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#1 of 53 Old 11-06-2006, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wrote this today. It's my impression of hundreds of birth stories I have read. This is my idea of a typical birth and postpartum period in the U.S. I thought you ladies would appreciate it.

************************************

I have a great OB. He’s just wonderful. If not for him, my baby would’ve died. When I went to see him for my 38-week appointment, he said the baby was getting to big and I’d never be able to have him naturally if we waited too long, so we should induce soon. I was already a couple of centimeters dilated, so he stripped my membranes and told me to go to the hospital the next day to be induced.

I showed up the next morning at 5am. The nurses gave me an IV and told me I couldn’t eat anything. Good thing I had a big breakfast!

After monitoring the baby for a while, they hooked up the Pitocin. My back hurt a lot and I wanted to move around, but the nurses said I shouldn’t, because it would move the monitor belts. I got a shot of Demorol at about 8am and napped a bit. At 10, my doctor came in to check on me. He said that I wasn’t contracting enough and I was only at 4 centimeters and they would have to turn up the Pitocin. They turned it up a bunch and it hurt so much that I got an epidural. The epidural was just wonderful! I couldn’t feel anything!

At around 3pm, the doctor broke my water so I would go faster and turned up the Pitocin all the way. It didn’t really work, because I was only at 6cm at 5 that night. I was really hungry, but the nurses said it was dangerous to eat in case I had a C-section, so I could only have ice chips. I took a nap until my doctor came in at 8pm. He checked me and said I was still at 6cm. He said it was dangerous for my water to be broken for too long and the Pitocin wasn’t working anymore, so he turned it off and put a tablet of this new induction drug called Cytotec up by my cervix. He said he uses it all the time when Pitocin doesn’t work because it’s much faster and it always works. I was glad to hear that – I was starting to get pretty tired.

I was very grateful for the anesthesiologist at that point. The monitor said the contractions were really strong and I couldn’t feel a thing because he kept my epidural topped off.

The Cytotec really worked. By 10, I was at 9cm. I was starting to get excited about seeing my baby soon. All of a sudden, the monitor started beeping. The nurses came rushing in and said the baby’s heart rate was dropping and we’d probably have to have a C-section. The doctor came in and said the baby would die if we didn’t do a C-section right away. So I signed the papers and half an hour later, my husband was holding little Ethan, all bundled up. He ended up weighing 7lbs 10oz.

Ethan went off to the NICU to be checked out and I went to recovery. The doctor came and checked on me in the recovery room. He said we had a problem called cephalopelvic disproportion, where Ethan’s head was just too big to fit through my pelvis, and that it’s a very common problem now because people are healthier and they grow bigger babies than they used to. He said all my babies would have to be C-sections no later than 38 weeks, because if I go into labor, my uterus could rupture and both my baby and I would die. I don’t really mind all that much – at least things won’t be all stretched out “down there” and I can pick the baby’s birthday.

After a few hours, the nurses took me to my room and I got to try nursing Ethan. They warned me that my milk wouldn’t be in yet, so I could nurse him to get the hang of it, but I’d have to feed him formula until it came in, so he didn’t starve. After I nursed him, Bob got to give his son his first bottle. Then they took him back to the nursery so I could rest. It was almost two in the morning by then, so I was tired!

When Ethan was three days old, it was time to go home. The nurses gave us a bunch of free formula because breastfeeding didn’t seem to be working. It hurt when he latched on and he just gulped down the formula afterwards. About an hour before we left, the doctor circumcised him. He was only gone about 15 minutes, and he was sleeping when he came back. The nurses said he slept right through it and didn’t feel a thing.

At 1pm, we were discharged from the hospital and went home!

*****

UPDATE: Ethan is almost 20 weeks old now. He weaned himself at 8 weeks old – he just liked the bottle better. We had to start putting rice cereal in his bottle a couple of weeks ago. He’s so big that the formula just wasn’t enough for him!

We had to take him to the doctor last month to have his circumcision fixed. There wasn’t enough skin taken off and he didn’t even look circumcised. Plus, it kept sticking to the head and his pediatrician said if we didn’t pull it back every time we changed him, it would grow over the head and he wouldn’t be able to pee. He cried when we did it, so we took him in to have it fixed. Bob and I were in the waiting room while they fixed him and we could hear him crying. The nurse said he was just mad because they held him down. I’m glad we took him in. His penis looks much more normal now.

He’ll be four months old in a couple of days, so we’ll be able to start real food – yay! He’s a great sleeper because we used the ideas in this book called Babywise to get him to sleep through the night. He loves his bouncy seat and Baby Einstein. He’s so cute, sitting there, totally engrossed in the TV!

