I'm really upset re: birth questionnaire - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've really gotten into birth activism since I was forced into a CS. So I asked some very close friends who are on a private message board to answer some questions about their birth experience.

None labored in any position but back or side.
Half had CS's
Of the CS, reasons were failure to progress (after 8-12 hours of labor) and increased fetal heart rate
None of the CS's will consider VBAC - most have been told it is very dangerous by doctors
And the Vaginal births all said they were and still are scared of childbirth

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Old 07-08-2008, 02:03 AM
 
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I've got to say it doesn't surprise me. Just this evening I was speaking to a friend about her c/s. It was due to her pelvis being "too small". She laboured only on her back.

Of the women I personally know more than 50% have had c/s with reasons of too small pelvis, failure to progress & cord around neck. Another friend who just had her baby recently was threatened: "If it doesn't come on this push we'll have to do a c/s."

No one I know has done a vbac.

It's sad & leaves me feeling alone & frustrated 'cause I don't feel I can speak to my friends about my birth plans as I fear being ridiculed.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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Old 07-08-2008, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh they are really worried about me going vbac...it makes me so frustrated


another thing that showed up on 2-3 questionnaires was that they were confined to bed because their water broke...um, why?
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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The school of thought is that after ROM, there's a greater chance of a cord prolapse. Most women (99%) do labor on their backs or sides because there's not readily available option in the hospitals and 99% of births happen in the hospital. (Of course, one CAN choose to be mobile while in hospital, it just requires a lot of work and fights for some hospitals.)

I hardly ever see women labor in bed unless they are exhausted and are napping between contractions, but I work for midwives in a birth center. We do less than 100 births a year near a hospital that predicts 4,000 babies in 2008.
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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sounds about right though. it is lonely when you are pregnant and planning a VBAC, especially a home birth.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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I can totally relate. I had a horrible medicalized labor/delivery with my first and was scared to death about giving birth to #2. I was terrified of dying in labor and leaving my first daughter without a mother. My first delivery was all I knew. I fell into the category of women grateful for all that the doctor did to save me and my baby.... until I started researching everything that was done to me. Now I believe that all the complications we suffered were due to the doctor.

Unfortunately, I don't think most women do the research and they end up with more intervention again with subsequent births.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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oh they are really worried about me going vbac...it makes me so frustrated


another thing that showed up on 2-3 questionnaires was that they were confined to bed because their water broke...um, why?
I have to comment on this... because their water broke or because the doctor broke their water?

My OB w/my first daughter broke my water leaving me to have a "dry" birth about 12 hours later. I had no idea it wasn't supposed to be that painful until I had my second daughter and refused any medical interventions.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's a mix of water broke/doc broke it...it's just so ludicrous...of course, if the doctor and every nurse in the world weren't shoving their fingers up their vagina, it wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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I can totally relate. I had a horrible medicalized labor/delivery with my first and was scared to death about giving birth to #2. I was terrified of dying in labor and leaving my first daughter without a mother. My first delivery was all I knew. I fell into the category of women grateful for all that the doctor did to save me and my baby.... until I started researching everything that was done to me. Now I believe that all the complications we suffered were due to the doctor.

Unfortunately, I don't think most women do the research and they end up with more intervention again with subsequent births.
Yeah this, all of this. This happens to SO MANY women now, and so many are convinced the doc saved the day (and of course, it does happen where it's needed). The c-section rate in this country isn't high because of docs truely intervening when needed though. This can happen even with a vaginal delivery....like a friend of mine who was induced with pitocin for no real medical reason and is scared of going through labor again because of the horrendous pain she was in (and of course, laboring on back or half-sitting up).

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Old 07-08-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Yeah, this is similar to my tally of women I know - admittedly very unscientific of course, yet still alarming. Every friend and relative of my generation who has given birth has had a C/S except one who had home births for both of her children. Granted, that's not a huge number - let's see, I think that's 6 women with C/S, and then myself and the other homebirth friend are 2 with normal deliveries. But still just freaky. I don't know all the birth stories, but I have not heard anything that suggested a C/S was a no-brainer (probably all FTP or something).

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Old 07-08-2008, 08:58 PM
 
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doesn't just make you so mad? : I feel you. thus part of my drive to work with birth.... i hope i can help to change the way it is done in this country.

