Do Not Cut HERE

I was considering the title of this post as a temporary tattoo for my trip to the hospital. Maybe just at the bikini line, with some helpful arrows?

I watched The Business of Being Born last night. Ok, people. The scary parts to me were the c-sections. They just kind of re-broke my heart each time I saw one. Nelly was right about the twilight sleep births being horrifying. I was looking for a link to do the work for me, but I guess I need to explain it myself, since I can’t seem to find anything as comprehensive on the internet on twilight sleep as the movie described it.   Twilight sleep was marketed as a way to have “painless” births.  Women were given an injection of morphine and scopolamine.  Then they would be semi-conscious during the birth, feeling the pain, but would not remember any part of it.   She’d just wake up a few days later with a baby and no memory of the birth.  Sometimes women would scratch at people, bang their heads and scream, so the doctors would actually tie them up (with lambswool, so their husbands wouldn’t ask questions later) and cover their heads with some kind of cushioned pilllow-looking thing and leave them there in labor on their backs for days.  Interestingly, women’s activists took the access to twilight sleep up as a cause, opening up clinics in America, because  they felt strongly that women should have access to “painless” births. Any woman with as little as one women’s studies class under her belt is accustomed to discovering historical, as well as present, brutality against women. The present trend in some hospitals having as high as a 45% c-section rate is also brutal. But this brutality has a celebrity sheen to it, and one of those fake sparkles in the corner. Not only are c-sections escalating, but unnecessary inductions, as well.

There’s a British message board I visit about once a week, mostly for the week-to-week updates on fetal development. Unlike What to Expect, they don’t tell you all the horrible things that can go wrong, and they often have good illustrations. I occasionally scroll down to the comments to see what the other women in my week are feeling. Many of the comments make my skin crawl a little, like when they LOL at things that are not funny at all, or when they don’t bother to use any punctuation or capitalization– it makes me wonder why I bother trying to teach it to my second-graders. They often do have something happening in common with my pregnancy. I like that part.

Well last week, at week 37, I was startled by the huge number of women who were hoping for, or looking forward to their inductions. WHA? As Nelly pointed out to me, ultrasound machines give a person a plus or minus one week due date. So if you are a straight lady who does not know the exact day that she became pregnant, and you’re relying on an ultrasound due date, and you induce at 37 weeks, you could actually be forcing your baby to be pre-term. Why would you do that? Would you want to meet your baby so badly that you would put its health and well-being into danger on purpose? Could anyone possibly be that sick of being pregnant?

I loved watching the natural births in the movie. I could watch them again and again. I especially liked one in which the woman’s 1.5-year-old son, in his pjs, is tapping on her arm while she’s in the birthing tub having what appears to be a contraction. Then she reaches down and pulls out a baby. Weird and wonderful, I tell you.

During my poll about if I should watch the movie before or after my birth, I was surprised to hear from the lovely Co and Lo that my old childbirth educator a ‘la Cakie’s birth, had told them to wait to see it until after they gave birth. This was especially strange advice, since she actually made us all sit through at least eight extremely graphic, more so than the movie, birth videos. I think perhaps she didn’t want us to feel like failures if we did end up having to have c-sections or whatnot. Well half of us did, anyway. And nobody was happy about it.

I say all of this knowing full well that I am going to a hospital.  Since I’m going near the knife, I may very well be cut.  I don’t mind having a c-section.  I do mind having an unnecessary c-section.  I feel like I’ve done everything in my power, short of having a home birth, to avoid that.  But just in case…

Here’s another tattoo I’m considering:

NO PITOCIN PLEASE. (Unless I’m bleeding to death, then go for it.)

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8 Comments

Filed under Third Trimester!?!

8 responses to “Do Not Cut HERE

  1. i’m loving the tattoo idea! and i’m hoping that you won’t need any of the warnings.

  2. Lovely review. I’m so glad you liked it. I admit that although I know that you can make a birth plan to the smallest detail, sometimes things go differently, I am terrified of the possibility of a c-section. I think your openness and humor is a good example for me. You’re one strong mama and are going to have such a beautiful birth. Soon! ox

  3. bri

    I couldn’t believe it when Asia saw that movie while pregnant. I still haven’t seen it. Because honestly? I don’t need that kind of c-section stuff taking up residency in my brain. They are often done unnecessarily, yes. But I think by going with a midwife, you almost guarantee that yours will not be that. That’s how I felt, anyway. I never for one moment wondered if I should have been doing something else. My bp went up, my baby was not dropped and induction wouldn’t do much, and he needed to get out of me. I am grateful every day for my c-section because I loved that I didn’t have to labor first and then end up with one. It was a stars-aligning moment, since if I had gone into labor we would have discovered that A) his head was totally stuck on my pelvic bone and was “never coming out” according to my midwife who saw how he was situated when I was cut and B) my cord was presenting first. And that is BAD. I feel so, so lucky that my bp shot up! And while I will never believe there is a reason for everything, I do think that going with a lovely midwife can make it feel that way. I seriously loved Beck’s birth. It was amazing and magical. Nothing could have been more amazing no matter how he arrived. One moment he was inside me and the next he was IN THE ROOM with us, SEPARATELY. Totally crazy shit. Sorry to write a novel. I know no one is saying I should have succumbed to preeclampsia but I get strangely defensive of my c-sec because it really was so magnificent.

  4. Bri– I think you should see the movie. Because, like I said, I don’t have any problem with a necessary c-section. I’ve often had the same thought about Cakie’s birth, which was also pre-eclampsic. I am glad that we didn’t have to labor for 24 hours and then have the section. Thanks for commenting… a BRI WAS HERE once in a while would also be welcome. 😉

  5. sn

    i love the tattoo idea, and w0uld add no episiotomy please. but that’s sorta done by having midwives.

  6. I think tattoos would be perfect. Would the pictocin tattoo go on your right forearm?
    Thank you for your review. I agree that if things are medically necessary that is one thing, but all the unnecessary stuff really scares me. (And twilight birthing is outrageous.) I hope your birth plan goes as planned, but that if there needs to be changes you are comfortable with them.

  7. I’d like to see the movie even though it sounds scary. But, I’m not pregnant, so probably better now than later, right?
    I think a semi-perm marker would suffice rather than a tatoo…
    Sounds like you have your head wrapped around everything and you are in a good, calm place which is right about where anyone could hope to be.

  8. Pingback: Buckets of Babies! « oneofhismoms

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