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#121 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 12:26 AM
 
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Unmedicated vaginal birth is unbelievably easier to recover from physically and mentally. I went home from the hospital 12 hours after my dd's birth with no pain at all (no tears, just some bruising) compared to three DAYS in the hospital for my c/s and most of the first year in pain. There is also the emotional trauma that I'm still not over five years later. It's not bad, but it rears it's ugly head when I'm pregnant or someone close to me is pregnant. In addition, planning a VBAC in the birth climate in this country is extremely stressful. Something no pregnant woman should have to deal with.
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#122 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 12:39 AM
 
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I have only had one baby so I can't compare for myself but my cousin had a c section and I had a vaginal birth within 6 months of each other. I know her recover was A LOT faster than mine. I was induced, tore badly, took 2 hours to stitch and didn't enjoy sex for about a year.
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#123 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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With my first, I was induced, spent 38 hours in labor, and then had a c-section.

I spent 5 days in the hospital, wasn't allowed to eat until the 4th day because I had gas SO bad from the surgery that the gas moved up into my shoulders and neck, making it hard to move. My incision was excruciating... I wasn't able to get out of the bed until 2 days after the surgery. I spent the first two days on a morphine drip, then almost 2 weeks on percosets. The ride home from the hospital was spent mostly in tears because every little crack in the road was like being punched in the stomach over a fresh incision.

The whole experience was a complete nightmare. And to think, I didn't have any problems with infection, oozing, stitches popping back open, or anything of that nature. I can't even imagine having that on top of what I was already going through.

My second birth was a completely unmedicated vaginal birth in a birth center with a midwife. My little guy was 9lbs and I was in labor for almost as long as with the first. I had a tiny tear repaired with one stitch, got up and moving around within 30 minutes or so and then left the birth center 4 hours later. I got a good nights sleep and then went to brunch the next morning (I birthed over 2 hours from our hometown) before returning for a 24 hour checkup.

The recovery from my VBAC was so incredibly different from my c-section that I can hardly put it into words. I literally felt like I hadn't even given birth within a few days.

I know not everyone's vaginal birth recovery can be as wonderful as mine was. But, it's now obvious to me that I was not designed to have a surgical birth. My body obviously deals very well with vaginal birth and I'm so greatful for that and hope I never ever have to have a c-section again.

Mentally of course the vaginal birth was a major high compared to my c-section where I felt victimized, abandoned, and broken. The sense of accomplishment (the "I did it!!!!" feeling") was overwhelming and makes me smile every time I think about it.
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#124 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wifeandmom
Would you advocate continuing to allow your body to birth 'spontaneously and instinctively' if your baby's heart rate bottomed out and didn't come back up AT ALL during the final minutes of pushing? Or would you consent to whatever it took to get that baby out immediately?

And are you saying that there is ZERO chance of a baby going into severe distress as long as you do everything 'naturally'?
I didn't say, or imply, either of those things.
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#125 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wifeandmom
Here you are again insisting that it was NEVER a possibility that you'd have painful sex afterwards. How is that even possible to be CERTAIN you wouldn't end up in an emergency situation where baby HAD to be out right then, even if it meant a huge episiotomy and/or forceps?
Because in a hormonally and physically normal birth, the baby does come out right then. This will be the result when there is nothing to interfere with the hormonal process, the pelvis is not deformed and is allowed to open maximally, and the mother isn't trying to push the baby out before her body is ready. Episiotomy and forceps are interventions useful in dealing with iatrogenically or environmentally dysfunctional second stage. It's another obstetric myth that in some women the perineal tissue simply will not stretch enough. If the mother's body is capable of producing the hormones that get the baby to the entrance of the birth canal, it is capable of producing the hormones that can make the surrounding tissue stretchy. Unless it is not given enough time to do so, or distraction or fears interfere with the release of those hormones. Very often women have a relatively normal first stage because they are left relatively in peace, but once she's reached "full dilation" the circus starts. That's when many women's bodies suddenly lose the ability to move the baby down and out.

