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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had to share this...
I went to a co-worker's baby shower over the weekend. There were several women there who are mothers and of course had their story's to share with the mother-to-be (and myself). Well, I was amazed. I have been reading books and reading viewpoints here at MDC and honestly I thought that alot of the horrible hospital practices I had read were worse case scenario situations and that the hospital probably isn't as bad as most homebirthers make it out to be. I'm planning a homebirth for my first child due in March, and I'm VERY excited about it. And you know how opinionated some people can be...me included, especially on this subject. So, I really thought alot of what I read is not really the norm.

Naive, Naive, Naive I am!!! I was listening to these women (with my mouth tightly shut of course). One described how she was given a pitocin drip at the same time as an other woman, (you know, because the doctor had both of them there and why not kill two birds with one stone?) when they were both ready to push at the same time he told the nurse that the other woman could wait!!! The woman at the shower said, "you know because she had an epidural she couldn't feel that she had to push anyway so she didn't know where she was at in the whole thing anyway". No one seemed to be appauled by this. In fact, the woman telling the story said how she "just loves Dr. so and so".

Then the mother-to-be (who earlier stated that she is all for the scheduled c-section) said that she was told by friends that if she wanted an epidural that she had better start demanding it as soon as she gets to the hospital because otherwise they do it in their own sweet time and she may end up without one. So I asked her, again naive I am, if she had a birth plan and wouldn't that advise the Dr. right away of what she wanted. She kind of grined and said that the Dr. told her to make a birth plan if she wanted, but if it was busy when she has the baby it's pretty much tossed out the window. Dr. told her it's more like a birth wish list! Again, no one thought this was terrible.

There were countless other stories of pitocin drips and breaking of waters and c-sections, all told like that is the way it is supposed to be done. I don't think most people know that there is a such thing as a satisfying birth experience. If you want an epidural and you don't get one...that is pretty damn unsatisfying if you ask me! Same as if I was to get medicated when I really didn't want it!

Unbelievable. I'm so glad I'm homebirthing!!! Homebirthers are also the only people I hear describe their births as wonderful, enlightening, spiritual, moving and lovely experiences. All I get from anyone else is drama, drama, drama.

Thanks for all the support!

Amy
 

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sooooooooooooooooooooooo typical. . .

I think it is beyond sad and pathetic that the state of American maternity wards is the way it is.

These women at this shower have no idea how opressed and demoralized they are by current popular obstetrics. How can you even begin to say, well, your birth plan should be honored and jeepers, some women enjoy their births because actually it's cool to have an entire human pass out of the body?

You're dealing with women who expect the medicalized destruction of what should be their most powerful, womanly moment. It's women who want a scheduled c/sec because then they have a modicum of control and dignity, unlike this woman you spoke of, Phoebe, who was told to sit and wait while her Pit Pal "was delivered" first.

Stories like these are out of the realm of normalacy and humanity in which the homebirthing crowd lives.

These women aren't talking about birth, they are talking about managing and coping with droning, agonizing pain, the humiliation that comes with donning the hosptial's gown, surgical injustices, and since all this horrible stuff is a given and inescapable, why not dredge up the only perspective that allows a woman to feel like less of a complete victim, namely: the Martyr perspective.

Isn't this horrible? Isn't this hard? Welll, YES, because your legs are in the air and you're pushing a baby out uphill flat on your back after a day and a half of painful agony that NO "homebirthing hippie" who has something to prove with her drug-free birth has EVER felt during her un-messed with labor and birth.

Man.

It's not that I don't understand why women get the epidural; I just don't understand why it is okay with women to put themselves in the position where you need it.

Learn to drive & read a map before your road trip, girls--honestly, think about this metaphor for a bit! The reason your car broke down and it got towed and it cost you money and your legs hurt from walking is because you didn't FILL IT WITH GASOLINE.
It's not because driving a car sucks! It can actually be quite fun.

And hey--here's a special Bonus Tip from Tinyshoes when in such nasty situations:
First off, you gotta play the Doula Card! Make these women understand that their birth plan would be honored by that busy doctor if a doula is there for the mom......and what is a doula?

It's like a Personal Attendant for the bride. The bride is too busy, her bridesmaids are all about their hair-dos (read: OB and LD nurses) and you need a doula to execute the laboring mom's wishes. Anyway, I had a chat w/ a hesitant pg woman and when she drew the parallel for me, I thought it was a good point for future chats w/ birthing novices.

Happy Educated Birthing Choices, fellow mamas!
 

