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#1 of 73 Old 09-25-2004, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Four of my friends and family have given birth this month and three of them ended up with c-sections.

One of them was scheduled b/c she had a c-section the first time. She wanted to try for a VBAC but her OB said her pelvis was way to small to fit her "huge" 8lb 4oz baby. He told her that if she tried she would just fail--so why try at all?!

Of the other three, all labors were induced. One never progressed, and one had an OB that made her stop pushing after 2 hrs. Both were told they had large babies. (7lbs 4oz and 8lbs 4 oz)

The one who delivered vaginally was the only one who refused the epidural. However, she was induced early for convenience, and had a little 6lb boy who was, of course, "too tiny to breastfeed," which frustrates me as well.

These are all smart, intelligent women who refused to educate themselves about options in childbirth. Why is it acceptable to not give a hoot about how your baby is born?! The worst part is that no one in our circle cares. I would never say anything negative to the PP mother about her birth, but everyone else just says "the baby is healthy and thats all that matters." Yes, it is the most important thing by far, but it isn't ALL that matters. The mother matters too, and her experience can change or colour her life forever. I guess no one wants to talk about that.

I'm sorry, but 3 c-sections out of 4 heathly single pregnancies seems a tad extreme to me. It makes me sad.

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#2 of 73 Old 09-25-2004, 08:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Angierae
but everyone else just says "the baby is healthy and thats all that matters."
that is the most hurtful thing anyone can say to a new mother. It totally invalidates any negative feelings she might be having about the experience, and makes her bottle up those emotions which is not healthy at all.

I am very sorry you know so many women who have had cesareans recently. It breaks my heart every time I hear another person I know has had one. Maybe I sometimes transfer my own feelings of trauma regarding my first DD's birth onto those women and their experiences. But what I try to do is to be there when and if they need to talk about it, to sort through their feelings, and to give them permission to feel however they might be feeling about it. I have to make a very concerted effort not to talk about my experience, but to let them talk about theirs. I always let them know that it's ok to greive the loss of the birth they thought they would have, and that they can come to me whenever they need someone to talk to about it.
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#3 of 73 Old 09-25-2004, 09:01 PM
 
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It really is frustrating that c-sections are so common, it was mentioned in another post that the c-section rate was 30% (average).

I am one of those people who, at about 6 months pp, started to mourn the loss of the natural birth that I wanted. I didn't want an epidurl but after 30 hours I asked for one, I feel that effected the whole rest of my labor. Once I started dialating I dialated at 1cm an hour until I got the epi and everything slowed down. I also was made to lay flat on my back for the most part for the rest of the 15 hours. When it was time to push I pushed for 3 hours, of course flat on my back, finaly the doctor said he would try the vaccumn and if that didn't work I would have a c-section. I hadn't really slept in 3 days so I was exhausted and I was getting to the point where I physically couldn't push. Luckily the vacumn worked and I didn't need the section.

It didn't help that after I received the epidural the nurse told me that out of all the patients she has helped (she was a delivery nurse for 10 years) I was the one she thought could handle a natural birth the best. She said I was doing so well. I wish I had been told that before I wanted the epi. Had I been able to walk and try different possitions to push, AND had I waited until I felt the desire to push I feel my labor would have been quicker and a better experience. I also mourned and am still mourning other decisions I made (like my sons circ, his vaxs and not rooming in).

I really get mad when I try and talk to people about how much I thought my labor experience could have been much better and they use the "He is healthy and that is all that matters" card. But it does matter! It matters a lot.

Sorry to hyjack your thread, but I wish I had had a friend like you in the months after my labor. It seems like no one understands the mourning of a botched labor.
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#4 of 73 Old 09-25-2004, 09:38 PM
 
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I just wish the dr's/mw's/moms to be had more faith in birth, it seems like everyone is afraid to just let things happen the way nature intended. I think that's what it comes down to. that and too many interventions..

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#5 of 73 Old 09-27-2004, 01:40 AM
 
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I find this very frustrating, too (when healthy women end up having healthy babies by c.s.). But lately I've been realizing that there really are just a lot of women who don't think it's a big deal. They didn't have any other hopes for the labor and birth, and all they want out of it is a baby to take home. The experience in itself is irrelevant to them.

For example, my SIL had the attitude from the moment she found out she was pregnant that she "didn't want to feel a thing". She said she planned to ask for an epidural the minute she got to the hospital. At the time I thought to myself, "That's so sad. She's going to end up with a c-section with that attitude." But it seemed useless to try to argue or educate her about her options. This is just the way birth is handled in her circle of friends, and in the hospitals where she lives. It's seen as completely normal.

