“A decision made out of fear is no decision at all”

I recently received the following comment, in response to a past post about multiple Cesareans. It provided much food for thought, so I wanted to share it so all my readers could see it.

I really appreciate this site and its boldness for spreading truth.

I have had 6 unnecessary c-sections. They have all been low-transverse and healed well. My first was due to malposition which could have easily been changed if I would have been “allowed” to move. I was dilated and effaced completely with no induction. My 2nd c-section was due to the nurse “accidentally” rupturing my membranes when I was only dilated to 7 and the baby not coming right away. How stupid of me to allow them to cut me again and not just wait. I had this baby over four years after my first. There was no reason at all to operate. My doctor was distressed!

My 3rd c-section was about 2 years later and was elective due to scare tactics. With my fourth pregnancy I was much more educated in the field of child birth and VBAC and was completely prepared to have this baby naturally. Everything went great until I went to the hospital. I was treated like a criminal preparing to commit murder. I dilated to 10 on my own, but was still harassed and harassed until finally forced to have a c-section. During this operation my fascia was not put back together and I had a bulge the size of a small water balloon below my navel. I still suffer from this operation that was performed over 8 years ago. My 5th c-section was performed after finding a doctor who I felt supported me. I dilated again to 10. The baby was even descending into the birth canal. I had a nurse that was extremely nervous and told me I was taking too great of a risk. She frightened the dr and he demanded that I have another c-section. During this c-section the doctor nicked the main artery that connects my left fallopian tube to my uterus. I almost died from blood loss in this operation. I needed at least 2 or more transfusions and I had to spend the entire night in the ICU without my baby boy. It was horrible!!! That was considered the “safe” option….a c-section! My 6th c-section was in April 07. It was planned and I had a wonderful birthing experience. The doctor treated me human and cared very much for me. He told me that my uterus looked great and I was ready for baby #7. He knew we wanted a big family. That was in Germany.

So, here I am now…I am in TN. I am almost 30 weeks pregnant and still have not even seen a OBGYN. This is the first time I feel very frightened about the medical system. I have been in contact with a Dr. via phone and email. She is a Dr/Midwife and we are seriously considering a Home birth. This is where I am now thanks to the abuse I have received in the hospitals. I am a woman wanting to have a baby. I want to be treated like a human not like an atomic bomb waiting to go off. I have read and read and read both sides…I know the risks. I am concerned about the safe delivery of my baby. But I have been frightened away from medical staff…There is so much more to my story. But, it would be too long to write here. I have been abused emotionally and physically. I feel I have been violated and have lost my body to a system…an evil system that believes that having a baby is a medical condition. Having a baby is not a medical condition. It is a normal, natural, God-given process that man has perverted and taken control over. Allow woman to just have their baby in a peaceful and safe environment. Leave us alone! If there is an emergency, we are thankful to have the medical staff…but until then, please let us be and let us give birth! The doctor does not need an enema every time he has to use the rest room and women do not need any interventions or inductions to have their babies!!!!!

Sincerely,

A woman who just wants to give birth not have an operation,
Angela
PS. A decision made out of fear is no decision at all!!!!!

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The silver lining for those restless third-trimester nights

In doing some other research, I came across a page, which is very long, discussing umbilical cord accidents and stillbirth; and in the middle of it was something that just jumped out at me:

There may be a synergistic effect between maternal sleep [which leads to lowered maternal blood pressure], Posiero effect, a fall in fetal cortisol production, and uterine ischemia, all of which may be detrimental to the fetus . The fetal response to uterine ischemia at 3 a.m. may be hyperactivity to stimulate maternal movement and increased uterine blood flow.

So, when you’re tossing and turning all night long when you’re “great with child,” and are making plans to scream at or injure the next person who tells you that “it’s just Mother Nature getting you ready for those 2 a.m. feedings!” because you really would rather get a solid night’s sleep now since you won’t be able to in the next several months, now you can at least wonder if those middle of the night kicks serve a much greater purpose — stimulating your movement so that you stimulate more blood supply to the uterus, so that your baby is not compromised.

I wouldn’t worry too much one way or the other right now, seeing as how it was just a hypothesis put forward, but perhaps it will help you bear with the lack of sleep a little easier, knowing that it might actually have a very important purpose.

Inspirational Quote of the Day

“Don’t think of it as contractions… think of it as the uterus hugging the baby good-bye!”

[Not sure who should be credited — somebody on an email list said it, but she didn’t know who she heard it from originally.]

Charlotte Lucas Collins

Many of you are probably saying either “Who?” or “That name sounds familiar, but I can’t quite place it….” It’s from Pride & Prejudice — Elizabeth Bennet’s close friend Miss Lucas who marries the Bennets’ cousin Mr Collins. [I’m guessing that most of you are now saying, “Oh, yeah!!” And if you’ve never read P&P nor seen the movie… that’s just wrong. Mostly just kidding, but you ought to at least familiarize yourself with it, even if you never are able to quote large sections of it from memory.]

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Charlotte Lucas was 29 years old and was probably more or less resigning herself to being an old maid. It was not uncommon for girls to get married at 16 or 17 years of age, and most were probably married (or at least engaged) by 24 or 25, or else never got married, having failed “in the bloom of their youth” to catch a man. This was a pretty serious thing in those days, since women were almost always dependent on their fathers, brothers, or husbands in order to live and survive, unless they were working-class women (governesses, maids, etc.)

