can we talk about alienating c-sec moms, or moms who had epidurals? - Mothering Forums
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Birth and Beyond > can we talk about alienating c-sec moms, or moms who had epidurals?
texaspeach's Avatar texaspeach 01:27 PM 10-01-2007
because I'm having a hard time expressing my views on natural birth and my concern over the rising c-section rate of the u.s. with out alienating my friends. Another friend sent around the birth song from compleat mother. I thought it was humorous and I know she did it just so we could have a chuckle. but someone else got very upset about it and basically said, in a few more words, that we were invalidating her birth experience because she had c-sections.

I'm frustrated. this always happens. most of my friends have the same views as I do, but of course not everyone will see it the same as I do every time. alienating people is the last thing I want to do.

alegna's Avatar alegna 01:33 PM 10-01-2007
Disclaimer first- there is a medical need for everything- some of the time. I am not speaking of medically needed interventions.- end disclaimer

That said- I think that birth is something that there is a revolution of sorts about now. Women that understand that and understand what's going on are going to be outraged and vocal and want to educate.

BUT- a HUGE portion of the population doesn't yet know that anything is going on and are going to be offended.

Some people are very offended to have their world-view challenged. We can be gentle in our wording, but some of that is still going to happen.

For *me* it's a matter of choosing my audience. There are some audiences that just aren't going to hear what I have to say. So I don't bother. There are some audiences where everyone already agrees with me. That's usually a waste of time for anything but moral support. Then there are the audiences that are split, but leaning in the right direction (like MDC, IMO ) And with those, I am honest and out there and hope that those who are ready to hear, will hear. Knowing that there are also those who are NOT ready to hear who may be offended.

Don't know if that ramble was at all useful or what you were getting at, but there you have it

-Angela
pampered_mom's Avatar pampered_mom 01:45 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
For *me* it's a matter of choosing my audience. There are some audiences that just aren't going to hear what I have to say. So I don't bother. There are some audiences where everyone already agrees with me. That's usually a waste of time for anything but moral support. Then there are the audiences that are split, but leaning in the right direction (like MDC, IMO ) And with those, I am honest and out there and hope that those who are ready to hear, will hear. Knowing that there are also those who are NOT ready to hear who may be offended.
I think this absolutely is key.

I also think the most recent issue of Mothering's c/s article had some good points to apply here. One the one hand, one doesn't want to invalidate someone's personal experience, but in the case of c-sections with 30% of them being performed in the US and the WHO stating that 10-15% (really should have been listed as 5-10%, but you know how that goes) is the appropriate rate, there are 15-20% of women out there, who have may have nothing but positive things to say about their c/s, but in reality had medically unnecessary c/s. I struggle with how to honor their experience while at the same time being true to evidenced based practices.

And then there are those of us who consider the term "cesarean birth" to be the most offensive phrase ever when used to refer to our own personal experience. *sigh* it's a tough road to walk, for sure.
turtlewomyn's Avatar turtlewomyn 02:06 PM 10-01-2007
I had a c-section and I think that song is funny (and so true too). I truly know now that my c-section was unnecessary (and probably did all along, but was scared and pushed into it by the midwife, her doctor, and our relatives). I have forgiven myself for the choices that I made, and hope to educate and strengthen myself to make better choices next time.

And of course there are some c-sections that save lives out there. I don't think that even your most hard core natural birther would disagree with that (although I could be wrong).

My guess is that the women who are offended are the women in that gray area in between, maybe their c-section was necessary, maybe not, maybe it was prudent (if not an emergency) but probably something doesn't sit quite right with them, and that is why they get so offended when anyone says anything that may force them to think about it. I had a coworker that had four c-sections. The first one was for FTP (after failed induction or augmentation with pitocin), the others were ERC, her doctor had told her that she only had a 40 or 50% shot of having a vbac, and she thought Why bother? When I worked with her, two of our coworkers had really wonderful unmedicated hospital births (showed up after being in mild prodromal labor for days and had the baby within a couple of hours of being admitted). Each time someone had a great labor, and the birth stories were told, she would have to talk about how great her c-sections were, how natural birth seemed so gory compared to c-section : (at which point I offered to bring in the pictures of my daughters "birth", her rising from my abdomen covered in blood, yeah, that isn't gory at all), and about how she was up and moving around much faster than her friends did after their vaginal births. It just really made me wonder, who is she trying to convince???

