What would you do? - page 3

A few years after I graduated from college, a friend of mine invited me to be one of her supporters at her first birth. Her husband and a few other family members were there, of course. I was... Read More

  1. by   TrudyRN
    [quote=Altalorraine]I guess I'm trying not to be offended by your description of birth as bad and horrible and your wondering why women would want to go through it. Clearly you *don't* understand the mentality of women who do it. My four natural births were the most wonderful, empowering things I've ever done. They are sacred events in my memory.

    I don't think you owe anyone an explanation for what you do and don't want to do, but you may not get a lot of sympathy for your stance which seems just a bit insensitive. Quote:




    Why be offended? You are truly blessed to have had 4 such wonderful births and, presumably, 4 healthy children, who are being raised in a loving, stable situation. But why does Nice or anyone else have to do the same as you? And I think there are lots of OB nurses who are very pro birth - if they believe the baby is loved and wanted and that the parents will be able to care for it.

    Giving birth just to do it or giving birth just to please our mothers or anyone else is irresponsible and selfish, IMO. For centuries, that's what women were expected to do - whether they really wanted to or not. Let's move away from forced expression of fertility.
  2. by   bagladyrn
    You are right that this decision is yours alone, and need not be justified to anyone. However, though your mother's reaction as you described it was over the top, I'd suggest a little empathy for her - this is a loss for her, of the grandchildren she has been dreaming of, and she has no control of the situation. As a grandmother of one child by my son's marriage and awaiting the first bio one, I feel sorry that she won't have this experience. (I'd have to go out and poach on other people's grandkids!)
  3. by   Altalorraine
    Why be offended? You are truly blessed to have had 4 such wonderful births and, presumably, 4 healthy children, who are being raised in a loving, stable situation. But why does Nice or anyone else have to do the same as you?
    NOWHERE in my post did I say she has to do as I do. I have to wonder if you even read what I wrote. I said nothing about forced fertility. If she doesn't want a child, she shouldn't have one. Period.

    Words like "torture" are inappropriate here. Saying that the birth process is "bad" is inappropriate. Calling it "gross" is insensitive. Saying that anyone who would want to go through the process must be totally unaware of the ramifications is insulting. These are the poster's words.

    She didn't ask for clarification or education. What is offensive is coming to a site-- a site where personally and professionally the process of giving birth is held in very high regard-- to schmooze about how disgusting birth is. It's a matter of respect.

    The title of her post is "What would you do?" She says she wants to talk to nurses because we're rational. She is asking for advice.

    In her first two posts she made it clear she didn't want to have a child. She is asking for medical/psychological advice/support about whether she should have her tubes tied secretly. It wasn't until AFTER I and several others posted that she expressed her ambivalence. Are we, a bunch of total strangers, convincing her to have a child after all? Since when do we give advice on such things?

    Altalorraine
    Last edit by Altalorraine on Oct 20, '06
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Each person is entitled to her opinion here, and I appreciate all the varying ideas expressed. The OP DID ask "what would you do" when she started the thread. However, I think we ought to re-examine our thoughts a bit when we choose to become offended at what is a very honest and earnest post and expression about one person's experience regarding birth. Let each person have her opinion and remember, your choice to be offended is just that: choice. If you are offended, perhaps it's best to abstain from the thread at that point, rather than take an argumentive and non-supportive stance. Surely, we cannot always agree, sometimes just agreeing to disagree is best. Let's just keep it friendly, if at all possible, as this, too, really is a matter of respect. Thanks.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 20, '06
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Also, I feel this is worth noting:

    No one is telling the OP to have or (not to have) children, per se. I see a majority of respondents offering support and if anything, perhaps, advice on how to handle her feelings, as well as her mother's very vocal disapproval of her decisions. I do see one example where a poster stated she might have secretly tied her tubes to avoid confrontation with the mother. I can't say I agree or back that advice, but it's a gray area and not really a medical recommendation.

