Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Brief Rant

Today a high school Facebook acquaintance of mine posted pics of her newborn baby. Before I even clicked on the album, I knew that it had been a cesarean birth.

Why?

Because they're all cesarean births. All of them.

My high school class is currently going through a baby boom, being that we've all recently turned 30 (and that seems to be the baby-making age right now). Of all the women having babies, I can count maybe two (including myself) who have had a vaginal birth. All the rest are cesareans, and are followed by automatic scheduled repeat cesareans. And most of them are for the most ridiculous of reasons (failed induction for "big baby" at 38 weeks, advanced maternal age, whatever).

It makes me so sad. And so angry - that the women of our age are being deprived of the most powerful event of biological womanhood. I don't like to use inflammatory language, but the term rape comes to mind. This is the rape of modern womanhood for the convenience of modern obstetrics and modern hospitals (or for the financial protection of the same), and it makes me angry.

Again, a cesarean well-placed in a needed situation is a God-sent miracle. No arguing with that. But when it's so common-place that it becomes the default.... that's another story.

And frankly, I don't know how the official cesarean rate is 32%. There just aren't that many vaginal births going on right now, at least amongst my age-mates. I'd think it was more like 32% vaginal births.

Frankly, ladies, here how it goes, in brief:

Average woman + No childbirth classes + No self-education + No doula + Hospital = Cesarean birth

And, of course, the doctor gets all of the credit for "saving my baby!" - and "thank goodness I wasn't at home, because my baby would have died!"

I'm not usually bitter. And I usually try to aim for a model of childbirth that integrates doctors/midwives and home/hospital for a cooperative model of trust and good working relations. But this is ridiculous, and it does make me upset. And it's just going to keep happening until women take responsibility for themselves, their babies, and their births.

Let's get on it, shall we?

3 comments:

  1. Dear Diana,
    I've been a labor, mother/baby, and bedside newborn admit nurse since 1975 - with very few exceptions, women WANT the kind of births they get.

    They want epidurals, they want inductions, they want someone else to be responsible. And that's why we have the birthing environment we have.

    I agonized over this for years - in fact - realized after 20 years of trying to help moms have natural birth in the hospital (natural birth in the hospital - the term is an oxymoron) that I wanted it more than they did and I had to give up caring more than they did to keep my sanity and enjoy my life and my job.

    So now I just take good care of their babies at their bedside right after birth and promote as much contact (including skin to skin) as possible and hope for the best.

    Most people will never believe you that their babies are safer out of the hospital no matter the facts. You know the old saying: Don't get in the way of my beliefs with the facts (or something similar). So don't despair.
    Just say what you have to say and go on and live your life the way you wish.

    The doctors are between a rock and a hard place too. So many needy people pulling on them to make them responsible. It's a rare physician that can successfully resist that pull and refuse to take responsibility that isn't theirs.

    That said - once in a "blue moon" I run across the true individual - sometimes just waiting to blossum. That's like grace given to me - a kindred spirit to gladden my spirit.

    Kind Regards to you,

    Nancy

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  2. Yes, I am a victim of this nonsense. Eleven years ago I was naive and was told I could not go into labor (failed induction). The reason for induction was that I was "too small to let this baby get any bigger" and over my due date (which I now know was not true, also). I was 5'3", 130 lbs, normal build. Baby was 8 lbs 4 oz, 19 1/2 in. That first C was the beginning of my total of 5 Cs. The last one I attempted to avoid using a local midwife, but in the end she got scared and I was left to either go unassisted or go to the hospital. I was not prepared for unassisted emotionally and my husband was panicky. It leaves a person broken. Not the C, but rather the lack of making your OWN choice. It should be illegal for another person to force their ways on another.

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  3. Shannon - I'm so sorry you had such a rotten experience! Wow, that is rough. You are a trooper!! :)

    Nancy - I replied to your comment weeks ago, but now that I've come back to answer Shannon's, my reply to yours is not here!! So just another thank you for your work - you are awesome, and I really appreciate all the work you do in your profession helping mothers! :)

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