That being said, I still get offended when anyone refers to MY c-section as a cesarean birth : Maybe I am not quite at peace with it as I would like to think I am.
Gumby's Avatar Gumby 02:47 PM 10-01-2007
Angela, I think that's the longest post I've ever seen you write. (Granted I haven't been there that long.)

But yes, I'm careful with my audience. I try to let my own actions express my opinions more than my words. If nothing else, I'm exposing the younger generation to what is natural.

It is a tough road to walk, because while I take great pride in my homebirth (as well at ebf, etc), I don't want it to come off as arrogance. Again, I think the whole, "there is a time and a place," comes into play.
laohaire's Avatar laohaire 02:50 PM 10-01-2007
It's a lot to take in, especially if you've had a traumatic experience. I know I would probably feel defensive if I had just trusted the system, had a traumatic experience, and then been told that if I had only been proactive, I could have avoided it. I'd feel blamed, I guess.

Plus, separately from that, women need to come to terms with their experiences, and probably the most common way is to justify it. To feel that I had a traumatic birth but it was all for the best is one thing, but to feel that I had a traumatic birth that could have and should have been avoided is much more difficult to come to terms with.

My neighbor had a traumatic hospital birth with SD last year. The doctor broke the baby's collarbone and cut the mama up pretty badly. They are both ok, thank goodness, but that's something she's had to come to terms with. When she told me a little about it, I asked "Oh, did they have you in a lot of different positions to get him unstuck?" a look crossed her face and she said "No." I can't tell you for sure what the look was, but I interpreted it as a painful reaction to the very idea that the doctor might have messed it up, or that it could have been avoided. Naturally, I just told her it must have been very scary, and I never brought up or hinted at the idea that it could have been avoided again.

Some of it feels like "blame the victim" - you could have avoided trauma if you had only researched it more, chosen a better care provider, stood up to the staff, said no, hired a doula, written a birth plan, whatever.

I think with these mamas we just need to be very gentle and remember that they were doing everything they thought was safe. They have been taught not to trust their bodies, and that doctors are all-knowing, and birth is dangerous and many interventions are necessary. If they didn't research more, it's not because they failed themselves, but because they've been trained into trusting the system. What's to research, right? I already have a great OB, right?

I think we should focus on how others failed the mamas, not on what the mamas should have done to help themselves. I'm not saying mamas have no responsibilty to research, etc., but rather that it is entirely understandable that most mamas don't, and that they are not ultimately to blame. And that to understand what happened to them, they don't need to be told what they did wrong. If they start to see the big picture, they will naturally take on more responsibility themselves.

And, we need to respect the pain that the mamas have been through and recognize when they are not ready to wonder if their experience was entirely unnecessary.

ETA: I also realized I've been writing as if I am exempt from this, since I am soooo enlightened, etc. But it's not true, I have much to learn, and I did not do everything right with my first birth (even though it was a home birth). It's difficult for me to come to terms with some things, and it's also difficult talking to others about it since they will naturally blame the home birth, and my decisions.
Gumby's Avatar Gumby 02:56 PM 10-01-2007
Oh, and OP, I don't think it's you or your friends or the circulation of the song that is invading her birth experience, I think it's those in the medical profession who did invade it. I think this is obvious to anyone who regularly logs on to MDC. Again, though, I feel like this straddles the line of arrogance. Maybe not.

So then what? You are a sensitive, caring friend who gives her time and support to deal with it on her own? These are my own thoughts I'm trying to work through. Whenever a friend tells me she had a c-section, I usually offer my condolences, because I am truly sorry for their loss. I'm angry too, and likely they are as well, but I'd rather offer hugs than a grimace. Does the mentioned friend need more time to process?

A revolution is right.
Gumby's Avatar Gumby 03:01 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
And, we need to respect the pain that the mamas have been through and recognize when they are not ready to wonder if their experience was entirely unnecessary.
Yes absolutely, I hope what I said wasn't coming off as dismissing this.

