My marriage: long – contains wedding disappointment/trauma

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What would you think of a woman who wrote the following:

“The morning after the wedding, I was alone with my new husband and all I could do was cry. I never thought the words trauma would come out of my mouth and be associated to my wedding but that was what I felt. I felt traumatised. Its horrible saying that because you feel like you should be grateful for this wonderful man you married. And I totally am grateful for him, but it’s 3 weeks later now but I still feel like I wish we weren’t married so we could start all over again, to try for a different wedding under different circumstances.”

What went wrong?

The bride had planned an outdoor wedding on a beautiful mountain top. She excitedly hired a tent and caterer and planned that guests would take the tram to the top.

On the day of the wedding disaster struck. No not the hurricane itself or the fact that it occurred smack in the middle of hurricane season, but the caterer who refused to work on a mountain top in a hurricane, the tent owner who insisted that the high winds would damage the tent and the tram operator who never showed up just because the wind was so high that the tram could not be used. She was forced to get married not on the lovely, sunny mountain top as she had planned, but in the spacious ballroom of the lodge. Yes the ceremony was exactly the same, the food was delicious and the guests were thrilled, but that doesn’t matter. The wedding was ruined and now she wishes she could have a do-over.

What would we think of such a woman? Most of us would probably think she was a spoiled and immature woman who made unrealistic plans for an outdoor wedding during hurricane season, who fixated on the venue and not the marriage, and who was ruining the honeymoon for herself and her husband because she could not let go of her unrealistic expectations and insisted on dwelling on her disappointment instead of enjoying her marriage.

We rarely hear such stories about weddings, but in the NCB and homebirth communities, stories of dashed unrealistic expectations among privileged women are par for the course. Consider the following on which the above example is based ([DRUG FREE] Daley Brae’s Birth *Long – Contains Birth Disappointment/Trauma*):

There is so much disappointment tied to this birth experience for me. The next morning I was alone with him and all I could do was cry. I never thought the words trauma would come out of my mouth and be associated to my own birth experience but that was what I felt. I felt traumatised. Its horrible saying that because you feel like you should be grateful for this beautiful little person you’ve been gifted with. And I totally am grateful for him – he has my heart and is such a beautiful little boy. Its 3 weeks later now but I still feel like I wish he was back inside me so we could start all over again, to try for a different birth under different circumstances.

What happened?

She had chosen an unassisted homebirth and “a physiological third stage this time, despite much criticism … as I’d had a retained placenta and PPH with DD2.” I’m not sure why she thought that was going to work out well. It’s the equivalent of planning an outdoor wedding in hurricane season.

When she went into labor, neither her family nor her doula was available to assist her as she had planned, so she went to the hospital. She had an uncomplicated, unmedicated vaginal birth, but that was not good enough:

My contractions were extremely intense and on top of each other and I hopped into the shower. I gradually felt the urge to push but the pressure in my bottom was unbearable… His was the longest 2nd stage out of my births… I pushed and I pushed and I pushed. The pressure in my bottom was unlike any pain I’ve felt. It literally felt like he was coming out of my bottom and not my vagina. At this point I lost control. I remember crying, screaming and swearing because it was too much… I needed those women who I had envisioned in my mind to be there. Women who knew me and what I needed and knew that I needed to feel like I wasn’t alone.

… [A]t some point the midwife revealed that he was posterior… I had a moment of clarity where I spoke to myself about just doing it. And I did. I pushed him to a point where he could no longer slide back in and finally he was born. It was 12.44am. I was on all fours and immediately spun around to take my son into my arms. He was quiet at first and needed some vigorous rubbing up to take his much needed breath. I talked to him and kissed and cuddled him – so relieved that he was alive

Then came the entirely predictable hurricane retained placenta and postpartum hemorrhage.

… I however continued to bleed sporadically and would not let go of my placenta. More hormones were injected into me, I was blew into a bottle and squatted over the toilet but my placenta was not ready to come. I even tried telling myself that it was time to let go of my placenta and birth it. But sadly that didn’t work either. So I was taken away from my baby yet again and whisked off to theatre for a manual removal where I lost a further litre of blood making a total of 1.7L blood loss

So let’s see. She had a healthy baby after an uncomplicated, unmedicated vaginal delivery. Then she had a retained placenta and hemorrhage (which had been predicted) and her life was saved by a manual removal. Now she’s disappointed. Why? Because it wasn’t exactly the way she envisioned it should be even though she was foolish to imagine that it could ever be the way that she envisioned it.

In other words, she experienced what passes for “trauma” in the NCB and homebirth community. She didn’t get exactly what she wanted dammit and she was disappointed.

That’s not trauma; that’s life.

Only the immature and self-centered believe that they are entitled to have all their dreams come true (no matter how unrealistic) and then cry “trauma” when it turns out that everything cannot always be the way they want it.

 

Addendum (2-14-13): Another legal eagle has decided to abuse the DMCA process. Kelly Winder the creator of the Australian website BellyBelly has filed a DMCA notice for the express purpose of shutting down my website. She helpfully explains why she is filing what is almost certainly a frivolous DMCA notice.

“… I am seeking that this ‘hate’ website get taken down as Dr Amy has an appalling history of trolling websites and doing this to women, but I don’t know if many of her victims have realized they can report this sort of thing (or understand how to do it).”

Apparently Kelly’s knowledge of the law is no better than her knowledge of birth. She doesn’t appear to understand that you cannot shut down a website with a DMCA notice or that using a DMCA notice for this express purpose is a violation of the statute, leaving her open to a lawsuit and monetary damages.

