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Brave Message Board Mom Questions Necessity of First Cesarean

I read a lot of message board threads about c-sections when they come up in my Google Alerts. Albeit just a little too voyeuristic for my taste, it is always interesting to me to observe how and what information and wisdom is shared from woman to woman.


Was I lied to?!

Thinking about going into labor this time around has made me start to think about the day I had J. And the more I think about it the more I think the doctor lied to me about needing a c-section. Nothing was said to me about why I needed one after trying to push for maybe 30 mins. I just figured the doctor knew what he was doing and I trusted him. He acted weird torward my husband and mom, even asked “Do you think I did the right thing?”, we thought it was odd but didn’t give it a second thought really. I was told in recovery that I could have died but when I go back and think….how was I going to die? I felt fine just really wanted to push but was told not too.

It wasn’t until my first appointment with C that I was told he was face up and trying to see where he was going (which is so very him). Never once was I told this when I had him. The doctor I saw that day said “you can try for a VBAC if you want”, after reading my birth story thing in my chart and after that I never saw that doctor again…I’ve been seeing the doctor who delivered J who says I have to have a c-section. He’s out of town for the month so last time I saw the midwife who said 40+weeks for a c-section, and tomorrow I see the dr who said I could try for a VBAC.

The reason I think I was lied to was because for the hell of it I’ve been reading about face up births, and everything I see says it’s possible just takes longer. It was almost 5 pm when they said “c-section” and it makes me wonder was he just wanting to go home and I was taking to long? Because right after my c-section he went home…

I have all these thoughts racing through my head about this and the more I read about it and the more I think about it makes me think he was in the wrong for making me have a c-section.

Tomorrow I’m going to demand to see my chart and read what was put by that doctor. I want the truth and I just feel like I wasn’t told the truth.


A few excerpts from responses:

I am going through this right now. When I was at 24 weeks my OB ALREADY scheduled my CS!! Oh and by the way the next day he is leaving for vacation!! Needless to say I went ballastic. I am very much jaded especially w/ OB’s from NY because **most** of them do CS because time is money and money is time.

I am not saying ALL doctors are like this but there is a trend going on and no one is sticking up for these woman which some are getting needless CS. We are born to give birth. Give us the support, time and encouragement and we can do it. I am sure there are defacto time limits each hospital puts into place with active birth. They don’t want a prolonged labor. They want the babies out, the beds filled and gone within two days!! Why you think they are so big on the interventions? Gotta break your water, or push the pitocin, etc. With each intevention it snowballs out of control.

I, too was forced into a CS and have all medical records from the first and sought out a second opinion. I was told, that there really was no medical reason why you had to get a CS. Yes, the **official diagnosis was** hydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) which was stated in my medical records after the CS as being borderline in the post-op report. THe other reason was Macrosomia (basically a big baby). H was 9 lbs. THe other opinion I sought said the “bookmark weight” for Macrosomia is usually 10.5 lbs. so she had no idea why I was diagnosed with that either. SHe also said “At the time your’re doctor probably felt it was the right thing to do”. Sure because he probably did not want to miss his tee time!!

I would go out and get a second opinion. I will be, if our meeting today does not turn out the way we planned. Today, I will ask him to give me a valid reason why I cannot try for a VBAC and don’t give me the BS about the 1% chance of uterian rupture either or “do I really want to push out a 9+ lb. baby” which by the way was one of his answers. For him it may purely be an insurance obstacle. VBAC coverage in NY costs the OB’s more and therefore alot opt out of it, NOT telling their patients!!

THere is another organization that may of be some help to you too, ICAN. International Cesarean Awareness Network International Cesarean Awareness Network

The best of luck to you. I hope it works out for you. You’re not alone in this there are a lot of woman who look back at the day which is suppose to be one the joyest occasions in their life as a day when they were not allowed to experience actual childbirth. I have a horrible memory of my daughter’s birth and it brings tears to my eyes. I feel cheated and often say she was “surgically removed from me” because in actual reality that is exactly what happened. I was never given the chance to feel a contraction, push or anything. I don’t even know what a contraction feels like. How crazy is that??? Of course there are times when a CS are medically needed but the current trend that is going on in this country is staggering.