I like what you have said laohaire.
majormajor's Avatar majormajor 03:11 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Whenever a friend tells me she had a c-section, I usually offer my condolences, because I am truly sorry for their loss. I'm angry too, and likely they are as well, but I'd rather offer hugs than a grimace.
ok, THAT would offend me. i had a c/s, why would i need condolences? because i have a healthy, beautiful baby? because i missed out on the experience of delivering a dead or brain damaged baby?

really, some people are quite happy with their epidural or c/s births. it's presumptuous to assume everyone wants what you want. your views are your views, and that's fine, but they're not necessarily better than anyone else's. i used to believe that the natural way was better, but then i stepped back, gained some perspective, and realized that different women want different things.
KellMcK's Avatar KellMcK 03:16 PM 10-01-2007
As someone who had a c-section, I don't feel alienated or offended by moms who talk about home births or the alarming rate of c-sections in the US.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for mamas who home birth - it takes a very strong and well-educated woman (in my opinion) to have a home birth. I also assume that you have to be 100% in tune with your body and your baby. I'll be honest with you - until I came to MDC, I had no idea that a home birth was even an option. Even now, as a first time mom, I wouldn't have had the confidence or education to experience a home birth.

All that aside, while my birth experience was scary for me, and there are aspects of it that I wish would have happened differently, the end result was a beautiful baby girl, so that's what I keep in mind. I understand that the process itself is as important as the end result, but in my case, I focus on the baby that I longed to snuggle & kiss for nine months.

To the OP, I'm not sure what you could do differently so that your friends would be more receptive to the facts surrounding c-sections and home births. I love to hear about home births, and read these boards voraciously to learn all I can. Maybe they're just not ready to hear it.
Momma Aimee's Avatar Momma Aimee 03:26 PM 10-01-2007
speaking as a medical birth momma

it is tough ............. it is a tough line to walk to advocate natural birth, to educate and support natural birth, and also respect moms who had other births, allow them to grieve, and to include them.

even for me -- i advocate natual, non medication, non intervention births 100%, i totally support home births and UC as well.

however, i do understand there are times when the medical stuff is necessary, maybe not in a life or death choice (though more of than not -- yes it can be life or death) but in a reality sort of way.

i often feel as a medical birth momma, who choses to birth in an hosptial with an OB that there are moms out there that doesn't support my choices despite my support and acceptace of hb and uc .. you will, sadly, hear people tell you things like "if you hoptial birth you are asaking for inteventions, if you really want a natural birth stay home" ......

it is tough -- there is a line. are CS necessary, yes, are they necessary in 30% of US births -- no. the recent Mothering artical made a good point, all will agree there are too many CS but all also feel thiers was a necessary one ..... it is a rock and a hard place.

are intevention over used? yes. Do they have a place, yes?

finding a balance is so hard.

It is very fustrating and very hurtful -- to have some moms here and IRL who approach things with the "it is always possible to have a natural birth" and then want to pick apart your birth to show that "well if you had done this, not that, you would have been better off"

If i get told -- here or in IRL ONE MORE TIME if i had a home birth my birth would not have turned medical i may SCREAM so long that i pass out : : : :

There are no simple answers, none. birthis complex and the issues around birth are complex.

20/20 hind sight and monday morning quarterbacking has its place, to learn so maybe a differnt choice can be made next time, or so another mom can learn .... but in reality if you are not the mom in qustion, and if you are not careful -- it comes off as "well it was your fault that happned, it wouldn;'t have happned to me" and hurtful and insulting.

Most of us, all of us?, with a medical birth (and i did not have to have a CS) stuggle with it. we prepared for a natrual birth, we studied, we read, we went to class, we knew an alret active birth was best for the baby and the breastfeeding, we were worred about the slippy slope of interventions, we hired doulas we hired MW we did "everythign you are supposed to do to ensure a natrual birth" and then we didn't get one. we feel like failures, we feel like we can't trust our bodies........

It is hard to hear natrual birth thrown around so casually -- it is not an easy or casual thing.

