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Okay, I understand how hearing traumatic or scary birth stories can be really hard and frightening when you are pregnant.<br><br>
But is anyone else feeling like hearing stories from women who totally buy into the whole hospital system (inducing w/pitocin, obsession with the fetal monitor, C-sections for failure to progress, etc) is extremely off-putting and kind of traumatic too?<br><br>
Here I am with my Birthing from Within book, trying to become a birth warrior, and taking myself through lots of lovely exercises to connect spiritually with the emerging mother inside of me...<br><br>
But I just read the account of the birth last Friday of a women who I know. I had avoided even asking her the story of her birth because of a comment she made a few months ago about "wanting to schedule a c-section so that she wouldn't have to feel anything." However this morning I got an email with pictures from her husband, who had written a long account of how it had all gone down.<br><br>
And it was your basic "the pain was killing her, they finally gave her the epidural, but then the baby's heart rate went down, and everyone freaked out, and then the mom got a fever, and everyone freaked out again, and then the pitocin wasn't helping, so they had an emergency c-section!" after which the baby was rushed to the intensive care unit because he had a fever too. They couldnt even hold him for 48 hours. Is this 1913? was this woman my grandmother? No, it was right here in the big apple.<br><br>
Anyway I got so upset hearing about this. I felt like no one empowered this woman to (want to) take control of her birth and so it was a harrowing experience for her. It makes me so sad. Even though I doubt that my birth would end up that way (it will be in a birthing center with midwives) it still traumatizes me, a little bit, to even hear about it. I am trying to just concentrate on feeling compassion for the new mommy and baby and be glad that everyone is safe...<br><br>
Does anyone else feel like they can't "take" stories like this?
 

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Well, the majority of women still feel like the hospital is the best for them, some don't know about other options. But it's *their* birth story, and it means a lot to them, even if you don't agree with it. The same thing goes for people who have homebirths and others who don't agree with it when they read/hear about it.<br><br>
Either don't read it, or just let it slide off your shoulders. If she has another, maybe then you can offer her advice.
 

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Ugh, the closer I get to my due date the more obligated people feel to tell me their horror stories. And if there is more than one around me at the same time it is like they try to out-do each other. This is the first time I have been thankful for being on bedrest so I am not as exposed to it as I would have been otherwise, BUT our furnace broke this weekend and I called some neighbors to ask if they had reputable people to call....and the biddy across the street went into her c-section story. I just held the phone to my husband and told him to let me know when she was done.
 

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here here<br><br>
my aunt just yesterday told me her horrible story (I don't want to relate it, i am just fully convinced that they discriminated against her because she is overweight) and all the while she was just so happy about it (i mean, it did end up with the birth of her daughter).<br><br>
i wanted to scream! i tried telling her about my plans and how untrustworthy late U/S's are but she just kept talking and telling this story and i'm thinking, JEEZ don't people realize that a pregnant woman doesn't want to hear horrible birth stories...don't people realize that these ARE HORRIBLE BIRTH STORIES!!!!!!! Doesn't she, as an aunt who is only 6 years my senior and who knows my wishes and lifestyle pretty well realize that my mind is REELING against this kind of story and having it be a story i take to birth with me.<br><br>
i'm also doing birthing from within, discovering my families birth stories has been like digging up petrified bones of women and babies tortured and fossilized. Like Pompey er something. There is so much pain and resentment and no one even realizes it, they're just stuck in their cycle of repression/justification so they don't feel guilty. (which i totally understand, but if they don't face up to it, what are the chances of circumstances actually CHANGING for the younger women they care about?)<br><br>
with me my mom had a forced epidural...she refused it!! they gave it to her anyway. she was screaming against it. they said she was just a kid and didn't know what she was getting into. (she was 20!--and in the military!)<br><br>
my grandma doesn't even remember any of her births (3) after a certain point.<br><br>
both aunts had scheduled c-sections because of warnings and advice they received from their "care-givers"<br><br>
dh's mom had a c-section when they told her after 5 hours that dh wasn't going to turn and he wouldn't fit the way he was coming down. 5 hours!! That's nothing for a first time birth for a small woman!!<br><br>
even my brother's birth, which was by far the best, is tainted. my mom waited til it was too late to go to the hospital so she wouldn't be forced to have another epidural, but then they kept him for three days and she saw him for like 20 minutes a day, in the nursery, because meningitis was going around. he didn't even have it. they just wanted to monitor him and all babies were being kept in ICU until it was absolutely certain they didn't have it.<br><br>
when the time comes for me to share my birth story I hope with all of my heart that it can be one that I will look back on with no emotional pain. nothing to repress or justify. nothing to try and be "ok" with. even if things don't go as planned, i want to know that the decisions made were my decisions and not the decisions of "experts" with agendas other than a trauma-free birth.<br><br>
jeez that was long.<br>
sorry.
 

