A fine Cesarean whine

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I guess this woman didn’t get the message that I have declared April to be Cesarean Appreciation Month.

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This will ruffle feathers, it’s okay. I do not get celebrating c-sections. I’ve had two. They were awful. Neither of my children’s births were beautiful. They were horribly traumatic for them, and for me. I’m a full on attachment parenting, unschooling mom. You cannot be these things without celebrating your children everyday of their lives, and offering gratitude for them nearly every moment of everyday. Celebrating their assault while entering this world? Never.

Note: I am referring to the act of celebrating c-sections in general, not a particular one or ones.

She doesn’t appreciate her C-sections, does she?

I left a comment:

“Disappointed in your C-sections? Blame the industry that set you up for disappointment, the natural childbirth industry. That’s the industry that encourage women to value process over outcome.

In the chapter The Dialectics of Disruption: Paradoxes of Nature and Professionalism in Contemporary American Childbearing, anthropologists Caroline Bledsoe and Rachel Scherrer examine why meaning-making is so important within the culture of natural childbirth advocacy.

Their description of the current situation:

‘… Birthing is depicted culturally as an individual achievement, one in which a woman should be in control of her actions. For this, women attempt to present themselves as professionals, medical as well as legal: as close as they can come to being equals with their medical peer doctors, informed and trained to evaluate their qualifications.’

Bledsoe and Scherrer recognize that meanings and meaning-making are luxuries of a society in which childbirth is so safe that women have forgotten that in reality it is inherently dangerous:

‘… As childbearing became safer and more benign visions of nature arose, undesired outcomes of birth for women came to consist of a bad experience and psychological damage from missed bonding opportunities. Today, with safety taken for granted, the new goal has become in some sense the process itself: the experience of childbirth…’

Their critical insight:

‘… But with *control* being such a crucial issue in cultural ideals of childbearing, the greater the expectations that a scripted birth plan creates, the greater the surety that the woman will fall short of her ideal. Some elements will go wrong, and with them the hope of remaining the equal of the professionals who deals with her birth. This relegates obstetricians, who have the power to disrupt a naturalism but also to save lives if something goes wrong, to being the inevitable targets of opposition.’

Specifically:

‘If nature is defined as whatever obstetricians do not do, then the degree to which a birth can be called natural is inversely proportional to the degree to which an obstetrician appears to play a role. The answer to why obstetricians are described with such antipathy thus lies not in the substance of what obstetricians do that is unnatural – whether the use of sharp incision. forceps, and medications that blunt sensation. or anything else- but in the fact that obstetricians represent a woman’s loss of control over the birth event. Obstetricians are thus perceived as the chief source of disruption in the birth event, backed by the licensing power of medicine and the law. And yet it is not what obstetricians do that women find problematic but the fact that they are the people who step in when the woman is seen to have failed.’

If the goal of childbirth is seen as a healthy baby, there’s no reason to be disappointed with a C-section. But if the goal is a carefully scripted, NCB approved birth “experience,” it’s no wonder that you are disappointed. The problem is that you blame the C-sections when you should be blaming the natural childbirth industry.”

She immediately deleted the comment. It was not offensive in the least, but I guess she couldn’t stand the cognitive dissonance of acknowledging that she had been set up for disappointment by the natural childbirth movement.

Or maybe she was just enjoying feeling sorry for herself and didn’t want anything to detract from her fine Cesarean whine.

  • Realitybites100

    I guess I will never understand this need for a “healing birth.” I see birth as a means to an end.
    I had a C-section with my first child 23 years ago. No birth plans back then, you just did what the Dr said needed done. I got pregnant 15 months later and had very little prenatal care. I had none really, One ultrasound to confirm pregnancy. I had no money or insurance and was quite young. So I had the unassisted pregnancy I guess you would call it. Dangerous but I was lucky.
    I showed up at ER and they freaked out of course. They refused me pain meds and made me have an unmedicated VBAC. One nurse actually called me a child abuser the whole time I labored.

    Even with that I still dont think I had birth trauma with either birth. I am not ruined. It was what it was. I got my act together right after 2nd child was born and ended up having a good life actually.

    The C section was nice as there was no vaginal pain. The incision hurt a bit but no issues. Epidural was heavenly actually 🙂

    The VBAC left me bruised and sore for weeks. It isnt any better or worse than a c section. I felt like a REAL MOM after both deliveries. Both had good and poor points.

    What is the big deal? Am I missing something these birth junkies are doing? Why is a c section or intervention so wrong. What medal do you get for vbacs and natural births? Someone forgot to hand mine out.

    Secret time. The epidural and c section was way more pleasant. I could see the allure of a planned c section.

  • Shawna Mathieu

    Before I got pregnant, I had definite views on what I wanted and what I would do as part of my birth and child care strategy. I’d read all the crunchy popular stuff, and definitely drifted towards the AP side of things. I wanted a CNM, an low-interference unmedicated vaginal birth, father involved, no separation, rooming in. I knew I wanted to breastfeed, even though I take medication for severe bipolar disorder, but all the LLL books told me to just demand to take lactation friendly meds, and refuse to wean for any reason. I would sleep with my baby, using a co-sleeper bassinet, and I would babywear.

    When I got pregnant with my first child, I was disappointed that I couldn’t get a CNM, but my OB was supportive of all of my plans and never said one bad thing.

    And then at 8 weeks, I came in to an appointment and the baby had died. I was shattered – I had just glossed over mentions of miscarriage in my books, so it came out of nowhere. I had to have a D&C because my body didn’t naturally miscarry.

    A year later, I was pregnant, again. I went with my old OB, who reassured me that the chances were really slim that I’d miscarry again, so to relax and don’t worry.

    Then at ten weeks, for the second time, I looked at an ultrasound screen and saw no reassuring flicker in my baby’s chest, no comforting thudding of a heartbeat. I was sent home to wait for a next day appointment with a better ultrasound machines. That night, in agony, I miscarried, and didn’t stop bleeding until the D&C in the morning.

    The next year and a half, I tore myself up one side and down the other. Was it my smoking? My doctors had recommended smoking during first trimester and going on nicotine replacement meds at second trimester. Was it my medication? Possibly – my psychiatrist found out later that one of the medications I was on had been implicated in a higher risk of miscarriage according to one study.

    Two weeks after my husband and I quit smoking, I got pregnant. I was able to get a wonderful CNM now – the medical center I went to now had three of them handling low-risk mothers. I made the decision, with both my CNM and my psychiatrist to go off my medications for the duration of pregnancy, and restart on lactation-friendly ones after birth.

    My pregnancy went well for the first half. Shortly after I took my glucose tolerance test, I got a case of E.Coli food poisoning. That was one of the worst times I’ve been sick in my life – stuff coming out both ends, simultaneously, neither one caring to wait until I got to the bathroom. I was hospitalized for three days with it, and I was still in the hospital when I found out that I’d failed my GTT and had gestational diabetes.

    This meant I could no longer keep my wonderful CNM, but got another wonderful OB. Diet didn’t control the GD adequately, but a low dose of medication did wonders.

    After the bout of E.Coli, though, my son wasn’t growing right. He was diagnosed as IUGR (intrauterine growth restricted). Suddenly, I was getting lots and lots of u/s, NSTs, monitoring several times a week. Everyone was very vague about what IUGR could mean for my son. Online groups seemed to be full of parents with kids who had development delays, behavioral issues, ongoing feeding issues – and much of the group had nothing good to say about regular medicine.

    We didn’t have a car, so getting to the doctor and clinic meant walking or taking the bus. I had a blood pressure spike that came out of nowhere, scared hell out of me (I went blind temporarily), and never reoccurred, and we all decided it was safer if I was hospitalized for the last part of my pregnancy.

    When I started having the good, tough, 3rd trimester Braxton-Hicks contractions, I took a good hard look at my idea of unmedicated birth, and decided I might want to rethink the game plan. Childbirth class helped me understand in a neutral way that epidurals weren’t poison or Satan or that using one made me lazy. Getting to handle the actual epidural equipment in class, the catheter and the needle, and them explaining how it actually would work, that it was adjustable to the level I needed, and they’d be able to make sure that it wouldn’t cause the baby trouble. I knew then that if I felt like it, I could choose epidural and not feel bad about it.

    We still didn’t know how big he was going to be, whether or not he’d go straight into the NICU, let alone whether or not he’d room in with me. They decided to induce me at 37 weeks – they felt the IUGR was probably caused by the food poisoning damaging the placenta, and didn’t feel that it would continue to function safely if I went 40 weeks.

    I was about 35 weeks along, and we had to talk about how my son was breech. My doctor said, well, we’ll try to do an external version (basically flip him around manually from the outside), he’s just got to see what the latest u/s showed. A day later, he came in, and he said, “I’m sorry, your placenta’s anteriorly placed, there’s a chance it’d rip or abrupt if we flipped him, so, and I’m so sorry, we think the safest for him is to be born by C-section.”

