Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Birth Hypocrisy

If there is one thing those of us in the natural/home birth community (dare I say, movement?) hear over and over and over again, it is:

The most important part about giving birth is making sure that mom and baby are healthy and safe! It shouldn't matter how we get there, or what sacrifices we have to make. 

Of course, I completely agree with this statement. However, I don't take it to mean what the OB crowd wants it to mean: that mothers should be happy to put up with sub-par and dangerous care, or with a traumatic birthing experience, so long as mother and baby walk away with their lives spared. 

That would be like saying we should not strive to stay safe on the roads for the sake of preventing accidents and trauma, except for fatal accidents only. Lived to tell about it? Must have not been that bad, so shut up, get over it already, and BE THANKFUL!

Sigh. I better slow down before I get worked up.

And for the record: 1 in 3 babies being born via C-section is definitely what I would consider "sub-par and dangerous care." If that makes you angry, please stop reading now, or else spare me from the fallout of your indignation, and comments telling me why YOUR C-section was necessary. They all are! All 33% of them! I am still waiting for that OB to finish up suturing a mom, and then declare: "Coming to think of it, that really was an unnecessary C-section. Ooops! My bad! Better luck next time!" 

So we can all agree that delivering 1 in 3 babies surgically, with the supposed goal to save the life of mother or baby, is too high. I mean, that's a no-brainer, unless you want to argue that (a) God didn't know what He was doing when He designed reproduction, or (b) evolution is bent on self-destruction. Yet nobody ever wants to acknowledge any single instance where a C-section, especially THEIR C-section, was unnecessary. 

That's fine. You make your choices, I'll make mine.

What today's post is really about is the hypocrisy put forth by the OB crowd, when a planned home birth ends up in the hospital, and possibly, likely, in a C-section. 

My first thought is:

CONGRATULATIONS! The most important part about giving birth is making sure that mom and baby are healthy and safe! Boy, am I glad they made the necessary transfer, to ensure a safe birth!

Is that what we hear from the OB crowd? I sure wish it were the case, but that's rare.




Case in point: The news today of Jill Duggar Dillard delivering her son has the internet ablaze with snark, sarcasm, outright hatred, and worse, all because of the above photo being released, without any more specific details on her mode of delivery. Jill is a midwife, and was planning a home birth, while the photo was clearly taken in a hospital. Of course, the possible scenarios are literally limitless, but that is not stopping the internet sleuths from speculating about the tiniest details to piece together the puzzle regarding the mode by which this child was born. Scrubs? High-risk wrist band? How tired is she looking? What is that makeup hiding? Is she holding the baby like someone avoiding a tender incision site? And on and on and on. 

Of course, delivering in a hospital, and having your FIRST child, also makes you the target of well-deserved hate, such as comments about her headband, how her uterus will fall out eventually, that they won't be able to think of 20 names starting with the letter "I", how she put her child in danger for even attempting a home birth, etc.

Truly, misery loves company. Many of those women who have had an unnecessary C-section (which is the majority of women today) seem to have become bitter to the point where they now take pleasure in the possibility that someone else also might have had to undergo a C-section. In the meantime, the haters seem to be overlooking the obvious (and stated) fact that mother and baby are healthy, that the little guy is super cute, and that the parents are obviously in love with each other and their newborn. All that doesn't matter, and cannot be acknowledged, until we know how this child was born. Because evidently, in their minds and contrary to their stated ideals of worrying only about the health and safety of mom and baby, that IS what it's all about.

I wonder how these birthing hypocrites would feel if I started expressing no surprise at the fact that their induction led to a C-section (it does in 3 out of 4 first-time moms), scolding them for not getting a doula, reminding them of the fact that VBACs are near impossible any more due to legal woes, and outlining how  they will still be able to recall their traumatic birth experience decades from now. 

And that, dear reader, is birth hypocrisy at it finest.

43 comments:

  1. That's crazy! I saw the photo posted on the Internet earlier and clicked on it looking for a birth story....because I love birth stories...lol....I never once thought anything about c section or her headband...what on earth is wrong with people???

