Hypothetical X-Post: Would You Rather Have - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Would you rather have
An incredible, perfect birth experience, but a failed bf relationship (one of the few genuine ones) 15 11.63%
Unsatisfying birth ending in "emergency c", but a wonderful, successful, bf relationship 114 88.37%
Voters: 129. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-04-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
Yeah, odd inquiry...but I'd MUCH rather have a section & a great BFing relationship. I feel BF is EXTREMELY more important than mode of entery. Just my opinion.
for sure this. have had 4 c-sections and well they sucked and were far from the ideal birth I always wanted. but being able to successfully breastfeed all four and still going strong with my 3 yr old and almost 1 yr old... well that doesn't substitute a "wonderful" birth experience but it's far more important in the grand scheme of things.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys are making me feel a lot better about my cesarean.
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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i find this question to be hurtful to mums who had no choice whether to have a c-section or to formula feed.
Hm, I don't find that at all. I find that posing the question actually acknowledges that one may feel they have "lost" something in EITHER case, and that they both have a value, which is going to be highly individualized. So, if someone has no choice but to have a c-section, asking the question acknowledges that she may feel like she's lost something very valuable *to her*, even if she's able to bond well with her baby and nurse until college. And vice-versa... a woman might have a beautiful, peaceful, picture-perfect birth, and then discover that breastfeeding is not an option for one reason or another... and may still feel a sense of great loss, even though the woman on the other side of the fence who had a hellish cesarean envies her counterpart's birth experience even as she latches on her toddler.

Thankfully, we *don't* really have to choose between the two; we're all part of a community where we can be empowered by information and support, giving us the best chance possible of having it "both ways." Having that place to stand on also can help greatly when the choices are taken away from us by biology. But posing the question does ask women to consider which they value more greatly, which is at least an interesting thought experiment. Those of us who have had one and not the other really do have to consider this as a hypothetical question, and still come up with different answers.

Perhaps the concern is that, should a woman look at the question and, for example, discover that she considers nursing more valuable than the birth experience, she will feel that she is no longer entitled to mourn the loss of the birth she was hoping for. I don't think that the question requires that take at all, however.
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Perhaps the concern is that, should a woman look at the question and, for example, discover that she considers nursing more valuable than the birth experience, she will feel that she is no longer entitled to mourn the loss of the birth she was hoping for. I don't think that the question requires that take at all, however.[/QUOTE]

it reminds me of the question "would you rather be blind or deaf" which is insulting to people who are blind or deaf.

Mummy to dd (Jan 13, '07) born by emergency c-section at 35 weeks due to severe pre-e  :ribboncesarean.gif and ds (Jan 30 '09) :hbac.gif and stork-suprise.gif    (06/11)
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:36 PM
 
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I had an almost "perfect birth" with DD2, and severe depression kicked in when she was about a week old and I realized that, even if I'd had a horrible hospital birth with her, life would be the same right now- I'd still be home with a newborn and a toddler and an unsupportive DH. Ok, maybe I'd be in more physical pain if I'd been cut (c/s or episiotomy) but overall my life wouldn't be much different, after months of picturing the "perfect birth" it just didnt' matter anymore.

Not be able to BF? Now THAT would have devastated me. I was upset enough when I let DD2 wean at 14mo, and mourned the loss of the full BF relationship until I got pg again more than 4 years later.

Would I have felt differently if I'd been unable to have a safe homebirth? Possibly. Healthy birth and BF are both important, and birth experiences can certainly impact breastfeeding.

Looking back at my role as a mother, I spent a total of 4 days in labor (3 for my first baby, 1/2 each for my next two), 65 minutes pushing (45 on the first birth, 10 for each subsequent) and a total of 609 months nursing, including 14 months of tandem nursing. I spent much more time nursing than birthing, and its loss would be that much more devastating.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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I'll take a happy & healthy baby over my own happy birth story ANY day of the week.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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It's a horrible choice but I feel like BF has a longer lasting impact on the well being of my LO so that would be the priority. While I truly believe that the birth itself does affect the baby, mom bares the larger burden there and suffers more greatly. I would happily take on the pain of that experience over the much longer lasting effects a failed BF relationship would have on my child.
:

I had a pretty close to perfect birth, and a c-section literally scares me to death, but I still wouldn't trade my breastfeeding relationship with my son. I'm thankful that I don't have to choose and I got both.

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Old 03-04-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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I don't think hypothetical questions are meant to be taken so literally, but they can help us prioritize our values. Questions like this are meant to be thought-provoking, not offensive.

Personally, I also would take a successful bf relationship over an ideal birth, even though I was fortunate to have happy births with both of mine. My son had a great deal of trouble breastfeeding (which I've written about elsewhere), but in the long run I would say we had a successful relationship. This is important to me because although birth is very important, it is an event that lasts a day. Breastfeeding is a relationship that can last months or years.

