birth: it's like pooping, it's like sex...NOT rocket science - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-06-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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No. Not at all. During my last two births I was totally within myself. Labor land 110%. But, I was also fully aware of my body and all that it was doing.

The birth attendants do need to be on the look out for any complications. But, so do the mom and the prenatal caregiver. Most problems arise before labor. So, you know going in whether this will likely be a complicated birth or not.

As far as the higher death rates, it's very hard to compare these apples and those oranges. Life was different then. People lived in different conditions. Sometimes there was malnourishment. Sometimes there was filth. Geez, doctors used to mess with dead people then insert their embalming fluid covered hands into the vaginas of birthing women without so much as wiping them off. So, go figure, people died. Others out there surely know more about this then I do. But, I know that their life was just so different from ours. And the complications were more of a result of those differences then anything directly related to the birth process. We are designed to birth. It's really just as simple as that.
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by skueppers
Given that, before the advent of modern medicine, women and babies used to die in childbirth in much larger numbers than they do today, is it your contention that while the mother should avoid thinking during childbirth, it is the job of her birth attendants to do the thinking for her? For example, by identifying situations in which some assistance may be required?
First off, why did mamas used to die in childbirth?

the number 1 and 2 reasons: infection and post-partum hemmorage
(Today we can control these staph infections with antibiotics [who do you know that died from a uterine infection as a result of labor/childbirth] and post-partum hemmorage is controlled by medications or hystorectomy [instead of simply dying.])

They didn't die 'coz they weren't thinking. They didn't die because they pushed against a 9.5 cm dilated cervix with "just a lip" that their nonexistant OB could have 'helped' them with.

In my opinion, woman should avoid "thinking" during labor/childbirth. That is the birth attendant's job. While pregnant, the woman gets to decide whether or not she wants to invite a "brain" to her birth.

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If it were possible for the mother to take drugs which would disassociate her conscious mind from awareness of her body altogether, do you think that would lead to better birth outcomes?
YES!

And the coolest thing is: no drugs are neccessary.

If a woman can have an unhindered* birth experience, her conscious mind will dissociate from her body, and her primitive "monkey brain" will take over, and that is the passionate, primal part of a woman that will stay in-tune with the body and bodily sensations, and will allow a woman to go to "LaborLand", a state of mind where her nerdy cerebral cortex is far, faaaaar away, and her monkeybrain and body and baby are all together, all in the moment.

I do think that arrangement leads to better birth outcomes--fabulous birth outcomes, safe outcomes, pleasant outcomes, pleasant labors, orgasmic births, happy times for one and all. I do not think that the hormonal cocktail in unhindered women is a guarantee that labor won't hurt; but I think it's the only way it might not hurt.

from: http://www.sarahjbuckley.com/article...atic-birth.htm

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For birth to proceed optimally, this part of the brain must take precedence over the neocortex, or rational brain. This shift can be helped by an atmosphere of quiet and privacy with, for example, dim lighting and little conversation, and no expectation of rationality from the laboring woman. Under such conditions a woman intuitively will choose the movements, sounds, breathing, and positions that will birth her baby most easily. This is her genetic and hormonal blueprint.
regarding improved safety: http://www.wombecology.com/fetusejection.html

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Today I consider this "reflex" as the necessary physiological reference from which one should try not to deviate too much. During the powerful and irresistible contractions of an authentic ejection reflex there is no room for voluntary movements. A cultural misunderstanding of birth physiology is the main reason why the birth of the baby is usually preceded by a second stage, which may be presented as a disruption of the fetus ejection reflex.(3) All events that are dependent on the release of oxytocin (particularly childbirth, intercourse and lactation) are highly influenced by environmental factors.
Michel Odent is a verbose Frenchman......basically what he is saying is, if a woman can birth without getting freaked out, her natural hormonal response is to have a big ol' surge of oxytocin at the time of crowning that will allow the fetus to fly out of the birth canal, which he asserts is safer for baby.



