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#31 of 47 Old 06-03-2005, 01:16 PM
 
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Yeah, I don't get it either ... I've been sick of being pregnant for the past month or so, but the possibility of induction doesn't even enter my mind. I haven't visited any mainstream boards this time around, mostly because the one I visited last time trampled all over my last nerve (and I'm not even terrifically "crunchy," truth be told).

Over half of the first-time mothers on my mainstream board were induced well before their due dates and it drove me crazy (expecially when women who were due after I was delivered *before* me, and my little guy came at 38 weeks ... GRRRR). Of course, they seemed never to make the connection between the induction/early delivery and the fact that their babies were often lethargic, had trouble latching on, etc. If I or one of the other mamas expressed concern about the induction, they just brushed it off saying something like, "Oh, it's okay ... I was ready." Um, yeah ... it's all about YOU, isn't it?

At-home mom to a teenager, an infant, and three in between!
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#32 of 47 Old 06-03-2005, 08:08 PM
 
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Reading this thread has been a little difficult for me, as I will be induced 2 weeks early, after having an amnio to make sure my baby's lungs are developed. The induction is my choice.

I wish I could tell you that I am so confident in my decision, that I am not hurt by the judgement I am exposed to at times regarding my decision...but in all honesty, I am not. I have added anxiety if I am doing the "right" thing...and you know, the right thing for me is just that...my choice...and I so wish I wasn't such a questioning person at a time like this, and just fully trusted everyone else to tell me what I should do...but no one has walked in my shoes.

Let me tell you that I never thought I'd have children. Then, after some "work" I came to the conclusion that indeed I did want a child...or maybe 2! I was 37 years old. I wasn't even sure if I could get pregnant...and my DH had radiation for cancer (Hodgkins) in his late teens...but we got pg after one month...and prior to my extensive research, I thought I would go the route of a medicated birth...with a OB.

After doing some thinking...reading lots...I decided I didn't want that route at all...I chose a midwife, but she was part of an OB practice, so she was more "intervention" friendly than most independent mws. I went to her for 1/2 of my pg...and I began asking her "What will labor look like with you" and she was perplexed by this question. Eventually she understood what I was asking and basically said, the most important thing is making sure your baby girl is OK...so she was fine with interventions...pitocin...epidural...I asked her if I could walk around or if I'd be confined to the bed...with monitors...I asked if I could rent a tub and give birth in the water if that felt like a good thing for me at the time...Her answer was no...that they found this dangerous, (even though I would be giving birth in a hospital). So I looked for another mw, who was more in tune with what I wanted. And I found a practice 1 hour away from me, (I live in Seattle, so I have plenty of choices)...and I went there for the remainder of my pg.

I wanted now a homebirth...but our insurance wouldn't cover it...so we opted intead for a Birthing Center where no medical intervention or medication would be available. There was a lovely big tub in the middle of the room.

3 days before my due date, my little girl died inside me. I had an appointment that day with my mw...and I told her Olivia hadn't moved much that morning...she searched for her heartbeat with a stethescope for a while...and then said, "I found it...it's faint"...but attributed that to Olivia moving, plus it was getting tight in there. We left the appointment that afternoon not giving it another thought.

The next morning, I knew she was gone. I drove down another hour to the mws office and she then pulled out a handful of dopplers and even an NST machine. I was a bit surprised because she hadn't pulled them out the day before...when she had a hard time hearing her hb. Then it was confirmed, Livi was gone.

I won't even get into the grief, anger and guilt that has embraced my being for the last two years. But when I found out I was pregnant again, I decided I was going a completely different route. Not because I think mws are incompetent or anything like that...but because the bottom line is that I want a live baby...with a very "monitored" prenatal care. I have sadness about all this...my visits with my wonderful OB are 10 minutes at the most...with my mw, they avaraged 1 hour. I know that my desire for a homebirth...for a "natural" birth are not an option for me. I ended up having a lovely birth with Olivia, even though it was medicated and at the hospital...I was in control of what they did...and I know that the reason was was because Livi had already died...and I was in good health.

