances allow. That way of looking at "ideal" doesn't define a time frame or a level of pain or an exit method that must be ideal for everyone; rather, it makes room for many differing experiences that share the ideal of being supportive of the mother. In that framework for "ideal" there would be room for women who have long, difficult, painful births to still feel very good about their experience; women who choose interventions (yes, even c-sections) would also have room to feel that their birth was "ideal." It's not so much about the physical aspects of birth, but how they are framed.
The issue really is that there are women who don't cope well with the fact that life is not always ideal and not a one of us is perfect, nor are we as in control as we think we are. Realizing that actually brings the most peace because you are able to accept reality as it is and be grateful rather than focusing on the lack of perfection. I really believe that the disappointment some women may feel because they didn't have the perfect birth experience is an indicator of a deeper issue not necessarily related to their birthing expectations at all.
I don't think there's one "issue" that causes women to feel disappointed in their birth. It is true that there are many things about birth that we can't control, but that doesn't mean that accepting reality, being grateful, and coming to a place a peace is right or best in every instance. If a woman was treated with disrespect or even brutality by hospital staff, and that treatment impacted her birth in a negative way, she may not have been in control of that situation, but recognizing as such isn't necessarily going to bring her "peace."


I guess I just always fall in the camp of looking at individual women and individual situations, rather than trying to come up with an ideal process (for giving birth or for recovering from one) that's going to work the same way for everyone.

 


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Here's what I'd like: a world that has room for many stories about birth, where many experiences can be honored and celebrated, where women are believed to be the experts of their own experiences and have tools to support them through those experiences. A world where birth is acknowledged to be the wild, untamable mystery that it is...a mystery that touches each of us in a different way. I'd like to see a world where we quit trying to fit birth into a neat, tidy, happy box.

 

 



I love this statement! So beautifully put!

 

I hope it's okay that I'm joining this discussion.. I actually had an unmedicated, natural delivery. I have very fond, happy memories of my birth, but I in no way think that it was "a perfect birth". I had 3rd degree tearing, which is far from perfect or ideal in my book, although I still feel very blessed that my delivery was free from any other complications. I do however feel that the most perfect moment in my life was when I got to hold my baby and look into his eyes for the first time. That was sheer perfection for me. And I imagine that moment of perfection is similar for all women regardless of how that moment happens in the end. At least I very much hope and wish that for all women, because it truly does not matter in the end how the baby arrived, but just that they did arrive safely into loving arms. 

 

I also wanted to say that I think there were 2 factors that contributed to my having a fairly successful, natural delivery. 1) Like LadyJade said, Luck. Pure Luck, and lots of it. :)   2) Education. I think this is generally something that almost anyone on the MDC forums has in their toolbox as well, because just being on these forums is a bit of an education itself. ;) I took a Bradley birthing class and the biggest thing that did for me was made me feel less fearful going into something I had absolutely no experience with. I felt like no matter what happened, I would at least have a good understanding of my options and what to expect so I could made educated choices as my birth progressed. I think any woman that has armed herself with knowledge before birth should feel accomplished simply because she was her own advocate and made informed choices. 

 

I think as women, we should all support, uplift and celebrate each other more. And I think discussions like this are important so that more women can embrace the beauty of their unique birth story, no matter what the factors of that event were. And let's face it, birth is just naturally an imperfect thing. 

 

 

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#17 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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That is one way of defining an ideal birth. Another way is to say that an ideal birth is one at which the mother is fully supported in her experience, treated with dignity and respect, and given every opportunity to guide her experience in the way that feels right for her, when circumstances allow. That way of looking at "ideal" doesn't define a time frame or a level of pain or an exit method that must be ideal for everyone; rather, it makes room for many differing experiences that share the ideal of being supportive of the mother. In that framework for "ideal" there would be room for women who have long, difficult, painful births to still feel very good about their experience; women who choose interventions (yes, even c-sections) would also have room to feel that their birth was "ideal." It's not so much about the physical aspects of birth, but how they are framed.

 

Agree wholeheartedly! Each woman should have all the information she needs on risks and benefits available to make the right decisions for her and to be fully supported whatever she chooses and not pressured by anyone to choose something she doesn't want. And if birth doesn't go the way the woman wanted, she should be able to mourn, make peace, etc. however she wants and needs to handle that. I got about as close to the birth I wanted as is possible, but there are still things I wasn't happy about because I was not always treated with respect or cared for appropriately and I had to work through dealing with that too.

