Possibly the worst reason ever for having a baby

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You can’t make this stuff up.

From Mothering.com comes this post entitled I just want to have another baby so I can have a homebirth by YoginiMomma:

I just want to have a nother baby so I can have a homebirth that I was supposed to have, rather than the horrible traumatic hospital transfer I had (see birth stories). I’m sure this is a common sentiment… right?

Wrong!

When deliberately choosing to have another baby, the overwhelming number of women do so because they want another child to love and nurture. One of the most reprehensible aspects of homebirth, however, is that it has nothing to do with the baby and nothing to do with birth. It’s the mother’s chance to star in her own little piece of performance art. Everyone else, medical personnel, her partner, even the baby are nothing more than bit players at “her” birth.

… I feel like I really just need to have that homebirth to heal this SHIT. The problem is… what if the same thing happens (or worse)? I’m just going to keep having babies in search of the homebirth that will never happen? similar to how people keep having kids to get a girl or boy and end up with four of the same sex before they finally call it quits.

Thank you, YoginiMomma, for illustrating the immaturity, self-absorption and selfishness of so many homebirth mothers!

This is a bit much, even for the folks at Mothering.com. Although there are some supportive comments, most commentors appear to be as appalled as I am.

One commentor wrote:

I do not think that any child should be had for any other reason than parent (s) wanting to have another child to raise and to love. It is not this baby’s job to heal you.

You just had a child. Concentrate on your baby. See a therapist. See an attorney. Do not make rush decisions.

Another mother bravely offered this powerful personal experience:

I would say be wary about putting grand expectations on your child and their birth. I did that to my son and realized how unfair it was that I was expecting an innocent baby and his mode of birth to fix something wrong in me and I was so guilt ridden when he got here via failed vbac that became a lifesaving saving emergency (cord issue). He just wanted t to be born and healthy, he didnt care how it happened and I was so disappointed in his birth not being my healing vbac that I grieved for him that he had a mother that was trying to use him for her own emotional needs right off the bat.

Hundreds of years ago, a great philosopher named Immanuel Kant, made a revolutionary pronouncement, “Always treat people as ends in themselves, never as means to an end.” Kant insisted that each individual has intrinsic moral worth that regardless of whether others might or might not benefit from his existence.

In other words, it is nothing short of immmoral to bring a child into the world to meet your own needs. Children are not props whose primary purpose is to bolster your own self-image.

YoginiMomma should run, not walk, to her nearest therapist. She needs to find out why she believes that a specific birth performance is needed for her personal validation. She needs to learn that having children is about what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Above all, she needs to get control of her overweening narcissism. Children are separate people, with their own needs and identities. They do not exist to boost the self esteem of their mothers.

And natural childbirth and homebirth advocates need to ask themselves where their philosophical movements went so wrong that women have been convinced that they are worthless unless they have a specific birth performance, and that their children are meaningless except insofar as they can bolster their mothers’ self image.

  • Helen

    I think the problem at the moment is people focus on having an experience … rather than just the safe arrival of a brand new little person. I absolutely agree with Dr Amy. Society has made us all so self-centred. Childbirth so often takes it’s own course and leaves women disappointed and traumatised unnecessarily because we are all led to focus on what to expect from childbirth as an experience and not as an unpleasant means to a beautiful end. Amen!

  • Melodie

    I want to go to the grocery store and buy another gallon of milk because my last trip to the store to buy milk was such a huge disappointment. Maybe I can forget about that horrible first trip if I make a second trip!

  • http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/ Shameon Betterbirth

    forgot to add- ‘oops im pregnant’ is worse, or better?

  • kisarita

    yes, this is absolutely a common sentiment. for someone who claims to be a medical professional you seem woefully ignorant of classic textbook case of trauma. The urge to go back to the moment of trauma and re-do it, relive it, renegotiate it and come out successfully is a standard response to trauma, whether birth, rape, assault, and other trauma. You are fighting the wrong battle Amy. You should be fighting against the aspects of hospital births that traumatize patients, that cause them to choose homebirth or other risky choices in the first place. Whats more, by mocking people in trauma you compound the trauma as any health care professional should know, and only serve to increase the woman who will seek respect, compassion, and validation elsewhere. Amy Teuter, you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      • kisarita

        nice try amy but not good enough. I DID have an epidural, and my birth was still traumatic.

        • Karen in SC

          And some women are rushed into emergency c-sections and have other complications and are not traumatized. What’s your point? Your experience is a data point of ONE please don’t extrapolate.

        • Mishimoo

          I didn’t have epidurals for any of my 3, and they were all slightly complicated. The last was difficult enough that the midwife offered a few times to go and wrangle an epidural for me even though I was too far progressed. I wasn’t traumatised by delivering in a hospital, even though I really hate them. It doesn’t mean that my experience was better or worse than yours, only that we are different people and have had different reactions to our deliveries.

      • Guest

        Ya, I need to disagree with that one too. I didn’t suffer from birth trauma, I suffered from epidural trauma. First she was hitting a nerve that sent excruciating electric nerve pain down my right leg that was honestly worse than the contractions. 3 times she put needles in my back and none of them gave me any pain relief whatsoever. Not sure if I just don’t respond to the drugs they administer or if the needles were in the wrong place. No matter where I birth with the next one, I won’t be getting an epidural. I’m not really interested in the shaking and headaches that came along with it either. I’m now even more scared of needles than I was before.
        I have a few friends who loved their epidurals, but unfortunately a lot of the women I’ve talked to had a similar experience to mine. There’s got to be something better.

        • Young CC Prof

          Yes, unfortunately that does happen occasionally. Surveys show that most women who have epidurals are happy with the result, and most of the women I know who had epidurals within the last 15 years or so liked the result, but a few do not respond or have a bad experience.

    • moto_librarian

      I had a very traumatic first birth, kisarita. At one point, I truly thought that I might be dying. When my husband was finally able to talk about it with me, he told me that he had only seen one other person lose as much blood as I had, and that person was dead (he was a Navy medic).

      I actually had the opposite reaction. I did indeed relive the details of the complications in my head over and over, but rather than making me want to have another baby (a “do-over”), it actually made me think that I never, ever wanted to give birth again. I credit staying on my antidepressant throughout pregnancy with preventing me from developing PPD over it.

      When our desire for another child overcame my fear of giving birth again, I never contemplated having a homebirth. Although my first terrifying birth occurred in the hospital, it made me an ardent advocate for hospital birth because I knew that had I not been in one, I would not be alive. No one really likes being in the hospital, but birth is only low-risk in retrospect, and I could not imagine gambling my life or that of my precious child to have an “experience.”

      So yes, I think that Dr. Amy is correct in thinking that this is a terrible reason to have another baby. What this woman needs is intense therapy to process her experience and move beyond it. A homebirth is not going to fix these problems, and frankly, it is unfair to her older child to continue to fixate on his birth in such an unhealthy manner.

      I also wonder about your statement about hospital births forcing women to birth at home. This was this woman’s first birth – who put all of these false ideas into her head about the hospital? The NCB movement is largely to blame for this level of fear-mongering, and I suspect you know it. I still routinely encounter NCBers who believe that women are shaved, given enemas, tied to the bed, and given episiotomies automatically. None of these things are routine, nor have they been for many years, yet this myth continues to be propagated.

      • kisarita

        i went through- and still go through- BOTH these emotions. in the beginning i didn’t want another baby again ever, and didn’t even really want the one that I had either. It took me weeks to bond with him. (That is an effect of trauma.) Then I went through the stage the letter writer went through. These are emotional stages that are normal responses to trauma, not rational processes, the key is to accept them, be aware of them and not to make your decisions based on them. which is what i responded to her, more or less.

        • kisarita

          (women actually are tied to beds- via fetal monitors and episiotomies are still incredibly common with few practitioners trained in preventing tearing. these are some of the things that hospital can most definitely improve on if they gave a damn).

          • attitude devant

            BS! BS! BS! Women are not tied to beds. Episiotomies are NOT routine. Where do you get this CRAP?????!

          • kisarita

            my own experience as a nurse, mom, and hospital statistics.

          • attitude devant

            “my own experience as a…mom”

            So you have have a personal database as a mom of, what, four?

            Well, I actually run the stats for a BIG maternity hospital, and I can tell you that epis is done in less than 5 % of births at our institution. AND we have ambulatory monitors, so most of our moms are up and walking until they don’t want to any more.

            Stop spouting your BS like it bears ANY relation to reality!!!

          • kisarita

            fantastic! i hope more hospitals follow suit. clearly your hospital is a cut above the rest, many which don’t provide ambulatory monitors and/ or intermittent monitoring. as for episiotomies, the rates vary wildly from hospital to hospital, as the c/sec rate goes up the episiotomy rate naturally goes down the hospitals i’m familiar with are new york city hospitals and their stats are available from the department of health.

            Pointt is, you’re not going to convince people to birth in hospitals by claiming that the problems in many if not most hospitals dont exist.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            You really have some major deficiencies in knowledge and understanding. The episiotomy rate is calculated only on women who had vaginal births. It does not include women who had C-sections, so it has nothing to do with the C-section rate.

          • kisarita

            thx i’ll double check on that.

          • Antigonos CNM

            Back in the 60s, my hospital, admittedly a progressive one for the times, abolished a number of procedures that women still like to claim every hospital does, such as the shave and enema.

            And I remember dialogues like this: “I refuse to be shaved!”
            “Fine”.
            “I refuse an enema!”
            “Fine.”
            “Don’t think you can put one over on me! I know my rights!”
            “Did you hear me say that we don’t shave or give enemas any more?”
            “I know you’ll try to force me into submitting!”

            Paranoia, anyone? And, in fact, at the time, I knew where it was coming from. With a blithe disregard for facts, Elizabeth Bing, the then-doyenne of Lamaze in NY [whose only child, btw, was delivered by C/S], taught all the women in her Lamaze classes that hospitals would agree, and then, renege [apparently from pure sadism]

            I began my career in 1967. I have never seen a patient “tied to a bed”, although it might have been easier for everyone concerned if some of them had been. [Patients given scopolamine often required multiple staff to keep from harming themselves]

          • Young CC Prof

            Somehow I think “tied to a bed” is a rather overdramatic term for a fetal monitor. No one is physically restrained by it, if you became anxious, you could simply remove it and get up for a moment.

            Also, many hospitals now use wireless monitors, which allow freedom of movement within the room.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I too think “tied to a bed” as rather dramatic. If a monitor has a cord which makes your hospital bed the place the best place to get a result, I guess that is where you should be. It’s like any other test or procedure-might be more tolerable if I had a house call from my doctor and all labs could be drawn while I was getting a pedicure and neck massage instead of having to sit in that chair with a tourniquet around my arm, while the poor tech has me squeeze a warm pack and looks forlorn at my lack of veins. But I go into the office because that is where the skilled staff and proper equipment are to monitor me.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Wrong. If you believe otherwise, please cite actual DATA.

          • kisarita

            data about which point?

          • Bombshellrisa

            There are wireless monitors now.

          • Stephanie

            Where in the world are you coming up with this nonsense? When I had my son I was encouraged to walk, bounce on a ball, etc with a wireless monitor. I was never tied to the bed with equipment. I was encouraged to push in many different positions. The nurses told me I could deliver however I was comfortable (which was on my back). All of these things happened at an average-sized, Midwestern hospital.

        • AllieFoyle

          I’m truly sorry you had a traumatic experience. It’s a shame whenever that happens and I think women who experience birth trauma deserve understanding, help, and compassion. I’m hopeful that as knowledge and understanding about psychology, and trauma in particular, increases, people will become more aware of and sensitive to the issue, not to mention more successful in addressing it, or better yet–avoiding it altogether.

          That said, I don’t agree that the answer is to have hospitals change their policies to do things exactly the way that you would like them done. You want less interventions or only certain ones or something…I’m not exactly sure what exactly based on your posts. How do you achieve that without infringing upon the rights and best interests of other mothers, who may have different needs, values and preferences?

          Also, as sympathetic as I am to the woman being discussed here (I agree that her posts reflect trauma and not selfishness or whatever is alleged), it is undeniable that much of what she is experiencing now is the direct result of the inadequate, biased information she was given beforehand. She was given unrealistic expectations, was unprepared for the painful, difficult reality of birth, and was taught to fear and avoid medical interventions, which led her to be unnecessarily hostile and paranoid about her (probably appropriate) treatment. I think that is where the real harm lies.

          • kisarita

            much of the change that is needed is already accounted for in the patients bill of rights but isn’t taken to heart. a paradigm shift that views the medical patient relationship as one of collaboration, a paradigm shift that recognizes a patients body not as a tool that we use to produce a desired outcome.
            the other paradigm shift that is needed is the overly litigous nature of medical malpractice which makes some doctors fearful of supporting legitimate, reasonable choices such as vbac.
            another paradigm shift that just because we’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean its correct and we must continue to do it the same way. you wouldn’t believe how much trouble i had challenging a ridiculous policy that was based on a complete misundertanding of the department of health guidelines (and yes i did call the dept just to be sure).
            and yet another paradigm shift that places the staff’s comfort as secondary to the patients, flexibility of the staff especially in things like maternal positioning for second stage. it aint easy to catch a baby if the patient is say- standing up but thats not excuse not to do it for her. learn, and get comfortable.
            there are some hospitals that are good places in these areas but i believe far more that are not.
            last but not least developing expertise in minimizing or avoiding perineal trauma. you wouldn’t believe how many hospitals don’t even include this in their statistics or even in the patient clinical report. they only track episiotomies. so whats the incentive for a caregiver to get good at it? perineal trauma is one of the main fears of women from giving birth, possibly can effect the state of her pelvic organs lifelong, and yet so little attention is paid to this factor. the homebirht midwife that i chose had an 80% intact perineum rate.

          • moto_librarian

            People are going to have to accept that certain procedures are simply not going to be available a smaller hospitals. That is certainly the case with VBAC. ACOG’s own guidelines state that facilities offering VBACs must have a dedicated OR should a rupture occur, along with 24-hour obstetric anesthesia. So if you are a good candidate for a VBAC, you may have to find a tertiary care center if you want to attempt it. I think it is unfair (and somewhat immature) to expect every hospital to offer VBACs. It is unrealistic.

