The Baby Debate

**I’ve not had a baby. I’m not planning on having a baby anytime soon. I welcome personal experiences and thoughts. Just know these are my opinions and thoughts and they could change*

I have no idea what has drawn me to these two movies, but I am and I’ve watched them. Netflix Instantly is to blame. As is my curiosity about pregnancy and delivery.

I’ve watched “The Business of Being Born” and “Pregnant in America”. And both seem to be pro natural birth/doulas/midwives and they are fascinating.

I had always thought and assumed that I would just go to a hospital, have an epidural, and out comes the baby. Yes, I know it would take time and all that and yes I know it would be painful and probably not fun, but that’s how it happens.

Apparently, there are more options. (yes, logically I knew that, but never considered them)

And I’m terribly conflicted about this.

@aRealLifeWife from Keeping up with the Joneses asked me on Twitter why I was watching these. I’ve said that we aren’t having kids for a while, so she was probably curious about my choice of movies. I told her that I want to be armed with as much information as possible before the time comes. I know once I get pregnant, I will be so excited and worried about picking out colors and cribs and strollers and room decor themes and clothes and cute stuffed animals (which I know to not have in the crib with them…). Names and gender will be discussed and I will be a big ball of emotions and hormones and I will NOT be in the right state of mind to make an informed and well thought out decision. I also know I will be a little scared and worried, so I could be easily swayed one way or another.

So here I am. I would NOT be happy if we had a baby right now due to financial reasons and I know I’m just not ready yet. Will I ever truly feel ready? Who knows, but now is not the time. So it’s a great time for me to research since I’m under no time crunch or trying to get pregnant. I’m level headed and trying to understand all of the options and statistics and all that jazz.

And my ideas of lots of pains meds in a hospital bed and all that have been shaken.

The information about Pitocin and the problems it causes for both the mom and the baby is scary enough. And the statistics about how many births occur Monday thru Friday as compared to Saturday and Sunday are astounding. The idea that doctors would push a drug used for the induction of labor, that also has a lot of scary side effects, just so they can get home or so they don’t have to be there for a 16 hour labor when they can have a 30 minute caesarean, is appalling. They decided to become doctors. Doctors don’t have 9-5 jobs, especially in obstetrics. Hello! Women go into labor at all hours of the day and night and I’ve heard of labors lasting anywhere from 2 hours to 36.

(Edit) But I KNOW not all doctors are like this. My mom’s doctor did not want to do a c-section and, even though she had some complications, they didn’t do a c-section because he didn’t find it necessary. He let it happen how her body was going to do it. On her time. And I would guess to say MOST doctors are like this. Even the documentaries talked to these doctors. So please don’t think I think every OBGYN is going to rush a person. I’m not. It’s just the percentage of c-sections and use of pitocin is on the rise for some reason and it’s not something I want, if avoidable. So I will research and meet with my doctor to find out and make sure he or she knows that I want things to happen naturally, if that’s the route I choose.

However, home birth is not in my plans.

You see, I might be more conflicted than other people.

Both of my mom’s labors did not go well. Like, at all. Had she not been in a hospital…well, it wouldn’t be good. I still don’t have ALL of the details as to what was going wrong, but when she was in labor with me, her doctor said “We aren’t going to let happen the first time happen again. Let’s get her out now.” Also, both of my mom’s labors started when her water broke as opposed to contractions first. Not sure if this was part of the problem, but my mom is very adamant about being a hospital because of her experience. Also, after me and how badly things went, they decided no more children.

So that makes me nervous. Labor is a big deal, and whether in a hospital or at home, with a doctor or midwife or doula, things, unfortunately, can go wrong.

But also all the information about doctors pushing c-sections makes me nervous. A c-section is a HUGE surgery. It’s a big deal. Also, after one c-section there is a fair amount of scar tissue which can cause other problems should the mom have to have another c-section or abdominal surgery.

