Medicated Birth or not? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 09-28-2015, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Medicated Birth or not?

Bah, I just wrote a really long post articulating all this so well and then at the very end it just poof was gone, (?) not sure if it's my computer or what, but the interface of this website is janky for me.


Basically- I just read/watched this: http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/giv...ug-free-birth/


And realized how ignorant I am of the actual birthing options. Would love to hear all perspectives, especially mothers who have done one, the other, or both!


For my own situation...I've been with a Dr. since finding out about the pregnancy and both me and my bf like him very much. We're planning a hospital birth in their 'birthing center'. I started looking into water births and possibly renting a tub. Then I went down the rabbit hole.
I had 'planned' to try to labor naturally and then if I couldn't handle it get an epidural. I passed this off as having a 'low physical pain tolerance'. Now it doesn't seem as simple. I'm more afraid of Drs/medicines/tools than I am of pain. For example- I'd rather get a worse puncture wound by accidentally stepping on something than a milder puncture from a Dr. poking me with needle.
I am concerned that with the first contractions my Dr. will be all "lets break out the drugs" and I'll be alarmed and stiffen, making it worse, and then have to go the whole 9-yards of 'interventions'.


Is it even possible to have an unmedicated birth without a midwife?
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#2 of 23 Old 09-28-2015, 10:52 PM
 
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Yes, it is. I have and had during my pregnancy an HMO where basically I get whoever is available that day. So I've had both Obs and midwives for prenatal appts. I had a completely natural birth with an ob - luck of the draw. It has to do with you - the research you put in, your comfort level in the situation, if the pain is making you frightened, etc. I'd suggest starting to looking into specific natural birthing classes, and also get a doula if possible (one that advocates for natural birth). Natural birth is not something that spontaneously happens unless it's super fast and catches you off guard. It is the most intense thing you will do. It requires mental preparation.

However, the biggest reason I had a natural birth was because I knew I wanted to birth at home in a comfortable space for as long as possible because I don't like hospitals and naturally clam up in them. Needless to say, I arrived in Labor & Delivery at 10 cm and had the natural birth I wanted. A lot of it is getting used to the idea of not being in control of one's body and having to ride the contractions and also getting rid of the fear of pain which in this case does not equal anything scary, but a natural and necessary progression.
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#3 of 23 Old 09-29-2015, 04:33 AM
 
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@baglady I think @Nemi27 speaks a lot of sense! I'm in very much the same boat as you and am doing this for the first time. I pretty much have to be in a hospital because - I dunno, maybe it's because I'm in Texas - my insurance doesn't cover independent midwives or home births, and midwifes don't typically have relationships with hospitals (there's one exception to that here in Austin but of course it's out of network for me).

Before i became pregnant, I assumed I was going to go full-on hippy route - have it at home, in a bath, with a midwife, yada yada. Cost made some of that preventative, and once I was actually pregnant, I realized that there is A LOT of stuff to figure out - I decided not to stress that the birth couldn't really be precisely how I'd thought I'd wanted.

Then I started even questioning my long-held presumption that I would go the all-natural route. It started to seem to me that most people I knew who'd gone unmedicated attributed a bit of self-righteousness to it. Same as with breastfeeding to a certain point, or attachment parenting, or other parenthood choices. It suddenly seemed silly for me to go all-natural unless I could articulate a better reason to do it than simply, well these 5 friends did it, and I want to be able to say I did it too.

So I talked to a lot of people I know about their experiences. Actually, a lot of the women I know who chose a medicated birth are some of the more rational, self-reflective women I know! The women I know who went all-natural seemed to have chosen that course for reasons that just didn't resonate much with me.

