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Old 09-19-2004, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am really beginning to question my natural childbirth stance tonight. See, I just came from a friend's house. She had a planned cesarean birth a few days ago. She also has a three year old with whom she had an intervention free natural childbirth.

Well, she said the c. was so much easier. THere was no tearing, no hemmeroids (sp?) no afterpains, she said even the recovery was easier.

Also, no lochia! How easy would that be?? The baby is fine, nursing like a champ. She said, "those doctors are all on to something, I don't even know why they let women give birth the hard way anymore."

SO, here I am looking back at my painful 29 hour birth (no tearing thankfully) followed by hemmeroids and messy prefolds of bloodclots feeling a bit foolish! I have read evey birth book, I am a member of CAPPA, I am planning a UC next time, and I am still haveing these thoughts.

If what she says is true, why do we continue to do it the "hard way"?? Is it to prove how tough we are?? I am honestly not putting down natural childbirth, jsut feeling like I am duping myself somehow. I know there is the increased risk of death for both mom and babe, but that isn't sinking in right now. Maybe because I have never personally heard of that happening.

A few days ago, I was feeling annoyed with her for planning a surgical birht because the baby was "too big" and now I am feeling conflicted.

Are cesareans really that easy?

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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Old 09-19-2004, 10:31 PM
 
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I did the first two the hard way- CESAREAN!!! I was willing to do just about anything to get my easy natural birth with the third. My stomach muscles will never recover from being sliced in two... my third degree tear is all better. Sure it hurt but in a way my body would know how to heal. I could never have cared for my toddler the way I wanted recovering from major surgery. There is no question that recovery and nursing were much easier with the natural birth. And that can't even touch on the difference between a birth that is a medical procedure versus a birth that was a miracle, a sacrament, one hell of an experience.

Maureen
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Old 09-19-2004, 10:44 PM
 
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She's just forgotten how aweful the section was. I'm almost sure of it. I had a vag birth with an epi and then a c section. The vag was WAY easier all the way around. AND, I had a massive episiotomy to deal with. I'm planning a homebirth this time and know that the pain will be new to me and extreme but the rewards will be also. It took me a full 2 months to recover from my section and I doubt a natural vag birth could take that long at absolute worst.


BTW< What the heck is she talking about? NO LOCHIA? WHatever! I bled for at least 6 weeks after my section and it was normal. No problems. I've never heard of women not having that after a section but It would be a lifesaver. I could hardly bend to get myself a pad and cried getting on and off the toilet.
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Old 09-19-2004, 10:44 PM
 
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I had a cesarean birth with Emma. It was no piece of cake, but honestly it wasn't that bad at all. I recovered really quickly, nursed easily, felt great. I did, however, have lochia. Not sure how anyone missed that! Oh, and I had hemmoroids since I was so constipated after the drugs.

I'd say that main reason we choose natural birth (hoping for one any day now!) is that it's better for our kids. Really, that's why we do everything, isn't it?

Not to be difficult or debating, but I just want to comment on this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
And that can't even touch on the difference between a birth that is a medical procedure versus a birth that was a miracle, a sacrament, one hell of an experience.
My daughter's birth was a medical procedure AND a miracle, sacrament, and quite an experience. Please be careful when you say things like that. That is honestly insulting to me. I am sorry if your birth (regardless of "type") was not that wonderful, but mine certainly was!
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Old 09-19-2004, 10:50 PM
 
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: Many apologies! I did have two very bad birth experiences and forget how hurtful that kind of statement can be.

Maureen
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Old 09-19-2004, 11:08 PM
 
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The point is that ideally, a birth should not be a medical procedure. It's a natural event that is often negativly affected by being so medicalized. C sections have a place. No doubt that there are good reasons for them but that is far from ideal.

My c section was more painful emotionally for me than physically. But still very very painful on the outside too! I don't think anyone should censor how they feel about it for the sake of everyone. It's not a fun thing to go through. If you were blessed to be able to still enjoy your cesarian that's wonderful. Hopefully you can still see how most are not wonderful and be thankful that you feel better about it than some do. Mine was not wonderful. Not a miracle. My child is both. That's the difference.
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Old 09-19-2004, 11:34 PM
 
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After my vag deliveries, I was up and around in 2-3 days. Of course, not on full running around, but able to do something. After my c-section, I was in the hospital for 5 days, sleeping on the couch for 3 weeks b/c I couldn't sit up from a lying position, so I was sleeping sitting up on the couch. I couldn't wear my regular underwear until very recently, I was stuck w/granny panties.