*"unhindered" will mean different things to different women: for some it is a UC, for others it is a homebirth with lots of sisters, doulas, and support, for another woman it is her partner and her midwife, for someone else it's alone with her doula in a hospital room's dark bathroom with the on-call OB far away down the hall....etc, etc.
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's awful. My mom told me that the last time she had a catheter placed she was about ready to have a nervous breakdown because she was remembering her previous one which she described like you did. The nurse said, oh, no worry, we can just deaden the area before we do it. What the.... ? Why would't they just do that routinely? Or why couldn't they wait until the epidural was fully working? Was it a life or death situation for you to have that catheter placed immediately? Would it have been so much a travesty for you to actually pee on the operating table that torturing you was so freaking preferable?
Excellent points...

How many car crash victims end up peeing on the table in the ER? Drug overdoses covered in puke and urine? "Sterile field" is not enough of a reason. In a rush and not giving a s%#@, that is the reason.

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The thing is, all the pain they caused him was totally unnecessary. What the hell is wrong with people that this seemingly happens so often? Are so many medical people so clueless? Are they idiots? Are they sadists? I just don't understand.

from First, do no harm
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Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means "First, do no harm." The phrase is sometimes recorded as primum nil nocere.

It is one of the principal precepts all medical students are taught in medical school. It reminds a physician that he or she must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do.
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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Oh, I'm so sad to read that. I agree about the pain; for me it was just unbelievable. But in my second birth, I did feel safe and secure. There was a time when I was screaming and desperate, but I did not feel at risk and I did not feel unsafe. I DID feel loved and supported and cared for in the midst of that. Pain and safety don't have to be opposing factors. The safety made the pain survivable.
I don't understand how anyone can feel safe while they're experiencing pain that makes them want to shoot themselves. Maybe we have different definitions of safe. In my case, I didn't CARE that I was loved or supported. I'd rather have been unloved and in less pain if I'd had a choice.
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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I know you said "most people" and weren't necessarily talking about me, but I want to emphasize that I felt very positive going into the birth experience. I was calm and felt well-prepared and ready for labor and birth, even if it was hard and painful. I wasn't prepared to feel like someone was hitting my back with a chainsaw every four minutes for hours on end!

I don't mean to take away from this thread's original message, but I would like to see more support and validation in the natural birthing community for women whose labors are excruciatingly painful and difficult despite their preparation and best efforts. I get depressed when I see so many threads saying things like "labor is easy and natural!" and "it doesn't hurt that much!" because reading that kind of thing over and over left me unprepared for what I actually experienced.

I have not caugh tup on this thread yet, but had to reply hear. what do you mean by validation? to say, oh, you had it hard, so pumping drugs into your and babies bodies really was ok? Everyone has to make there own choices, I fully respect that. Everyone has a different experience and coping level, I totally understand that. As long as you feel good about the decisions you make (I am not talking about you, either, all generic, if anything more towards the people i see IRL in my area) then I say no more.
BUT I wont sit back and say I think it is OK to do those things because your laobor hurt more than most.

My third labor and birth was VERY painful, long and difficult. I was not prepared. I had a typical first birth, a typical second birth (yes, pain involved) and a VERY painful third with a posterior large baby.
I still feel that it is natural, instinctual, and with the proper support, knowledge and state of mind, can be much less painful.
And reguardless of how painful it is, it doesnt have to feel like a negative experience. I just feel sad for those who do end up with the neg feeling from birth.

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Old 01-06-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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BUT I wont sit back and say I think it is OK to do those things because your laobor hurt more than most.
What bothers me is the women who had easy, or relatively easy, natural births, and then think it's OK to judge anyone who doesn't go natural because THEY did it. I'm pretty sure that a lot of them (not all) would have made the same decisions I did if they'd been in the same amount of pain.
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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Not everyone can deal well with pain. I don't deal well with it at all, and I do whatever I possibly can to avoid it. I don't admire it, I don't want it, I don't glorify it, and I don't have any experience where pain made me any stronger or augmented my self-respect. Others may vary; that's the beauty of being human.

It's important for women to honestly describe their pain experience in birth, and it is equally important for the listener to understand that there is no template for the pain experience in any situation. Everyone is different, which makes every response unique.

I did not want the pain of childbirth, so I didn't have any children. Plain and simple. Since I didn't want to suffer the pain, I didn't have the child. Very clear-cut. Unless I adopted, there was no way to get the child without the pain, so no child.