This pg has been just as great as my last. I am 8 weeks away from the amnio. My OB will not induce me without it, which I appreciate. I am already full of anxiety...I have been doing my birth plan and tears stream down my face as I know I will have to do a lot of things I know are not what I want...but you see, I feel as if I do not have a choice...There are no guarantees, I know that...but I am willing to go through whatever...even a c-section to have my little boy in my arms...alive.

So I know that for some of you, knowing my story, you will allow for the possibility that not all inductions are bad...although I will admit that mine too is for selfish reasons...but know that it is not an easy decision for me. I grapple with it every day...and I grieve not being able to have the birth I want...but am trying to find joy in the birth I will have...which will include all sorts of intervention and a bunch of people prodding and poking me and my baby...It's not what I'd want...but it's the best alternative for me.

So when you discuss these topics, which I believe are important to discuss...maybe consider that things are not always so black and white...and while talking about it here may feel good, as you will have little disagreement, maybe the "better" thing to do is to hang out still in those mainstream pg boards and educate women, especially those first time moms, that there are other ways to give birth...direct them to Naomi Wolf's book, "MISCONCEPTIONS"...or to website like this one. I too visit one of those websites, and I am in the minority in terms of my views...be they pg related or in terms of parenting...and even though sometimes I have to walk away from my computer lest I throw it out the window in frustration...or disbelief over what I'm reading...I decide to stay...and hang in there...and I have to say that this has paid off...I know I've impacted a few women's lives by not trying to convince them that my way was right and theirs wrong, but just sharing with them my path...and my excitement in being informed...that is empowerment.

Lastly, let me say that I pity my OB a bit, as even with all this, I question him a lot...and I really appreciate the fact that he knows that if I had my way, I wouldn't be one of his patients...and he is really compassionate and understanding...and I think I will be able to get him to "give in" on a couple of things...so that I can have some semblance of what I want. I hope I'm right.

And although this seems like a distant possibility now, I may chose in late July to forgo the induction and wait it out...although by the terror I feel now, I doubt it...but I've surprised myself before...so who knows.

I hope my post didn't come across as preachy...I just wanted to share with you that this future co-sleeping, non-circ, cloth diapering, AP mother to be needs to go down a difficult and unpopular path in these boards...and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Amalia
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#33 of 47 Old 06-04-2005, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Amalia - I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Please realise that I am not criticising INDIVIDUAL women for their choice to have an induction - in most cases I just don't know the full stories. However, when 80% of women on a website - the vast majority of them with normal pregnancies - insist that they want to be (or have to be) induced early I feel there is something wrong with the culture we have created - one where inductions and interventions are the norm.

And what I DO criticise is the 'my doctor says its okay so it must be fine' type attitude. Good for you for continuing to question your OB! That is what we all should be doing - whether we go to an OB or a midwife.

I wish you the very best of luck with the birth - whichever way you choose to go!
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#34 of 47 Old 06-04-2005, 11:07 AM
 
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What NordicMom said. :yes

Amalia - I'm so sorry you have had to go through so much. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be in your shoes. I hope the very best for you and your baby.
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#35 of 47 Old 06-04-2005, 12:03 PM
 
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Thank you NordicMamma and nonconformnmom...

I really do understand where you are coming from as I too am surrounded by it and concerned...I think yesterday when I read the thread I was just feeling so bad...guilty, confused...

Thank you for understanding...

Amalia
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#36 of 47 Old 06-05-2005, 09:58 PM
 
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While I completely agree with NordicMamma (hi, there! : ) I think that most of the problem is education.

I went to 42 weeks with Kemma and was induced. When I went into the hospital, I was hard and closed. We did Cytotech, once my water broke and the OB checked me, we went to pit and the epidural right away. Then I had Kemma about 8 hours later. They had to trun the epi almost all the way down so I could figure out how to push, but I managed. I pushed for an hour and out she popped. 9 pounds, three ounces, with a third degree tear. The cord came completely unattached from the placenta as I was delivering it, so the doc had to "fish" it out.

At that time, I had absolutely no idea that inductions were not the best thing, that Cytotech was probably not the way to go, that pit was the debil and that I could handle labor and child birth without the epi. I pushed through the pain (which was more like an urge) and never really had any pain until he was sewing me up.