Ultimately I think my reason for attempting a natural birth is primarily the same reason I wanted to have a kid in the first place. I want to experience the thing that has been fundamental to humanity for thousands of years! Some would say, childbirth pain can be avoided, so why would you not avoid it? But I don't think all pain necessarily needs to or should be avoided - that there can be a kind of strengthening from it. If it wasn't something that billions of other women had done already, I promise you I wouldn't be quite so eager! So every time I feel a little surge of fear about it all, I just try to think about embracing the experience with eagerness - to try to look forward to it instead of dread it. The way one might look forward to running a marathon they've trained for (not that I'd know!) It works pretty well - although we'll see when I'm 8 months along

Oh, and one of my friends happened upon an unmedicated birth accidentally with her first, and then got it "right" the second time. She much preferred the medicated birth. BUT, I think the obvious caveat there is that, like @Nemi27 said, going unmedicated takes preparation, and she had none of that. I had another friend who wanted to "see how it went" - well, once she experienced a contraction she was like, well, now I know, so give me the drugs. Again, she didn't go into labor planning for unmedicated so there was no built up willpower - I wouldn't be able to do that either! I think whatever we do, we gotta commit!

And lastly, I think whatever we plan, we should try to also prepare ourselves for it all going haywire. A friend of mine gave birth 8 weeks early and she's the ultimate planner. I picture as she was being rushed down the hallway in a gurney, saying something like, "But -- my birth plan!!!"

I really dislike doctors and hospitals. I find most doctors I interact with tend to be all in a rush, condescending, and do not treat to the individual patient. I may not have a medical degree but I'm not an idiot, and I know how to educate myself to an extent. I like my actual ob/gyn but had a substitute ob last time I was there and found her to be as described above. I told her I was having really bad drainage and sinus headaches, and before I'd even finished describing how I felt she dismissively said it was probably allergies and that I should just take claritin. Well, I don't even like to take drugs of any kind when it's just me, so I really want to try and resist if it's me and a fetus! Plus, I've had enough seasonal allergies in my lifetime and read enough about post nasal drainage as a common symptom of pregnancy to know that these are not the same!

Anyway, that is a small, stupid story as an example of how I think that you know yourself and your body better than anyone...even if they are a doctor! We live in such a wonderful age of access to knowledge - I say, just read up, take classes, prepare, and you will have that natural labor in the palm of your hands!

sorry that was so long I'm just thinking about all of this a lot too!
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#4 of 23 Old 09-29-2015, 06:28 AM
 
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If you get as far as you can without the medication, then you avoid the stuff like the medication itself causing failure to progress (=more medication to start it up again,=more chance of fetal distress, etc etc).

You'd also have less time with an IV drip so less chance that you get a baby also swollen from the IV. IV use can artificially increase the birth weight so that the baby seems to take too long to regain birth weight after the initial drop so it looks like there's a problem and breastfeeding isn't working.

The other MAJOR thing to consider with medication is that the baby will be sleepy. So you'll want to be sure about skin-to-skin contact, forego the little hat, don't over bundle. Basically, make sure the baby isn't too warm to stay awake and try nursing.
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#5 of 23 Old 09-29-2015, 12:03 PM
 
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My thought process has been generally in line with everyone elses' here- the only thoughts I would add:

1) I have found it incredibly enlightening and helpful to read birth stories. Mothering has a forum with years of archived birth stories, and there are other sites as well (everyone wants to share their birth stories!) I have probably read over a hundred at this point. It is illustrative of the fact that each birth is unique and almost never goes according to "plan", however there are certain characteristics they all have in common, so I feel better prepared. It also emphasizes the need to 'plan to be flexible'.

2) My philosophy about any labor/birth practice: When I look around at the amazing creative, thoughtful, kind and loving people in my world, I could not tell you who among them was born via C-section, or whose mother had an epidural, or who was breastfed. Those things don't impact a child's ability to experience life, love others or grow into a happy and productive adult, so why stress them? Do what you feel is best but don't get hung up on the details- stay focused on the big picture.
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#6 of 23 Old 09-29-2015, 12:27 PM
 
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If you're aiming for natural but unsire of whether you'll "cave in" when drugs are offered - then ask them explicitly NOT to offer, you'll ask if you really need them. And get a doula.