Quote:
It's a lot to take in, especially if you've had a traumatic experience. I know I would probably feel defensive if I had just trusted the system, had a traumatic experience, and then been told that if I had only been proactive, I could have avoided it. I'd feel blamed, I guess.
excately --

Quote:
Some of it feels like "blame the victim" - you could have avoided trauma if you had only researched it more, chosen a better care provider, stood up to the staff, said no, hired a doula, written a birth plan, whatever.
and there are times when you do that and more and it still turns medical, but there are thoese that will jump to tell you if you had birthed at home, or USed or whatever ..... like even if you did 25 things to ensure a natural birth, you didn't do 27 and THAT is the problem, you obvuious didn't care enough or try enough

it is jsut a tough tough road to walk -- advocating one thing, while still supportive of another and REALISTIC about it all too

Aimee
Zaxmama's Avatar Zaxmama 03:29 PM 10-01-2007
it would belittle MY experience and somehow give the impression that it was a failure...I have 2 happy healthy boys... I am in no way a failure.. the fact that they ended up being extracted from my abdomem rather then pushed through my birth canal..doesn't really make a difference in the end.

But Everyone is entitled to there own opinion..
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 03:39 PM 10-01-2007
I would never apologize to someone who had a c-section in the meaning that they didn't do something, but that they were violated and cut open most likely unnecessarily by the medical establishment. Every single person I know IRL who has had a C-section is still traumatized by it. I had to fight tooth and nail not to be forced into them 3 times, and now a 4th. My best friend was forced into hers, and so I guess my experience is different. I have never IRL known anyone who was anything less than horrified by their experience.

I don't even talk about the epidural thing and people's experiences with that. I had an intrathecal with ds that ended horribly, and I wish I had had someone's experience truthfully about them other than "there's nothing wrong with doing something about the pain". But people get very defensive about that one.
DBZ's Avatar DBZ 03:42 PM 10-01-2007
Oh I used to get horribly upset. My first birth was by c/s. My second was avbac with an epi. Back then I used to hang out at mainstream boards and someone would always post some c/s vs. natural type of topic. I remember fighting tooth and nail to prove that my c/s birth was just as good as their unmedicated one, especially since the end result is what is ultimately most important.

However, the real reason why I was so upset is because I was extremely jealous. I had a lot of anger and resentment over my birth. I had totally planned on going natural, extended bfing, etc. It wasn't until I had my vbac that I started to heal emotionally over the first birth and it wasn't until very recently that I could put all those hurt feeling to bed completely.

I absolutely love natural childbirth and I talk about it quite a bit, but when I run into someone who has had a c/s I'm gentler. I do ask why though and suggest ways of possibly avoiding it again if they so choose, but I try very hard to be non-judgemental with them.
Marilyn82's Avatar Marilyn82 04:12 PM 10-01-2007
I didn't read all the posts because my little one is anxious for his turn on the computer

But I wanted to add my two cents. I think if we can find a gentle way to provide some information that is the best we can do. I try to give as little room for defensiveness as possible and I never want to come off like a know-it-all, but at the same time I think that women who choose routine intervention without knowledge of consequences or options are simply not fully informed. Maybe they don't want to be informed (god knows I've met women like this) because it takes them out of their comfort zone and forces them to think about the choices they made and maybe even take some responsibility. I think if anything is going to change in birth, we need to shake things up a bit...because it's the women who need to stand up and change birth.So if they get a little uncomfortable, maybe it's not such a bad thing At the same, if they feel attacked or overly defensive, they may not hear the message.....so it's wise to find a balance in how you convey things.
turtlewomyn's Avatar turtlewomyn 04:16 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
ok, THAT would offend me. i had a c/s, why would i need condolences? because i have a healthy, beautiful baby? because i missed out on the experience of delivering a dead or brain damaged baby?

