Monday, August 31, 2009

"A Birth Story" observations

TLC has this show called "A Birth Story" with women giving birth. I've been watching it all morning. Every single one of them was in a hospital, and every single one of them had an epidural. Every single one of them had problems after the epidural, such as fetal distress or a sudden, drastic drop in fetal heart rate, or labor just stopping progressing. Every single one of them so far have ended in a c-section. Every. Single. One.

Most of them were induced before their due dates. Only one of them was induced because a problem was suspected (low amniotic fluid). The one who wasn't induced had a planned c-section because of having triplets. A few of them have said very plainly that they were going to just do what the doctors said because "the doctors are the experts and always know what's best." (What's best for their insurance, at least, as they don't get sued for doing c-sections, only for not doing c-sections....)

The only one who was doing everything possible to avoid a c-section is the one who was induced for low amniotic fluid.

Not a single one of them have planned to try a natural un-medicated birth, instead talking ahead of time about the interventions they were counting on. And each time it was after pre-planned interventions that problems started very quickly.

I guess I'm posting this because I just can't understand how women can watch shows like this, see that it's after interventions that the problems start, and want to still do the same things. There is a place and time when these things are needed. I'm very very concerned that women are planning these things ahead of time, sometimes regardless of the risks, sometimes without being informed of any risks.

ETA: "Birth Day" came on after this mini-marathon, and the woman has the EXACT condition I have that led the doctors to try forcing me to agree to a c-section, despite research showing j-pouches not needing to be of obstetric concern. For her, she went right with the c-section she was told to and her baby had breathing problems BECAUSE of it, and due to that, she got to visit her new baby in the NICU for only a few minutes at a time. Her first sight of him was a picture, and she got to see him in person hours after birth. The early bonding time was with nurses.

Of course the entire thing was made out that childbirth must be sooooooo dramatic.

If the extent of my research went to a tv show, like it seems to be for many women, I'd be terrified right now. Yup, the show mentioned death many times. The actual stats show something quite different. I'm so much more comfortable with our planned water birth wit a midwife. So much. Because the extent of my research didn't end at what those who'd benefit from cutting me open had to say.


  1. "I guess I'm posting this because I just can't understand how women can watch shows like this, see that it's after interventions that the problems start, and want to still do the same things."

    That would take putting two and two together - in other words, thinking for themselves. Most people don't do that. That's what they pay doctors to do for them.

    Okay, there is one other issue. A lot of people take the epidural just to avoid the pain of the final stages of labor. They'd rather be cut open but not feel it.

    Anyway, good for you for thinking for yourself and being willing to take the pain with the joy.

  2. Thanks. :) We both want what's best for the baby, and Cody trusts me to make the best choice.

    Incredible how may women prefer to really just delay the pain. Abdominal surgery hurts!! And it takes a lot longer to recover from, so it's more time in pain. So few people would dream of getting an anesthetic for a huge tattoo, but when it comes to a baby, it's like the baby isn't worth the pain to keep the it from having drugs in its system.


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