Ah, the birth board drama.

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Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292
Ah, the birth board drama.

I'm on a birth board on a different site. Someone started a thread encouraging everyone to have some NCB tools in case their epidurals don't work (hers didn't). I agreed with her and said those tools are also nice to get you through to when the anesthesiologist is available (I had to wait much longer than I wanted to). Anyway, the thread devolved into consternation over why anyone would go natural on purpose. One lady insisted that ALL women who don't have an epidural scream their way through their births because they are ALL in agonizing pain. I told her that's not true. I didn't have agnozing pain, nor did I scream. I also know hundreds of women in real life and thousands more online who didn't have agonizing pain or scream through their labors. I didn't claim that these births were painless. I said that they weren't agony and that screaming wasn't part of their labor toolbox. I don't have a problem if it is, but I have a problem with the stereotype that NCB = unbearable agony and screaming. :rolleyes:

Anyway, of course she came back to say she didn't believe it, but if it was true then I'm some kind of freak of nature. Nope. I'm just educated and prepared. Lol

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Wow. So glad that was on a different board and not on our June board!! It's amazing what people will believe or refuse to believe!!!

Lots-o-Tots's picture
Joined: 01/29/06
Posts: 574

I actually did scream through both of my home births (pushing, not labor), but to me, it's not just about pain. It's about giving birth in a place where one feels safe and loved and cared for, with the least intervention necessary for safety. My first four births were hospital births with epidurals, and even though my home births were more painful (and honestly, after giving birth at home, drug-free for the first time, I felt a little disillusioned by claims that natural birth could be painless, or at least the pain would be minimal), they were by far the best birth experiences I had, and if at all possible, I'm shooting for another home birth this time around.

Birth board drama - yeah, I can't see getting involved in a birth board again. It's just an emotional powder keg.

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

I screamed through my natural births (like Lisa, not the labor, just the actual birth), but I'd still do it again over a medicated birth in a heartbeat.

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

She meant the screaming through every contraction craziness you see in the movies. Blum 3

sweetsriracha's picture
Joined: 03/29/11
Posts: 1318

"Winky_the_HouseElf" wrote:

She meant the screaming through every contraction craziness you see in the movies. Blum 3

You mean the screaming through every contraction that starts immediately after my water breaks in a very public place? Like, while waiting for a cab? Oh, Hollywood Biggrin

ourfirstblessing's picture
Joined: 01/07/07
Posts: 1094

oh people are very, very funny. I was rather vocal through my second delivery but once it was done it was done. i've never been high so I don't really speak from experience but seriously the BEST high i've ever had, i felt amazing! My first wasn't completely medicated but there were various interventions (medically necessary unfortunately) and i would take my completely intervention free delivery over the first one ANY DAY, a thousand times over!

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

I think most women that give birth naturally scream at one point or another but not because of the un-bearable pain but more because of all the energy going through your body that you need to get it out some how. I screamed twice while the dr was telling me not to push with DS2 because I had a lip that I couldn't push over, I tried, so I had to roll onto my left side. The energy and intensity of those contractions I had to do something with so I wouldn't push so I screamed instead.

I hate how NB is compared to Hollywood movies. :mad:

TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
Joined: 12/26/05
Posts: 1147

I scream like I am being murdered during transition. But whatever, that 10 minutes of near-death totally is trumped by the fact that I am able to walk to and take a hot shower and eat some food in my own kitchen within an hour of giving birth. And the feeling of slippery velvet baby sliding out can't be reproduced by anything else. And I can't wait to do it again. I stop looking/posting in my birth boards the second I read "My induction date is set!" threads.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Yeah, the truth is, when I was pushing, I also screamed and my mom said I not just screamed, but screamed, "this is killing me!" Of course, I don't remember any such thing! But I do remember the pain of the ring of fire and getting her head out. Ouch. The rest of it though.... if low guttural moaning is loud and dramatic, then, call me a drama queen. Smile

Jbaum2's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 257

LOL - my husband said to me one day "don't kid your self, it's going to hurt like h*ll" (I am planning on using hypnobirthing). So I asked him..."Have you given birth? do you know first hand it's going to hurt like h*ll" and he said well, no..." so I asked "then why do you say it's going to hurt like h*ll" and he replied that he has never seen it depicted as anything else in movies / TV shows etc....

Society has told us that it should be a certain way and that is that. Most women I talk to say it was a horrible experience for them and it hurt so bad, felt like someone was ripping them in two....