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#18 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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My "ideal birth" statement is based on how the birth process usually occurs among non-human primates. Whether that is an appropriate basis is obviously debatable.  All disappointment stems from unmet expectations.  Many of the women experienceing disappointment had birth experiences that didn't meet their expectations, but that were positive in all  the ways you mention. In which case I do believe that there is a common deeper "issue" at play. 

 

From personal experience, one does feel disappointment, anger,  sadness about suffering unneccessarily at the hands of someone else.  But ultimately one must accept that the suffering happened and move forward. Moving forward doesn't necessarily mean pretending it never happened, but it means letting go of the negative feelings. One can work passionately against injustice without letting it engulf them, one can speak out against wrongdoing without brimming with rage and pain from personal experience. I feel it is in my best interest to do so, holding on to the negative emotions robs me of joy and health. Letting go doesn't happen overnight, but it has to happen eventually.  Even though some people I have spoken to thought that I was upset because I was speaking passionately, I was calm and peaceful inside, there is still sadness but not hurt and regret.

 

Also, for my birth experience was uncomplicated and natural, but I found it to be extremely painful in every way. My labor lasted about 7 hours and was pretty intense the entire time. Relatively speaking that might not sound bad, but my expectations were that it wouldn't be very painful at all, it would be quicker, and that I wouldn't feel completely overwhelmed... again, not. at. all. what. happened:)  There are so many viewpoints along the spectrum of the "perfect" birth but I couldn't possibly wrap my head around feeling any disappointment that my birth didn't fit my idea of "perfect" because nothing in my life is perfect. If it would have been perfect, I would probably be in complete awe and disbelief and waiting for the sky to fall:)

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#19 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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My "ideal birth" statement is based on how the birth process usually occurs among non-human primates. Whether that is an appropriate basis is obviously debatable.  All disappointment stems from unmet expectations.  Many of the women experienceing disappointment had birth experiences that didn't meet their expectations, but that were positive in all  the ways you mention. In which case I do believe that there is a common deeper "issue" at play. 

 

OK, I get what you are saying. Disappointment is by definition the state of feeling bad because your expectations have not been met. But other than a woman needing to either re-set her expectations and/or re-frame her experience, I am not sure what deeper "issue" you believe is at play? I'm just trying to understand what you're saying. Thanks.


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#20 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 03:32 PM
 
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Eh, I did have "perfect births". I talk about birthing with a huge smile on my face even many years after. Yeah, I did have a midwife, I exercised, took Bradley classes and did the Brewer diet. And it is peaceful post-partum not to have any birth regrets or anger like so many of my friends had. But maybe I was just lucky.
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#21 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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I actually have to dig deep to remember anything that was not satisifactory.   Both were quite pleasant. 
 

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Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Eh, I did have "perfect births". I talk about birthing with a huge smile on my face even many years after. Yeah, I did have a midwife, I exercised, took Bradley classes and did the Brewer diet. And it is peaceful post-partum not to have any birth regrets or anger like so many of my friends had. But maybe I was just lucky.


 

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#22 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 07:11 PM
 
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I am genuinely pleased for people who are happy with their birth experience, whatever it was, but I really don't understand why those of us who are not happy should be told that we have issues, or unrealistic expectations or are. It sufficiently grateful for our lives or our babies lives.

Is it really so hard to understand that a woman may feel sad that she won't ever get to experience labour or the sensation of pushing her baby out? Or that she may mourn the loss of the benefits to her baby? My caesarean-born baby is 20% more likely to develop type I diabetes for example. I acknowledge that I am a privileged developed country woman but Im not going to apologize for not being thrilled with that.

By all means rejoice in your experience of it was positive for you but please try to find a way of honoring your experience without dismissing mine.

*sent from my phone so apologies for any typos

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#23 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 07:11 PM
 
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I am genuinely pleased for people who are happy with their birth experience, whatever it was, but I really don't understand why those of us who are not happy should be told that we have issues, or unrealistic expectations or are. It sufficiently grateful for our lives or our babies lives.

Is it really so hard to understand that a woman may feel sad that she won't ever get to experience labour or the sensation of pushing her baby out? Or that she may mourn the loss of the benefits to her baby? My caesarean-born baby is 20% more likely to develop type I diabetes for example. I acknowledge that I am a privileged developed country woman but Im not going to apologize for not being thrilled with that.

By all means rejoice in your experience of it was positive for you but please try to find a way of honoring your experience without dismissing mine.

