Is the baby ALL that really matters? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 80 Old 05-26-2005, 11:08 AM
 
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That was awful, awful midwife advice. Nobody here is suggesting that you should go for a dream birth at your baby's expense. We're saying that the high-intervention, low-respect births that most women have (without medical cause) are a big deal, and that simply having a healthy baby does not make it not a big deal. But what you're talking about is a medical emergency that was grossly mismanaged. I'm so sorry that happened to you.
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#62 of 80 Old 05-26-2005, 02:08 PM
 
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#63 of 80 Old 05-26-2005, 02:30 PM
 
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I've only skimmed this thread so I might have missed some stuff, but I wanted to share my experience. I didn't have my ideal birth (uc) but I didn't have a horrible birth, at least I keep telling myself that. So many out there have had much worse experiences, so I should consider myself lucky. I had a quick, no meds, low pain, no epis, vaginal hospital birth. Couldn't use their stupid ill designed squat bar, and I couldn't verbalize that I wanted help getting into all-fours, if they would have even agreed to that. They BS'ed that she was "in distress" when she came out and they just had to cut the cord right away and take her to the other side of the room. And it seems like such a little thing compared to everything that could have gone wrong. But I spent weeks missing "my" baby and wondering who this screaming unhappy little creature was. I still pat my belly sometimes looking for my baby that used to be in there. Her father went with them when they took her, so he's the one who didn't abandon her and let her down. She only wanted to be near me to nurse for a long time. Sometimes, still does, but now sometimes she will actually cry for me when he has her. I have moments, less now I guess, where I wanted to give her away and start again with a "real" birth and a baby that doesn't hate me. Even in good moments, sometimes I feel like I think an adoptive mother might -- I love her, I'm her mother, but I don't feel like there's any physical connection. And the weird thing is she looks just like me. If it wasn't for that I don't know what I'd think. And I'm still very resentful of my husband for falling down on the job. I hit transition and when I said I can't do this, I want to go to the hospital, he was all for it. I wish he would have told me months before that he was going to wuss out and we needed to get a midwife -- but he's too much of a cheapskate to go for that anyway. Next time I have a UC, he's not invited -- I doubt if I'm inviting him to the conception, either. :

Sorry for getting long-winded here. 4 months later and I haven't talked about this much.
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#64 of 80 Old 05-26-2005, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by paquerette
But I spent weeks missing "my" baby and wondering who this screaming unhappy little creature was. I still pat my belly sometimes looking for my baby that used to be in there. Her father went with them when they took her, so he's the one who didn't abandon her and let her down. She only wanted to be near me to nurse for a long time. Sometimes, still does, but now sometimes she will actually cry for me when he has her. I have moments, less now I guess, where I wanted to give her away and start again with a "real" birth and a baby that doesn't hate me. Even in good moments, sometimes I feel like I think an adoptive mother might -- I love her, I'm her mother, but I don't feel like there's any physical connection.
I went through something like this, as I said above. It felt like I had gotten away with something, that I was pregnant and then I got this great baby but I couldn't feel the connection. It was like a prize! Wow! I wonder if a lot of women feel this anyway, no matter what kind of birth we have. It's kind of mysterious on some level. I think nursing and carrying him around and sleeping with him helped me to feel more physically connected.

I think most babies under four months want to nurse all the time, and many scream a lot, too. It doesn't mean the baby feels abandoned or hates you. At least, I don't think it does! It means the baby is going through a gazillion little growth spurts and is hungry, and is bringing up your milk supply. The screaming is feeling disorganized, especially in the evenings. Sometimes it takes awhile to get that rhythm down.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#65 of 80 Old 05-26-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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I agree - I had an emergency c with a bunch of complications after an incredibly healthy pregnancy and TTC for over a year. I was grateful to have my son, but I still was depressed over my birth experience. I am glad I did all I could do - I had a terrific doula, great midwives, tried to avoid most interventions but sometimes even the best planned birth does not happen as expected! When we decided to do the C and DH went off to get into scrubs, I wept because I needed to grieve the natural birth I had wanted for me and for DS.

I think the problem is that people don't want to acknowledge that there are "good" and "bad" births from the mother's perspective. As far as the docs are concerned, the only "bad" birth results in injury to child or mother. But why are we surprised? Our feelings rarely factor in to prenatal or postnatal care.

