Dec 132009

“That’s what 8-9 cms sounds like”. Midwife said to first time mom upon her arrival at the birth center, where there was a laboring woman screaming next door.

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 December 13, 2009  Birth Trauma, Midwife  Add comments

  12 Responses to “"That's What 8-9 cms Sounds Like."”

  1. Way to scare the crap out of the poor lady. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I was the lady next door in this one. I was very loud and I’m sure I scared the other ladies.

  2. grrr! All labours are different, some generate noise, some are quiet (I was very screamy for my first and silent for my second). I hope this mw didn’t judge dilation in terms of volume, she would have ending up missing a lot of births!!

  3. all labors/women are different!!! I was vocal/a little loud with my first epidural-free birth. Much more in control with my 2nd epidural-free birth, and VERY in control with my completely natural 3rd birth. I was still joking/smiling in between contractions at 9cms/right before pushing my daughter out.

    To say that to a woman, is not only NOT TRUE…but most certainly made the woman fear the labor process…which is NOT going to help that woman labor naturally! grr!!!

  4. Hmmm…I can kinda see myself saying this.
    *shrugs guiltily*
    Only if I was very close to the mom and knew that she would, without a doubt, know that I was kidding. And only if she was a sarcastic type, and had proven that she still had a sense of humor at the time of the comment. Some women retain their sense of humor, and some leave it at the door. It’s ok either way.
    I threatened violence and bodily harm in my hospital birth, and was obnoxious and sarcastic during my homebirth. Any yelling and screaming I did in the hospital was a result of fear, not pain. A comment like that, said to me in the hospital may very well have sent me running.
    I think it’s important to let mom set the tone of the labor, and respond accordingly. I also think that’s a big benefit with choosing a midwife, they hopefully take the time to get to know you well enough to know what’s appropriate or not. The use of humor needs to lighten the mood, not scare the crap out of someone. I can see myself saying this, but that doesn’t mean I would. And obviously it was not appropriate with this mom, at that time.
    I know a lot of us post comments here regularly…and if I get out of hand, I can and will respond nicely to “Pipe down”.

    • Yeah, I can kind of see it too. I would have taken that to mean that that mom needed the most support then. Mothers who are in transition do sound different than mothers in earlier labor. Pushing also has a very distinctive sound.

  5. I’m another that doesn’t see this as offensive or annoying. It sounds like the MW was just trying to let the mom know what was going on. I’m sure the mom wondered why the woman in the other room was making so much noise. Yeah, everyone does labor differently but LOTS of women make lots of noise at 8-9 cm and what may have been interpreted as screaming by one who’s never heard a mom in labor may have been toning…..or maybe it was screaming. :-)

  6. It’s better to say that’s what 8-9 cms SOUNDS like versus that’s what 8-9 cms FEELS like.

  7. haha! Ok I thought that one was kinda funny.

  8. I’d probably be thinking, “Hey, she didn’t get an epidural! Maybe I won’t need one, either!” :)

    I remember when I worked in a hospital pharmacy and would deliver epi’s to the OB floor that birth sounded a lot like sex. :) That was when I was like 20, but Ina May has some interesting observations on this, I realized later. So maybe I wasn’t too far off the mark. ;)

    I screamed like a banshee during my labor and no one told me to be quiet. Too bad anyway! It wasn’t from the pain, it was just the hard work!

  9. I guess this comment could go either way. On one had, it could scare a first time mom. But on the other hand it could be reassuring to know that the screaming woman is toward the end, as opposed to 3cm dilated.

    • If it is a that is what 8-9 sounds like rather than feels like I don’t have a problem with it. And then in 20 minutes when the new mom can hear the 8-9 woman laughing and coo-ing over her new baby it will be very reassuring.
      I labored myself down the hall from a woman who was having the same type of labor she had with the baby she lost. Very sad sounds. I prayed for her. Her baby was fine.
      Labor is hard work and noise is normal. And yes my husband says I make the same sounds during sex.

  10. Since we don;t ahve the backstory this one is hard to judge as to why it was inappropriate but obviously the OP felt that it was.

    Like others, personally this comment wouldn’t bother me, but then neither would the screaming in the first place.

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