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only that if you have a c-section, your vagina will NOT be torn. I can guarantee it. With 100% certainty.
And I think that no one has actually disagreed with you about that.

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The same simply cannot be said for vaginal birth. You can reduce your chances of tearing/damage, but you cannot eliminate the chance altogether. To suggest that you CAN do so is just....well....wrong.
Some women experience vaginal trauma during childbirth. It does not follow that it is inherently a risk. In terms of the biochemistry of birth, it makes no sense, unless you simply believe that birth is inherently difficult because of the size of the baby in relation to the vagina. I am telling you that this is a myth, pure and simple. Hormonally, the vagina is made to be able to stretch to admit a baby just as well as it is able to stretch to admit a penis. So. If you are healthy and the hormonal process is undisturbed, you will come through unscathed. This is not just conjecture, there is no mystery or chance here, it is logical cause and effect.
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#126 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds



So. If you are healthy and the hormonal process is undisturbed, you will come through unscathed. This is not just conjecture, there is no mystery or chance here, it is logical cause and effect.
I might could go along with that idea, except you just have NO WAY of knowing beforehand if your baby will be stable enough to allow a completely undisturbed delivery or if nature will necessitate taking 'unnatural' action to save the baby's life and/or health.

To me, that's a risk.

Not a great one in terms of how often I'd guess it might actually happen, but it's a risk nonetheless. Just as a prolapsed cord is a risk of vaginal birth, vaginal tearing/trauma is a risk.

I do not *ever* attempt to gloss over the very real risks of a c-section, so it is quite amusing really to see all this insistance over the very real risks of vaginal birth. None of it is risk free, and overall, in a healthy mom carrying a healthy baby, the risks associated with vaginal birth (while different than c-section risks) are less than just trotting off to the OR for no apparent reason.

But that doesn't mean there isn't a 'con' side to vaginal birth with a whole host of things that CAN and DO happen REGARDLESS of how 'natural' your birth is planned to be.
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#127 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 03:51 PM
 
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I can't imagine a c-section could even compare if it was a normal low-intervention vaginal birth with no complications. I've had 3 vaginal homebirths. I just had my third last week. I was pretty much done bleeding by the third day, and was back to doing all my normal household chores. 9 days later I'm mowing the lawn. I can't imagine that would ever be possible with a c-section.

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#128 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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wifeandmom-
birth is not something to fear.
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#129 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 08:03 PM
 
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i've had two vaginal births.. one in the hospital (transfer after attempted home birth), and one at home. after my home birth, i felt *radiant* for weeks! i felt like i was high or something, i just felt so empowered. i felt physically fabulous on the same day as dd's birth, i felt like i could run a marathon! (with ds, it took 3 days to feel normal, but i did tear with him). my bleeding was completely gone by 2 wks in both cases.

i've never had c/s to compare it to, so i can only imagine it would be harder, with surgical pain and whatnot.

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#130 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 09:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Emilie
wifeandmom-
birth is not something to fear.
Under ordinary circumstances, I agree with you.

Under my particular circumstances, the chance of burying my second born twin was much higher than an ordinary birth. A very large part of that was the direct result of having no real choices regarding where I would deliver and with whom I was forced to place my 'trust'. It was either take what the military had to offer or go completely unassisted at home. Both 'choices' were very scary indeed.

It is one of the biggest reasons I am such an advocate for moms being given CHOICES in the first place. Given a different setting in which to birth, vaginal delivery might very well have been a viable option.
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#131 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 10:52 PM
 
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I think that experiences like yours frame how you view birth.
The same as my 2 totally different experiences helps to shape mine.

I think natural birth is important for women and society and I will advocate for women to birth at home with a mw.