Kelly doesn’t understand that a DMCA notice merely requires that I remove the blocks of text temporarily. It does not prevent me from discussing the original post located on her website, linking to it, or linking to the cached version that anyone can read. And the best part: if Kelly doesn’t file suit against me within 14 days, I can put it all back. [3-4-13: She didn’t file suit and I put the quotes back.]

As you can see, the post is still here and we are still discussing it. So basically Kelly has made a complete fool of herself for no purpose at all and managed to expose herself to legal risk for abusing the DMCA process.

  • Whatpalebluedot

    My do over on my wedding is PAYING for a by-the-hour with lunch thrown in-non friend wedding coordinator to sic on potential inconsiderate guests who hunt you down before you’re about to take your walk to the alter who give you one of their homemade needless to say UGLY ”lucky” charm fake hawaiian leis made of cheap plastic (what no leaves, no silk flowers) and this crazy guest had nerve to place one around my groom’s neck first and kissing him before I even saw him! Worst, and awkward no one from his party including his mother never tried to call me on the cell phone ever to get my approval we’d be wearing them at the alter!! I’m pissed no one took it off our necks for our photo shoots, while everyone was taking selfies making sure they looked ok. The guests list was compiled by my new husband whom now I resent for allowing them for cutting corners on the noshow coordinator AND then allowing his mother to pay for a 5 star lodging for which we ended spending more on fuel and EATING once we got to it on our honeymoon and of course she got us nothing we really needed from our registry! Oh, I get a stupid CAT Tshirt and coffee mug which I hate cats!

    • Whatpalebluedot

      Btw, none of us are hawaiian nor was our wedding venue anywhere near water!

      • Skepchick

        The nerve of stupid people! That lei idiot should have never been born.

    • Awaiting Juno

      Sounds like your new mother in law has dementia.

  • TheHappyPappy

    I found the perfect song for this woman to sing! An expression of the same kind of heartfelt sorrow she is mired in.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHRGqJDA1zk

    Weird Al always knows what’s in my heart. 🙂

    • Anonomom

      You and me both, sistah! I love me some Weird Al.

  • moto_librarian

    And I should add that his intention is to provide prenatal care for low-risk patients, but not do homebirths.

  • Squillo

    I certainly hope Ms. Winder slinks away rather than filing more bogus DCMAs once the passages in question are restored to the post. I’m quite sure Amy has no desire to make a cottage industry of suing idiots.

    • lacrima

      It’d be a full-time job.

    • MikoT

      An example needs to be made, or these frivolous DMCA notices will continue.
      They can’t be reasoned with, but at least they’ll understand that there are real monetary consequences.

  • GoodDaySunshine

    Talk to the athletes who don’t win the medals. The ones that train month after month, eat special diets, feel at the top of their game and lose. It’s not their fault their bodies aren’t designed to be that muscular or fast or agile. Yet they leave with a feeling of “I could of done better, maybe if I had done this instead.” Some never return to the arena and others come back again for the fight. Why aren’t they just happy they got there and got to fight? I have no idea. But it’s the same type of thing. For 9months, we watch our diets, exercise, watch what medications we take. Our bp is low and we aren’t gaining tons of weight. Yet for some reason things didn’t go right despite everything we did to prepare for it. Yes, we might be happy that we got the results we did, but there is a part of us that is always longing for what Didn’t happen. It’s just how we are as humans.

    There are warning signs that come with most conditions, even the small ones that we think are nothing. A little stumble at the store could be a stroke, but we often don’t think that when we do stumble. We just carry on. There are signs of women turning toxic, there are signs that the baby is in distress and there are signs of the mother being in distress. The key is having a trained eye to see it. Are there midwives who are failing in these areas? You Bet. But there are also OB’s who are failing in these areas as well. The difference here is that OB’s are not in the room with the laboring women, most of the time they don’t even see the mother until it’s push time or emergency time. They rely on the nurses who come in hourly to check you or if you ring them. Midwives are with the mother constantly from the moment she phones and says she is in labor.

    Obstetrics was started by men, most of the books are and were written by men and ten bucks will say that Dr. Amy’s professors in college were men. So despite the field being filled with women OB’s, at the heart it is male run.

    • BCMom

      Obstetrics is not run by men, it is run by study, statistics, risk assessment, diagnostics, and science. The fact that it was started by men only speaks to the fact that very few women went in to medicine 100 years ago. OMG, those MEN who reduced infant and maternal mortality in only 100 years by over 90% – how terrible of them. Meanwhile, what have midwives developed in the last 100 years to reduce morbidity and mortality? The most well trained midwives are using tools and techniques pioneered by that *evil* manly profession just as nurses do to monitor laboring women and, like nurses, collaborate with OB’s to ensure you have access to a higher level of care should you need it. You talk about bad OB’s and bad midwives – news flash – a bad OB can be held to the standards set out by his profession. Lay Midwives – not so much.

      • This is what I don’t get. Do they really think that if there were no men, women wouldn’t have figured out the laws of science? What kind of anti-feminist implications would THAT have? I think NCBers should also avoid electricity, cars and toilets if they want nothing to do with useful modern inventions developed by men.

      • GoodDaySunshine

        But who is teaching the courses? Who is conducting the studies? Yes, men started it and when they did they had a birth rate that was more deplorable than the midwives did. Hospitals were filthy, germ infested places and women died from birthing fevers and other cleanliness complications than birth itself. You also have to remember that in our country, midwifery was basically banned for a period, there were underground midwives who still offered services, but even the papers had ads running in them slandering them as badly or worse than this blog.