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I agree that reading / hearing birth "horror stories" is not a great thing when you're pregnant. But consider it from the other woman's point of view--especially if her birth is recent and perhaps especially if she is still having to process it, the compulsion to share it with someone is great. And sharing it with someone who is about to give birth herself probably makes her feel more like she'll be understood. Sure it would be great if she could take a step back and think about how her story will affect her listener, but I don't think people tell these horror stories out of delight in seeing someone squirm or because they're self-centered or whatever. I think they are, like we all are after our own births however they went, looking to connect and to share one of the most profound moments of their lives.<br><br>
On a completely different point, I'm actually riveted to c-section stories this time, because this time I have to have one (4th birth) and I'm scared to death. Sure, the firsthand stories of "feeling everything" scare the bejoojoo out of me, but honestly I'm just hungry for all the information I can get from people who've been there, done that. And who can relate to my terror in anticipation of major surgery.
 

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I try not to offer up my horror birth story unless someone asks for it. And typically, it has been other pregnant women asking. I think about it now, no one gave me any horror birth stories when I was pregnant. In a way- I almost wish someone had told me about their negative experience in advance.<br><br>
I know! It sounds crazy! But I walked into labor with the expectation that things never go wrong. That feeling that I was the only one that had such a horrifying labor (mind you...I was much much younger and without knowledge) left me feeling like I had failed my son from the beginning.<br><br>
I think it's good to think positively and to shut out bad stories from your mind, but some people also need to be realistic. Some people have medical reasons or past experiences that make it difficult for them to have a natural and/or at home childbirth. I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking about the possibility of pitocin/epidurals/or c-sections. Especially when without them, your labor can be a terrifying experience. ***Please remember*** I am ONLY talking about in situations that make this medically necessary.<br><br>
Nonetheless, I am walking into my labor in october with my eyes and mind open. The safety of my child has to be first and if that means that I need to plan a c-section WAY in advance, I'm going to do it without a second thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sadiejane08</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10732215"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I agree that reading / hearing birth "horror stories" is not a great thing when you're pregnant. But consider it from the other woman's point of view--especially if her birth is recent and perhaps especially if she is still having to process it, the compulsion to share it with someone is great. And sharing it with someone who is about to give birth herself probably makes her feel more like she'll be understood.</div>
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Yes- And if I had been having a face-to-face conversation with her I think I would've been much more more compassionate and understanding. In reality I heard the story in a mass-email from her husband. Perhaps HER telling of the story would be different. And maybe it wouldn't. I guess I do need to just remember that everyone is just doing the best they can do under the circumstances... I find it hard not to be judgmental though. Arrrghhhh.
 

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i love hearing everyone's story. the only thing i cannot stand is when people ask me for advice (prenatally), and totally ignore it, and then tell me about their "emergency" this and that or whatever. that bothers me.<br><br>
but in general, i love everyone's birth story, because women are usually so passionate about it. it reminds me of how important an experience birth is.<br><br>
nak
 

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i agree with the women reaching out thing...especially in the case of my friend who just had her baby via induced but unexpected c-section 6 months ago. i can see that she really is just reaching out to me. especially since i am pregnant so soon after she gave birth. a lot of my heart goes out to her esp. b/c she talks about it all the time. i know she is still hurting.<br><br>
and even though our situations are different i still just get so worried from hearing it. i always listen though, and reassure her that the decisions she made she made in the best interest of her son, and the ones made seemingly without her input seemed to be the best decisions for the circumstance. i feel like that's being dishonest but i don't want to make her feel guilty or have her hurt more.
 

