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Correlation between family members needing C-Sections and advice for calming mom.


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
November 9th, 2009, 12:27 PM
MRM MRM is offline
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My mother keeps telling me how she, all of my aunts and grandmother ended up having C-Sections after laboring for long periods (she labored for 30 hours and had a horrific C-Section experience where they almost lost her and the baby and my Bro has some learning issues that have been attributed to the labor by some doctors.)

She thinks I should ask to have a C-Section to be safe. Please- don't rant - this is my mom just watching out for what she really believes is my best interest. She and her relatives all had repeat C-Sections and think this is the way to go. My father has said that one of his biggest regrets in life was not knowing that he should have said or done something different when she was in labor. So- this is a pretty emotionally charged family issue.

So, what can I say or do to make them feel better? I have a great doctor, I am giving birth at a great hospital with a level 2+ NICU, I have a doula that has been to hundreds of births and knows of my family history (as does my OB.) But, they are all very supportive of NCB.

How much increased risk am I really at given my family history? My fundal height is 1 CM behind my gestation and has been for months- but keeps tracking this way. So, I don't think I have an abnormally large baby.

Also- what signs do you look for that it may be time to go to plan B?

I really need to calm my mom down before she comes out here so she doesn't freak me out right before I do this!

Sorry this was a little a disjointed. I was just thrown by my mom asking if I couldn't get the doctor to just do a C-Section.

I'd love your supportive thoughts on how to re-assure both myself and my mom and dad.
Thanks!
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  #2  
November 9th, 2009, 12:49 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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You are not your mother. You are not even really half of your mother. Every woman is her own being and every birth is different.

You can be the one to break the chain. Be the healthy link. You can do this. One thing is though that if your mom is going to be negative, it might be best that she not be present. If it is going to be that she will be there, can you have her meet a few times with your midwife and OB and let them reassure her that it is safe, and if for some reason you do need a c-section they will ensure you don't go through what she did.

I am fairly certain she did not prepare for birth the way you have. She may have already been resigned to the fact that she would need a c-section because her mom needed one.

Just for a point, my labors went nothing like my mothers. hers were all much longer then mine, with her shortest being about 8 hours. Mine were about 4, well my un-medicated ones, my epidural birth went longer because of the epi. She needed for her babie sto be rotated since they were postrior, mine turned. I had persistent breeches, one resulting in c-section, two with external version and one resolved itself at 36 weeks or so. Every woman is different.

And if it was really that your family needed c-sectiosn to be born you would not be here right now because your ancestors would not have survived childbirth.

Okay, off my soapbox now...lol
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  #3  
November 9th, 2009, 12:53 PM
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That is a hard one. When a woman doesn't understand how a physiological birth is different and how some of the techniques you'll be using will benefit, it's difficult to convince them that your experience can be totally different. Your mom was likely strapped down, maybe numbed, and pretty much told to lie there and wait until someone told her to push. Also, if your grandmother told her all about her births, your mom was probably terrified of birth. I am sure that didn't help move things along. Maybe you could get your doula to help you put things into words better, and reassure your mom with all of the births she's attended. Unfortunately it sounds like your mom's experiences have emotionally scarred her and I don't know that really will be a whole lot you can do except tell her that you'll be at a great hospital with an awesome medical staff so you will have people looking out for you. GL!
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  #4  
November 9th, 2009, 01:16 PM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
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My mother had two children. I was the first, 6 weeks early and 5.5 lbs, vaginal birth. My brother was almost 10lbs and a c-section. So, I knew my birth would be anywhere on the spectrum according to family history. There is no way to know what will happen during your birth. Do you know any more details on why after 30 hours she had the c-section? Times are soooo different and doctors are probably more eager to cut you open now than then. Trust in yourself and your doula and your provider. Share that trust with your mother.
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  #5  
November 9th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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I don't think there is really any correlation between family members and births. Both of my grandmothers had all vaginal births and very fast births (both delivered at home unassisted with at least one baby because it came so quickly). One aunt on my mom's side had super fast labors. My mom had a 36 hour labor and then a c-section with my sister. This was in the 1981 and she didn't get an epidural until 24 hours into the labor. Her water broke first and then contractions started about 12 hours later. My sister was supposedly stuck on my mom's pelvic bone and was not coming down further so they did a c-section after 36 hours of full labor.

I was a planned c-section for my mom but her water broke 3 weeks early. She labored for 16 hours before they did the c-section with me.

My labor with Lily was just under 7 hours. It was nothing like my mom's labors at all. My mom told me she thought I might have long labors because she did, but I didn't.