So, of course she got her epidural and laid back in bed and watched TV and waited for something to happen... and waited... and waited... And then they started the pit, and then they yelled at her to PUSH!! for a couple hours, and then the forceps came out, and the vaccuum, and finally an emergency c-section because the baby was in distress. Her next two babies were scheduled caesarians because her "pelvis is just too small to birth a baby". Her babies were all in the 6-7 lb range. She is an entirely normal sized woman with normal sized hips.

None of this bothers her in the least. I think maybe she's actually a little relieved she didn't have to go through vaginal birth. When I saw her recently she tried to ask me if I planned to breastfeed (she didn't), but she couldn't even say the words! She made a disgusted face and gestured at her breast a little and said, "Are you gonna.... you know.... do that?"

Sorry I'm rambling, but I guess my point is that there are a lot of women out there who just don't care about these things. And yes, I think it's terribly sad for them and for their babies, but on the other hand they don't even seem to know what they're missing! So I'm always hesitant to say anything or make any suggestions, because maybe ignorance is bliss?! Maybe if my SIL for some bizarre reason decided to pick up a copy of BFW or Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, she would just be so sad about her experiences and full of regret, and there's nothing she can do about it now ... maybe it's better she not know. I don't know.
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#6 of 73 Old 09-27-2004, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angierae

The one who delivered vaginally was the only one who refused the epidural. However, she was induced early for convenience, and had a little 6lb boy who was, of course, "too tiny to breastfeed," which frustrates me as well.

.
What is THAT about? "Too tiny to breastfeed"? Oh,good lord. I'm less than 5 feet tall .My biggest baby was 6 lbs 8 oz ...the smallest was 3 lbs 12 oz. All my babies were great nursers,even my preemie twins! Ooh,that makes me mad.


People don't ever seem to understand why I get so up in arms and apt to whip out my soapbox on the c-section issue,etiher. It's become the norm and it SHOULD NOT be.

to make matters worse, our local hospital (the only one in close proximity) has banned VBACs....even if you have already had a successful one. So,the choice has immediately been taken away from women who would otherwise be willing to try for a natural VBAC. I have had 3 successful VBACS and nope...if I were to deliver in our local hospital, it'd be c-section. No choice about it.

Incidentally,there is no way are we having this baby in the hospital.No thank you. I like to have control over my reproductive "choices"
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#7 of 73 Old 09-27-2004, 02:34 PM
 
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Firstly, I think the collective "we" need to add a disclaimer here. I, for one, realize that even the best-planned births can end up in cesareans. There are ocassions where even the most die-hard natural birth fanatic and midwife can't prevent a cesarean section to save either the life of mom or baby.

I also realize that there are some mothers who are VERY educated and do extensive research regarding vaginal vs. cesarean birth. They still choose to give birth via cesarean. It doesn't necessarily mean they're ignorant or uninformed.

HOWEVER, the vast majority of women in this country have never witnessed or experienced a totally natural birth. Every mainstream book you pick up during pregnancy treats the ob as a god; don't ask too many questions; if he/she says it's best, it must be; it's okay to have opinions but LET THE EXPERTS TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING. In one book (is it What to Expect?) they talk about how if you don't listen to your ob and something goes wrong, you could be liable. :

Women just don't realize that the majority of hospitals are birth factories. No one has time to give them alternatives to drugs and interventions. They need to take care of many laboring women at once and are usually understaffed and underpaid. Women don't understand the cascade of interventions.... and don't want to hear about how things could have been avoided after the fact.

There is still a lot of shame and embarrassment surrounding women's power and sexuality. If they can numb themselves to the fact that they're going to be naked with their vaginas spread open in front of a half dozen people they don't even know, they are quite happy about it. Not everyone is strong enough to reclaim the power of birth as a intensely powerful and personal rite of passage. Everyone's on their own journey and you can't push them into a place where they don't want to go.
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#8 of 73 Old 09-27-2004, 11:13 PM
 
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What is the most sad is that most people accept this as the modern and "classy" way to have a baby.

Most women just reconcile themselves to the surgical delivery and move on with their lives since the care and raising of a child is so very overwhelming, why complain about how the baby was delivered?

We need to look at the attitudes we have and not let caesarean sections become the norm

Forty years ago, an OB who did too many caesareans became a pariah among patients and with his colleagues.

Now OBs are pressured into doing at least 50% or more because of our cultural desire for the perfect child and to always blame someone else for our problems.

