I came across this video and cried watching it. As far as the video and c-section rates go, I couldn’t say it better than midwife Gloria Lemay (who sent this video with the excerpted email):
“It is a call to action for doctors, nurses, midwives and doulas to wake up to the pain that is being caused to real people by the cesarean epidemic. If a woman can’t get a baby out of her vagina in a hospital, the hospitals have to be closed. We have to warn women that the chances of normal birth in a N. American hospital are impossibly low. We must have the courage to steer women in the direction of the practitioners with the low cesarean rates and away from the butchers. This woman endured three major abdominal surgeries and mental anguish because of our complacency.”
Incredibly powerful and incredibly true.
To take a different slant on it, I am concerned about the recent movement (at least in these parts, Northern Arizona) of birth activists taking the position of encouraging women to go back to the hospital to attempt a VBAC.
Yes, the same hospital, and likely the same doctor that performed the first surgery. Consider that “most” of these primary c-sections are done for “failure to progress” – and then tell me, convince me actually, that we should be ENCOURAGING our sisters to go back to the lion’s den to birth.
In the local area here, the political situation is even more charged for two reasons:
First, the local hospital will not “do” VBACs at all, and secondly, licensed Arizona midwives are not permitted to attend VBACs at home either.
So, I agree that it is a tough place to be. Between a rock and a hard place, really. But politics aside, what are we doing?
I see these hardworking women totally going against anything that makes practical sense to me. We are asking the doctors to please, please give us a chance–even when they cut us the first time.
We are begging them for the “privilege” of getting to labor like a normal woman and begging for our insurance to pay for it. To pay for what most likely will end the same way it did the last time. I just don’t get the reasoning.
As women, we have power, incredible power.
Why don’t we educate our sisters about birth at home, about HBACs?
Why don’t we work on, if anything, getting HBACS to be “legal”?
In the meantime, there are always options, and the woman in this video proves it. I have no idea who attended her birth, but whoever it is likely took some personal and professional risks with her after having not 1, not 2 but 3 major abdominal surgeries and NO history of successful vaginal birth.
But it is possible.
Whether it is out-of-state, or some other arrangement, it is NOT illegal for a woman to attempt or have a vaginal birth. Despite what they tell us–it is not illegal to birth the way we want to.
I hear these women virtually asking their doctors for PERMISSION to “attempt” a vaginal birth and it makes me crazy. We don’t need permission to birth any more than we need permission to go to the bathroom.
Women need to stand up and not take it any more.
When you birth at the hospital you are asking for approval, for permission, to do what you were made to do. And a lot of the time, that permission is not granted.
I always say–if you go to the hospital, you get what you get. I have had a hospital birth, and there is only so much blame I could transfer.
Because when you go there, whether a conscious decision or not, you get what they do there, what they are good at.
We need to turn the tides and not only PREVENT primary c-sections but take these VBAC women and help them. Educate them, give them options and ideas that are REAL. Not begging the hospital to take them back, that is just lame.
The c-section rate will only stop climbing when we refuse to go there. It is that simple. C-sections will be reserved, once again, for those true emergencies, those times when mother or baby is seriously at risk.
That is when this epidemic will stop-when we give ourselves the permission to birth the way we know how.