Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sometimes the Section is worse than the Section!

I wound up going to this site:
because it was linked from another story on how women are not prepared for surgical adhesions or informed of the risks. (See that story HERE)

After about five seconds on the site, I decided to search for Cesarean.
The section on cesareans brought me to angry in about five seconds flat.
Where to start?
"The rate of cesarean section in this country has never been higher. Part of the reason is that more women are requesting elective cesarean to avoid the pain of labor. Another is that doctors are more reluctant to let women who had a previous cesarean attempt a vaginal birth, for fear of rupturing the uterus (although the risk of uterine rupture is extremely small). Regardless, there are times when a cesarean is necessary. For instance, if labor has slowed, you experience complications, the baby is in distress or the size of your baby compared to the size of you makes a vaginal birth unlikely."
1. So, let's blame the mom. It's her fault. She wanted it.
2. Let's not blame the doctors for doing the first cesarean, after all, that was mom's fault. And let's let them off the hook for giving moms surgery to protect themselves from malpractice lawsuits. After all, we're back to the "it's ok to cut moms if I don't have higher premiums" defense.
3. The doctors have the right to cut every woman out there (1 in 3 in a "best case" scenario in the US) and btw, they have the right to cut you all AGAIN to keep your less than .5% rupture from happening. You don't get a say so.
4. Since when is "labor slowed down" a medical indication?
5. A vaginal birth "unlikely"? "wow, you have a big baby" is a medical indication because someone gave Dr Swami, OB, a crystal ball?
6. A baby stands a lot less chance of being in distress if mom is supported and taken care of during labor rather than induced, drugged, refused food and water and forced to lie in a bed for the good of the practitioner.

Never mind, I just can't do it. I thought I could blog about this and it's hideousness, but today, I'm just so angry that we can write these things and call them journalism or blogs or even "good information". I went to this site looking for good information on women not being aware of their risks of adhesions and yet the most common surgery done to women in the US today doesn't even have adhesions listed as a RISK? Wait. It does say "scar tissue", doesn't it? This is their idea of a factual list of risks? It doesn't even mention wound infection. This is informing women of the potential risks? A woman can't even go and google search for "scar tissue" because you will notice it's not worded as what it is, adhesions.

And since I don't want to discuss this site any further on a point by point breakdown of it's awfulness, I'll mention the last of them on the page.
"But don't worry; the delivery room staff will rub the baby to restore color and movement and/or provide some supplemental oxygen to help it pink up."
It. Yes. We'll Pink It Up.
Somehow, that doesn't do justice to either the baby or the lifelong risk of asthma and allergies IT carries because IT was born by cesarean. Or the fact that in many cases, that same sweet baby will be parked in a NICU for the first few days of life or spend some time next week in the PICU because some OB thought it was more important to not get sued than to attend a trial of labor.

But, this site has the USA TODAY seal of approval: "USA Weekend Magazine recognizes as "a website to trust," ranking it as a top women's health resource! so I guess I should just believe everything it says.


womantowomancbe said...

My most recent friend who had a C-section (induction when previously breech baby flipped vertex; it failed; 2nd-time mom) had to have emergency surgery a few weeks ago to repair a problem from the C-section a few months ago. Another 4-6 week recovery, just like after a C-section, but this time with a baby who is several months old and several pounds heavier to care for, in addition to her 2-y/o.


better-pregnancy-birth-infant said...

After caesarean , how will you feel?
As we all know,a caesarean is a major surgery, but it may still surprise you on how much it will hurt after.

You may feel can't do anything yourself : even move up the bedsheet a little you'll need sth or someone to hold onto.

Trapped wind is also a problem by about day three : tightening the abdominal muscles on an outward breath will help to expel the gas.

Peppermint water will be available in the hospital and it can help.

Wearing the knickers which are a size bigger than you usually need (or special knickers made from stretchy gauze or boxer shorts) may make your wound feel much more comfortable, and sanitary pads are necessary because of the lochia, or bleeding from the uterus, is the same as after a vaginal birth.