Good luck at your appointment and getting the info you need! And remember, this is your pregnancy, baby and body, not the doctors. If you want to try for that VBAC you should be given all opportunities to do just that. Im so tired of doctors making us feel like we don’t have a choice. With my first 7 years ago, I felt I was educated when truly I wasn’t. I labored for 18 hours with out pain relief or much support from doctors or nurses. Instead of laying in bed they could of helped by telling me vertical positions help baby move down the birth canal. That laying in bed actually makes labor harder because you don’t have gravity. I was not told that you can have more heart decels after the breaking of the water because its no longer there supporting the umbilical cord. I don’t know, you go into the hospital thinking they are there to help, but really, each intervention can make things worse for a lot of women. I had zero problems with labor other than pain until I gave in and broke the bag of water and had the epi. I was 8 cm at that point and then baby started having heart decels and they were talking section. I guess I just feel our bodies were designed for birthing and our bodies know what to do the right way. I know not everyone can have a vaginal birth and c sections are truly needed, but I do believe sections are out of control. This time around Im more educated and I am truly hoping my education and past experience in the labor room will allow me to have the birth I truly want to have.



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Reader Comments (9)

This is a great post. It's so clear that the rise in c-sections are multi-factorial and that we will never get to the bottom of it unless we take a good look at the interactions happening every day in prenatal appointments and in the labor room. It also underscores how vitally important it is to choose your provider and birth setting with extreme caution, to find one who has a low c-section rate and good outcomes for mothers and babies.

There's an interesting article in this month's BJOG. I haven't had a chance to write it up for Science & Sensibility, but check out the abstract (and in fact, I think the full-text article is free.) Its findings are similar to another article about "maternal request" c-section that I summarized here (third article). When women ask for a c-section (or in the case of your example, agree to one), they're not asking for a c-section per se, they're asking for a healthy baby or to avoid injury to themselves, and they think a c-section is the only way they can have that. It is the obligation of the provider to tell women truthfully when a c-section will actually help them accomplish the healthy baby/healthy mom goal, and when it will not. And in my opinion it is malpractice to let a woman erroneously believe that a c-section is the safest option when there is no evidence to support that. As for telling women straight up that it is the safest option, I'm sure there's another word for that that isn't appropriate for me to use here.

June 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Romano

Ack, I always have trouble with URLs on your blog for some reason. Here's the link for the second article I mentioned: http://www.lamaze.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=01iZKacDeX8%3D&tabid=120&mid=566

Behind the scenes magic has fixed the second link. I have been seriously considered moving the blog over to WordPress because of the comments. You can't subscribe to just one thread, it won't automatically create hyperlinks, you can't reply specifically to one comment. It drives me crazy. -Jill

June 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Romano

These women vocalize my life perfectly. Our bodies were made to give birth, but with the time limits on birth, and the rising intervention rates, it is really hard to go to a hospital and get a birth experience.

Most women I know that go to the hospital have left with cesareans after a certain amount of time.

I trusted the doctor and my midwife with the choice for my cesarean completely. I didn't think they would do anything that would risk the health of me or my child. And now I wonder what would have happened if I had just said no to all the interventions that started the cascade that ended in an OR and then a NICU.

It makes you wonder what doctors are truly about when they 'pressure' women into unnecessary surgery just because it is more convenient for them. And they know that if they bring up the words 'best for your baby', no woman is going to say no unless she is completely and utterly educated on all of the things that can happen. It's her baby, of course let's save it from my evil insides that are killing it!!

Great post, and I wish that more people were outspoken about unnecessary cesareans. Soooo many women can't come back from that and it's terrifying