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  2. I didn't want to have a C-section because I was flat out terrified of the surgery. I got lucky that my twins and two singles were all able to be born Vaginally, but I'm pretty sure I would've put up a big stink to avoid having a C-section anyways ;)

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  3. I think it should be obvious to anyone who is familiar with Jill Duggar that her hospital birth must have been necessary, and she should be given the benefit of the doubt. It amazes me that women, in particular, can be so negative and hateful to other women over their birth experiences. She is a midwife, she knows exactly what she is doing and she made the decision that she felt was best for her baby and herself. For goodness' sake, she was nearly two weeks overdue and there are several complications (such as me odium in her water) that may have prompted the decision to transfer. We should all be happy that they are okay, and I hope that she is able to have the birth experience she wants next time (and chances are, there will be several "next times"!).
    I loved my hospital birth, though I am sorry that Jill didn't get the birth she hoped for. For now, I wish her well and congratulate them on the birth of a healthy child.
    -Rivkah H

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  4. PS: For those who may be curious; I had a vaginal birth with epidural, and as I said, I loved my expierience. I do think that if I had been forced to have a c-section (a possibility the doctor brought up when I hadn't advanced enough, 8 hours into a 10 hour labor), I would have a much different opinion. While I am far from a home birth advocate, I know that the c-section rate is MUCH too high, and that women who choose hospital birth, just as with home birth,need to do their research before committing to it.
    Rivkah H

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    1. Hadn't advanced enough after 8 hours??? That's no time at all!!

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  5. You tell ' em sister! I couldn't agree with you more about this. Thank you for having the courage to stand up and say what many others are thinking. You and your sweet family are always in my family's prayers. May you be protected by Jesus through all of the world's persecution.

    Blessings,
    Kaitlin Khan

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  6. I lost a son at 21.5 weeks gestation this past weekend. My husband, midwife, her partnering physician, and I made the decision to miscarry at home. They gave me up to six weeks before mandatory transfer of care, assuming nothing would go wrong during that time. I was monitored the entire time. Well, my BP shot up during the birth of the fetus and I went to l/d. The on call OB was the meanest, cruelest man I have ever met. He all but called us stupid and that midwives weren't "certifiable". I've had my three children in a hospital and they were wonderful births. I enjoyed all three labors and deliveries. All natural, I could move around with only a hep lock. I chose a mw because I've heard nothing but good things about home birth and since this was more than likely our last I wanted the experience. Well, all the "rumors" I heard about obs bad mouthing midwives and home births was made true this past weekend. Ugh, such a horrible man. His only redeeming quality was he promised to be careful removing the baby during the d&e so we could have a service. He acted as if we lost the baby because we chose a midwife.

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss. When you feel up to it, please report him to the hospital where you delivered and your state's medical board. Sadly, you are probably not the only patient he has treated that way and he doesn't deserve the honor of delivering babies. ~ Traci

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    2. Elle,

      I am very sorry for your loss. I hope you have a speedy and safe recovery, and all the support you need from your family and friends. As the previous commenter said, if you feel up to it, I also would very much encourage you to report this doctor. This is most likely not an isolated case.

      Blessings to you and yours!

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  7. I had two natural vaginal births in a birthing center and hospital respectively with my two oldest children. No pain meds and my midwife/doula was there for the first delivery. In spite of my plans I had to have an emergency C-Section with my last delivery due to my baby's serious health problems. It was very much necessary to try and save his life. Unfortunately he passed away an hour after birth. I am nearing the end of my current pregnancy (fourth birth) and a C-section will be necessary due to the kind of incision with the previous C-Section. A VBAC would be dangerous in my situation. I love the idea of home births but that was never an option due to my insurance. And as much as I prefer natural vaginal births, at the end of the day my baby's safety is the most important thing. I do think that C-Sections are often performed when they are completely unnecessary (I used to work in Labor and Delivery), but to say they are never necessary is simply not true.

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  8. When I look at that photo all I can think is how I wish I was sitting in a hospital tonight with my husband and two sons holding a new baby. I have had a normal birth and a c-section and while I wasn't thrilled with my c-section my main concern now is praying that God will give us another baby after having a miscarriage a few years ago. I will never have a home birth simply because it is not an option in Kentucky at this time. I wish it was.


    I am envious of Jill Duggar tonight and I am happy that her and the baby are okay.


    Hope things are goings well out there in Arizona.


    Blessing,
    Brittany G.