            I also question your assertions about perineal care. I know that my CNMs supported my perineum and coached my pushing during crowning both times, but I still had 2nd degree tearing (plus the added bonus of the cervical laceration the first time). Both of my babies were small (6 lbs., 4 oz., and 6 lbs., 15 oz.), yet I still tore. The overall episiotomy rate is 11-12%, so I simply cannot believe that most hospitals still perform them at the levels that you suggest. I did a stint in pelvic floor rehab last year due to incontinence issues related to vaginal birth, but aside from having a c-section, I don’t know what my care providers really could have done to prevent it.

          • AllieFoyle

            Ok, so those are the things that you think are important.

            Personally, I’m with you on having respect for patients’ bodily autonomy and dignity. My own experiences with that have been mixed. I think some providers are excellent in this regard, but there is room for improvement.

            Next, VBAC. Doctors shouldn’t be forced to support something that, in their judgement, is unsafe for a particular patient. Hospitals and doctors cannot provide safe VBACs in all locations to all women. It’s unfortunate but unavoidable. Women who are highly motivated to have a VBAC may have to travel farther to find a hospital that can safely offer one, and some will have risk factors that make it unsafe to have one at all. What exactly do you want people to do about that?

            I wish people would stop romanticizing VBAC and vilifying CS. VBAC is not a party or a reward or a victory. There are legitimate reasons for preferring one, but the rhetoric at this point is ridiculous, and I wonder how many women would be better off if they had never been exposed to the idea that VBACs are wonderful, healing, and empowering.

            Staff comfort vs. patient comfort is too vague for me to comment on, except to say that I’d prefer my health care providers to be working within their professional comfort zones, well-rested, unstressed, and not overworked.

            Positioning: don’t most hospitals and providers allow flexibility in movement and positioning now? And don’t most women not actually care? This seems to me like another meaningless change that a vocal minority views as important but most people don’t actually want or care about. I had no interest in alternative positioning and would not have appreciated anyone trying to encourage it, yet this is what the natural childbirth police want us all to have. No thanks.

            Avoiding perineal trauma: the best (and more or less only) way to do this is to avoid having a baby vaginally. It infuriates me when people claim that midwives are especially skilled at avoiding this. They are not. It’s ridiculous. I had warm oils and rubbing and compresses (which I did not want, never consented to, and frankly, felt violated by) and I still tore horribly and had damage necessitating a surgical repair. There is not a thing midwives can do to avoid the fact that vaginal delivery harms the pelvic floor.

          • Antigonos CNM

            It is worth remembering that, no matter how much a woman may want a VBAC, she may not be a candidate for one, because of clearcut obstetrical reasons. Too often I hear women complain that they were denied VBAC but when I asked them the reason for the primary C/S it is blatantly obvious they cannot deliver vaginally, ever. Their “knowledge” is gleaned from friends or the internet, not from a serious knowledge base.

    • Kat

      I was raped at 9. I relive the moment often, even well over ten years later. I never once think: I wish I could relive the moment to redo it. I often think that I could have done something differently and that I wish I could done something differently. I’m only stating this, because I am HORRIBLY offended by your blanket statement of how people experiencing trauma should feel, especially since you even mentioned rape survivors specifically.

      Furthermore, the only thing that has helped me not relive my experience of being raped is talk therapy (along with a constantly shifting cocktail of medication, for which I am eternally, eternally grateful), which Dr. Amy concluded the post writer should seek. How is it bad to tell a trauma survivor to seek therapy before making rash, life changing decisions? My life still exists because I sought therapy before I enacted may of the ideas I had to end the pain of my trauma. (And also, medical interventions allow me to have a higher quality of life.)

      Perhaps you are right about hospital trauma. I am childless, and I also have been lucky enough not to have spent much time in the hospital within the span of my intelligent memory. However, don’t use the idea of rape victims to support your ill-supported argument. It’s offensive and short sided and it also assumes that all trauma victims act in the same way and also that all trauma victims do not appreciate medical help, interventions, and aid.

    • Stephanie

      Seriously? I was in a car accident at 13 and watched my 7 year old sister die in the backseat with me. I have relived it millions of times in my head, but I NEVER would want to go back and physically relive it, ever. I think that’s how most people respond to trauma unless they have other issues going on- and I think this woman clearly does. Her wanting to relive a traumatic homebirth is like me saying I want to be another car accident.

      • AlisonCummins

        You might if you knew that this time you wouldn’t be helpless, this time you would save someone. Or maybe this time you would be able to prevent the car accident.

  • Busbus

    OT – a personal question regarding safety questions to ask at a birth center. A relative of mine has asked me and her mom to come along to one of her prenatal appointments at her birth center. She is almost 7 months pregnant with her first child. I did research the birth center and it sounds better than I feared – they work with CNMs (as midwives) and RNs (as assistants) and have a relationship with the large university hospital that is three blocks away. Some internet commenters even criticized that the lead midwife was “too much like an OB” (which made me feel better ;-)). If that wasn’t the case, I would have absolutely told my relative to look for a different place, but as it is I got the impression that if you want to go with a birth center, one like that is probably as good as it gets. The birth center says that they transfer 11% of their patients to that hospital with an eventual c-section rate of 5%. Not surprisingly, there are no statistics about morbidity or mortality on their website, but I haven’t found any bad news report about them or any of their midwives on the internet, either.

    If there should be a time during her appointment where it would be appropriate for me to ask questions, what do you think would be most important to ask about, safety-wise? I am sure my relative will ask me for my opinion, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what to say. I would feel much better about all of this if I felt that the birth center had reasonable safety protocols in place (and I really hope they do).

    • Trixie

      I also have a relative who is planning on delivering in a very similar CNM birth center where the midwives also have privileges at the nearby top ranked university hospital (and operate under the supervision of the OBs there). They risk patients out of birth center delivery at the drop of a hat and transfer about 15% of people in labor to the hospital. They also have a transport arrangement with the hospital; should the newborn be born in distress, a team from the hospital comes immediately to the birth center for resuscitation and/or to transport the baby to the hospital.
      While recognizing that moments count, and that there are some situations where being right in the hospital would be lifesaving, I feel okay about this relative delivering there (not that she needs my permission), because they genuinely are not full of woo, and I feel the risks there are probably much lower than they would be at a random CPM birth center.

    • Karen in SC

      Training in newborn resuscitation? How long ago? What happens if there is meconium present in the amniotic fluid? Do they do shoulder dystocia drills? What are the criteria for transfer? Are they able to give a pitocin shot for the third stage? Do they actively manage the thrid stage? What are the standard procedures for the neonate – shots, tests, etc?

      • AmyP

        What are the arrangements for transfer? Ask, step by step how it’s done.

        We’ve seen so many cases where the midwives are totally unprepared for a transfer and there are really bad transportation glitches. These particular midwives may be more professional, though.

        • An Actual Attorney

          Very specifically, ask how transfer is done. I know a woman that transferred mid-labor, which meant she was on all 4s in the back of her car puking as her husband drove.

      • Anonymous

        Get EVERY bit of information on a transfer. EVERYTHING. Get names at the hospital. Go to the hospital and ask them what their plan is for transfers. If they have a relationship with this center then they should know all about it, and the people you’re working with. Some midwives will claim that they have a relationship when really they mean that the hospital is their dumping ground.

      • kisarita

        all standard in new york

        • Karen in SC

          Good for NY. But, are you sure all birth centers comply? How can parents-to-be check? What about the other 49 states?

    • Mtbakergirl

      Is there someone at the hospital you can speak with to confirm that there is a good working relationship? Do the midwives work part time in hospital as we’ll?

    • Busbus

      Thank you for all your thoughts! Following up with the hospital is a great idea. And I hope I will have the opportunity to ask some questions at the appointment.

  • Courtney84

    OT: My son was born Dec 27th. I was diagnosed with pre-e at my 40 week (39+6) appointment at 3:00pm and my induction was scheduled for 7pm. I had a Foley catheter and pitocin started. My BP was really high. I lied on my left. They tried one blood pressure medicine, then more of the same, and then a second type. They put me on a magnesium drip ( I was catheterized and not allowed up at that point, is that typical with magnesium?). I had a headache (presumably from my BP) that was so bad I often didn’t even notice the contractions. 11 hrs into my induction I was 7cm, 90% effaced but still at minus 2 station. 22 hrs into my induction I’d made no further progress. My OB and I discussed that there could be a reason the baby was not descending, that my BP really was a problem. We decided to move to a c-section in a calm respectful conversation. I cried tears of relief that even though it was now “after hours” my doctor was still going to do my surgery, instead of the practice’s on call doctor for the night. I’d had an epidural earlier in the day that was much less effective on my left side than my right. They couldn’t get my left side numb with the epidural, they used some other medications and started. I was terrified waiting for things to start. I had medications that goofed with my clarity, which means other than Joseph being held up over the curtain (which I saw in double) I remember almost none of it. We found he wasn’t descending for a reason – Nuchal cord x2. I was on the magnesium for 24hrs (still catheterized, stuck in bed) for 24 hrs after my delivery. My BP continued to be high, I had to stay an extra day, my baby got jaundice, he lost 14% of his birth weight, my milk was slow to come in. It seemed like ALL THE THINGS (which I know it was only some of the things) went “wrong”. And yet feeling like crap, trapped in bed on magnesium all I could think was I would go through it ten times over for Joseph. He is perfect – a joy and a blessing.
    The events of the 26th-31st seem hard to believe actually happened. I’ve said things like “I can’t believe he needed to be cut out.” Or “I didn’t want to get pre-e”. But I do not mourn the loss of some elusive experience. Mostly, I am glad that I live in the first world where I didn’t need to end up seizing to death laboring with a baby who would have never descended anyway. A few days of misery is nothing compared to knowing I get to be his Mommy for the rest of his life.

    • Karen in SC

      Congratulations! What a beautiful birth story!!

    • Box of Salt

      Congratulations to your whole family!

    • An Actual Attorney

      Congratulations!

    • Meerkat

      Congratulations!!!

    • Siri

      Congratulations Courtney, for becoming Joseph’s mummy, and welcome to the world little Joseph! Hope all is plain sailing from here on in.

    • Busbus

      Congratulations!!

    • Cellist

      Mazel tov!!!

    • hurricanewarningdc

      Congratulations! Glad that you and your little boy are doing well!

    • fiftyfifty1

      Congrats and well done! Wishing you and your family all the best.

    • thankfulmom

      Congratulations! Yes, it is normal to be cathed and on complete bedrest while on mag.

      • Antigonos CNM

        Among other things, it is important to know how much urine your kidneys are producing every hour, and the catheterization is partly done for that reason.

    • yentavegan

      congratulations!

    • PediRN

      Congrats, Mama.
      I had a different set of complications but a similar course of interventions and outcome. Bubear is perfect. It never occurred to me to feel bad about his birth until I started hearing from Sanctimommys after the fact. The hell with ‘am. I have my health and a healthy baby! What else matters?

    • moto_librarian

      Congratulations on the birth of your son! I am sorry that you had such a rough delivery, but I am so glad that both of you are healthy and that you kept the right perspective through all of these difficulties!

    • Mishimoo

      Congratulations on the new arrival!

  • AL

    OT. This has been floating around on Facebook. Maybe we can do one for Ricky Lake and homebirth deaths/injuries as well.
    http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Home.html

  • MichelleJo

    OT but discussed a lot on this board, a hair raising tragic story due to a combination of the breastfeeding obsession and the pathetic NHS.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2532940/The-breast-best-obsession-mother-driven-life-This-new-mum-taken-hospital-TWICE-feed-baby-pleas-help-went-unheeded.html

    • MichelleJo

      And note the comment by Sadie further down, ironic;

      “Just over 30 years ago I was struggling to breast-feed my youngest child. My first child died when she was a few weeks old and I had very severe post-natal depression after my next child (breast-fed). I was in a small cottage hospital with an old-fashioned matron with 30 years experience. I sat with her and my GP and talked through my difficulties. They explained that it would not be in the interests of my mental health to struggle as it could affect the bonding with my baby and with my previous history I needed to be able ‘to walk away – go and have a nice bubble bath and leave Dad with the feed’. When my grandmother (who had been a midwife in the 1920s, 30s and 40s) was told about this and that I was bottle-feeding, she said that she would (and had on occasions) given the same advice. It would seem that people were more enlightened in the past.”

      I’m sure the advice givers of today would like to think that they are more enlightened than those in the past. Not so. A lot dimmer.

    • Dr Kitty

      That is tragic.
      As a GP I know how frustrating it can be when you have someone who is obviously unwell, you start meds, you refer to the specialists…and nothing really happens.

      She Might well have done better in an inpatient unit, although IME people who are absolutely determined to kill themselves will find a way.

    • Hannah

      The headline is somewhat misleading. While her breastfeeding struggles can’t have helped her mood, she had severe post-natal depression, doesn’t seem to have raised the breastfeeding as a factor in her suicidal ideation, which, from the timeline, seems to have emerged at least several weeks after she switched to mixed feeding and had the grandparents over to help.

      The Daily Mail likes a sensationalist headline but guidelines on responsible reporting of suicide caution against highlighting a single factor or trigger, as it’s rarely that simple:

      http://www.samaritans.org/media-centre/media-guidelines-reporting-suicide/advice-journalists-suicide-reporting-dos-and-donts

      The main problem appears to have been the lack of awareness of mental health by health care professionals. Mental health is, unfortunately, often a Cinderella service and the bottom of the barrel for the NHS.

      • MichelleJo

        I take the headlines in the Daily Mail with a pinch of salt, as you say, they like sensationalist ones, but reading the story, at one point she was sitting with the breast pump an entire day, ending up bruised and battered. I would think that this was definitely part of the buildup to her eventual full blown disorder.

      • Dr Kitty

        But she WAS assessed by the crisis response team from the community mental health team, who determined that it was appropriate for her to remain at home, with intensive input.

        THAT is the call that her husband has actual issues with, that an actively suicidal woman was deemed to be better at home than in an inpatient bed at a mother and baby unit (specifically set up for women with severe PPD who are felt to be a risk to themselves or others). He has a point.