My MIL wanted a c-section. She also had nurse friends to tell her where to say it hurt or she felt pressure to get the doctor to do a c-section. And I know lots of women would rather have a 30 minute surgery and be done than to have to push and be in pain for hours and hours on end. I get that. I don’t like pain. My mom says that I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but still.

So what do you do? What did you do?

I think I have more research to do. I think I want Mr. A to watch these because he is very pro hospital. He has a cousin who has done home birth 3 times (also doesn’t take her kids to the doctor for anything which is a whole other issue). We always thought it was crazy because she didn’t even have a midwife- just her mom and sister. Our joke has been that I will have 2 doctors, all the pain meds and will be in a hospital to make sure nothing happens.

But this is a decision, in my opinion, that he and I have to make together. We both need to be comfortable in our decision and work as a team, no matter what we choose.

I think the idea of a midwife would be great, especially since then you have the freedom to move around and try to make yourself comfortable, as opposed to being in a bed. However, I want it in a hospital, for the “just in case”. Sometimes, as one expert in the documentary said, Pitocin is needed, or a c-section is required. But a c-section shouldn’t be a first option for a doctor. The doctor should try everything else and c-section should be plan Z as it will save the mom and baby.

Again, every woman has their own ideas and opinions, and I respect ALL of them. And I may decide to go back to my original doctor plan. Mr. A could be adamantly against a midwife. I could have a rocky pregnancy that requires a doctor. Who knows. So I’m not judging any woman for any decision they make. I do think doctors (and again, I know it’s not all doctors, just a few- not trying to say it’s everyone) need to listen to their patients and work with them and not force them into something they aren’t comfortable with. And that goes for obstetrics and every other branch of medicine.

So I shall continue to research while I have plenty of time. There are a couple books I would like to read to learn more. I want to be super informed and very sure of my decision.

So for now, if you see me and I have a tummy bump? That’s cheeseburger and fries I ate. Sorry to get your hopes up.

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10 Comments

Filed under Learning More, Married Life, What to do?

10 responses to “The Baby Debate

  1. EH

    Here’s my problem with old fashioned childbirth: women and babies died. A lot. And that’s pretty much how I see it. A woman whose placenta ruptures can bleed out before the ambulance can arrive. A baby deprived of oxygen can suffer irreversible brain damage.

    When P was born, there were four doctors and five nurses in the room with me. I had a department head as my perinatologist and his number 2 supervise the delivery. If I hadn’t been carefully monitored through my pregnancy, chances are that I wouldn’t be here, and P wouldn’t, either.

    Most hospitals have lots of options available – for water birth, or whatever – and you don’t have to go the pitocin/epidural route. I just think it’s better to be near the trauma team.

    • And I COMPLETELY agree. I would NEVER do it at home or even a birth center that wasn’t at a hospital. My mom’s story alone is enough for me to know to be at a hospital.

  2. Guess I’m not the only one with babies on the brain! 🙂

    I read a lot of blogs who either intentionally or unintentionally vilify physicians… and it’s frustrating. Frustrating because I haven’t done any primary research. Frustrating because – while I know SOME doctors are bad/selfish/money-driven/whathaveyou – not all doctors are trying to make a birth adhere to their own personal schedules. (I’m not saying you are saying this, but you brought it up.) My dad delivers babies and he would NEVER do something like that, so I guess I always feel a little stung when I hear diatribes against hospital births and OBs.

    (Sorry to be unleashing this massive chip on my shoulder! Ack!)

    Anyway, I guess you can assume that I will go for a hospital birth. And that I will be doing a lot more research between now and then!

    • And I know this and I think I might edit this post already to address that. My mom’s doctor was amazing and did not want a c-section unless necessary. And I was so for hospital birth, but these two documentaries opened my eyes a little to some other options. And, if I’m honest with myself, when it comes, I will probably be in a hospital with meds bc I’m a worry wart and the second something wasn’t perfect, I would freak out. And please know I wasn’t saying all doctors. I know there are amazing ones out there. I do I do I do.