    I’d been so set on a vaginal birth, but I wasn’t upset to hear this, not really. All the anti C-section people acted like doctors just loved to cut up women and give them sections for the dumbest of reasons, and browbeat unknowing women into getting sections just so they could rush out and get to golf faster. He gave me a clear medical reason why vaginal birth was a bad choice, and why it was safer to go with a C-section. It was an easy choice – after all the problems, I wanted whatever was safest for my son. I really think the doctor took it harder than I did – he knew I had my heart set on a vaginal birth.

    My son’s birth was on a day sacred to my religious tradition (Feast of the Immaculate Conception). He was born far larger (6lbs), than we thought he’d be. I held him briefly, and then his father took him down to the nursery and stayed with him while they stitched me up, and we reunited in recovery. He was never alone.

    And then came time for the first breastfeeding…and it didn’t work. He couldn’t latch on no matter what I did. They called in a lactation consultation, who immediately noticed I had flat nipples, which was making it hard to get a latch. They told me it’d “just be a little harder” but to keep trying, using a nipple shield. It didn’t work. My son had low blood sugar from my GD, and because he couldn’t eat, it was getting lower. They had me start pumping to initiate my milk flow. I had been told by all the LLL books that, even though my son had low blood sugar, to fight and make sure he was given only my colostrum and milk, and NEVER use artificial nipples or formula. He got sicker, and the thin tubes we tried to use to finger feed him didnt’ work well. We gave him formula and colostrum from a bottle, hoping “nipple confusion” wouldn’t kick in. My milk came in, and even with the nipple shield, he couldn’t latch. I talked to lots of LCs, I asked online questions, and all of them said to perservere, he’d get it right.

    I was pumping my milk, bottlefeeding it to him when he cried because he couldn’t get any from my breast. I was chastised by an LC for doing this, saying we wouldn’t learn if I kept doing that. But I didn’t want to hear him wail in hunger on my chest, both of us crying in frustration when he’d try to latch on and couldn’t. I started being treated like it was all my fault – my self-esteem wasn’t high enough, I needed to believe in myself that I could do this. When it still didn’t work, I felt horrible,

    The cosleeping was a dud. I could hear each and every sound my son made and couldn’t sleep a wink. Feeling horrible again, we moved the bassinet into the next room.

    During this time, I had a slowly worsening, deepening case of post partum depression and anxiety brewing. I couldn’t get in to see my doctor, and the center wouldn’t let me in early. I did what all those brochures they gave me in the hospital and kept asking others for help. My OB didn’t want to do anything that could screw up my regular treatment. He sent me to a therapist who wanted to try a quack treatment that would “cure” my depression and anxiety, oh, and commit Medicaid fraud for that treatment, too. When I walked out, he got made. I was the recipient of a DHS visit shortly afterwards, on suspicion of possible abuse (thanks Andrea Yates)and I believe that therapist was the one who made the call. The investigation was over quickly – family and friends were furious that DHS was doing this but not getting me help.

    I started going in and out of the hospital. I did what the LLL book said and refused to wean, hauling my giant pump with me to every inpatient hospitalization, and requested only lactation-friendly medications. That’s what the book said to do – never let them tell you you HAD to wean. Besides, all of my other plans had gone straight down the toilet, I was clinging to this one. The medications gave me strange side effects or didn’t work or gave me hellish mood swings. One medication nearly killed me – rising to toxic levels while I slowly lost touch with reality while my husband begged the doctors to examine me. By the time one would listen, my kidneys were starting to fail. I had no choice but to wean and take medications I knew would work.

    I felt like a quitter, a failure. All the AP and LLL books said if I was just stubborn and persistent and insistent, it’d all work out. Well, it didn’t, and I felt like the worst person in the world.

    But then I saw my son was doing just as well on formula as he did on formula and my milk. And I felt horrible I’d missed so much time in those early months while bouncing around in and out of the hospital. I was scared he wouldn’t be able to bond with me after all of that, after all those things that I wanted to do that were supposed to help with bonding, and never could get to work.

    He needed me more than he’d needed the milk, the vaginal birth, the midwife. My self-esteem was shot right to hell, and it took me awhile to see that my son was healthy and well on formula., that the C-section hadn’t ruined his birth experience, that sleeping in a crib in the next room worked just fine for him.
    The only AP thing that worked well for us, and I’m so glad we did, was babywearing. It made doing things around the house and outside the house so much easier. Both my husband and I started doing it from birth, using various types of carriers – knit wrap, ring sling, and mei tai mostly. My doctor think it definitely helped with my self-esteem, and not having to struggle to keep himself warm might have helped my son catch up height and weight wise with his peers faster than he would have. Around 7-8 months, suddenly my son didn’t want anything to do with the carriers. After having gone through the other stuff, we didn’t make a big deal out of it, and quietly stopped.

    My son is three and a half years old now. He is slightly short for his age, but other than that, he is healthy as can be. He is completely normal, very intelligent, very happy. Almost all of the assured AP parenting components didn’t work in our case, and he’s fine.
    I am six months pregnant with a little girl, and after the mess last time, we made decisions from the start. I am taking some, but not all, of my psychiatric medications, ones deemed probably safe for pregnancy. My daughter’s u/s has shown no signs of abnormalities. I have gestational diabetes again, but, again, it’s being controlled well with diet and medicine.
    I have an OB who is familiar with my previous history. After one attempt to have me just get a repeat section, he looked at my birth record and realized that there’s very little chance I’ll have a repeat breech, and we’re currently planning a VBAC at the hospital. If something comes up, and I have to have a C-section again for valid medical reasons, that’ll be fine.
    To hopefully prevent, or at least alleviate the worst of PPD, I’ll be going back on most of my medications when I have my daughter. I made the decision to formula feed from the start. I feel guilty for that, even though I shouldn’t – I feel like I have to justify myself when I go to my WIC office and the health department “Breast is Best!” posters everywhere. It’s not best for me or my son, but I still feel like it’s something I’m not allowed to say, not without feeling I’ll be looked down on or people will think I was too lazy or didn’t stick it out long enough with my son.
    Thank you for this site. This is the first place I’ve been that I feel I can talk about all of what happened without feeling judged. I felt I was the only one that sort of felt sold a bill of goods about AP, natural childbirth, and breastfeeding, and when it didn’t work out for me, I was some sort of horrible person. It really helps to see that others have had trouble, that others have also felt that kind of pressure, that there are people, just like the woman above, who’s been so damn indoctrinated into what makes a good birth that she can’t see past the “trauma” of the C-sections and look at her children who are beautiful people who don’t care how they were brought into this world, just as long as they were born to a caring mom.

  • Annie

    Mothers like this are unthankful brats! If it wasn’t for C-sections many of these thankless mothers may not even be alive today, nor their babies! I for one celebrate my c-section and are not ashamed to say I gave birth via one! If I would have given birth a century ago, both me and my son would most likely have DIED! An emergency c-section saved our lives. The Facebook poster says: “Neither of my children’s births were beautiful.” Really? Isn’t the fact that your children are healthy and ALIVE beautiful????

  • staceyjw

    She/her kids got to have the benefit of CS, but yet she reviles them?

    Without the life/brain saving invention of CS, all those individual CS she admits are celebratory would be non existent. Without CS, her own kids might not be here to celebrate.
    But CS is an assault, and damaging to kids? And US* isn’t..OK.
    GMAFB

    I am not sure why she felt the need to talk about her parenting choices. As if that is relevant to CS. “Natural” parenting is not proof of anything except your need to parent in this way.

    *I do think US can be an excellent way to educate kids, IF its done well. Sadly, out of a big group of families in town, I only see ONE that is not just using it as an excuse to do whatever kids want, without regard for their education. I think it is fair to generalize when the proportion of awful US parents dwarfs the few great ones.)

    • sdsures

      Re parents that go the unschooling route for their kids – is there any pattern, for example, that those people were also unschooled?

  • staceyjw

    Maybe she would prefer celebrating her kids deaths, or maybe celebrating the day they were lucky enough to access the high tech NICU treatment cold cap therapy? Maybe she could have been celebrating the loss of fertility, thanks to an ill advised HBAC? I am glad she chose to have the CS, and her kids are here to listen to mom whine about it. I wonder if she would have made the same choice today?

    Amirite people?

    And the hyperbole is just silly- the ASSAULT? Has she ever actually been assaulted, because I can promise her a CS is NOTHING like an assault. Just because something is unpleasant ands painful, does not mean that it’s an assault.

    If she doesn’t want to celebrate the 2 CS, well, that is her choice. I cannot imagine celebrating the way my kids were born, to begin with, so I guess I just don’t get it.

  • A

    “…unschooling mom. You cannot be these things without celebrating your children everyday of their lives.”

    Ahem, what?! “I love my children sooo much, I want to deny them the joy of knowledge and the chance of having any future in society”. Way to go.

  • sdsures

    I just read an article in the Guardian today, which purported to be about mental health, as regards to the Germanwings aircrash. If you don’t know, much speculation has been in the media about how the co-pilot may have been suffering from depression, and wished to end his life. Stupidly, in my view, he took over 200 innocent people with him. 🙁 People who are that profoundly depressed don’t always consider the mess they leave behind. It seems to me there are easier ways to take yourself out than this method.

