The philosophy of natural childbirth is perverse and dysfunctional

There is something perverse and dysfunctional about a philosophy that leads a new mother to react with disappointment to the serendipitous rescue of her baby from certain death.

…I dont feel like I gave birth, I feel like he was taken from me…stolen…I dont feel like a mom yet and when Im not holding him I feel like I should still be pregnant.

According to her post on Mothering.com, that’s how Jasper’s mom feels after the emergency C-section that was necessary to save his life.

What happened?

So, last Friday (the 7th) was my 40 week OB appointment, I went in and got settled in for an NST like usual and Jasper ended up having some heart-rate decelerations which concerned my OB …

I got over there and they hooked me up for the NST for about an hour and Jasper had 9 decels, it was terrifying, at one point his heart rate dropped into the 50s.

At that point I was pretty re-signed to an induction, they took me back to a labor room and my OB came in and started the c-section spiel….

During this time my doula showed up and she was shocked too but she also saw the NST results and was very adamant that a c-section looked like the best option …

Did it turn out, in retrospect, to be a necessary C-section? It certainly did. The next day:

Then they told me he had pneumonia….

Turns out he had aspirated some of the meconium and was having some respiratory distress….they were transferring him to the local childrens hospital later that evening and starting antibiotics.

At the children’s hospital on Sunday:

His doctor came in (way young, way cute and way nice!!) and told us what was going on, he was still on dextrose for his sugars but they were weaning him off of that and onto tube feedings.

He was also on oxygen but NOT on a ventilator so that was a good thing, function wise his lungs were a- OK when it came to that.

His respiratory rate was not OK though due to the fluid in there causing him to have to work harder, they had started antibiotics the night before and expected to continue them for AT LEAST 3 more days, possibly up to 5 depending on what his labs look like tomorrow.

Let’s review:

Jasper, for no obvious or anticipated reason, was profoundly oxygen deprived and on his way to certain death (stillbirth).

Through an incredibly fortunate coincidence, his mother had an OB appointment while he was struggling for life.

The obstetrician noted evidence of fetal compromise, carefully evaluated Jasper with an NST and found that he was losing his battle, even before the stress of labor started.

There is absolutely no possible way that Jasper would have been born alive if labor had been allowed to start and continue naturally.

Jasper’s mother clearly understands all of this. She knows that she came within a hair’s breadth of losing Jasper. And yet:

I don’t know how to explain how I feel in regards to the c-section, I dont feel traumatized really…I know it was medically needed for him and it scares me to think what would have happened to him if I had been more stubborn about trying to induce first.

But I don’t feel like I gave birth, I feel like he was taken from me…stolen…I don’t feel like a mom yet and when Im not holding him I feel like I should still be pregnant.

I’m not sure I’m truly depressed at this point but I am frustrated and sad and feeling defeated and helpless.

Only someone thoroughly indoctrinated in the NCB philosophy that privileges process over outcome would have ever contemplated, let alone concluded, that she had not given birth as if giving birth was synonymous with passing through a vagina.

The reality is that this woman hit the jackpot. Despite having a placenta that could not adequately support Jasper, he didn’t die. Through an amazing stroke of good fortune, while Jasper was in the process of dying, he happened to be monitored. Because of that monitoring, his life was saved. It was an incredibly close call. He was so close to death that he aspirated meconium and would have died anyway after the C-section if it were not for the availability of NICU care.

The NCB emphasis on process as opposed to outcome perverts maternal bonding. Instead of enjoying her new baby and basking in her good fortune, this poor woman is reduced to concluding that she hasn’t given birth, and that she should be upset about it.

In my judgment, the essence of mothering is about providing for your child’s needs to the best of your ability. NCB is perverse to insist that good mothering means following a specific performance that ignores the needs of the individual child.

Jasper “told” his mother in the only way he could that a vaginal birth would kill him. Why should his mother feel bad for responding to his plea to protect him from certain death?

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