        • Hannah

          Oh, I absolutely do not dispute that (and that mental health care is frequently inadequate, perhaps I should expand my last paragraph to include inadequate treatment provided by ostensible mental health specialists). I was addressing MichelleJo’s comment, which paraphrases the headline of the linked article, identifying the treatment of her breastfeeding difficulties, several weeks before as the major crunch point.

  • Thankfulmom

    OT: Has anyone else seen this yet?

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/texas-family-alleges-forceps-delivery-crushed-babys-skull/story?id=21410615

    I’m shocked this happened in a hospital in this day & age. What would typically happen to the doctor’s ability to continue practicing after something like this? Can a hospital revoke a doctor’s privileges over one tragedy like this?

    • Medwife

      Oh my god… Yes, an OB could definitely lose his privileges over something like this. I would be amazed if he continued to practice.

    • Dr Kitty

      If the family’s account is accurate is suggest gross professional misconduct, negligence and malpractice.
      My heart goes out to them on the loss of their little girl.

    • rh1985

      That poor mother requested a c section multiple times and was refused – I feel awful for them. I have always not wanted foreceps for fear of fourth degree tearing but this is so much worse.

      • Thankfulmom

        Yes, this is the worst. I was 95 lbs. when I was three months pregnant with my first baby and I’m only 5 ft. 1 inch tall. I did need a forceps delivery, but my preemie didn’t have a mark on him from the forceps. I had an old school doctor who was probably trained in the used of forceps though (this was back in 1987). I did wind up with a nasty hematoma that needed to be surgically drained. I walked away with a live baby though.

        • Dr Kitty

          At 12 weeks pregnant I weighed 40kg (88lbs) thanks to the hyperemesis. At term I weighed 50kg. My daughter was 6lbs3oz. I’m 5ft tall with metal in my back and a wonky pelvis.

          You certainly can grow a baby too big to birth, and for the more petite among us, that might be a baby less than 7lbs.

          I don’t regret my planned CS for a minute, because realistically it was that, an emergency CS during labour, or an instrumental delivery. The chances of me having a short, productive labour and a short, easy second stage were approaching zero. I just wish everyone had an OB like mine, who, while he would have supported me if I had hosed to roll the dice and try for VB, was also happy to book the OR at my request.

      • Medwife

        And the thing is that even in competent, experienced hands, forceps are riskier for the fetus than c/s. I don’t think I would ever take forceps over a c/s for myself and I sure as hell would want to be offered a choice!

        • Young CC Prof

          My OB says that she’ll sometimes do a vacuum assist, but only on a baby who’s “almost there.” There’s just no reason to do a high instrumental delivery in a first-world environment where safe CS is an option! (My OB is old enough that she was probably trained on all the tricks, from vaginal breech to high forceps. She also understands statistics well enough not to bother anymore.)

          • fiftyfifty1

            Although the one group that loses out when forceps skills are lost is moms who want really large families, (and thus un-scarred uterine walls).

        • fiftyfifty1

          “And the thing is that even in competent, experienced hands, forceps are riskier for the fetus than c/s.”

          Depends on where the baby is. If a baby is already really low it is often more dangerous to try to pull it back up and out the abdomen than do an outlet forceps. Also a c-section would take a lot more time, and a baby in distress might not have time. Forceps skills can be life saving/brain cells saving. But high or mid forceps? No, I would almost certainly want section!

          • rh1985

            In this particular case it sounds like the mother was in labor a long time and asked for a CS several times. I plan to request no instrumental delivery unless it is too late for a CS. And that if the delivery looks to be headed that way that I would like to be offered a CS before its too late for one.

          • Medwife

            Vacuum assist for me, thanks. If baby is _right_ there.

          • Amy M

            They used the vacuum on my Baby A, but he was right there…I was having trouble because his head was turned to one side and both of us were getting tired after 2h of pushing. But all it took was one push/pull and he was out, and fine. His head was a bit goofy looking, but most newborns have coneheads, his was just lopsided and went down after a day or two. His brother dropped straight into optimal position once A was out, so he didn’t need any help.

          • araikwao

            One clear memory I have from the blinding world of pain that was my son’s birth was the doc saying “I can feel your ischial spines” (it was vacuum-assisted delivery from there). I’ve since read in my OB text that you would use vacuum when the head is below the ischial spines?? Does that sound right?

          • guest

            Yes. Fetal station in the pelvis is assessed based on relation of presenting part to the level of the ischial spines. For example +2 is 2 cm past the ischial spines. I only offer vacuum-assisted operative delivery as I feel I’m not well forceps trained (completed residency in 2009 and there has been a large paradigm shift regarding operative vaginal delivery vs c-section in the last 10-15 yrs). I wouldn’t put a vacuum on until at least +2 station but could still feel the spines by feeling alongside the baby’s head. Hope that helps.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yes, baby would need to be beyond ischial spines. Vacuum will pop off if you try to do it too high. Whenever you assess station (how far down) you find the ischial spines and determine it in relation to those.Maybe doc was semi thinking out loud? i.e “Ok, here are the ischial spines” (and then silently…and head is 2 cm beyond that just as it was an hour ago).

        • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

          I chose forceps over an emergency c-section twice, but I was in a teaching hospital where proper forceps use is being taught extensively and the faculty physicians are very competent in using them. The first time,it was the most expedient way to get the baby out- my epidural had been removed and I was experiencing acute tachycardia and elevated BP (probably because I had been attempting some woo woo ideal of natural birth for 28 hours and had a baby trapped in my pelvis that I could not possibly have birthed without assistance). Despite a third degree tear and some hemorrhaging, I eventually recovered and the baby was without a single mark. With the second birth I was in good shape and after a 31 hour labor and 3 hours pushing. The baby’s head was transverse and asynclitic as the first had also been. I had absolute confidence he could be delivered safely with forceps in the hands of that physician (and it was familiar -the emergency c-section was “fear of the unknown” to me) and he was also born without a mark. I have heard the type of birth I had referred to as a “high forceps” delivery but my understanding was always that high forceps were effectively banned and these were both “mid” rotational forceps ( w/some variation of Kielland’s forceps). I don’t think a doctor who isn’t well trained should be performing any level of forceps delivery, but in the right hands they are a reasonable option. I have been told c-sections would have been easier ( I can only speculate) but when one is being faced with general anesthesia and an emergency operation, forceps can seem more appealing. After the second birth I was diagnosed with an irregular pelvis and know that I cannot have a non-operative vaginal birth (not that I should attempt one anyhow, my pelvis is akin to Michael Jackson’s septum after one too many nose jobs). I would not want to have been denied the option of forceps, but I was in the best possible hands and I haven’t experienced a c-section so my perception may be irrationally skewed in favor of something that is less safe..

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            Also, I am sorry that I retell my birth story every time somebody mentions forceps on SOB’s Disqus page. The ladies in my book circle don’t want to hear about my vagina anymore and I realize that I am using you all to emotionally heal from my birth trauma. Blame the paternalistic medical industrial complex for robbing me of my orgasmic birth ;).

          • Siri

            No need to say sorry; lots of us find repeated retellings of birth stories cathartic and healing too. Talk about it as much as you want, I’m sure no one here minds in the slightest. People love to claim that ‘ Dr’ Amy’s followers are would-be bullies, mindlessly loyal to their evil leader, but regular readers know that commenters here also have empathy, compassion, a sense of justice and a desire to make the world a better place. So please don’t worry.

          • araikwao

            You’re great, Siri :)

          • fiftyfifty1

            A colleague of mine has a patient like you. She comes from a culture where large family size is prized. She has had 6 babies now, all of whom have been stuck in the same transverse and asynclitic position and all of whom have been delivered, without complication, with the use of mid forceps. All smallish babies, but undeliverable spontaneously because of the shape of the pelvis. Of note, my colleague is a family physician and so doesn’t do the forceps herself. But the woman is low risk in every other way (well except that now she is a grand multip and her babies are closely spaced), but she cannot easily travel to get OB care from an OB (would require 3 bus transfers) so my friend does all her prenatal care and attends her when labor begins…but each and every time has had to get the help of the OB.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            That is amazing! I hope that she has been able to recover without much permanent injury. My babies have also been relatively small and I’ve been fortunate to heal from most of the damage. I’ve been in hospital with CNM care for the majority of both labors. One concern is always that the forceps won’t be successful and the baby will have to be pulled back upward for a more complicated cesarean.

    • Box of Salt

      This is tragic.
      My condolences to the family (in case they come across the discussion here).

    • AmyP

      I was just googling Dr. Backardjiev earlier this evening after a friend sent me the Daily Mail version of the story. His medical degree is from a Bulgarian institution. That probably explains his preference for forceps over c-section.

      Higher Medical Institute, Pleven Bulgaria, 1984 (!!!!)

      http://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Georgi_Backardjiev/credentials

      I particularly don’t like the combination of Bulgaria and a 1984 diploma.

      • toni

        He is not board certified according to the ABOG database. Are there any good reasons not to be? (Other than being a young doctor)

        • Dr Kitty

          Recent immigration, working through his residency?

    • Susan

      If the on really did what they allege its awful. Its odd to me though that they aren’t suing the hospital too. Hospitals have deep pockets too… But moreover if he did the sort of nuts stuff they say the hospital policy should empower the nurses, obligate them, to inact the chain of command.

      It also, to me, seems ignorant to be rallying to ban all forceps births because of this. I have seen far more serious trauma from vacuumd deliverie. Outlet forceps in skilled hands in some cases are better than a difficult vacuum. Its just not my experience that vacuum is always this risk free alternative…and there are times when I think an assisted vaginal delivery IS the safest choice. Another instance of the lowest common denominator setting the bar.

      • Susan

        Did that one on my phone sorry for the typos!

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    OT: Recall last summer, I mentioned my wife’s friend who was expecting triplets. Her SECOND set of triplets, in fact, in something like 18 most. She had the babies yesterday, and things are good so far. They were on Vapotherm as of last night, but not in the NICU, fortunately.

    They now have 7 kids under the age of 40 mos.

    The first set of triplets was all boys. This set was all girls.

    • EastCoaster

      I can’t even wrap my mind around 2 sets of triplets. BANANAS.

      • Amy M

        Yeah, one set of twins is enough for me. I have a friend with 2 sets of twins, which seems nuts, but there is also more space between her older set (boys) and her younger (girls) than this family’s trips. I know another woman at work who had triplets, and they were less than 3 when she had twins. They are all in elementary school now. I guess some people just really dig babies. ‘Course, once you’ve already done the multiples thing, you can do it again, but I’d feel cheated….if we had another baby, a single, it would be like cake, after two at once. I figure even twins would seem easy after trips.

        • EastCoaster

          I have a cat and no babies so even a singleton seems overwhelming to me!

    • Karen in SC

      Were they trying for a healing birth after triplets HBAT?

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        :)

        But seriously, they had 4 boys and wanted a girl.

        The first set of triplet was a result of assistance in some way (fertility pills or IVF, I don’t know) but this set happened on their own.

        • Therese

          Wait, so you mean the parents were intentionally trying to conceive when they had 9 month old triplets??? *mind is boggled* Are these very well off people who can afford to hire house cleaners and nannies??

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yes, they were TTC with 9 mo old triplets and a 30 mo old.

            They have lots of family in the area. That’s the key to most of it is my impression, I don’t know how well off they are (I don’t know what he does), but they just put in a pool in their backyard. Considering that they will have 7 aged 3 – 6 at one point, I was not sure how safe that would be, but that’s what they did.

          • Mac Sherbert

            I’m thinking since they had fertility issues they may not have thought they would conceive quickly. It took me three years to have my second and if I had wanted a third I wouldn’t have waited long before trying again…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I don’t think so. They just didn’t expect triplets. A singleton at that point wouldn’t have been that big of a deal.

    • Young CC Prof

      Yikes! Glad they are all healthy. Lady who works with me has triplets, but only 4 kids altogether.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Both sets made it past 36 weeks. These three were something like 5 lbs 12 oz, 5-12, and 5-5, I think.

        I know her first set had two over 6 lbs, but the third was smaller. I think they ended up being transferred to the children’s hospital ultimately, although it was a couple of days in.

        They were planning to deliver at the children’s hospital this time, but couldn’t coordinate the schedule with the OBs down there, so the local OB said screw it, if they won’t help us out, we’ll do it here.

        I know the OB that did both sets. She’s pretty young, but a really nice person and very diligent. She is in the same office as my wife’s ob, so we did a prenatal appt with her once to get to know her. The main thing about her is that she absolutely loves babies. If we came to the hospital for something when our babies were little, she would make it a point to come over and see the baby, despite the fact we weren’t her patient. She just loved seeing little babies.

        After this, I think she will be famous in the College. Two sets of triplets by the same mom in 19 mos. I think she should write up a perspective.

    • Trixie

      I’m trying to figure out what kind of van they’d need with all of those car seats! Wow!

  • Indict Clapper

    This is the actual picture that Yoginimama attached to her original birth story. I’m not kidding.

    • Trixie

      She has a beautiful, living, healthy baby in both pictures! And she didn’t even have to have a c section!

    • KarenJJ

      So she was keen on a blue floppy baby, but got a gorgeous cuddly pink one instead?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      The baby’s color and tone are much better in the “what I got” picture. Which is disturbing in itself. Do NCB people not even realize what a healthy baby should look like because they see blue, hypoxic, floppy babies so often?

    • FormerPhysicist

      Am I the only one that doesn’t even really see a difference? Both show a new mother with a baby. One is painted and crazy smiling, the other is a photo with a tired woman. The colors in painting can be unrealistic, so I discount that.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I think that the basic problem is that she didn’t see the painting as unrealistic and genuinely thought she’d come out of the birth energetic, orgasmic, and smiling.

      • Trixie

        Maybe she’s mad about the lack of amaryllis at her bedside?

    • hurricanewarningdc

      She got a baby that was alive? One that she could hug and care for? Fantastic (if you’re not a full-blown egoist lacking a proper sense of priorities).

  • Indict Clapper

    If you’re looking for a laugh, Yoginimama’s original birth story is also worth a read. Essentially, she labored for a long time at home with a cervical lip and transferred due to exhaustion. Then she vaginally delivered a perfectly healthy baby. She had quite a bit of pain after this. Apparently, this was somehow because of the OB or something. She has been going back and forth on suing the OB, although she has no idea what she might sue her for. (When I told her that any lawyer worth his salt would tell her to stop telling her story on the internet, she assured me that she would just erase everything as soon as the lawsuit started. When I told her that’s not how the internet works, the comment was deleted for not being “supportive.”)