Which I don't get nor do I want to accept that. We humans are supposed to be the 'superior" race.. If you watch any animal give birth, they find somewhere quiet, go and do it and it's a beautiful experience (unless of course there is a complication) - I work on a farm and I have a hobby farm). In animal births your don't see the mother screaming like a lunatic like you do in humans. Or screaming for drugs and pain killers... They relax (as much as they can I suppose) and do what they have to do.

I personally want to belive that is how birthing should be. Maybe I am naive as this is my first, but I generally am not a high strung person and I can't see myself yeeling at my hubby "Look at what you did to me, I hate you"

When I see woman get together and share birthing stories, it's almost like who has the better battle scars, who has the worse story. And if a woman says it wasn't a bad experience, the other women knock her down, almost as if she didn't have a "real" birthing experience if it wasn't horrible.

Some peole just like misery and need things to be bad experiences for a better story. I guess I will find out in March what it is going to be like for me.

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

I've given birth five times. I would describe only two of them as painful: one of those was an induction with pitocin, the other had complications that caused severe pain. Two of them were comfortable (no pain until the last little bit). One was not painful at all until crowning, which lasted maybe 30 seconds. I felt a lot of stuff happening, but in a normal birth I never felt what you see on TV or in the movies. The only birth where I felt like I was going to die from the pain was the complicated one. Even then I focused on just getting my baby out safely. I didn't let myself scream in panic because I knew it could make things worse. I did let out energy vocally with my last two births, but it was low moaning instead of crazy screaming.

My Hypnobabies skills definitely helped me be more calm and comfortable. Even with hypnosis, birth requires intense effort (both physical and mental). Some births require more effort than others. Smile You can't choose the exact birth circumstances you'll be dealt, but you can choose how to react to them. (Boy am I hoping for an easier birth this go around!)

"Jbaum2" wrote:

LOL - my husband said to me one day "don't kid your self, it's going to hurt like h*ll" (I am planning on using hypnobirthing). So I asked him..."Have you given birth? do you know first hand it's going to hurt like h*ll" and he said well, no..." so I asked "then why do you say it's going to hurt like h*ll" and he replied that he has never seen it depicted as anything else in movies / TV shows etc....

Society has told us that it should be a certain way and that is that. Most women I talk to say it was a horrible experience for them and it hurt so bad, felt like someone was ripping them in two....

Which I don't get nor do I want to accept that. We humans are supposed to be the 'superior" race.. If you watch any animal give birth, they find somewhere quiet, go and do it and it's a beautiful experience (unless of course there is a complication) - I work on a farm and I have a hobby farm). In animal births your don't see the mother screaming like a lunatic like you do in humans. Or screaming for drugs and pain killers... They relax (as much as they can I suppose) and do what they have to do.

I personally want to belive that is how birthing should be. Maybe I am naive as this is my first, but I generally am not a high strung person and I can't see myself yeeling at my hubby "Look at what you did to me, I hate you"

When I see woman get together and share birthing stories, it's almost like who has the better battle scars, who has the worse story. And if a woman says it wasn't a bad experience, the other women knock her down, almost as if she didn't have a "real" birthing experience if it wasn't horrible.

Some peole just like misery and need things to be bad experiences for a better story. I guess I will find out in March what it is going to be like for me.

waitingimpatiently614's picture
Joined: 02/17/09
Posts: 386

i got an epidural at 6cm with my first birth, but was told it didn't really work right since i could still feel every contraction. and i was in pain during transition, but i attribute that to anxiety and being stuck on my back in a hospital bed. even still, i never once screamed or felt like screaming. but it wasn't NCB either, so who knows what i'll be like this time around if i get the natural birth i'm hoping for. i don't anticipate screaming being part of the picture for me, but we'll see. i think it's fine if a woman does want to scream to release tension or get through a contraction, but that was never my impulse. i was very quiet and inwardly-focused.

i do have a close friend who was in transition while in the car driving to the hospital. she hadn't planned or prepared for a natural birth, it was her first, and she admits she was "terrified." she said she "lost it" and was screaming so loud people in other cars passing by were slowing down to look in on them and make sure she was okay. her husband was worried they would think he was kidnapping her or something, so he actually rolled down his window while sitting at a red light to tell one worried driver "she's okay, just having a baby." Smile

what bothers me are the women who say "why would you want to go natural? no one is going around giving out medals to the women who refuse the epidural, so just take the drugs." as if i'm doing this for recognition from others! that would be the most pointless motivation i can think of. i don't even want other women to know my story unless they are also hoping for a natural birth and could be encouraged by it. otherwise, it's something i want to do for me and my baby, not to prove i am a superwoman or "win a medal." :rolleyes:

Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346

"TyrantOfTheWeek" wrote:

I stop looking/posting in my birth boards the second I read "My induction date is set!" threads.

and the elective c-section threads Biggrin

i read a post once that said something to this effect "I couldn't have a vaginal birth because I gained 50lbs so my pelvis was too small".... seriously???

heatherliz2002's picture
Joined: 02/02/08
Posts: 2273

I think the key here should be respecting women's choices in birth. It can definitely be frustrating when you see women making choices when they are uneducated about the pros and cons of their options- of course we want to change the social norm about birth from what Hollywood would have us believe to what it actually is, and we hope that women will have beautiful birthing experiences. But I don't see how it's better to look down on women who have chosen something different from NCB (an epidural, an induction, etc.) than it is for someone to say it's crazy to have an unmedicated birth. I might personally disagree with someone's choices, but I respect them and their right to choose how they want to birth. I hope they would do the same for me. I'm not saying that education about the choices available, or discussion about those choices is wrong, I just don't like to see a negative attitude in either direction (towards natural childbirth or a medicated birth) because I feel like we're all women, we're all mothers, and we should support each other- we're all different people and going to handle the experience of childbirth in different ways.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

"heatherliz2002" wrote:

I think the key here should be respecting women's choices in birth. It can definitely be frustrating when you see women making choices when they are uneducated about the pros and cons of their options- of course we want to change the social norm about birth from what Hollywood would have us believe to what it actually is, and we hope that women will have beautiful birthing experiences. But I don't see how it's better to look down on women who have chosen something different from NCB (an epidural, an induction, etc.) than it is for someone to say it's crazy to have an unmedicated birth. I might personally disagree with someone's choices, but I respect them and their right to choose how they want to birth. I hope they would do the same for me. I'm not saying that education about the choices available, or discussion about those choices is wrong, I just don't like to see a negative attitude in either direction (towards natural childbirth or a medicated birth) because I feel like we're all women, we're all mothers, and we should support each other- we're all different people and going to handle the experience of childbirth in different ways.

I totally agree with this--especially if it is an educated choice. I do think that culturally there is a lot more negativity and misinformation surrounding NCB, though, which conversations like this are important to try and help balance.

As for the screaming, I was EXTREMELY vocal, but I wouldn't call it screaming and it was definitely not the Hollywood scene. It was more like very, very loud moaning. In fact, during transition/pushing/crowning, when it kind of started to turn into screaming, my midwife directed me to keep the pitch low and use it to help direct the baby down and out. It really did help. I definitely agree that most of it was more about a release of intense energy than "screaming in pain" (although I will admit that my very long NCB was not at all comfortable)

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

I guess I see people's comments as more of a frustration toward our broken obstetric and the lack of education rather than an attack on an individual woman's choices. I don't really care what a woman chooses for herself. I just hope her choice is an educated one. I know from experience that it sucks to have side effects from interventions your doc tells you are "safe," only to learn later that those side effects are common and the intervention was not necessary in your particular case.

"heatherliz2002" wrote:

I think the key here should be respecting women's choices in birth. It can definitely be frustrating when you see women making choices when they are uneducated about the pros and cons of their options- of course we want to change the social norm about birth from what Hollywood would have us believe to what it actually is, and we hope that women will have beautiful birthing experiences. But I don't see how it's better to look down on women who have chosen something different from NCB (an epidural, an induction, etc.) than it is for someone to say it's crazy to have an unmedicated birth. I might personally disagree with someone's choices, but I respect them and their right to choose how they want to birth. I hope they would do the same for me. I'm not saying that education about the choices available, or discussion about those choices is wrong, I just don't like to see a negative attitude in either direction (towards natural childbirth or a medicated birth) because I feel like we're all women, we're all mothers, and we should support each other- we're all different people and going to handle the experience of childbirth in different ways.
Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"heatherliz2002" wrote:

I think the key here should be respecting women's choices in birth. It can definitely be frustrating when you see women making choices when they are uneducated about the pros and cons of their options- of course we want to change the social norm about birth from what Hollywood would have us believe to what it actually is, and we hope that women will have beautiful birthing experiences. But I don't see how it's better to look down on women who have chosen something different from NCB (an epidural, an induction, etc.) than it is for someone to say it's crazy to have an unmedicated birth. I might personally disagree with someone's choices, but I respect them and their right to choose how they want to birth. I hope they would do the same for me. I'm not saying that education about the choices available, or discussion about those choices is wrong, I just don't like to see a negative attitude in either direction (towards natural childbirth or a medicated birth) because I feel like we're all women, we're all mothers, and we should support each other- we're all different people and going to handle the experience of childbirth in different ways.