Honestly, I have no idea how someone could consider a c-section easier, but if it worked for her, great. I definitely didn't see it that way. (My c-sec was my 3rd baby, BTW)

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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Old 09-19-2004, 11:34 PM
 
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well, for me there was absolutely nothing easier about the cesarean! Not only was the entire ordeal traumatizing to me and my DH, DD suffered because she was born too early, my milk took six days to come in, then there's the effects of PTSD that I am still fighting, three years later. The physical recovery was a bitch, but I was too stubborn to admit I needed my rest, overdid things too soon, and so now I also have adhesions that need to be surgically removed at some point in the near future. I was up and walking the halls of the hospital just a few hours after leaving recovery. Most of my nurses didn't even know I'd had a cesarean. One told me I was doing better than some of the vaginal birth mamas there at the time. But it wasn't because it was really easier for me, it was that I wasn't going to let anyone know how hard it was.

Quote:
She had a planned cesarean birth a few days ago.
she hasn't had time to process the experience. she may very well say something totally different next week, next month, next year. Be open to letting her talk about her feelings, without saying anything, just listen to what she needs to say. She'll really need someone to talk to, regardless of whether her experience was a good one or a bad one. A few days after my cesarean, I was in some sort of very strange (probably drug-induced) state. I was totally unable to feel any emotions at all. I could talk about the experience, but I couldn't *feel* anything about it either way. It wasn't until a couple weeks later that the shock wore off and I realized how horrible I felt about the whole ordeal.

MY reality is in my birth stories, linked in my siggie. you can read them yourself and know without a doubt why I would never choose another hospital birth over an unmedicated natural birth.
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Old 09-19-2004, 11:38 PM
 
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I guess I see it differently. You said that YOUR birth was not that great. I said that MINE was. The post I am referring to seemed to speak in general terms that said that a (any) cesarean birth is not a miracle, etc - just a medical event. If she had said that HER birth was that way, I would have felt differently about it. I just hate the generalization that ALL births that are not natural/ideal (by someone's standards) are not good births. Birth is awesome!
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:08 AM
 
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I didn't find my c/s easy. 2 w pp I found out they sewed a nerve into my suture. I'd been complaining of pain but of course they told me 'you just went through labor and then had surgery, of course it's painful..." But I was needing more painkillers 2 w pp than just after the c/s, and I couldn't lie down or stand up. I could only sit comfortably hunched in a chair. Then I had to be readmitted, have a CAT scan, be separated from my 2 wo dd for a couple of nights. Not easy at all.

Is your friend on a high dose of Percocet? That can make you feel pretty good. They gave me too much in the hospital. I had to halve the dose else I was a zombie.
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your input! And feel free to keep the idesa coming.

After reading the posts as well as stafl's links in particular I am remembering why I was so afraid of a cesarean with Dylan (there were many things that *could* have led to one during labor including the fact that she was 15 days late).

Wombat, I am sure they gave her something pretty strong, but I don't know what it is.

Does anyone think that maybe planned c-births are easier than emergancy ones, because the mother has usually come to terms with it? BTW the one in the OP was because she was tired of being pregnant and they thought he was too big (he was big-9 lbs 12 oz- but that is only a little less than a pound bigger than her dd).

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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Old 09-20-2004, 12:52 AM
 
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I'll jump in and say my c/s sucked too. I was on all kinds of meds and still hurt, for months! I couldn't even sleep on my own bed for a month b/c I couldn't lay down. Riding in the car hurt b/c the roads are bumpy. I couldn't care for my own son in the hospital b/c I was in too much pain. I've heard moms say planned are easier and I've heard moms say the one they planned was the worst! I'm definitely trying everything in my power to have an unmedicated VBAC this time (it can't be worse than what I went through after my c/s). You also have to remember planned or not, c/s moms often have a harder time connecting w/ their babies and c/s is one of the leading causes of depression in women.

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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Old 09-20-2004, 01:00 AM
 
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I had an emergency CS, I didn't have any problems emotionally or physically. I had the CS at 1.37am Friday morning and was out of the hospital at 4.30pm on Saturday. I had no problems nursing or any problems at all. The only "bad" part was during the actual surgery I was scared shitless. Just knowing they had cut me open.. uggg.. so gross and scarry! I got through it by counting.. yes counting. 1-2-3 etc. I remember getting to around 85 when they took dd out, after that, i just fell asleep. There was a little pain, but nothing compared to the abscessed (sp) tooth I had a year before. I'm not sure any pain can be worse then that tooth!

ps: oh yeah, taking the stomach staples out... that was gross in my mind.. the thought of staples in me... yuck!
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:03 AM
 
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My cesarean was pretty straightforward, no emotional trauma, but hey, recovery from major surgery sucks. My VBAC was no cake walk, but I'd take that any day over the cesarean.
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:11 PM
 
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Why would anyone CHOOSE to have an operation?? I have had 5 operations in my life (none of them c-sections) and had bad experiences with all of them. I NEVER want to go though that again.

Also you cannot just choose a c-section because you want it...can you?
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:44 PM
 
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I agree with all here about major surgery being, well, major surgery, and not something to enter into lightly.

