Loved my intrathecal! No natural childbirth for me EVER again! - Page 8 - Mothering Forums

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#211 of 225 Old 04-08-2005, 04:26 PM
 
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Mamasaurus-
I have read this post many, many times and everytime I feel so badly for you. And I have actually had the thought that you were deprived of you rightfully, happy birth experience... and the word "rape" did come into my mind as I have used that word to describe my birth and post-partum experience.

I thought I would just post a definition of "rape" from dictionary.com, which is very similar to the big dictionary we have in hard copy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dictionary.com
rape1 ( P ) Pronunciation Key (rp)
n.
The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.
The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction.
Abusive or improper treatment; violation: a rape of justice.

tr.v. raped, rap·ing, rapes
To force (another person) to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse; commit rape on.
To seize and carry off by force.
To plunder or pillage.
No one group has "ownership" of the term rape. People who use it to describe atrocities aren't minimizing the experiences of those who have experienced rape in another way. There are many ways to experience rape. And if you think of it... all of them involve the "Raping" of dignity from the victim. That term is frequently used to describe how people misuse the earth and resources.

Emmabella, I am truly, truly sorry that you had that awful, terrible experience... Please try to see that there are many ways to suffer loss of dignity and rape. Just as you have a right to grieve about your rape and talk about it in those terms, so does mamasaurus.

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#212 of 225 Old 04-09-2005, 05:11 PM
 
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Wow! What a thread! I hope the OP doesn't feel bad that it's gotten so OT, because there have been some really good tangential discussion here that wouldn't have happened without the OT.

So, rape. Yeah, I agree that the word does not belong only to those who've had penises forced into their vaginas. I do question whether it should be used to describe a violation that was not intended. My first birth, for instance, was emotionally and physically traumatic, mostly due to the actions of my birth attendants, including those involving my genitals. I believe that they did not perceive their actions to be harmful or forced though, so I do not call it "rape". I have however read many stories by women who used the word "rape" very appropriately to describe their birth attendants' actions, and I've read many stories that didn't use that word, but it certainly came to my mind.

On birth pain being a biological necessity: There's no evidence for this. Also, it makes no sense evolutionarily speaking. As our heads became bigger and we started walking upright, our pelvises would have evolved at the same time to accomodate this, as they needed to. The difference between us and other animals that is relevant is our highly developed neocortex and our extreme dependance on it. I would bet anything that if apes came to rely on the neocortex as much as we do, that they would have as much trouble as we do giving birth. Sex is different (and more fraught with dysfunction) for us too, for that very reason.

On pain and attendants: I haven't read all of marsupialmom's posts, but I think I basically agree with her. For most women, an attendant is going to be a distraction to some degree. She may be self-conscious or inhibited, feeling observed. Or the attendant may attempt to guide her, or "ground her" with eye contact. These things stimulate the neocortex, which interferes with hormonal release, which interferes with the functioning of the uterus, which, yes, makes birth painful. How easy would it be, after all, for you to become aroused, lubricated, stretchy, and come to orgasm if a midwife was there with you? That is just straightforward physiology. There are situations I can think of in which this is not an issue, but those are pretty rare I think. Why then have women always been attended by other women in birth? Well actually, we don't know that they have. The vast majority of recorded observations we have about birth have been in patriarchal, aggressive societies, and there's some conjecture that that type of society is served by ritually disturbing the birth process in some way. Traditional and modern midwives both commonly do things to disturb the process.

That said, I know that pain in birth is not all about environment. There are SO many reasons that modern women experience pain in birth, many physical. In my case my hormonal process was not disturbed by the presence of birth attendants (because they weren't there!,) but I was still in my head to some extent. I wonder if something about my lifestyle had something to do with it -- Michel Odent in his book The Scientification of Love writes that the more often we do things that facilitate the flow of oxytocin, the more open the receptor sites become to receiving oxytocin. Another factor yet is that my body is in no shape at all to give birth. I have spent so much of my life sitting in chairs, even reclining on soft surfaces. How could that not have an effect? And I have had other health issues as well that I am positive have affected my body's ability to adjust smoothly to the movement of a baby through it.
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#213 of 225 Old 04-09-2005, 10:22 PM
 
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Hang around on ICAN and you are sure to hear from women who have been both raped and had a c-section, and who feel more violated by the latter.
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#214 of 225 Old 04-10-2005, 03:41 PM
 