    P.S. I really enjoyed your husband's sermon on sympathy. Maybe some of the people who nothing better to do than hate on the Duggars should listen to it.

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  9. I admit I thought the headband was silly, but I never gave a thought as to whether or not she had a c-section or a vaginal birth. Just looked at the cute baby and thought Jill looked pretty good for having just gave birth. ~ Traci

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  10. Who cares how she had her baby... Congrats Jill.

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  11. I agree with you on the subject of the article, i'm glad someone is calling them out on it but i'm angry that its a two sided coin. There is a difference between having a personal birthing preference and being militant for the advocacy of giving birth vaginally.

    If you future repliers to this blog post are smug about your vaginal births, then good for you for doing it the way you think is right, but shame on you for alienating an entire group of women who are trying to do the same thing you were.

    People who discriminate against a person's preference or how they gave birth are the worst. If YOU think its dangerous, good for you for thinking c-sections couldn't save your child's life. But, if you are being very smug and high-headed over the fact that you did what millions of women do every year, then good for you. You are "normal".

    Get over yourselves midwives/smug vaginal birth advocates/etc/etc you are all mothers at the end of the day and spreading the dangers of c-sections or vaginal births is a very uneducated and very stupid thing to do. Fear mongering puts someone else in literal danger, and shaming someone will put them in danger the next time. Facts and statistics are constantly twisted around by uneducated people to fit their ideology and that is a horrific thing we live in. If the internet didn't exist i'm sure not even half of you readers would even know about the "dangers of c-sections"

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    1. If I came across as smug, I apologize. I do think the c-section rate is too high, but I also know that c-sections save lives. Sometimes they are necessary, and had I needed one, I wouldn't complain. However, you have to acknowledge that they aren't all neccessary.
      I have gotten quite a lot of flack from a few friends because I chose to have an epidural (and would again, in a heartbeat). My best friend has had four natural home births, and it's a subject we debated frequently when I was pregnant. No judgment here, but I am not sorry that I was able to avoid surgery, and had a painless birth. It suited me and I was happy with the result, but to each their own. That is all I was trying to say.
      -RivkaH H.

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  12. Thanking God for their safe delivery!

    What do you think the Duggars will make of the film "Marching to Zion" if they had the chance to see it btw?

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    1. Personally I don't think they'd like it.....I'm pretty sure they are very pro Israel. They have a star of David on their wall!. And when they went to Israel in that horrible show they wore Star of Davids around during their necks instead of crosses. I think it's foolish - I'm sure the hassids had a good ole laugh about them. Especially as they believe Jesus was the son of Pantera, a raping looting godless Roman soldier.

      Hmmmmm.

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    2. Yeah, they are pretty much diametrically opposed to us on the Israel issue. Maybe I'll send them a copy of M2Z in hopes of opening their eyes ;)

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    3. Yeah send it to them!

      Also can you think of "I" names for boy and girls? That'll be a fun challenge, just sayin' :P

      GIRLS: Imogen, Isabel, Ingrid...

      BOYS: Isaac, Isaiah, Ian, Ignatius, Ivan, Igor...

      Ignatius tho.

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    4. I just wanted to add something...

      it's my theory that if the Duggar family had not been so pro Israel, the TV series would never have aired.

      Christians are relentlessly mocked on TV but can be tolerated as "useful idiots" if they tow the neocon line. As the Duggars do. It's war machine propaganda.

      Now I quite like the Duggars and all that, and we none of of us is perfect but I don't trust anything on mainstream media. It's a personal axiom of mine.

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  13. I love this post! .... as an in experienced "cocky" un-counseled by wiser women first time mom I was victim to an unnecessary c/s my first birth (and I came from a long line of home birthing natural birthing families and community) Thankfully some wonderful women mentors came into my life saying exactly what you have expressed and now 6 VBACS later I can stand up and applaud your stance. SD

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  14. ^^ "the headband was silly" is your opinion? lol. That headband is freakin awesome.