BUT, I'm glad if this woman is happy with her birth experience. I did not have the perfect birth by any means either time; and certainly not by the high standards that many of us in the natural childbirth community set for ourselves and others. But I am at peace with my birth experience, and am happy about many aspects of my birth. I hope that this is the space that the OP's friend is in.

However, some denial may be involved here....I mean, "no lochia"? That has nothing to do with there being a section or not. Yes, they manually remove the placenta, and I assume they give some pitocin to make the uterus clamp down; but the placental site on the uterus is still healing. There will still be some flow. Every person is different, and I have done 48 hour checks on clients who are wearing pantyliners that they only have to change every 3 hours or so; they are definately the exception, not the rule, but they do exist.

Lori
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergreen
Does anyone think that maybe planned c-births are easier than emergancy ones, because the mother has usually come to terms with it?
I think planned may be easier since you know what to expect. The risk of infection is lower with a planned section so that makes it easier in a way too. I think unplanned is easier in that there are many benefits for your body and your baby if you actually go into labor.

Either way, I think c/s stink. My DS was a c/s and I was shaking so much from the drugs that I was afraid to hold him. I also couldn't get up to help take care of him for a few days and then you have to rely on someone else to give him to you once you get home. I haven't experienced the alternative, but I think I'd much rather have the tearing and hemmoroids and be able to take care of my kid. JMO

The Most Important Person on earth is a mother...She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral-a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's bodyâ¦-Cardinal Mindszenty
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:48 PM
 
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Well, I dang sure didn't get the luxury of no lochia. Bummer. I was talking to a friend a while back saying that if they have to go in there they ought to clean it ALL out while they are. I didn't know it was actually possible though.
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:53 PM
 
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I'm really glad for this thread. It seems like most of the people in my life are pretty holistic, to some degree, except dh's best friend's wife who thinks anything natural, homeopathic, AP is a total bunch of crap. Seriously. She believes in everything by THE book and medicalized. She opted for a c/s after a long labor w/#1. Now, she has #2 scheduled for her due date next week. She brags about how easy it is and she's so excited to have her baby taken out in just a few minutes w/no pain or distress to either of them.

I know a c/s can be necessary sometimes for the health of mom or baby. But, to schedule one b/c it's more convenient and much better? And, to criticize those women who go through all that "unnecessary labor?"
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, that is what she said happened. They "sucked" everything out, and she bled some light pinkish stuff but it was finished the second day postpartum.

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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Old 09-20-2004, 04:18 PM
 
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Yes, a planned cesarean is probably going to be easier than an emergency c-sec because the mother's body won't be exhausted from having been in labor. My mom had c-secs with both her children, the first "emergency" and the second planned. She said her recovery was SO much easier with the second; regardless, she still had to recover from abdominal surgery. In comparison, I was up and around and feeling good only hours after my natural birth, in other words, pretty much back to normal (aside from the lochia and afterpains.) And by "natural", I mean not just that the baby came out of my vagina, but that I didn't have any management of labor to cause postpartum difficulties. I did with my first, and hobbled around the house like an old lady for weeks. It's really not fair to compare a *un*natural vaginal birth with a planned c-sec that someone just happens to be lucky enough to be recovering well from, and hold those experiences as the norm or standard for each. In your friend's experience, that's the way things turned out, and she's happy, and that's great. But I can't think of anything more naive and illogical than to assume that a c-section is going to be better for any given mom than a vaginal birth.
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Old 09-20-2004, 08:12 PM
 
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Well, my c-section sucked. (emergency, full anesthesia)
I hated it, i hated how I felt after (disconnected), it took a full 6 weeks before I even could think about doing much at all. I still (7 mo later) have a numb area on my belly. I still get upset everytime I watch a birth story and see them put the baby on the mother's belly. (At least I managed to bf).
(OTOH every time I look at my perfect dd I think, I don't care how you got here, I'm just happy to have you).
I have no vaginal experience to compare, but I think the whole, not being in control of things was very upsetting for me. I know people who are fine 2 weeks after a c-section, but not me.

nothing more to say I guess :
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Old 09-20-2004, 08:41 PM
 
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I think all births are different and it depends on what you want. You feel empowered by your birth and she feels empowered (or at least happy) with hers. I had two epidural births by choice and felt that they were perfect, while many of my natural childbirth friends are horrified to even think of an epidural. Everyone is different.

You had your reasons for a natural birth and so you feel great about doing it! You should feel proud of yourself.

BTW I've never heard of not having lochia with *any* birth. Maybe she's suffering from postpartum memory loss.