really, some people are quite happy with their epidural or c/s births. it's presumptuous to assume everyone wants what you want. your views are your views, and that's fine, but they're not necessarily better than anyone else's. i used to believe that the natural way was better, but then i stepped back, gained some perspective, and realized that different women want different things.
See, and I am happy when people have offered their condolences after learning that I had a c-section. Usually it occurred after I told them the whole story, and how I felt that it was completely unnecessary, and about how the whole situation was horribly traumatic for me. What irritates me is when people tell me that the fact that I was unnecessarily cut open doesn't matter, and I should just be happy because I have a healthy, beautiful baby.
I am assuming that if people are giving you condolences, it is because they are sad that you had to go through that traumatic event, not because you ended up with a healthy baby. I mean isn't there that point when you are told that you should have a c-section, where you are fearing for your baby's life and safety, that is horribly traumatic? I think when they are giving their condolences, they are giving the condolences that you had to go through THAT, not that you ended up with a healthy baby.
Marilyn82's Avatar Marilyn82 04:21 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Whenever a friend tells me she had a c-section, I usually offer my condolences, because I am truly sorry for their loss. I'm angry too, and likely they are as well, but I'd rather offer hugs than a grimace.
See, now this would have comforted me...when I had my cesarean I did not know at the time (because I was not ready to deal with it) just how very much I had been lied to and how unnecessary my cesarean was. All people say is "thank goodness you didn't have to go into labor and then end up with the c/s anyway" "You have a healthy baby thats all that matters" and so on. All I wanted was someone to GET IT, that ya I had a healthy baby, but it was hard for me that I didn't have a non-invasive birth and a healthy baby too. I would have been hurt if someone would have barraged me with all the info at once showing me how unnecessary it all was and that YES I should have been more informed and YES I should have been more proactive, but then again I would have appreciated someone giving me a hug and saying "hey, you matter too". I would have burst into tears of greatfulness.
Momma Aimee's Avatar Momma Aimee 04:33 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
but at the same time I think that women who choose routine intervention without knowledge of consequences or options are simply not fully informed.
this is very true -- we all know these moms -- however the rub comes into it when the mother WAS well informed and t the interventions became necessary.

we have to walk a line between the reality that interventions are abused and dangerous in their own right, but also necessary too ... : it is what i struggle with daily.

Often in the zeal -- mine too -- that medial inteventions are over used we forget that they are not always abused, or that the mom in question was not just ill-informaed........and even things were not 100% handled best -- 20/20 hind sight, presented in a poor fasion, only implies the mom was stupid, or uneducated or didn't try hard enough
courtenay_e's Avatar courtenay_e 04:34 PM 10-01-2007
This is one of the reasons I am putting together a "cesarean prevention" class for early pregnancy for our community education classes. It drives me crazy that our large local hospitals are at 40% cesarean rate and PREPPING their new woman's hospital for a 40% cesarean rate. And the common woman in our society will go in to those hospitals, and 40% of them will be told that in one way or another their body or their baby's body is broken and they have to have a surgical birth.

Of the normal, everyday, non-MDC mamas I know? The HUGE majority of them have such an innate trust in our medical system that they don't know that anything can be done to lessen the liklihood of a cearean. So, when they get all those bells and whistles and the situation turns ugly and the doctor says, "you're not progressing, your body just doesn't know how to dilate" they figure that, since the doctor went to medical school for so long, they must know what they're talking about, and they CERTAINLY would not dream of endangering theirs or their baby's lives, so the normal everyday mothers in my community usually go along with it. And, frankly, they probably don't regret making the choice.

And when faced with the same circumstances and choices, I don't know MANY mothers, when told that their baby's life is in danger, who wouldn't make the same choice. So, we need to work to change the system, to educate those everyday mothers, a little bit at a time, and accept that, when most of those 40% cesarean rate sections happen, those mothers are making the best choice they can make under the circumstances.

Okay. Off my soap box. Sorry...

As for the OP? I don't know that it's a good idea to SEND that around to the general public. Because for most of us, if we know better, we make better choices...and it may be offensive to those of us who just didn't or still DON'T know better. (Not to NOT get a cesarean, but that there is a nineteen percent dicrepancy in the rate of cesareans that save lives and the ones that save doctors the cost of higher malpractice rates!...and how to do their best to avoid the cesarean that is likely for 30% of the women who walk through hospital doors to birth their babies). And, like it or not, WE, as activists, need to understand that 11-13% of those cesareans WERE absolutely necessary, and that we have no right to judge which was which. We are simply responsible to work to change the current climate. How? I'm still working on that!