We need to take responsibility for ourselves.
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#9 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 01:42 AM
 
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There seem to be some vestiges of the old Victorian notions of modesty when it comes to birth - a woman would rather lie draped on a table under a knife than get up on all fours and expose her rear end to widen her pelvic outlet and avoid the c/s. Of course, most doctors haven't ever tried. But really, several of the women I know who had c/s are definitely the type who would be horrified to something so "unladylike", but happy to submit to the authority who declares, "it's time for a c/s." Sad, sad, sad.
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#10 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 02:09 AM
 
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About 15 years ago, an older friend of mine showed me photos of her recent birth (in a local hospital) and she was on all fours pushing a baby out! I was so shocked to see that! I had been taught all my life that their is only ONE position to give birth. Sheesh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yequanamama
There seem to be some vestiges of the old Victorian notions of modesty when it comes to birth - a woman would rather lie draped on a table under a knife than get up on all fours and expose her rear end to widen her pelvic outlet and avoid the c/s. Of course, most doctors haven't ever tried. But really, several of the women I know who had c/s are definitely the type who would be horrified to something so "unladylike", but happy to submit to the authority who declares, "it's time for a c/s." Sad, sad, sad.
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#11 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 04:20 PM
 
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Sorry I'm rambling, but I guess my point is that there are a lot of women out there who just don't care about these things. And yes, I think it's terribly sad for them and for their babies, but on the other hand they don't even seem to know what they're missing!

-I don't know how to talk to these people at all. It totally weirds me out, but if that's what she wants it's fine by me. The stories that really make me sad are the women who planned for a natural birth, but went to the hospital and hit the domino effect spiraling toward a c-section. I know so many women this has happened to. So for every woman I know is pregnant and wants a natural birth I recommend "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" it's an inspiring and informative book that I think helps give women the courage to birth at home or the tools to cope with birthing in a hospital. I lent it to my friend who had her baby on Sept 10 and she had a wonderful, all natural hospital birth. The nurses and nurse midwives were amazed, which just shows again, what a f$%# up place hospitals are for births.
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#12 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 04:25 PM
 
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On one of my blog sites, I received a comment on an entry I wrote about birting options from a man who said that he though"natural childbirth is wondeful" but he stated that since his wife had a c-section with their first child, they won't ever get to experience it.

WHY? Who told you THAT? It's amazing to me that people just automatically choose to believe everything they are told by doctors.
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#13 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 05:11 PM
 
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I thought I'd posted a long reply yesterday... must have gotten lost somewhere in cyber-space?

anyway, what I was trying to say in that lost post was that even many women who seem to not care, or who only say good things about their c/s experiences, might just be hiding their feelings *because* of the "all that matters is a healthy baby" mentality. I know many women who have had cesarean births, who feel terrible about it but are very reluctant to admit to it. You have no way of knowing what's going on inside their heads. They might be crying inside for all you know, and just putting on a brave front to the world around them because that is what is expected of them.
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#14 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 05:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stafl
You have no way of knowing what's going on inside their heads. They might be crying inside for all you know, and just putting on a brave front to the world around them because that is what is expected of them.
NONONONONO! It shoudln't be this way. Not at all.

The saddest part of it all for me is not thinking, "oh something went wrong but thankfully surgery saved their lives" but the niggling thought that "that probably wasn't necessary, but it's too late to know".
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#15 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 05:48 PM
 
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Yes, there are alot of women who don't care how they deliver their child.

I had a c-section on september 3rd.
I am devastated over this.

The only people who have given me support over it are the midwives we were planning on birthing with, my partner, and a women I met online yesterday.

everyone, and i mean EVERYONE else "well at least you have a healthy baby" " just think you could have died" "well at least your *privates* are still in tact"

I will never understand the lack of support I have recieved from my devastation over my c-section. It ticks me off more than I can express, infact, I have stopped talking about my loss in public to family and friends, due to their lack of support.

I educated myself, my partner paid a couple thosand dollars so we could birth at a birthing center in our town. We found the perfect midwives, the perfect place, I had it all. And then we discovered she was breech. They legally aren't allowed to deliver breech babies. So they found me a doctor in my county who delivers them vaginally. He promised he would meet me at the hospital when he was paged. He never did. No other doctor at the hospital would deliver her naturally. And there I was, at the one place i never wanted to birth at, without the doctor who said he would be there, 10 cm dialated, her feet coming out, getting wheeled into the operation room for a ceasarian.

all i can think is why me? why when there are so many women out there who could care less how their babies are delivered into the world. Why my daughter, when I had it all planned out. Come to find, its me and my body that wouldn't allow her to flip from breech, i have a bicorniate uterus. Its all my fault. Why didn't i just get up and run to a room, shut the door and lock it and deliver her myself? I know I could have. I made it through the labor fine, so many what ifs.....and no answers.