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Old 09-20-2004, 10:43 PM
 
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Ummmm if your placenta is gone, you are going to have lochia, no matter how it left. I bled for 6 weeks after my first c/s. In addition to having my incision open up and having PPD. Yeah, so much easier. And I had wicked afterpains with both c/s.
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Old 09-21-2004, 04:22 PM
 
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a planned repeat c/s is physically usually easier to recover from than a c/s done after a long labor. emotionally - depends on what the mom wanted.
a planned c/s after a traumatic vaginal birth with a fourth degree tear etc might be easier physically and emotionally - it all depends on the person.
of course even with a planned cbirth you can get wound infections etc though not as often as withunplanned.
i will have to have a repeat as my first was a low vertical uterine incision with a 3 cm extension which unfortunately increases my rupture risk substantially and i can tell you that though i don't mind knowing when i'll have my baby (barring any preterm labor again) i am really really disappointed that i can't vbac.
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Old 09-21-2004, 07:28 PM
 
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Well...IMO-the baby gets short changed in a Ceserean birth. They loose many benefits of a vaginal birth...the sqeezing through the birth canal which helps squeeze out the amniotic fluid so they aren't gunky when born. Also-there is a sort of cranial sacral adjustment that occurs...through the same squeeaing according to two chiros I really respect. Hmmm.what about the accidental cutting of your bladder...or cutting of the baby during surgery? Or spinal probs to mom from Epidural or Spinal Anesthesia?

Many Cesarean babies have to spend time in the NICU cuz of goopy lungs, low sats. Where is the benefit in that.?Also-a planned surgery does not allow baby and mom to physically pick the borihday...so baby can be born too early-and often is. Again the reason for the NICU visit.

Also there are REAL risks associated with surgery. Just read the consent form...anesthesia and surgery have risk. Including a real risk for death. You can simply have a reaction to a medicine they give you and die from that. I am not saying it WILL happen, just that it can and does.

It isn't just about mom-it is about baby too. Some people luck out and have trouble free surgeries. I was not one of them. I had a tough recovery, a incisional infection...lost tons of weight cuz of the infection...and was not up an about for about 4 weeks after the surgery. And I am one fit and healthy mom otherwise. Even at 4 weeks post op I was not doing great. Just functioning.

Besides, WTH? who cares about Lochia, and some minor tears???it sure as heck beats incisional infections, throwing clots, a baby that won't nurse because of sleepiness due to meds etc...Most 4th degree tears come from episiotomies...

To me it is silly thinking that you are going to 'escape' any hardship about birthing by planning your ceserean. Plenty of women have incredible vaginal birth experiences...without any complications...and who cares about a little hard physical worK? Many women also have complication free cesereans.

I see labor and birth as a metaphor for parenting. None of it is easy-but it is sure rewarding.

And...for the record...I believe we all make the best choices that we can, given the information that we have at the time. I am NOT slamming anyone who has chosen a ceserean...just explaining my POV.
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Old 09-21-2004, 08:02 PM
 
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My dd was in the NICU for 2 weeks for persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH). It was the worst 2 weeks of my life, and not something I would wish on my worst enemy.

Altho dd was born vaginally, the risk of PPH increases in a C-section birth. I can't imagine knowingly choosing to increase that risk without a darn good reason.

Just my POV.
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:40 AM
 
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Um, there was NOTHING easy about my c/section. From my accidental double dose of morphine, to our breastfeeding problems, to feeling like my intestines were going to fall out with every step, lemme just say: IT SUCKED!

Now, I did have the no-lochia thing. (Well, I bled for a couple days, and then just spotted for a few more.) But I also have adhesions from the surgery that will probably ALWAYS hurt. Nobody can put pressure on my belly without it causing me a lot of pain, over 2 years later.

Plus, I was the last one to really hold my dd. No decreased amount of lochia can make up for that.
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:24 AM
 
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just chiming in with the belief that birth should be treated like what it is: a natural bodily function that women's bodies were made for!

BIRTH

IS

NOT

A

MEDICAL

PROCEDURE.


surgical births carry so much risk with them. why chance it?




and why have a homebirth? because HOME BIRTH EMPOWERS WOMEN.

it can be one of the most deeply spiritual and healing events of a woman's life...


OR


she can hand over that power to a doctor and let him slice her open and tear the baby from her womb.



fun.
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Old 09-22-2004, 06:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergreen
She had a planned cesarean birth a few days ago. She also has a three year old with whom she had an intervention free natural childbirth.
I don't believe you--the part about the intervention-free natural childbirth. Where did she birth the baby? Who attended the birth? What made it 'natural'?

Seriously--I'm going to be bold and ballsy and assume your planned c-sec friend actually had a traumatizing, humiliating, vaginal hosptial birth attended by an OB. If I had had an experience like that, and my doc offered me a straightforward c-section, where I would know what was comin' at me, I might just choose the surgery.

What was the charachter of her first birth? That really might help one understand why she is so happy with her choice to have had a c-section.
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