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I had two unmedicated births in two different hospitals. My husbabnd was great the first time, but I brought a doula the second. And I'm mouthy enough I told off everyone that told me I "needed" to do something. ie "You need to let us monitor the baby now, you need to come out of the water, you need to sign these papers releasing the hospital from liability since you're turning down medical advice (to monitor my baby's heartbeat during a normal labor)..." With my second birth, my doula took care of everything and my midwife was so supportive, the labor nurse said she wished all her patients were as calm as I was.

My Mom had 5 babies and her advice was the best:

Labor is really hard and a lot of work, but it's only one day. And you're tough sweety, you can do anything for one day!
 

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Amy,

Nope, we've not been exaggerating...in fact, many times, you might just find that the reality of what goes on in these institutions is far worse than what you'll read on MDC. I've found in my personal experience that moms who have had IMO a hideously interventive birth never even bring it up---because they don't see it as abnormal.

Kudos to you for staying far, far away from that scene with your first baby. I wish I had!!! As far as the drama goes, yep, put someone in a strange, cold, life-or-death setting during one of the most vulnerable and sacred times, toss in some monitors, clock and a trained surgeon......

Keep the faith, trust your body and cover your ears at future showers!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by succotash
Nope, we've not been exaggerating...in fact, many times, you might just find that the reality of what goes on in these institutions is far worse than what you'll read on MDC. I've found in my personal experience that moms who have had IMO a hideously interventive birth never even bring it up---because they don't see it as abnormal.
Yup, or because the trauma of it all makes it very hard to talk about it. Or because when those of us who have been traumatized by hospital birth do open up and talk about it we are usually told "all that matters is you have a healthy baby" or some such crap, totally negating our feelings on the matter when we are the ones that have to live with ptsd the rest of our lives.
You will probably never hear about the scariest of the horror stories that happen during birth in hospitals!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by stafl
You will probably never hear about the scariest of the horror stories that happen during birth in hospitals!
Geez, I hope I don't hear any of them until after this baby arrives! People sure do love to tell their dramatic stories. I have lots of confidence, eventhough this is my 1st, that I will be able to come back and tell everyone what a beautiful experience I had. Watch their eyes bug out!


ja mama, I love what your mom had to say! I will keep that one stored away in my brain...I'll be needing it in March!

Phoebe
 

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Where I live, there are no OB/GYNs, only family doctors. There are only 2 doctors here who will deliver babies.

My friend was in labor, and one of the doctors had something come up and he did not know how to handle it. He had to ask the other doctor for advice. He ended up losing the patient!!! It kills me that women are still dying in childbirth!!!
 

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My hospital births were 'ok'. I was content with both of them after they happened, but playing monday morning quarterback, I could see a few things that would have made things better. My problem is both of my kids were 5 weeks early, so I was worried about their health, so I wasn't comfortable 'forcing' the staff to let me hold the babies right away. DD was an hour before I could hold her, DS was sent to the nursery for 4 hours. There was nothing wrong with either of them. Perfectly healthy, but we ended up having tons of nursing problems- dd took a month to learn to nurse, ds took 4 mos to learn. I'm not 100% certain them being taken away was the problem and we wouldn't have had problems anyway, but it certainly didn't help.

With dd, I wanted an epidural, planned for an epidural- didn't get an epidural and I'm so glad. My labor went so fast- from 6 cm to delivered in an hour. With ds, I didn't want one b/c I knew I could do it- but after the dr asked why I didn't want one. (He pulled on the cord to deliver the placenta, cord detached, he had to manually remove the placenta- very, very, very painful. I'd rather go through labor 10 times over than go through that again. If I'd had the epi, I wouldn't have felt him digging around my uterus.) When I got there to have ds- the nurse wanted to start pit b/c I 'only' progressed 1 cm in an hour (3 to 4). I told her my first labor was very, very fast at the end and I didn't want pit b/c I didn't want epi. She came back and said dr said ok- I'm like, um, ok- don't care what doc says, but ok. With ds I went from 6 cm to delivered in about 30 minutes.

We're not planning on having any more, but I think I will try homebirth if we do. The only thing that might cause problems is the fact my babies seem to come early. I don't know if I could find anyone willing to attend a birth that early. If I do have another hospital birth, I would definitely hire a doula. Looking back, there are quite a few things I would have changed if I knew then what I know now, but when I was worried if my babies could breathe on their own, I just wasn't up for fighting. I just wanted to be sure they were ok.
 

