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Thread: Enduring Labor = Pride?

  1. #1
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    Enduring Labor = Pride?

    I apologize if this topic has been discussed already here. I knew in advance that I probably would want an epidural during labor although I was willing to try natural. What ended up happening was that I was in labor for approxmately 13 hours before getting an epidural (shortly after I arrived at the hospital -I requested it as soon as I was checked to see if I was dilated enough, I was), I then spent another 8 hours in labor/2-3 hours trying to push, that didn't work and the baby was nearing a distress situation so I had a last minute c-section. I was very upset/disappointed that I needed a C, but I got over it. After all I had a healthy beautiful baby, what else is there?

    Ok that's the background. I am troubled by the view that making it through natural childbirth is put forth as a huge accomplishment/source of pride for a mother to the point that she will endure days of laborand take risks (well, there are degrees of risks of course) so that she can "accomplish" this.

    Now, I understand there are supposed to be health and other benefits to the baby if there are no drugs used, and perhaps it is thought that it improves bonding at birth, etc. I don't disagree that there probably are health benefits (and I guess it's easier to heal from natural childbirth than a C section), but I am a little skeptical.

    Mostly, I don't think that any woman should be made to feel badly if she chooses not to endure the pain and opts for drugs (or agrees to a C section even if it's not an emergency). And, a woman who goes through natural childbirth shouldn't see herself as any stronger than someone who doesn't, especially since there is such a variation in pain levels plus the person's tolerance for pain.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member hers's Avatar
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    Is it a normal question from others how you delivered? Seems a personal question to me and I'd tell people as much.

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    Platinum Member EQD's Avatar
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    i can see how someone would be proud. its probably close to the equivalent of a bunch of guys standing around one bragging about how they didnt need a dolly to move the washer.

    Its the idea that they endured/accomplished something difficult without the aid of something else. they 'did it all on their own' so to speak.

    i dont look down on anyone who chooses either way. but i can somewhat sense where that mentality can come from.

    that whole 'i suffered through this' is something women have held over men for thousands of years (lol) doesnt surprise me that women amongst themselves would find yet another reason to feel superior or elitist about it.

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    I had a scheduled c-section. I never felt labor pains or any of that. I also will not have another child, he's it for me. I can honestly say that I am damn glad and proud of the fact that I did not have to go through labor. Natural childbirth is great for some, but NOT for me. To each, their own. I also know that I dont handle pain very well. The more pain I have the more stressed out and anxious I get, so the more stressed out the baby would get. Plus I was already having blood pressure problems.

    Natural=nope...
    c-section=yeahhh!

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Hope75's Avatar
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    I'm right with you Batya.

    I wanted a natural birth too but thanks to my pre E I got induced 3 weeks early when my body was nowhere near ready for labor, and the pitocin made my contractions intense right from the get go. I also wasn't allowed out of bed to walk to advance labor, and wasn't allowed in the tub for pain relief. I lasted about 7 hours without the epi and then asked for it. It didn't work (I had a student anesthesiologist put it in! Ugh!) and they injected dose after dose which numbed my legs but not my back or abdomen. I felt every contraction. After 26 hours I needed an emergent c-section anyway.

    To be honest my priorities changed very quickly to having a healthy baby and surviving labor myself, but I agree with you that there is a stigma out there for women who choose pain control during labor being not as much of a woman, or being 'wimpy', and it, frankly, is silly. Every woman's childbirth experience is different. There may be women who went through natural labor and delivery and say it wasn't painful. And others who found it excruciating. For me it was definitely uncomfortable/painful.

    In the end we all birth a child, whether it is 'natural', vaginal, surgical, whatever. We should get props for that- it is NOT easy, no matter how you get there, and my experience was no less difficult than a woman who had natural labor- to be induced and have no change to adjust to the buildup of contractions, and then after 26 hours of that have to endure emergency surgery-- not easy.

    When I was in nursing school doing my maternity rotation we had a saying, "No one gets an award for going through the pain of labor without pain relief. In the end you all go home with a baby. If pain relief makes the experience easier, more productive, etc for you, there is NO shame in asking for it. Childbirth is painful!"

    Although I was a little disappointed that I did not get the natural childbirth experience I would have liked, I quickly let it go, as having my beautiful daughter and being healthy and able to love and care for her was more than enough joy and satisfaction for me.

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    Platinum Member hers's Avatar
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    I don't understand why motherhood has become a competitive sport. All mothers claim to know what's best for other mothers, when really each mother would know only what's best for their family. I've heard stories where women walk up to other women who are feeding their baby out of a bottle and they get all self-rightteous and start preaching how "breast is best" when really they have no effing clue what's in the bottle or if it's even the kid's mother giving them that bottle.

    I say raise your family tthe best you can and tell others to mind their own business.

    That may have gone slightly off topic. Apologies if it did.

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    Platinum Member Hope75's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hersmudders
    Is it a normal question from others how you delivered? Seems a personal question to me and I'd tell people as much.

    Oh yes, everyone wants to know! You'd be surprised how rude and intrusive people are during pregnancy and childbirth.

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    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    What the woman and baby can endure should be the deciding factor. I do not think it is a reason to look down on someone. What you can take is what you can take.I asked for an epidural after I could not bear it anymore. I am glad I made that choice because of circumstances after.

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    I was given the choice of a c -section or normal birth, and at the time it was more dangerous for me to have a c-section. Because of the fact I did not have a bump, and they'd have to make the cut differently. And I could hemorage? and that baby could/may have been the last baby I'd have if I had a c-section due to complications of the cut, they may have had to give me a historectormy. So I went for a normal birth. (Not a 100% clear on details on the birth, may have a few things mixed up but this is how I remember it)

    I'd go for the normal birth again with this baby. As I don't know how people cope with a c-section. It's got nothing to do with pride, or anything like that. I don't like the fact I'd have to be cut open.. and then struggle for 6 weeks, and not be allowed to drive. Plus it doesn't release the hormone that releases milk I found out in my last class. Or soemthing similar.

    And I have my pain relief class tomorrow so I dont know a LOT! Other than Gas and Air is best option for me personally for pain relief. As epidural and Pethadine both make the baby sleepy, and I don't want to make breast feeding any harder than it's going to be. Which a sleepy baby will do so.

    So I'm just choosing to make it easier for myself, and the baby.

    And about bonding, I read/was told that as long as skin to skin contact is made at birth the bonding process begins. Also calms the baby down I'm told.

    I would do ANYTHING to bring my baby out safely, weather c-section or labour. I was given a choice with my last daughter, but was adviced it would be better to go through labour. If they had told me she would have better chances of survival by c-section I'd have done that. But they said the chances of her living were low with both choices, so I thought of my health and my future to have more children since her chances weren't effected =(

    I really don't think it matters, as long as the mother or baby is not at risk. It's there choice. My sister in law chose to have a c-section with her first, then a normal birth, then with her third opted for another c-section. Each to there own.

    All that matters is that your going to love that baby.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member EQD's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hersmudders
    I don't understand why motherhood has become a competitive sport.
    women are by nature very competitive. especially when it concerns mating and reproduction.

    i have to admit after i read this sentence i immediately thought of a bleacher full of soccor moms yelling for their kids to beat the other kids butt or something. . .
    made me smile

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