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#2 of 53 Old 11-06-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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WOW! Impressive in a very sad way! You really did an EXCELLENT job of capturing the typical american birth!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#3 of 53 Old 11-06-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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Oh my god! I thought you were SERIOUS and I was sitting here thinking oh goodness what am I going to say, why on earth is this on MDC?
lol
VERy good job!
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#4 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 12:06 AM
 
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This is the story (or most, or parts) of everyone I've talked ot IRL lately- except 1 person. Sometimes I feel so alone.... the more I hear the more I want to stop talking to people altogether.
(boo hoo hoo)
A

Amanda; mama to: Axel (Dec/04), Evangeline (Apr/07) and Ramsey, (Feb/09) born unassisted! Jethro Vader (Apr/11) and #5 due April 2014. 
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#5 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 10:32 AM
 
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Wow. Good job. I swear I felt like I was on some mainstream board somewhere. Or listening to, well, pretty much ANYONE IRL.

So sad.
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#6 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 10:44 AM
 
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Very nice, but you left out the bit where she ridicules her SIL for wanting a homebirth and the bit where she complains that her friend gave her the information for an LC and wasn't "supportive" of her "choices". Also need some more enthusiasm about the epidural and how women who don't get epidurals are being selfish for putting their babies through that kind of stress and a brief discussion about how feeding with the bottle is the only way for her dh to bond with the baby and how selfish women who breastfeed are. Extra points for the phrase "afterall, formula is good enough for my baby."
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#7 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 10:46 AM
 
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Scary and sad

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

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#8 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 11:04 AM
 
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#9 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 11:21 AM
 
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Most people I know who had a hospital birth aren't that extreme. Maybe it's just the people I know, but most have vaginal births, don't have to be induced, breastfeed, etc. The really odd thing about this story is that they did Pitocin before Cytotec. Usually, if someone is going to use Cytotec, they'll use that first to ripen the cervix. Then, they'll add in Pitocin later if they think they need it. Often, the Cytotec will work without Pit. I was induced with Cytotec and didn't have any Pitocin and was able to move freely as long as I wanted to. I even sat in the jacuzzi after my water broke, which a lot of people say they couldn't do. I had an extremely low dose epidural, was able to try different positions like being on hands and knees and could still feel a lot of pain. It just took enough of the edge off so that I could cope. I was able to get up very shortly after the birth. Maybe my story isn't a very "typical" American birth, even though it wasn't entirely med free? Oh yes, and the baby came out extremely alert and latched on and nursed like a pro. But, I guess the purpose of this story is to point out the extreme. I think the average experience for a lot of women out there is more like mine--somewhere between completely natural and completely doped up. Maybe not, though?
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#10 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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So true. The even sadder part is, many women would read that and think, "what a wonderful birth! I hope mine goes as well as hers did."
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#11 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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#12 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 03:36 PM
 
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wow...that could've come right off babycenter or american baby...

successful #2 Jan. 25th - welcome Maisie Elise!
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#13 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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Wowwee! That sounds sooooo much like the birth stories I've heard from aquaintances lately.

Could I have permission to post it on my blog--how would I attribute it to you (link to your blog or site)?
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#14 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maggie, you're more than welcome to post it on your blog. I don't have a site as of yet - you can just put my pen name (PM me for the name). Please post your blog here so we can all check it out!

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#15 of 53 Old 11-07-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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October16Mom, I agree with you, most of the births I hear about are not as extreme as the one described... but some certainly are. I hear of A LOT of women getting incuded before their due date and "getting to choose" their babies birthdate. Most of the women that I talk to get epidurals where they can't feel a thing from their nether regions. Lots of people nurse, but not for very long. I have a friend who I got to be a "doula" for during her birth and she was able to walk around (the drab hospital halls... only the maternity floor), and she also tried hands and knees during labor, but as soon as the doctor came in, she was encouraged to flip back over to her bum and push in a semi-sitting position!
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#16 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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It's a whatdayacallit, a collage? no... montage. A montage of lots of birth/newborn stories.
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#17 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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Right, that was what I was thinking. A montage. Most mainstream births don't have every element in there, but usually a good portion of it, and certainly that attitude that "doctor knows everything and saved our lives" and the light tone in spite of all the interventions (and genital mutilation) are often there.