*sent from my phone so apologies for any typos
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#24 of 178 Old 02-16-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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I guess the issue I sense in many women is this irrational preoccupation with perfection. Sometimes there is this undercurrent of competiveness between women, made evident by judgemental attitudes and constant comparison. It isn't uncommon and aside from being ridiculous in that there is usually no prize or even recognition for being the most perfect, it also robs the woman of fully appreciating the present moment for what it is because it is so seldom "perfect".
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#25 of 178 Old 02-17-2012, 06:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LadyJade View Post

 

I attempted a home water birth.  After 21 hours and no progress and midwives trying everything, we transferred.  Shortly after that, there were some dangerous decels and I had an emergency c-section and a perfectly healthy baby boy.  And I ended up with some very serious PPD coping with the aftermath of the birth.  All of the "normal" people in my life were so happy for me - a gorgeous, healthy little boy!  But I was in tears all the time mourning my lost home birth and the "perfect birth" I had planned.

 

Took me months to shake it off and realize I had been duped and it was only all these expectations and promises that if I just believed and prepared and took these vitamins and stuck enough EPO up my hoo hah that birth for me would be peaceful and natural and wonderful.  Lots of women are lucky enough to get that, but that's all they are:  lucky.

 

I find it very annoying when people don't admit to being lucky. Of course, we like to assign anything positive to our valiant efforts, but very often, it's wishful thinking.

 

I know it's hard to give up the feeling of being in control (even if that feeling has no basis in reality), but I've often seen the need for control get absolutely ridiculous, and the resulting "patting oneself on the back" (if the things go well) to be absolutely annoying.

 

I've known women who did no health diets, took no birthing classes, didn't exercise, and had a perfectly easy, quick birth. And they were nice enough to acknowledge that it was pure luck, they were smart enough to see that they didn't deserve any credit for it. And vice versa, some women do all the right things and prepare in most healthy ways, and bad things still happen.

 

It's sad when women buy into the whole "do these things, and your birth will be perfect" mentality.

 

And it's really awful when those for whom things did go well - by luck, tell others "You got a cesarean (or any other complication), obviously you did something wrong, or you caused it in some way, or you'll never achieve this holy grail of perfect birth", etc., etc.

 

Some complaints I've seen are quite an eye-opener - for example, complaining that the pain in childbirth was awful, even though she did the Hypnobabies class. There wasn't supposed to be any pain, not with Hypnobabies! I just don't get it. Another story mentioned how the future mother was so sure that she could birth her baby, naturally, she hasn't been more sure about anything in here life - and then she needed a cesarean. I know people tend to be optimistic when it comes to their health and safety, but how can anyone have such 100% certainty, far in advance, that they can birth a baby on their own?

 

Perfect birth is such a lofty goal, such a high pedestal, and falling down from it will surely be painful! Why are people setting themselves up for such disappointment?

 

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#26 of 178 Old 02-17-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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I think this all plays into some dangerous ways of thought that humans are suspectible to.  For the fortunate, it is so much more pleasant to believe that you are *virtuous* rather than merely lucky.

 

Some women who have birthed naturally don't realize that they are basically the George Bushes of birthing -- landed on third base (normally formed uterus, well-positioned baby, roomy pelvis) through luck and believe they hit a triple.

 

Others fervently believe that nothing bad can happen to them -- like the UC-er who did not seek medical attention for a cord prolapse because God would never let anything happen to her or her baby.

 

At the end of the day...We want to believe that we are virtuous and our virtue will be rewarded, we want to believe our faith will be rewarded, we want to believe that bad things don't happen to good people, we want to believe we control the uncontrollable, we want to believe that if something bad happens to someone else that they *deserved* it and we *don't* deserve it and that whatever we ascribe to (God, karma, positive reaffirmations, the universe generally) will protect our righteous selves. 

 


I support homebirth that meets the qualifications set forth in the AAP's 2013 policy on homebirth.

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#27 of 178 Old 02-17-2012, 05:37 PM
 
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I freely admit to being a George Bush of birthing (love that turn of phrase!)  I seriously feel like nothing about birth was under my voluntary control at all.  Birth ran over me like a tornado and left a baby in my lap.  Hypnobirthing (which I did prior to my first) was about as useful as an umbrella in said tornado.  I didn't bother with any labor prep the second time bc by then it was clear that things were going to happen as they were going to happen, regardless of any conscious participation on my part.