For me, unmedicated all the way. The cascade of interventions is real, and having my mobility impaired or gone is so not worth it. Plus, water is wonderful - not only does it help with pain, but allows you to take breaks between contractions. Also, I'm going for a HBAC, so drugs are not an option But even so, just from my last birth when we transfered for an epidural, that was the end of being able to move, and though I could still feel things I could not support myself on my legs (no upgright pushing positions), plus no urge to push, plus I couldn't even feel how I was pushing. So hopefully not again.

Plus each intervention has its own risk, which is generally minimized or not spoken much about. Pain relief will reach the baby. And if it's an epidural then IV fluids will artificially increase baby's birth weight which can make establishing breastfeeding more complicated because of the magic 10% weight loss threshold (not saying it's not important, but still bitter how everyone kept saying everything was fine even though we weren't getting him to latch, till he suddenly lost 11% of his weight and bilirrubin hit 14 - *now* it was concerning. Sigh).

Not trying to say don't do it, or unmedicated is the only way to go. Obviously it's what I prefer, but that's me. Just do your own research *beforehand*, and prepare for natural again beforehand if that's the way you want to go, and make sure you have a good support team. Hell, even if you do end up having a C-section for whatever reason, there are ways and ways to do a C-section (most depend on a mixture between individual OB and hospital "protocols") - research that stuff beforehand so that you know what's important to you, what options there are, what you can ask for, and if you need to switch providers / doctors.
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#7 of 23 Old 10-01-2015, 08:08 AM
 
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I have had a fully unmedicated birth with my first born and it was wonderful. We arrived just in time in the hospital, there was no time for intervention, but they did hook me up to a fetal monitor to get a first reading and never took it off, and I was too much in labour land to care. I just moved, even if the nurse complained. My midwife did not make it in time, and only arrived after my baby was born. What happened was that my birth plan was ignored - no delayed cord clamping (they secretively clamped under the table, they did hook me up to a monitor for the full 60min to birth and not just the 15min they had agreed to during an initial visit, they coerced me into directed pushing, resulting in a 2nd degree tear (he came out with one push, so no worries there), they pulled on the placenta to get it out, even though it came less than 20min later. The nurses kept trying to rub off the vernix, even though my husband repetitively asked them to stop. They said he had to be evaluated on the table and not on me. And even though I was allowed be in an upright kneeling position while pushing, they insisted that I had to be on the bed and facing the bed in a specific way - so again a compromise, but not the promised - you can choose to push in whatever position you like.

So, yes, you can have an unmedicated birth, but there will be interventions, and even if your midwife and doctor might agree to your wishes, the attendant, nurses or just in the moment people will just do what they always do and you might not have the brains to speak up; neither did my doula, or my husband. None of the things bothered me terribly at the time, but the made me aware of just how much you and your wishes won't be taken seriously during a hospital birth.

My next birth was even worse. I had a caring midwife with a very low cesarean rate of 6%. But as soon as there was a heart rate issue during a prenatal visit at 39 visit, she sent me to the hospital, called the backup doc, and handed me over. I was in the hospital for less than an hour, before they cut me open. The doctor did not know that I had given birth before, nor did he know my name, he was just proud to be in the operating room in less than 19min from being called to the first cut! Once baby came out the pediatrician kept saying - he's fine, he's healthy, wonderful APGAR, but doctor and midwife kept rushing and freaking out. Yes, he did have a harmless heart anomaly, but no one ever asked how I was doing, no one gave me time to adjust to the new situation, even though I asked, no one fully informed me, even though I asked about updates before the cesarean. Once something is off, they will not inform you, misinform you, will ignore you, and will do there best to coerce you into being complacent.

There are options for a so-called gentle cesarean (google it), but your doctor might not know about them and if there is a true emergency and no time and serious concern for the baby's well being no one will follow these procedures.