        If you have read anything I have posted, you will know that I am FOR holding midwives to the same standards. There needs to be a mandate stating that midwives need to have such and such levels of education and they need to be held accountable for their actions. I read the stories in her “Hurt by Homebirth” blog and I am for many of those horrible midwives being forced to either go back to school or get out. But the ones who acted quickly and ended up saving the baby, they shouldn’t be slandered or shoved out. The whole system of midwifery care needs to be improved, but this is where Dr. Amy should be directing her energies rather than smashing them to pieces and stopping every effort.

    • I don’t have a creative name

      Talk to the athletes who don’t win the medals.

      But birth isn’t a competition. Is it? Why do women care so much if another mother had a more “physiological” birth, if they both ended up with healthy babies?

      Midwives are with the mother constantly from the moment she phones and says she is in labor.

      There have been many stories here of midwives leaving a laboring mom to go shopping, going home to take a nap, going to hang out with their boyfriends…. it’s simply not true in practice.

      But let’s assume for a moment that in midwifery, it’s supposed to be true. Okay. Why is it even necessary, if birth is so safe that hospital really aren’t even needed for most women?

      In regards to your reply to bcmom:

      I still don’t see the problem with men having developed obstetrics. A male OB performed the caesarean that saved my son’s life. Why should I care about the gender of the person who did this? Any midwives who are following basic medical standards as opposed to trying to fix things with seaweed are also using the same obstetric developments invented by men. So what?

      I think I speak for *most*, though not all people here, that homebirth should be legal for low risk women with a proven pelvis, WITH a CNM, and that the CPM/DEM needs to be abolished entirely. It’s still completely stupid even in those circumstances because the most low risk woman in the world could still have cord compression, placental abruption, severe shoulder dystocia, etc, all of which pretty much ensure a dead or severely damaged baby without IMMEDIATE access to rescue equipment and personnel. But women should have the freedom to be stupid. As things are now, however, women are being lied to about issues of safety and being led to believe things about birth and interventions that are utterly false. That’s what needs to change. There is very little TRUE informed consent.

      Dr. Amy is not smashing anyone to pieces. She is showing the DEM/CPM “credential” for what it is – completely worthless and downright deadly – and demanding better for women and babies. What efforts to improve midwifery are out there that are being led by NCB’ers? I see none. And in what way is Dr. Amy trying to stop them?

      • It is quite difficult to argue against the case the men dominated hospital medicine historically and that paternalistic attitudes have been a problem, but not entirely sure that obstetrics isn’t a rather special case. I suspect that the drive to reduce the carnage of childbirth might have been different. As it was so difficult for women to enter medicine, probably quite a few of the early professional midwives and nurses were women quite capable of being doctors – and highly motivated to change things. And, presumably, male doctors had wives who ran the hazaards of childbirth.

        Here in London I used to pass a building emblazoned The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Lying in Hospital for Women – a grim Victorian edifice. Curious, I looked her up, knowing something, but not much. Clearly, an interesting story there. On Wikipaedia, I came across In 1874, Henry Maudsley’s
        article on Sex and Mind in Education, which argued that education for
        women caused over-exertion and thus reduced their reproductive capacity,the following quote:

        “In 1874, Henry Maudsley’s article on Sex and Mind in Education, which argued that education for women caused over-exertion and thus reduced their reproductive capacity,”

        Anderson took him on, of course, but the idea that reproductive capacity is the only measure of a woman’s worth doesn’t seem to have quite vanished – it is just championed by women now instead.

      • GoodDaySunshine

        No Birth is not a competition. I was simply using that as an example of how some mothers spend so much time preparing for the birth through out the pregnancy. There is a sense of failure even though they both survive, because we shouldn’t just be surviving birth. Yes there are cases where it is so completely and utterly out of the mothers control, such as toxemia. My cousin and her daughter survived her pregnancy and birth thanks to the quick thinking midwife and OB.

        Ok, so that isn’t true in some cases. But the midwives who work in my area do stay with the mother throughout her labor. The reason is simple, women need support while they are in labor, they need someone who is there to keep a watchful eye on them while they are in labor. If there are signs of anything that is amiss, it needs to be addressed immediately. Personally it is nice having someone who is there attentively, telling you you are handling things wonderfully that ISN’T family.
        Nurses don’t really know how to be birth partners. They can tell you you are doing great, but some don’t know how to handle a woman who is in active, vocal labor.

        The trouble with men being in obstetrics is that most, not all, but most don’t know how to relate to labor. There are some who are fantastic, but there are some who just want to make it better. They want to cure and fix labor, when in most cases, it doesn’t need to be fixed. In your case, there was something wrong and he acted accordingly.
        But going on the basic instincts, men are more likely to want to fix things. Looking back in history, they wanted to make mothers who were suffering morning sickness better, they gave them a pill and ended up with babies being born without limbs.

        Yes, like with everything else in the world, we should have the freedom to do what we wish. When it comes to choosing a homebirth over a hospital birth though, women need to weigh their options and not just go with what one person is saying. And yes, there needs to be a standard that midwives are held to nationally, not just per state. That in itself would erase idiotic mistakes and hopefully, erase the drive for just another notch in the belt.

        The trouble is that there are (to use her term) sheeple that come here and read her blog and rather than using their own rational thinking, take everything she says as truth. That is my main issue. Is that there are too many people who just let themselves believe one source. This is even encouraged by some OB’s. One of my friends was told not to read any other birthing books except “What to Expect” because they might confuse her. Was that being said because it’s true or was it said because there is a fear that she might think for herself and come to a conclusion that she felt was fit for her? Why the fear of reading books? There are just as many books written by OB’s as there are by Midwives and other naturalists. I prefer books over the internet.

        • I don’t have a creative name

          men are more likely to want to fix things. Looking back in history, they
          wanted to make mothers who were suffering morning sickness better, they
          gave them a pill and ended up with babies being born without limbs.

