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#1 of 7 Old 11-15-2005, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I have had three friends have babies in the last month. All mainstream, mostly uneducated/fearful of birth. The outcomes are so frustrating, as are the things people say afterwards.

1) Typical hospital birth with epidural. Baby born blue and not breathing so well. 1 minute APGAR was 4. The mom says to me (my second and third were born at home) that she thought of me when they were recessitating her baby and figured that if that had happened to me, mine would have died (not those exact words, but that was definitely the implication). I pointed out that my midwife has equipment/training to handle a similar situation. I didn't point out that allowing the birth process to proceed naturally significantly decreases the chance of such complications.

2) Unmedicated hospital birth. Mom asked for epidural too late and was angry that she didn't end up with it. Baby was big and got stuck and the doctor reached in and pulled him out. Again, mom said to me that her baby would have been in big trouble at home. I didn't point out that my 9 pound 2 ounce and 9 pound, 11 ounce babies basically fell out because I was pushing in a physiologically appropriate upright position.

3) Friends and I predicted this mom would end up with a c-section months ago. She was so passive about the whole process. Baby was badly positioned -- face first and didn't budge during an hour of pushing. Ends with a c-section. Baby ended up in the NICU because he was bruised and they wanted to "watch" for jaundice. He was already getting bottles yesterday (on day 2). I can't wait to hear that he would never have been born vaginally and isn't it good they didn't plan a homebirth. Isn't it good the doctors were there to save everyone?

Birth in this country drives me nuts. :
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#2 of 7 Old 11-15-2005, 11:34 PM
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I know, it makes me crazy too. And so, so sad.
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#3 of 7 Old 11-16-2005, 11:21 AM
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It sounds like your friends feel inadequate for their birth experiences and/or choices, and are justifying their experiences by saying, "well I couldn't have a homebirth because of ..."

Think of it this way, at least you are showing them another option and making them think.

Happy mama of four Wild Things
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#4 of 7 Old 11-16-2005, 11:50 AM
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It all comes down the mainstream's trust in the medical establishment. All of us out-of-hospital birthers are asked "what if" questions. Its hard to convince them that a lot of these 'what if' scenarios were CAUSED by the medical management of birth.

Keep trying to educate. It works. I was one of those 'what iffers' and am now a proud birth center mom!
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#5 of 7 Old 11-16-2005, 11:54 AM
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Yes, it has been inferred many times how "lucky" I was to have uncomplicated home births. :
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#6 of 7 Old 11-16-2005, 12:24 PM
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The bottom line is that women are fearful when it comes to birth. Although they know that women have been doing this for millions of years without doctors and hospitals, they need to believe that they are the exception that "needed" the medical intervention. I'm sure to a certain extent, they feel inadequate that they couldn't birth the way you did and need to justify the way that they birthed. It's hard to admit defeat about these things so it's better to make one's self feel better about the choices she made. Some women might almost be antipating you to tell them that they should have birthed at home in a peaceful environment but they want to nip that potential comment right in the bud and make sure you *know* they they needed those doctors and medical equipment. It's a defense mechanism (not saying you would make a comment like that but it is in the backs of womens minds, sadly).

Not that I expect anyone to flame me here but I'll just mention that I am a c-section mama diagnosed with a "small pelvis" and fearful to progress.... I mean "failure to progress." Anyway, hope that perspective helps and made sense.

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#7 of 7 Old 11-16-2005, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pixiexto
Yes, it has been inferred many times how "lucky" I was to have uncomplicated home births. :
This is the most annoying PITA statement that makes any and all attempts to have a discourse about birth choices useless.

Women who are defensive about their birth choices are not yet ready to have an open discussion. Why are they defensive? Because our culture both makes women responsible for everything, and empowers them not at all.

If anything goes wrong, it's mom's fault. This rule holds true for infants, children, and adults--hey, I'm mental, it's my mom's fault! (But seriously, for me, it really is .) This enormous and unreal responsiblity is coupled with Modern Day Birth "Choices" offered a woman, like, do you want your IV in your hand or your arm (oh wait--you don't get to choose that) and "do you want 8 vaginal exams over 6 hours and then the hospital staff will 'cheer' you on as you push for 2 hours?" or "do you want to just skip to the c-section?"

When birth choices are discussed in mixed company, anyone who didn't have an epidural is concidered HOSTILE to those women who did have an epidural. This is so high-school and immature, I can hardly stand it.

If you're going nuts, christinelin, I challenge you to go ahead and put the smack down with these a kind, nuturing, thought-provoking way, of course. Like with scenario #2...delve into it, with that mama: why were you angry you didn't get that epidural? Probably, because she didn't like hurting at the birth. You could talk about how she did it anyway. It hurt like hell, and she made it. And what could it have been like if she hadn't been waiting-waiting-waiting at the hospital for the MD to come by with the epidural cart? what if she could have been someplace more pleasant?

What else about her lack of epidural makes her angry--probably feeling ABANDONED and unsupported during birth. I would wager dollars-to-donuts that the real core issue is probably that one. In the USA healthcare system, we show love with drugs not hugs. Homebirth is all about the hugs, isn't it?

If she's mad, she's recoignizing an injustice done against her. You sound mad; you're recoignizing an injustice, too--to your friends, specifically, and birthing women in the USA, in general.

Midwifery Today's slogan is: Each one teach one. I think about that. I think about the # of women I've talked to who will never have an episiotomy. I think about the handful of women who have experienced better births, or will, or understand what the heck happened, because of discussions we've had. This is important stuff.
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