Even if you choose midwives or doctors that are known for their natural births regionally. There is no guarantee that your wishes will be respected. Your best bet is to avoid the medical world and stand up for yourself and your baby, to chose providers that respect women and will involve you in your care all the way.

Every little evaluation, can lead to a cascade of interventions, even an internal fetal heart monitor does not speak the true heart rate in all cases, there are other ways to evaluate if baby gets enough oxygen - blood test, scratching head, ultrasound with biophysical profile, etc. but somethings you don't learn until way after it happened.

Long message short. I will avoid hospitals. I had always wished for a homebirth - I thought that costs for a homebirth were prohibitive. However, the copay to a cesarean (or even an unmedicated vaginal hospital birth), can be significant and can be way more than the costs of a homebirth.

Sometimes interventions , medications are necessary. Epidurals can give a little break to gather strength. All these have their place and time, but ALL of these have side effects and consequences, that are usually downplayed, if they are even mentioned to you at all. Of course we all have to make our own choices, but I am advocating for informed choices for all women, to be an active participant in the decision making for their own care. I feel the Trust Birth initiative puts it all nicely together:
http://trustbirth.com/beliefs.html

I am not sure how this third birth will go, but I am excited to be an more active participant in my prenatal care and I hoping and preparing for a more peaceful respectful birth, no matter where it will be.
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#8 of 23 Old 10-01-2015, 11:26 AM
 
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My mom's doctor for her VBAC was awesome. It was early 1980s and his only requirement was that the OR would be set up down the hall. She had some requests like a parent always being with the baby and stuff, and she was going to go over the list before rewriting it in the "if possible, we would prefer" sort of way. He just asked her for it, read through it quickly, and said "looks good, I'll put it on your chart". Everything she hoped for was on the chart as doctor's orders and followed strictly.

As for me, by the time we went to the hospital, I was soooo fricking DONE with the whole process that I just edited the intake forms to read, in essence, "you'll check with me or my husband before you do *anything*" before I initialed them.
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#9 of 23 Old 10-04-2015, 08:17 AM
 
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Whatever you choose, what is important is to stay focused on the ultimate goal... a healthy baby. You need enough flexibility to accept if things don't go your way and the ability to forgive yourself if the delivery strays from the plan.

I had an epidural with my first. It wasn't in the plan but neither was having steady contractions for 3 days and becoming so exhausted I was delirious and couldn't focus on anything. I caved on the epidural after being stalled at 7 CM for an entire day. I fell asleep in minutes. I woke up two hours later at 10 cm, ready to focus and ready to push. DD came out beautifully and I consider it a successful delivery.

With my son, I went drug free. I was in a much better place emotionally having been through it before. Plus, it was a more textbook labor. DS came out beautifully.

Now, 15 years later, I'm a surprised old mama at 43 lol. There are additional risks with age. I know there is a much higher potential of a C-section. I'm going to prepare and do my best to have everything go naturally but I know the end game is a healthy baby.

I will say, I've never been pushed to do anything I didn't OK. Any intervention was brought to me calmly and with total respect in the hospital. When I said "no" the subject was dropped. No one came back with "oh, but are you sure?" No scare tactics. Perhaps it's because I was at a hospital that's only job was to deliver babies as opposed to a regular hospital with a delivery wing. I don't know. Only that for me, it worked out very well.

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#11 of 23 Old 10-05-2015, 11:25 AM
 
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I was coerced into an induction, which failed, and led to a c-section with my first. I am planning an HBAC with some great midwives, and back up with some notoriously mama-friendly docs.