I can say, though, that, by speaking at a BREASTFEEDING seminar this past spring, I touched the lives of one couple who were planning a VERY medicalized birth, but wanted to breastfeed. When they saw the statistics that it was likely to affect the breastfeeding relationship to choose the model of birth they were headed for, they started investigating their choices. In the end, they hired a doula, took a Bradley class, changed practitioners, and the baby's father caught him last Thursday, at an Alternative Birthing Unit, attended by midwives. They have made an about face in the way they plan to parent (bought a sling and an ABC, have decided to co-sleep, and are talking about the benefits of AP). So, I guess, if I can change one life at a time, that's the best I can do.
anne1006's Avatar anne1006 04:38 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
ok, THAT would offend me. i had a c/s, why would i need condolences? because i have a healthy, beautiful baby? because i missed out on the experience of delivering a dead or brain damaged baby?

really, some people are quite happy with their epidural or c/s births. it's presumptuous to assume everyone wants what you want. your views are your views, and that's fine, but they're not necessarily better than anyone else's. i used to believe that the natural way was better, but then i stepped back, gained some perspective, and realized that different women want different things.
I also usually offer some kind of condolence to c/s moms I know, not because it's not an "okay" way to birth, or because they didn't get the birth I think is proper. It's because they were cut open because something was medically wrong, or because they were told something was wrong or didn't understand their options. They have to have a longer recovery and potential complications. They also have to take care of a newborn after major surgery. I don't feel sad because they are healthy and happy, but because most of them didn't want a c/s and had to (or thought they had to) have one.
I know it's different for elective c/s, and some are happy with having one. I just don't get that, but I drop it unless more conversation about it comes up because it's none of my business. But, if it wasn't a choice, I like to lend some support because my first birth experience was traumatic and I think people overlook birth trauma generally and think "healthy mom and healthy baby = happy experience", which isn't true.
Girlprof's Avatar Girlprof 04:44 PM 10-01-2007
I think - I hope - that there is a revolution going on. I want more folks on the side of natural birth. But I don't focus my persuasion efforts on moms who have recently given birth unless I get some serious signals from them that they are open to it. Instead, I try to talk to friends (and students sometimes, since I teach) about the dramatic increase in the c-section rate, about how many women are induced, about how inductions can lead to premature babies. I let my own story - especially the part where I changed care providers mid-pregnancy to move to a less interventive practice - stand on its own. I think it's hard to change someone's assessment of their own birth experience and it's possibly not my business. But I try to plant the seeds of a more natural approach to child birth before the birth itself happens. This has sometimes worked.

Sarah
channelofpeace's Avatar channelofpeace 04:46 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaxmama View Post
it would belittle MY experience and somehow give the impression that it was a failure...I have 2 happy healthy boys... I am in no way a failure.. the fact that they ended up being extracted from my abdomem rather then pushed through my birth canal..doesn't really make a difference in the end.

But Everyone is entitled to there own opinion..
This is very interesting. I just want to say that i honor your experience and i am glad that this is your outlook

My experience is quite the opposite. It does bother me that i was robbed of what would probably have been three uneventful vaginal births had i only had a care provider that practiced evidence based medicine (that is the simplistic version). I hate that it was a "baby extraction" and that i was drugged and sick and in pain the first few hours of my first two babies lives. I hate that my vba2c left me with PTSD from an unwanted vaginal check that led to me asking for an epidural.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
It's a lot to take in, especially if you've had a traumatic experience. I know I would probably feel defensive if I had just trusted the system, had a traumatic experience, and then been told that if I had only been proactive, I could have avoided it. I'd feel blamed, I guess.

Plus, separately from that, women need to come to terms with their experiences, and probably the most common way is to justify it. To feel that I had a traumatic birth but it was all for the best is one thing, but to feel that I had a traumatic birth that could have and should have been avoided is much more difficult to come to terms with.

My neighbor had a traumatic hospital birth with SD last year. The doctor broke the baby's collarbone and cut the mama up pretty badly. They are both ok, thank goodness, but that's something she's had to come to terms with. When she told me a little about it, I asked "Oh, did they have you in a lot of different positions to get him unstuck?" a look crossed her face and she said "No." I can't tell you for sure what the look was, but I interpreted it as a painful reaction to the very idea that the doctor might have messed it up, or that it could have been avoided. Naturally, I just told her it must have been very scary, and I never brought up or hinted at the idea that it could have been avoided again.

Some of it feels like "blame the victim" - you could have avoided trauma if you had only researched it more, chosen a better care provider, stood up to the staff, said no, hired a doula, written a birth plan, whatever.

I think with these mamas we just need to be very gentle and remember that they were doing everything they thought was safe. They have been taught not to trust their bodies, and that doctors are all-knowing, and birth is dangerous and many interventions are necessary. If they didn't research more, it's not because they failed themselves, but because they've been trained into trusting the system. What's to research, right? I already have a great OB, right?