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i have to avoid those stories, for my mental health before my birth. I find that they are riddled with sentiments that i disagree with more often than not (this intervention was necessary..or they are so happy the dr. was there to perform the c/s...after being induced and stuck on their back...the typical hospital birth just bothers me to read). of course, i will read a friends birth story but thankfully no one I know is pregnant right now...and hopefully friends nad family will understand that i don't want to hear about their traumatic births.
 

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i think i know exactly what you mean!<br><br>
I was reading a birth story recently from a DDC im in (not here)... the mom said she got to the hospital and was 3cm, 2 hours later, she was 5cm, so they gave her pitocin to speed it up...<br><br>
I was just, floored! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I couldnt believe that they would try to speed up a completely TEXTBOOK progressing labor! She then said that her bp dropped, and the babys hb was lost, so they gave her 02 and stuff...<br><br>
Everything ended up okay, but i was reading it to dh and he even said "she was progressing on schedule perfectly, why did it need to be sped up?" and hes all for hospital births!<br><br>
But, i still like reading birth stories, I just find some difficult to read, but then I remember that even I broke down and let them give me terbutaline without me knowing the risks FIRST... hospitals tend to have the effect that people blindly trust the staff, and it happened to me too!
 

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I have been somewhat of a birth activist since having my first in 2004, and I agree that it's very very hard to listen to birth stories of people who have not educated themselves, whose doctors have fed them the whole medical line, etc. It's almost physically difficult for me, partly because it's so maddening.<br><br>
I do try to listen with empathy if someone feels compelled to share their recent birth story with me and I absolutely do NOT judge anything they are telling me. I just listen and reflect back what they've said. It's been funny how many times this has resulted in someone finishing up saying something like "gee, it just wasn't as great as I thought it could be" or similar.<br><br>
But older birth stories, I usually let more of my natural reaction slip out, as empathy not as judgement. "you know, I was induced with my first." "oh, I'm sorry to hear that! That must've been a little scary if there was a concern with your or the baby's health." And sometimes - I think many of us jump to conclusions about interventions. Sometimes they are warranted and needed. And in this situation, saying something like "that must've been scary" can give the person the space they need to express those fears and how scary it really was.<br><br>
if I'm having a particularly sensitive day now that I'm PG (and I know it'll get worse the further I get), I just don't listen to them. "Oh! I'm sorry, my son's heading for trouble!"<br><br>
I am all about listening to others, but I need to protect my own mental health, as well.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AGierald</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10732470"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">hospitals tend to have the effect that people blindly trust the staff, and it happened to me too!</div>
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Well, a laboring woman is NOT the most capable of reasonable, logical thought. We're in a more primal state.<br><br>
And if someone in charge, someone who "knows" tells you something, your tendency as a laboring woman is to say "ok."
 

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As someone who went through a traumatic birth, voicing it has been important to my healing. I believe that we will not collectively demand change if the voices of unsatisfied women are supressed. We need to be heard. Present standards of maternity care are not acceptable.<br><br>
That said, I DO try to find appropriate environments in which to share my story. Anyone heard of the Bold Red Tent? Brilliant.<br><br>
If I were to advise, I'd suggest you use the stories as inspiration to embrace your inner goddess. She's in there in all of us.
 