I'm sorry but I really can't respect a "choice" when it's made through ignorance & mis-education. That's not really a choice, it's the consequence of one's lacking, IMHO. ITA that everyone is going to experience childbirth in a different way but the fact is that one's experience is going to be greatly influenced by the decisions & choices made during pregnancy. If someone has investigated her options & actively chooses a medicalized birth, then I can respect that. I can not respect choosing to remain ignorant and choosing to not research your options and blindly following someone else's instructions instead of making educated decisions for oneself. Those things don't deserve my respect, but they seem to be far & away the norm these days.

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

"Spacers" wrote:

I'm sorry but I really can't respect a "choice" when it's made through ignorance & mis-education. That's not really a choice, it's the consequence of one's lacking, IMHO. ITA that everyone is going to experience childbirth in a different way but the fact is that one's experience is going to be greatly influenced by the decisions & choices made during pregnancy. If someone has investigated her options & actively chooses a medicalized birth, then I can respect that. I can not respect choosing to remain ignorant and choosing to not research your options and blindly following someone else's instructions instead of making educated decisions for oneself. Those things don't deserve my respect, but they seem to be far & away the norm these days.

I've got to agree more with you. Everyone's birth choice is there choice but I still feel that people should be making their decisions completely educated about the benefits and consequences. If they know that and still make the decision to go ahead with all the medical things then good for them. BUT at least be educated on everything and not just take the doctors "word" that it's safe and normal.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I find the cultural misperceptions about natural birth really frustraiting. My natural birth with Hypnobabies was comfortable during 1st stage--I experienced strong tightening and some cramp-like sensations low in my belly, but I was able to think of it not really as "pain" for most of the time. I was really inwardly-focused. I vocalized a little as my body started switching to pushing, but it was just saying "ahhh" in low tones, not screaming. I had a cervical lip like Krista did, and there was some yelling involved with that, but then once I was pushing, I wasn't screaming either.

And the comments about "medals" drive me crazy. When a doula client of mine chose to get an epidural after planning on going natural, the nurse said something like that, and I wanted to slap her. I know she thought she was being helpful, but she wasn't.

I do understand that for some women, an epidural or a c-section is the best choice for her to have the best birth for her and her baby. I completely respect that. What bothers me is women scaring each other into thinking a particular choice is the best choice for ALL women, and FTMs believing that.

heatherliz2002's picture
Joined: 02/02/08
Posts: 2273

"Spacers" wrote:

I'm sorry but I really can't respect a "choice" when it's made through ignorance & mis-education. That's not really a choice, it's the consequence of one's lacking, IMHO. ITA that everyone is going to experience childbirth in a different way but the fact is that one's experience is going to be greatly influenced by the decisions & choices made during pregnancy. If someone has investigated her options & actively chooses a medicalized birth, then I can respect that. I can not respect choosing to remain ignorant and choosing to not research your options and blindly following someone else's instructions instead of making educated decisions for oneself. Those things don't deserve my respect, but they seem to be far & away the norm these days.

I meant when an educated choice is made. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. I agree that the system tends to be broken and it's a shame when women don't have all the information before making a decision. I feel like doctors need to be held accountable for giving more accurate and thorough information on "routine" or "normal" procedures (or really all procedures), but I agree with you that ultimately it is everyone's personal responsibility to educate themselves before agreeing to any medical procedure. I wasn't trying to excuse ignorance, or say that it demands respect. I meant educated choices. Different people are willing to take different risks in various situatons, but they should be absolutely sure they know what the risks are.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I screamed through my natural birth, but I think it's because all of my contractions were in my back, so it was pretty brutal. But I've seen plenty of unmedicated births where mom didn't scream. And, I think it's really just different for each and every woman. We all have different pain thresholds, and all tolerate birth differently... but for someone to say that women who go natural are freaks of nature... that's just sad and pathetic. It sounds to me like that other board of yours needs to have a better mod!