I agree about the Cytotec, I've *never* heard of that happening -- it takes away from the story a bit because it's just not believable. If the waters have been broken "too long" and the labor isn't progressing with pitocin, it seems like it's usually straight to a c-sec.
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#18 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 07:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Very nice, but you left out the bit where she ridicules her SIL for wanting a homebirth and the bit where she complains that her friend gave her the information for an LC and wasn't "supportive" of her "choices". Also need some more enthusiasm about the epidural and how women who don't get epidurals are being selfish for putting their babies through that kind of stress and a brief discussion about how feeding with the bottle is the only way for her dh to bond with the baby and how selfish women who breastfeed are. Extra points for the phrase "afterall, formula is good enough for my baby."
Ditto to that. Actually your "story" really, really scares me. Why? Because if you put this on a mainstream site, my guess is you will get lots of moms congratulating you on such a great birth. I think it will give moms ideas of what they should do/expect in labor!

Would you consider moving the cycotec, and adding some of sapphires excelent ideas? Then you could repost and put it on a real mainstream site. It would be so fascinating to see what types of replies you get. I am scared to just think about it. Fabulous story.
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#19 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I've tossed in some of your suggestions and taken out the Cytotec. You all are probably right about the Cytotec. I was just trying to toss that in there because you know what the problems are with it and most moms wouldn't. I'm planning on posting this under a false user name at a mainstream site (PM me for info since we're not allowed to talk about it here). Any further input would be great!

****************

I have a great OB. He’s just wonderful. If not for him, my baby would’ve died. My SIL actually tried to talk me into delivering at home - I'm so glad I didn't!!

When I went to see him for my 38-week appointment, he said the baby was getting to big and I’d never be able to have him naturally if we waited too long, so we should induce soon. I was already a couple of centimeters dilated, so he stripped my membranes and told me to go to the hospital the next day to be induced.

I showed up the next morning at 5am. The nurses gave me an IV and told me I couldn’t eat anything. Good thing I had a big breakfast!

After monitoring the baby for a while, they hooked up the Pitocin. My back hurt a lot and I wanted to move around, but the nurses said I shouldn’t, because it would move the monitor belts. I got a shot of Demorol at about 8am and napped a bit. At 10, my doctor came in to check on me. He said that I wasn’t contracting enough and I was only at 4 centimeters and they would have to turn up the Pitocin. They turned it up a bunch and it hurt so much that I got an epidural. The epidural was just wonderful! I couldn’t feel anything!

At around 3pm, the doctor broke my water so I would go faster. I was really hungry, but he said it was dangerous to eat in case I had a C-section, so I could only have ice chips. I took a nap until my doctor came in at 8pm. He checked me and said I was only at 6cm. He said it was dangerous for my water to be broken for too long and turned up the Pitocin all the way.

I was very grateful for the anesthesiologist at that point. The monitor said the contractions were really strong and I couldn’t feel a thing because he kept my epidural topped off.

By 10, I was at 9cm. I was starting to get excited about seeing my baby soon. All of a sudden, the monitor started beeping. The nurses came rushing in and said the baby’s heart rate was dropping and we’d probably have to have a C-section. The doctor came in and said the baby would die if we didn’t do a C-section right away. So I signed the papers and half an hour later, my husband was holding little Ethan, all bundled up. He ended up weighing 7lbs 10oz.

Ethan went off to the NICU to be checked out and I went to recovery. The doctor came and checked on me in the recovery room. He said we had a problem called cephalopelvic disproportion, where Ethan’s head was just too big to fit through my pelvis, and that it’s a very common problem now because people are healthier and they grow bigger babies than they used to. He said all my babies would have to be C-sections no later than 38 weeks, because if I go into labor, my uterus could rupture and both my baby and I would die. I don’t really mind all that much – at least things won’t be all stretched out “down there” and I can pick the baby’s birthday.

After a few hours, the nurses took me to my room and I got to try nursing Ethan. They warned me that my milk wouldn’t be in yet, so I could nurse him to get the hang of it, but I’d have to feed him formula until it came in, so he didn’t starve. After I nursed him, Bob got to give his son his first bottle. Then they took him back to the nursery so I could rest. It was almost two in the morning by then, so I was tired!

When Ethan was three days old, it was time to go home. The nurses gave us a bunch of free formula because breastfeeding didn’t seem to be working. It hurt when he latched on and he just gulped down the formula afterwards. I don’t really mind giving up breastfeeding. This way Bob can take some of the night feedings and he can bond with Ethan too.

About an hour before we left, the doctor circumcised him. He was only gone about 15 minutes, and he was sleeping when he came back. The nurses said he slept right through it and didn’t feel a thing.