Over time I have come to accept my birth experience as it was. And while I hope my next birth comes a bit closer to plan, I also fear that the same will happen. Part of me doesn't why to try a VBAC because I actually think it's worse from the mom's perspective to try for a vaginal birth and "fail" than to just plan for another section. In my case, I had pushed for over 3 hrs before we had to have the section. It was like running a marathon, and in the last few miles, someone came by to pick me up in a taxi instead of letting me finish.
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#66 of 80 Old 05-26-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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I am answering the OP here. Coming from a less than optimal birth, I can say that "a healthy baby is all that matters" is the mantra of those of us who don't want to dwell on our birth experiences. I wanted the perfect birth, and to some extent in hindsight see how I could have accomplished it, but if I focus on what I didn't get, I will be losing sight of the most important thing now, that I had two healthy babies who latched on perfectly. I would have loved a natural birth, but I can't dwell on it, so I focus on what I do have.

So yes, a natural birth is optimal, best for the mother and the baby. Drugs, lying on your back attached to machines, and surgical birth aren't natural or best, except when the baby or mother's health is at risk. But I don't see rubbing salt in the wounds of someone who wanted better, but on the other hand, education is the only way women will learn that they need to fight for what is best for our babies.
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#67 of 80 Old 05-26-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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Kincaid,

You mentioned in your first post that you were afraid you had abrupted. Perhaps your body did know, but it sounds like your MW didn't encourage you to trust your instincts in that regard. I'm not trying to lay any blame here at all, please don't think so. But I think that we do have to balance "nature" w/ technology sometimes. I hate the overuse of technology and how the medical model of childbirth has stolen birth from women, but I'm grateful that technology is there when we need it.

HUGS.
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#68 of 80 Old 05-26-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kincaid
OB's are taught that no death and no complication is acceptable, and so they aggressively treat to that small percentage. They are not "bad guys" who are out to disrespect our bodies. They just play the odds differently. They have their eye on the small percent who goes wrong, and they act accordingly.
If "no complication is acceptable", why do they cut open women for approximately 25-30% of births on this continent? The fact that they cut me open for my son made it much more likely that they'd do so again with my daughter...and almost impossible that they won't do so with this baby. I don't demonize OBs. But, any profession that feels that a mother who can barely stand up long enough to change a diaper is a "healthy" mom and that cutting open and damaging a woman's uterus isn't a "complication" seriously needs to rethink their viewpoint. I have two doctors worried sick because I want to VBA2C. They're soooo concerned about uterine rupture - but that's apparently not a complication, because they go right ahead and do the primary c-sections in the first place.

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#69 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 12:01 AM
 
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Kincaid, you have every right to feel that you would trade your "ideal" birth for a healthy baby. And in your case, maybe it would have been better to have had a c/sec.

But the problem is that you seem to think problems don't happen with medically managed births. They do. They happen more often. About the same number of mothers and babies die (and, conversely, about the same survive) in medically managed and naturally managed births. The difference is in the health of those who survive; the natural way is, statistically, healthier for the surviving mother and babe.

Yes, in your case, a c/sec would have been healthier (although I don't think a vaginal medically managed birth would have been, except that it would have been more likely to result in a c/sec birth). But what that means is that for every case like yours there are many where problems are caused by medical management. There are many babies like yours who were that sick because of the medical management that you avoided.

A very small percentage of births are better off being medicalized (usually with c/sec) and most homebirth midwives are extremely good at identifying those few percent; there are very, very few cases like yours where there are no signs and thus don't get screened out. But going with a "everybody gets the 2% treatment" approach doesn't save more babies; it harms a lot of mothers and babies who would otherwise have been fine, and it changes around which babies or mothers survive.

This, of course, isn't much consolation for those who are still harmed, and I wish I had a time machine to lend you so you could go back with the knowledge you have now and change what happened. But only hindsight, not foresight, has the potential of being 20/20. As you said, death and damage are natural (but again, that doesn't mean they only happen when going the "natural" route - but neither can the natural route entirely prevent it, it just does a better job than the all-medical route). All we can do is play the numbers, trust birth, trust bodies, and trust instincts when something says "this isn't right".

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#70 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 09:35 AM
 
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This is an appropriate topic for me this week, as my midwife lost her nerve with all my complications and recommended c-sec at 36 weeks. The surgery was fine, and this time I managed to minimize most of what I hate about hospital birth. But this is my 3rd c. And my pregnancies and deliveries have been full of illness, pain and grief. The midwife used the "the important thing" argument when I was not happy about delivering immediately - knowing my history of multiple late losses. I told her that just because I did not have the worst outcome - a dead baby - that didn't mean some of the things that happen in delivery aren't bad to me. They are not the same things. It doesn't make those events, even as basic as an infiltrated IV, "suck less" for me.