    A few choice lines:

    - ” The moon was new and in Scorpio, and there was a solar eclipse set to happen in 24 hours.”

    - “I was very dehydrated. None of the blessingway candles were lit, the
    plan to play the carefully thought through birth playlist went out the
    window.”

    - “I was told to put on a gown, which I did, but then I ripped it off when
    Kerry [the midwife's assistant] told me I don’t have to do anything they tell me to, which I knew, I was just too delirious and tired to care.”

    [Nice job, Kerry. Way to provoke a completely unnecessary confrontation!]

    -”The ‘doctor’ (who I hesitate to even give that title to because she was
    such a butch wench masochist [sadist?] of a person who is supposed to be a “healer”) took her sweet time getting in the room and approving the
    fentanyl for pain, and gave us a hard time about refusing antibiotics
    because 18 hours had gone by since my water broke. Last I checked the
    guideline was 24 hours, not that I would get antibiotics anyway.

    -”I was naked except for a band of fabric that held on the heart monitors and people I didn’t know came over with blankets and rubbed her and ‘cleaned’ her up.” [Yoginimama really likes to use quotes in bizarre contexts].

    “So that’s my ‘birth’ story, although my midwife said something that I can’t
    get out of my head- women go to hospitals to be delivered, and women
    give birth on their own. I didn’t give birth, I was delivered, and for that I feel the most deep and painful disappointment of my life that is irreparable.”

    [Hey, Yoginimama-- your midwife is an idiot.]

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Her midwife isn’t really an idiot. She’s just protecting her turf: if Yoginimama had decided that actually giving birth in a hospital where she could get fentanyl and someone else would clean up the mess wasn’t so bad the midwife would lose her as a client.

      • Medwife

        Everything is going through her midwife’s filter first. The midwife is going to be sure to protect herself from any criticism of how long she kept this poor lady at home, not transferring until she was so exhausted she couldn’t see straight. In the hospital I have seen many anterior lips resolve themselves with an epidural and maternal rest, followed by laboring down. Result being a mom with enough energy to push her baby out in a reasonable time frame.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Kinda side issue, but I really wish that people would stop calling things “blessingway” unless they’re actual NaDene actually participating in the Changing Woman ritual and have at least some idea of the meaning and context of the rituals. Maybe that was the case for Yoginimama, but I have my doubts.

      • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

        “Blessingways” have replaced baby showers here in Eugene. Even I had one. In this area, it’s typical for the guests to bring beads for a “birthing necklace” (I dunno either), to have a “birth altar” to put “totems” on and a “ceremony” where a ball of yarn or twine is passed among the guests. The yarn is the the only part we did – each guest says a wish/blessing/toast to the baby/parents and then wraps the yarn once around their wrist. At the end, the yarn is cut and each guest is supposed to tie the string around their wrist and wear it until the birth, as a reminder to think of/pray for/etc a safe birth. I loved that part; we had a friend crochet a hat out of the remaining yarn, and my son wore it his first winter.

        I refused the rest though.

        • fiftyfifty1

          I got blessed when I was pregnant with my first. One of my elderly patients grabbed my abdomen and said a prayer which the interpreter told me went something like “That the mother and the baby come through the birth alive and unharmed”. A couple other of my patients offered to care for me in their houses after the birth during my “unclean days”. I was very touched.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “wear it until the birth, as a reminder to think of/pray for/etc a safe birth. I loved that part”

          That really is nice.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          It sounds like it was a nice ritual and the baby got an evil hat out of it, but…I feel uncomfortable with appropriating the terms used* by a culture that has been and is the ongoing victim of genocide and oppression in the US. Could we call it something else?

          *For, as far as I can tell, a completely different ceremony having to do with menarche, but my knowledge of Dene culture is seriously second hand so I could have it wrong.

          • jenny

            I think it would be simple enough to call it a mother blessing instead of a blessingway.

          • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

            I agree, hence the scare quotes and description of local expected social custom. ;)

        • Jessica

          Oh, Eugene. I’ve lived here for more than 11 years and am always amused by what goes on here. I have never been to a blessingway – and had three baby showers – but am definitely not part of the alt/NCB/Woo/natural community.

    • Box of Salt

      You forgot to point out the line about the hospital staff giving her a hard time for refusing bloodwork.

    • amazonmom

      The woman in question is THAT woman? A pox on her house. She needs to grow the hell up. Of course the baby is probably going to be unvaxed so maybe I won’t wish a pox.

      • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

        I would chalk her irrationalality up to PPD and view her with nothing but compassion, EXCEPT … she offers her services as a “Prenatal Diet and Fitness Consultant” (She only gained 19 lbs!, and so can you!) … soooo … yeah.

        • Dr Kitty

          I only gained 5kgs…of course my diet and fitness regime involved working as a medical resident (HELLO seven 13hr nights shifts in a row, working every other weekend- being bleeped away from almost every meal) and hyperemesis (vomiting several times a day until 20 weeks).

          So ladies- you too can gain minimal pregnancy weight if you work 70hr weeks, vomit a lot and are too busy at work to eat regular meals!Sign up to my educational classes to hear how to make this work for YOU!-*SARCASM*

          Seriously- just watch what you eat, exercise if you can and try not to gain more than 20lbs.

        • Josephine

          Well I lost like two pounds net (and 25 more immediately after giving birth). Of course I’m fat so I don’t count. I’m going to start my own class called “eat sensibly and check your sugars except for the occasional ice cream binge, you’ll do fine.” Only $20 a head!

    • hurricanewarningdc

      Yoginimama is an idiot, too. If only being a selfish, self-centered, delusional human being was grounds for terminating parental rights…

  • thankfulmom

    I’m wondering if she will actually see another dr. to determine if she really wasn’t sewn up correctly and if she really has a bladder prolapse. For her sake, I hope everything is okay

  • Busbus

    I do think that one of the biggest problems of NCB in general is that it creates these expectations for birth as this wonderful, amazing, mind-blowing thing that will TRANSFORM YOU FOREVER. I absolutely bought into that when I planned a home birth for my first child. Like so many other NCB people, I thought that bad birth stories didn’t apply to me and that if I did everything right (eating, exercise, the right “attitude”,) my daughter’s birth would just have to be great. As it was, I was lucky in that there were no medical problems, but my home birth midwives weren’t very nice and the pain was so bad and so overwhelming that I ended up feeling kind of shell-shocked when it was all over. I didn’t want a “do-over” in the explicit sense the woman above wanted – in fact, I had great anxiety over the idea of having to go through labor again – but I do think that, explicitly or not, these sentiments are very, very common in the NCB-world. All those pregnant women who were promised something awesome and didn’t get it – doesn’t it make sense that they would long for another chance? I actually couldn’t stand the “contractions are just surges” crowd after my first child was born, but even I decided to have another home birth in the hopes it would be better, and in spite of all my fear of the pain (which, just for the record, ended up being just as bad the second time around). Only after reading here and other places for several months have I gotten to a place where I can say that I will gladly have my baby in the hospital and get an epidural if I should happen to have another child.
    But before that could happen, all my beliefs about child birth had to change and I had to come face to face with the fact that I had bought into an embarrassing amount of crap, and that – at least in some cases – I should have known better. I re-evaluated a lot of the philosophical underpinnings of my world view in general – such as the meaning and value of the “natural”; the scientific process, trust, and authorities; or my (somewhat subconscious) belief that nothing bad could ever happen to me.

    I read Yoginimoms birth story and some other posts she wrote, and somehow, I can’t help feeling bad for her because I feel that she has been so mislead. I am sure that her attitude towards the medical professionals didn’t help her one bit (and her spitefulness towards the OB is disconcerting, to say the least,) but it also seems that she was just truly and honestly surprised by all the pain she was in, both before and after her hospital transfer. She describes it as if it was an unusual, out of the ordinary occurrence that came totally out of the blue. In some small way, I can relate to that. I think that the way that a lot of the NCB movement downplays labor pain is one of the ways they are failing women. Another is this idea that there is such a thing as a “perfect birth”, that the NCB movement gets to decide what that would be, and that this “achievement” it is something you can plan for, something that is due to preparation, or willpower, or attitude. (And that’s not even talking about safety concerns.)

    • rh1985

      I don’t get it at all. I just want my birth over with. If I could just skip over the whole thing and have my baby beamed out I would love it.

      • Amy M

        Well, I was never into the woo but I was incredibly curious about birth, despite that. I mean, here is this process that most women endure, that all of our mothers went through…we hear about it, we see it on tv and in the movies, maybe some of us have witnessed it in person, but until you do it, you don’t really KNOW what it is like. In most cultures, birth, or at least the first child for a woman, is a very important rite of passage. From a scientific standpoint, even though we understand how baby gets from point A to point B, it is still pretty amazing, to look at your newborn, tiny as it may be and marvel about how it fit inside you. It is easy to see how such a thing could be twisted by the woo-tastic, especially those who don’t have much to be proud of (so they create achievements.)

        Anyway, I wasn’t interested in excruciating pain, but since I wanted children, I did want to experience vaginal birth (with an epidural) if possible. I wouldn’t have been crushed about a Csection, but even to me, there’s something cool about understanding/being able to relate to all mothers just for a moment. Does this make any sense?

        • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

          Agree x1000

      • Trixie

        I’d go through birth if I could skip the pregnancy part lol.

      • Young CC Prof

        I think I said that to my husband about 4 am last night, while staggering out of the bathroom. “Next time, teleporter.”

    • araikwao

      Your first paragraph reminds me of something I’ve read: that we tend to attribute our successes to our own positive personal qualities and behaviours, and failures to bad luck, whereas for others, we attribute their failures to character flaws. Think how often this pops up in NCB: if you’d just eaten right/chanted positive affirmations/trusted birth/whatever, you would have been “successful” like me.

  • amazonmom

    During my recovery from PPD I felt the urge to have a baby to “do things right this time”. I knew that was a bad thing to do but the feeling was still there. The way I handled it was to talk it through with my therapist and a few friends, knowing that I wouldn’t actually do such a thing in reality. When I was actually mentally healthy enough to try for another I put things off for a long time. Then my Mirena failed and here we are ;P. I just hope the mom in question doesn’t get encouraged to have a “healing birth”. It’s not the baby’s job to heal you. Yes my second birth went well and it was highly satisfying but it was a wonderful bonus, my mental health wasn’t riding on the issue.

  • Lynnie

    http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/growing-up-unvaccinated/

    OT, but this showed up in my Facebook feed. An unvaccinated woman speaks out about her all natural upbringing and how it didn’t do squat in protecting he from childhood diseases that most people never even consider getting anymore.

    • Busbus

      What a great article – perfect to share with anybody who’s on the fence about vaccinating. I’m always looking for such texts :-)

      • Antigonos CNM

        Well, yes, back in my childhood, when everyone expected to get “childhood diseases” and most of us did, the reality was that while it sucked to be sick [OK, I'll confess, my parents probably had a harder time of it, with sleepless nights, etc. than I did, since I always got a small present like coloring books or paper dolls to help me "feel better"], the vast majority of us survived OK. But a substantial percentage DID have significant complications, and there were some fatalities — enough that the risks of vaccination were worth it.

        Of course, I’m talking about diseases like measles and chicken pox, not the truly frightening ones like polio. If anything, there was a public outcry when polio vaccination didn’t arrive immediately, or when amounts of the vaccine, which was still difficult to make, were restricted.

  • Lynnie

    I can ALMOST see her point. After my “breastfeeding failure”, I had entertained the thought of having another child just so I could breastfeed that baby properly and not have the (mental) label of “failed to feed my baby properly so I am a failure” lurking in my brain. I got over it when I realized it was my PPD talking and I needed to focus on my wonderful son. (readying skeptical ob and fearless formula feeder helped immensely)
    I do think this lady needs to see her doctor to assess whether she has PPD and possibly get medication and definitely see a counselor. I would hate for her to have another baby and push for a home birth so much the child dies or is permanently damaged. A child should never suffer because of his or her parents’ inability to cope with reality. The reality is that this lady had a less that ideal birth experience. Well, that doesn’t determine her child’s worth or her worth as a parent.

  • Guest

    I feel for this lady. While it’s possible she is just being self-absorbed, it’s quite possible that she is suffering from post-traumatic symptoms. I haven’t read her story, but childbirth can be scary in a number of ways, different for everyone. I can understand how the brain may be desperate for something that might heal it. I personally hope that she finds another way to heal her pain (time, and therapy?), rather than having another baby for this purpose alone.

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      And I’m sure that the people squealing about birth rape and other nonsense are helping absolutely none.

  • Aussiedoc

    This resonates with me at the moment as I’ve just made the difficult decision to stop breast feeding.

    I’m no lactivist, I’m a sensible woman but breastfeeding was something I really wanted to do. And God gave me a baby with severe reflux, a tongue tie, an incoordinate suck and a hell of a temper leading to breast refusal from day 1.

    And I struggled, oh how I struggled. But after 8 weeks of my baby screaming at me at most feeds, he stopped gaining weight I finally saw through the sleep deprivation and thought, why am I doing this when I have a safe alternative?

    The point being its not about me it’s about HIM. You parent the kid you get, not the kid you want.

    I admit I’m heartbroken. There’s grief. And yes, there’s a strong element of next time maybe it’ll go better. But I’m not going to have another child just to breastfeed. And when we give our fella a sibling (if we can face doing this newborn thing again – holy hell!) I won’t put my expectations on them. It’s gotta be about the kid, yeah?

    I’ll just cry privately :s.

    • Elizabeth A

      I’m so sorry! Whatever your feelings about breastfeeding, the two months you’ve had are a hellish introduction to your new baby. I think we all hope that all the parts of parenting – physical, mental, emotional, social, educational – will go smoothly, and we sorrow when they don’t.

      Of course feeding has to be about him, but I’m sorry it didn’t work out as you hoped. There’s no saying how it might go another time.

      I hope that, this time next week, you’re well-rested and stunned by how charming your baby is.

    • theadequatemother

      Good for you. I agree re the newborn thing. HOLY HELL. You know what? It WILL get better.