 

And I find it weird and unsettling that people who know my birth stories give me this bizarre kind of praise, like calling me a 'superwoman' and whatever.  (My first was a hospital birth to which I showed up pushing, second was a precipitous labor and accidental UC - but really UC, the baby and I were the only people in the house unfortunately.)  I think this view of an uncomplicated birth as some kind of achievement on the part of the woman is false and can be really harmful to women whose births don't go as they'd hoped.  It needs to be debunked.

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#28 of 178 Old 02-17-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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I know I was  lucky. I have chronic painful condition. My body failed me so many times. I am petite woman and I had large babies. I was lucky!

 

My college  degree....that was an achievement.

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#29 of 178 Old 02-17-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Is it really so hard to understand that a woman may feel sad that she won't ever get to experience labour or the sensation of pushing her baby out? Or that she may mourn the loss of the benefits to her baby? My caesarean-born baby is 20% more likely to develop type I diabetes for example. I acknowledge that I am a privileged developed country woman but Im not going to apologize for not being thrilled with that.

I have come a long way in making peace with my c-sections but I have to agree with this.  There are so many increased risks.  THAT is why I wanted to avoid so many things.  I was so drugged/wiped out I hardly saw my first daughter for 3 days.

Do I think that my my c-sections were needed?  Yes, I now do believe they were and I will likely have another but I will probably always grieve when I see another mother hold her baby, still warm from the womb, to her naked chest.  I think that's ok to want that.

 

I agree that ALL women should be supported in their birth experience, whatever that is, but that includes supporting a mom if they don't like the way things went.


Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!

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#30 of 178 Old 02-19-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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I prepared for birth before I was even pregnant.

19 months of research, dealing with fears, visualizing an awesome US with just my husband present. 

On other forums, women encouraged me through my pregnancy, I  had an amazing, uncomplicated pregnancy.  I had TONS of support, I was full of peace about the whole labor/birth experiance.  I truly believed that I could do it.  I was looking forward to it so much, just to experiance the raw feelings and emotions that go along with a natural birth.  I didn't have any doubts that things would go wonderfully.  I did all the things you're *supposed* to do to get a natural, perfect birth. I had the impression from the women I talked to that EVERYONE can do it naturally and that the women who didn't, were just too pansy or uneducated to make it happen.  I was also under the impression -- from things posted on other boards about other women who hadn't acheived a natural labor -- that all the women were disappointed in their peers who hadn't been able to have their babies at home, naturally.  No one ever came right out and said it, but there are subtle hints...and not so subtle too.

 

When I finally went into labor, it was wonderful...at first...and then after 45 hours of labor with no sleep, almost no progression I transferred to the hopsital, pushed for a few hours and then caved for a c-section when I was completely exhausted.  My son and I almost died during surgery because I hemorraged.

 

Recovery SUCKED!!!!!!!

I felt ashamed of myself, I was in pain, I had PPD for over a year.

Here, I'd done all this research, I'd known how to avoid c-section and other interventions and I went down that road anyway.

 

Why did I feel so shamed?  Why did I mourn over the c-section?  Why was I so disappointed?

Because I was led to believe that ALL women can and should have a natural birth and that those who don't have failed.  

No, people don't come out and use those words (well, some do) but it's there.

 

Yes, I think it's a good idea to aim for a natural birth.  It's better for baby and mama.

BUT, I think somehow women have the idea that EVERYONE CAN.  And the vast majority of women CAN, given she is educated and has supportive people around here.  Still, there are exceptions to the rule and for those of us who have *failed* -- according to a growing number of people -- we feel like s**t if we couldn't do it...even if we are well educated and well supported.  For whatever reason, we didn't get the birth we wanted.

 

That being said, some women go into their experience not expecting anything "natural", end up with a c-section or many interventions and still get PPD.  I do think there is something to be said for a natural, vaginal birth that gives a women a sense of accomplishment.  So anyone who thinks that a woman doesn't have a right to feel emotional about the way she birthed her baby needs to look at things from a different perspective.  What she needs is good support from family and friends and others AFTER birth as well, if things didn't go very well.  She needs to feel like she didn't fail.

 

I agree with the other posters who said that women who have a "perfect birth" were lucky.

The "perfect birthers" would like to chalk it up to all their preparation before birth, as if they MADE it happen.  And while preparation and education before birth helps, it doesn't mean you'll end up with a perfect birth.  Not even if EVERYTHING is perfect BEFORE birth.  I am living proof.  

 

 

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