Ana Priscila said...

Ugh! How aggravating! I had been in labor for 27 hours, the last six I had spent pushing, lying on my back the entire time... I didn't know any better. I asked if there was a better position to be in for pushing, and the CNM at the hospital said (who had been practicing for 20 years) we can try on my side. So I flip to my side, still nothing, she returns me to my back after 2 pushes, and then calls in the surgeon. Ugh, I cried when they told me I needed to have a cesarean because I wasn't progressing. She told me that I needed to think about my baby, so I looked over at the monitor, and her heart rate was in the normal range, and had been the whole time. I pointed this out, and she was clearly annoyed. She said that the monitor wasn't always a good indicator of how the baby was doing, and that the pushing stage had gone on too long.

So they took me to the surgery room, took my baby out of my, and that was it. Something like an hour later I got to see her and hold her. For a week I couldn't get in or out of bed unassisted, couldn't sit or get up unassisted. I was in serious pain. The recovery was slow, but sure, I guess. I was left with excruciating physical distress, and maybe even worse emotional wounds. I really felt betrayed by the nurse midwife, I felt stupid for not knowing what to do to help my situation move along during labor and delivery. And I needed to take care of this beautiful little person who is completely dependent on me.

That was 3 months ago. I am so glad I didn't fall to depression because of this extremely traumatic experience, but rather I was moved to read and learn and talk about it. I am going to RUN FROM THE HOSPITAL for labor and delivery. That is not the place for me. I'm going to be responsible by educating myself in the matter of childbearing, make sure I stay healthy, and do everything possible to have a safe and satisfying home birth next time around.

I share in your outrage about cesareans and hospital treatment of laboring women.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes women DO need c-sections. And sites and posts like yours rarely acknowledge this. Rather, you lump all women into one category and assume c-sections are always evil. Don't attack women for making the choice to insure the health of themself and/or their child.

Poppet said...

I agree that yes, some women do need c-sections - but not the MAJORITY. And as if you should be allowed to ELECT a c-section! What idiot would choose to go through that rather than a NATURAL BIRTH! I repeat, NATURAL! The hospital I went to with my son was run by midwives, and although my labour resulted in an emergency c-section, I was lucky enough to really TRY to go naturally. 33 hours of labour, reaching full dilation before my son's heartrate STOPPED (yes, it stopped, most horrible, eerily quiet moment of my life) before they rushed me out of the delivery room and into surgery. I was also super lucky to have one awesome midwife who took her own time to come and see me and explain exactly what went wrong and why.

But I am horrified at how many people commented to me that it was "cruel" of them to let me labour for so long - like a c-section is some kind of relief! What a stupid thing to say! The recovery is awful, the painful gas is horrible - I hated every moment other than the moment they handed me my child. They really need to promote birthing as NATURAL - it is a NATURAL thing to do, it's what we are born to do. Instead, the medical profession treats pregnancy like some like of terminal illness or something. Labour is not a medical emergency - a complication can be, but child birth is not.

Sorry, that was like $1 worth rather than the .5c I meant to put in!

Thanks for this blog!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous anonymous comment. Sometimes women DO need c-sections, even scheduled c-sections. My first natural birth carried so many complications that I had to have reconstructive procedures after 3 months of healing and excruciating pain. All in all it was a year before I was fully recovered from my NATURAL childbirth and I still have many, many symptoms that I am told will never go away. The second time around I'm opting for an elective c-section. Natural childbirth was my first choice and the first time around I thought that having to have a c-section would be the worst thing possible. Know that, just like c-sections shouldn't be recommended for everyone, "natural" childbirth isn't recommended or possible for every single person either. Choosing to have a c-section doesn't necessarily mean you've given up or that you don't want the best for your baby.

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Midwife International said...

Evolving your relationship with a c-section can be extremely helpful, transforming it to be one of strength, love and harmony.
Kelly shares her wisdom on Sacred Cesarean.
Get inspired here!