    The author is professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College, London.

    Despite the headline, the article went on at length to discuss autism, as if mental health and developmental delays are interchangeable. They’re not.

    Shouldn’t she know better than to confuse the two?

    Linky: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/05/mental-health-lack-of-empathy-fear-ignorance?CMP=fb_gu#comment-50020967

    • Daleth

      What does this have to do with obstetrics?

      • D/

        You’d think nothing, but not according to this one … which has left me scraping my head off the desk.

        http://www.spiritualbirth .net/andreas-lubitz-life-and-death

        “My questions are these: was Andreas Lubitz a planned and wanted baby, was he created with love? Was his mother cherished during the 9 months of her pregnancy or were her stress levels high, passing on hormonal handicaps to her unborn child? Was the birth of Andreas a harmonious and empowering experience for his mother and himself, or was it controlled and unnecessarily medicalized? Was baby Andreas separated from his mother at birth in a way that disrupts the instinctual human bonds of love from being formed? Was he held in arms and rocked lovingly, was he allowed to nourish himself at his mother’s breast without restraint? Or was he sleep trained and/or rigorously conditioned to accept unloving limitations imposed by others? Was the love hormone oxytocin activated regularly to give the maternal-infant couple a regular boost of good feelings and a sense of belonging?”

        • A

          They make me sick to my stomach. I mean, I already knew that they aren’t ashamed to cash in on the most horrible of tragedies, but still…

        • Daleth

          Omg omg omg.

        • sdsures

          OMG indeed.

  • sdsures

    The woman in the FB sounds like Kate Tjetje. I know it’s probably not, but there will always be more like her, eh? 🙁

  • sdsures

    “You cannot be these things without celebrating your children everyday of their lives, and offering gratitude for them nearly every moment of everyday.”

    Golly, I thought we were supposed to love and cherish our kids equally, each day, no matter how they arrived. Silly me, being all logical again!

  • Margaret01

    Please know this is completely honest, and no one has forced me to write this. I am a 37 year old woman who has been trying for 9 years to get pregnant I finally got pregnant 2 weeks after I contacted priest Iyare on his website http://iyareyarespellstemple.webs.com/ It was simply amazing. I had history of recurrent miscarriages and was also diagnosed with genetic problems but using your system I got pregnant naturally at age 37& after 2 HSGs and 4 negative IUIs including 6 induction Clomid cycles and laparscopy. I had zero side effects.. God bless you and reward you. I HIGHLY recommend this product!”
    Margaret From USA.

    • Well, sure, but are you planning a C-section?

    • Are you sure no one has forced you to write this? Blink twice if you’re spamming disqus at gunpoint.

  • Liz Leyden

    I’ll admit it; my C-Section was traumatic. It was the culmination of a pregnancy that started high-risk (AMA, obesity), became even higher-risk (twins, an HLHS diagnosis), and ended with PPROM and Life Flight.

    I already had pelvic floor issues when I got pregnant, and when I found out I was having twins, I accepted that I would probably have a C-Section. I’m pretty impervious to woo, despite being surrounded by it. There were at least 15 people in the OR, and everyone I dealt with was great. I arrived with my clothes, camera and cellphone, and the staff took pictures as soon as the kids were out. I was completely out of it, and came to feeling like I was stuck in a TV with a broken horizontal hold. I left the hospital with 1 healthy, tiny newborn. At the end of the day, I just wanted to bring 2 live babies home. Six weeks later, I finally did.

    I developed post-partum pre-eclampsia, and was readmitted 10 days post-partum. I spent a night on Lasix and magnesium drips, in an L&D room. When the staff brought me up, I realized it was the same floor where I went after I arrived in Boston. When I got to the room I couldn’t stop crying.

    Later that night, after I calmed down, I realized what was so bad about my C-Section; my husband wasn’t there. He doesn’t drive, and thanks to a transit strike cabs were even harder to find than normal. When my babies were born he was on a bus somewhere in central New Hampshire. I was a terrified first-time mother, and I just wanted my husband there. Looking back, I wish I’d hired a doula.

    I can see how a Cesarean birth can be traumatic to a mother, but the C-Section itself if not the problem. With 1 breach baby and 1 transverse baby, I probably wouldn’t have brought home any babies if I’d insisted on a vaginal birth.

    • Mattie

      These are the situations where a doula, or a midwife acting as a support person can be so so helpful, They can do so much from explaining anything you’re confused or concerned about, helping you contact family after the birth, to just holding your hand which is such a simple act but can provide so much comfort. I’m glad your babies went home safe, and I’m sorry your pregnancy was such a challenge and you found your c-section to be traumatic. Are you and the twins doing well now?

    • Somewhereinthemiddle

      That really does sound like a very scary situation and I’m sorry you had so many factors that contributed to your birth being traumatic. Huge hugs and healing to you. How are your babes doing these days?

    • Elizabeth A

      I am so sorry – that was a lot to go through. I am glad you and your babies are doing well now.

    • Cobalt

      That’s so scary! Glad everyone made it home ok. Modern medicine for the win!

    • I’m sorry. I’d imagine that going through that without your partner there, and having to go home to focus on caring for one newborn while the other is still in the hospital, was a lonely, helpless time for you. I’m glad that things worked out.

      While I think doulas and midwives are awesome for having in addition to medically trained staff, not everyone can afford them, or they’re in a situation like yours where the other parent can’t be there. Sometimes I wonder about the possible upsides of having volunteers, like those visiting to rock and love on abandoned infants, to read to children, or spend time with elderly or terminal patients, only their focus would be on women in labor who don’t have anyone to just hold their hand and reassure them, or possibly record the experience for an absent partner and family.

      It would free up nursing staff, give lower income women someone to turn to, and be for regular people who just want to nurture and lend support.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I am really sorry you went through that situation. I hope your babies are doing well. I am the mother of a preemie that spent two months at the NICU so I understand how hard it is to have your baby at the hospital. I really hope they are doing fine.

  • Stacy48918

    Damn right I “celebrate C-sections” – just like I celebrate appendectomies, open heart surgery, transplants and every other life-saving modern medical advance with ZERO moral implications attached.

    • Sarah

      Every appendectomy is a tragedy.

      • Allie

        LOL, be careful what you say or pretty soon people will be having “birthing” rituals for their appendices and making prints of them and burying them in the backyard under “appendix” trees ; )

        • sdsures

          Appendix prints! Don’t give them any ideas!

          • momofone

            Or someone will dry it and grind it into powder, then swear by its healing powers, since they never got appendicitis again!

          • sdsures

            Oh lord, my nausea is not liking this, much as I am enjoying the conversation.

          • My condolences. I feel your pain.

          • sdsures

            How can I honor my many neurosurgeries?

          • Mattie

            well, you can have a 3d printed model of your brain made…if that’s your thing lol

          • sdsures

            Including my shunts? Woot!

          • Mattie

            potentially, they do it based on MRI images of your brain, I think it’s really cool haha

          • sdsures

            Potentially, but they try as much as possible to avoid putting a patient with a programmable shunt in an MRI.

          • Mattie

            aw, well if you have had any MRIs in the past they can use those, or you can get a standard brain…not quite as cool though haha

        • Trixie

          I know someone who made jewelry out of her gallstone!

          • sdsures

            Really? Ew, but creative.

        • SporkParade

          Confession: I have a collection of “things that have been extracted from my body.” Well, only two things, but I did once have to do a double take and say, “No, polyps belong in labs to make sure they’re not pre-cancerous, not in my bedroom drawer.”

          • Nick Sanders

            Somewhere, if they haven’t thrown it out, in one of my medical files in some doctor’s office is a toothpick that I step on and got lodged in my foot. But I don’t think that counts since it wasn’t “homegrown”.

          • SporkParade

            I have a heplock (why did they let me leave the hospital with that?) and a salmon bone.

          • sdsures

            Ouch!

          • LovleAnjel

            I have my wisdom teeth in a jar and my toddler in my house. They wouldn’t give me back my suspicious moles or breast lump.

      • guest

        I feel like that should be a song from some satirical Broadway musical.

  • NewMom

    As someone with a background in education as well as mental health counseling I seriously feel bad for her kids. Not sure those kids will be prepared for the realities of today’s competitive world . Also, while I am not an expert on attachment parenting, it seems to me that it stands in the way of children learning to regulate their moods independently. Yes, children’s needs have to be met consistently especially when they are very young but as they grow, it’s also a parent’s job to let go of some of the control and let them explore other environments independently I.e.school.

    • Mattie

      Note that as with most things there are some AP parents that go way too far, and you can apply the tenets of attachment parenting to some aspects of your life, it’s designed to fit in to your lifestyle and values and does actually develop as the child grows and also provides guidance on discipline, fostering independence and parenting older children and teens.

      As with any parenting advice, take it with a huge grain of salt, use what you like and what works, but it’s not a fixed doctrine of rules that must be followed in order to crack the code to a perfect child. There is no code. Think that’s the mistaken idea in ‘natural parenting’ circles, children aren’t those casino machines where if you match 3 watermelons in the parenting games money, health and happiness pour out.