It was very clear to me, and it was predicated on the honesty of women regarding their pain experiences in childbirth. I am grateful to this day for the honesty.
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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Not everyone can deal well with pain. I don't deal well with it at all, and I do whatever I possibly can to avoid it. I don't admire it, I don't want it, I don't glorify it, and I don't have any experience where pain made me any stronger or augmented my self-respect. Others may vary; that's the beauty of being human.

It's important for women to honestly describe their pain experience in birth, and it is equally important for the listener to understand that there is no template for the pain experience in any situation. Everyone is different, which makes every response unique.

I did not want the pain of childbirth, so I didn't have any children. Plain and simple. Since I didn't want to suffer the pain, I didn't have the child. Very clear-cut. Unless I adopted, there was no way to get the child without the pain, so no child.

It was very clear to me, and it was predicated on the honesty of women regarding their pain experiences in childbirth. I am grateful to this day for the honesty.
I love this post.

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Old 01-07-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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Not everyone can deal well with pain. I don't deal well with it at all, and I do whatever I possibly can to avoid it. I don't admire it, I don't want it, I don't glorify it, and I don't have any experience where pain made me any stronger or augmented my self-respect. Others may vary; that's the beauty of being human.

It's important for women to honestly describe their pain experience in birth, and it is equally important for the listener to understand that there is no template for the pain experience in any situation. Everyone is different, which makes every response unique.

I did not want the pain of childbirth, so I didn't have any children. Plain and simple. Since I didn't want to suffer the pain, I didn't have the child. Very clear-cut. Unless I adopted, there was no way to get the child without the pain, so no child.

It was very clear to me, and it was predicated on the honesty of women regarding their pain experiences in childbirth. I am grateful to this day for the honesty.
I agree, not everyone can deal with pain WELL. But everyone can deal with it. Then pain of childbirth doesnt last for ever and I have never heard of it Killing someone. As I have said, I had an extreamly painful birth, and after the first 2 i feel i had a high pain tollerance.
I ussually avoid thes types of discussions, and I am not trying to be rude, and have never said to anyone "I look down upon you" or "you are a bad person" ect to someone who used drugs in labor. but i still feel it is wrong. It is poison, and the baby has no say in it. It is not ok to me and not excusable.

I took 1 dose of a narcotic pain reliever via IV during labor with my first son. I was 17. I knew better, but only by instinct. I didnt have any info on it. I regreted it the second it went in, and prayed for it to go away and for me to be forgiven for what I had done. I still feel the guilt of it, and used to wonder what effects it had had on my ds. Now i am able to recognize what it had done, the visible things anyhow.

I do not feel the need to tell anyone who has just had a child how i feel about this. Nor am I going to so strongly express it to a client. As I dont think people need to be hurt in that way over things they cant change, and did out of lack of education.

But I will tell everyone else how i feel, if that makes sense. And I will do my best to educate those who dont know, esspecially those who willbe having a child in the future, such as a client.

Just had to get that out, i guess

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Old 01-07-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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Michel Odent is a verbose Frenchman......basically what he is saying is, if a woman can birth without getting freaked out, her natural hormonal response is to have a big ol' surge of oxytocin at the time of crowning that will allow the fetus to fly out of the birth canal, which he asserts is safer for baby.
Indeed it seems that research is starting to show that big surge of hormones at the end DOES make it safer. Read this article! Wish I could find the fulltext for the study rather than just a blurb.

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In the new study, which appears in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Science, researchers in Germany and France report that a surge in a mother rat's oxytocin levels during childbirth calmed neurotransmitters, essentially quieting the brain so it won't need as much oxygen.

Essentially, oxytocin is "neuroprotective," ...
The last line of the article makes me want to , though. Way to take a good, important bit of information, which supports the assertions of the natural birth community and run the completely opposite direction with it. : Directly pumping a fetus full of synthetic oxytocin to protect it from a "difficult" labor? Sounds like a great idea to me.: Though maybe I am misinterpreting what he said there.
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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I agree, not everyone can deal with pain WELL. But everyone can deal with it. Then pain of childbirth doesnt last for ever and I have never heard of it Killing someone.
Surviving and being able to deal with it are not the same thing. Some women get PTSD from the pain of childbirth. For me it was a major cause of PPD.