At 1pm, we were discharged from the hospital and went home!

Mandy, )O(  Proud mommy of Taylor (1/6/05) jammin.gifand Abigail (4/21/11) slinggirl.gif
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#20 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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Ditto the other that cytotec is used as a ripener not once labor is established. The rest of it sadly is a montage of modern birth. Extreme yes but I've certainly seen close approximations posted online. I don't think it would be right to post it as though it was a true story on a mainstream board just to see what responses you would get and then come back here and make fun of the fact that the soggies think that's a good birth. :
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#21 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 11:43 AM
 
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We cross-posted but really what is the point in posting it on a mainstream board as though it's true? Isn't that really the textbook case of trolling? These women respond and then you say what "Ha fooled you! This was the worst stereotypical birth I could come up with and you guys accepted it as normal!"?
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#22 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 11:46 AM
 
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Thank you Mandy.

Though, I'm not sure about posting my blog here. I belong to a homeschool blog server that got a lot of negative attention on MDC.
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#23 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 11:50 AM
 
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I don't think it reads as a true experience. The phrasing isn't right for it to be someone's actual birthstory. I think posting it on a mainstream site with "What's Wrong with this Picture?" and some good links at the bottom (kellymom, gentlebirth, etc (not MDC obviously)) would get you banned from the site but hopefully only after 5-10 women got to do some reading and end up finding MDC on their own.

That would resolve any ethical dilemmas about tricking people. What I'd be interested to see is if someone comes up with the "Standard homebirth story" in response.
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#24 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good idea Sapphire...

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#25 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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I agree, there's a few areas where the phrasing is more parody-like than realistic. And the more realistic it is, the stronger the message sent, IMO.
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#26 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 01:53 PM
 
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Well aside from all that, I think you did a great job and I give you ten more points for the "his penis looks much more normal" sentence.
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#27 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree, there's a few areas where the phrasing is more parody-like than realistic. And the more realistic it is, the stronger the message sent, IMO.
Examples, please?

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#28 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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I don't know quite how to word this, but it makes me really uncomfortable to read about mothers mocking other women's birth experiences -- especially if this is posted as a "real" birth story. My plans for my own birth aside (birth center with midwife, Bradley classes, committed breastfeeder, etc), I honestly think it's really mean-hearted to be parodying a typical American birth like this. Yes, a "what's wrong with this picture?" could allow some women to question typical interventions and the medical model of hospital birthing, but at what expense? No matter what our choices, motherhood should also be a sisterhood, where we build each other up while gently educating through shared experiences.
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#29 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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I honestly think it's really mean-hearted to be parodying a typical American birth like this. Yes, a "what's wrong with this picture?" could allow some women to question typical interventions and the medical model of hospital birthing, but at what expense? No matter what our choices, motherhood should also be a sisterhood, where we build each other up while gently educating through shared experiences.
After my first child's birth, I went through a period of intense anger and rage when I realized how badly I'd been misled. The gentle education I'd received left me ill prepared for the reality of modern hospital birth. I didn't feel "built-up" by my preparation; I felt let-down.

I don't know if I would have been receptive to this parody as I prepared to give birth the first time--but I will say that it resonates deeply with me as I prepare to give birth again. An idea I have encountered over and over on various childbirth educator lists and forums is that the education cbe's provide most often benefits the next baby, not the current one.

There are many types of activism. That not every method is appropriate for every situation is an excellent point.

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#30 of 53 Old 11-08-2006, 09:24 PM
 
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I don't know quite how to word this, but it makes me really uncomfortable to read about mothers mocking other women's birth experiences -- especially if this is posted as a "real" birth story. My plans for my own birth aside (birth center with midwife, Bradley classes, committed breastfeeder, etc), I honestly think it's really mean-hearted to be parodying a typical American birth like this. Yes, a "what's wrong with this picture?" could allow some women to question typical interventions and the medical model of hospital birthing, but at what expense? No matter what our choices, motherhood should also be a sisterhood, where we build each other up while gently educating through shared experiences.
You certainly have a very good and well-founded point. I'm going through a similar struggle with my sister... I feel mocked when I express our decision of a midwife or homebirth- BIL calls it "cultish" and sister just generally disapproves.

On the flip of that, my sister is set upon having a hospital birth, with no plans whatsoever to avoid interventions or drugs.

That is the LITERAL interpretation of the sisterhood experience. She IS my sister. And we both are having trouble reconciling our birth-choice differences... neither of us will express concern for the other's choices due to our very sensitive relationship.
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