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Linda,
I think you made some excellent points about pain. Many (probably even most) modern western women are not in the same physical or emotional shape that our ancestors were in (in terms of being ready to give birth). I've taken a lot of that to heart this pg and am squatting and tailor sitting like crazy.
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#215 of 225 Old 04-10-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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I'm new here, but can't help but feel the point of MDC is to help support women to make informed choices around having and raising children. I am happy you found a birth option that works for you, and glad you are trying to support others by sharing your experience. I would like to think of myself as a homebirth advocate, but recognize it is not the ideal choice for everyone. The undue stress she could have been under from her perception of pain (everyone is different) imo could be just as bad as an epidural for her baby. I have seen women fight labor and in terror tense every single muscle, making a natural delivery so ugly and miserable (and longer), not beautiful or peaceful or empowering at all. I hope through making her own decisions (whatever they may be) she feels empowered and strong and justified. Congratulations, mama! We all must try to choose the best for us and our children, right?
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#216 of 225 Old 04-10-2005, 03:55 PM
 
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I wonder how much is also due to the knowledge in the back of every woman's mind that "it doesn't have to be this way?"

I mean, every woman who decides on a home or unmedicated birth knows that there are hospitals and drugs available to her and all she has to do is ask. I knew that I could ask for an epidural or c-section at any time. Especially at birth #2, I was thinking to myself that I had already had an unmedicated birth with #1 so therefore no one would judge me for taking drugs with #2.
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#217 of 225 Old 04-10-2005, 06:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
On birth pain being a biological necessity: There's no evidence for this.
Is there evidence that it isn't? It may not matter if there is a biological reason for pain. Did anyone check out the evolution thread?

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#218 of 225 Old 04-10-2005, 07:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
On birth pain being a biological necessity: There's no evidence for this. Also, it makes no sense evolutionarily speaking. As our heads became bigger and we started walking upright, our pelvises would have evolved at the same time to accomodate this, as they needed to.
I think that would only be true to a point, wouldn't it? It seems to me that, evolutionarily speaking, our pelvises would have to adapt enough that we could give birth. As long as women had no recourse to birth control, there wouldn't be any evolutionary advantage (or disadvantage) to making the birth pain free.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#219 of 225 Old 04-11-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I wonder how much is also due to the knowledge in the back of every woman's mind that "it doesn't have to be this way?"

I mean, every woman who decides on a home or unmedicated birth knows that there are hospitals and drugs available to her and all she has to do is ask. I knew that I could ask for an epidural or c-section at any time. Especially at birth #2, I was thinking to myself that I had already had an unmedicated birth with #1 so therefore no one would judge me for taking drugs with #2.
I honestly didn't know this was an option. I think I wrote this before but it never ONCE occured to me while planning either homebirth (no one mentioned it) - or during for that matter - that transferring was an option for the sake of drugs. That's one of the reasons I chose a homebirth - b/c drugs were absolutely not going to be an option. So I feel that I can say very honestly that there never was a thought in my mind that drugs were an option to *me* during childbirth. And I think that for me it made it easier to cope (because I had to).

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#220 of 225 Old 04-12-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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I have mixed feelings about the OP. On one hand I support women in getting the births that are right for them. Even those gals who choose elective cesareans. I'm glad the author of the OP got the birth she wanted the second time. One thing that sometimes pains me is how judgemental we can be of one another, and I wish there was less of that.

On the other hand, my first thought when I read the OP was that if I had read that when I was pregnant with my first baby I would have found it *very* undermining. It would have scared the crap out of me! I think that's why many pps have wondered whether the OP was appropriate. I'm struggling with how to reassure first-time moms-to-be without seeming to invalidate the OP's experience.

I will just say that many, many of us who have opted for natural childbirth have found it was difficult, but not more than we could handle.
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#221 of 225 Old 04-13-2005, 03:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I wonder how much is also due to the knowledge in the back of every woman's mind that "it doesn't have to be this way?"

I mean, every woman who decides on a home or unmedicated birth knows that there are hospitals and drugs available to her and all she has to do is ask. I knew that I could ask for an epidural or c-section at any time. Especially at birth #2, I was thinking to myself that I had already had an unmedicated birth with #1 so therefore no one would judge me for taking drugs with #2.
I actually strongly disagree with this... I have UC's so going to a hospital to get drugs or a section would cause me an immense amount of grief. I honestly don't believe that medication is an option for me. I've done the research and drugs just are not an option.. period.. I'd like to find an anesthia alternative if I need an emergency section.... I dunno but I wouldn't accept unsurgery related drugs in labor anymore than I would accept street drugs in labor...

Now... this said... I have attended women that have used Stadol and seen them be able to relax and handle the rest of labor better. I've also seen women have epidurals that allowed them to relax enough to dilate 5 cm in 20min and push out a baby in 10...