The potential harm to the baby from having a mother suffering from PPD (which interferes with bonding and can interfere with breastfeeding - did in my case) far outweighs the theoretical harm to the baby from painkilling drugs, IMHO.
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:56 PM
 
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Thank you for your kind response to my post. I appreciate it.

I wish to augment a point I failed to completely detail in my original posting. I do disagree with your assertion that everyone can deal with pain at some level, however inadequately. I assume your assertation defines dealing with pain as enduring it and/or physically surviving it. That may or may not be the case, but that discussion is beyond the scope of this post.

I suggest that there are people who can't deal with the pain of childbirth. These are the women who develop PTSD as a result of the experience. These are the women who suffer PPD directly attributable to the childbirth experience, as defined by the mother. These are the women who kill their children, like Andrea Yates, because they ignored their responsibility to obtain adequate mental health help and failed to address the PTSD and PPD before it became psychosis. These are the women who have abortions rather than experience childbirth because they suffer from tokophobia--extreme fear of childbirth--a phobia far more common than anyone on this board might believe.

So yes, if my heart is still beating and I am not imminently psychotic after birth, I guess you could say I survived it; I survived the pain. But is that really survival? Is that an appropriate outcome, however unintended? Should I live with lifelong--or even months or years long--mental illness? Should I grieve for the body I enjoyed and respected before I had a child? Should I experience months and possibly years of flashbacks and nightmares from a birth so terrorizing that I poorly recover from it psychologically?

I assert no. I maintain that the participants on this board address the incorrect issue. I argue that if you believe--as you are free to do--that any intervention for pain in childbirth is poison, that you should also argue for no births by women who cannot endure natural childbirth. Personally, I agree, but my opinion is irrelevant. I'm not the birthing mother, so I don't get to comment on her decision.

As far as the common experience of birth being painfree naturally or orgasmic or whatever, my admittedly anecdotal research indicates otherwise. There will always be people who do not experience pain in the same way as other people. My own mother routinely has her teeth filled without any novacaine at all. Other necessary physical interventions over the years have been similarly endured. But my mother freely admits her experience of pain is vastly different than that of most other people. It just...is. We tease her; she's used to it by now. But it is a very uncommon response, and most likely has something to do with the way her nerve endings are bundled in the brain.

I am well over 40 years old now and perimenopausal. I did not have a child because I don't cope with pain at all so I couldn't tolerate the pain of childbirth. I deeply valued the honest input from women who experienced the pain involved in giving birth, and who were willing to clearly detail it, despite societal pressure to keep quiet. If women cannot tolerate the pain of birth with just the comfort measures available in natural childbirth, maybe they shouldn't have a child. That would put an end to the epidural/elective csection problem in this country very quickly. That's why the honest assessment of pain is so valuable on this board. Women should read it thoroughly before considering a pregnancy.

It's a shame that there is no way to have a baby--other than adoption, which I am not addressing here--without suffering the assault of hours and maybe even days of torturous pain in order to do so. But nobody asked me if I liked it.

That's reality. And that's why I don't have a child.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:21 AM
 
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This theory works for most, but what about the rest of us? A few PP have touched on this.

I have a BIL that because of injury, for him to poop is a big deal. It just might seem like rocket science. For some conceptions are more complicated than rocket science, and other than the father/sperm donor's ejaculation, which is damn pleasurless DH assures me, there is no sex.

Some of our conceptions, pregnancies, births etc are complicated and would not occur without intervention, assistance and technology.

Not trying to rain on the mostly agreeing with the OP, who does make good points, just another POV.

I wish there was a way that these discussions could occur without seeming to look down on those of us who had them for whatever reason. Like I'm less of a mom because of what it took for DD to get here.

I read on here a lot of talk about inclusion and diversity. Maybe try to realize that not all women will EVER have the birth to many here may seem the ideal birth.
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This theory works for most, but what about the rest of us? A few PP have touched on this.