Questions like this tend to be very personal, especially for those of us who have had problems with birth, breastfeeding, or both. I appreciate others' thoughts on this as well because it helps put things into a greater perspective.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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it reminds me of the question "would you rather be blind or deaf" which is insulting to people who are blind or deaf.
Why is it insulting?
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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A rare dissenter, I guess. . .
:

I voted for "perfect birth, failed breastfeeding".

I interpreted your question as: without doubt, the failed breastfeeding relationship is mechanically/physically impossible. On the other hand, the c-section is "emergency" meaning that it was unplanned. The poll didn't say "crash c-section" (ie. the TRUE emergencies).

(For background: I've had great births and great breast-feeding relationships. But the vigour with which I had to "flout" the doctor's advice to avoid a c-section with my twins gave me an entirely new perspective on c-sections as they pertain to me).

Yes, I am aware of the important and long-lasting benefits of breastfeeding. But when I was agonizing over the birth of our twins and really internalizing the risks of both the c-section and a vaginal birth, the uncertainties about the need for intervention, the process of having major surgery performed on my body. . . I had to consider myself.

Myself? How dare she! Well. . . in doing so, I considered my children.

And I have come to see that the process of birth matters more to me than I ever thought it could. Who I am now is quite different than who I was pre-child (in some respects) and the former me would have scorned the now-me as one of "those" women of too many spiritual reflections and too much crunch. I thought very little of my own mother as a child. I think fairly less of her now. I have seen the very, very long-lasting effects of someone being a crappy mother because she has no substance in her soul. I don't want my children to have that kind of relationship with me. For me, an "emergency" c-section would have been a prime catalyst for years of personal anguish and resulting unhealthy relationships.

Thank you Ironica for your excellent posts on this thread.

Six kids, sixth sense, six degrees of separation. . . from sanity!
Not sure that I'm crunchy, but definitely a "tough chew".
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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I didn't vote because I am not sure how to decide. I got neither even though I am not completely dissatisfied with my birthing experience (transfer to hospital after 50 hrs of unproductive labour). I am more disappointed in the lack of support during my labour from the midwife(s) and the lack of support in the breastfeeding relationship from my ex-partner who happened to be more than amazing during home labour.

If I could give myself, I would want to experience vaginal birth at home.

If I did it for my baby, I would want to give him an easy breastfeeding relationship.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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I would move heaven and earth to have a productive bf relationship- and that includes bottle feeding someone elses milk.
SO- I chose a optimal birth experience over BF.

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:53 AM
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I had the second, and I voted for the second.

I had a complicated, lots-went-wrong labour that ended in an unplanned c/s. It was deeply unsatisfying on so many levels and I had a really, really hard time with it. Almost as hard as it gets. DS was in the NICU and we had a rough start bfing (my milk did not come in until day 7 or 8, for goodness' sake) but we were well-supported and lucky enough to be able to work it out.

Especially in those early months when I was so horrified by the birth experience and having nightmares and flashbacks, it was incredibly redemptive for me to be able to nurse him. It felt like my body was at least doing something right. We're still going at 20 months. I wouldn't trade this for the most beautiful birth.

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Old 03-05-2008, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Ironica for your excellent posts on this thread.

Yeah, that. Thanks for your thoughtful input.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:15 AM
 
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OVERWHELMINGLY I'd prefer the second. Breastfeeding is extremely important to me.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:37 AM
 
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I actually find the question offensive.... there are worse things in this world than a medically necessary cesarian birth.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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I actually find the question offensive.... there are worse things in this world than a medically necessary cesarian birth.

And a c-section can be an amazing birth experience too. C-sections aren't always horrible, traumatic events. It is possible to have a wonderful, amazing birth experience while having a c-section and then go on to have a great breastfeeding relationship. I know it isn't like this for everyone and my c-section wasn't great, but it does happen.

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Old 03-06-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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I had serious post-partum depression for nearly a year following the cesarean, and trouble bonding (even with breastfeeding). I just didn't feel like the baby was mine for weeks. It felt like I was babysitting.
I had a similar experience, and I think that my weird un-bonded-ness directly contributed to the failure of my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter. There were all kinds of factors involved, so I don't want to oversimplify, but I couldn't seem to get through the pain of early nursing AND the emotional pain of the c-section and the guilt I felt at not feeling at all connected to my baby. So while I don't think the poll itself is hurtful, per se, it brings up a lot of painful memories for me.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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I actually find the question offensive.... there are worse things in this world than a medically necessary cesarian birth.
True, but I don't think this was meant to be a worst-case scenario. These are everyday scenarios for many people.