          So let me get this straight: The reason we ever had thalidomide babies is because men are “fixers”, and because they are “fixers”, they can’t really do an adequate job of being a good care provider for birthing women, and most of them will try to fix things whether it needs it or not??

          The logic there is so twisted that I can’t even begin to address it.

          And as far as Dr. Amy having sheeple who come here and believe everything she says, give me a break. Not everyone agrees with everyone here about everything; we had a thread recently with some pretty lively arguing between regular posters. We do agree on one major point, though, for the most part: that data, logic, and research need to be the basis for one’s beliefs on issues such as these, not just generic made-up statements like “most men are fixers” “my friend’s OB told her not to read books, so that means most OB’s have a fear of patients reading books”, etc.

          • Squillo

            Right, because the women with morning sickness didn’t really want to fix it. Women know there are just some things they were designed to suffer.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            Ugh. No they can be adequate care providers for pregnant women and there are many out there who are. There are also many out there who cannot handle anything that they equate to severe pain.

            It wasn’t a generic made up statement when I said my friend’s Ob told her not to read books. She was actually told that, believe me or not that is up to you.

          • Anonomom, LLLL, IBCLC

            I believe it… But in LLL, I learned to always assume positive intent. Maybe he believes many of the books on the market aimed at pregnant women cause too much anxiety. I have frequently counseled mothers to stop googling so much and just cuddle their babies, because they were spending too much time desperately trying to increase their milk supplies, and too little time actually feeding and snuggling. Motherhood is stressful enough without all the books out there telling you you’re doing it wrong. Why assume the OB had a malicious intent?

          • GoodDaySunshine

            I didn’t, but I do worry when people start saying to stop reading books. Stop googling is one thing, but stop reading completely? Too fishy for me. If anything, why not suggest other good books to read and if the mother gets the sense that the author is ‘out there’ she can just stop reading it. Usually online, you might not get the feeling someone is crazy right away.

          • Anonomom

            My point was, why assume the OB was being “fishy”? You weren’t there to observe the context in which it was said.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            He probably wasn’t, but I always worry when people say to not read. Because we might get ideas and start thinking. Nothing is more dangerous than someone who thinks. Those people bring down empires and they also create complete chaos.

          • We all think, Sunshine, but some are rather better at it than others. It is quite possible that the doctor did not much want patients to get hold of some ideas that might prove unreliable, confusing or worrying. There is a difference between advising and restricting, Maybe he does prefer thick patients who do not question his authority, but it is equally possible that he got bored with reassuring or disillusioning those who read indiscriminately.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            I would think it were better to help a patient understand. I have a deep respect for an OB, who retired recently, who took so much time to help me understand things that I read or came across. We may not of agreed, but she was more than willing to discuss the topics and issues.

          • I don’t have a creative name

            Oh no, I believe that an OB said it. What I’m saying is made up is the notion that one OB saying it = many OB’s saying it.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            Sadly there are 10 I know of who have said it. No that doesn’t mean they all do, but in our area that’s quite a large number.

        • Susan

          Sunshine, I am a labor and delivery RN with 20 years experience. I was formerly a Bradley teacher, and my daughter was born at home. It was a great experience with a healthy baby. I have been at friends homebirths. I am not unable to support a woman in active labor without meds. I am quite good at it. I know that when I was inmeshed in the homebirth world, I read books, no internet back then, I was far more of a sheeple than I am now. If someone presents valid evidence that homebirth is safer I am ready to consider it. I read this site, as many here do, because I find the subject fascinating. I am always willing to reconsider my opinions. My experience in nursing, medicine and homebirth/natural birth culture is that it is the homebirth world that is the most closed minded and unwilling to consider that they may be wrong. They are invested in having a unique and special knowledge about birth that must be spread to the masses and unbelieving.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            Then you are one of the wonderful few. There are too many that I have encountered in my travels that have no idea how to comfort a laboring woman.
            The homebirth world is closed minded depending on where you are. Some places it is extremely stand-offish and easily offended, others it is open and fluid. I find this to also be true in the medical communities.
            You could compare it to religion, everyone who finds a new one or has one they love, wants to share it with everyone in the hopes of improving and enriching other lives as well.

  • GoodDaySunshine

    The trouble is with those interventions is that the most common one slows and even stalls labor. There are PLENTY of courses and books to read that can teach you about ways to deal with the pain. Also the WORST of the childbirth pain is when it’s almost over, when the baby is crowning. You are being stretched to the limits and that is when mother’s tear. But our bodies flood us with hormones so that after you have your baby, you basically don’t feel your crotch anymore. I didn’t with either of mine after they were born. Yes they did give me a local to help numb it so they could do stitching.

    They did amputations without drugs for centuries, but they always offered them liquor to help dull their senses, they also used to do the same for women. These two are completely unrelated, by the way. One is a surgical procedure being done to help save someones life by ridding a limb that is either badly damaged, bleeding out, or gangrenous. Birth is something that our bodies are designed to do, but it is also something that our bodies get better at with each birth and pregnancy. This is why it is always almost the first pregnancies and births that carry the most risks. Usually after that, things go more smoothly and evenly.

    Have you read anything by Grantly Dick-Read? At least he had the balls to say that women’s bodies know what they are doing rather than what all the male OB’s at the turn of the century did. From drug induced sleeps, to automatic x-rays of the pelvis, to drugs that created babies without limbs, the list goes on and there is still being damage done today.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Wrong, wrong, wrong.

      Just about every claim you have made is a lie, made up by other natural childbirth advocates to trick the gullible.

