Dec 182009

“Childbirth doesn’t have to be barbaric, sweetie. TRUST ME. You’ll want the drugs.” -OB

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 December 18, 2009  epidural, OB  Add comments

  45 Responses to “"Childbirth Doesn't Have To Be Barbaric…"”

  1. “…..but we do our best to make it that way, so it’s best you also let us drug you into submission.”

  2. Ugh, I would have kicked him in the nuts just for the “sweetie” comment!

  3. Barbaric: 1.Of, relating to, or characteristic of barbarians. 2. Marked by crudeness or lack of restraint in taste, style, or manner. (
    This would mean the experience is not barbaric unless someone ACTS barbarically. I’m guessing the doc?

  4. From most of the quotes I’ve read on this site, I’d say that one’s best way to avoid a barbaric birth is to avoid all of the care providers who utter outrageous statements (and do outrageous things) such as these!

  5. The way that women are treated in most hospitals, it’s not surprising they need drugs to get through the experience. It’s not because childbirth itself is barbaric, it’s that the hospital staff mistreats women and they can’t cope with the pain of childbirth and being mistreated at the same time.

  6. SWEETIE?!? The OB called her SWEETIE?

  7. see now…i am stubborn as a mule and this comment would only fuel my fire to make dang sure i did it WITHOUT the drugs JUST to prove that dr. wrong ;)

    and I think *every* woman in labor at some point (hello, transition!) thinks to herself/says outloud, “I WANT THE DRUGS!”…but a good labor support person will counteract that with positive and uplifting encouragment (“you’re doing so good!”, “you’re almost there!”, “just focus on getting through *this* contraction”, etc.) so that a mom who wants/plans a natural, unmedicated, intervention-free birth can achieve it instead of the attitude of: “do you want your epidural now?”.

    I HATE it when women and female OBs make this kind of comment b/c what they’re really saying is…”I couldn’t handle labor and delivery without drugs…so you won’t be able to either”. HA!

    Women are so much stronger than OBs give them credit for. I wish more women realized that when they get to that point of saying, “i can’t do this anymore, i want the drugs”, that they are *almost done*!!!

    I have a friend who just had a baby and wanted to ‘try’ for a natural birth and ended up getting an epidural when ‘she couldn’t take it anymore’ and the baby was born less than an hour later. She could’ve done it with the right coaching!

    And the reason OBs think that (you’ll want the drugs) is probably b/c there are SO many women who say they want to ‘try’ to have a natural birth and ‘see how it goes’ but then don’t do any research and don’t do anything to prepare themselves for labor and delivery. So then when it gets tough, they opt for an epidural/pain meds instead of trying other pain management techniques first. (which unfortunately, is hard in a hospital setting sometimes…when they try to tell you you can’t get out of bed, change positions, etc. my hospital doesn’t even allow the use a birthing ball! ridiculous.) So they see so many women that ‘say’ they’re going to have a natural birth…and then get the drugs. so they’re calling it like they see it, i guess. still doesn’t make it right to say that though!!

    I started to ramble…bottom line…EVERY woman has the ability to birth a baby naturally…but it takes determination, a good support person, and some research. (Because when it comes down to it, the women that do the research and realize what happens when you start the ‘cascade of interventions’ are the ones that realize how important it is to go natural in the first place, and are less likely to put themselves and their babies at risk.

    more rambling…sorry.

    • Don’t apologize, we all need a good ramble.. giving it or getting it. at least you were right. :D

    • Amen megan!

      I had a very gentle, EASY birth using Hypnobabies. During transformation (Hypnobabies word for transition) I *mentally* gave up. I was having some discomfort but it was completely manageable. However I remember saying, “I’m done. I can’t do this any more.” and it very literally SHOCKED everybody. Because here I was having had a very easy birth and suddenly I was saying the complete opposite of what I was actually feeling.

      I know now, to make sure to put a note in my birth plan that says “during transformation I will very likely mentally give up! Encourage me!”

      My son 9lb 5oz son was born very easily, no tears, on a birth stool not an hour later.

    • Exactly! In my first pregnancy, one of the OB’s in my practice–a woman–told me that I would be “begging for drugs in the parking lot.” And that statement made me even MORE determined to birth without meds. LOL.

    • Having had an induction (ending in cesarean) and an all-natural, drug-free HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean), I can say that my suspicion the first time around, that labor wasn’t supposed to hurt the way it does with an induction, was TRUE. The natural, undrugged “Barbaric” beautiful birth of my 10 lb son at home, was far less painful, and not at all frightening, unlike the hellish and tortuous ordeal I went through with Pitocin induction, then epidural, then crash cesarean.

      It’s a shame so many American women have no idea what labor and birth would be like if it were allowed to progress peacefully and naturally. Doctors ordering “Pit to Distress” (in other words, keep upping the dose of pitocin until it give the baby FETAL DISTRESS!) is what is barbaric. And the worst is, when they see their evil handiwork, women being subjected through the IV to a level and intensity of pain that is unnatural for their degree of dilation, they assume that childbirth itself is the culprit. Couldn’t be what they are doing to it.