      Postpartum I swear something goes haywire in many of our brains, making these things seem so important. Mine is 8 weeks too and I have all kinds of crazy ideas that I can only assume are related to some low level PPD. Like…I think I’m fat and ugly for example even though intellectually I know that’s stupid and untrue. Like no matter how much help I get, I feel like no one understands or empathizes or is helping me AT ALL..even though I have a super involved and helpful husband and a full time nanny AND two sets of grandparents in town.

      It WILL get better. I promise. And not just because you decided to change your feeding method. And you know what else? In two years you’ll look back on the pictures and videos you took in the newborn period and it will be ALL ROSES (because typically all pictures are taken when the baby is smiling or sleeping, rather than screaming)…and that’s what you’ll be left with. Dim memories of it being hard, and sharp memories of the sweetness and love. Promise.

      edit: so when you accidentally vote yourself up, how do you undo that…I tried voting myself down…heehee. Now I’m just confusing everyone.

    • Dr Kitty

      Congratulations on the baby!
      This too will pass…my mother’s favourite phrase about every aspect of parenting.

      • KarenJJ

        Mine too! A fantastic phrase for getting through the difficult patches and letting children grow up in their own time without trying to force an issue or hurry them along.

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      It’ll be okay… I can’t begin to understand what you’re going through, but maybe it would help to just hold him close to your breast so that he can just chill right there while you absorb those nice, cuddling feelings that breastfeeding can give.

      Again, I have no way of knowing how you feel, but I’m a childless person who’s choosing to remain childless for the foreseeable future because of health and financial reasons. Whenever the biological clock gets so that my arms start to physically ache, I just go borrow somebody’s baby and hold them for a few minutes. It isn’t the same, but it fills a need. My body is tricked and whatever brain chemical that needed released is released, and I feel a little better.

      I hope you feel better about the issue soon, and congratulations on your baby <3

    • Guest

      I can’t tell you how little this will matter to you in a very short while. If you look around my 11 year-old daughter’s ballet class you absolutely cannot tell which of those children was breastfed all those years ago. Nobody cares. Congratulations on the baby!

      • KarenJJ

        Just as I was typing my post above my 5yo woke up, came out of her bedroom and gave me a cuddle :) So much for those formula bottles she got…

    • wookie130

      You sound EXACTLY like I sounded after my unsuccessful attempt at breastfeeding…the sense of failure, guilt, and heartache was palatable.

      I promise, in time, you will feel better, and let go of the sadness.

      A lot of your feelings of grief about this have to do with pressure we put on ourselves, and the HUGE SOCIETAL PRESSURE that’s laid at our feet to breastfeed…and if you “fail” you’re a “failure” as a mother in general for not doing what is “best.”

      What is best, is that your child eats. And obviously, it wasn’t possible for him to be fed with the breast…you do what you have to do as a mother, and you MUST know that formula is fine. It’s BETTER than fine, actually – it’s a great source of nutrition for your baby, and I promise you no ill long-term consequences from feeding it to your son.

    • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

      I was only able to nurse my first child for a week and I felt so much
      (in retrospect irrational) guilt that I wasn’t able to continue (re-hospitalization, low supply, breast rejection etc etc) yet we have this beautiful, extremely bonded connection. Leading up to the time I had my second baby (5 weeks ago) I was afraid that our relationship might be vastly different if I were able to breastfeed him. For me (and I know emotions about these things are so highly subjective that my experience is all but irrelevant to anyone else’s situation), I no longer feel that I missed something with my daughter.
      While I’ve been able to nurse my son most of the time, I really enjoy bottle feeding him. We still enjoy the same skin to skin contact when he drinks from a bottle and I love gazing into his eyes while he feeds. When he nurses he is very focused on trying to draw the milk from my breast- with a bottle, feeding is effortless and we seem to interact more. I get the sense that he prefers the ease of bottle feeding, is more easily satiated, and content- and this is in spite of having the optimal ability to nurse.
      While there are some (minor) immune benefits to the breast milk itself, I’ve decided that the purported differences between the breastfeeding relationship and the bottle feeding relationship are, in my experience, much ado about nothing. And an anecdotal side note: my almost exclusively formula fed daughter has never needed an antibiotic in five years- my breastfed baby is on his second batch due to ear infections, so you just never know. I was also concerned that my daughter somehow missed the out on the taste of breast milk, come to find that my son’s absolute favorite thing to drink is his cherry flavored amoxicillin- so there’s no accounting for taste either!
      It’s good to take time to grieve the loss of expectations and I hope that “giving up” on breastfeeding gives you a new opportunity to enjoy motherhood. You are giving your baby what is best for him and that is more noble than denying him the kind of nutrition he needs in order to meet a false ideal- and many people, myself included have made the latter mistake longer than we should have instead of making the decision you are making now. So, best of wishes for both mother and baby!

    • Mishimoo

      Congratulations on the new baby!
      The first few months are really hard work. You’ll get through this feeding hiccup and everything will be fine even though it might not seem like it right now. I find that taking sleepy, happy photos of my bubs helps me to reframe things a bit and find the positives. Taking some time, when you can, for yourself is also really important. I find that it helps me to be a better mother, which alleviates the “But I’m the mum, I should be there every second” guilt (which is unrealistic anyway). Sleep helps quite a bit too, so grab it when you can.

    • KarenJJ

      Congratulations on the baby! I felt like that with my first baby. Second time around I had grown some perspective and went in with more realistic expectations (and also a diagnosis of an underlying syndrome that likely caused the low supply to start with). I took great delight in doing what actually worked for US the second time around, not what was ‘ideal’, because ‘ideal’ didn’t seem to work very well the first time around. Breastfeeding the second time around was even more of a trial then the first time and I switched to formula very quickly and much more easily.

      • Antigonos CNM

        There really is only one method to survive taking care of a baby — have #3 first.

        By the time you’re a parent for the third time, you’ve thrown all the books away, and stopped listening to advice. You know what works for you and the baby, which is the only thing that matters.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Sending my support to you! You are making a good decision. Continuing to try to breastfeed my first when it was clear it was in nobody’s best interest is my biggest parenting regret. I missed out on all the joy and love of the first year because I was too rigid. My husband got to parent our baby, and I got to parent….the breast pump.

      ETA: then the second came along and breastfed totally normally and all went well. And yet still I never felt it was all that it was cracked up to be. That magical bonding and special love that only breastfeeding supposedly supplies? Nope, never felt that way. So I got that “healing do-over” and I was like –meh.

      • Aussiedoc

        I’m still pumping at the moment to wean slowly – I p,an to keep going for a few more weeks o avoid mastitis – which I’ve had and I do not want to repeat. And I keep having these mad thoughts of I could just keep going, because I’m such a GOOD pumper, and then he’ll keep getting breast milk.

        But as you say, what’s the point? I want to cuddle my baby. Formula is not poison. I’m sad, but I’ll survive,

    • Antigonos CNM

      Don’t cry! Pat yourself on the back for realizing that you need to change course — that takes a fair amount of intelligence, you know: to identify a problem and then “reset”!

      You gave BF your best shot, but Junior needs a different method. Both of you will benefit when he gives a satisfied burp after a bottle and snuggles up on your shoulder and goes to sleep — and when you see he’s putting on weight properly. You should be proud of yourself.

    • Sue

      Oh, Aussiedoc – I’m so sorry you feel that way. God also gave you a brain and heart that will nurture your child with far more effect and benefit than the type of milk they drink. Think about all your colleagues, teachers, peers – do you know which of them was BF?

      Sometimes I think the real difficulty with professional women becoming parents is that we are accustomed to being able to do whatever we turn our minds (and efforts) to – parenting doesn’t work that way, and it’s hard to get used to. Best wishes to you.

      • Aussiedoc

        Yes there’s a strong element of that. I’ve never failed at anything in my life, I wasn’t going to “fail” at this.

        I’m having to learn to reframe it – which I think is a lot of why needs to happen around birth and breastfeeding. There is no ‘fail’. We all, in the end, simply get through this the best we can for our kids.

        • amazonmom

          Hugs. I felt the same way 5 years ago with my daughter. “My profession is the care and feeding of neonates and I couldn’t manage breastfeeding” rang through my head. You are a wonderful parent and don’t forget that.

    • moto_librarian

      Aussiedoc, I have been where you are now, and it sucks. When my first son was born, I was adamant about breastfeeding him. The lactation consultant was not particularly helpful, baby was in the NICU for a couple of days due to TTTN, and my milk NEVER came in. At that time, H1N1 had just appeared, and I was stricken with fear that my son would get it unless he was able to breastfeed and get the antibodies from my shot. I was obsessed with it, and found myself in an endless cycle of pumping, putting baby to breast, and supplementing with formula. I couldn’t sleep, my anxiety was so bad. Finally, about 3 weeks in, my mother sat me down and told me that it didn’t matter how my baby was fed as long as he was eating. I gave up pumping and trying to nurse, and finally began to enjoy my son.

      I will also admit this. When our second son was born, I really didn’t want to try breastfeeding again, but I caved to social pressure and tried again. Once again, my milk never arrived. Unlike the first time, however, I found it far easier to give it up and switch him to formula. I am sorry that I allowed the peer pressure to breastfeed to push me into something that I really didn’t want to do.

  • Elizabeth A

    I have to agree with those who say that this post deserves more compassion then it’s getting here. You can pick an individual post, or an individual poster, apart with tweezers, and find plenty to criticize. In this case, yeah, she wants a do-over. She wants to see if she can make it go “right.” I agree, she needs therapy. And her initial expectations were massively unrealistic. But the feelings she’s having now aren’t uncommon. IMO, she needs to recognize that there are a lot of problems with pursuing this course of action, but it’s to be hoped that she’ll get there.

    She’s an individual, struggling with a difficult experience, and saying sometimes stupid things in an environment she hopes is safe. Trying on ideas on the internet is one of the more sensible things she could do with her current feelings about this.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Elizabeth – read more. This goes well beyond a single post. This woman is extreme in lots and lots of ways. It doesn’t take a tweezers to pick her apart. It’s in everything she says.

      • Elizabeth A

        Bofa, I have read more. I have read very nearly all the things available in this case. She’s a very attractive snark target.

        I’m not going to deny that she’s unreasonable – that would be pointless. But the feelings she’s having about birth? Not crazy. Writing about those feelings on MDC? Possibly actually productive in the long term.

        MDC can be like an acid-spiked shark tank, but there is a community there that serves a positive purpose for at least some users. I’m not going to suggest that, if left alone, YoginiMomma would one day emerge into light and sanity. Just maybe we shouldn’t be poking this for entertainment.

  • SkepticalGuest

    No doubt that this woman is a wing-nut. But I have to disagree with this statement: “Thank you, YoginiMomma, for illustrating the immaturity, self-absorption and selfishness of so many homebirth mothers!”

    The next line Amy writes seems to contradict this: “This is a bit much, even for the folks at Mothering.com. Although there are some supportive comments, most commentors appear to be as appalled as I am.”

    So which is it? Either “so many homebirth mothers” share this wing-nut’s sentiment or “most [of the pro-homebirth] commentors appear to be as appalled as [Amy] is.”

    Again, there aren’t words to describe how disgusting that woman’s reason for wanting another child is. But I sometimes think that Amy picks the craziest, most extreme, likely mentally ill posts and spins them as if they are typical of the majority of the homebirth movement.

    As the comment thread on Mothering.com demonstrates, this woman is an aberration even in an extremist community, and is likely seriously mentally ill.

    • Guestll

      “Healing vbac” as a search term on google pulls up 4,380 results and “healing home birth” pulls up 19,600. This woman’s desire to have another baby so that she can get the birth she wants is hardly an anomaly in NCB land.

      • SkepticalGuest

        Just because someone describes a home birth as “healing” doesn’t mean that their reason for having another baby was to have a home birth.

        • Guestll

          Fair enough, but there’s ample first-person accounts on the internet to suggest that this woman’s reason for wanting another child is hardly aberrant in the realm of NCB.

          • SkepticalGuest

            I have to wonder exactly how many of these women there are versus how many women have attempted a home birth. Though perhaps a better metric would be the percentage of woman who attempted a home birth but ended up a hospital birth and then subsequently listed their primary reason for a subsequent pregnancy as a desire for a “healing home birth.”

            Either way, I have no doubt this thinking exists, but it still seems to be at the fringe of the NCB community, especially among women who either had pre-existing mental health issues or had extreme PPD or post-partum PTSD.

            Honestly, I think that NCB is a magnet for all sorts of mental illness and crazy, so it’s no surprise some of these extreme ideas are out there.

    • AllieFoyle

      I don’t even know about seriously mentally ill. Seriously weird, yes, definitely, but even her weird beliefs are pretty par for the course if you live in a crunchy area. She got fed a bill of goods, was expecting something along the lines of orgasmic birth and ended up with standard vaginal birth hell and probably some future reconstructive surgery. No wonder she’s upset and having trouble processing things.

      The reason the Mothering crowd isn’t supportive is that they feel she ought to be grateful she didn’t end up with the fate-worse-than-death, a cesarean, not because she’s particularly extreme.

  • Elle

    Great post! This hits the nail on the head…

  • almostfearless

    When did the NCB movement go wrong? Does anyone know? I had my first child in 2010, so I don’t know what it was like before, but even before BOBB there was a lot of woo out there. Was it a push back from the 1970s era? I mean hospital birth has changed a lot in the last 60 years, was that because of activists or doctors?

    • Guestll

      Practices changed along with evidence – for example, routine episiotomies. My mother was an L+D nurse here in Canada, beginning in 1963. The standard back then often included an enema, epidural, episiotomy, coached pushing, restricted patient movement. Forceps were not uncommon, sections less safe and less common. She had three children in the 60s, all of them unmedicated, all with enemas (her request), no episiotomies. She delivered my sister crouching on the floor. All of that was available to her, but few women requested it — particularly the lack of epidural. In 1971, when I was born, her hospital started offering partners the opportunity to be present at the birth. Episiotomies were less common, enemas were no longer routinely given, and more women were requesting unmedicated deliveries (though they were and still are in the minority).

      • MaineJen

        Whoa whoa whoa. They had epidurals back then??? I was not aware of that. I imagine there were more risks involved in getting one back then, and more complications happened; is that why they fell out of favor? It seems like I NEVER heard of an epidural being used until the 1990s at least.