      And yes, babies on the mind. and they need to leave my mind because it’s just not happening now. 🙂

  3. Soooo I totally hear you on the no home birth. I’m going to sound like a hater, but my sister did it (3 TIMES) and on the fourth time, things went horribly wrong. Her mom had almost died during labor and yet… she chose to do it at her house (about 45 minutes from a good hospital) and literally scare the life out of all of us. I understand there are arguments on both sides, but really, it was a horrible time which resulted in long term damage to her and the baby. So basically, I think when medicine gives you a gift… you should take it.

    Personally, I know I’m having a c-section. Even the women in my fiance’s family are taller than the men in mine. They’re, like, giants. So there’s just no way. Plus I’m diabetic and I don’t like the idea of some indefinite amount of time where I may or may not be able to control my sugar.

  4. Meredith

    hmmm…I agree with you on being in a hospital for the just in case. My brother was born with a severe birth defect and had he not been in a hospital he most likely would have died (well, he most likely could have died in a hospital too as the mortality rate is still 40-60%, nevermind what it was 30 years ago). So I am totally in agreement with you on at least being in a hospital.

    as for the rest, I guess the biggest thing is to find the right doctor FOR YOU. meaning, that person may not be the right doctor for your friend or your aunt or your mom.

    Also, just use caution when citing and listening to statistics. They can be skewed and misinterpreted (causation vs correlation, anyone?), misunderstood and even blatantly wrong. How the data is collected is just as important as what the data says. Nothng is worse than only collecting from a flawed group. I could go on and on about this but take home point = most stats, especially when coming from a biased source (like most documentaries) are probably not truly representative. And the worst part is, finding reputable data is HARD. so where does that leave you? following your gut.

  5. Jessica @ Acting Adult

    I watched the Business of Being Born, in a similar situation to yours. We aren’t anywhere near being ready to have a baby but I want to start preparing myself for that process, without the hormones to interfere. I wish there was a midpoint between having a home birth with a midwife and a big Pitocin filled birth at a hospital. Because being able to get up and walk around have something natural happen instead of going into it as a medical procedure appeals to me. But I don’t want to put me or future baby at risk.

    I’m just glad I have years to figure this out!

    • Exactly!! Years! When I say not now, I mean not for the next 2-3 years, so I have plenty of time to change my mind 27 different times. And research depending on where we are living at that point. And STL has so many hospital so I’m sure I can find a perfect fit for me!

  6. I think that this is an area where you have to do a lot of research and decide what you want and what is best for you. The problem with a lot of research though is that it is paid for by someone. Which means it is inherently biased and backed by someone with an agenda. Just something to keep in mind as you are filtering through the overwhelming amount of information.

    The thing that bothers me about the trendy movement of homebirths and whatnot is that women did that for centuries. And many of them (and their babies) died. Medicine is a technological marvel–and an opportunity and advancement that I fully intend on utilizing. I cannot imagine NOT–why would I want to move backwards??

    I also think that it is important to find the right doc for you. Mine is a GP. She does do women’s health and will deliver babies (provided the pregnancy is not high risk–she then refers her patients out to an OB). I know that she will advocate for what is best for me and my baby. And not what is best for her schedule (she has told me horror stories about the on-call OB sitting there begging her to let him do a c-section so he can go home and her refusing so that her patient can try to labor on her own a little longer–things like that make me certain she is in it for my best interests, not her’s).

    Intriguing topic 🙂

    • I know about the statistics can be skewed. I’m afraid I came off as someone who just believes what is put in front of me. I know I have more research to do. And I think I presented the info about the midwives and such bc until recently, I just assumed I would have tons of pain meds and all that. I don’t know. Like I told someone else, I will probably end up in a hospital with medicine and all that just because I’ve heard too many horror stories of things going wrong otherwise, but I just need to find a doctor who will advocate for me. I just don’t want to be so drugged that I don’t know what is going on and I can’t participate. That’s all.

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