    • After reading other’s stories, I realize how wonderfully blessed I have been through out my 4 birthing experiences! I have had 1 planned home birth-turned hospital because she came 5 weeks early, a wonderful 6 hour home delivery, a birth center (in hospital) water birth with a mid-wife, and another in the same birth center/midwife delivery where I was stuck a 9cm. for 4-5 hours because baby’s head wasn’t engaged. All were 100% natural and non-invasive. But Sheva, you are right on! When you start saying you cannot do it any longer, it IS almost over. After doing it, the natural high of feeling like the strongest, most capable woman in the world is AWESOME!! It isn’t easy, but we were designed by our creator to do just this. And the medical field (most) undermines women and their inner strength to do this!! There is an attitude that we should not want to have more children, we are all contributing to the ‘carbon foot-print’ crap, and that pregnancy is some kind of emergency waiting to happen. And the induction/drug-laden/unnecessary-ceasarians only adds to fear and trauma put on women about childbirth and labor. America is falling behind other countries in population, barely maintaining the 2.8 childbirth rate needed.
      The doctors/midwives in my own experiences were so supportive and experienced, with large families themselves. I believe there is a time and place for interention, but women need to take control of their health/experience and find the info/support they need. If enough women would not employ these tyrant ‘doctors’ maybe we could rid ourselves of them!

  8. My midwife says when the woman starts saying, “I can’t anymore” she puts on her gloves!
    It’s true every time!
    You really ARE almost there when it gets too much!!

  9. :) I tend to be long-winded to begin with…watch out when it’s something i’m actually passionate about! haha.

  10. Everytime I said “I can’t do it anymore!”

    My husband and midwife whispered to me, “You are doing it, you are doing fabulous” “Keep up the good work” and “The baby will be here soon”.

    Maybe if instead they’d have offered drugs, I’d have taken them? (most assuredly, YES). It wasn’t a choice, my strength was reinforced, confidence built. The other advantage is that now… I can also leap tall buildings in a single bound.

  11. When I take care of natural patients, our “standard orders” include Fentanyl, and many MD’s as well as Midwifes tell their natural patients to ask for the fentanyl! I KNOW that most of my patients don’t have any idea that that is a BAD idea. The body builds natural endorphins throughout labor, and once they have the fentanyl, the body has to start that process ALL over again…. causing more pain after the ned than before. I educate each and every one of my natural patients on what the fentanly actually does. 9 out of 10 times, I am able to keep those meds away from them, even when they beg. Most of the time a little education and a lot of support is all they need to make it through the toughest part!

  12. And for some women, these drugs just don’t work at all — I don’t know which ones exactly my SIL took, but they just made her loopy — she said she could still feel the horrible pain from the ctx (thanks to the AROM to “speed up her labor”), but couldn’t communicate, so the nurse & her husband thought she was resting comfortably. Not so much — she couldn’t even speak or scream, but was feeling them just as bad. :-(

    • Wow. Talk about barbaric. That sounds like something out of a horror movie!

    • I would think twilight sleep, but while the woman don’t remember a thing, from what I’ve read, they still communicate quite succinctly. Sounds like the opposite in the respect that you remember the pain and can’t say anything about it. Ugh. I can’t even begin to imagine.

      Your SIL should get a hold of her medical records and find out what she took so that it can be made public and women can avoid it in the future.

      • This was something recent — within the past 10 years. Probably morphine, demerol, stadol or something common. It doesn’t affect everyone that way… but then, some people can eat peanut butter while others are deathly allergic to it!

        • After my first, a C-Section, I was on demerol. The worst drug experience of my life was going from the demerol to codeine. I had the weirdest dream. And, the worst post-birth experience. I hate not remembering the first few days of my sons life.

          • My husband was put on some pain meds in the hospital once, and he said it was a weird sensation — he could still *feel* the pain, but it was like it was somebody else’s arm that was hurting, rather than being his own arm. Weird, huh?

            I’m sorry about your post-birth experience. :-( Drugs definitely have upsides and downsides.

          • I look at all experiences like this:

            Without that particular experience I wouldn’t have the experience and knowledge I have today. Everything I have experienced has made me who I became. I’m by far not the most educated person on birthing, but what I do know is very helpful. If I can’t answer a question I’ll either refer the person to a website or another person who can answer the question or find it out myself.

            I do remember that they told me when I awoke from anesthesia I probably won’t even remember being pregnant, nonetheless giving birth. WHen I awoke from surgery the first thing I said was, “Where’s my son.” and they placed him on my belly carefully and helped me hold him.

          • I had Demoral during my first birth, and it was SUCH a mistake. I’d tried to learn about pain medication before birth, but everything I read only explained why not to get an epidural. I’d heard so much about how they try to push the epidural on you, so when I told my nurse I didn’t want one and she said, “Oh, fine, we can give you Demoral instead,” I thought that was a GOOD thing!