Still, though, in attempting to write a birth plan (in case of hospital transfer or risking out of HB for whatever reason ahead of time), and it's basically a huge list which boils down to "DON'T FUCKING TOUCH ME OR MY BABY UNLESS I SAY IT'S OK". I know the standard advice is to try to "ask nicely" in one's birth plan, but I'm feeling SO defensive of my laboring self and of baby, and I want it to be clear that I don't "prefer" that baby doesn't get eye goop, I *really really really don't fucking want* you to even remotely think about giving my baby eye goop. And I don't "prefer" to be allowed to eat/drink/and move how I want, I WILL DAMN WELL DO WHAT THE FUCK I WANT AND DON'T FUCKING GIVE ME ANY SHIT ABOUT IT.

It's like this roaring mama bear reaction in me. I guess I'd rather them give me a bit of attitude (whatever, I am not here to make friends) but be intimidated into following my list than to think they can go ahead and give me an episiotomy/sneak some pitocin into my IV/supplement baby with formula and I'll probably be ok with it. No, I will fucking scream and curse at you and cause a gigantic fucking scene.

Is it just me/hormones? This is why I'm planning on a homebirth. It stresses me the hell out.

*sorry for all the swearing
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#12 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 06:43 AM
 
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@girlie1125 I can definitely imagine feeling that way about this experience. As a first-timer, I think my primary fear is that I will feel disempowered and coerced. That's why I am still keeping open the possibility that I will shell out the $$ and switch to a homebirth or birthing center (both would have to be out of pocket) if I don't get a good feeling from the hospital. I think my hospital seems more like the one for @whatsnextmom - they encourage "rooming-in" with the baby, and describe the labor rooms as peaceful and quiet, with a private bath and all that. But I'll take a tour and see what else they have (squat bar? I think I want that!), plus I want to get a sense from the nurses if they'll be supportive, as from what I've read, your doctor's position may matter much less because he/she is only around for the last bit.

Lucky that you are able to plan on a homebirth, sounds like that will be just right for you!

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#13 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 07:40 AM
 
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@girlie1125 I can definitely imagine feeling that way about this experience. As a first-timer, I think my primary fear is that I will feel disempowered and coerced. That's why I am still keeping open the possibility that I will shell out the $$ and switch to a homebirth or birthing center (both would have to be out of pocket) if I don't get a good feeling from the hospital. I think my hospital seems more like the one for @whatsnextmom - they encourage "rooming-in" with the baby, and describe the labor rooms as peaceful and quiet, with a private bath and all that. But I'll take a tour and see what else they have (squat bar? I think I want that!), plus I want to get a sense from the nurses if they'll be supportive, as from what I've read, your doctor's position may matter much less because he/she is only around for the last bit.

Lucky that you are able to plan on a homebirth, sounds like that will be just right for you!
Peebs - I agree that it's the nurses that will govern 90% of your care in labor. I'm sure if you had some doctor's orders on hand ahead of time/during that they'd be followed, but your actual OB often isn't around until it's pushing time, and you're at the mercy of the nursing staff. I'm sure there's a portion that wants nothing more than to back a laboring mama in whatever her birth choices are, but I don't know if that's the portion I'll get.

My homebirth will be initially out of pocket, but my midwife group does work with insurance companies to try to get coverage/reimbursement as well. I'm holding onto a little bit of hope that I'll at least get some of it back. In my case, my co-pay for a hospital birth (even vaginal is a good 3K, section is closer to 4K) is only a smidge less than I'm paying for homebirth anyhow. And that's just the doctor's fee! Not the hospital, anesthesiologist, or all the little co-pays for office visits/ultrasounds in between.

It sounds like your hospital might have more of a birth-center feel. That's definitely encouraging. I hope you continue to get good vibes from them on your tour.
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#14 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 09:42 AM
 
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Whatever you choose, what is important is to stay focused on the ultimate goal... a healthy baby. You need enough flexibility to accept if things don't go your way and the ability to forgive yourself if the delivery strays from the plan.
Whilst I get what you are trying to say, and flexibility is certainly needed - there are few things I hate more (okay, I am exaggerating. A bit) than the healthy baby phrase.