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Old 07-08-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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The online survey's a little different because I'm assuming that the women who took it are in different locations, but I think that the c/s rate or vbac rate has a lot to do with where you are in the country. We had contemplated moving somewhere where the county c/s rate was 80% -- needless to say we didn't move. Here in Eugene, I'm not sure what the rates are, but most of the women I know had vaginal births, even the ones who were induced at the hospital. Two of my delivery nurses had totally unmedicated childbirths and were very supportive of my desires to go med-free. Another one spoke very positively to me about her vbac.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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The online survey's a little different because I'm assuming that the women who took it are in different locations, but I think that the c/s rate or vbac rate has a lot to do with where you are in the country. We had contemplated moving somewhere where the county c/s rate was 80% -- needless to say we didn't move. Here in Eugene, I'm not sure what the rates are, but most of the women I know had vaginal births, even the ones who were induced at the hospital. Two of my delivery nurses had totally unmedicated childbirths and were very supportive of my desires to go med-free. Another one spoke very positively to me about her vbac.
80%?!?! Sheesh! And I thought ours was high at 30%. I have a friend who almost bled to death because of her drs and yet the dr came out and told her fam about how he'd saved her and they are freaked about birth now. Sadly, he took out her uterus so she won't have that opportunity. And it was her first. They should've sued him but he covered his rear (as a self-proclaimed savior) exceedingly well. : It's crazy...

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Old 07-09-2008, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I had moms all over the country between the ages of 23-35 take it. I knew a lot about most of their births but I was curious about what positions they were encouraged to birth in and how many were given pitocin, etc
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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I am currently pregnant with my 5th child. Both my oldest and youngest were born at home, with the two between being a transport during labor and a transfer of care prior to the onset of labor. I got excellent care with both of my hospital births and am happy with the way they went even if it wasn't what I had planned. (Compared to many women I have read about, I feel very blessed even though my husband had to fight with them on some things. I was permitted to be in the water after AROM and move freely throughout labor.)

That said, I am extremely glad that I have planned homebirths for all of them. I have long labors and am convinced that had my first child (born after 36 hours) been a planned hospital birth, I would have been considered 'failure to progress', been put on the downward spiral of interventions and ended up with a c/sec.

It is a difficult situation to discuss with women because the ones who believe that the ob saved their or their baby's life become very defensive if you even suggest that it may not be all that black and white. Very few of us even know what normal birth looks like anymore.
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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It is a difficult situation to discuss with women because the ones who believe that the ob saved their or their baby's life become very defensive if you even suggest that it may not be all that black and white. Very few of us even know what normal birth looks like anymore.
I started a thread the other day (http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=928350) that kind of relates to this comment, and I just wanted to address it a little bit here.

Part of what can make discussing c/s "difficult" is that women who have had c/s are often between a rock and a hard place in discussions. I'm not at all suggesting that this is what fruitfulmomma thinks, but many ap/natural living folks take an attitude about c/s that can make those of us who had one defensive. What I see in that attitude is the assumption that those who have had a c/s just didn't work hard enough/do enough/learn enough/stand up for themselves enough/etc.

Having had a c/s, it's been difficult for me to admit that I was complicit in the decisions that eventually led to my c/s, but those bad choices early in labor didn't change the fact that I needed to have a c/s -- my baby could have died otherwise. Mine isn't a "black and white" c/s story -- things could have, perhaps should have, happened differently. I hope that I can see what I could have changed, and I hope that I'm learning from reflecting on my labor and c/s.

But I also believe that those of us who've had a c/s could use a comfortable place to talk about it without having to justify the c/s from the get-go. It's easier for me to just say "my baby could have died" than to try to explain in detail what led up to that point, and, ultimately, unless I bring up in a discussion like this, I don't think it's anybody's business why I had a c/s.

I do think that those of us who've had a c/s need a place where we're not automatically judged, even subtly as can happen here on mdc, for having had one. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, please don't assume that the "my baby or I could have died" line is the beginning and the end of the story.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:43 AM
 
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Hi Boadhagh... I'm in Eugene, too. My first was a c/sec at Sacred Heart. I went on to have 3 hospital vbacs... but then, vbacs were popular in the '90s. I went on to have homebirths, which may be the only way you'd get a decent chance at a vbac now. Have you talked with SH and McK-W about whether they do vbacs anymore?
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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In the last few months at our church there were 4 pg women- all ended up w/ a c/s.
1) over medicated due to bp problems, placenta stopped growing, c/s @ 34 weeks.
2) was told vaginal wall was 1/2 the normal width and so the chance of tearing through the rectum was really high (scared to death to actually labor)
3) 1 prior c/s... was scared of unexpected.
4) was thinking of VBAC but baby turned breech a week before edd- was scared of unexpected
the first one, I was a doula for and I think it would have been a great birth and it is unsure if it was caused just b/c of the overmedication- but drs/hosp. aren't going to admit wrong.

I do not discuss anything with the other girls- basically, because even though I try really hard not to sound judgmental, etc. they do know what I do and what i believe about birth and I can see them get defensive, even if I don't say anything.