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Well, a woman's birth story is her birth story, no matter how you feel about it. I don't think women should be scared to tell their birth story because they don't want to offend others.<br><br>
Do I get frustrated when a friend is spouting mis-information about epidurals/pitocin/ c-sections from every orifice? Of course, it makes me want to cringe but I just find peace with the fact that I am better informed and let them enjoy their baby.<br><br>
Now what does really make me upset is when after hearing somebody's birth story without me interjecting my personal opinions on pitocin/epidural/EFM/c-section and I try to share that I am planning an all natural birth without interventions that I get the "Oh you'll be begging for the epidural or you're going to need the pitocin or whatever". It pisses me off and I think just as much as its not my place to tell me friend all the ways her birth was "wrong", its not my friends place to tell me how I will and will not be able to birth. I actually haven't had any of my friends be that outspoken about it but I have had a few "I'll be interested to hear what your experience is like.." with that underlying tone of doubt..
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mommyofmany</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10732076"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, the majority of women still feel like the hospital is the best for them, some don't know about other options. But it's *their* birth story, and it means a lot to them, even if you don't agree with it. The same thing goes for people who have homebirths and others who don't agree with it when they read/hear about it.<br><br>
Either don't read it, or just let it slide off your shoulders. If she has another, maybe then you can offer her advice.</div>
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I agree with this.<br><br>
I think telling your birth story that may include medical interventions and cesarean is not the same as telling birth horror stories. If the dad was just sending it along with the birth announcement there was obviously no intent to scare you or whatever. I'm just pointing out to others that it's different than an aunt telling birth horror stories that she heard from another lady in her knitting group.
 

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I seriously don't understand what kind of person thinks it's even remotely okay to come up to a pregnant woman and fill her head full of terrifying tales. And I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill, long-painful-labor stories.<br><br>
True, my DS's birth was pretty traumatic. If we're discussing birth, I bring up the basic details of it, which do shock some people. But I'm not going to march up to the next pregnant woman I see and yell in her face, "You'd better sign up for a C-section RIGHT NOW because I was in labor for 46 hours and it was so scary and painful and my baby was stuck because my doctor said my pelvis was shaped like a Picasso painting and we both COULD HAVE DIED!!!!" and then follow it up with "Oh by the way I also know this one woman and this other woman and this other girl and all their babies died because of X or Y or Z!! So you'd better not do X, Y, or Z, or even think about any letters of the alphabet, or your baby will die too!"<br><br>
People get offended when we talk about the "dead baby card." But seriously, when you hear people pretty much saying "dead baby, dead baby, dead baby" over and over, what are you supposed to call it? Wouldn't call it helpful advice, that's for sure.<br><br>
Getting your story out there and being able to step back and look at it and have others share their views on it is one thing. Having someone ask how your birth went, and you replying with your story, is another thing. But using it as a tool of horror to scare pregnant women, who as we all know are very vulnerable and suspectible to all kinds of emotional whackery when these things are thrown at them, is absolutely unacceptable.<br><br>
And since this was actually the question being asked and I went off on a total tangent, no, I don't find the typical intervention-filled birth story scary. Aggravating, yes. Make me want to scream and I have to literally bite down on my tongue to shut myself up, yes. But they don't scare me. I DID have one of those textbook hospital births, and yes, it was scary. Now, I use it and all other births I hear about like it as more incentive to stay out of the hospital! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I seriously don't understand what kind of person thinks it's even remotely okay to come up to a pregnant woman and fill her head full of terrifying tales. And I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill, long-painful-labor stories.<br><br>
QUOTE]<br><br>
OR soon to be daddies! I don't work so I'm shielded from it a little more but DH says he's heard all kinds of horror stories about stillbirths and babies dying and miscarriages from his co-workers. TMI-but one time I was severely constipated and was having pain. I went to the MW but that day at work someone had told him how his daughter had the same pain and ended up having her twins stillborn. Needless to say when he got home from work he was a WRECK! He even called up the MW and asked her how she knew it was just constipation. If she ever heard of const. hurting that much (IT HURT!!!) I felt so bad for him, and I was the one in pain!<br><br>
To be fair a lot of his co-workers said that it was probably nothing (muscles stretching, etc.), but this one guy said one thing and it really scared him.
 

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No, as long as they were informed and were happy with their birth experience other people's birth choices don't bother me. But, I really don't talk about my pregancy and birth with people who don't ask because being pregnant was such a horrible experience and most people don't want to hear about anything less then a glowing, perfect pregnancy.. I'm actually a little worried about getting pregnant just because I'm not sure I can handle the 24/7 sickness again. I'm praying that this time I'll have an easy pregnancy.
 
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