I think we should focus on how others failed the mamas, not on what the mamas should have done to help themselves. I'm not saying mamas have no responsibilty to research, etc., but rather that it is entirely understandable that most mamas don't, and that they are not ultimately to blame. And that to understand what happened to them, they don't need to be told what they did wrong. If they start to see the big picture, they will naturally take on more responsibility themselves.

And, we need to respect the pain that the mamas have been through and recognize when they are not ready to wonder if their experience was entirely unnecessary.

ETA: I also realized I've been writing as if I am exempt from this, since I am soooo enlightened, etc. But it's not true, I have much to learn, and I did not do everything right with my first birth (even though it was a home birth). It's difficult for me to come to terms with some things, and it's also difficult talking to others about it since they will naturally blame the home birth, and my decisions.
Thank you. Your post really resonates with me.
RileysmamaNM's Avatar RileysmamaNM 04:53 PM 10-01-2007
In the general public I feel more alienated for having a homebirth so I dont know about alienating mothers who had c-secs or epidurals. It seems like they can talk as much as they want about their births but as soon as I say 'homebirth' the conversation pretty much stops and ive never onced judged them. I dont even feel welcomed in the moms group in my town.
mamameg's Avatar mamameg 04:59 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
BUT- a HUGE portion of the population doesn't yet know that anything is going on and are going to be offended.

Some people are very offended to have their world-view challenged. We can be gentle in our wording, but some of that is still going to happen.
I agree that people are often resistant to having their world view challenged, but if a woman is offended by this song, I don't think that's necessarily going on here. I think the offense may be coming more from a place of pain and feelings of being let down by the very establishment that promotes itself as the group who is there to help us through in case we cross harm's path.

I've had 2 c/s births. The first was absolutely unnecessary, I believe. The pain and trauma I went though with that was horrible and I lost a lot of faith in both my ob/gyn of 10 years and the medical industry as a whole. If I had heard that song anytime with in the first 2 yrs after that birth, I probably would have been terribly hurt and offended, as I was still processing the pain of my experience and I was not yet through it.

But that experience led me to a place of trusting my intuition and with my next pregnancy, and I planned for an HBAC. I didn't go into labor until 42.5 weeks, but it eventually happened and although I labored at home until I was completely dilated, my very anti-hospital birth MW advised I transfer due to dangerously low decels (50bpm). So I transfered. And I had another c/s. Something in my intuition told me he just wasn't going to come out on his own without some sort of serious trauma. I was right. The cord was not only compressed, but around his neck twice, in a way that my MW would not have been able to unwrap it properly. In that case, the c/s was necessary and the fact that I was in control of the situation and I made all the decisions made it an unexpectedly healing experience for me. I did trust my intuition and I did the right thing for my baby boy.

So now that I have been through all of that, I am able to hear/read a song like that and I am able to nod in agreement, even though I've never had a vaginal birth. But I can only do that because I've worked through my own pain and those wounds have healed.

But you know... you just never know why someone is offended by something. Because after writing all of that, I am recalling a woman I know who had an elective c/s because wanted to be "in control" of the whole experience. and she would likely be offended by the song, because it does challenge her world view. So I suppose Angela is not really off base. But that's not the only reason a person would be offended. Sometimes, there's just too much pain to be able to see the humor in something.
phreedom's Avatar phreedom 06:25 PM 10-01-2007
I had a c-section that was probably unnecessary and thought that song was kind of funny in a sad way. It is not very crunchy where I live at all.

I remember we had a lady that came in with a ¨crunchy birthplan¨* (ie no drugs, no epidural, no IV and so on...my guess is she may have birthed at home or a birthing center, if it seemed like a viable option to her) and the staff was so perplexed by it. Some of them even mocked her behind her back. Unfortunately things did not go the way she planned...she had her unmedicated birth, but she ended up with an epis and the baby came to the NICU. And of course certain buttheads were very smug about it...itś almost as if they thought she ¨deserved¨ it for being so ¨difficult¨ Like she was the cause of her baby ending up in the NICU. It really upset me. I really felt bad for this mom.