      • NewMom

        Very true Mattie! I am a huge believer in striking a happy medium. I agree that I see the problems when any theory or parenting approach is taken to its extremes. In the case of the original post the lady was referring to “full-on” attachment parenting. That has a dogmatic and not very flexible ring to it and that’s where I think the problem lies.

        • Mattie

          Oh definitely, I mean for example, baby wearing can be useful at times, but it’s also fine to have a pram, and to cook dinner without leaning your baby over a stove, and having your baby in the same room as you at first has been proven to reduce the risk of cot-death, but co-sleeping is hella dangerous, full on AP is scary and cultish =/

          • Bugsy

            “full on AP is scary and cultish.”

            Yep. I couldn’t care less if someone adopts some AP values – I think many (if not all) of us do. Run far and fast from anyone who is full-on AP, though. You’re correct that it’s a cult of parents…who view their mission in life as guilting others into choices that will validate their own parenting choices.

          • Sarah

            I think nearly everyone adopts at least some AP values/practices, it’s just so wide ranging. There probably aren’t a lot of women who haven’t had/would have preferred unmedicated vaginal birth, or breastfed/attempted it, or used a sling, or had baby in their bed or avoided ‘training’. The list would get even shorter if you add tenets that are not AP as such but promoted by many uber APers such as strong interest in carseats, anti-circ for non therapeutic reasons, and baby led weaning. It must be quite a small minority who don’t tick one of those boxes.

            Obviously, there’s an issue with AP ‘co-opting’ these, if you like, but inadvertently being at least slightly ‘AP’ is pretty normal.

          • FEDUP MD

            I did not want an unmediated vaginal birth. I have attended hundreds in my career and I wanted an epidural ASAP. Many physicians I know, especially those in pediatrics or OB, do NOT want an unmedicated birth. Because we know the babies turn out the same, and it’s not like you get a medal at the end, so why suffer? I don’t think there aren’t a lot of women who don’t want an unmedicated birth, as you say, I just think with all the NCB grandstanding that many women won’t publicly ADMIT they might prefer pain medicine, because now it is sold as something no “good mother” would do.

          • demodocus’ spouse

            Then I’ll proudly admit being a “bad” mother. I waited for my epidural (by choice) but when I finally got it, not only was I relieved, so were my husband and sister.

          • Daleth

            I mostly agree with you, except that there are indeed quite a lot of women who haven’t had and/or would NOT have preferred unmedicated vaginal birth. Isn’t the epidural rate in US hospitals something like 70%? And it would be higher than whatever it currently is in the UK if there weren’t so many midwives who purposely prevent women who ask for epidurals from getting them.

          • Sarah

            Yes absolutely, I mean that virtually all women subscribe to at least one of the tenets. Not that everyone wants unmedicated vaginal birth. So eg I would’ve liked a vaginal birth with an epidural for my recent birth and wasn’t especially interested in breastfeeding, but was planning to use the sling for convenience, wanted time right after birth to bond with baby and co-slept with the 2 year old til recently. Is that AP or not?

          • Amy M

            Well, of course n=1, but I didn’t want an unmedicated birth—I had every intention of getting an epidural and I did. I also had no intention of bedsharing, and I have no issues with sleep training, and did sleep train my children when when [husband and] I felt it was appropriate, with the blessing of the pediatrician. I have twins, so if they were only one baby, I might have used a sling at times, for convenience, but that wasn’t going to fly with two. I can’t speak for many others, but I know at least several friends/family members who followed similar practices to what we did.

          • JC

            I think you mean bed sharing is dangerous? Co-sleeping is having the child in your room in a crib or bassinet. I used to think bed sharing was horribly dangerous. Then I did research and have bed shared for 10 months. Having baby on his/her back in his/her own space on a mattress on the floor in a bed free from fluffy pillows or blankets seems far safer than in a crib in another room with a bumper and heavy blankets or pillows. (My husband already sleeps in another room because he is very restless while sleeping and I’m a very light sleeper. So baby did not replace dad in bed.) I am far, far from an AP parent but I completely believe there are safe ways to bed share.

          • FEDUP MD

            The safest place for a baby to sleep is on their back, in a crib, with no pillows or blankets or other objects in the crib. Ideally, this crib would be in the same room as the parents while SIDS risk is high, up to about 6 months. You are setting up a false dichotomy- one does not have to choose “safe” bed sharing versus “unsafe” crib situation- just don’t put all that crap in the crib, and put the crib in your own room (in my case with my 2 kids, immediately adjacent to my side of the bed.)

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            We ended up compromising because being in the same room and hearing every snort and whimper meant I got zero sleep, which was somewhat ok when I was on my one month Maternity leave but once I had to go back to work that was not going to fly.

            we put the crib in the nursery and left both doors open. since the distance in the apartment from her crib to our bed was about 8-10 feet it worked out.

            We sincerely tried to make her sleep on her back(this was in 1994 and the recommendations were present even then) but even with hard foam blocks designed to keep her on her back, she inchwormed out of the blocks and over to the corner of the crib where she tucked her head into the point of the corner. On her belly…She also liked to do this thing were she would be asleep for a half hour, let out a banshee wail/scream..we run into the room. And she’s asleep and fine…she was 2 weeks old the first time, and I still don’t know what the hell that was…

          • Mattie

            Generally where I am co-sleeping is used to mean bed sharing. You are more than entitled to bed-share with your own children. However it massively increases the risk of SIDS and is not recommended by any medical organisation, the potential benefits are minimal and many are achieved with a cot next to parent’s bed for first 6 months, after that it’s nice for baby to be in own room.

  • Bugsy

    OT – this morning I bring along a game that amused me, figured others would appreciate it as well. I received a “your weekly pregnancy e-mail” this morning. Included it in were three answers (2 from docs, 1 from a CNM) to this question: “Did you worry about food safety during pregnancy?”

    Can anyone else match the all-natural CNM to her answer?

    A) I ate pretty similarly to my nonpregnant diet. Cheeses that have been pasteurized are fine to eat, even soft ones. Raw fruits and veggies should be washed or peeled. I drank a cup of coffee a day, but I’d recommend against any more than that. I do caution people about the real danger of mercury exposure from certain fish. Pregnant women shouldn’t eat any shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. Shellfish and small ocean fish should be limited to 2 or 3 small servings a week and the type of fish should be varied. One can of albacore or two cans of light tuna a week is the limit.

    B) The world we live in is changing dramatically. This has an impact on the quality of the food we grow and harvest. More food contains pollution and chemicals than ever before. Realistically, we may not currently know all the long-term effects that these toxins may have on our children. Thus, when a government agency recommends that we limit or eliminate certain foods during pregnancy, I do take their recommendations seriously.

    C) Not at all, really. I let my pregnant nose guide me. Anytime something didn’t seem right, I’d just choose something else. I tried to have a varied diet so that I wasn’t into such a routine that I had to worry. I’m only an occasional tuna or lunch meat eater anyway. I think the more we know, the easier it is to get wrapped up in all of the do’s and don’ts. I take this kind of data as helpful guidelines, not absolutes.

    • Sarah

      I’m pretty sure the percentage of foods containing chemicals is the same as its ever been…

      • Mattie

        A seems like pretty much what we told pregnant women at booking, C seems reasonable for yourself but perhaps a little vague if you were to give advice…so my guess is B, the ‘pollution and chemicals’ bad science full house.

    • Allie

      Has to be c. I would have said b, except no self-respecting CNM would take the (presumably evidence-based) recommendations of government agencies seriously. Great game, btw : )

      • Bugsy

        Lol – the answer is actually (b), but I completely agree with you that the comment about government agencies threw me off, too. My only guess is that it’s an example of adopting recommendations and running w/ them to extreme levels (i.e.: BPA is bad, so therefore any and all plastics must also be bad). Glad you liked the game! 🙂

    • Mariana Baca

      “Toxins” is the key word that gives it away. 🙂

      • Medwife

        Toxin was my key clue too.

  • JJ

    OT: CA is now trying to legalize “midwife assistants”with SB408. So then you can have a CPM/LM be assisted by someone even less qualified at your homebirth!

    http://www.californiamidwives.org/Resources/Documents/Expanded%20Pregnancy%20Care%20Options%20Bills%20Introduced%202-25%20pm.pdf

    • Ash

      ugh. no.

    • Rolling my eyes forever.

    • Liz Leyden

      Is the assistant qualified to deliver the baby if the midwife doesn’t show up?

      • Cobalt

        Homeopathic midwifery, the assistant is actually better to have at the birth than the midwife.

  • Bugsy

    Ummm, does she think that my son came out grinning and in a good mood during his vaginal delivery? The assumption that a “normal” birth is kind and a C-section is an assault strikes me as ridiculous…

    I can’t remember my own experience being born, but have no doubt that being squeezed through the birth canal hurts.

    • monojo

      I guess this means that “Baby Friendly” hospitals only do c-sections, right? Oh, no? How stupid of me to think it made any sense!