I have a BIL that because of injury, for him to poop is a big deal. It just might seem like rocket science. For some conceptions are more complicated than rocket science, and other than the father/sperm donor's ejaculation, which is damn pleasurless DH assures me, there is no sex.

Some of our conceptions, pregnancies, births etc are complicated and would not occur without intervention, assistance and technology.

Not trying to rain on the mostly agreeing with the OP, who does make good points, just another POV.
I feel like you are talking about my POV, intorainbowz, with what you're pointing out here:

You've got one BIL for whom pooping is a big deal. To me, that mirrors the 1970's c-section rate of 7%--those who really needed cesarean surgery got it, and the "slow labor" crowd of women who 'failed to progress' didn't experience the surgery.

You speak of couples who require assisted reproductive technologies. I concider many of these ARTs miraculous and helpful, BUT, I do not think that 30% of couples need artificial insemenation or other techniques to achieve pregnancy.

Just like I do not think it's ok that 30% of the pregnant women in our country experience a cesarean section.

Sure--sometimes birth, conception, pooping, digestion can be rocket science, because when these normal functions become unusual, unusual measures must be deployed. Just because I breathe every day on my own does not mean that when I am in a car crash I don't want CPR, since it's not "natural" and breathing is "easy for most of us."

The key is this: our culture is so outta whack with birth, that we ACCEPT and hold as NORMAL a cesarean rate of 30%...that is 1 in three. ONE IN THREE. How come when we were all babies 9 out of 10 of our moms could expect a vaginal birth, but now only 2 out of 3 mothers can expect that?

And we as a culture accept this level of birth tinkering....no one is in the streets raving about this (except me, every nite, from 8:30 pm to 11:30 ) You need a lot of rocket science to maintain a cesarean birth rate of 30%--so I'm just sayin', actually, it's NOT rocket science. Birth doesn't/shouldn't require intra-abdominal surgery 30% of the time.
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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That article was really interesting! But then he said . . .

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What's next? "We might want to intentionally give babies oxytocin to help them survive difficult pregnancies," Taylor said.
Instead of saying "maybe some of the routine interference with birth is prohibiting the naturally protective effect of oxytocin," they immediately jump to administering synthetic oxytocin. While I think that makes sense in limited cases, why can't this doctor see the corollary - that the human body was designed to give birth and has some built-in methods of handling the process, that perhaps we shouldn't be in such a rush to interrupt?

Here I thought the "What's Next?" question would lead to some sort of validation of the natural process of birth . . .

Sorry, that just stinks. :

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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That article was really interesting! But then he said . . .



Instead of saying "maybe some of the routine interference with birth is prohibiting the naturally protective effect of oxytocin," they immediately jump to administering synthetic oxytocin. While I think that makes sense in limited cases, why can't this doctor see the corollary - that the human body was designed to give birth and has some built-in methods of handling the process, that perhaps we shouldn't be in such a rush to interrupt?

Here I thought the "What's Next?" question would lead to some sort of validation of the natural process of birth . . .

Sorry, that just stinks. :

Julia
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I totally agree, it's stupid. Haven't we already proven that idea WON'T WORK?! I mean, moms are frequently induced or augmented with huge doses of pitocin and it clearly does not have a protective effect when intentionally administered. It CAUSES fetal distress quite often.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:10 PM
 
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The implication that a bunch of us crazy homebirthers sitting around discussing how birth is not rocket science and how the section rate in north america is too high is somehow casting judgement on those who have the rare complications is not even worth my response. Remember, nobody can make you feel guilty or judged.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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I feel like you are talking about my POV, intorainbowz, with what you're pointing out here:

You've got one BIL for whom pooping is a big deal. To me, that mirrors the 1970's c-section rate of 7%--those who really needed cesarean surgery got it, and the "slow labor" crowd of women who 'failed to progress' didn't experience the surgery.

You speak of couples who require assisted reproductive technologies. I concider many of these ARTs miraculous and helpful, BUT, I do not think that 30% of couples need artificial insemenation or other techniques to achieve pregnancy.

Just like I do not think it's ok that 30% of the pregnant women in our country experience a cesarean section.