      Grantly Dick-Read was a racist, sexist eugenicist who fabricated his claims in an effort to convince white women to have more children:

      http://homebirthdebate.blogspot.com/2006/06/mother-is-factory.html

    • Dr Kitty

      Too much wrong here to comment on everything.
      But…
      First pregnancy is the riskiest, second is the safest, and after that it gets riskier and riskier again, not safer and safer, although many of the risks are related to age rather than parity alone.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9486509

      Grantly Dick-Read (in my head it always comes out as Dickweed) was a racist, classist, misogynist nightmare. His work was based on the misperception that women of colour don’t feel labour pains, that white women feel pain because they are fearful. He believed the reason for falling fertility rates in the west was not because women were exercising free choice, but rather because they were to scared to have babies. Hence white people were at risk of dying out! In order to stop this, he thought that if only white women could be taught to stop fearing childbirth, they’d stop feeling pain et voila, more and more white babies, yeay!

      • Dr Kitty

        Also, lady I had a planned CS with a spinal. Hypnotism, aromatherapy, chanting etc were not wanted or required.
        Not everyone has a vaginal birth, not everyone wants a drug free labour. Your choices and preferences were your own, and they are not universally applicable.

        If you want to visualise and hum and burn candles and what not, feel free, but some of us want effective, safe drugs to relieve pain, or the option not to have a vaginal birth at all, and that is OK too.

      • Haha Dickweed! I love it Dr. Kitty!

      • GoodDaySunshine

        Don’t forget that different fathers brings the risk back up as well.

        Yes he probably was, as were most of the men and women of his time. He came during the period when it was suddenly indignant to birth in any position but lying down and sedated with chloroform, resulting in the baby being pulled out most of the time. Then there is the wonderful era of the Twilight Sleep, where the mothers were suffering the side effects of hysterics from the medications they were being given. The difference of course between blacks and whites at the time was simple upbringing and culture. White women were corset bound at puberty, thus rearranging our organs and giving us an unnatural shape. Bearing children widened our hips and made it hard for us to stick to our wonderful ‘hornet’ shape. Black women were allowed to have their natural figures and were taught not to fear childbirth. For whites, you didn’t talk about it, women went into confinement before and after the baby was born. Blacks, most of them had seen childbirth, saw their mothers work until they popped and get back out to work more after the baby shortly after the baby was born.
        So, yes, there is a difference. Not that they didn’t feel labor pains, but that they were not shielded from it their whole lives.

    • As I suspected you would, you completely missed the point. My point in bringing up amputations and kidney stones was demonstrate that obstetrics is the one area of medicine that I can think of where patients, all of them women, are actively encouraged to suffer without pain relief by a movement like NCB. Why is this? If science has proven (which I think it has) that the pain relief options are effective and safe for the woman/baby and if NCB is so woman-friendly then why discourage women (rather than men) to forgo pain relief in situations where they are in an excruciating amount of pain? Why is NCB so invested in encouraging women not to “give in” to epidurals? I don’t care if women decide not to have epidurals so why would anoyone care if I DO? Maybe it has something do with those very biased and anti-feminist notions about what women were “designed” for and how the pain of childbirth is somehow good for them.

      As to stalling labor, I’ll have to let a Dr. address that. I can only say that as a lay person I’ve tried my best to educate
      (really educate, not just listen to a bunch of people telling me I’m right) myself about epidurals and I feel confident that overall the benefit outweighs the risk based on scientific research.

      “There are PLENTY of courses and books to read
      that can teach you about ways to deal with the pain” Yeah, and I know plenty of people who have tried those methods only to request an epidural when the pain became unbearable. If any of these methods were truly as effective as anesthesia for most women, then of course epidurals would be unnecessary! Who would want a needle in their back
      if they could just close their eyes think the pain away? Also, those methods would be much less costly for women and their insurance companies and hospitals. So tell me, if they worked so well, why even offer medication? And, please don’t bring up
      BIG PHARMA, I will only laugh.

      I was going to write something about Dick-Read
      but, I see another poster has already addressed it. Since my husband and therefore our future children belong to one of his beloved “primitive” populations that give birth painlessly (a crock of S**T you– can ask my MIL) I find the man to be not only inaccurate but, downright offensive. So, no, I have
      no interest in reading any more of his BS than I already have.

      • GoodDaySunshine

        Big Pharma has nothing to do with my opposition against epidurals. It’s the simple fact that they are still in deliberation as to how much of the medication is also being delivered to the infants. Some say it doesn’t affect them at all. Others say it does. In the histories of my friends births I personally noticed a difference in the alertness in the babies whose mothers didn’t have epidurals as opposed to those who have. The babies whose mothers didn’t, seem to be more interested in nursing and more alert. The babies whose mothers did, seem more lethargic and out of it. Then there is the fact that it’s not just the epidurals that are given to the mothers. It is a rule of thumb now in the delivery rooms that as soon as a mother gets an epidural she also is given pitocin. If epidurals didn’t slow or stall labor there would be no need for it.
        This is so absurd when you think about how we are told to be so careful throughout our pregnancies as to what medications we can take. All of that precaution seems to go out the window once we are in labor. Suddenly it doesn’t matter if we (mom and baby) are being filled with medications, sometimes for 12 hour spans. All of that precaution is just suddenly blown into the wind.

        I don’t think the pain of childbirth is good for anyone, but messing with childbirth doesn’t seem to have good outcomes for either. We live in an era where we have mysterious illness affecting our children and parents grappling to try to bring them back. Whose to say that these medications given during the time of birth aren’t linked? Sure it sounds crazy, but when you look at the number of mothers opting for epidurals and the number of children diagnosed. It’ll will make any real skeptic raise an eyebrow. Yes, I know that most of them have many triggers, but whose to say the first one isn’t given at birth.