  • namaste863

    Okay, I may think this woman is a spoiled brat for whining about her c sections, but at least she did the right thing and put her kids lives ahead of her experience when things went sideways. The Unschooling, however……..THAT to me is inexcusable and downright abusive in my opinion. A well rounded, comprehensive education IMHO is absolutely essential for functioning in society. Not only does it teach the skills needed to successfully navigate daily living, it teaches critical thinking skills, expands your mind, and broadens your world. I ought to know. I’m a Deaf ASL user. A dirty little secret of our community is that our education system is somewhat substandard and there is a real problem with literacy. This is to be expected, because each letter of the alphabet represents a specific sound, and we’ve never heard them. I got incredibly lucky. My (Hearing) parents knew this going into the game, and invested countless hours in instilling the drive and desire in me to become highly educated, and spent thousands of dollars on tutors and educational therapists to make sure I attained the same level of education as my hearing peers. Everyone deserves access to the highest quality of education, from Deaf people like myself, to inner city children, to children who were born to Unschooling wack jobs like this woman. I’m about to start my Ph.D in August, btw.

    • yugaya

      The thing that scares me the most about unschooling is not the poor educational outcomes ( I believe in continuous adult education and while it is not a magic wand it can fix a lot of things that were done horribly wrong previously) , it’s that huge, inexcusable amount of subjective, narcissistic personal influence that these parents excercise over their kids while they take up the role of the primary educator. It’s selfish, self-absorbed, and in some cases I would label the methodology and the process that I see there as brainwashing. There was a scary example of that in one of the earlier blogs on here, some homebirth advocate having a conversation with her daughter about giving birth, and she treated her child as a communication prop for making her points.

      • KarenJJ

        It also shifts a lot of adult responsibility onto the child.

      • Cobalt

        It’s cute and fun and fine for a five year old, but absolutely insufferable in a fifteen year old. Children GROW dammit, that’s kind of the whole point.

      • Mac Sherbert

        Adult education is great, but I do believe I’ve read somewhere that when people learn to read as adults they almost never learn to read at a high school or college level. In education today the goal is to have children reading on grade level by 3rd because studies show children who aren’t on grade level by then will struggle and be at risk for many things.

        There really is something about teaching the brain the fundamentals of reading early. If you at the literature in education, it’s clear early exposure to readings skills is important.

    • RMY

      When I read about unschooling (child-directed learning) is that it was a lot of us kids did in their free time when we were kids. So, basically they’re like kids who have eternal summer. That’s not really as useful as having school and encouraging interests in addition to school.

      At exactly no paying jobs can you only focus on tasks that interest you, you always need to focus on getting done what needs to get done.

      • Allie P

        A friend was “unschooled” and is quite proud of her experiences. What it means in practice is that she knows quite a lot about random, obscure medieval Celtic history and mythology, and nothing about times or places outside that area, no math (not even algebra), very little science, nothing about American government or history (she’s American). She’s an intelligent person, and there are certainly people I know who went to regular school who are also ignorant about a lot of stuff, but I’m less impressed with her ability to name Celtic tribal kings than she thinks i should be, if this is the trade off.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          Was it difficult for her to get a job? What kind of job does she have?

        • Allie

          I love how you say “not even algebra,” as though that’s the very most basic math any person should know : )

          • RMY

            They teach algebra starting in middle school. I really think that most middle school curriculum falls into the category of thing “any person should know” 🙂

    • Marguerita

      That is amazing that you are an ASL user and you write like this! What is your field of study?

      • Medwife

        That’s just a tad on the condescending side, don’t you think?

        • Marguerita

          I certainly mean for it to be condescending. I’m just being honest. ASL has completely different grammar than English, so I can’t imagine what it’s like to become competent in a language that you only ever experienced through literacy. That’s how I understand it.

          • Marguerita

            I certainly DIDN’T mean for it to be condescending. Grr.

          • Medwife

            Well, since namaste863 didn’t say anything, no need for me to white knight it 🙂

          • deafgimp

            People say similar shit to me and it’s so damn annoying. Wow, you speak so well when you can’t hear! That’s inspiring!

            No, that’s inspiration porn.

    • demodocus’ spouse

      Unschooling reminds me of a romantic philosophy I vaguely remember. Something about not forcing children to learn anything until they’re 10 or 12 so they can run free in the woods and fields and learn about nature by playing in it. Didn’t work then, either.
      I’m not sure schools for the blind nowadays are much better. My boyo was mainstreamed in a district with a decent academic record, but we have a couple friends who went to blind schools full time, and they seem a little less capable dealing with things. Or maybe that’s just them. The few we know over 60 are very competent.
      Good luck on your PhD!

  • guest

    I get that births can be traumatic for women, in a variety of ways. No one should have to celebrate their trauma if they don’t want to. But she couldn’t just stick to her own feelings, could she? She had to open by saying she “[does] not get” anyone ever celebrating a c-section. That’s like saying because I don’t enjoy cooking, I don’t get why anyone else would enjoy doing it. It only takes a tiny bit of imagination and empathy to understand that someone else might celebrate a c-section as the surgery that saved their child (or the mother herself). Acknowledging that doesn’t mean she needs to celebrate her own. I personally experienced both of my major surgeries as events that felt calm and hopeful of the final outcome (in one case, cessation of constant pain, in the other, healthy babies). But I can easily imagine another woman’s experience being terrifying and the memories surrounding it painful.

    It’s actually not that hard to acknowledge different experiences in this way.

    • When I was teaching a preparation for childbirth course, there was always a .
      “What can go wrong” section. I Told my expectant couples that some complications of pregnancy and birth were rarer than others, and I was not intending that they should become experts on any of them, but that they should be able to tell themselves that A. Had mentioned this, and, most likely, a C/S would be the recommended way to deal with the situation, and therefore not panic if the “dreaded”operation was mentioned. This led into a brief lecture on C/Ss.

      I always visited my students after their births, and not infrequently the women who had had unscheduled C/Ss would say to me that, at the time of the course , they hadn’t wanted to hear about complication or C/S, since they felt it was “too negative” for an NCB course, but when it was crunch time in labor, having that information had made it easier to cope and subsequently to come to terms with the radical change in their plans.

      That, of course had been my intention.

      • Mattie

        Excellent! Yeh, you want to strike the balance between providing enough information to calm their fears, and making them more anxious of the potential outcomes…because worrying about something doesn’t make it more or less likely to happen, it just means you’re a lot more stressed out anticipating it. Sounds like you did a really great job 🙂

        • I’ve watched women become hysterical when a doctor informs them [or more likely, an attending nurse] that “the cervix is 6 cm, but –” with a shake of the head “–the baby’s OP”.
          OP, good God, what’s OP?????

          I would tell my students, in the introduction, that while I’d repeat myself until I was blue in the face about the really important stuff, but I would pass over the less crucial info more briefly, so that, when in labor, and faced with a situation like this, they could tell themselves, “A. did mention this, but didn’t dwell on it” and not hit the panic button right away.

          Of course, this was long before the internet, and sources of information about birth were a lot fewer. When someone complained that they didn’t want “negativism” in the course, I replied that, when I visited them PP, I preferred to hear “It wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated” rather than “You never told me it was going to be like THIS!”

          But then, I am mostly a pessimist in real life, and since few things are as bad as I expect, usually quite happy in the end.

          • Mattie

            Yeh definitely, from my limited experience the women who went in prepared but flexible and aiming to just go with whatever happened did a lot better afterwards than those who either had no idea or who had incredibly detailed plans for birth, it also made a big difference how they were treated by staff, especially in the event of an emergency where quite a lot can happen very quickly that seems incredibly chaotic if you don’t understand…those with midwives who either talked them through it at the time, or debriefed with them after, seemed to suffer a lot less difficulty with processing

      • guest

        That sounds awesome. I did not take any childbirth class because I couldn’t afford it. But with a twin pregnancy, I knew a c-section was a definite possibility. And having had abdominal surgery before, I also knew what to expect – how the doctors would act, what the pain would be like, etc. Having that knowledge really helped me the second time.

        • Most women today have not been hospitalized, or undergone surgery, when they have their first child. It’s scary for the uninitiated.
          There isn’t any doubt, in my experience, that repeat C/Ss are easier for most women simply because they know what to expect [even if they might not be too happy about it]

          • guest

            Oh no doubt! The first time is always going to be scary, but less so with some good information. I was 18 when I had abdominal surgery, and it was also an emergency. No one explained to me that the pain I was in would feel the same after the surgery as before (appendectomy). When I first came out of surgery I thought it must have gone terribly wrong because everything was the same, and I was at that point still unable to speak and ask for information. Everything was fine – I had just not been prepped for the fact that pain meds don’t get rid of ALL of the pain. It was an emergency, so it’s understandable there wasn’t time, but it makes it so much more traumatic if you have no idea what to expect. So providing some information on common birth interventions is a GOOD idea, not scare-mongering.