In general all of this is really hard for me to talk about since I feel like there are two main camps - victim of medicalized birth, or feeling like a c-sec was the ideal choice for whatever reason - like medical necessity. So I feel a little isolated in viewing my c-secs as appropriate, but highly undesirable. And as deliveries, not "births" despite my intense involvement in the decision-making. I've accepted that normal birth and pregnancy will never happen for me. I can be ok with that, and still at the same time believe it was not an equivalent experience. Some people cope by focusing on the positive aspects. Perhaps for me, I can always find circumstances that would be worse to me than my own, so that makes me feel better.
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#71 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 12:58 PM
 
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Kincaid, I'm sorry to see you deleted your post. I hope I didn't say anything to contribute to your decision. My point was only to engage you in conversation, not chase you away.

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#72 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 01:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Clarity
This is an appropriate topic for me this week, as my midwife lost her nerve with all my complications and recommended c-sec at 36 weeks. The surgery was fine, and this time I managed to minimize most of what I hate about hospital birth. But this is my 3rd c. And my pregnancies and deliveries have been full of illness, pain and grief. The midwife used the "the important thing" argument when I was not happy about delivering immediately - knowing my history of multiple late losses. I told her that just because I did not have the worst outcome - a dead baby - that didn't mean some of the things that happen in delivery aren't bad to me. They are not the same things. It doesn't make those events, even as basic as an infiltrated IV, "suck less" for me.

In general all of this is really hard for me to talk about since I feel like there are two main camps - victim of medicalized birth, or feeling like a c-sec was the ideal choice for whatever reason - like medical necessity. So I feel a little isolated in viewing my c-secs as appropriate, but highly undesirable. And as deliveries, not "births" despite my intense involvement in the decision-making. I've accepted that normal birth and pregnancy will never happen for me. I can be ok with that, and still at the same time believe it was not an equivalent experience. Some people cope by focusing on the positive aspects. Perhaps for me, I can always find circumstances that would be worse to me than my own, so that makes me feel better.
These are really wise words. Thank you.

I do wish you would reconsider your rejection of the term "birth". It is a fundamental feature of my religion that only the mother gives birth to her baby. No matter who else does what, even if it is done by abdominal surgury with you under general anesthesia, your body is still the one birthing the baby. Not the doctor; they're just helping out. Your baby was not delivered by a doctor, even as a doctor pulled her (him?) out of your womb via your abdomen; your body - you - birthed her.

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#73 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 01:07 PM
 
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i only read amydidit's thread starter, so I may be covering old territory here, but the birth experience is not just for the mom----it's for the baby, too. They need the labor experience, and the experience of being squeezed through the birth canal. Just off hand, c-sec babies are more likely to get respiratory infections, they are pulled out by their heads which can lead to spinal alingnment problems (as can forceps)...they are sometimes sliced pretty badly. When we take drugs, the babies are exposed to those drugs. And moms who have a c-sec are not going to be able to mother in exactly the same manner they would had they not just had major surgery.

So, it's not just for mom's, or at all selfish to want a certain kind of birth.

Thank goodness c-sec's are available for those who truly need them, but the truth is, in any system worth it's salt, the c-sec rate should be under 5%. Not 26% like we have here in american hospitals.
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#74 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 05:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moonstarmama
...c-sec babies are more likely to get respiratory infections, they are pulled out by their heads which can lead to spinal alingnment problems...
DD was pulled out by her feet...the first part of her I saw was her bum, because I was looking in the mirror and her head was still stuck under my ribs or something. It was kind of...weird.

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#75 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 06:10 PM
 
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i only read amydidit's thread starter, so I may be covering old territory here, but the birth experience is not just for the mom----it's for the baby, too. They need the labor experience, and the experience of being squeezed through the birth canal. Just off hand, c-sec babies are more likely to get respiratory infections, they are pulled out by their heads which can lead to spinal alingnment problems (as can forceps)...they are sometimes sliced pretty badly. When we take drugs, the babies are exposed to those drugs. And moms who have a c-sec are not going to be able to mother in exactly the same manner they would had they not just had major surgery.

Thank goodness c-sec's are available for those who truly need them, but the truth is, in any system worth it's salt, the c-sec rate should be under 5%. Not 26% like we have here in american hospitals.
The Csec rate even for necessary ones would not be less than 5% in this country. Even the WHO states I believe it should be about 10-15%.