Looking back on it, even knowing what I know now, I would have still done it the same way. But, you can bet your sweet bippy that I would not ask for an induction at 37 weeks, or at anytime actually, until 42 weeks.

It disheartens me that so many women are willing to take their doctor's word as gospel and not learn things for themselves. Even in our childbirth class, that was taught by a doula, no one ever said anything about the dangers of induction, epidurals, etc.

I guess that I am rambling here, but what I really want to say is that there is a time and place for everything, and that every women should be empowered to learn about her own body and make decisions for herself.
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#37 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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I absolutely agree Raina. My birth 4 years ago seemed great to me at the time. It wasn't perfect but I was more than okay with it. It is only recently, that I have learned/thought, hey it doesn't need to be like that and really, it shouldn't have been like that, that my first birth has even bothered me. Chuck it all up to a life lesson!
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#38 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 01:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by shayinme
I have been dying to know since when did 8 lbs become a large baby.
When epidurals and inductions became standard fare, that's when. You know how it goes: Suzie Smith with her first baby gets induced and can't push out her 7 lbs 12 oz posterior baby with an epidural. Of course we know that the induction/epidural didn't cause the problem - so it must be the size of the baby! Solution? Induce EARLIER to get a smaller baby.

I met a local medical professional that asked me the same question. He had worked with midwives in Texas and his comment was 'an 8 lbs. baby is SMALL with midwives and their c/sec rate is low. So why is it that every c/sec baby I'm seeing that was 'too big' in the hospital is 7 - 8 lbs?' You aren't the only one that has noticed the trend!
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#39 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 01:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NordicMamma
Then to top it all off an RN just dropped by to say that she uses Pitocin every day and let me quote the following (I apologise for bad netiquette by quoting this without source):

"Pitocin is very safe to use or Physicians would not use it."
I think that most of them really believe it. Having worked the past 5 years as an L&D nurse, almost all of the nurses I worked with that were pregnant during that time chose elective induction. The studies are out there to back up that elective inductions = more c/secs. But the truth is, many of them don't think that a c/sec is a big deal either.
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#40 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kemmasmom
While I completely agree with NordicMamma (hi, there! : ) I think that most of the problem is education.

I went to 42 weeks with Kemma and was induced.
Hi Raina!

At 42 weeks I would allow induction as well. That is where my personal comfort level for overdueness lies.

And I agree with you on education. When I was pg with ds I was told at 33 weeks based on an u/s that he was so big that he was 'off the charts' (already estimated at 6 lbs). He was also breech and I was told that he most likely would not turn on his own due to his size. If by some miracle he DID turn, I would be induced if I made it as far as his due date. (No one mentioned ANY of the disadvantages of being induced, btw.)

And you know what? I would probably have trusted the doctor and agreed to that. Because who wants to have a ginormous baby to push out? - especially when it is your first time. As it turns out, I didn't need to make the decision because ds turned on his own and I went into labour naturally.

This time around I wouldn't fall for it. I have since learned that those u/s predictions are often WAY off (and usually babies are estimated to be bigger than they really are), and besides, head size and general position of the baby are far more significant than overall size when it comes to giving birth vaginally.

Yes, I had problems pushing ds out. But that was because of my contractions falling away, not because of his size. He was all of 7 lbs 8 oz when I finally managed to squeeze him out - on his due date, I might add. So much for 'off the charts'!
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#41 of 47 Old 06-06-2005, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MilkOnDemand
See, I am fairly certain I'll need a c-section unless baby turns soon (and yes I'm working hard on that with no luck), however, I won't plan it. Unless we have some sort of distress, I'll go into labor naturally and if I show up at the hospital with a breech lie, then they can proceed (no hospital here will deliver a breech anymore), but I surely won't schedule one for a big baby or convience.
Tara,
Has your doctor tried an external version yet? I would definitely go that route first before submitting to a c-section, even though it is more "invasive" than the more anecdotal breech turning techniques. My friend has had a baby who really enjoys being breech this pgcy and has had 4 versions, 2 of them successful- she is going for a VBAC (1st CS for breech) and so regrets that she didn't attempt version the 1st pgcy. Currently her babe is head down after being turned last week.
take care
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#42 of 47 Old 06-07-2005, 09:55 PM
 
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Sometimes what worries me is whether or not doctors are just ignorant or lying to their patients about the risks.