          • toni

            I don’t understand why they don’t provide a list and description of some of the unpleasant/scary things they might have to do to you. My ob office give you so much information to read about breastfeeding, prenatal tests you’ll need, WIC entitlement, contracpetive options for after the baby’s born, even local doula services. Most women will have no idea what a vacuum extraction is, that they sometimes have to stick their arm up there to get the placenta out, what they do when there’s a shoulder dystocia or cord prolapse. you just have to roll with the punches I guess. i was fairly well prepared being an avid reader of this blog but was still alarmed by the size of the knitting needle doohickey they use for AROM. Maybe they go through all that at the childbirth classes but I never had the time (and probably wouldn’t have anyway as they were run by Lamaze). And I don’t think they were free or covered by insurance.

          • Mattie

            More like a large crochet hook than a knitting needle =P I do think that giving too much information can be potentially difficult too, it can increase the amount of worry for the woman and her partner, and even if a specific intervention is necessary it’s possible that even with say a list someone might get mixed up, or not remember something, remember it wrong, or not understand the severity (either believing it’s more or less serious than it is) and then actually become more panicked during the event.

            I know that this hypothetical individual seems to be exceedingly dim, but given pregnancy hormones (and baby brain) as well as labour tiredness, pain, medication that could be present in labour (and a labour emergency) it is a possibility,

            I do think supportive birth attendants and assistants who do what they can to inform the woman and her partner/family at the time of the event as to what is happening/why/what will be happening next etc… as well as a debriefing with the OB or Midwife once the situation is calmer and the woman is better able to focus, have her questions answered and make sense of everything is probably more beneficial than a list of what could go wrong given during pregnancy. However, I think if women ask, their questions should be answered at the time because otherwise they’re likely to go online and will potentially get harmful or just plan rubbish info.

          • Cobalt

            In an emergency, the least prepared person is (hopefully!) the patient. That’s where trust in your providers really helps, if you’re confident in them having your and your baby’s wellbeing the first priority, and them having the skill and technology to handle the emergency, you’ll have the best emergency outcome and experience possible.

            It is also what makes NBC so dangerous. Conditioning women to believe OBs are enemies out to ruin your birth and slice you up for golf games and bigger paychecks means women don’t have that trust in their providers. This hampers emergency response and may even mean choosing to have NO qualified provider available. Mothers and babies are injured and die as a result.

          • CharlotteB

            I think this depends on the mom, though. I found it very comforting to read about the protocols for shoulder dystocia, PPH, and induction. I read more C-section birth stories than vaginal birth. I’m the kind of person who likes lots of information, including worst-case scenarios. When I fell at 36 weeks and had to be monitored, I knew before they told me it was to check that the placenta was ok, and I also figured worst-case would have been a crash c-section, which, while not ideal, is better than a dead baby. I figure that my personal “risk” of any complication is basically 50/50–either it will happen to me or it won’t. I found knowing things made me trust my providers more, since I knew they wouldn’t just throw up their hands and pray to Ina May at the first sign of a complication.

            The “complication” I had (precipitous labor) was one I didn’t read about since it supposedly doesn’t happen to first-time moms. I’m also one to ask lots and lots of questions of medical professionals because I’m honestly curious. (Asking questions is also something I do when I’m nervous.)

            I don’t think OBs/CNMs should have to go over every possible scenario, but I would’ve liked a birth class that did. Interventions aren’t the same as complications, you know? Like after labor they checked my reflexes, and didn’t like something I did, but I had no idea why they would do that or what they were checking for. Routine stuff like that (if it is routine?) would be nice to know.

          • Kelly

            Me too. I read the book What to Expect when you are Expecting and I like all the information it gives. It did not scare me and the more aware of why they are doing things, the better I mentally deal with things. For example, they could not find the heart beat at my last appointment but I knew I had a tilted uterus and I was still a bit early and so it helped me deal with waiting a day before I got an ultrasound. The doctor and ultrasound lady were very good about telling me that it was normal and not to worry.

          • WordSpinner

            Hmm. I’m wondering if that is why I’m pretty blase about the (far future) chance of having a c-section. I’ve been hospitalized twice that I remember and have had multiple surgeries, including a minor gynecological surgery about a year ago. Hopefully whichever way I give birth, they don’t kick me out as soon as I was awake (which pretty much happened last time I had surgery).

    • Daleth

      Bingo. You got it exactly right. It should suffice for her to say she assumes that a vaginal birth in her case would have (somehow) been gentle, happy, nontraumatic, etc. and would have left everyone just as healthy as the c-section, so she’s upset she personally had a c-section. The fact she extrapolates to EVERY OTHER WOMAN ON EARTH is what proves to us, in case we were still wondering, that she has fully drunk the Kool-Aid.

    • Mimc

      My c section wasn’t tramatic because it was a c section. It was tramatic because things went from everything is going great to life threatening emergency very quickly. Not remembering why I was in the hospital at all after coming out of general anesthesia didn’t help. Also not getting to hold my baby got the first five days was sad.

  • lilin

    I can’t wait for the attachment parented kids to get old enough to start writing memoirs. Reading them is going to light up my old-ladyhood.

    • RMY

      These ones are unschooled – I wouldn’t hold my breath for them to write anything publishable.

  • a_m_o

    That book sounds fascinating, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    When I read statements like hers, it just feels so incredibly spoiled to me. And yes, many of us intend to avoid c-sections if possible… it is major surgery after all… but to go this far off the rails or to be so caught up in what you *intended* the birth to be like is sad and adds emotional fodder to the NCB movement. The women who are influenced by these kinds of statements may be persuaded to take unnecessary risks in order to preserve their vision of a desired experience.

    I had a c-section in February and in light of the defects my son was born with, I am so glad I didn’t try to continue on the vaginal birth path which, going as it was, would have been incredibly stressful to his body. Having had a similar incision for a ruptured ectopic several years ago, this time the recovery was much easier. I agree with the other commenter in that the surgical team at mine tried to make it as quick, safe, and celebratory as possible… and I do have great memories of everyone there being completely infatuated with and psyched about my baby as soon as he came out (the anesthealogist could not get enough of him). Was it a romantic, low lit and quiet experience? No. Was it the best possible birth for my baby who would (unbeknownst to us at the time) go on to struggle with a life threatening internal defect? Hell yes. Outcomes vs idealized vision, foiks.

    • Dr Kitty

      I hope your little boy is doing better now.
      He appears to have a very sensible, loving mum, so he’s certainly got that in his favour!

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I hope your baby is doing fine now and I am glad you recovered well from your CS.

      I also hoped to have an uneventful vaginal delivery, and ended up with a CS and a premature baby that would not have survived a vaginal delivery. And I also have zero trauma about it. I guess I value more the outcome (healthy baby, healthy mom) than the process.

  • Dr Kitty

    It’s going to be interesting in 10-20 years time when the unschooled, AP children start telling their stories.

    “It Happened To Me: I only learned to read at age 12 because my parents unschooled me”.
    “Traumatised by the family bed: why couldn’t I have my own space?”
    “A lifetime of guilt: my mom lost her dream birth because I was breech”
    “Sex, drugs and high fructose corn syrup: what teenage rebellion is like in an AP home”.

    My kiddo spent the day at child care, because school is off for Easter. She did karate, gymnastics and bunny themed Easter crafts. Then she came home and played Mariokart with her dad until I got home from work. She helped me cook dinner, fed the cat, sang to her unborn sibling, showed me her new tumbles, tidied her bedroom and has been asleep, in her own bed, since 8pm.
    Yesterday her grandparents took her to the planetarium and a garden centre.
    When I got home from work she and her dad were making aliens from modelling clay and we had frozen pizza from the supermarket for dinner.

    Goodness, her life just seems terrible. Poor neglected child.
    I’m still waiting to see how the trauma of her CS birth and early sleep training will affect her…

    • KarenJJ

      I suspect a lot of those kids are dealing with anxious, controlling, narcissist parents so the poor kids are even more sequestered from society than ever.

      • Mattie

        I’m a pretty anxious person, and that leads me to be quite controlling but that also means I’d worry about my kid dying during birth, from a disease or failing in life due to insufficient education and opportunities that I as one individual cannot possibly provide. So you bet if I can afford it my future kids will be in the best school I can afford (be that private, or public) with a decent college fund and any professional care they need. Mostly because it’ll make me less anxious and therefore less controlling

    • Mattie

      Not to mention all the books that won’t be written by the children that die as a result of dangerous birth choices or vaccine preventable illness 🙁

    • Montserrat Blanco

      CS… School… Vaccines… Sleep training… I am pretty sure you used a HAT when she was born… There is no hope for her… She will be depressed fat allergic to everything and only able to finish primary school!!!!!

      As the mother of a baby that was not meant to live you bet I give a damm about Nature.

    • Ash

      There is already a story in the news about a young woman (no longer a minor) whose parents believed in “unschooling.” She has no birth certificate, no driver’s license, never attended public school. No social security number. Her parents refuse to assist her in any way to get this vital documentation of her existence as a US citizen.

      She has written to her elected representatives for assistance and they have declined to help her.

      • rh1985

        I heard that her parents finally agreed to assist after she went to the media. I guess they didn’t want the public pressure on them.