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    1. Yes, it was my opinion, thus I stated that "I thought" the headband was silly. :)

      ~ Traci

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  15. I think there is a reason most people choose to "snark" at the fact that Jill Dillard gave birth in a hospital. From the very beginning she openly admitted to planning and wanting a home birth. Even I am naturally curious about what made plans change, but am grateful mom and baby are safe and apparently healthy.
    To the above anonymous poster who stated that it was a very uneducated and stupid thing to spread the dangers of either a c section or vaginal birth -whayt should we do? Watch our friends suffer from the poor the choices of hasty and impatient medical personnel (many of whom are MEN and can never and will never fully understand the way a woman's body works). The experience of a good friend of mine proves that women should know the options. She was in labor for 10 hours with her first and the doctor stated she was "too small" to give birth. A healthy, tall 190 lb. woman "too small?" It definitely sounded more like the [male] doctor was getting impatient to get home and wanted to be paid as the attending physician! 10 hours is not in any way a lengthy birth or even enough time for most women to fully dilate with a firstborn. But she was young, had nevervreally given birth much thought, and had no idea that the doctor's suggestion wasn't truly for her or her baby's benefit. How many stories are there like this? COUNTLESS HUNDREDS! I say, educate women! Educate them on the psychology and physiology of birth. Not so that they may fear a truly necessary cesarean, but so they can make informed decisions about their birth, not be at the mercy of an impatient, greedy, incision-happy doctor.

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  16. I fully agree, however:

    Yet nobody ever wants to acknowledge any single instance where a C-section, especially THEIR C-section, was unnecessary.

    This is not true, unfortunately or fortunately (I'm undecided here). I've read hundreds of narratives where mothers express deep emotional pain over their unnecessary C-sections.

    Actually, in European Spanish we use the term 'innecesarea' which is a clever blend of 'innecesaria' (meaning unnecessary) and 'cesarea' (meaning C-section). It's a popular narrative.

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  17. My thought when I first heard all of the controversy of this photo was "really you're judging her because of wear she had her baby? As if you know her whole life. Heck for all you know she was already in the hospital visiting someone, and made the choice not to drive home." I don't really understand why people feel the need to harp all over the Duggars. Michelle Duggar was one of my biggest role models for years when I was younger, and the Duggar girls/boys are fantastic role models for young people everywhere. I met Mrs. and Mr. Duggar and little Jordan back in November, and they are really nice it's not just a front they put up on Television. I'm so glade there are people like you and the Duggar family to help show us young people what good and normal is. I obviously don't know near enough about home births vs hospital births, and won't need to for a very long time, but I do know that each mother makes her own decisions and whatever she decides is the best decision, because her decision is what is best for her and her family, so why are we judging her for where she had her baby. Even if she was to have had her planned home birth people would have said crude things to her. I really just don't see the need, or see why it's even a controversy in the first placed, everything everyone is saying is just speculation right now anyways.

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  18. My baby was sideways and I could not have her unless they did c- section. And it went well but I do wish I could have had her natural. I did have a V-back with my next one and that went well.

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  19. I have had 3 c-sections & an HBAC. The last 2 c-sections were transfers after planning a home birth.
    My water broke with my last two births & I didn't have consistent contractions to dilate the cervix. We waited longer than hospitals would have ever allowed. I am so thankful for the home birth I had & would try it again in a heartbeat.
    I got so tired of hearing people say "just be thankful that your baby is healthy & you both are safe." Yes that's a given, however it's not what I had planned. It is so tough.

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  20. Sounds like you know that most c-sections are unnecessary. And you know that Jill Duggar's was necessary.

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    1. I have no clue whether it was or wasn't. Nor did I say I had a clue. But since the baby is born, it is now irrelevant.

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  21. A lot of women are kidding themselves about their own "necessary" c section. Personally I let them be delusional.

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  22. Why is there only black and white? What happened to all the lovely shades of grey in between???? Why can we all not let the woman decide how she wants to bring her child into this world? Some women are afraid of the pain - and if we are all honest childbirth hurts, a lot! Yes, it is all worth it, yes, you forget about it (which amazes me every time), but the second the contractions start for the next child it all comes back. My youngest is 5 month old, so the memories are still very fresh. It was not a very good birth experience, induction 9 days after due date, 3rd degree tear and ooooooohhhhhhhh the pain..... (after going through all this I can really understand why some woman decide to have a c-section)

    I had all my children at the hospital, I do not like the idea of a home birth FOR MYSELF. While the thought of the comfort go my own house is very appealing I was always afraid for the safety of my newborn. I just was more comfortable with the doctors around to help should the need arise.