So i sit here, with an incision on my abdomen now forever, adding me to the 30% or so of women who have c-sections these days. Just another statistic.

Someone who other women now think that I opted for this. Because I don't have the secuirty to speak about my experience in public due to the lack of support. I just tell them, I had a c-section. And then talk about my beautiful daughter.
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#16 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 06:04 PM
 
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"But lately I've been realizing that there really are just a lot of women who don't think it's a big deal. They didn't have any other hopes for the labor and birth, and all they want out of it is a baby to take home. The experience in itself is irrelevant to them."

I guess I kinda feel like this too.....

I've had three vaginal birth (one was stillbirth) and one emergency c/s (cord prolapse)

But the c/s was very traumatic so I needed counseling a few months later....the nightmares, panic attacks, etc

However, I went into my most recent birth with NO expectations and was very happy. (except for the fact the epidural didn't work!)
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#17 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 06:07 PM
 
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Sitara, I'm sorry people are not respectful. Have you read the book "Rebounding from Childbirth?" It helped me a lot. I am not in the natural birth camp, but the c-section was devastating to me for a long time. Take care of yourself. Healing will come, but allow yourself to grieve.
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#18 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 07:17 PM
 
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Sitara-
I am so VERY sorry!!! Did you find out from the doctor why he didn't show?

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#19 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 08:36 PM
 
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Sitara
it sounds like you could use a dose of ICAN healing. ICAN has an online C-Section support group that is amazing- it is filled with women who "get it"
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ICAN-online/

I'm sorry and I DO understand your disappointment.

take care
elaine
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#20 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 09:29 PM
 
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Sitara-
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#21 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 11:31 PM
 
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Sitara, your story had me in tears and



I hope you are able to heal, and that your next birth will be the way you deserve.
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#22 of 73 Old 09-28-2004, 11:57 PM
 
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you're all so nice!

Support from total strangers, online, has made tears fall (((thank you)))I can't thank you enough for not shoving it down my throat with suppressing comments.

I hope i haven't taken over this thread with my story, i just wanted to show that not every woman out there opts for this.

The doctor lied to me at first. He told me he was with his mother in the emergency room and couldn't come. Then at my week check up to take my staples out *shudder* he confessed the truth. He said he's so guilt ridden over not showing, that he hadn't slept the entire week. It kept him up at night. He was in his daughters room sleeping with her. She had a nightmare, and he went into her room, fell asleep on her bed, and can't hear the phone ring from in there. His cell / pager were in his bedroom. He literally missed the call. He asked for my forgiveness, and i was speechless. I couldn't talk. Tears streamed down my face because I know had he gotten that call, she would have come out vaginally. I just got up, forced a smile to my face and left. I couldn't say a word.

He says he is only allowed to deliver frank breech babies, that according to my records she came out of frank breech and I would have had to have a c-section anyways. A part of me doesn't believe she droped her feet in labor. They say her feet were coming out, but i just don't believe them. I think they said that to convince me that a c-section was my only option after they knew he wasn't coming and the clock was ticking .... well, i'm still not convinced LOL. The same doctor who said her feet were coming out, didn't think I was dialated because she couldn't find my cervix. Well she couldn't find it because I was fully dialated and she didn't believe that because I was talking in between contractions and pain med free.

Thank you for that list. I'm going to apply as soon as this message is posted.

You know...i dreamed of the natural birth setting for so long... longer than I can remember. I wanted it so bad. If i ever have more children, I am going nowhere near a hospital...... i just want a home birth, alone, no medical intervention and just my partner, daughter, me and baby on the way. You couldn't pay me enough to trust a doctor again at this point in my life. I held onto her at her week check up and glared at the doctor.

If all goes as planed we won't be going for our 2 month check up, if shes not sick...why go to the doctor.

anyways...i'm definately rambling now....going to join that group...i could really use it!

(((((Big thank you)))))))
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#23 of 73 Old 09-29-2004, 02:04 PM
 
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Sitara -
I'm so sorry. It's obvious that you're feeling traumatized and I hope you find some way of healing.
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#24 of 73 Old 09-29-2004, 02:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitara
everyone, and i mean EVERYONE else "well at least you have a healthy baby" " just think you could have died" "well at least your *privates* are still in tact"
Just one more comment - why is it that people think that if you've given birth vaginally, you're somehow "damaged goods." I know a woman who had 4 c-sections and had a doctor tell her that her husband was very lucky. I find that offensive in so many ways. I gave birth to a 10 lb baby and my vagina is just fine, thank you.
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#25 of 73 Old 09-29-2004, 02:22 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. It is very sad- even coming from someone who has had two sections herself.