June 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKayce

Great post! I, too, had a C-section after pushing for 1.5 hours, and I think it was unnecessary. I am now 24 weeks pregnant with my second, and having a VBAC. I recently switched to a midwife, and when she asked why I had a cesarean, I said "Well, I have some theories.... do you want my opinion or what the doctor told me?" She wanted both. :)
I absolutely feel like I was lied to about my C-section. The reason I switched to a midwife was because my doctor told me I could try for a VBAC, but my chances are slim, so she doesn't want me to get my hopes up. I didn't want a doctor to humor me, I wanted a doctor to support me and have confidence that I CAN do it. The fact that I had an unnecessary C-section makes me angry. Because of the OBGYN's selfishness, I had major abdominal surgery, and I now have a scar that causes me pain on a weekly basis, even 2 years later. Because of their selfishness, I am restricted in how I can labor and birth (example: The hospital I will be driving an hour to for this birth is wonderful and offers waterbirth, except to VBAC patients. I can labor in the tub, but cannot give birth in it. I also couldn't find a midwife in the area that was willing to do a HBAC.). For every child I have, I will have limited options in how I can give birth. I had some complications early in this pregnancy with a low-lying placenta, which I am convinced was caused by my previous C-section. I also had a miscarriage in January, and I wonder, how many studies have they done on the correlation between cesareans and miscarriages? Is it possible that the death of my unborn, very much wanted baby was caused by the selfishness of the doctors in the hospital when they insisted I needed a C-section?
My unnecessarean angers me. I feel like I was cheated, and I feel like a part of my womanhood was ripped away from me when I was told I "probably" could not give birth normally.

June 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAudrey

First, the more I read stories like this, the more I am so so happy that luck (and it was simply sheer luck) went my way and the Gavin was born vaginally. I had all the other interventions, but fortunately he was born at 3:46PM: plenty of time to clean up and get home for dinner.

Second, this makes me SO angry and SO sad. There are far too many women in this position. Far too many women that will have to second-guess, and suffer, and deal with (unnecessary?) major surgery when they should be happy about welcoming a wee one into the world.

I cry for these women, and thank luck that I'm not one of them. And vow to work harder for them.

June 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTara

Hi Audrey. Welcome! I've seen links from your site and have laughed at the URL... http://everyurlwastaken.blogspot.com.

I wish I had recorded the local obstetrician that sat on a panel at a Business of Being Born showing last month. He calmly and confidently told a woman in the audience who had a previous c-section that he body was not broken and that her body works. Every woman needs that kind of support and confidence in her and in the process of birth.

Congrats on your pregnancy. I know that "probably" wouldn't suffice for me, either.

June 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

It's frustrating for me because I think a lot of people having issues with C-sections is because of the culture in our society to be unsatisfied with many things, and the concept that the grass is greener on the other side. I know each experiance is different and that there must be times when CS's are done unnecessarily but there are times where they probably should be done but aren't. I am canadian, and gave birth at a hospital that has exceptional nurses and doctors. I was able to give birth vaginally after 35 hours of labour, 12 hours of active non-progressive labour they put me on pitosin(sp) and 6 hours later without an epideral, I delivered a 9lbs baby but had very bad tearing(4th degree) as a result of it. At 7 months post-partum I still have a lot of pain even though everything has healed. So really I don't know if having my baby in a hospital that avoids CS's was the better option. I just hope people don't forget that sometimes CS's are best and doctors are educated professionals remember. It's hard for people to believe that a professional may know what's better for your body than you do, but that's just the reality of science. We should all just be grateful that we have our health and the health of our babies, because there are woman with much worse fates than that...

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

doctors are educated professionals remember. It's hard for people to believe that a professional may know what's better for your body than you do, but that's just the reality of science.

Um, NOT really!

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFormerly Known

Ashley, I am so sorry you experienced a 4th degree tear while giving birth. This has probably been a very difficult year for you. Is there some reason why you believe that your doctors should have been able to foresee that you would tear extensively?

During the first year post-partum, women go through stages of processing their birth. It's a major life event that changes... well, everything. If you are questioning the way your birth unfolded, make an appointment with the doctor that caught your baby and ask questions liberally. You deserve it and you're worth the time. Make sure they have your records. Take notes and please do not let them tell you that you tore solely because your babe was nine pounds. Here's a great post specifically about vaginal tearing and cesareans.

At first I thought that what Formerly Known quoted was a tad harsh since you're talking about what sounds like a pretty traumatic birth. It's actually a really interesting thing to point out. You WERE in the care of doctors. And it sounds like you're questioning how the doctors and educated professionals handled your birth.

And I do hear what you're saying about gratitude. I know I'm grateful for the access I have to emergency medical services and I'd say that at least every few days I take a deep breath and exhale when I see my little ones running around because I'm so glad they're healthy and alive. One thing to remember, though, is that more cesareans does not equal more healthy moms and babies. It does to a point and then the converse occurs.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I wish you a continued and prompt recovery from your injuries.

June 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill
This blog is all done!
Thanks for wanting to comment. This is an archive of a blog that once was. Take care! Jill