I need to say the reason you do not find people jumping on board with your lets talk about pros for cesarean talk is that there is enough of it in our society. By doctors, nurses, hmo's.
C/s provides a live baby- why should anyone complain?
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#132 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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To answer the original q --

PHYSICALLY: We're comparing having your stomach cut open and a baby pulled out, then the rest of you is put back together and sewn into place versus pushing a baby out of your vagina.

Honestly, is there REALLY a question? :

MENTALLY: Again I'm going to go with the vaginal, however I know women who schedule c-s and seem okay with it. It just seems to depend on your point of view. If you think a c-s is great, then you're going to be fine mentally. If you plan to have a non-medicated vaginal birth and end up with a lot of interventions, then you'd probably not be thrilled with your vaginal birth. But I think recovering physically would help mentally, and the vaginal recovery is just so much easier.

But women who want a completely "natural" birth in the hospital are living in fantasyland, in my experience, because hospitals intervene, PERIOD, and there goes her dream. I think many women are on the fence about "natural" birth. They want it, yet they want a doc/hospital there "just in case." They don't trust their bodies or themselves, and they usually end up disillusioned or discontent.
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#133 of 141 Old 08-10-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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[ I think many women are on the fence about "natural" birth. They want it, yet they want a doc/hospital there "just in case." They don't trust their bodies or themselves, and they usually end up disillusioned or discontent.[/QUOTE]

This is due to the medical model of birth that is the only model women know. FEAR. Just in case?
So many hospital procedures CAUSE the things women are afraid of happening.:
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#134 of 141 Old 08-14-2006, 02:15 PM
 
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I might could go along with that idea, except you just have NO WAY of knowing beforehand if your baby will be stable enough to allow a completely undisturbed delivery or if nature will necessitate taking 'unnatural' action to save the baby's life and/or health.
I think I must not have been clear before. If the mother's body is hormonally capable of a hormonally and physiologically normal first stage and her birth canal is not deformed, then her body is capable of a hormonally physiologically normal (i.e. speedy) second stage. For a woman (such as myself) for whom this applies, there are no reasons other than iatrogenic, environmental, or pyschological ones for her body to fail to birth the baby or to birth it in a dysfunctional (e.g. slow) way. If I avoid those things, there is no reason for second stage to be prolonged, and there will therefore be no need for instrumental or surgical delivery through my vagina. It is totally irrational to believe otherwise. I'll say it once more: it is a myth that problems occur "for no reason". Prolonged second stages are the result of iatrogenic, environmental, or psychological causes in which there is time for the baby to suffer from distress in the birth canal, necessitating a forced delivery. If you don't believe that, I'd suggest doing some reading on the hormonal process of birth and what sorts of things create dysfunctional second stage.

In the case of a natural complication that was causing distress to the baby, I would have a c-section.

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I do not *ever* attempt to gloss over the very real risks of a c-section, so it is quite amusing really to see all this insistance over the very real risks of vaginal birth.
I'm not glossing over anything. I'm saying that you are wrong, and that under certain conditions certain risks do not exist. For my part, I don't find it amusing at all that you believe that bodily damage from vaginal birth is an inherent risk for all women. I find it very sad.
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#135 of 141 Old 08-15-2006, 04:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds



I'm not glossing over anything. I'm saying that you are wrong, and that under certain conditions certain risks do not exist.
And here we are, back again, to you insisting that certain risks 'do not exist' under these 'conditions'. Ok. I'll give you that.

What you simply *cannot* control with 100% certainty is that you'll actually MEET those 'certain conditions'. And if you happen to fall in the unlucky few who do NOT meet those 'certain conditions' where vaginal tearing 'is not a risk', well you're just out of luck I guess.

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For my part, I don't find it amusing at all that you believe that bodily damage from vaginal birth is an inherent risk for all women. I find it very sad.
It is a *possibility* that you will tear during a vaginal delivery. It absolutely does not HAVE to be a common occurrance, if like you've said, you meet certain conditions (no meds, no coached pushing, likely no pushing flat on back, no need for last minute intervention for baby in distress, etc etc etc).