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My hospital birth was ' okay ' but I'm definately planning a homebirth for my next ( not yet conceived ) child .

There were a few things I was upset by ...

1 -- when we got to the hospital I was left standing in reception for about 1/2 an hour ( maybe longer ) while they apparently ' got a room ' ready ... maybe I didn't look like I was very far along in my labour or something, considering they were all suprised when my internal revealed I was almost fully dialated and ready to go .

2 -- I wasn't really ' free ' to drink and ended up having to get an IV to ' hydrate ' me ... which the nurse botched and left me with a pretty nasty bruise and a huge lump .

3 -- a fire alarm went off and everyone was raced out , I was left with a brand new baby, having only JUST delievered, not knowing what the heck was going on ( and wasn't informed of what was going on ) . My DH was out at the car getting my bag ( which we didn't have time to bring in during the rush ) and he wasn't allowed back in and was upset over the whole thing too .

4 -- I was then transfered to a smaller maternity hospital closer to home and felt discriminated against because of my age ( I was 17 when I had my son ) . The midwives weren't very helpful or encouraging towards me ... one even had the nerve to ask if she was going to see me ' out of that bed ' at all today ( I hadn't even been at the place long & I *had* been up ) .

Maybe those are trivial things but they were upsetting to me and have put me off birthing in hospital ( unless I really really have too *ugh* ) .
 

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Wow...two Minnesota moms! I am giving birth with a midwife at home (who is more of a guide then a midwife) in June. I gave birth at home with her for my last and it was amazing!! In the Twin Cities, there are no hospitals that I would ever give birth in, maybe in an emergency, Lakeview in Stillwater with the CNMs (they are pretty great) and they have waterbirth now. But as a doula, I see and hear some pretty crappy stuff. We are so lucky here to have the childbirth collective and a ton of doulas and homebirth midwifes and 4 hospitals that have the option of waterbirth. I have never seen an OK OB. Ever. I don't even work with families that have them.

We don't realize that only we carry the power to say no. I know that I could give birth at United or Southdale and have a natural birth. (those are the horrible-est hospitals here) but that is because over a long period of time, I have learned that we have the power!! The hospitals steal it away!! Grrr...

My first born, they gave me Nubain without my say, I was in transistion. 4 hours start to finish. My daughter was doped up out of her mind. My husband and I didn't know why. No-one told us!! They said that it was a "safe" drug later. Bullsh##!

Anyway...you have the power ladies! hire a doula and make a birth plan. Or better yet...give birth at home!

My midwife is Jeanne.
 

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Tinyshoes!!! I was wondering how your birth went!! I am so glad it was wonderful (I read the birth story) how great to have a little boy.

Amber and I are both pregnant again! We are due a week from each other in June. What little cuties you have! I hope you will bring that little one to the collective sometime. We are having birth stories next week at the Edina meeting. Congratulations!

Sarah B.
 

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DoulaSarah, can they honestly legally give you a drug without your consent??? I have heard several stories like this in the past few days and I just can't believe it. Isn't that illegal??? Shouldn't they have their licence taken away? Honestly, how can that be right.


My first birth was a hospital birth and I was an ignorant first time mama. I had no clue about anything. The birth was a nightmare to me but compared to the things that go on in some of these other hospitals it was heavenly.

Poor women. I just feel sorry for women who haven't found their strength to birth. So many times i hear "I would have died if it weren't for the doctor."


Anyway, it is sad.

Beth
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 2much2luv
can they honestly legally give you a drug without your consent???
Beth, you bet!!! I was given Cytotec, probably the scariest, riskiest drug given to laboring women, without being told that was what he was giving me or being informed of any of the risks.
But it says right there in my records that I gave my informed consent... my word against his, who do you think the judge would believe?
 

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I am constantly 'biting my tounge' around my friends when the subject of birth comes up. Like when my friend declares that her baby would have died if it wasn't for her dr. b/c the baby's heart rate dropped so low... I have to try REALLY hard to keep from pointing out that her dd's heartrate dropped after she had an epidural, which was after her water was broken (by dr.), which was after the pitocian was cranked all the way up. It's the same with most of my friends who think there would have been some great tragedy if it had not been for the heroic dr., when in reality it was the hospital/dr. who caused the problems in the first place. It's so sad to hear these things.

It's also why I don't watch "A Baby Story" on TLC very often anymore. I can't stand hearing, "Oh we got to the hospital and started pitocin, ...the doctor just broke my water,...I just had my epidural...", what worse is hearing the nurses say it. They make it sound so normal. Sorry, but this is not my idea of childbirth. On a side note, they did actually show a homebirth story couple of days ago. I think they should have more of those.