        • Guesteleh

          Dad is in trouble because he hasn’t paid taxes since 1996. Plus it sounds like he’s running a family cult–adult children not allowed to drive or leave the house. It’s seriously fucked up.

      • FrequentFlyer

        I think this is the young woman I have read about on a couple of blogs that talk about quiverful, Christian patriarchy, and fundamentalism in general. Apparently this is a thing that some of them promote. The want to keep their children, especially the girls, uneducated and isolated. The girls are supposed to be married off pretty young and never work outside of the home. The boys are supposed to get married and support a huge family without having an education or any real vocational training. I can’t begin to understand deliberately doing this to your children.

      • Liz Leyden

        Her father is a tax lawyer, so it’s not a matter of parental ignorance.

    • Cathbettybean

      Well said Dr. kitty. I hate how AP parents make out that all parents who adopt so called ‘mainstream’ parenting practices as sleep training and working outside the home are villainous! So many of us so called ‘mainstream’ parents have happy children and balanced lives that work out just fine for us, it’s tiring to be burdened with so much guilt though!
      You should write a blog Dr.Kitty, I love the way you write!

  • Mariana

    I’ve had two csections. The first after an attempted induction at 41 weeks, the other at 39 weeks with a transverse baby (and I got tired of waiting to see if he would flip).

    I used to count the first as a bad experience… I was hopping for a vaginal birth (with an epidural, in a hospital, with a real doctor). Now I count them both as blessings. It is was brought my children into this world. We were all safe and sound.

    The hospital staff at the first birth was horrible. They treated me as a unruly child, yelling at me for things that didn’t really matter (I was feeling hot and turned the AC on in the room… The nurse refused to bring my daughter to me… Pit was 41C outside. I got up from bed and went to pick her up myself from the nursery, only to be yelled at again for being out of bed. I insisted on having a shower every day I was there… The nurses found that “difficult” as they has to assist me). But I think they would have been nasty if I had had a vaginal birth as well. The second birth was at a different hospital, and I was treated with kindness and respect (and had two showers a day! I live in a tropical country, I need my showers!)

    • Oh, hello! (I believe we are already acquainted from elsewhere. –a.k.a Metpatpetet)

  • KarenJJ

    I loved my c-sections. The staff made it feel like a celebration – even the emergency one. One of the staff took photos for us, my husband got to announce the sex. I even got to watch my second CS in the reflection of the operating theatre lights. I have fond memories of my children’s births.

    • guest

      I wish I had gotten more of that with my c-section. It was fine and I felt safe, but the anesthesiologists were discussing golf by my head while I was anxiously straining to hear what the crew around my abdomen were saying. No one took pictures. At least the nurses brought my babies to my face once they were checked over. I am certainly not traumatized by not having a more personable staff though!

      • KarenJJ

        I was expecting more golf talk and was actually quite impressed that it didn’t happen. The emergency c-section at 4pm on my obgyn’s normal elective surgery day, so I was hardly the first c-section on that day.

        • Dr Kitty

          My CS was 20 minutes, skin to skin because my former OB is old and FAST.
          I don’t think there was really much time for chit chat, because my daughter was born about 3 minutes after he started cutting, she was in my arms for the next 5 minutes so I was engrossed with the new baby, and for the last 10 minutes the anaesthetist was making sure I was ok, because I got a bit woozy with the syntometrine and when they exteriorised my uterus.

          The conversation (such as it was) was very much about us- did we know whether we were having a boy or girl, did we have names picked out, were the grandparents excited, who wanted to hold the baby first, did DH remember his camera, did we have any prayers we needed to say when she was born etc.

          Then lots of congratulations and jokes about how angry my daughter appeared to be (we have a photo of her half in/ half out of my abdomen and she is seriously pissed off looking) and how they hoped we were prepared for the amount of pink there was going to be in our house.

          All very calm and pleasant, no golf, no drama.

          • guest

            I actually found the golf reassuring, in a way. If the anesthesiologist is so unconcerned that he can discuss golf, then clearly my vitals were just find. (It was clear that he was attentive to me. I mentioned to my partner that I felt cold and it was the anesthesiologist who overhead and got me a warming blanket.) It was an emergency c-section, otherwise I would have made sure someone took pictures myself. But sometimes there just isn’t time to do everything.

          • Mariana

            I was also reassured about the idle chat in the OR. When things get quiet is when you have to worry! All the doctors and nurses attending my second birth were female, and we spent the whole time talking nail polish colors. The anesthesiologist was really paying attention, she even removed my oxygen mask and scratched my nose for me (after seeing me struggling to knock it off myself by wiggling my nose). My husband took pictures and was the first one to hold out baby.

          • Allie

            I can’t really imagine flipping through my old family photos and finding one of great grandma with grandpa half out of her abdomen. Yikes! I guess future generations will have that experience, but I don’t even have many baby photos of myself, and no home movies. The current obsession with photos is a bit disturbing.

      • Wren

        I could have done with more celebration and photos maybe, but it was fine. My blood pressure dropped badly twice so the anaesthetist really made a point of keeping me talking. We discussed our cats. Not what I had planned for that day, but it worked.

  • Cobalt

    Vaginal birth involves levels of physical force applied to the baby that in any other context would be abuse.

    Cesareans are performed with incisions and maneuvers specifically designed to avoid undue stress to the infant, and certainly for a much shorter duration than labor (minutes versus hours or days!).

    And if she didn’t want a cesarean, didn’t want her children “assaulted” as they entered the world, why’d she have the surgery?

  • demodocus’ spouse

    If you’ve been truly traumatized by your C-section (which in muddy boots case I rather doubt) you need a therapist. Not whining on FB about how *all* C-sections are terrible.

    • Somewhereinthemiddle

      Well yes, I agree with you to a certain point. But I think there can most definitely be traumatizing cesareans. A friend of mine had a crash CS for a cord prolapse with the doctor on top of her on the bed holding the cord in while the were being rushed to the OR. She went under general and woke not knowing if her baby made it or was seriously compromised. I mean, that is legit terrifying and she was justifiably traumatized. But I am guessing the situations you are talking about are far different from that example.

      • Elaine

        I think (some) people compare a traumatizing c-section to the vision of the ideal vaginal birth. But in a lot of cases the appropriate comparison is a horrific labor and a dead baby. Your friend had an upsetting experience but I’m sure she’s not going around saying that she wishes she’d had a vaginal birth instead, since obviously in her case that would not have ended well.

        • Somewhereinthemiddle

          Haha! Nope. She (and everyone else) were just completely relieved that her baby was born uncompromised and that everything ended well healthwise for both of them. She did end up having another baby via planned CS and it was a much preferrable and pleasant experience than her first as one might imagine.

      • Yes, that sort of emergency can be terrifying to a lay person. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve been perched on a trolley doing what that doctor was doing, or positioning myself alongside the patient’s head as we rush down a corridor, and I always make a point of letting the others on the team deal with the emergent issues while I.keep the woman from going berserk. It may just be that because I’m communicating with her, explaining, or even just saying something comforting at the moment, but Ithink this is an essential part of nursing care.

        • Daleth

          You rule.

        • Cobalt

          “It may just be that because I’m communicating with her, explaining, or even just saying something comforting at the moment, but Ithink this is an essential part of nursing care.”

          Totally. Of course having the medical team and tech to get the best possible outcome is critical, but reducing complete panic in the patient matters too. The absolute terror of having a medical emergency, combined with having no idea what is going on, is severely traumatic. I benefit tremendously from having a “narrator”, and I’m not the only one.

      • Montserrat Blanco

        I understand that situation can be traumatizing. But I do not think that is due to the CS, I think the traumatizing bit is “my baby could have died”. And of course that is very traumatizing.

        • Somewhereinthemiddle

          I suppose it is all how it is separated out in the mind of the individual, you know? I would imagine that some women would feel the trauma is associated with surgery itself or the terrifying situation leading up to it or both or neither. *Shrugs* I don’t know, just kinda guessing here since the way individuals experience trauma can be pretty variable. In any case, this particular lady went on to have another scheduled repeat that was pleasant and went swimmingly and she wasn’t traumatized by that one at all.

      • demodocus’ spouse

        Must have been terrifying for your friend, and I hope things are working out now for her. Without a doubt, childbirth can be pretty harrowing. I wasn’t being snarky about people who’ve been traumatized should probably see a therapist. They can help you deal with it and move past it.
        Muddy Boots doesn’t say why both her CSs were “horribly traumatic” for her kids and for her, but judging by her “full-on” attachment parenting and unschooling, I suspect her definition of trauma is a bit different than the usual one.

      • Daleth

        That sounds like a terrifying experience for your friend. Is she able to separate the fear she felt from the life-saving fact she had a c-section? What I mean is, does she view the CS itself as traumatic or does she connect the trauma to the actual problem (cord prolapse, endangered baby, terrifying rush to the OR) while realizing that without the CS her baby would be dead or seriously compromised?

        • Somewhereinthemiddle

          This is address to both you as well as demodocus’ spouse for the sake of brevity.