I would just tell your mom that you understand her concern but you believe that you can have the birth you want and if she wants you to go over the details of what you are planning, etc then do that to reassure her.
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  #6  
November 9th, 2009, 02:58 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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How were the births on your father's side? You are as much a product of his genetics as you are of your mother.
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  #7  
November 9th, 2009, 03:09 PM
TheOtherMichelle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Well, there's the fact that the only other person in my family who needed a c-section besides me is one aunt... out of my mom, both grandmothers (one had 4 kids including twins and one had 7 children total), several more aunts, and a couple cousins.
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  #8  
November 9th, 2009, 03:54 PM
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Well my grandmother had one natural birth and she tore, I believe they did an electrocautomy which scared her cervix leaving her unable to dilate. So the next two where c-section 1 emergent because they didn't know about the messed up cervix.
My mother and my Aunt both had 3 vaginal deliveries. My grandmother on the other side had 2 sections. One cousin too.
So I can't really say if they are or not, but I really doubt it. Since we are all descended from women who's pelvis's did the job. I would have to say that there is no reason that you can't have the birth of your dreams!
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  #9  
November 9th, 2009, 05:58 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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can you find a gentle way to tell your mom to please stop bringing up the subject? Mindset is very important, and fear is the enemy.

Is she going to be at your birth?
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  #10  
November 9th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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My mother also had a c-section after laboring for my brother in the hospital for 30+ hours and nearly lossing him. She had a planned c-section with me and is very pro c-section. Everytime I mention something about my planned NCB she says "One word. C-section." She often says she's glad she didn't have to push a whole baby through her hooha and similar stupid crap. She really thinks that NCB is dangerous and that I'm taking a risk by opting not to have a section. She went to my first OB visit where he told me I might be too petite to deliver a child vaginally because of a combination of my size and 2 other health conditions I have had my whole life and my husband is much much larger than me.

I finally told her that my OB said that he thought I was handling pregnancy well and it looked like I would handle childbirth well too so he didn't want to schedule a section. Truthfully - he didn't say that exactly but he did say he didn't see any reason I had to schedule a section if I didn't want to.

Remember - your body is not your mothers. You have the benefits of many many more years of research and medical science advancements. Your doctor is better trained and has less of a god complex than those of the 80's. You also have the benefit of being a more informed involved patient.
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  #11  
November 9th, 2009, 07:37 PM
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Thanks ladies! I really appreciate your feedback. My Mom is planning on being in town for the birth- but not in the room for the birth. I really like the idea of having my doula talk to her. I think she would find that comforting. My doula is a very down to earth homey mom type who has been to hundreds of births and is the childcare education coordinator at a local hospital.

I know I need to address this with her before hand so she isn't freaking me out as I'm going into labor. She's just really hard to talk to over the phone - I don't think her hearing is very good anymore. When she can't hear you she just starts laughing - which doesn't lead to a very productive conversation.

Thanks again for your support and feedback!

As far as my dad's side of the family I don't know. I'm not sure if he knows either, but I will ask him. His mother has not been around for a long time and his sister just passed away so if he doesn't know I don't know who else I would ask.
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  #12  
November 9th, 2009, 07:51 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Well, if you don't know the history of your dad's side you can invent your own, accept it as reality and use it to help you get through this...lol
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  #13  
November 10th, 2009, 05:44 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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until she arrives just ask her not to bring it up anymore
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  #14  
November 10th, 2009, 06:11 AM
E1izabeth's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I understand that your mom is just trying to save you from what was clearly one of the most traumatic experiences of her life. I don't know the details of her birth with your brother but they likely have nothing to do with you. I would try not to engage her in conversations about your plans if her comments upset you because you need complete confidence going into your birth.
My mother had NCB for all of her children. However, all of my sisters except for me have had at least one c-section. All of my aunts on both sides of the family had their own birth experiences and it doesn't seem like they have anything in common across the board. (Except that we are almost all rH negative.) I don't think there is any reason to believe that your birth experience will be "hereditary" unless you all have some very specific condition that is passed down and prevents vaginal birth. I bet you are going to do just fine. (And things have changed so much since our grandmothers gave birth that I would not take that into account much.)
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  #15  
November 10th, 2009, 07:03 AM
*SamF*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I agree with PP, have you doula speak with her.

I had a similar conversation with my sister last night. She had a planned c-section with her first, because they told her her pelvis was too small, he was too big, and they might have to break his shoulder (sound familiar?). She was trying to basically convince me that I'm going to have the same issues. My mother gave birth to both us 100% naturally in a day when it was unheard of (late 60's and 70's). And we were both big babies. But I think my sister is trying to imprint her experience (or lack there of) on me.
Definitely make sure she doesn't stress you out at when you go into labor!
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