As for me, I just sing the praises of how wonderful my homebirth was, and use every opportunity I can to point out why homebirth is the best (but without being too zealous). In fact, now my best friend is all for homebirth after her previous hospital birth and from hearing me talk, and talk, and talk about my homebirth.

Phoebe, I had my first at home, so don't let anyone try to scare or convince you into thinking that the hospital is "safer the first time." It was amazing how much negativity I got for choosing a homebirth, instead of people just saying "Oh, how exciting" I mainly heard "Oh, aren't you worried about something going wrong?" Umm, only if I planned a hospital birth. Some people, gheez.

Stacy, I noticed in your signiture that you're planning a VBAC at the Farm ("Spiritual Midwifery" practically became my bible while I was pregnant
). How exciting!! You'll have to let us know how that goes.

Happy birthing to all those expecting!!
 

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i get the negative response when i mention we're having a home water birth too...

then when they seriously want an answer as to why i'm having the baby at home i just say that the hospital is for sick people and being pregnant, being in labour and giving birth is not a sickness... it's a normal everyday thing which women are meant to do... and i trust my body and my baby

sounds wierd but i'm getting excited to be in labour and to give birth... tho that excited feeling is fading a bit cause the kid is posterior but i still trust my body and my baby

i tell a friend who is also pregnant that she should read all she can about pregnancy and labour and birth because the more you know the less frightened you will be... the more you understand the more manageable the pain...

 

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wendy, it doesn't sound weird to be excited about birth. it sounds wonderful! i'm filled with happiness when i surround myself with people who feel this way about birth! one of my favorite things about mdc


an acquaintance was here the other day, and he mentioned how much he'd love to have little ones around again. the only thing was his wife was terrified of "having" to be pregnant and give birth---and didn't i understand just how she felt??? i looked at him, feeling such sadness in my heart for him and his wife----how much they've missed out on.....i told him i love being pregnant and giving birth at home (in the water, gasp!) was perhaps the highlight of my life thus far. he asked if i would talk to his wife, but do you get the idea it wouldn' help a thing? the fear and distrust of her body and ability are so ingrained.

thanks for a safe place to talk about this


amy
 

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I am really excited for labor and birth too. When I was pregnant with my first labor was just something I wanted to get over with. My mind set about birth has changed so drastically since then. Every once in awhile I realize there are women in the world who dread giving birth.
I just can't imagine feeling that way anymore. It is one of the funnest things in the world.

Beth
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree! I am really excited to give birth. This is something I am so privileged to be able to do! I have never been incredibly maternal and I was never just a lover of all kids (sounds mean but other people's kids...well, you know?) but one thing I couldn't wait to do was be pregnant and give birth. And here I am!!! I'm going to relish every minute of pregnancy and labor and delivery. I'm going to do it at home and the more I hear about hospital delivery the more confident I am in my decision.

Another freaky one...
My best friend's sister had her baby naturally at a hospital this week, no drugs or intervention at all...kind of. She was really looking forward to that. I'm really happy for her! But, the baby did have to spend AN HOUR in the birth canal because they had to wait for the Dr. to get there!!! After a while the baby's heart beat started to drop so they told her they may have to use forceps. Luckily the heartbeat went up again, the Dr. made it there and the baby was fine, coneheaded, but fine. I told my friend that I would have been outraged! A birth that was progressing perfectly fine almost had to bring in UNNECESSARY intervention because the Dr. wasn't there yet. OMG!!! She said "well, it couln't be helped. The dr. was tied up in another proceedure. It happens." She also said that the nurses aren't allowed to 'deliver' the babies. I'd say look out lady, cause here comes my kid! You'd better catch it!!! My friend was also defending forceps saying they're not the kind that used to be used. Uh, so!!!!

Ugh, I can't wait to have something to say after all this is said and done...to tell my side of the story.

Phoebe
 

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I would just ask that sometimes you hold your judgementalism in check a bit.

One person spoke of an aquaintence who was terrified of pregnancy and birth again. You said how sad it was she didn't have confidence in her body.

Well, some people don't have confidence and for good reason. It's wonderful you have low risk pregnancies that allow you freedom in birthing, but not everyone has that.

I agree though that the way some hospitals and drs. will treat you is atrocious. I've learned to always advocate for myself or bring an advocate when dealing with medical professionals.
 
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