I think it's incrediably important for every woman to be fully aware of the risks of medication and to have the inner strength to do what is best for her and her baby without concern for the thoughts or feelings of anyone but her and her child.
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#222 of 225 Old 04-13-2005, 01:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thmom

I think it's incrediably important for every woman to be fully aware of the risks of medication and to have the inner strength to do what is best for her and her baby without concern for the thoughts or feelings of anyone but her and her child.

Amen, Mama!
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#223 of 225 Old 04-13-2005, 02:05 PM
 
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good for you. don't let anyone tell you what to think or feel about your own childbirth and body, whether they are crunchies or medical types.

the important thing is ATTACHMENT and LOVE. hold your baby tight and don't ever apologize. attachment isn't about not having pain meds during the birth. it's about attachment.
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#224 of 225 Old 04-15-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funshine
I wish that instead of debating whether or not birth is painful, we invited women to evaluate their own experiences/beliefs/attitudes with/about pain and we discussed what birth pain is and how it is different from other types of pain, like pain related to infection, injury, surgery. Birth pain, for the majority who experience it, is a physiological pain caused by our body doing a normal thing, and can be useful to us in labor. The other types of pain, with which most of us have much more experience and which shape our culture's approach to pain in general, are pathological forms of pain, they tell us that something is wrong with our body.
if a separate thread hasn't already been started about this, it should be! i think this would be a fantastic discussion: "how did you feel about your birth pain?"

i mean, i might be a little weird but i LOVED labor even when it was excruciating. i had a necessary c-birth and i really regret that i didn't get to experience vaginal birth. pain or no pain, i had so strongly visualized myself reaching down to touch Willow's head as she came out and i still mourn the loss of that very deeply.

hell yeah labor was painful, especially when i went through transition - i didn't know i was in transiation at the time, my doulas were keeping track, i went through transition at least 3 times as Willow's head dipped down into the birth canal and bobbed back up on her very short, wrapped cord. i do have a high pain threshhold because i've been disabled with arthritis and fibromyalgia for many years and have developed a ton of pain-coping styles. so i wasn't afraid of the pain of birth at all, i was only afraid of interventions (hence 2 doulas!). i experienced the pains as riding the world's largest roller-coaster, sometimes it felt like cliff-diving - basically a HUGE rush of endorphins that helped me ride the waves.

i only hated the pain once i knew i had to have a c-birth, then it became an intrusion, something that wasn't welcome. because i knew it wasn't bringing my daughter any closer to me. so i think that how a woman perceives her birth environment and circumstances has a LOT to do with how much pain she'll experience.

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#225 of 225 Old 04-16-2005, 12:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoraB
I imagine that, to most women, the word "rape" conjures up the most terrible sense of violation possible. To say that a woman who has not been raped according to a certain definition has no right to use the word is highly disrespectful. Feelings are so subjective and there are many ways to violate another person.

I had a c/s w/ my DD. Afterward, I felt terribly violated by the surgery. I couldn't help thinking over and over about how the doctors had their hands inside my body, how they had handled my internal organs and discussed them like so many bits of meat. I did feel raped. Is it okay for me to use that word b/c I was sexually abused as a child? If I had not been, would I have no claim to it?

Birth is profoundly sexual, whether we always aknowledge it or not. I have had surgery before and not felt that sense of terror and violation. Yet, w/ my c/s (scheduled and ultimately chosen by me to boot) I experienced horrible and completely unexpected trauma. I had many moments of irrational terror afterward. I have mostly healed, but am left w/ a profound distrust for doctors and surgery in general.

And whether the trauma was caused by malintent on the part of the doctor is not really a good measure either. I've no doubt that my doctors had no intent of causing me harm. They had no idea how the c/s would impact me. They believed it was the best possible course of action...and I agreed until I actually had the c/s. Does that mean I have no claim to feel violated?

I think I can understand some of the sensitivity about the use of the word "rape." If one was recovering from rape, the idea of another using the word casually would beyond horrible. I don't think it was used casually in this context. If the discussion had been about paying too much for internet access and a person used the word "rape" that would be casual. The use of the word in the context of a traumatic birth could never be called casual, IMO.

I was raped. I was raped by a complete stranger before I had even ever had sex. I don't have a problem with women using the word "rape" to describe their being violated at the hands of doctors. I felt "raped" after the birth of my first child. And actually I think I was more traumatized by that "rape" than the real actual rape I experienced. I am not sure which one has effected me more. But that is my opinion. I guess some people are offended by people using it in this context. As someone who has experienced both, I don't find it bothersome. And having been raped as a reference point I can totally see how the term is completely relevant.
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