You simply cannot control ALL of those variables, and for you to continue insisting that it IS somehow possible is what I find odd. It certainly doesn't do any good to the women who DID do everything possible to decrease their risks of complications, yet found themselves facing a 3rd/4th degree tear DESPITE their best efforts. Did they just do something wrong or what?

And to clarify one thing here, you are saying that it is medically IMPOSSIBLE for a baby to go into such severe distress as to necessitate sudden forceps delivery (which we all know can result in significant tearing) as long as mom meets these 'conditions' during labor/pushing? NEVER? It could literally NEVER happen?

Your comment that you'd just have section if baby were in that much trouble doesn't really work in the real world either cause there comes a point where it truly is safer to use forceps to get the baby out vs. going to section since forceps are faster once the baby has come through the birth canal to a certain point. When time is of great importance, tearing mom's vagina/perineum/rectum becomes a secondary concern at best, as it should.
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#136 of 141 Old 08-15-2006, 04:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
I'll say it once more: it is a myth that problems occur "for no reason". Prolonged second stages are the result of iatrogenic, environmental, or psychological causes in which there is time for the baby to suffer from distress in the birth canal, necessitating a forced delivery. If you don't believe that, I'd suggest doing some reading on the hormonal process of birth and what sorts of things create dysfunctional second stage.
Ok, where would a shoulder distocia baby fit into your picture here? Would that be the result of 'iatrogenic, environmental, or psychological' complications? Cause it could certainly cause baby to go into severe distress, even die, right there in the birth canal from my understanding.

And the things that they do to get that baby 'unstuck' could very well lead to some trauma to mom if I had to guess. I'm thinking if it came down to breaking the baby's collar bone, that involves an entire hand/forearm inside the vagina (quite forcefully I'm sure, as it's not like we've got all day to get baby unstuck), along with the fact that the baby is already filling the birth canal...and how much room are we talking here?

So if baby is literally stuck, what do you blame that on?

Breech babies also come to mind. Sometimes they get stuck.

Cord around baby's neck is notorious for causing distress, especially if the cord is short and being stretched and/or compressed during pushing.

How does one go about controlling for those types of variables?
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#137 of 141 Old 08-15-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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How does one go about controlling for those types of variables?
It appears that one school of thought represented on this thread's answer would be: seek out the most competent surgeon one can find, and put all faith in the medical model to save us from our faulty and unpredictable biology.

I know so many other-wise quite "crunchy" mamas who will RUN to the trusty OB to save them from themselves. Well, they'll run only if they're "low risk," that is

Choice is great, if the choices are truly all in a woman/baby dyad's best interest. I suppose "best" is just as subjective as "safe" though

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#138 of 141 Old 08-15-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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#139 of 141 Old 08-15-2006, 11:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgia
It appears that one school of thought represented on this thread's answer would be: seek out the most competent surgeon one can find, and put all faith in the medical model to save us from our faulty and unpredictable biology.

I know so many other-wise quite "crunchy" mamas who will RUN to the trusty OB to save them from themselves. Well, they'll run only if they're "low risk," that is

Choice is great, if the choices are truly all in a woman/baby dyad's best interest. I suppose "best" is just as subjective as "safe" though
Yes, the medical model with a competent surgeon certainly IS the safest alternative for SOME women in SOME circumstances.

To deny this as fact is simply ignorance. Even the WHO acknowledges that c-sections are necessary in what is it? 10% of women? That's 1 in 10 who NEED the medical model in order to come out of childbirth alive with a live baby. Or maybe the WHO is wrong?
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#140 of 141 Old 08-15-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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Teehee!! I'm not really going to get into this discussion, but I am wondering if allycat... the original poster is still folowing this thread... and what she now thinks. I wonder where all of this has gotten her in her search for an answer.

(((((Allycat))))) are you out there? Whatdya think now? Do ya have your answer?

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#141 of 141 Old 08-15-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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