Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Your Cesarian Baby Will Never Love

A well-meaning stranger recommended the movie Birth As We Know It to Rebecca of Girl's Gone Child.  When I read about dolphin midwives on her blog, I had to look this up.

Unless you're an OB/GYN or a midwife, this 10-minute promotional video is not safe for work.

Ok, folks, it's time to rope. it. in.

4:50 - "We come into this world wide open to give and receive love, and when that is our primal experience, our nervous system is hardwired for the undeniable rightness of being." Cut to video of a Cesarian birth. "If our early impressions are anything less than loving, then that anything imprints in our nervous system as a valid experience of love, regardless of how painful those experiences might have been. And throughout our life we will subconsciously recreate the conditions and feelings that were imprinted at birth and early childhood. Because in spite of all logic, that is our comfort zone. The dramatic journey from the womb out into the world, whatever form it takes, reinforces that imprint.  In addition, our early impressions of life also have an enormous impact on our future capacity to experience intimacy and love."

You heard them.  If your "birth experience" is anything less than a transcendent zen experience, preferably including orgasm, your baby will never have a successful intimate relationship.  Never mind that a pretty significant portion of the children who are born via c-section would never have an opportunity to form an intimate relationship if they had not born via c-section, because they would have died before they had the chance. 

In spite of all logic, indeed.

Folks, this kind of hogwash is what you get when you listen to the woman who sells lotion at the mall on the subject of medicine.  (Is it just our mall that has thickly-accented women pushing lotion?)

I would love it if Dr. Amy would do an MST3K-style response video to that thing.

Look, I had three natural childbirths, not because of any hippy-dippy crap, but because the possible side-effects of the pain medication reached my personal threshold of "unacceptable risk."  I figured that if I could get through it without meds, I should, because the pain meds carried risks.  And honestly, the thought of a spinal headache or a big ol' needle in my back scared me more than the idea of natural birth.  I also was blessed with really speedy labors, so I had the option.  If I'd been in labor for a week and a half, I would've happily accepted the pain meds.  I was screaming for an epidural in the elevator on the way to L&D when I was in labor with MG.  Little did I know then that the screaming meant I was almost done.  I thought I had 12 more hours to go.

Parenting is all about managing risk, really.  It starts when you're pregnant, and whether or not you take that Category B medication that you really need, even though there's a chance that it poses unknown risk to the baby.  And everyone's risk threshold is different.  Everyone's pain threshold is different.  But it's profoundly stupid and cruel to insinuate that someone's baby won't ever be able to LOVE if it's born via c-section.

Why can't the "natural childbirth advocates" just be honest?  Why do they have to hitch their wagon to all this "newage" (rhymes with "sewage") crap?  Why the guilt?  Why the blame?  Why the drama?

Claire might have died in utero if we hadn't induced, because I had intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy and that's just how it works.  I also had pregnancy induced hypertension with all three of my kids, which could have killed us if we hadn't induced, too.  I wouldn't have to go far to find a dozen friends who wouldn't have survived, or whose kids wouldn't have survived, a water birth in the sea with dolphin freaking midwives. 

There is a time and a place for interventions, and that time and place needs to be determined by a woman and her caregiver.  That's it.  Let's take the competitiveness, and the drama, and most of all this pseudo-scientific pseudo-spiritual bullshit out of it.  It's not helping anyone. 

And quit traumatizing the poor dolphins.


RobMonroe said...

I was a forceps baby, and I'm perfectly happy. :)

Amy said...

That explains your irrational fear of salad tongs, though. :)

Carmen said...

Sounds similar to the hogwash Scientologists say about childbirth. They promote 'silent birth' where there is no screaming because it leaves traumatic mental scars called engrams I think. You later have to work through your built up engrams from traumatic experiences over your life starting with birth. Yep. People believe it. Whack.

Anonymous said...

My first survived because of the c-section. End of comment.

--Julia G

Liz said...

My first was a natural birth.

My second was five minutes away from death if we hadn't had a c-section.

My third was an induced vbac.

All three lovely, happy and loving.

Charlotte said...

Thank you for this post.

I started off wanting a water birth in a dimly lit room. That was my original birth plan. However, it was not to be.

With K, I was in labor 20 hours before they needed to do a c-section. I had one lady who was a proponent of natural childbirth tell me it was because I was lying down. I told her that it was in fact due to the fact that my son's 16 cm diameter head didn't want to fit out of the 10 cm opening. Add a tightly wrapped umbilical cord around baby's neck, and it was party time. :P

My last two were planned sections, but even had I opted for vbacs, it wouldn't have happened. E had a knot in her umbilical cord and was sitting sideways and V was standing up in my cervix.

I'm grateful we live in a world with options and interventions. I'm pretty sure with my first, one or both of us would have died without them.

We mothers don't do each other any favors when we bash on each other for our birth choices. We should rejoice that we have them and support each other.

Now let's all form a circle and sing Kumbaya. :P