          I’ve never asked her about the details of her traumatic experience so don’t know the answer to that since she isn’t a close enough friend to ask such an intimate question. I do have enough experince with trauma to know that different people experience it different ways and I think it is entirely possible for someone to be traumatized in addition to being very, very grateful for a life saving procedure. In addition to childbirth types of situations, I’ma lso thinking of things like car accident, gunshot victims and the like. It would seem to be entirely possible to be both grateful for a team saving your life but also be traumatized by the fear, pain, etc. Emotional trauma is such an odd beast in that it affects different people different ways.

          The reason this feels important to address to me is that I think (in American culture at least, not sure about elsewhere) is that there is a ‘pull up by the bootstraps’ sort of mentality to scary experiences, especially when it comes to childbirth. I think that unaddressed trauma can be dangerous for mothers and babies because it can contribute to post partum depression, anxiety, etc. That make any sense? I wouldn’t want to make assumptions about what women should and should not feel traumatized by when it comes to their experience, especially in special situations where “real” trauma is justified? It just makes more sense to me, in situations like this, to allow women to define their own trauma and not to say what they should and should not associate with their trauma and extend compassion if their trauma may not be “accurate” in it’s direction.

          I haven’t had my coffee yet so this may a bit rambling and I hope it makes some lick of sense.

          • Daleth

            Oh, of course she would probably be traumatized by the experience even though she may also be thankful she had access to such good medical care. What you say makes total sense. I didn’t mean to suggest she shouldn’t be traumatized at all or shouldn’t think it was a harrowing experience. There just seem to be some women who somehow decide it’s the c-section itself that traumatized them, when if you listen to their story the whole experience sounds awful (terrifying medical emergency etc.) and you know if they hadn’t had a c-section somebody would’ve been dead or permanently compromised.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            In my own experience: CS was not traumatizing at all. It was elective, I kind of knew what to expect. I must admit I thought I would have had less feeling in my belly and found odd to feel how they touched and moved the surgery instruments all around my belly but it was OK.

            Having a baby at the NICU was a completely different story… I felt great after my surgery but not perfect of course and I just wanted to be with my baby and I had to leave him at the hospital while I went home… That was hard. Being afraid that my baby would not make it was really hard. It did not traumatize me but I can see how someone can be seriously traumatized because of that. Some women might also be afraid they will not make it themselves and that is pretty easy traumatizing. As a lot of CS happen in quite difficult circumstances I see how one might say “I was traumatized by my CS” but I suspect that if you ask a couple of questions you would find out it is not the CS but the fear for the baby/your life that is really traumatizing.

        • Somewhereinthemiddle

          And my point isn’t to be arguementative or accusatory or to say that you are wrong. Just my perspective.

  • rh1985

    Talk about first world problems. Most women in the third world would do just about anything to have access to facilities able to do a c-section if needed.

  • ArmyChick

    My c-section led to a healthy baby who will be 4 this June.

    The consequences to being ASSAULTED by the man I married were bruises, fear, PTSD and anxiety that are being addressed by therapy. However, I still have a long way to go.

    Comparing c-section to being assaulted is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. As a victim of domestic violence, this rotten woman gets no sympathy from me. Wah Wah, didn’t have the birth of her dreams. You can’t always get what you want. Deal with it.

  • QZ_101214

    OT, but I was wondering if you guys have discussed Jill Duggar/Dillard on this site at all, and if so, can you point me to a thread?

    For those wondering what I’m talking about, she’s a reality show pseudo-celeb that’s a week and a half overdue, still talking about her homebirth plan, with no mention of NSTs or any other routine post-dates surveillance

    • Cartman36

      I have been wondering myself. I’m sure TLC will have a private ambulance on standby but she will still be minutes away from a hospital

    • Bugsy

      I’ve also been wondering what’s going on. My mom is a huge fan and has been following Jill’s pregnancy. It’s concerning to me the fact that she’s now 11 days late without monitoring…however, I don’t get the impression she’s concerned at all. She’d previously made statements to the effect that it would be an April baby, and apparently she’s aiming for an Easter baby.

    • Liz Leyden

      I wouldn’t be surprised if she had NSTs, but didn’t publicize it.

  • Mattie

    Shame she’s not as worried about the effect ‘unschooling’ will have on her children’ future as she is about the effect a necessary birth intervention had on their past.

    • carr528

      I read through some of her other posts. She’s a piece of work. Apparently, if you don’t breastfeed, co-sleep until they’re 12, and “unschool”, you’re a rotten parent. Oh, and don’t even get her STARTED on the evil parents who sleep train their children!!

      She would really hate me. I had four c-sections (none of which were traumatic), I used a mild version of CIO, I sleep trained my children, my kids have all slept in their own beds since they were six to eight weeks old, AND they go to public school! They’re also bright, inquisitive kids who are (usually) a lot of fun to be around! I screw up on almost a daily basis when parenting (doesn’t everyone?), but there’s not much I’d change about how I parented when they were little.

      • Mattie

        Eep, I mean, I’m 23 and have no children, I have a lot of ideas about how I will parent my future children, but I do not know what those children will be like and what will work and what will not, so just gonna see what happens 🙂 love is the most important thing, and a constant reminder that they’re not tamagotchis and will do their own thing because they are tiny people with their own thoughts and independence. The ‘best’ parents can raise the ‘worst’ children and vice versa, and most children grow up thinking they’ll do everything totally different to what their parents did anyway 😛

      • Petanque

        I have a similar family story carr528 – looks like we’ve got it all wrong! Maybe we should just start again with new ones, follow the instructions and create perfect humans!
        😉

        • carr528

          Nah, I’m 40. While I love babies, I’m over pregnancy and waking up two or more times a night. 🙂

          Now, if I could just get the youngest potty trained. . .

      • Mac Sherbert

        Apparently, that’s all she has to make her feel good about herself. The rest of us are secure in who we are and don’t have to be superior in the parenting realm to have value. I do wonder how these kids will feel about being unschooled when they start seeking employment.

        • Bugsy

          Me too…or, for that matter, where they’re in any environment where others are in control.

      • rh1985

        I am considering homeschooling (definitely not unschooling!) my daughter, but she was born by CS, 100% formula fed from birth, ate jarred baby food, I sent her to the nursery at night and she slept in a crib in her own room from the day we got home, I used a swing and a bouncy chair, and I never tried babywearing and love using a stroller.

        so she’s already “ruined” right?

    • theNormalDistribution

      OMG, unschooling… I can’t believe that’s a thing.

      • Mattie

        well, it isn’t really, I mean not as a form of education, yeh it sucks that schools are based largely on your ability to pass tests and that some children are not as apt at doing that (doesn’t mean they’re stupid, they just have other skills) but to not afford them the opportunity to try, and to get to college if they want to….that’s just not helping them at all.

        • Amy

          And remember, almost all teachers are opposed to the overemphasis on testing and are genuinely interested in helping their kids learn.

          • Mattie

            Oh definitely, teaching is such a worthwhile profession, and teachers aren’t paid nearly enough (and I’m not just saying that because I want to teach, unsurprisingly I’m not going in to it for the money lol)

      • Liz Leyden

        Last summer, my local free paper ran a profile of an unschooling family. http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/a-cabot-family-makes-the-case-for-unschooling/Content?oid=2425152

    • Bugsy

      Absolutely beautiful point.

    • Amy

      I know quite a few unschooled kids. Not a single one knows any math beyond the basic fractions needed for cooking. Several of them spend all their time playing Minecraft and reading comic books. One acquaintance of mine got both of her under-13 kids Facebook accounts before they even turned 10. One mom, who later defriended me for not being crunchy enough, bragged about how “naturally” learning occurs in their family with a story about how the answer to one child’s question about helium balloons was their “science” for the day.

      To me, there’s no two ways about it, this is neglect. It’s one thing for young adults to decide they hate math and science and want to major in the humanities; it’s an entirely different thing for their parents to limit their access to education.

  • carr528

    Assaulted by a c-section? I do not think that word means what she thinks it means. What a fool. I feel sorry for her c-section babies. I’m sure they hear every day how their birth was inferior to her perfect vaginal birth babies.

    • Daleth

      “I do not think that word means what she thinks it means”

      Haha. Exactly. Perhaps she herself was “unschooled” and thus has a limited vocabulary? 😉

  • Alex

    I love how she’s complaining that her babies were traumatized by their c-section birth. Even assuming that babies can be emotionally scared by their birth… Somehow she feels that having hands taking a baby out of an incision on the uterus is more traumatic and assaulting to the baby than that baby being compressed in the uterus by contractions for hours and then having his whole body squeezed head first through a vagina.

    • Sarah

      I’ve got one that was delivered vaginally, one by section. We’ll all convene back here in 20 years, decide which one’s turned out better, and that’ll settle it once and for all.

      • Hopefully, or perhaps I should say,the opposite, you can still remember which was which at that time in the future.

        Anyway how does one measure success? My most artistic child was bottle fed, the one on his way to being a millionaire was exclusively breastfed for three months, and the truly fantastic mother of my two grandchildren was combination fed.

        I don’t know what that proves.

        • Sarah

          We’ll measure it according to which one of them has more homebirths.