Sure--sometimes birth, conception, pooping, digestion can be rocket science, because when these normal functions become unusual, unusual measures must be deployed. Just because I breathe every day on my own does not mean that when I am in a car crash I don't want CPR, since it's not "natural" and breathing is "easy for most of us."

The key is this: our culture is so outta whack with birth, that we ACCEPT and hold as NORMAL a cesarean rate of 30%...that is 1 in three. ONE IN THREE. How come when we were all babies 9 out of 10 of our moms could expect a vaginal birth, but now only 2 out of 3 mothers can expect that?

And we as a culture accept this level of birth tinkering....no one is in the streets raving about this (except me, every nite, from 8:30 pm to 11:30 ) You need a lot of rocket science to maintain a cesarean birth rate of 30%--so I'm just sayin', actually, it's NOT rocket science. Birth doesn't/shouldn't require intra-abdominal surgery 30% of the time.

ooh I would so love to get in your brain. I was reading some of the responses thinking, yes, I get that point but how do I articulate why birth is not rocket science for the majority of people... you figured it out!

Thank you!

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:11 PM
 
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Remember, nobody can make you feel guilty or judged.
I hate this attitude. It's such a cop-out. It's like saying, "hey, if I just insulted you, it's not my fault, it's yours!"

I'm not saying that anyone has been insulted in this specific case. But people most certainly CAN "make" other people feel guilty or judged, and it's reprehensible to blame the victim for it.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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I hate this attitude. It's such a cop-out. It's like saying, "hey, if I just insulted you, it's not my fault, it's yours!"

I'm not saying that anyone has been insulted in this specific case. But people most certainly CAN "make" other people feel guilty or judged, and it's reprehensible to blame the victim for it.
I'm kinda with Pookel here. I mean, if I say I had a rather uneventful birth but needed a smidge of help to finish, and that I had 8 hrs of excruciating pain, and the response is "Oh, well I don't think that women who are unafraid of birth feel (insert optional: bad) pain unless something's really, really wrong," then sure I'm being judged, and sure I feel it. The clear message is that if I'd just been _________ (actually unafraid, actually emotionally ready, whatever) then I wouldn't have suffered the way I did.

I'm not crying into my hankie here , but it smarts a bit when you do your best, go through so much agony you end up with mild PTSD, and then there's this insinuation that it only hurt b/c there was something "wrong" with me - I must have been unprepared, afraid, secretly harboring fear of the birth process, etc.

The most important thing I've learned about childbirth is that every woman experiences it differently (and the same woman often experiences each birth differently), and I can't judge another woman's experience based on my own - or based on all the other birth stories I've read. Which is why I tend to try to be helpful, supportive, and open to other womens' attitudes about their births, since my experience and knowledge probably can't touch hers (about her own birth).

In purely general, hypothetical discussions I just put my general perspective in and don't take others' comments personally, though I will respond if I feel the discussion is "missing something" that I've experienced.

Julia
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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The implication that a bunch of us crazy homebirthers sitting around discussing how birth is not rocket science and how the section rate in north america is too high is somehow casting judgement on those who have the rare complications is not even worth my response. Remember, nobody can make you feel guilty or judged.
While I certainly agree with you that no one can make you feel guilty, people certainly do make judgements here on MDC (and everywhere else) all the time, and it does lead to people feeling judged.

I think it's a shame that many women who did the best they knew how to do during their own birth experiences wind up feeling unsupported and negatively judged here. I actually met a woman once who spent months mourning the loss of her natural childbirth experience even though she had total placenta previa. I suspect she wouldn't have been so distressed by the whole thing if she hadn't been exposed to such strong views on the benefits of natural childbirth, and the horrors of medical intervention.

It would be a wonderful thing if our health care system weren't set up in such a way as to discourage natural childbirth. I don't think anyone (here) disputes that. But it's also not the case that pain-relief drugs are somehow inherently evil. A woman who genuinely needed a c-section shouldn't be made to feel that the drugs she had to take in order to make that possible will necessarily interfere with nursing or cause long-term problems in her child -- because in most cases, any such problems that may exist are sufficiently subtle that it's not really possible to tell whether they were caused by the drugs or by some other factor. I know someone who found her (necessary) emergency c-section so traumatic that she seriously considered never having any more children because she was terrified of having another one. I know her well enough to know that part of the reason she was so traumatized was because she believed so strongly in the value of natural childbirth.