    As for Jill's headband: this woman just had a baby, who cares what her headband looks like, I am amazed she is wearing make up - that would have been the last thing on my mind!

    Greetings from Canada
    Sally

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    1. I quite like the headband - she is only young

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  23. When it comes to the "my c sect was necessary" crowd I notice everyone cites their " health problems" but are sketchy on detail. They never say what lead up.to that situation, be it unnecessary interventions, irresponsible living or anything else. I'm sure there is a case for c sect but it's a tiny minority.

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  24. I would like to add that when I say many C-sections are unnecessary, I am not just referring to during labor. By that point, it's late in the game, and the C-section may really be necessary due to preventable causes.

    For example, moms receiving an epidural may truly need a C-sec if the baby is in distress from the drugs, but that was preventable. Same for breaking the water artificially which can cause the baby to pass meconium prematurely or introduce infection. Another one is not being advised of exercises or chiropractic to help prevent or correct poor position of the baby, etc.

    Because doctors don't mind treating the problems when they have gotten big, they often have to pull out the big guns and resort to C-secs. But many of these issues can be prevented, or corrected ahead of time.

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    1. I was using a free standing birth center for my first. Two midwives made a mistake as my pregnancy progressed. My baby was breech and they didn't catch it. At 37 week I had my first ultrasound of the pregnancy and baby was found to be a footling breech (one of the 2 worst breech positions for delivery). An attempt was made to try and turn baby, but it failed. It was so painful I was crying the whole time and was bruised after they were done. I was willing to go through this attempt because I wanted to AVIOD a c/s. God had other plans and a c/s was scheduled for 39 weeks. It was discovered that in addition to being breech, she had a very short umbilical cord that was lassoed around her shoulder's. This was keeping her from being able to turn head down (on her own, or by the drs.). Not only that, the cord would have not allowed her to be fully born (yes, it was that short).
      As much as I hated my c/s, it was very much necessary to save my baby's life and possibly my own.

      PS I have gone one to have 2 VBAC's

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    2. I have a question. Are you a big Duggar fan? I can not help but notice you stick up for them often( recently the kissing scandal w jessa Seewald). Do you agree with their so called ministry and they're beliefs? Yes they are more conservative but they are pretty much spreading false gospel And their ministry is badicay traveling speaking about why they have so many kids. They are getting more an more liberal and it concerns me that you advocate them since u have big influence.

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    3. Wanted to add some more information to my last comment.
      I interviewed and chose a homebirth midwife for my first VBAC attempt. The other option was midwife hospital birth.
      The midwife I picked promised "My birth, My way". I learned later, that she really meant "my birth, her way". I'll try to summarize:
      After 12 hours of mild contractions and bloody show, I called my midwife to tell her I was in labor. Over the next 22 hours I labored. During this time I was forced to eat by my midwife (I ended up throwing up), I was repeatedly woken up by her, but was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open, and she refused to check my dilatation. This was my first labor and I was a VBAC. I really needed to know that after 22 hours (not counting the 12 hours before) of hard contractions I had made some progress. She refused. Husband and I decided to go to the hospital. Where I found out I was 8.5 cm and delivered my baby in 2 hours. I ended up tearing all the way through my perineum (dr. didn't believe in episiotomy) and needed an uncountable amount of stitches. I also passed out shortly after birth because of a large amount of blood loss. I was thankful to have been OUT of the hands of my midwife for both of these problems.

      For my second VBAC, I used the OB/GYN who delivered my second. She was the BEST during my pregnancy and birth. This was really "My birth, My way"

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  25. Perhaps she could have avoided the C-section with an induction at term. Studies show that early (term) induction is actually associated with a LOWER risk of C-section than expectant management - smaller baby, healthier placenta.

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  26. I absolutely agree that the c-section rate is too high. I don't know any first time moms that wanted a c-section. And most people I know who had one wanted and had a VBAC. I'm hoping that my next will be a VBAC.