The drs. are at fault for alot of the feelings about birth these girls have.
Alot of it is, though that the drs. themselves are unaware. Drs. don't know that different positions help move the baby, they don't realize what the "fight or flight" feeling does in labor. They have only been taught that drugs help women and there's nothing to do about failure to progress. They are scared of VBAC themselves because they just don't know or haven't studied much about it.
I work with the resident drs. (drs. in training) here- what they view as normal birth is not normal and it would be scary if that's all you saw.
So, yes women need to step up and be really assertive- but that is extremely hard when in actual labor and it's hard for partners who are probably even more scared than the mother and don't want anything to happen to either mom or babe. Plus, most women don't know as much about what is going on as the drs. do- so it's really hard to stand up for yourself and say "no, I want...." esp. when the dr. says "the baby could die". (boadhagh, I mean no offense) but I have heard this so many times from drs. who are having a hard time convincing a mother of some sort of intervention. I think that is a low-blow- we're going to do whatever it takes to ensure our child's well-being, so of course we're going to say yes to that.
We aren't taught to question OBs- any other dr. we are normally willing to get a second opinion, but not with OBs.

VBAC- it's really hard to be strong and assertive about your desires when the OB isn't encouraging. They give women a paper to sign that lists all the horrible things that can go wrong during a VBAC- that certainly doesn't help build faith in our body. The drs. tend to act like they will "humor" us for the time, but when we come back to our senses, they'll be there to do what is actually "needed".

It's just like the reason bf is down- if spouses aren't supportive and neither are friends/parents, etc-- most women find it easier to bottle feed.

As women in pregnancy, we really want to be taken care of- it's harder to be assertive during pg than I think any other time in our life.
Most want to trust their drs. and I agree-- I would want to trust my dr. too. I don't- but I sure wish I could!

I recommend "the thinking women's guide to a better birth" to all mothers. And then I don't discuss anything unless I am actually asked.

Anyway don't know that I actually added anything to the thread-- just my own little rant...

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Old 07-18-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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"esp. when the dr. says "the baby could die". (boadhagh, I mean no offense) but I have heard this so many times from drs. who are having a hard time convincing a mother of some sort of intervention"

But, rachaelagain, this DOES offend women who've had c/s. Maybe I was taken in by a line from my doctor, but maybe I wasn't. If other women don't trust/believe what I say about my birth experience, and all I hear is mistrust of my opinions (be they about birth in general from the mainstream, or about my baby's birth in particular from the nfl community), then how are c/s moms supposed to trust their opinions when it comes time to possibly vbac?

People say they blame doctors for the c/s rate, but our dialogues about this subject are riddled with mistrust of women and of this need to "protect" women from their own "delusions."

I wish that I could explain this more clearly.

Tuwamare: Thanks. And from the little bit of vbac research I've started (we're still at least a year away from ttc again) Eugene's still a pretty good place to give it a try. When I was in the hospital here I never felt anything but supported for my choices and was encouraged to try a vbac by the ob, the mw, and all my nurses. On the other hand, I later heard from dp that he overheard some nurses who were pretty unsupportive, but someone did a good job of keeping them away from me, so I'm pretty happy about that.
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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But I also believe that those of us who've had a c/s could use a comfortable place to talk about it without having to justify the c/s from the get-go. It's easier for me to just say "my baby could have died" than to try to explain in detail what led up to that point, and, ultimately, unless I bring up in a discussion like this, I don't think it's anybody's business why I had a c/s.
That is certainly true. I should explain I was not speaking of confronting mothers who have had c/secs. I don't think it is my place to say 'you should have done such and such' to any particular mother unless they ask my advice and even then I can only say what I may have done.

I'll try to give an example of what I mean by women being offended that doesn't have anything to do with c/secs... After the birth of my third child (my second unplanned hospital birth after a homebirth with my first) I was in the church nursery with two pregnant women and another woman who also had 4 homebirths. The homebirthing mother and I were discussing our own experiences. One of the pregnant women made comments about how she could never do that. We both said fine, we both believe women are safest birthing where they feel most comfortable and had no reason to try to convince her to do otherwise. But one of the pregnant women was apparently *so* offended by our mere mention of our own homebirths that we both later got calls from the pastor chastising us for trying to "convince" them that homebirth was the only way to go.

So when I am speaking of women offended, I am not meaning offense at being confronted personally about their own specific births. I would probably be offended too if someone came and told me all about how my two hospital births were unnecessary. I am meaning more generally, I see a societal attitude wherein *some* women would rather we not speak at all about the state of birth in America so that they don't have to think about it.