No, a healthy baby and healthy mom is the minimum we all aspire to. It doesn't always happen, but it's the minimum. Reducing a birth experience to that effectively annuls the woman's experience and makes her shut up because your baby is healthy so you have nothing else to say her, reduces her to a baby bearing vessel, negates her autonomy (doctor knows best, etc), and relegates her birth experience to a silly little preference.

http://improvingbirth.org/2013/02/a-...y-isnt-enough/
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#15 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 09:48 AM
 
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Is it just me/hormones? This is why I'm planning on a homebirth. It stresses me the hell out.
Nope. Not just you.

i still haven't fully processed how my birth went (though I have done a lot of work on that). But one of the things that I thought was that because i had written down a birth plan and made everyone read it that some things were done ... and now that I've dug it up (because someone in a local group was asking about what to put in an "in case of C-section' part), maybe not so much. Some things yes, but others most certainly not, and they were not discussed with us which was the f*** first paragraph - you will discuss any and all interventions, etc.

Also planning a homebirth, and stressing the fuck out about whether it will get to it and whether it will happen. I feel like so much more than the obvious rides on this.

A hospital transfer with a previous C-section almost always means a repeat (not necessarily with a first baby, though that's how it ended up for me). And if it were to end in that... honestly I am not even sure if I would be up for a third baby, which has always been our plan. I am not sure if I have the fight in me to try for a VBA2C in this area which is decidedly hostile to that (VBACs sure, after two not so much), and I am not sure if I can in good conscience submit myself to yet another major abdominal surgery voluntarily, etc. Sure, I am getting way ahead of myself, but these are the types of things that keep me up at night (and trying to unlatch a nursing toddler).
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#16 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 10:50 AM
 
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Whilst I get what you are trying to say, and flexibility is certainly needed - there are few things I hate more (okay, I am exaggerating. A bit) than the healthy baby phrase.

No, a healthy baby and healthy mom is the minimum we all aspire to. It doesn't always happen, but it's the minimum. Reducing a birth experience to that effectively annuls the woman's experience and makes her shut up because your baby is healthy so you have nothing else to say her, reduces her to a baby bearing vessel, negates her autonomy (doctor knows best, etc), and relegates her birth experience to a silly little preference.

http://improvingbirth.org/2013/02/a-...y-isnt-enough/
Well, obviously you harbor a lot of angst and frustration with your previous birthing experiences. I'm am sorry for that but personally, I'm very much at peace with my past deliveries. I will continue to say that a healthy baby is the most important goal because frankly, there is nothing *I* hate more than a woman holding her beautiful baby yet thrashing themselves because they broke down and got an epidural. Women are hard enough on themselves without being treated like dolts because they made a choice someone else didn't agree with. It doesn't make women stronger. It often just sends them running to some other set of standards to rule them. If you believe my post was an attempt to "shut women up" you must be one who chooses to read the worst in others. My post was about knowing when to be flexible and not beating yourself up for it later. I do hope you are able to feel better about your delivery this time around.

Married mom, DD 18, DS 15, and a Valentine's surprise on the way!
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#17 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 11:47 AM
 
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whatsnextmom - I can't speak for chispita, but my own ire for the "healthy baby" phrase isn't about beating myself up for not having an "ideal to me" birth. It's about wanting a birth I was a part of, a way that *I* participated in bringing my child into the world. I feel like my birth was a process that was done to me, like a cog in a factory assembly line. I didn't have any say in any of the process, and I came out of it feeling completely disconnected from myself and my baby. I think any woman with any birth plan, be it alone in the woods with only a twig to bite on or give me all the drugs, kthx, can feel the same way if all of her choices and options are removed.

We all want a healthy baby, but I think we all also want a say, as much as possible, in how we experience labor and birth.