    From what I see, there really is no medical advice being offered here, so there really is no Terms of Service problem or violation. Just a bit of a heated issue and discussion.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 20, '06
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Altalorraine
    Words like "torture" are inappropriate here. Saying that the birth process is "bad" is inappropriate. Calling it "gross" is insensitive. Saying that anyone who would want to go through the process must be totally unaware of the ramifications is insulting. These are the poster's words.

    She didn't ask for clarification or education. What is offensive is coming to a site-- a site where personally and professionally the process of giving birth is held in very high regard-- to schmooze about how disgusting birth is. It's a matter of respect.
    Sorry, but I respectfully disagree.

    Birth to many people is a bit gross...as are many bodily functions. We go through them and consider beautiful mainly for what they give us. But it is not disrespectful or insulting to call the procedure gross.

    (Think about teaching children about sex, and how gross it seems to them)

    I am an oncology nurse. People frequently use the words "torture" and "gross" to describe chemotherapy, bone marrow aspirations, colostomies, lumbar punctures, chest tube insertions and mammograms. I respect that they may feel that way. And I don't make them guilty by voicing their honest feelings.

    But that colectomy/colostomy is what lets them live to see their children grow up. That chemo may cure them, give them more time, or reduce pathological bone fractures/painful mets. That bone marrow aspiration may tell them they are cured, that they will live to see another birthday, where there was no hope before. The mammogram is painful but saves lives. The chest tubes keeps them from suffocating and drowning in their own fluids. They amy feel like it was"gross', but that does not keep them from valuing what it gave them. And I don't feel "insulted" by that.

    Not everyone has good birth experiences like you and many refer to childbirth as torture. That does not mean that they wish that they were never pregnant. Nor is it "insulting" to be honest.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A few weeks ago there was a thread on a "gross" coworker. Said coworker was very flatulent, urinated on herself in public and smelled bad. Posters described working with people that were flatulent and those that repeatedly bled through clothing, during their periods. - and the posters used derogatory terms. These are all natural bodily functions and occur in healthy people yet were deemed "gross". But no one claimed that it was "insulting" to Gyn/GI/GU nurses to refer to these natural acts of the body as "gross".
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    To the OP:

    I personally hope that you are not avoiding parenthood strictly due to the fears of childbirth, and trust that there are other issues involved. But your mother has no right to guilt you about this.

    And this is a very acceptable forum for this discussion.
  7. by   KyPinkRN
    Quote from Nice2MeetU
    It's a definite problem. I couldn't believe how bad the process of childbirth was. It was stunning. And hers was a normal birth. After that night, I have never been able to fathom why anyone would want to go through that process, even once, unless totally unaware of the ramifications of it. I was grateful to see the birth process without having to go through it. Women should attend someone else's birth so they don't get a big shock, like my friend got. I felt so bad for her. If more women knew what to expect upfront, I think fewer women would have children, and the poor nurses would have fewer problem patients. It would make your lives so much easier!:wink2:

    I knew birth would be bad, but I never expected that bad. (Unless you are a nurse, it's a bit gross, too, but that's what makes you all so great--you have superstomachs!)

    I think my mother thinks that she had to go through birth, so do I. That may seem illogical, but I genuinely think it is part of that.

    I have been thinking more about it, and I agree that my mother might explode if I say anything to her about it. Makes sense.

    Thanks for your input!