This reminds me of the game "Would You Rather..."
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:25 PM
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my friend had an amazing c-section. due to her health conditions, she was lucky to carry to term, and the only way she could birth was via c-section.

her family tried to convince her not to become pregnant because 1. they were concerned for her health/wellbeing, and 2. because they're racist and her husband is chinese-american and they were very scared about the baby being mixed race.

but, she wanted to have a biological child, and she wanted to experience pregnancy, and all the wonderous things that those experiences offer. and she knew, going in, that she'd have to have a c-section to make it possible.

and she had a healthy, beautiful, mixed-raced baby boy who is a real joy to her.

she didn't have a BFing relationship due to culture (she's very mainstream--sometimes thinking, sometimes unthinking, and with bfing, it was unthinking), but she did have a good birth that made her feel empowered, accomplished, happy, and whatever else.

so, it can be right for people, and it is--in particular--when necessary.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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And a c-section can be an amazing birth experience too. C-sections aren't always horrible, traumatic events. It is possible to have a wonderful, amazing birth experience while having a c-section and then go on to have a great breastfeeding relationship. I know it isn't like this for everyone and my c-section wasn't great, but it does happen.
Very true. However I personally read this to mean, a worst case scenario, terrifing situation, c-section with long recovery etc.

For my SIL the worst part of her 3 c-sections was that they were emergancy c-sections. Concinced she was not going to have a sucessful VBA2C she wanted a nice scheduled c-section to elminate the "emergancy" feel. So to her it was tramuatic because she had a 3rd "we have to get the baby out NOW c-section."
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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i voted the second option.
it's what i had
i had to transfer from home to have an emg c section. no fun. but i'm having an amazing bf relationship
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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I chose the birth, having two births where I was violated, leading to severe PPD, being a sexual abuse survivor, then birth raped both times seriously impacted ,my ability to bond I think my happiness is important to my baby. I also think the birth experience is vital to the child, and I think traumatic births can klead to traumatized babies as well.

But you bet my baby would still get breasmilk. Just not mine, I find it the 'lesser of two evils' for myself.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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As bad as it sounds, I chose the first option. A traumatizing birth experience would be extremely difficult for me to process due to my emotional makeup. I would do my best to get donor bm as much as possible, supplement with Weston formula if I had to. That's a really hard and tough question.

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Old 03-07-2008, 04:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by intorainbowz View Post
I actually find the question offensive.... there are worse things in this world than a medically necessary cesarian birth.
I think that even asking the question REQUIRES understanding that this is true for many women. If you choose the second answer, you're basically saying that yes, there ARE worse things than having an emergency c-section... such as not being able to nurse your baby.

The poll asks the responder to rank the two outcomes in order of value to themselves. Some people seem to find it offensive to acknowledge that, as mothers, we can value nursing over a picture-perfect birth experience, or that we may value a peaceful healthy birth over a productive nursing relationship. I don't think asking or answering the question devalues any particular birth outcome or nursing issue; rather, it acknowledges that different people do place different values on the two things.

Also, I find it interesting that, as you read the poll, the first response does NOT rule out a surgical birth. In fact, perhaps the second response is less appropriate simply because it does name a particular birth outcome... what if it said "Unsatisfying birth with difficult recovery, but a wonderful, successful BF relationship"? One can have a traumatic vaginal birth too; it doesn't have to be surgical to mess you up. :-/
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:06 AM
 
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I chose that I would rather have a successful breastfeeding relationship... but, I think my traumatic birth actually led to that successful relationship, and I probably would not have breastfed if I had not had an emergency c-section.

My first pregnancy was very difficult, and ended in an emergency c-section after my blood pressure peaked at 190s/110s. I was bedbound/hospitalized for a week following my daughter's birth, while the doctors tried to lower my blood pressure.

I felt like a HUGE failure...my body didn't handle being pregnant, I didn't get to labor naturally, I didn't get to birth my own child, and I wasn't even able to be her primary caregiver for the first week of her life. What was left that was something I exclusively as her mother could do for her? Breastfeed...if I hadn't been successful, it would have shattered my self-image as a woman. My uterus didn't work right, my vagina didn't work right...at least my breasts did.

I am now days away from what is looking to be a VBAC...all signs indicate that this will be a "dream" birth...I'm already dilating, already effacing, the baby is already engaged at 0 station, I have perfect blood pressure, no sign of any of the potential problems for which I was at risk, and no real discomfort (other than a fetus on my cervix...). It's looking better and better every day...and if someone told me that I had to choose between birthing this child through my vagina, and putting this child to my breast, I would schedule the c-section right now. How the child is born matters to ME. How the child is fed matters to the child...and who is more important?
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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I too find this a very upsetting, strange question... It's a horrible choice, not to mention a hugely illogical one, since a c-section is statistically more likely to lead to breastfeeding difficulties, and a gentle birth more likely to lead to breastfeeding success.
:

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Old 03-09-2008, 11:08 PM
 
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I have had 1 negative, 2 wonderful ones, and 3 long-term successfull nursing relationships.

I was a mess after my horrible birth - a distant, weepy, post-partum-y mum - and the depression took a long time to climb out of.

I still wonder if my son has some of the focusing issues he does due to birth complications (it coulde be coincidence, too - who knows?)

Formula is not the end of the world. I think in this case, for me and given my history/fears - it would be the better of the two routes.

I would pick good birth, and unable to nurse.
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