Also, these scare tactics "they are pulled out by their heads" -- not sure how many csections you have had or seen, but my two csection babies were not pulled out by their heads, many times they are pushed out through the incision site head first or their bodies are lifted out, and some are delivered butt, feet first depending on their position. It seems the belief is that csection babies are yanked out, thats not true -- unless an emergency is taking place, but they are manipulated by the OBs hands and pushed out (they actually push on the upper part of your belly). Also the percentage of a baby being nicked is very low, it is rare for them to be "sliced". Good lord -- there is a difference between a slice and nick.
And yes, for my FIRST csection -- which was an emergency, I wasn't able to "mother" like I guess a mom who just birthed in her living room, but for my second csection - I definitely mothered like other mothers who had given birth vaginally. In fact most my nurses did not even know I had had a csection unless I told them.
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#76 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 06:20 PM
 
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And yes, for my FIRST csection -- which was an emergency, I wasn't able to "mother" like I guess a mom who just birthed in her living room, but for my second csection - I definitely mothered like other mothers who had given birth vaginally. In fact most my nurses did not even know I had had a csection unless I told them.
I've seen a few women say this now, and I'm still blown away. Except for the first day, my recovery from my emergency section was about the same as my scheduled one...general anesthetic and 20 hours of labour notwithstanding. Do you have any tips on bouncing back, if I don't get my VBA2C? Because, I can barely mother my babies at all post c-section.

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#77 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 06:29 PM
 
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I've seen a few women say this now, and I'm still blown away. Except for the first day, my recovery from my emergency section was about the same as my scheduled one...general anesthetic and 20 hours of labour notwithstanding. Do you have any tips on bouncing back, if I don't get my VBA2C? Because, I can barely mother my babies at all post c-section.
Get the epidural block with a PCAP. Do not get narcotics in the OR, ask for Zofran if you experience nausea vs phenegran. Talk to Shannon and read my birthplan about comforts we had in the OR and after. I was sitting up within minutes of being taken to the L&D room to recover. Evidently this is common where I am delivering because I talked to a Anest. Asst. and he said more and more patients are getting the epidural blocks for this reason. As soon as my epidural cath was pulled out, I got up and went to the bathroom. I started moving around, I took a shower, fixed my hair, put a little makeup on and took pain meds before I needed them. I choose demerol as my drug of choice because it doesn't wack me out. I left in under 48hrs from my last csection because I felt good enough to go home. Also something that helped me, I had stitches instead of staples.
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#78 of 80 Old 05-27-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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hmm...think I had morphine in with my epidural. But, does that make the pain worse? I'm terrified I'm going to have another section, because I have no idea how I'm going to look after a toddler when I can't even walk properly. Dh won't be able to help me as much as he did with dd, because he's just starting a new job. (I lie - he didn't "help" - he did almost everything.)

I'll talk to my doctor about stitches. I know I had staples with dd, but I have no idea what they used with ds. Does that really make a difference later on?

And, I'll think about taking pain meds before I need them, but I'd probably OD. They had me on pain-killing suppositories for my first two days post-op, and I felt like they weren't using anything. T3's didn't touch it. I used to think I could handle pain...migraines, dental work (I get fillings without any needle), my labour with ds, etc...no problem. But, the pain from a section just cripples me.

It sounds like the only major differences are that you didn't have the morphine, and had stitches, not staples. I was going to avoid morphine, anyway, because the itching last time drove me out of my mind.

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#79 of 80 Old 05-28-2005, 11:56 AM
 
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Kincaid,

I saw that you deleted your post and I hope that my post didn't offend you in any way. I am so sorry if it did, b/c that was not my intention.
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#80 of 80 Old 05-28-2005, 12:16 PM
 
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OnTheFence, although the WHO states a goal c/sec rate of 10-15%, many people (doctors, midwives, researchers, mothers) think this is very conservative, and that the rates could very safely be brought down to approximately 5% (2-3% for homebirth practices, 5-7% for high risk hospitals, and about 5% overall). I don't think it's wrong to defend your way of birthing, and I think it's great you know you can be an awesome mother giving birth by surgery, but I don't understand why you would defend unnecessary cesareans. What's wrong with making sure all c/secs are absolutely necessary (which a 5% rate would help ensure)? I think if a woman knew ahead of time that all c/secs performed were necessary, there would be a lot less fear and a lot more acceptance of giving birth that way when faced with that. Isn't that what you want? Or am I missing something?
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