        We can disagree about Dick-Read. That I’m used to.

        • AmyM

          Have you ever given birth in a hospital? Where are you getting this from? Why do you suppose there is some giant conspiracy to force Western women to give birth in inhumane hospitals that lead to bad outcomes (short term or long term)? Who stands to gain from that? That doesn’t make any sense.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            I have given birth in a hospital.
            I was stating the history of hospital birth. When hospitals started being advertised as a place to give birth. They didn’t know about sanitation, Doctors usually didn’t wash their hands before working on a patient, and some of them were also smoking while working over you. Mothers were left in beds with filthy sheets, were stitched up with dirty needles and many died. This is thankfully not the case today.
            I don’t suppose there is a conspiracy. I have become wary of things. It makes one pause, when you stand back and think about it.

        • There is NO diagreement about Dick-Read. His own writings show that he is a racist, mysoginist eugenicist. If you want to take advice from him, it’s you choice but, I think it’s pathetic that people who are supposedly advocates for women ever would. As for epidurals, I’ll trust my medical providers to to tell me what the risks are because unlike most NCBers they went to medical school and understand science. I don’t blindly trust doctors, if I doubt what one is saying I will get a second opinion or try to find some research from credible sources so I can ask the right questions and get clarification of what I don’t understand. Unlike *some* people I don’t blindly follow what I’m told. You’re not going to convince me or most other posters that anything you say has merit unless you come up with some credible evidence or at the very least use sound logic to formulate your arguments. Coming in here and towing the party line that is recited by EVERY home birth advocate who comes here is not going to convince anyone.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            And you can blindly follow who you want to. I don’t blindly follow anyone. I use my own mind to come to my own conclusions.
            But in the world of current Obstetrics, I would rather take my information from someone who is working in the current daily, rather than sitting surfing the web for Homebirth stories gone horribly wrong while I muse over medical articles.
            And fyi, most nurses and Doctors do not inform you of the side effects when you are offered an epidural or pitocin. They just state that they are going to give you something to help things along. They don’t tell you how much you are being given, for how long or what could happen.

          • FYI they legally have to inform you of the side effects and you have to sign a consent form. Which planet do you live on?

          • GoodDaySunshine

            Yes, they do have to inform you, but many don’t. They don’t even inform you of what they are giving you sometimes. “Just a little something to help speed your labor along.”

        • LukesCook

          “In the histories of my friends births”

          Are you joking?

          • GoodDaySunshine

            No, because my friends have all had babies, they all lived, and that is a historical fact.

        • theNormalDistribution

          What is this I don’t even

        • Susan

          Bless your heart Sunshine!

        • PrecipMom

          Dude, do you seriously not understand the term “confirmation bias”? Of course when you walk in knowing mom’s epidural status you see her medicated birth born baby as “drugged” and the natural birth baby as “alert.” It’s bullshit. It’s called “seeing what you want to see.”

          • GoodDaySunshine

            I have helped more than a handful of mothers who have had medicated births or sections whose babies had no interest in nursing until about 3 days old. Naturally born babies start to root desperately within minutes of birth when held to their mothers skin.
            bias? maybe, but probably not.

          • PrecipMom

            The plural of anecdote is not data. But if we’re going to go that route, I’ve HAD naturally born babies and babies born when I had an epidural. The fastest nurser I’ve had was the most recent epidural born baby who was latched on within easily 3 minutes of being born. `One of my natural born babies didn’t nurse for about 36 hours because she was critically ill in spite of having a natural birth, but my other natural born babies didn’t go straight for nursing right off the bat either. Babies are different. Births are different. You do not know enough to know if this is an actual association, and what that association means even if it is real.

            You want to say that epidural born babies are “drugged” and therefore don’t nurse well? Prove it. I would like to see you should us a study where they time how long from birth to baby being latched on and see if there are any significant differences. If these babies are drugged, let’s see some evidence of that. Let’s see tox screens from babies whose mothers have an epidural and see what shows up. If Mom’s mental state and ability to focus is not altered by an epidural, by what logic do you claim that her newborn’s mental state would be altered? If these kids are under the influence of narcotics, I would like to see their rates of respiratory depression also being higher. I want to see the difference in Apgars between epidural born and unmedicated born babies. I want specifics. Anything that is real has specific numbers, specific mechanisms of action, and can be replicated. I want the specific med that is present in a specific concentration that I can easily test for to see if you are right.

            Do you have any idea how many different ways your logic makes no sense here? Do you see how absurd it is to make claims with no actual numbers to back that up, no plausible mechanism of action for how that works? I would like to see from you at minimum the names of the medications used in an epidural, in what concentration, in what amount, how they get from the mother’s epidural space to the baby, how much they cross the placenta if they are present in maternal circulation, what the therapeutic dose of any of these medications would be in an infant weighing approximately 3500 grams. There are so many steps along the way that your assertion fails, and it fails miserably. If I am wrong, show me the numbers. Please.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            I have no numbers to give, except for the numbers of babies that I was enlisted to help with after a call from a frustrated new mother.
            Happy?

          • PrecipMom

            Actually, no, I’m not. I’m not happy because you don’t seem to recognize that the fact that your group is mother’s who have said they are having difficulty nursing means that you aren’t actually looking at the full field of epidural receiving mothers. You are looking at “mothers who called a friend for help breastfeeding.” Don’t you see that the epidural receiving mom who has trouble breastfeeding may be different in critical ways from the epidural mom who has no trouble breastfeeding? Maybe the epidural mom who had trouble breastfeeding also had an extremely long labor. How does your theory adjust and control for duration of labor? For OP position? Did you take into account that the natural birth mom may also have had more information beforehand, more exposure in real life such that she may be more advanced at troubleshooting breastfeeding problems than the average mother who chooses an epidural? That your friends may differ from the average population such that your group is not actually a fair representation of the overall population of childbearing women in the United States?

