Monday, October 7, 2013

OB Scare Tactics -- "Let's schedule your C-section. Would you like 3:00 or 4:00? 3:30 is already taken."

Have you seen this video?  The reactions are varied.  As a natural birth advocate, I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry.  I'll give you a moment to watch it and then we'll talk.

*There is some language is this video.  Sorry.

Wow, right?  So, while there are undeniably funny parts to the video (it's almost impossible not to laugh at the vagina-butthole reference), I believe that couples are coerced into a c-section all too often because of the fear and undignified manner in which vaginal birth allegedly occurs.

Does a doctor really sit a couple down and have a conversation like this? Probably not.  But the subtle -- or sometimes not-so-subtle comments -- can strongly imply that a woman is better off choosing surgery over allowing her baby to pass through her vagina.

No one wants to poop -- and have everyone see it --  while they are pushing their baby out.  This actually won't happen to everyone, only about 20% of women.

The epidural comment -- that it'll be offered and rejected, but then later begged for and denied....  Well, that is also powerful to a woman who wants to go natural in the hospital.  Deep down, she knows if she is birthing in a hospital, the drugs are there if she really wants them.  The thought of being denied the drugs is cruel though, like a payback or punishment, since she wasn't obedient to her OB in the first place.

But more than anything, the idea of a "vagina-butthole" is downright terrifying.  This actually may happen to a very small number of women (less than 4%), but it is implied as a "given" when you choose to have a vaginal birth.

Let's talk about vaginas, shall we?  Let's just put it out there and put this horrible myth to rest, shall we?  I'll start.  I've had 4 vaginal births.  I had one tiny stitch when I had my first (and smallest baby), but I really didn't need it.  I never tore with any of my 3 natural births, just "skid marks".  I do not have any incontinence issues and My husband and I have a great sex life.  Things are not stretched out -- at all -- like implied by many.  (I do believe that kegeling helps tremendously with this area, as I do it a lot, and always have.)

I resent the care provider -- male or female -- that implies that things will never be the same "down there". They most certainly can! Couples should know that and not be scared off because they are afraid sex will never be the same.  It's just totally ridiculous.

Rant over.  Spread the word, ladies.  If you had an AMAZING birth, tell other people!  If you didn't tear and/or still have a great sex life, tell people! Well, as graciously as one can do that...  This will be fun at the next baby shower you attend. :-)


Shayna said...

Scare tactics drive me crazy! I dare any provider to try one of those with me. It's a huge red flag if they are trying to scare me! Thank you for your post! I link your blog on my website, I'd love for you to check it out! It's all about empowering women with knowledge.

Unknown said...

So I've spent the evening watching webinars on birth trauma and then thought I'd top off the night with your blog. At the start of the video, I was so appalled, then due to sheer exhaustion or perhaps the ridiculousness of it all, I.Could.Not.Stop.Laughing.
Thanks for sharing, it is a sad truth that women are made to feel this underlying fear and it's nice to look at this abrasive view point to really make it clear, despite any exaggeration.

Samantha said...

Oh my gosh, this video was hilarious! I am all for natural childbirth, and this video was just crazy funny, albeit true, I'm sure. With my first, medicated delivery, I had an episiotomy, and it sucked, recovering from that. With my second unmedicated delivery, I tore, but not significantly...and I only required a few stitches. The recovery from the tear was way easier than with the slice and dice from my first baby. Aaand with both babies, I admit, I pooped on the table. And my husband watched both times. We have amazing sex. He loves me, I still feel him, he still arouses me, it's better now after 7 years of marriage than it ever has been, and I attribute much of our closes-ness to the bonding experiences of preparing and executing a natural delivery. I always share my positive experience when I can. I never claim it's easy, but I always tell them it's over-the-moon worth it.

Cori Gentry said...

I try not to... but... I never realized how much by teaching birth classes and being a birth advocate I'd end up talking about my own vagina. Yeah that's right, I pushed out an 11 pound 5 ounce baby, no tearing, and I do not have a giant vagina... and I don't even blush.