    I cried when I was told I needed a c-section since I had planned and prepared for a natural birth. My induction for being nearly 42 weeks failed with cervix not dilating and baby was too high up to try membrane stripping to get labor going. His size was a surprise as he was measuring around 8 pounds on the growth ultrasound the day before, but was nearly 11lbs with a 38cm head. There were women laboring in the ward during the nights I spent trying to get labor to start and I so wanted to be them. When the 3rd round of gel had failed to soften my cervix, I convinced my doctor to wait until the next morning (12 hours) to see if things would start progressing on their own. But I still made no progress and the contractions I'd been having all week had disappeared. Going home to wait for labor to start on it's own would've been a much higher risk for stillbirth then I wanted to take.

    My OB said I can try for a VBAC next time, but to be prepared for a c-section in the event that baby is too big to make progress down. I'm praying that VBAC will be in the cards for me. A large baby won't mean an automatic RCS, just that I may end up in a similar situation. Since we may move to Phoenix for work, I've been looking into hospitals that allow VBACs and waterbirths, since the hospital in our home city does (if we don't move back there).

    I felt like a failure for needing the section. My mother-in-law had given birth to 2 big headed boys and my mom had 4 natural deliveries, including me who was born as they were prepping her for a c-section for fetal distress (my cord was around my neck). It's hard not to feel like a failure when you've managed to grow this beautiful person, but needed surgical intervention to birth them.

    Zsuzsanna, I'm glad surgical intervention saved Boaz's life (and I'm sorry for the loss of Jachin) and that you were downgraded from high risk to low risk so that you could have your homebirth. I hope you are able to continue having homebirths and never get into a situation where you are advised to have a c-section to save your life or your child's life.

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  27. Hi Zsuzsanna. Are you aware that the Duggars are not preaching the true gospel of by grace alone thru faith? They believe in repent of your sins to be saved and are a part of Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort false gospel. I don't watch them anymore for this reason. They are clearly not saved. You should look into this. Watch their christmas tour on YouTube. They clearly contradict the bible's clear and simple message of salvation. And one more thing. There's a reason why they are on TV and so popular.

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  28. Jill Duggar is a good example for women who do end up needing a C-section. C-sections are around because they are necessary for some babies to stay alive (maybe not 1 in 3, but definitely for some cases). No one can say that she did not try to have a vaginal birth. It's no secret that viable babies can die due to the stress of a prolonged labor and degradation of the placenta when the pregnancy goes too long. I for one had two great experiences with hospital births. The medical staff worked with me, allowed me the time I needed to dilate and push, and tried special exercises with me to turn the babies into good positions (regular nurses did this--I did not have a doula or midwife). At no time was a C-sections suggested to me, and one labor was 24 hours, with Pitocin and an epidural! As a woman, I feel that advocating a variety of options to suit each woman's health needs is a great approach. Hospital births/Home births/Birth Center births--each one is not for everyone, and that's okay.

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  29. This is an old post (Israel and Jill are now doing fine, turns out she did indeed have a c-section) but I thought I'd share a couple things.

    1. There is a difference between speculation and snark. Snark can be mean sometimes, but it can also be humorous, albeit a borderline mean and salacious form of humor. Regardless, it is HUMOR, and people who snark on others do not necessarily hate the people they snark on. Speculation, on the other hand, is merely an attempt to order one's thoughts, to figure out exactly what happened in a situation, I believe, when little information is given.

    2. I consider myself to be a woman's advocate in birth. Meaning, I don't care what you do for your birth-all-natural homebirth, induction, birthing in a hospital w/ an epidural, birthing with a midwife, birthing in the shower, c-section-I DON'T CARE. Not in the apathetic sense, but in the sense of to me, it's not really my business to police your birth. I think all women should be proud of their births-regardless of how their little one(s) came into the world, they did it! They got them there (hopefully) safely! Happily! Lovingly! Et cetera. We need to celebrate birth in all forms, just like you'd celebrate someone's birthday in all forms as well. Women need to be informed and educated regardless, and they need to be encouraged regardless. I am so grieved when I see doctors discouraging non-medicated births, and similarly I am so grieved to see the natural birthing community discouraging c-sections or med-assisted births. All birth is beautiful!

    (as a postscript-I don't necessarily disagree with the idea that c-sections can be unnecessary. But more often than not, I believe, c-sections are done necessarily. It's rare for a doctor to do a c-section not in the mother's best interest. Even if the surgery isn't the most vital in the situation, whatever that may be, what's important is that overall, the mother and baby's best interests are being accounted for)

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Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.