I think we'd all be better served if we worked to get to the root of the problem -- through activism, through conversations with our own health care providers, by genuinely trying to understand each other, and so on -- rather than by casting these issues in the kind of black and white terms that only serve to create divisions between people whose differences of opinion are more in shades of gray.

Of course, I'd also like to see a world where more of us cared less about what other people thought of our choices. Which is, I suppose, part of ndunn's point.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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Skueppers, great post, thanks. Wish I'd been able to put it that way!

Julia
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel View Post
I hate this attitude. It's such a cop-out. It's like saying, "hey, if I just insulted you, it's not my fault, it's yours!"

I'm not saying that anyone has been insulted in this specific case. But people most certainly CAN "make" other people feel guilty or judged, and it's reprehensible to blame the victim for it.
It's not an attitude, its simply the truth. When someone says something not to you, but in general, you can choose to take that comment personally and get upset about it, or you can choose to say "hey, I might not have liked that, but I'm not going to pay any mind to things that are negative to me".
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should all just say whatever we want to eachother, no! I'm just saying that at the end of the day, if you feel someone else's opinion is a bit off base for you, ignore it.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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While I certainly agree with you that no one can make you feel guilty, people certainly do make judgements here on MDC (and everywhere else) all the time, and it does lead to people feeling judged.
I agree with you that there are alot of people who are strongly opinionated, but whether you choose to see someone posting a fact as judgement or simply information is kind of up to the individual.

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I think it's a shame that many women who did the best they knew how to do during their own birth experiences wind up feeling unsupported and negatively judged here. I actually met a woman once who spent months mourning the loss of her natural childbirth experience even though she had total placenta previa. I suspect she wouldn't have been so distressed by the whole thing if she hadn't been exposed to such strong views on the benefits of natural childbirth, and the horrors of medical intervention.
But I guess the way I see it is that its her right to mourn her natural birth if she really wanted one. Who's to say that all women mourning their natural birth would rather just be okay with their experience. I know if I had a c-section personally it would cause me alot of grief and I hope that the people around me would give that the validity it deserves and support me through the greiving process, because that is how I feel that I learn and move on.




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Of course, I'd also like to see a world where more of us cared less about what other people thought of our choices. Which is, I suppose, part of ndunn's point.
Ya that is what I was trying to get at, but I'm not always so eloquent!
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ndunn View Post
It's not an attitude, its simply the truth. When someone says something not to you, but in general, you can choose to take that comment personally and get upset about it, or you can choose to say "hey, I might not have liked that, but I'm not going to pay any mind to things that are negative to me".
I don't know about you, but I don't have the luxury of being able to choose whether someone's comments hurt my feelings. I can pretend it doesn't hurt, but I can't make it not hurt. Emotions don't work that way.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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Been following along and enjoying the analogies. I think the pooping/sex analogy is a good one as the OP kept elaborating - it's not that it's always easy and painfree and normal, but that it usually is and should be treated as such - with appropriate interventions when it's not.
I like to say the birth should be ordinary and normal - but also sacred and extraordinary at the same time.

I do feel that just as women experience labor differently (and after attending hundreds of women, I firmly believe that labor feels differently and is in fact different for different women) women's emotional response to their births is different, too. What will be terribly traumatic and take years to recover from for one woman will be forgotten in a day for another. Some of this is societal and some of it is just how we experience our life experiences. All aspects of your life influence how you react to your next life experience. I don't think it's fair to say that women who need cesarean births wouldn't have a negative reaction if they didn't misguidedly desire an unintervened birth - some would and some wouldn't.
I do think it is important to always, always be sensitive to someone's experience and recognize that it is their experience - but I'm also prepared to be forgiving of folks who don't have a range of experiences and thus have too narrow a view of someone else's experience. For example, someone who comes from a homebirth culture and has great access to a wide range of birthing choices and then has a great homebirth may not understand the experience of someone going through a medically complicated pregnancy (severe IUGR comes to mind as an example on this thread.) Both parties may need to realize that the experience looks quite different depending on where you stand.
Can one person make another feel guilty? Yes and no, right? I've seen really negative comments thrown at people here (generic here, on mdc, not this thread) which I can't see how there was any intent other than to make the recipient feel bad (Such as "I think anyone who sees a doctor for prenatal care is stupid." in response to someone's medically needed intervention story) and I've seen perfecty innocent comments trigger big reactions (such as when someone posts about their great homebirth like "our birth was so nice" and someone else responds with "you are making me feel bad because I really needed a cesarean so you shouldn't get to celebrate your great birth because it hurts my feelings.") The first type of comment should obviously be avoided, and the second type still has the potential to cause negative reactions in a grieving or hurting person, but perhaps that is less due to the intent and content of the comment and more due to the ongoing experience of the listener. Does that make sense?