Even though I had a c-section...I can honestly say I´m not that bothered by it at all. I don´t feel sad, I don´t feel a sense of loss or any shred of dissapointment. I honestly don´t care. I feel nothing one way or the other about my birth experience. It´s not what I would have chose, but it is what it is. I´m not hurt or offended by the song, but I can see how some women that ended up with a c-section could be. My main objective was that the baby and I come out healthy and I was okay with our outcome. But I don´t think that every mother needs to think that way. And of course this is easy for me to say...because my child was healthy, nothing went wrong and she never went to the NICU. I´m quite sure my feelings would be different if things had happened otherwise. I had a c-section...but absolutely nothing about my experience could be described as bad or traumatic. (by my standards)

I don´t know why I feel like that...because I certainly recognize all the unnecessary interventions that are foisted upon mothers and babies. And I feel really bad for the moms that have been violated, lied to and traumatized. Blah...I´m not very eloquent at all. I´ll just stop.

***I´m not putting ¨crunchy¨ in quotes to demean it...it´s just the only way I could explain it. By ¨crunchy¨ I just mean natual...little to no intervention.
gwerydd's Avatar gwerydd 06:30 PM 10-01-2007
nak

the song doesn't offend me but it does enhance my feelings of loss. i had a c-section after my bp spiked to 200/119 and the drs were worried about siezures. i only got to hold my dd for 5 minutes before she was taken to the NICU and i didn't get to see her again till the next day. songs like this just remind me of what i never got to have, i would have loved a midwife and a homebirth but no midwife would take me due to my underlying bp issues.:
bellymama's Avatar bellymama 06:33 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
ok, THAT would offend me. i had a c/s, why would i need condolences? because i have a healthy, beautiful baby? because i missed out on the experience of delivering a dead or brain damaged baby?

really, some people are quite happy with their epidural or c/s births. it's presumptuous to assume everyone wants what you want. your views are your views, and that's fine, but they're not necessarily better than anyone else's. i used to believe that the natural way was better, but then i stepped back, gained some perspective, and realized that different women want different things.
i see nothing wrong with Gumby sharing her condolences...you seem really defensive.
i had a c-section and i am pretty okay with it for all the reasons you shared. but i am okay with someone saying they are sorry. i wouldn't think that they think they are better than me or anything weird like that.i would think they were a kind person trying to be nice to me. it's presumptous of you to think that all women feel the way you do.
phreedom's Avatar phreedom 06:37 PM 10-01-2007
I wouldn´t be offended at all if someone offered their condolences for my C-section. Like I said I personally wasn´t all that bothered by it...but I can certainly see how some women could feel disappointed and sad by it.
mamameg's Avatar mamameg 06:43 PM 10-01-2007
I would have preferred to receive condolences rather than the comment I most often received: "Well, a c/s is easier than a vaginal birth anyway." I've also been told I'm "lucky" to not have had to go through vaginal birth. Yeah.... lucky me.
BookGoddess's Avatar BookGoddess 06:59 PM 10-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Whenever a friend tells me she had a c-section, I usually offer my condolences, because I am truly sorry for their loss. I'm angry too, and likely they are as well, but I'd rather offer hugs than a grimace. Does the mentioned friend need more time to process?

A revolution is right.
I'm sure you mean well but I would be offended if you offered me condolences. There's no loss. I have a healthy child today because of my c/s. I don't need anyone's sympathy or condolences for my birth experience. Saying you're sorry for my c/s is, to me, the equiavalent of someone saying, "Oh you had a daughter. Oh, I'm so sorry." I don't regret my c-section and I don't have a lot of angst over it. It happened. I've moved on. I realize many other mamas here who feel very differently about their c/s and that's my point. One shouldn't assume all c/s mamas need condolences. We all see our experience through different lenses.

I'm all for empowering women and educating them about all the birth option. We need to create a climate where parents can informed decisions and arm themselves with as much information as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
ok, THAT would offend me. i had a c/s, why would i need condolences? because i have a healthy, beautiful baby? because i missed out on the experience of delivering a dead or brain damaged baby?

really, some people are quite happy with their epidural or c/s births. it's presumptuous to assume everyone wants what you want. your views are your views, and that's fine, but they're not necessarily better than anyone else's. i used to believe that the natural way was better, but then i stepped back, gained some perspective, and realized that different women want different things.

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