        • Medwife

          My grandmother had a spinal with her last child, in the early sixties.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’ve talked to Irish women who swear that their best deliveries were when they had pudendal blocks…and these ladies know, because they had 8 or 9 babies with every time of birth experience you can imagine.

            Pudendal blocks went out of fashion because while you can walk around, you also can’t feel the baby crowning. Too many babies landing on their heads after being born while their mothers were walking the halls. Or at least that is the story I heard as a trainee.

        • Guestll

          According to my Mum, epidurals were starting to replace spinals in the 60s at her hospital (major teaching facilit) and the reason epidurals fell out of favour had more to do with ideology and less to do with safety. The thing is though, epidurals have never really fallen out of favour over here — the majority of women in my province still request and receive epidural anesthesia.

      • AllieFoyle

        I actually think episiotomies get a bad rap. If you’ve never had a baby (or even if you have) it’s horrible to contemplate, but then, so is any substantial tearing, which, despite being not much discussed, is very common.

        • Medwife

          Episiotomies are more likely to result in a 3rd or 4th degree laceration and are linked to future pelvic floor disorders. That said, when they need to be done (baby crashing on the perineum, etc), they need to be done! It’s certainly not the worst thing that can happen during birth.

          • AllieFoyle

            I’ve read some of the research (there’s not an overwhelming amount of it, unsurprisingly). There’s a lot of correlation vs. causation involved, and I think it may be the case that you trade some risk of having an episiotomy extend for other damage that isn’t as well quantified. Also, each situation is different. Episiotomy may be slightly less good in general, but it can still be the best choice in individual cases.

          • Anne

            Midline episiotomies increase OASI ( obstetric anal sphincter injury) rates. Correctly cut medio-lateral (ML) episiotomies reduce the incidence.
            Problem is, now that all episiotomy is incorrectly considered useless for this indication, maternity clinicians have become deskilled in correct ML episiotomy procedure, and accidentally cut more midline ones for the few that they perform. Several studies have reviewed the angle of the incision and provider skill level, confirming this anecdotal impression.
            Retraining on artificial models is worth considering for any maternity clinician to be able to protect their client’s anal sphincter, which is vital for reducing harm from vaginal birth.
            Ref Andrews et al 2005 BJOG; Eogan M et al 2006 BJOG

          • realityycheque

            “Episiotomies are more likely to result in a 3rd or 4th degree laceration and are linked to future pelvic floor disorders.”

            Is it possible that this is a case of correlation=/= causation? That bigger babies, abnormal positioning or other complications may lead to an episiotomy being needed, and that the complications that led to the episiotomy in the first place were actually what led to (or at least significantly contributed to) the severity of tearing/pelvic floor issues?

            For example, I would imagine that a larger baby may be more likely to cause tearing, particularly if it was positioned poorly. If the mother is having a challenging 2nd stage and straining as a result, that could surely increase the risk of pelvic floor problems. If the baby was larger/malpositioned and caused a more difficult 2nd stage, they may also be more likely to cause a tear on the way out – episiotomy or not?

          • Medwife

            They frequently are done for instrument births, and operative deliveries also increase the risk for 3/4th deg lacs, so those two are really hard to tease out.

  • AllieFoyle

    This will be unpopular, but I do feel she deserves more compassion than ridicule. After reading the thread in question, it sounds more as though she originally planned to have another child and had decided not to after childbirth turned out to be a traumatic experience for which she was unprepared. She sounds genuinely distressed, and that’s just sad and unfortunate to me, regardless of what stupid things she may have believed or espoused before the fact.

    Were her unrealistic expectations about natural birth and hostility toward medical practices somewhat to blame? Yes, absolutely. Does she believe some rather stupid things? Oh, God, yes.

    But still, she’s a human being and her response is quite clearly that of someone dealing with emotional and physical trauma. Do her stupid ideologies make her more deserving of suffering and ridicule somehow? I hope we haven’t sunk to that point. She believed foolish things and has had a nasty reality check. I notice she isn’t getting that much support on MDC–I guess because she got a vaginal birth and not the dreaded c-section–which I think is interesting and a bit sad, actually.

    • Mel

      I felt like that until I read her previous posts on mothering.com and her posts since her birth. I feel some compassion towards her since she clearly cannot take responsibility for her own action/reactions. My compassion, though, will not help her much. Everything is someone else’s fault.

      The OB delivered her baby wrong. She needs 4-5 years to decide about vaccination since there is too much information out there. Her midwife is sure that the poster’s body has been mangled from the botched delivery – but the poster won’t see a different OB/GYN to check on her retained placenta/ determine what needs to be done.. She wants to sue, but can’t because of the “law” ( Although, if her body is as damaged as she thinks it it she might have a case. That would require seeing a doctor, though) Her husband is a brute since he wants to have sex with her. (I do wonder if he knows she’s passing chunks of stuff. I think that would turn my husband off.)

      • Dr Kitty

        I think she might be one of those people who tells the internet everything, and tells the real people in her life nothing.

        Because ” honey, I’ve just had a baby, my libido is in the toilet, along with the clots I’m still passing, and I’m knackered from breast feeding and lack of sleep…I think you’re going to have to come to terms with no sexy time for a little while” is obviously too hard to actually say.

        • Elizabeth A

          IRL, she’s supposed to be mysterious and carefree. Free-spirited. An indomitable force of nature, tugging everyone in her orbit towards a more spontaneous and loving existence. How are you supposed to keep up that front while passing bloody clots and having afterpains?

          Pity the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. It’s an exhausting life.
          :P

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    She has set herself up for all of her “disappointment.” She was posting on another board castigating people for saying that an orgasmic birth was unlikely.

    http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f1918-october-2013-playroom/2642537-they-serious.html#ixzz2nkunY6fR

    “yet another reason I’m considering switching over to the mothering boards…. I’m way more granola than you guys and I think you think half the stuff I say is nuts…. I don’t really care.. but honestly there is a lot of truth to everything that you think is conspiracy or a hoax.
    I’ve worked in healthcare/holistic wellness for the last 6 years and researched, as well as worked alongside doctors (western and eastern) and there is an undeniable correlation between vaccinations and all sorts of physical ailments including AIDS, lyme disease and autism.

    In addition…. WHY on earth would creator make childbirth MISERABLE? Why is it that so many women have issues around sex and even accepting that they are sexual creatures and reaching orgasm in the first place? I haven’t given birth YET, but I have watched the orgasmic birth documentary and I think it IS possible. Think about it, whenever you’re in pain, or discomfort- take for example being REALLY REALLY cold, does it feel better to tense up and try to make it go away to no avail, or to just relax into it ? Not to mention that our brains have cannabinoid receptors that we are born with and they become active and our bodies release natural pain relief during natural childbirth, and natural childbirth only. You’re not going to feel as much (if any) of the chemicals that you’re supposed to feel during labor if you’re in a hospital doped up….. especially oxytocin.. the bonding hormone.

    but don’t get me started… i’m a homebirth/doula/aspiring midwife so everything I say is RIGHT as I Know it

    Read more: http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f1918-october-2013-playroom/2642537-they-serious.html#ixzz2pMB5Cb00

    • Trixie

      There is truth to every conspiracy theory out there? Well, if that’s your take, even MDC is probably too mainstream, and you belong on whale dot to.

    • Guestll

      This woman is a privileged, ignorant moron. Her narcissism is exquisite. I’ve just spent the better part of a half hour I’ll never get back reading her bullshit.
      Also, *Jesse Pinkman voice* Yeah, science!

      • Siri

        She calls her obstetrician a ‘butch wench masochist’ (sic); clearly this woman is a real charmer. She also refers to the ‘heartless’ nurse who ‘stabbed’ her daughter to do the heel prick test. Oh, those heartless butch masochist health professionals! A nice, natural case of PKU is so much more desirable…

        • AllieFoyle

          Did you read the reply by gratefulmom2?

          “Wow…this must have been so, so terrifying. Thankfully, my kids just had a little prick or two, and the whole thing was done in less than 3 seconds. But yes, my baby being stabbed over and over again would surely make me furious!!! And your poor hubby- intimidated by that heartless nurse while you slept. I hope he doesn’t feel guilty for allowing that to happen.”

          A++ sarcasm there.

          • thankfulmom

            Yep, she didn’t even need to add “Well bless your heart.”

        • Mishimoo

          And no Vitamin K after a rough delivery? I know it’s not a magic bullet, but it’s still better than nothing. I was back home ‘early’, thanks to the system that we have here, but if the doctor or nurses had suggested I stay, I’d have done so even though I really hate hospitals.

        • amazonmom

          What a bitch. I’ve lost any sympathy I had for the mom.

    • Zornorph

      Wow, she’s really out to lunch. I feel for her poor child. I wonder what she thinks now that she didn’t have her orgasmic birth – bet she’ll not be so quick to lecture other people about it.

    • Guestll

      Before Birth: Birth CAN be orgasmic, cannbinoid receptors, oxytocin, why on earth would creator make childbirth MISERABLE?

      After Birth: Birth is painful, labour was nothing like I imagined, misery and disappointment. http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1394363/my-disappointing-traumatic-homebirth-turned-hospital-transfer

      • Zornorph

        Clearly, the Creator just wanted to make HER birth miserable. Can you blame Him?

        • Guestll

          Evidently, Creator ™ also hates me and many other women I know. :)

          • Mishimoo

            Hates me too!
            She listed a mix of my last two deliveries, except I had planned hospital births with vitamin K shots +Hep B vax, and luckily no placenta scooping. After reading that, I finally understand the CNMs were surprised by me calling them “positive experiences”. I have healthy kids, that is a higher priority than my comfort.

          • Siri

            Blame it on Eve…

      • Zornorph

        Wow – just read that whole post and she sounds like a really hateful person. I like how she called the Dr. ‘butch’ as well – real classy. Just reading that made me want to hunt her down and slap her.

        • LibrarianSarah

          I keep wavering on whether that comment was misogynistic (because of course a woman who decided to get an education and have a professional career must be a lesbian) or homophobic (because ewww big mean lesbians). Then I realized that it is both. So much for hippies being tolerant and understanding.

          • Zornorph

            I felt that her thinking the Dr. was ‘butch’ just made it that much worse for her hand to be up her vajayjay yanking out the placenta and feeling her cervix (rather than the ‘gentle’ midwife). Overall, my impression is that she’s just a really unkind person.

          • Mishimoo

            Don’t forget ‘masochist’! Here I was thinking that someone who enjoys inflicting pain is a sadist, obviously I was wrong.

          • toni

            She says she was stitched up without anaesthesia. I feel bad for her. sounds like a really rough delivery even for someone not expecting sparkles and adoration. Retained placenta sounds absolutely grim!

          • Karen in SC

            I had manual removal of some retained placenta (with no epidural) and then a few stitches with no painkillers. Breathed through the whole ordeal, didn’t take long, Big whoop! By that I mean really no big deal.

          • toni

            Hm well my labour and delivery was a breeze and I didn’t need an epidural but I don’t expect everyone to have the same experience. They reached into your uterus and scraped the placenta off the walls and it didn’t bother you? That must be unusual, it sounds horrible. I guess it depends on how stubborn the tissue is..

          • Siri

            Not into the uterus; that would be done in theatres, with anaesthesia. Bits of placenta may be left in the vagina, or near the cervix, and that can sometimes be removed in the delivery room. So the placenta has detached, but hasn’t come out in one piece; speed is of the essence, because there might be a lot of blood behind the tissue, ie an occult haemorrhage.

          • Medwife

            While that’s technically manually removing the placenta, I’m not familiar with the term being applied that way. In the US (I’m guessing from how you spell “hemorrhage” you’re not there!), manual removal of the placenta means hand in the uterus, scraping out placenta. Which yes, definitely should take place under general or a good strong epidural, but if a woman is having a massive hemorrhage, that’s unfortunately not always possible. That is the stuff PTSD is made of.

          • Karen in SC

            Interesting. I never knew I was bleeding out :). This was 17 years ago so it could be protocols have changed. We’d have to ask some OBs here how they proceed with retained placenta after an unmedicated birth.

          • Siri

            I should very much hope you weren’t!! :-)

          • Siri

            The mother describes a phone conversation with her OB, who reassures her that it was not ‘hand in uterus’ just ‘hand in vagina’. So technically not a manual removal, as you say. I’m sure it still didn’t feel very nice! I still have flashbacks to my forceps delivery 23 years ago, and my placenta came out in one piece. Being checked for lacerations, though, that’s not nice either…

          • Medwife

            Not nice at all. The last thing you want right then is to have someone spelunking into your vagina right then. Better immediately than to be in an OR 6 months down the road, though.

          • toni

            I’ve definitely seen them scrape out retained placenta from the uterus not in theatre on A Baby Story (or similar). The woman even had an epidural and was squirming in pain so I’m surprised Karen thought it was no big deal without an epi. That can’t be typical.

          • Karen in SC

            Maybe it wasn’t typical but it definitely was the OB’s hand into my uterus, at least partially. I felt it pretty deep. I had been informed that this was a possibility when declining an epidural, and just rolled with it. Immediately after the intensity of contractions, I didn’t find it traumatically painful, and I did feel a lot of agonizing labor pain each time I gave birth. I don’t understand someone with an epidural feeling anything but I never had that experience.

          • Siri

            Normal practice is to place a spinal or top up the epidural prior to a manual removal, provided there is time, ie the woman isn’t bleeding out. I’m glad you coped with it so well! Had I been your midwife, it would have been my duty to speak up to prevent malpractice if I wanted to keep my registration. ..

          • Siri

            I have only heard of one case where a doctor performed a manual removal in the delivery room, on an unanaesthetised woman, and that was deemed malpractice. Even the midwife, who was just standing there, only got let off the hook because she shouted (and the patient remembered her shouting), ‘Stop it, stop it, what are you doing?!!’.

      • Elizabeth A

        Yeah, here’s where I do get snarky. Check out the pic at the top of that post – the “What I wanted/What I got” thing. “What I got” is a clearly exhausted woman after a hospital birth. Hardly any of the mother’s face visible, healthy newborn in a standard-issue hospital blanket and hat. “What I wanted” – ecstatic mother, draped with awesome hippy jewelry, amaryllis in full bloom, hot tub. AND THE BABY IS PURPLE.