Supposedly it's mandatory by law to practise "informed consent", which as Henci Goer points out in her book basically translates to "enough information so that you will consent to the procedure", and I find most of the pregnant women on the mainstream boards have NO IDEA about the real risks of various procedures, and I'm not even talking about anything remotely as scary as worst case scenario risks.

I'd bet money that if a lot of women knew the real risks, they might actually think twice. And I think it's shameful that doctors will conceal or omit the risks of "routine" procedures. (I also think it's shameful that the FDA allows off-label use of drugs, such as Cytotec, for that matter).

Generally I also get the impression that many doctors are not interested in empowering their patients to handle childbirth, and approach it as a condition that needs a cure or help, rather than a natural process that by and large requires little direct intervention.

And I hate the crappy reasons and methods that many doctors use to essentially coerce their patients into agreeing with certain procedures, outside of the omission of information. My upstairs neighbour (and daughter of our landlord) was due with her boy about 3 weeks or so before me (I'm due July 11), she was already scheduled for an induction June 15th, for no apparant reason that I remember. Then when I spoke to her 2 weeks ago, she said that that Wednesday they were going to decide whether to induce her even earlier because she already had such a HUGE baby, as he was already 7lbs.

She had her induction and baby last week. And a good 2 weeks or so after she was told that she had a baby that was already 7lbs and destined to be huge, she gave birth to a 6lb15oz baby. So much for "huge", and so much for the accuracy of late term ultrasound weight predictions.

Granted, she seemed perfectly happy about the fully medicalised hospital birth. She already has a son, and this is my first baby... so there's no way that she was going to listen to anything I was going to say on the subject, had I felt any inclination to broach it, which I didn't. I'm just one half of the weird goth couple that lives downstairs and who's having an unmedicated home water birth (hopefully), and who's going to breastfeed and clothdiaper, neither of which she's even going to attempt. So I seriously doubt she'd take tips from the "weirdo" first-timer.

I've made a point of posting in depth about my pregnancy and birth choices on my blog and livejournal, for my own personal reasons, as well as to inform anyone who's interested in reading. I don't know how many times people have responded with "wow, I didn't know that/that you could do that". If I can make just one person stop and think and research instead of just doing the standard thing without asking questions, then I feel I've succeeded.



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#43 of 47 Old 06-08-2005, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Someone I know on a breastfeeding website where I post is just going through one of those situations that gets me worried.

She is having her first baby. Has had some BP issues in the past so is being heavily monitored by her OB. Her BP is now stable. She is currently at 38 weeks, has just been told that her baby is 'big' at 7 lbs and her OB wants to induce her at 39 weeks. She's not comfortable with the idea - she has no signs of labour happening soon and fears her body will not be ready for induction and she will end up with a c-section - but says she doesn't know what to do.

This is EXACTLY the sort of situation that women fall for. No good medical reasons for induction but hey, the doctor says he recommends it, and so....

If it were me personally I would say 'NO', but when it is your first baby, and there is so much pressure on you, and the doctor uses words like 'let's play it safe'.....
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#44 of 47 Old 06-08-2005, 11:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NordicMamma
She is currently at 38 weeks, has just been told that her baby is 'big' at 7 lbs and her OB wants to induce her at 39 weeks. She's not comfortable with the idea - she has no signs of labour happening soon and fears her body will not be ready for induction and she will end up with a c-section - but says she doesn't know what to do.

This is EXACTLY the sort of situation that women fall for. No good medical reasons for induction but hey, the doctor says he recommends it, and so....

If it were me personally I would say 'NO', but when it is your first baby, and there is so much pressure on you, and the doctor uses words like 'let's play it safe'.....

Yeah, and WTH is it with that "7lbs is BIG!" stuff? I've heard of tiny people birthing legitimately large (10+lb) babies... including our birth educator's mother, who was 4'11 or so and who had a 10 or 11 lb baby at home, without tearing.

This is my first pregnancy too, and I think I'd be giving my OB the two-fingered salute with such crappy reasons to do interventions on me for no good reason. But then I like to consider myself more educated than most on it. Which, for starters, is why I chose a midwife instead, and why I'm staying at home (and while I live in the US I'm from Holland, where, as you know, homebirth and low intervention birth is common).