I am one of those women who, when pregnant-reads all the online midwife info- totally educates herself about all aspects of birth, etc- and ends up with a c-section two times so far. My babies never dropped. I went 44 weeks with dd, who flipped and turned everyday: but deided she like footling position best. labor never started, I never dialated, she never dropped.

Ds , a year and a half later- labor starts, water breaks, he is WAY up high, mecomium, not dialating, hours are passing, contractions staying painful, yet the same- not regular AT ALL. I truly had a peace though about deciding to do a c-section. Because I felt in my heart I could have beeen a statistic who-after trying, and wearing myself out and the baby either had to have an emergency section or the baby and myself could have become very ill or died. I chose the cesearean. And it was healing from the first, where I had no choice. I felt I had a wonderful OB who handled everything beautifully and was truly concerned for the best outcome for everyone involved.
I SO wish I could have had a normal delivery. But that didn't seem to be the dish that was handed to me. And then two months later a friend of mine- who probably didn't hardly read squat or study anything has an uneventful 3 hour labor!
So in the end, I think the best outcome is the health of mother and baby. But I agree it is a horrible thing to say to someone traumatized by the birth experience.
So I guess what I am trying to say is: birth is a force that no one can tame. It is wild, erratic,powerful, and unpredictable. All the studying in the world could not change wahat happened. It is a very sad thing that so many sections are done unnesecarily, it truly is- but I think when that is your only option they are beautiful and life saving.
I think there is education needed so that we end up with less uneeded sections by people who truly don't need them.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
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#26 of 73 Old 09-29-2004, 03:50 PM
 
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So this is where I get confused. What is the correct thing to say when someone tells you she had a ceasarian birth? If I respond with empathy and assume she's grieving, she may be offended and think that I'm implying that she "failed" at birth. But of course the "what's important is you have a healthy baby" type comments are just completely annoying, and obviously very hurtful to some women.

So, what is the right thing to say?

And Sitara, to you.
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#27 of 73 Old 09-29-2004, 06:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sm3247
Just one more comment - why is it that people think that if you've given birth vaginally, you're somehow "damaged goods." I know a woman who had 4 c-sections and had a doctor tell her that her husband was very lucky. I find that offensive in so many ways. I gave birth to a 10 lb baby and my vagina is just fine, thank you.
I have heard this too and I don't understand it at all. I've had two vaginal births and no complaints from my husband at all. He says I'm exactly the same as I used to be down there.
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#28 of 73 Old 09-29-2004, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gottaknit
So this is where I get confused. What is the correct thing to say when someone tells you she had a ceasarian birth? If I respond with empathy and assume she's grieving, she may be offended and think that I'm implying that she "failed" at birth. But of course the "what's important is you have a healthy baby" type comments are just completely annoying, and obviously very hurtful to some women.

So, what is the right thing to say?

And Sitara, to you.
I just act sympathetic that they had to go through a surgery, without judging thier birth. I ask how they are feeling and how their recovery is going and figure that if they want to talk about it they will. The healthy baby comment would strike a nerve with me because it implies that the mother doesn't matter.
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#29 of 73 Old 09-29-2004, 07:53 PM
 
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I, too, wonder sometimes how to approach women who've had a cesarean birth or other possibly traumatic birth both in my professional career and in my social life. I usually ask how the recovery is going, and how adjusting to motherhood is. Many times asking sort of non-judgemental, more neutral questions like that get the conversation going and can be a jumping off point. Usually, if a mama has issues she is dealing with, finding that someone is listening is enough to let her talk about what she needs to talk about. And just like in the grieving process after someone has died, there is no right place to be, and no set pattern your emotions must follow. Some women really feel grief and loss after a surgical birth, and some are happy it went that way, and some are every variation in between. Just like any conversation, reflecting and reaffirming what a person has said help to make someone feel safe and supported. You know, if the mom says "I was so worried about the baby, when doc said c-birth, I said okay" and you don't say back "Gee that doctor was manipulating you" even if you think he was. Instead you say "Wow, it must have been scary to be so worried." That way mom's feelings are recognized as valid and she can feel supported. While it's tempting to educate every woman about "what went wrong with her birth" it isn't very helpful or healing.
Of course a healthy baby and mama are important. Of course that isn't the only thing that matters. Different people do process there feelings in different ways at different times, though.
Am I making any sense?
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#30 of 73 Old 09-29-2004, 08:03 PM
 
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Yes, you're making perfect sense. Thanks.
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