            I barely remember anything after I got the Demoral, but from what I’ve been told, I was clearly hallucinating and thought I was in an episode of King of Queens that was playing on the TV in my room. Worse, the nurse got “consent” for the epidural while I was hallucinating, and when my husband objected she told him to mind his own business. Apparently while getting the epidural I told the anesthesiologist that he couldn’t have any of my apple martinis. I remember flashes of the doctor getting angry at me because I wasn’t pushing (or couldn’t because of the epidural), and being wheeled in the OR, but then I passed out until after my son came back from the nursery. :(

          • I’m so sorry for your horrible experience – it sounds so achingly painful and so painfully familiar…
            Reading this made me physically ache – this is similar to what happened to me.
            I was told that the drug was ‘just like Tylenol’.
            It was Nubain – a *narcotic*.
            I am very sensitive to medicines in general – I need one Advil for a huge headache – and this drugged me so heavily, I don’t remember much of anything. I wasn’t even able to get up after the birth. I left them and decided on home births only. After my new midwife read my records she told me that they gave me a huge dose and administered it too fast, which is one of the reasons I reacted so strongly.
            The sinking sensation was so frightening I couldn’t sleep for 2 months and would lie in bed until I passed out.
            What do they gain lying to us about this stuff??

    • Kathy, this same thing sometimes happens with general anesthesia.If your SIL ever undergoes surgery, she MUST tell the anesthesiologist that this happened, and what drug it was, so they can avoid having the same kind of pain/paralysis combination going on while she’s having an appendix removed,for example.

      • Oh, I hadn’t thought of that! I’ll definitely remember that for the future. She had an epidural with her subsequent births and didn’t say she could feel anything, so at least *some* drugs work right.

  13. Actually, they still use these types of drugs nowadays. My friend just had surgery with ‘local’ anesthetic and just a bit of ‘something’ to relax her. She doesn’t remember a thing, but found out afterward that she was talking the whole time. She thought she’d slept through the whole thing.
    I’ve heard that Scopolamine is the name of the ‘twilight-sleep’ drug.
    Check this out:
    Pretty scary stuff.

    • Oh this happened to me with general anesthesia! That messed me up so bad….I had panic attacks and night terrors for more than a year after the experience. My recollection was of thinking a dark being was climbing into me and killing me. Then I thought I went under.

      According to everyone else, I laughed and chatted with imaginary people and they had to up the dose to get me out.

  14. i had an epidural with all 4 of my babies, only because i literally felt like i was being torn apart inside… i have a high pain threshold but with all four of them my contractions were long and strong with only a few hours of labor… after my water broke my contractions started going off the top of the charts almost immediately and would start new ones before the old ones had ended so i basically had continuous contractions for 3-8 hours (depending on which birth). with my third birth i actually broke the side rail of the bed because the pain was getting that bad after the first hour when i finally asked for the epi.

    i did start each of my births with the plan to go without, but after an hour or two of that continuous off the charts pain i had to ask for one because i couldn’t go any farther. i really do wish i couldn’t had a natural birth but for some women that is the only way honestly.

  15. The only thing that should make giving birth barbaric is the woman digging deep within to find her inner strength to bring her sweet baby into this world. And maybe low-pitched sounds and her body’s position to help baby decend… :)
    It is hard physically, mentally, emotionally… (I get a ‘backed-into-a-corner with only-one-way-out feeling, even months before my due date). But after months of doing whats best for my pre-born baby, i have a hard time giving him/her drugs for MY ‘benefit’ at birth.
    The entire process is a beautiful miracle!!

  16. I’ve had two different friends hallucinate on Demerol for their births. Well, actually, I did too, but I had it for during transport because of a badly broken arm. I didn’t react to GA (surgery for broken arm) any way.

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  20. What kind of insane propaganda has overwhelmed our society when we tell women they need to have natural childbirth and that they just need to find ways to deal with the pain. WTF. Do we tell people going through the natural processes of cancer, kidney stones, lacerations, or those having a root canal that they are less of a person if they take pain meds? No, because that is crazy. Childbirth is a bloody, painful, and often humiliating end to 40 weeks of nausea, heartburn, swelling, breast pain and leaking, vaginal discharge, skin changes, mood changes, shortness of breath and back pain. Who cares how a person gets through it or what your doctor says to you? Doctors are human too and are just trying to offer the best possible care to their patients, pregnant or not. All that matters is that you love the child you end up with and feel that it was worth it.

    • No woman “needs” to have natural childbirth. But many woman choose to, and their choices should be respected and honored. All women “need” to be told about possible side effects of drugs and procedures so they can make a choice for themselves. If you choose an epidural or Demerol, I completely respect your choice. I disagree with “all that matters is that you love the child.” A child deserves a physically and mentally healthy mother, the medical professionals need to do all they can to ensure that, not undermine it. While you are certainly entitled to your opinions and free to express them, I feel this is not the blog for you.

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