If someone presents you with a choice of two births - one where you are awake, involved, respected (medicated or no, elective c-section or unassisted, take your pick), and one where you are knocked unconscious for 12 hours and then ta-da! Here's your baby! I think most would choose the former. But either method provides a healthy baby, so does that make preferring the former selfish, if the ONLY thing that matters is a healthy baby?
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#18 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 12:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chispita View Post
Whilst I get what you are trying to say, and flexibility is certainly needed - there are few things I hate more (okay, I am exaggerating. A bit) than the healthy baby phrase.

No, a healthy baby and healthy mom is the minimum we all aspire to. It doesn't always happen, but it's the minimum. Reducing a birth experience to that effectively annuls the woman's experience and makes her shut up because your baby is healthy so you have nothing else to say her, reduces her to a baby bearing vessel, negates her autonomy (doctor knows best, etc), and relegates her birth experience to a silly little preference.

http://improvingbirth.org/2013/02/a-...y-isnt-enough/
@chispita thanks for the link - any and all resources on stuff like this is very welcome! I am an information junky right now!
@whatsnextmom I think I see both sides - ultimately the most important thing is definitely a healthy baby, and I'm sure anyone who's lost a baby or had serious complications would gladly take any kind of intervention if it meant avoiding something like that!

There's one thing I'm genuinely unclear about (for anyone who cares to weigh in), which is related to how the desires/birth plan/etc of a woman in labor intersect with this ultimate goal of a healthy baby. If you are laboring in a hospital, and a doctor recommends a certain intervention that you wanted to avoid - how likely is it that my fixation on a certain birth plan is going to actually prevent a healthy baby? If it most likely won't - well then I don't see that the ultimate goal of a healthy baby, and my desires for my labor, are even at odds with one another. It seems to me that "flexibility" is often encouraged in planning for one's labor as a means to avoid "disappointment," not as a means to a healthy baby.

I recall first meeting with my ob/gyn and asking her about her delivery style, and her telling me I can do whatever I want, it's up to me, but that it's important to try and remain "flexible" so as not to be disappointed. Since then I have heard this a lot, and it does makes a lot of sense! I was initially dismissive of even doing a "birth plan" because it sounded like a lot of hooey, and I...wait for it...wanted to remain flexible so that I wouldn't be disappointed.

Now I am reading a book I was initially skeptical about but am liking more and more - "Natural Hospital Birth" by Cynthia Gabriel - and she talks about this precise thing when writing one's birth plan. First, she recommends that you get attached to your birth plan, even though "getting attached to your birth plan means that you will feel disappointed if you don't get what you've decided you want." She talks about how in American and other Western cultures we often try to do everything we can to avoid disappointment, but that feeling disappointment in life is okay, as is feeling sadness and anger. Maybe that's obvious to a lot of people, but I feel like I spend a lot of my mental energy trying to psychologically prepare for disappointment and sadness so that I don't feel them as much.

But @whatsnextmom what you say about being able to forgive oneself if things don't go as planned, I believe this is so critical! I listened to an episode from that podcast "The longest shortest time" and they were interviewing Ina May Gaskin. The host of the show had had a baby and was, for details I'm not clear on, unable to labor unassisted. She kind of took Gaskin to task for the guilt and disappointment she felt about this result. Gaskin handled it beautifully. But what was most striking was just how much guilt the host was holding on to about a birth she viewed as a personal failure (even though her child was perfectly fine!).

Here's the link, if you're interested.
http://longestshortesttime.com/podca...na-mays-guide/

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#19 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 12:58 PM
 
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For yourself, saying "the only thing that matters is a healthy baby" as a way to get through tough experiences. Sort of along the lines of "this, too, shall pass".

Other people, on the other hand, need to STOP SAYING THAT FOREVER. If the only thing that matters is a healthy baby then the mother becomes, not a person in her own right, but an object for transporting a womb that contains a baby. (Following examples are not about what people in this thread have been saying, but in how the phrase gets horribly abused in our society.)