Also - to clear up one thing from way up the thread just because it is bugging me - a foley catheter is placed in the bladder during a cesarean birth to keep the bladder fully drained and out of the way. A full bladder lies along the lower part of the uterus and makes bladder damage more likely during the surgery. No one is worried about getting pee on the operating table or even in the field (except for that to get in the field you would have had to cut open the bladder or ureter which would be a great disaster.) Having said that, there is no excuse for putting the catheter in before the anesthesia is working in a non-emergent cesarean - and in the rare case where it needs to be placed in a mother with feeling, there is no excuse for not doing so compasisonately and with good explanation for what it will likely feel like, with no dismissal of the woman's feelings if she finds it more uncomfortable.
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:58 AM
 
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Having said that, there is no excuse for putting the catheter in before the anesthesia is working in a non-emergent cesarean
I suppose maybe they thought that because the epidural was still in, I was under anesthesia (it had been turned down to half strength for the pushing stage), but you'd think the fact that I'd been screaming bloody murder for three hours would have clued them in to the fact that half strength was not enough for me! And mine was anything but an emergency, it was a failure to progress and we had time to sit around and sign consent forms, wait for the anesthesiologist to come back, etc.

I *can* insist that they wait for the anesthesia before the catheter for my planned section, though, right? I am not a pushy person and I don't like to speak up to doctors, but I really don't want to go through that again.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:18 AM
 
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I *can* insist that they wait for the anesthesia before the catheter for my planned section, though, right? I am not a pushy person and I don't like to speak up to doctors, but I really don't want to go through that again.
Yes, of course. And feel free to truly insist. The few seconds saved by putting it in prior to an adequate block being acheived are just not worth any extra anxiety and pain for you. However, it may not be as painful anyway if you haven't been laboring/pushing with the resulting local tissue swelling and being more sensitive from having the local nerve endings firing to begin with. Usually, placing a catheter is more of a discomfort than terribly painful when one is in a non-emergent situation. Of course, YMMV!
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:20 AM
 
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I am loving reading this thoughtful thread!

I think that our society has 'lost' access to natural birth because of capitalism. Our economy is based on consumption and growth. It is beneficial to our economy to make people believe that they are somehow inadequate, unsafe, entitled, etc. to convince the person that they NEED whatever is being offered for sale; thus sales increase. The capitalist society benefits by perpetuating the myth that all females are helpless victims of the horrible and uncontrollable childbirth process and need to be saved/fixed/observed in order to avoid horrific consequences. Medical interventions are thought of as making childbirth safer even though they don't (excluding childbirth complications of course, when intervention makes sense) and before you know it, alarmed women are lining up at the hospital door for their epidurals and scheduled c-sections to avoid the unknown *potential* pain of natural childbirth. In our culture people seem to be very uncomfortable with the unknown and prefer to control as many factors as possible.

Speaking of the unknown, I wanted to observe that a woman wouldn't know whether childbirth was painful for her unless she went through it herself. I respect your choice to avoid the pain of childbirth by not risking it, SundayInSeptember, but I want bring up the idea that perhaps your experience wouldn't have been painful.

-dflanag2
mother to ds (28 mos) and DD (4 mos) a surprise UC
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Speaking of the unknown, I wanted to observe that a woman wouldn't know whether childbirth was painful for her unless she went through it herself.
wow--this is really profound, and I had never ever thought about this!
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