            You are making extraordinary claims. You have no evidence to support them. You can’t tell me what medication is causing a problem. You can’t tell me how that medication in X quantity in the mother’s epidural space goes from there to Y in her bloodstream to Z in terms of how much it crosses the placenta, nor the dose at which that medication will cause any issues for the neonate. You can’t show me these things because the problems you are discussing do not exist. Do you see how many holes there are in your theories? Do you see how many gaps you don’t have filled in?

            You’re coming in here with a scenario that sounds totally plausible to the average layperson. Inject “drugs” to mom, drugs effect baby. But reality, and medical science are far more complicated than that. I think that if you really look at the science, if you look at PubMed instead of Henci Goer, you’ll see a different story. And I think you owe it to every woman whom you just told that she has been endangering her baby by choosing an epidural to see whether what you’ve said is true or false. I hope you do it. You deserve better than to be laboring under such absolute misperceptions.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            One, where did I state that I knew these mothers before hand?
            I am actually a lactation consultant, I went in to help these mothers completely unbiased at the start when I worked under the supervision of a senior one. I started to gather my own ideas and theories after just being around mothers who had had medical births. I have no charts, I made no records or accounts of it. Maybe I should start since it seems to be sounding a strong note.
            I cannot tell you what medications get through, because each mother is different just like every baby is different. Some mothers and babies aren’t bothered by it, they go off and everything is peachy. Then there are the ones where something did get through. I have very minor medical training, I know and am not ashamed of that. But I do have eyes in my head to see that there are babies being affected. Maybe it’s not enough to be bothered with because it’s such a blip. But 10 of the babies I helped with have gone on to have different degrees of autism. Yes, it’s only 10 out of hundreds, but that bothers me enough to argue my views that there is something wrong somewhere.
            Women can chose epidurals if they wish, I have no beef with that. They can even chose a section at 39 weeks if they wish. But my wish and concern is that most of them are not being informed properly before hand what the risks are. You would think that while a mother is pregnant she would take the time to look up some things, but most don’t. They don’t want to think about it, partly I can’t blame them. But basic information isn’t being given either correctly or at all.
            I appreciate how honest and level headed you are with me and I thank you for not descending to name calling, though I’m sure you may of thought it.

          • PrecipMom

            I appreciate that you are willing to have this discussion. Believe it or not, I actually came to the SOB blog about 3 years ago or so as a home birth mother who really believed that epidurals caused harm, that natural birth was best medically, and that moms needed to arm themselves with information against the medical complex because people wanted to profit off of them and were cavalier with “interventions” because they knew that if they could fix it, they didn’t care as much whether they caused the problem. I understand how logical the ideology seems. Truly, I do. It intuitively makes sense. It’s just that when you make the leap from “does this sound like it could make sense?” to “what needs to be true in order for this to be really happening?” and “does the evidence show that this is really happening?” that things fall apart.

            Have you heard before of the folate theory with regards to autism? If you haven’t heard of it before, it appears that autistic people have fundamental differences of anatomy from the neurotypical population, in brain structures that are developing in very early pregnancy. Compared to mothers who have not had folate supplementation, the autism rate in children born to mothers who have had folic acid supplementation is lower. Here is more information if you would be interested in reading more:

            http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/13303/

            And more recently: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/779205?pa=8JDZk9I1C7Vo7rjeM0TuA5K182JcitY4pL%2FqM%2FuV9hHAfDETSduVUUWPzKqv55OI43mU9jD%2B1DtnxY47OmyybA%3D%3D

            Given that developmental experts are being able to diagnose autism earlier and earlier, I actually don’t reject the idea that an autistic newborn may have difficulties nursing. I absolutely reject the idea that an epidural has anything to do with autism when it’s coming up in brain structures built in the 1st trimester. I’m not sold on an autism = difficulty nursing, but what I want to say is that you may be seeing something but it may not be what you think it is. This is 100% conjecture and I welcome anyone who has more experience to contradict it, but I see no reason to say that is impossible. It’s something that people far better trained and more equipped than I am would need to look at.

            What would you need to see in order to be convinced that the majority of scientific opinion worldwide is not in error regarding epidural safety? What would you need to see in terms of how epidurals work, etc?

          • GoodDaySunshine

            I was aware of the theory but had not read into it much. I completely agree that the mothers diet and deficiencies may play a role in what is happening to our children. I’m sure I am seeing something, but because I do not have as much medical training as the others here, I probably am indulging theories that I have heard and partly understand. The biggest trouble is my own lack of access to files and studies that are trustworthy enough to find results to. There are sites upon sites upon sites, where what sounds completely logical in one, sounds like pig-latin on the other. I’m sure it’s not just medical sites that are this way. I’m more than positive that the medical community is drawn and quartered in their own opinions on matters, despite what evidence shows.
            I do not really have a problem with epidurals themselves, especially since the same method can be used in other procedures. It’s what comes with them that is my issue. They are never alone it seems, there is always other medications, whether it’s pitocin or pit mixed with other augmenting medications during a induction that are put directly into the blood stream. That worries me. For some, it’s probably not even a risk, because the l&d is over so quickly. But then there are the others who are exposed to it for almost a full 12 hours.
            Really for me, it would have to be a complete, unbiased, side by side study of not just apgars, but of appearance and behavior the weeks following delivery. Then simply to follow them and see if there are any developmental disorders (non genetic of course). I’ve often wondered if there was such a study that followed and compared naturally to medicated and sectioned infants. I’m sure if there was, it may of been deemed inconclusive or maybe never even released to the public. But even so, just for my own curiosities sake, I would like to see such a study, recent if at all possible.