        I will happily sacrifice the floral arrangements and the fashionable accessories for good apgars.

        • toni

          I think that’s a picture of herself. So she didn’t use some other woman’s photo to illustrate her point her or anything.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Think about it, whenever you’re in pain, or discomfort- take for example being REALLY REALLY cold, does it feel better to tense up and try to make it go away to no avail, or to just relax into it ?

      Bizarre example since if you’re cold tensing up, pulling your body into as small a space as possible, and shivering do help.

      • Mel

        It also makes me wonder if she’s ever been really cold. We’ve got a blast of 0 degrees F weather in Michigan right now. I slipped while getting water for the chickens and dumped 4 gallons of cold water on myself in the middle of the driveway. Every muscle in my legs tightened up. My hands felt burned from the water, snow and wind combination. I sure as hell didn’t relax into it. I scrambled into my car, stripped the wet clothes off, changed into dry clothes and got thoroughly warm before trying again.

        • Guestll

          Yes, I had to snicker at that. It’s -21 here without the windchill. As TCAMN pointed out, there’s a purpose to tensing up.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I just got back from winter camping in Minnesota, including sleeping out in -30F weather. Relaxing into it was not on the agenda. Moving around a lot before getting into the (-60 rated) sleeping bags, wearing a lot of clothes, and eating things that would probably kill me from the sheer cholesterol alone in other circumstances were, but not relaxing into it.

          • Guestll

            I’m not being snarky, I’m really curious — why do you enjoy this? Because as a Canadian, my idea of a good time in the winter is the fireplace, flannel pajamas, a good book, a German Shepherd lying on my feet, and, well, avoiding the cold.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Sleeping out? Without a snow shelter or even a tent?! You are hard core! You are nuts!

        • AllieFoyle

          But you didn’t even try relaxing into it!

          • Birthbuddy

            Just chill.

        • Young CC Prof

          Yeah, no. Relaxing into the cold is called DEATH. Moving around and fighting it is hard at first, but it really does help.

      • Box of Salt

        “REALLY REALLY cold . . . just relax into it ?”

        Isn’t that how Jack London described freezing to death in “To Build a Fire”?

        • Zornorph

          That guy deserved to freeze to death for attempted dog murder.

    • Antigonos CNM

      I feel like compiling a little list of words or phrases which make me cringe, and not just relating to birth. “Power outage” is one–whatever happened to power failure, which was perfectly adequate and comprehensible? “Birth” as a transitive verb gets me. And so does “wellness”. What’s wrong with “health” and “healthy?” Grrrrr…..

      • Zornorph

        I agree with you on ‘wellness’. And when did ‘checkups’ at the Doctor become ‘well visits’? To me a ‘well visit’ is if you go to drop coins in a wishing well.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        Hey now, do I still get to say “power surge” instead of hot flash!? I liked that one.

      • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

        I sometimes use birth as a transitive verb and I very recently realized how obnoxious I must sound. It is a remnant of my vocabulary from my days as an NCB nut. The only excuse for that kind of language is being a Mennonite or a character from “Gone With the Wind”, and as I am neither, I apologize.

    • MaineJen

      “I haven’t given birth YET, but I have watched the orgasmic birth documentary…”

      AHAHAHHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *gasp* AAAAHAHAHAHA

      Good one.

      • Zornorph

        I haven’t had sex YET, but I have watched ‘Debbie Does Dallas’…

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Still, I’m going to have to class “Because God told me to have as many children as possible, even though pregnancy is clearly making my wife sick and she is talking about needing to make sure the children never risk growing up, sinning, and going to hell” as an even worse reason for having more children. In short, Andrea Yates’ husband was even worse in his reasoning than this woman.

  • Carolyn the Red

    I had a crappy birth experience, painful unproductive labour, long induction and dislodged epidural, eventually a c-section under general. My first response to that was “Maybe we’ll only have one”. Am I wrong in thinking that’s more typical?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      FWIW, I only have one. While “birth experience” wasn’t the only reason for that, a nasty, unremittingly painful labor did factor into the decision.

      • Haelmoon

        We thought long and hard about having number 2. My first was hyperemesis for 32 weeks, and it only stopped because of preterm labour and a cord prolapse!! Then my daughter had NEC, which probably the worse part. Then breastfeeding failed due to transient hyperthyroidism. We waited three years before even considering number.
        The next delivery wasn’t any better. Chronic abruptions, PPROM at 32 weeks, than chorio and a delivery while septic (not sure i really remember much more than the silence when her was delivered – very poor APGARS and a big episitomy – to get him out faster. The tracing was ulgy.) He was septic and then we discovered a problem with his head that lead to significant neurosurgery. That was tramatic – I quickly abdandoned my plans for a large family.
        Therefore, number three was a complete surprise – an no less traumatic – vaginal breech at 29 weeks, in the hall (on route to an emergency c-section).
        I am thankful that all of my kids are well now. I didn’t like any of my pregnancies, and never want to be pregnant again.
        However, i have some sympathy, occassionally, it crosses my mind that maybe it could be better. Then I look a my children, and wonder why i would risk anything at all. I want to be a mother, not a baby machine (although ironically, i am a professional “baby catcher”).

        • Dr Kitty

          Healmoon…I think you’re proof of the adage that OBs and their wives tend to have the most complicated pregnancies…

          Of all the doctors I know, very few had uncomplicated SVDs. APH, PPH, crash sections, chorio, preterm labour, pre-eclampsia, IUGR…you name it, they got it.

          Of course, the one who ended up with the precipitous labour and all natural birth minutes after arriving on the delivery suite was the surgeon who had planned to have an elective CS at 39 weeks…

          • Aussiedoc

            Ha. I was apparently screaming at my own OB that I was supposed to be going for an emergency LSCS, because doctors don’t have uncomplicated NVDs. She’s still laughing at me.

          • Siri

            Haha, I can just imagine the scenario! I once knew an OB who had outlet forceps in theatres under GA – she was booked for elLSCS, came in contracting mildly, and was found to be fully dilated with baby at a low station. Refused to even contemplate pushing, too late for c/s or spinal, hence they did what they had to do! This was in Scandinavia.

    • Antigonos CNM

      My daughter had a really miserable first trimester with her first baby. She’s having a really miserable first trimester with her second. Right now she is exclaiming “This will definitely be the last time I do this!” I remind her that she said the same thing last time, too — yet within in year of my granddaughter’s birth they began trying for #2.

      Time does do amazing things.

    • me

      I felt that way after my first – lengthy induction, failed epidural, episiotomy that extended to do serious damage that took the better part of a year to recover from (that no one even bothered to tell me about until after the fact). It took quite a while to wrap my head around the idea of going through that again. But I wanted another child, and at least one sibling for my oldest more than i was scared of a repeat With my second I probably went too far the other way (tho I stopped short of out of hospital birth) and was pretty steeped in the woo, hoping it would save me from the issues with my first. Fortunately in many ways, my second was much, much easier – spontaneous labor, short time at the hospital (8 cm at admission), not so much as an IV, 1st degree natural tear that allowed me to be up walking around comfortably within a couple hours with no residual pain after just a couple weeks, etc. Unfortunately it skewed my perceptions – I attributed (IMO) too much of my easier second delivery to the woo, and not to the simple fact that I wasn’t a primip any more. Fortunately, and this blog is part of what helped, I started to see that I was just luckier the second time, not that I had done anything “special” or “magical”. With my third, while I still waited for spontaneous labor, and still had a CNM, I did allow a heplock, I did allow pit for 3rd stage, and while the epidural never got placed (long story) I had a much better attitude about the use of meds in labor.

      Anyway, long way of saying, yes, it is more typical to say ‘never again’ after a bad experience. OTOH, it is all too easy to blame the bad experience on things that had little or nothing to do with it and decide that it’s okay to try again, so long as you do certain things differently (don’t get me wrong, I’m still pissed I got cut without consent, especially given how severe it ended up being, but I can separate that from the induction and the epidural now and see that that particular doc likely woud have done the same thing even if I hadn’t been induced or epiduralized (is epiduralized a word? lol)). But having a baby is never a ‘mulligan’. That new little one will be his/her own person, and every labor and delivery is unique. If the ‘mulligan’ baby’s delivery is just as bad (or worse) are you (universal you here) going to be disappointed in him? If little mulligan’s delivery is picture perfect, are you going to favor him? Either way, it strikes me as a pretty crappy situation to bring a baby into.

      • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

        My first birth was an anticipated “natural birth” turned barbaric mid-forceps delivery with complications and some degree of permanent injury, and a beautiful, healthy baby. It took four years to make the decision to have another child and I will admit I hoped in some sense for a “healing birth” because I would have liked to have had more children. I prayed for an “easy” birth. The second birth was a barbaric mid-forceps delivery with complications and some degree of permanent injury, and another beautiful, healthy baby. It turned out to be a healing experience because it brought such an amazing sense of gratitude for the medical care that was available to save my babies’ lives as well as my own. Any residual guilt, sense of failure, or illusion about the realities of childbirth was lifted. Healing often comes in strange and unexpected ways- you cannot plan or define the path it will take, and you certainly can’t pin it on baby Mulligan.

    • Dr Kitty

      It was the 16 weeks of 24/7 nausea and vomiting that made me reluctant to consider another one. The elective CS was a walk in the park compared to vomiting four or five times a day and dry heaving for hours. Fun times.

    • Guestll

      Nah. I threw up for 20 weeks straight, went postdates, had a large OP baby, 2.5 hours of pushing, failed epidural. My age and crappy reproductive history play a bigger role in the fact that my daughter will be an only, but I’d be lying if I said that bad NVP and the evergreen memories of excruciating, unremitting pain haven’t played a role in that decision.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Good god. Did you read her birth story? She requested transfer to the hospital for pain control and then threatened to sue the OB for not snapping to her orders quickly enough. And she wants to be a homebirth midwife. So many potential disasters…

    • KarenJJ

      That sounds familiar. I’ve heard a story similar to that before.

  • Amy

    I’m already pitying the child whose existence is going to disappoint their privileged white yoga goddess mother in some way.

    • Mel

      I’m willing to bet the child already has. After all, mothers have an “all-giving, all-sacrificing role”. I read that jargon as “I am a martyr to my Neanderthal children”.

      • Amy M

        To be fair, she just had her first…that whole martyr thing will probably come crashing down soon enough, when she realizes, like most do, that it is impossible.

  • Mel

    Wow.

    This is a great example of signs that you need psychotherapy. I’m trying to imagine my therapist’s face if, after detailing a rough birthing experience, I blurted out that my best idea was to have another baby to heal myself.

    This brought up a surprising amount of emotion for me. I’ve never had a baby or a rough birthing experience. I did, however, have my best friend die in a car accident on the way to help decorate the hall on the day before my wedding. Her parents, to whom I am so grateful, told us that we should do the wedding the next day. The wedding was bittersweet. My friend had been close to my immediate family, folk art friends, and extended family and so we were united in both grief for my friend and joy that my husband and I were getting married.

    One of the least helpful remarks from a variety of people (usually friends of friends who heard about the wedding) was that my husband and I should have a “re-wedding”. You know, re-do the whole wedding so it would be a happier experience. This made me furious since I found the whole idea insulting. As a pragmatic person, the point of a wedding was to get legally married in accordance with our government and respective churches. We accomplished that quite well and had a chance to honor the memory of my best friend. I know that faking an additional wedding wouldn’t make me feel any better about losing Jess.

    • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

      Man, that sucks. Losing a bff like that hurts like a bitch. So does a wedding with tragedy riding shotgun. My deepest sympathies <3

      • Mel

        Thank you.

  • attitude devant

    Dr. Amy is showing admirable restraint here. This woman has a blog (predictably easy to find) that is one long string of narcissistic posturing, right down to the pouty selfies. But the kicker is that she presents herself as a ‘birth coach,’ whatever the heck that is. Yet another NCB advocate whose livelihood is riding on the outcome of her own births. Can’t question your ideology when doing so would be bad for business, right?

    I dunno. When I developed severe PIH and wound up with a long induction and a high-forceps rotation, I was just grateful that people who had the skill to care for me were available to me. And what I learned was that even people who eat right and exercise and have no medical problems can develop scary-ass complications while pregnant or laboring. A lesson I never forgot.

  • http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/ Shameon Betterbirth

    This is absolutely a common reaction to a traumatic event. Your mind tries to ‘fix’ the trauma however it can, and a common (though not constructive) way to do that is to try and do it over with a different result. Its one reason why domestic violence is a cycle instead of an isolated incident- people often replicate dysfunctional family situations and try hard to get a different outcome. Same thing with rape- a common reaction is promiscuity. Its not something a person consciously decides on, more of a compulsion, but the psychological purpose is obvious, to minimize the feelings of powerlessness that happened during the traumatic event. This woman needs compassion, not judgment. Her reaction isn’t indicative of a character flaw.

    • Guestll

      This woman needs to get her head out of her ass and realize that feelings she’s dealing with are the consequence of the stupid mistakes she and her midwives made, coupled with unrealistic, rigid expectations of how birth should proceed. She’s lucky that neither she nor her baby were not seriously injured or killed.

    • attitude devant

      To say that it’s ‘common’ (and frankly, I’d argue some of your examples with you) is not to say that it’s healthy or productive or to be encouraged. And compassion and criticism are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes people need people to talk straight to them, not just pat their hands. Alenushka’s comment in that thread was spot on.

    • stenvenywrites

      There is nothing in the world wrong with wanting a do-over; acting on those feelings, however, is another story, especially when it means creating another human being. I agree this woman needs therapy. And she needs to get off mdc and out among people for whom having a baby is a cause for celebration, not a need for healing.

    • Mel

      I find the way that she is trying to get people to help her rationalize it disturbing. It’s one thing to feel that you really wanted a homebirth; another thing to go through conceiving another child specifically to heal yourself. While I can see the connection to family dynamics and abuse, those are situations involving power structures external to the actor. In this case, the woman is acting out some emotional need- though an obsession with successful homebirth – then dragging in other agents including a yet-unconceived child – to satisfy her unmet emotional needs. She may well be working out previous trauma, but this is not a healthy way of doing it.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I find the way that she is trying to get people to help her rationalize it disturbing.

