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Monday Open Thread

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This week’s open thread is hosted by Wasp Woman because Another Rachel said she should get a chance.


What’s happening? News? Thoughts? Puffy summer pregnancies to complain about?


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Reader Comments (55)

I'm trying so hard to convince a mother to be to have a home-birth... what da ya do?

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterme

From time to time, I encounter someone who is "dipping her toe in the VBAC water" by agreeing with her provider that she can have a TOL/VBAC only before a certain date (say, 38-39 weeks, or maybe even her due date, at which time she will have a scheduled RCS). When I, or others, raise concerns about the logical or scientifically based reason for that arbitrary cut-off date, she says she is totally fine with it and doesn't wish to argue it with her provider or change providers.

I don't understand these situations. Don't women either want a VBAC or not want one? And should we really be supporting providers who set a non evidence-based and arbitrary deadline like that for a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy? Aren't they raising VBAC hopes for women who are probably not going to be given a real chance?

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKK

"me"... As much as I wish some of my friends would have said "Hey, it's clear that you want ___ to attend your birth at home so why don't you scrap the birth center plan?", they didn't. The only thing I got out of them was that I had to give birth where I felt comfortable.

On the other hand, random people in public have no problem popping off about how it's CRRRRAZY to not give birth in a hospital. I'm ultimately glad I didn't feel pushed in any direction.

So, I don't know. Why do you think she should give birth at home?

July 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

In answer to "me" who posted about trying to convince someone to have a home birth, my recommendation is: "Don't"

I believe women need to birth where THEY feel safest. They need to make choices based on where they are in THEIR life. You can absolutely talk about how lovely your homebirth experiences were, and make available resources to explain that the usual choice isn't the only choice. But I think it's counterproductive and ill-advised to have a GOAL of persuading someone to birth a particular way, and that applies equally to talking moms OUT of homebirth as it does to talking moms INTO homebirth.

There is no way anyone could have talked me into homebirth with my first, and if they'd pushed, I would have become more close-minded. I wasn't even ready with my third, though chose free-standing birth center for that one. It was only with my fourth that I personally was ready.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Chalmers

My sister-in-law is going in for a hospital birth any day now and I stopped trying to convince her to do a home birth after about 30 seconds. She has lots of home-birth friends. The research is available to her. But she said she absolutely didn't feel safe at home, and I can't argue with her feelings, any more than she could argue me into having a hospital birth. Everyone gets their own choice, right?

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

KK, regarding their feelings, it's hard to say why anyone really feels the way they do. I think it's pretty typical to not want a fight and to just kind of go with the flow, even if it flows right back to a scheduled cesarean. Maybe some people just like to keep the door open but really kind of want a repeat cesarean and are too afraid to admit it.

Re. the bait-and-switch and arbitrary time frames, even doctors (and L&D nurses and CNMs) talk about other docs they know who pull that crap. It's pathetic. It's like the Month Python Flying Circus sketch with the cheese shop where they actually don't sell any cheese.

July 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

Leah, yes. And hopefully that choice is honored.

Congrats on your impending auntiehood. Such a fun relationship! I adore my nieces and nephews.

July 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

I don't think there is a right place to birth. Empowered birth/positive experience can happen in hospital or home with the right care provider. Autonomy and respect aren't limited to homebirth midwives. Dr Biter is a good example of that and certainly not the only one.

Women learn so much about themselves during pregnancy and birth, no matter what. I learned as much (or more) from my decision to ignore my inner voice and birth with a crummy doc in the hospital as I did from my healing home birth. It gave me the opportunity to define who I wanted to be as a woman and mother, share what I learned with others, start a business, host a radio show. I have no idea where I'd be without that horrible experience. But with it, and maybe even because of it, I have something important to give to other women- assistance in finding and listening to their own inner voice.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Hooray for Wasp Woman! I can totally relate to her.

I agree that you can't/shouldn't convince someone to homebirth. If I think someone is open, I suggest at least interviewing a homebirth MW. I suggest it as a learning experience and hey, you've got nothing to lose. Just be a supportive resource. I know how hard it can be to bite one's tongue esp when you know the evidence and horror stories. It's really hard.

I think the stuff about KK's VBAC question is also really hard. I think the fears run deep and the trust in the medical establishment to do what's best. So they might sorta want a VBAC, but also be really afraid of labor or their body 'failing' again or whatever... and thus follow doc's suggestions. Two friends recently attempted VBAC. The one who got the VBAC changed to a MW/OB practice, hired a doula, read stuff like Ina May and Business of Being Born. Ironically, she believes her VBAC was due to just the randomness of the birth being really different, rather than the different circumstances she chose. So, who knows? The friend who did labor but ended up CBAC, used the same doc who was negative from the start, no doula, no new reading... she said she had some regrets but was at peace with it.

I also think about Naomi Wolf's story in Misconceptions (a book that irritated the crap out of me). Despite all of her research, she could not quite grasp how low intervention could be better than high tech in the birth scenario. It is just SO HARD to get our heads around something that flies in the face of our deeply held cultural assumptions.

I'm reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck (about toxins and the chemical industry and basically makes me want to live in a yurt in the mountains) and they mention "... the shocking inability of humans to act prudently when presented with the facts." Add to that the intense emotional charge around pregnancy, fears, docs know best.... for someone to really go for a VBAC, she is up against a LOT.

That's enough ramble for now. And I spent like 30 mins looking up that quote, don't tell my boss.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Rachel

My EDD is in about a week. The Little One feels so big (though she's not above average in size...). I live in the Northeast, I am stuck indoors....

My sister is driving me NUTS. I am planning an unmedicated/physiological birth with a midwifery practice (wanted a homebirth but the insurance company wouldn't have paid out). I am going to breastfeed. I'm a biochemist whom does research in human biochemistry concerning nutrition and pharmaceuticals; I have done my research. My sister calls me every other day with birth/breastfeeding horror stories, including her own - telling me she just wants me to be "prepared." Yes sis, I feel prepared all on my own. I tell her the research of why I am doing X, Y, Z and not A, B, C and she launches into some story about a friend. It's very frustrating because otherwise I love my sister, and I don't want to strain our relationship - she can be very touchy about past decisions.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan
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