    I respect your position on not wanting to go through childbirth... it can be rough. I agree that your mother doesn't have the right to be so beligerent and it is not really her business to decide that you have to have a child. That said, think about this... childbirth is one hard day that will reward you for the rest of your life. You truly will never know this until you are a parent. It is a challenge but the amount of love and fulfillment in having a child is more than you would ever imagine. Maybe being a mother has made me a big mushy wushy but I want the same love and fulfillment for my own daughter. There is nothing better in this world.
  8. by   Nice2MeetU
    Thank you for your time, consideration, and input. It's a challenging decision in more ways than one, and there are many perspectives I don't know anything about due to my limited life experience in this area. I have a decision to make that will direct the course of the rest of my life, and I appreciate all of you who chose to help rather than be offended. I will continue to read all comments.
  9. by   VivaLasViejas
    I've stayed out of this discussion because there's been some negative energy that I didn't want to address. This is nowhere near as simple as some would have it; the OP is facing several different issues here, and now that I've had some time to think about it, here's my perspective (FWIW):

    First, the facts: the OP witnessed a birth some years ago and was 'grossed-out', so to speak. Let's be honest here: Birth is a messy, bloody, painful, and unattractive process, especially if you're looking at it in a one-dimensional fashion. And how can you view it any other way when you haven't been through it yourself and felt all the emotions that go with it? I should think it's pretty normal not to be enthralled by the sight of blood and vernix. Traumatized may seem a little extreme to those of us who have given birth or witnessed many of them; but it doesn't matter what we think---it's how the OP felt, and there are no 'bad' or 'wrong' emotions.........they just are.

    Secondly, the question of whether or not to have one's own children based on the perception of birth as a messy, bloody, painful, and unattractive process is something the OP must work out for herself. As a mother five times over, I would hope she wouldn't deprive herself of the joy and privilege of childbearing out of fear of the birth process alone; after all, it lasts such a short time, and the rewards are lifelong (just ask any GRANDMOTHER ).

    However, it seems to me that the OP's fear and loathing of birth aren't the only factors in her decision-making; I think she has a lot of doubts about parenting, period, and at age 40, the time to become a mother is growing short. That puts quite a bit of pressure on women who have delayed pregnancy and birth up to this point, which brings up the "give me grandchildren or I shall die" attitude of the OP's mother. As much as I adore my own little grandson, I would never have wanted my daughter to become pregnant just to gratify MY desires, or made her feel guilty for not being 'ready'. That's not right, and in fact, it's downright selfish on the part of the OP's mother to give her grief on this sore subject.

    IMHO, the only legitimate reason to bring children into the world is because you want them and are willing to give up part of your life to raise them---not because your parents will be disappointed if you don't, not because society seems to think there's something wrong with childless people, and certainly not because someone else (whether it's your Aunt Betty, your best friend, or the SAHM down the street) believes you should.

    And that's all I have to say about that.:stone
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    OH SO WELL-SAID Marla!!!! Thank you for your input.

    To the OP, we all wish you the best. Please see my PM to you, for my final thoughts on your situation. I honestly send my warmest and best thoughts to you as you struggle with these difficult issues.
  11. by   lannisz
    I'm sorry you were so traumatized. I vowed to never have another child after 27hrs of horrible labor when having my son. But when he was six months old I accidently got pregnant with my daughter. My pregnancy was wonderful and I gave birth easily in 3 hours. It was the most beautiful experience of my life. I'm am so thankful we had an accident or I would have missed out on my wonderful daughter! My point is...every birth is different. What's important is what do YOU want? Do you want children? Are you just afraid of the birth experience? Are you sure you want to start a family at 40? This is about what you and your husband to be want. But please don't let someone else's experience affect this important decision.
  12. by   Nice2MeetU
    Thanks to all of you. I have taken steps to get the air cleared with all parties involved, and I think we might be able to at least have a peaceful discussion without too much fighting. I can't ask for more than that. Your insights were helpful. In the end, I am the one who has to make a decision, and soon. It is very difficult to do. I appreciate your help, I really do.
  13. by   33-weeker
    i wish you wouldn't base your decision not to have kids on one birth experience. they are not all like that. you need to witness birth when it goes right. i've seen hundreds of births over the years and mostly they are ok - good even. you just have to choose your caregivers and support people carefully.

    but if you decide not to have kids - that's your decision, not your mom's.

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