Thankfully my midwife doesn't put much stock in weight predictions, and she also doesn't start considering people late until 42 weeks, and doesn't use the EDD as the be-all-end-all date by which everything must come out ASAP.


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#45 of 47 Old 06-08-2005, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Marieke,

I am also from Holland originally. If I lived there now, I would definitely be trying for a home birth. (I myself was born at home, in my parents' bed, attended only by the local GP.) For me, with a low risk pregnancy, it seems the safest and best place to be.

Unfortunately homebirth in Sweden is very difficult to organise, and a costly affair, so I will be in hospital here. But I am aiming for as little intervention as possible, and an early trip home. I may have to be bitchy about it, but so be it.

Recently we had a little survey on the mainstream site asking what our greatest fears about labour were. Most people replied 'pain'. Mine was 'unnecessary intervention'. I fear what people will do to me far more than how my body will make me feel.
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#46 of 47 Old 06-10-2005, 05:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NordicMamma
Unfortunately homebirth in Sweden is very difficult to organise, and a costly affair, so I will be in hospital here. But I am aiming for as little intervention as possible, and an early trip home. I may have to be bitchy about it, but so be it.
Yeah, even in the US it can be hard to organise. I remember my mother saying it was hard to organise when she had my youngest brother (23 years ago) in Britain, I never dreamed that some 2+ decades later I'd also have problems trying to organise a homebirth... and we live about 25-30 miles outside of New York City! I can't imagine what it would be like somewhere more rural.

We had to do a lot of fighting with our insurance company, because while technically that's covered under the policy, most of the homebirth midwives in our area were not on the insurance company's provider list, and having to pay 30% out of pocket is pretty stiff. What's worse was that one midwife we chose was listed on the company's provider list, but that was old information, so we didn't find out until later that she wasn't actually covered. And the only other covered midwife used to be 30 miles away, but they also had old info for her, and she now lives 55+ miles away (and who knows whether the site info was also outdated in regards to plan coverage). Eventually they caved and paid the first midwife as in-network, but that was 2 months of calls back and forth.

Quote:
Recently we had a little survey on the mainstream site asking what our greatest fears about labour were. Most people replied 'pain'. Mine was 'unnecessary intervention'. I fear what people will do to me far more than how my body will make me feel.
And this is exactly the reason I wanted a homebirth.

I get the feeling though that the hospital birth experience in Holland, and the one here in the US is a lot different too. The statistics on c-section/intervention and the general attitude towards painkillers and medications (both over the counter and prescription) is very different and stacked towards the high end here.

As for pain being the biggest fear, I think that people are also often woefully unaware of the real risks that most interventions carry (and doctors certainly like to keep it that way). On mainstream boards people talk about c-sections as though you were just going to get a haircut... the mind boggles. If people really knew what risks there were, and were empowered more to trust their bodies, as well as have better emotional support, then the situation would be a lot different.




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#47 of 47 Old 06-10-2005, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Marieke
I get the feeling though that the hospital birth experience in Holland, and the one here in the US is a lot different too. The statistics on c-section/intervention and the general attitude towards painkillers and medications (both over the counter and prescription) is very different and stacked towards the high end here.
I think giving birth in a Dutch hospital is probably not all that different from Sweden. Here they rely on midwife care, unless there is an actual medical problem. The general attitude is to have as little intervention as possible. My local hospital (a teaching hospital that takes high risk cases from all over the area) has a c-section rate of 13% and an epidural rate of 15%. I think that says a lot. VBACs are the norm rather than the exception. Inductions for going 'overdue' are not generally offered until at least 42 weeks. I know several women who gave brith vaginally to breech babies, and no one made a big fuss about it.

One thing that I am sure makes a difference is that in Sweden they have so many other pain relief options to offer women before going for an epidural ('gas & air', accupunture, massage, TNS machine) - epidurals are seen as the last resort in pain relief, rather than something everybody 'must have' if they don't want to be seen as a martyr.

Anyway, I am quite happy to have a hospital birth in Sweden. I would still prefer a homebirth, but given the circumstances, I feel comfortable with what I've got.
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