Baby taking too long to come out? Cut the baby-carrier's vagina, who cares if it makes it so there's a tear through to her rectum: the only thing that matters is a healthy baby
It's slightly more convenient for the doctor to have the woman on her back? Great, tell the baby-carrier to lay like that, who cares if it hurts more: the only thing that matters is a healthy baby
Oh, you had a resident do a vaginal exam on you while you were in transition even though you specifically asked for more privacy? Silly baby-carrier, you should be grateful: the only thing that matters is a healthy baby.

And so many of the things that people get told not to fuss over because "the only thing that matters is a healthy baby", inductions, c-sections, epidurals, episiotomies, DO affect the baby's ability to nurse, which DOES affect health and DO affect the mother's ability to care for the baby. Inductions in particular could seriously affect the health of the baby since it could mean the baby's lungs aren't ready yet.

And if we don't complain about those things and demand that there be real reasons for doing them instead of nonsense like "big for gestational age" or "Thanksgiving", because after all the only thing that matters is that we had a healthy baby, then they will keep being treated as no big deal.

On a personal level? Yes, absolutely, remind yourself of what your real goal is.

On a social level? Fight that nonsense tooth and nail.
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#20 of 23 Old 10-06-2015, 01:16 PM
 
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I like everybody's fierceness! I had a dream where the hospital was telling me I wasn't allowed to get out of the bed during my labor to squat and I went into a bit of a @girlie1125 mama bear mode

It felt empowering, even if it was just a dream and there may not even be any conflict to fight off!

Fingers and toes crossed we all get what we want out of our births this time round.

I should be working but all I want to do is go and read birth stories...pregnancy is the ultimate distraction!
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#21 of 23 Old 10-09-2015, 04:12 AM
 
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Can anyone tell me the reasons why pitocin would come into play? From everything I've read so far it seems like the suckiest thing would be to have to be given pitocin. pitocin sounds like the devil, while comparatively a purely drug free, natural labor sounds so much more manageable!

What can I do to avoid pitocin and what reasons would the hospital give me for trying to get me to take it? It seems like one key is to try and labor at home as long as possible, ideally maybe even until you've "transitioned"?

The only thing that scares me a little is laboring for a long time at home and not being able to monitor the fetal heartrate. Do you think that's a thing to worry about?

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#22 of 23 Old 10-09-2015, 05:34 AM
 
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Pitocin causes contractions. The points it could be used are to start labor in the first place, i.e. induction, and to boost an already happening labor, i.e. augmentation of labor. The guidelines like "go into the hospital when your contractions are y minutes long and x minutes apart" are actually pretty sound for avoiding both. The thing that could happen after active labor starts is that the physiological normal phenomena where the contractions pause for a bit (sorry to be vague it's be years since I read this stuff) could be interpreted as labor stalling. At that point, they'll want to use pitocin, but you'll be better off resting.

Fetal monitoring matters when something's going on that could cause problems. Like pitocin. Or laying flat on your back so they can use the fetal monitor.
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#23 of 23 Old 10-26-2015, 08:51 AM
 
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My only advice is to keep researching the birth you want (not just reading articles put out by the hospitals and people who have monetary incentives). And to remember that, no matter how friendly you doctor/midwife/nurse is...that's not their baby, it's your baby. And ONLY you will know the best choice (hence the important factor of researching and going into your birth informed). Hospitals are motivated by money. The more they can charge you for, the better. Don't let them scare you into any decision - ALWAYS take your time and research it first. And be mindful of the plethora of mainstream articles that are targeted at making you feel inadequate ("how to deal with stretchmarks/the benefits of cesarean/the vaccines your newborn receives/how tired and overwhelmed you are", etc.) - you're a strong, beautiful force of nature, and as long as they can keep you questioning yourself, they've won.
We are all much stronger than we give ourselves benefit for...and we all want the healthiest and most loving births for our babies - don't let the factory line of OB care push you into feeling like a cow in a stall.

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