After Lizzy spurns the offer of marriage from her cousin Mr. Collins, who is the heir to her father’s estate, and is pompous and socially inept and pretty much a horrible match for her (except financially), Charlotte sets her cap for Mr. Collins and in short order is engaged to him. She has no aspirations of romance; her encouraging Mr. Collins’s attentions was solely mercenary. She wanted to be married, and in some ways, it didn’t really matter to whom, as long as it was someone who could look after her financially. And that’s just what she got. She was content with her choice.

Sometimes women make choices about birth that confuse and confound other women. Just as Lizzy did not agree with Charlotte’s decision to marry Mr. Collins just to be financially comfortable, many women do not agree with other women’s decisions on birth choices — whether that’s with or without an epidural, in the home or at a hospital, etc. Charlotte thought that Lizzy was foolish to refuse the hand of Mr. Collins who was respectable and promised financial stability, even though it would mean being married to a man she could neither love nor respect. Lizzy thought Charlotte was foolish to accept his offer of marriage, because it would mean being married to a man she did not love and could not respect, even though it offered her the stability and (relative) independence she sought. So, who was right?

Well, it depends on what your goal is, I suppose. Charlotte’s attitude was “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush” — she grabbed Mr. Collins more or less out of desperation; but she had no romantic aspirations, so it was enough. Lizzy wanted something different — although had Mr. Darcy not come along, she may have come to regret refusing Mr. Collins had she become financially unable to support herself (if her father had died, and none of her sisters married a man who could support the rest of the family). In that situation, even a Mr. Collins may have been “enough.” But as long as she had her hopes and dreams, she could not choose the path her friend chose.

Women who have difficulty conceiving, or perhaps have had miscarriages or stillbirths, may have different desires and wishes from those of us who have not experienced such negative outcomes. They just want a baby, and if that means the baby has to come out through their nose, they’re fine with that! “Who bloody cares about C-section or vaginal birth — I just want a live baby to take home!” may be their mantra. And I’m fine with that for them. I want something else, but that’s just me. Just as you wouldn’t want to be married to my husband, and I wouldn’t want to be married to yours, so you and I may have different desires and criteria for birth. That’s normal. “Different strokes for different folks.” I won’t get my knickers in a twist if you won’t.

Yes, I will still encourage women to have natural births. I see great value in them. But I don’t think badly of women who make different choices (as long as they are informed choices). I may not understand your reasoning, or may not agree with it, but that’s okay, because I’m not making decisions for you, and you’re not making decisions for me. There’s no point in fighting each other or disparaging one another. Live and let live.

Delivery Room Football

Read this doctor-father’s story. If it weren’t true, it would be funny.

Get over it — shake it off

Back during the hockey playoffs, the next to the last game Chicago played, they were decimated — ended up losing by either 5-1 or 6-1. It was horrible. My husband is from Chicago and loves hockey, but he didn’t even watch the last period — it was too painful. The next day, the Chicago coach made excuses along the lines of “the referee made a bad call and it got us off our game.” Looking at the video of the coach during the majority of the game, you could see that he was just absolutely p*$$ed. Consequently, he didn’t coach very well. And his team didn’t play very well either — whether it’s because they missed his coaching, or they picked up on his rotten mood, or something.

But here’s the deal — sometimes life hands you something unexpected, and it does no good to dwell on it like the Blackhawks coach did. In fact, his inability to rise above the bad call (if indeed it was a bad call — I can’t remember; but I do remember that the ‘Hawks benefitted from some bad calls made on the other team, but I didn’t hear the other coaches whining about it) may have cost his team the game.

Sometimes this happens in birth. It can take a number of different forms — a planned home birth ending up being a transfer; a planned vaginal birth ending in a C-section due to transverse lie; a planned unmedicated birth ending up needing some medication, etc. Sometimes women get bowled over by the intensity of the contractions, and might get scared by them, and their careful plans of how they’re going to meditate and/or relax through labor get thrown out the window.

Rise above it. Shake off the one aspect of birth that didn’t go the way you planned. Salvage what you can.

Sometimes an unexpected occurrence may make a woman throw up her hands in despair, and say, “If this didn’t go right, then nothing will!” And that’s not necessarily so. Sure, there are stories of women who planned home births who ended up having a C-section in a hospital. But that doesn’t mean that all transfers to the hospital will end up as C-sections. But if you give up, there’s a greater likelihood that it will happen to you! Don’t abandon all hope and your plans when a disruption occurs. It may be that it’s just a minor hiccup, but if you keep focusing on the negative (like the coach who just couldn’t get over the bad call), you’re going to be stuck in the negative, and then you may end up with just what you’re afraid of. Take a deep breath and say, “Well, I didn’t expect that! But I can still do this and this and this like I planned. Keep focusing on the positive.

Careers in Maternal-Child Health Survey

This link was on one of my email lists, and it sounds interesting — a midwife is “…developing a book to help people interested in careers in maternal child health to find the best path for them.  I was hoping you as individuals could take a few minutes to complete the online survey. It would be really great if we could have a physicians’ perspective…I’m sure we won’t have as many physicians respond as other professions in “the choir” Thanks!”

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As a side note, my life has taken a busy turn recently, which will continue for probably the next month. In addition to just generally being busy, we’ll also have several friends and family visiting (starting a few days ago, which is why I’ve been slow to respond to some comments), and trying to sell our house (which means the house needs to be kept nearly show-ready all the time, and I’ll be away from the computer more than usual. SO….

For the future, if you’ve posted a comment (within the last several months, anyway), your comment should come through without my having to moderate it; if you’re a new commenter (or haven’t commented in a while) it may go to “moderation” and it might take me a couple of days to get to it, depending on how busy I am at the time. I do read all the comments, even if I don’t respond to them all, or even if it takes me a while to get back to it. I’ve got several posts scheduled, so you might not even be aware I’m “gone” at all. 🙂