            And honestly, I love level headed and even toned discussions. So, Thank you.

          • anonomom

            Let me ask you this. As an LC, how would you feel about someone who is uneducated in the field of BF and human lactation making speculative remarks without evidence about things like sore nipples, infant suck issues, milk production, etc? You’d probably roll your eyes and get pretty exasperated.

            Well this is how Dr. Amy, theadequatemother (an anesthesiologist) and other credentialed birth experts feel about your statements on epidurals, pitocin and other interventions. If you respect your own professional knowledge, you should extend that courtesy to other professionals, instead of thinking you know more than they do about their own fields. To do otherwise is arrogant and frankly unprofessional.

            I respect you for joining the discussion and engaging in it, rather than flouncing off in a huff. You remind me of how I was when I joined this blog a couple years ago. I have learned so much and I think become a better LC as a result of this blog challenging my assumptions.

          • anonomom

            That was meant for Good Day Sunshine, not PrecipMom.

          • Anonomom

            As an LC, I believe it is important to never make a mother feel like her breastfeeding problem is her fault for choices she made about her birth. There is currently no evidence for it, so it is speculation. Our job is to help the patient in front of us, not to speculate on what she coild have done differently in hindsight, especially when there is no proof that there would have been a different outcome.

          • GoodDaySunshine

            I have never said anything to any mother to make her feel bad about her birth. I keep my opinions to myself and just focus on the task at hand.

          • anonymous

            I seriously doubt that, because your comments on this blog drip with condescension and judgment about other women’s c-section births.

          • suchende

            What the risks are, according to whom? And how rare must the risk be to raise the issue? And how well must we have shown a causal relationship before we mention it?

          • CarolynTheRed

            My c-section after failed medicated birth baby started to root at her dad’s chest in minutes, and mine as soon as she could be there. I’m sure I’m just mistaken though.

  • Wren

    I had a bunch of little things go wrong at my wedding. I was ill and coughed through the whole ceremony. The medication plus champagne finally got rid of the cough mid-reception. One of my flower girls’ dresses still had the tag that sets off the alarm at the store on it–despite having been purchased, taken out of the store and brought across the country. My youngest sister was only 3 1/2 and loudly announced she needed to go potty mid-ceremony then refused to attend the reception because she wanted to go swimming instead. A whole host of other things went mildly wrong.
    I was still married, had a great time and loved it. In the 17 years since, I’ve never even considered a do-over.
    My first baby was an emergency c-section for a footling breech discovered after my water broke. I had a few little things go wrong while in the hospital. My healthy boy and I went home a few days after the birth and I was thrilled to have him.
    My second baby was a VBAC that ended up being unmedicated. We had a scary moment at the end when the cord was wrapped around her neck more than once and I discovered afterward that I’m very slow to respond to a local anaesthetic and was stiched up with nothing but gas and air. My healthy girl and I went home asap and I was thrilled to have her.
    A reasonable, mature reaction to things not going as planned is to suck it up and enjoy the good bits.

  • GoodDaySunshine

    There are plenty of women who were upset and had do-overs of their weddings. Most of them plan huge 10th, 25th, 50th anniversary renewal of wedding vows. It seems to be in our human nature to want to get things the way we want them the second time around. Most of us don’t stop when we make something for the first time and say “Well I’m never doing THAT again.” We always try to look into the future and for ways to improve upon what we find faulty.
    Was this woman beyond silly to think that her unassisted homebirth wouldn’t be phased by the fact that she had a retained placenta? You bet. I don’t think unassisted homebirths are a smart idea in the first place, unless you haven’t a choice because the baby came more quickly than the paramedics or midwife. But that is a separate issue.
    Real life can be traumatic regardless of where it is happening.

  • thepixiechick

    There are some male midwives around, I have heard of one not far from my area who is highly regarded.

  • AllieFoyle

    “Mama über alles machine”

    Bravo.

  • thepixiechick

    Another eloper here, highly recommended.

  • toni

    If it is truly out in the open (meaning you have discussed extramarital activity ahead of time with your spouse and agreed that it is okay with BOTH parties), then that is open marriage. Not cheating. Cheating involves deceit. And there are different kinds of cheating – a one night stand is different than a 6 month love affair. Both are wrong, but one is “just” sex, the other is carrying on a whole other relationship and betraying your spouse on multiple levels. Now, I don’t ever want to find out, but I think my marriage could survive a one time indiscretion a lot easier than it could survive a long drawn out affair. But either way – you are not solving your original issue(s) going outside the marriage; you are creating more problems. And running away, in a most cowardly fashion, rather than ending the relationship and demonstrating character, honesty, and grace to your children.

  • toni

    Sorry, but that is nonsense. Even if I accept that the other person refusing to compromise somehow “ends” the relationship, it is still possible to betray yourself. How can you maintain any self respect if you have sunken low enough to lie and cheat? If there truly is “no relationship anymore” then get a divorce. It isn’t 1952. We aren’t in Afghanistan. No, divorce should not be taken lightly, but if you truly have done everything in your power to save the relationship, but the other party is unwilling to yield, well, you can separate with a clear conscience. You cannot have a clear conscience if you betray and deceive that person. Now if you don’t mind living the rest of your life knowing that you are a liar and a cheat, well, I guess that’s different. But that means you lack self respect in the first place.