I don't get on this forum very often, so I am not sure of the attitude you have run into regarding your own birth. I am not of the belief that confronting people on a personal level is generally very helpful in this regard. However, I do believe we need to be able to speak freely about the state of birth if we ever hope to change things. It is in this manner that I mean it is still difficult to discuss without offending and angering many.
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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Alot of it is, though that the drs. themselves are unaware. Drs. don't know that different positions help move the baby, they don't realize what the "fight or flight" feeling does in labor. They have only been taught that drugs help women and there's nothing to do about failure to progress. They are scared of VBAC themselves because they just don't know or haven't studied much about it.
I work with the resident drs. (drs. in training) here- what they view as normal birth is not normal and it would be scary if that's all you saw.
I was thinking about something similar while laying awake this morning with pregnancy-induced insomnia... (And again this is a generalization and not meant to be about any one specific birth procedure/outcome/etc...) What I am seeing though is two labors, one managed by an OB and one observed by a midwife. Due to their training and internships they are looking at birth from two totally different view points. Many OBs have never observed a labor from beginning to end, let alone a totally natural one. They know only what they have been told is supposed to be normal and what they see when they arrive on the scene. Midwives have, on the other hand, generally observed hundreds or thousands of laboring women and been able to see variations on the "normal". They know from studying under wise women who have been passing on their knowledge for thousands of years, what can be expected as an outcome from certain changes in birth. The OB may not notice something changed/went wrong in the labor until it is too late, while the midwife having more knowledge of labor itself can look at something that isn't too obvious to everyone else and say this may be in issue that we need to correct before it turns into a problem. She knows how to back up, so to speak. The OB on the other hand sees the problem, knows what is probably going to happen if the problem continues and rather than understanding that the problem may be something easy to correct, being able to back up to that point where something changed and starting there, he only knows the outcome of where this train is headed and he wants them all off fast before it crashes.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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I've noticed the trend as well. I've been remarking to my husband how many of my friends have ended up with c-sections and it upsets me terribly. My SIL also ended up with an emergency c-section.

However, from the perspective of someone who has lost a child in late pregnancy, I also understand that sometimes they are necessary. And as an outsider who wasn't present at the birth I really can't say which of my friends' c-sections were truly truly necessary to save their baby or if it was a doctor rushing things or overreacting to normal birth (such as taking a long time to labor).

I've realized that it's counter-productive to place blame on the birthing mother. After having gone through labor myself I realized what a vulnerable spot it is, and how very much you WANT to trust the people looking after you. In the midst of heavy labor I wasn't really going to argue anything at all. I wasn't able to articulate anything, or even think something through.

I think we need to change the system, not blame the mothers for getting caught in the system. We need to educate doctors about birth, about options. The hospital that I birthed at is wonderful... they encourage eating and drinking during labor, changing position, using props like birthing balls and squat bar. I hope they start allowing waterbirths soon as well. I wish all hospitals were like that. How do to that? I don't really know.

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Old 07-20-2008, 05:38 AM
 
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However, I do believe we need to be able to speak freely about the state of birth if we ever hope to change things. It is in this manner that I mean it is still difficult to discuss without offending and angering many.

I completely agree. We need to be able to stop pointing fingers and look at who and what exactly is doing this to women. What is it that pits women who have vaginal birth against women who have had c-sections and vice versa?
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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I think we need to change the system, not blame the mothers for getting caught in the system. We need to educate doctors about birth, about options. The hospital that I birthed at is wonderful... they encourage eating and drinking during labor, changing position, using props like birthing balls and squat bar. I hope they start allowing waterbirths soon as well. I wish all hospitals were like that. How do to that? I don't really know.
I also had a very positive birth experience with my third child despite not being what I had desired. I had planned a homebirth but that was not the way things turned out. I was induced by AROM but the doctor was great and said I could still labor in the tub (pretty big with jetstreams), kept me off the monitor most of the time and let me walk around, was allowed food and drink as needed, she was even going to let my midwife deliver the baby with her standing there but dh wanted to catch. The nurse that was assigned to me when I first went in knew I wanted a natural birth, so when she left she made sure that the nurse assigned to me for that shift was the one in there that had training in the Bradley method.

I am not sure if all hospitals send out a patient response form but ours does and I let them know exactly what I was happy with in regards to my care and if there were any things I wish would have been different. If you get one of these after a birth be sure to fill them out! They absolutely need to know whether you were satisfied or not with there care. Also, check in the book 'A Good Birth, A Safe Birth' for some pointers on getting changes in the local hospitals.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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It's a mix of water broke/doc broke it...it's just so ludicrous...of course, if the doctor and every nurse in the world weren't shoving their fingers up their vagina, it wouldn't be an issue.
Yeah that.

My water broke before contractions. I was happy that I was going to have a natural pitocin/epidural free hospital birth. I had no idea that they were setting me up for an augmented/epidural labor by performing cervical checks.

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