        I think Mel is referring to this part of her comment:

        I just want to have a nother baby so I can have a homebirth that I was supposed to have...I’m sure this is a common sentiment… right?

        • Mel

          In response to “He just wanted t to be born and healthy, he didn’t care how it happened and I was so disappointed in his birth not being my healing vbac that I grieved for him that he had a mother that was trying to use him for her own emotional needs right off the bat.”
          She comes back with “I definitely understand this, but I also think that as mothers we are already (most of us) feeling guilty and selfish for so many things because of the nature of our all-giving, all-sacrificing role that that’s a little unfair on you. I think that mother and baby work together on a spiritual and physical level both before conception, during pregnancy and at birth (and you’re really still connected VERY psychically while they are babies and beyond)…. so I don’t think it’s selfish or unrealistic to *want* to synergistically create a healing gentle homebirth experience for yourself AND your baby.”

          This strikes me as a dangerous line of reasoning since everything the mother wants must be in the best interest of the baby.

          I do, however, give her props for the jargon game. I’m pretty good at teacher jargon, but this blog entry has 10 jargon points in 2 sentences.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I also think that as mothers we are already (most of us) feeling guilty and selfish for so many things because of the nature of our all-giving, all-sacrificing role

            Then again, who is responsible for this expectation of it being an “all-giving, all-sacrificing” role? I’ll give her a hint: it’s not the formula feeding moms who are bring their kids to daycare.

            As I said in my comment above, it is folks like her who are setting up expectations improperly, and then considering it a “failure” if you don’t meet them.

          • Medwife

            All-giving, all-sacrificing? Whoops. I must have missed the memo. Brb off to hover over my reason-for-being!

      • Antigonos CNM

        This all reminds me of those parents who deliberately conceive a child in the hope he or she will be a bone marrow donor for an older ill child. There’s something ghoulish about it.

        • AmaryllisZ

          Something? It’s entirely ghoulish. It’s one thing to ask a sibling to donate bone marrow, but it should be their informed, *adult* decision, not something forced upon them by their parents. To create a child purely for the purposes of violating informed consent and bodily autonomy is disgusting, unethical and should be illegal.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      In addition to the others’ responses here, note also AD’s comment above. There is much more to this than a victim of a bad experience. This woman is one of those who sells (literally) this concept of the ideal birth. Thus, she is not under the delusion herself, but promotes it to others.

      I won’t accuse her of deliberately doing this to save her business, but the fact that she is in the business tells you that she is coming at this from a very improper perspective. That in itself is bad, but the fact that she advocates it for others is absolutely problematic.

      She is setting her “clients” up to “fail” just as she did.

    • hurricanewarningdc

      Sort of at Shameon. I had a traumatic birth experience and felt like something was lost (not due to staff or hospitals – all of which did a fabulous job – just by life itself). I still feel like that sometimes – that had i not had so difficult a birth…had we not had a baby in the nicu…had i not had a hard recovery from the delivery/surgery… had i not developed the ppd that probably still lingers… had the baby not screamed non-stop for the “fourth trimester”… then maybe my husband would have been more willing to have one more when that switch flipped in me a few months later. (4 yrs later, it’s still on) I know that it’s ridiculous, but somewhere inside, i feel that if I could only do it all over again, it would all be okay this time. But that’s a hypothetical. It’s not me reproducing to erase the past. it’s got nothing to do with powerlessness b/c it’s a baby and a birth – one can’t control those things. And it’s different than saying that I want to another child b/c I am owed some fantasy birth experience. For me, at least, it’s more about a lament over the chance to enjoy more of those early months with my husband and son. To lose the stress and strain that came with them… That had things been different, I might have had the second baby that I desperately want but won’t get due to my age. (And yes, we’ve looked into fostering and adopting, taken the classes, done the screening. It might happen someday, but not now.)

      • Rochester mama

        I think NCB and the baby and birth junkie types drive our warped view of having a newborn. It seems socially unacceptable for mothers to say early motherhood is anything but a blissfull love rush (unless you make it funny and follow it up with “I love my kids”) When the experience doesn’t live up to that, you feel let down or left out when other moms go on and on about how love filled they are blah blah blah.

        I know I felt like I was sold a bill of goods until my son was about three months old. It was awful and he didn’t even cry that much. I’m now torn between wanting another child in the family, but dreading the whole giving birth and having a newborn again. I had awful tearing that required surgical repair and took FOREVER to heal.

        • Mel

          Websites like this make me feel more normal. My DH and I are moving into the TTC category in the next couple of months. My biggest concern is staying sane postpartum. I always feel better in knowing that real moms don’t always enjoy their children especially when sleep deprivation is bad. There’s a great clip from Malcolm in the Middle where the mom/wife named Lois admits that she doesn’t like her youngest baby who cries constantly. Her husband Hal is shocked at first….because Lois doesn’t remember how much she disliked each of their children when they were newborns. Hal reminds her that she’s an awesome mom and will eventually like the baby once it becomes less of a hassle. (I’m looking for a You-Tube clip because I’m not doing it justice.)

          • Amy M

            Yes. I knew going in that not all women fell instantly in love with their babies, so I didn’t feel too badly when that overwhelming love feeling took some time to develop with my children. But when I look back on my boys’ baby hood, I don’t have a ton of happy memories. Much of it was a blur, overshadowed by sleep deprivation that led to PPD and a strained marriage. (Things are well now on all counts.) I didn’t want to be “just another infertile, ending up with twins after IVF (tho in a freaky way, ID, not fraternal), exhausted, and depressed.”

            It is such a cliche and I fell right into it. I regret that I didn’t enjoy their babyhood, I really wanted to. I wanted to be the one who loved having twin infants, was truly happy, handled the sleep dep ok, didn’t get depressed, welcomed the challenge and didn’t end up with marital problems. Wrong, wrong, wrong on all counts.

            The answer, however, was not to have more children. I got help—my relationships with my husband and sons are better than ever now, and I am not depressed anymore. I still wish I’d enjoyed their infancy, but it’s past and done and there’s nothing I can do about that, so I look forward. I love that my boys become more interactive by the day and are learning to read now, so we can do more and more together.

          • Antigonos CNM

            Actually, you DO get a second chance–wait until you are a grandma. I was skeptical of all the “grandchildren are total delight” stuff I heard until I had my own. You know how to take care of them; you have confidence in yourself — and they go home to their parents when they become fussbudgets. My children’s early years also went by in a blur for me, and now every time my granddaughter is with me [at least several times a week, and nearly the whole month of August when her nursery was on vacation] it’s a really wonderful time. Yesterday she “taught” me how to make pancakes [she's 2 and a half].

          • Amy M

            Thanks! Mine are only 5, so that’s a ways off, but something to look forward to. I do hope at least one of them decides to have children (with a longterm partner, not by knocking up a high school girlfriend).

          • Siri

            You chose the grown-up version. That woman who blogged (complete with full names, close-up photos etc) about loving her son ‘a little bit more’ than her daughter? She’s had TWO more babies to try to fix whatever is wrong with her relationship with her two eldest children. No doubt there’ll be more in due course.

          • Box of Salt

            Kate Tietje on Babble, back in 2011. Even after she re-wrote parts of the piece, it’s still one of the most offensive things I’ve ever read about parenting. I am not surprised the woman has unresolved issues.

          • Siri

            And her responses to the very reasonable, well-intentioned commenters! Unbelievable! I had to pace myself while reading the comments, as I could feel my blood pressure rising to dangerous levels.

          • Box of Salt

            It aggravated me so much I actually wrote out a rather long response to it. I never posted it anywhere though.

            I will say thinking things through and putting it in words did help me find more clarity about the relationships I have with my own two children. I suppose I owe her thanks for that.

          • staceyjw

            I know what clip you mean, I have watched every episode like 100x. After having kids, its even funnier, probably because we are that family….

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          My older sister says if her fourth kid had been born third there probably wouldn’t have been a fourth kid. Her third baby was one of those easy bubbly babies that rarely cries and will go to anyone. Very mellow baby. When she got preganant with her 4th she sorta expected the same experience(yeah, unrealistic I know) Her fourth (and last) child screamed for the first three months of his life. She was breastfeeding and tried cutting out milk, wheat and anything else that might be causing it, but nothing helped except swaddling him and running the dryer or vacuum cleaner (sometimes). His doctor never found a reason but my nephew gradually got better as he got older…

          • hurricanewarningdc

            Embrace, there’s a great book – even better dvd – called Happiest Baby on the Block. That explained why our son was screaming constantly, let us understand that we weren’t bad parents, and included those “S” techniques such as the swaddling and “shushing.” (In our case, it was a hairdryer; I even carried one in our diaper bag!?!) As the book describes, it’s basically a stage, a 4th trimester, and babies will grow out of it around the 4th month. That’s exactly what happened for us. He’s a kid who’s almost never had a meltdown and practically skipped the terrible twos; I tell myself that it’s b/c we paid our dues up front. :)

          • Trixie

            Am I the only one whose babies only started to freak out IF they were swaddled? Especially my first, man did he hate that, from the very first day. He was happier having free use of his arms and legs!

          • Guestll

            My daughter hated swaddling. Apparently two out of four of my mother’s babies hated it as well.

          • Trixie

            I am suspicious of any system that claims to know how to make EVERY baby happy, although I’m willing to believe HBOTB makes a lot of them happy. They suspected he had a seizure his second night because his arms were tensing up and he was jerking all over the place — nope, perfectly healthy, just wanted to be free of the swaddle. What made mine happy was the ceiling fan.

          • Guestll

            The discharge nurse who inspected my daughter said, “She’s very alert. Good luck with that.” Prophetic. ;)

          • thankfulmom

            What an experienced nurse. : )

          • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

            It isn’t just you. My boy blew the nurse away by escaping the swaddle every time. He refused cosleeping too

          • Trixie

            Same here.

          • KarenJJ

            We did a way of wrapping that loosely let my baby move her hands and alsolet her keep her hands smushed up near her face. She hated not having access to her hands. When I looked over her ultrasound photos it sort of made sense because in the last two pictures (20 and 34 weeks) her hands were squished up by her face.

          • Kaziah

            I was that baby. I screamed constantly as an infant and was super fussy. My mom didn’t have any more after me. I wonder why…

            To be fair, I was a a “delightful” toddler and child. Once I became semi-mobile, my attitude towards life improved immensely.

        • Siri

          I know – I keep reading about new mothers who claim to be in a ‘pink bubble’ with their newborn, and I think, what f@#$ ing pink bubble?! Where were my pink bubbles?! I love my children, and I would have killed to protect my newborns, but every time I gave birth, I had moments of thinking I’d ruined my life. Every.single.time. Five times.

        • Jennifer2

          You and me both, sister. If someone would just hand me an older infant (4 or 5 months would be peachy) that would be perfect. Some people really dig the newborn phase, but I am not one of them. On the other hand, I am thoroughly enjoying the toddler/preschooler years.

    • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

      Agree, compassion is good. She also needs help seeing her own disordered thinking.

    • AllieFoyle

      You can have compassion for the person and try to understand her experience and perspective while also rejecting erroneous or harmful beliefs. I have a lot of compassion for this woman, but I think her strange beliefs about childbirth and, well, anything medical or scientific are just wrong and are almost certainly contributing to her distress.

      She’s really doing some weird magical thinking now about how home birth would have ended with different sequelae than the hospital birth. Her beliefs are so firmly entrenched that she can’t grasp that vaginal tearing, bleeding, and afterpains are normal, no matter where you give birth. Not to mention the laughable idea that a homebirth midwife would have done a better repair. As if!

  • Guestll

    My baby was supposed to arrive via homebirth, right up until the day she was born. I had everything planned, purchased, set up, ready to go. She was induced via ARM and delivered in a hospital by RMs.
    When my primary RM saw us for the first time, at a home visit about a week after the birth, the very first thing she said to me when I opened the door to her was this: “I’m so sorry you didn’t get your homebirth! Maybe next time.”
    And the first thing I thought as I stood there holding my healthy newborn was, “Oh God, you’re an idiot!”

    • Thankfulmom

      What kept you from falling into the woo Guestll?

      • Guestll

        I did fall into the woo. I refused post-dates induction, hoping to have a homebirth. The senior RM at my clinic played the dead baby card. So did the tech who did my last BPP. Also, I saw my daughter clearly that day — her little face in profile. She was trying to breathe. I can’t explain it very well, but she became a full person to me in that moment, albeit one who was having difficulty getting out (I had been at 5 cms, 100% effaced for several days, but she was OP and I have a narrow pelvis.)

    • araikwao

      I’ve said this before, I abhor the NCB language, “get your homebirth/VBAC”, as though the desired mode of delivery is some sort of entitlement belonging solely to the woman that must be jealously guarded in case it is stolen by a marauding medwife/doctor, or even perhaps, that inconsiderate baby?

  • Are you nuts

    My goodness!! You want an experience? Run a marathon or climb Mt. Everest. You want a baby? Have a baby. Please, PLEASE don’t have a baby for the birth experience.

    • theadequatemother

      We should invent a device that starts out tiny in the uterus and grows into a perfectly positioned 6 pound baby shaped thing with a 40th percentile head that is highly mouldable and some way of triggering labour. Then women can have their perfect experience without dragging in innocent fetuses.

      • Karen in SC

        Intriguing. Might it somehow supply an orgasm as well? haha

      • Are you nuts

        Sad thing is, that would probably be a HUGE hit!!! Tub births for all!

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    I grieved for him that he had a mother that was trying to use him for her own emotional needs right off the bat.

    Why is this person still reading MDC? She seems too astute…

    • attitude devant

      I have the strong suspicion, Bofa, that some people hang out on MDC to try and offer a more balanced view than ordinarily exists there.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        How do they keep their sanity?

        • Elizabeth A

          It can’t be your only reading, mostly.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Actually, I would think it would HAVE to be the only thing you read, or you would lose your mind.

            I mean, by comparison to MDC, the folks in the Alabama football fan discussion groups sound sane. I would think the only way you could stomach it is if you thought that this was what it was like everywhere.

          • Elizabeth A

            If I thought that everywhere was like MDC, I *would* lose my mind. I have reasons for reading and arguing there, just as I have reasons for reading and arguing here.