Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Feminist as crazy old man

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  • BenWilson,

    Re: judgeypanting about elective c-sections. We opted for one for our second child, as no better explanation for what happened to our first child has ever been offered than what I first suggested to the doctors after it had been ascertained that he had had a stroke - that area afflicted was right where the ventouse had been placed (you could tell by the bruising and the bulging lump). Extremely rare if true, it's possible that the ventouse damaged his brain. We didn't want to go through that particular nightmare again - the birth was only averagely traumatic, but the next 6 weeks....

    However, given that a ventouse was even needed, if it had been a home delivery, I expect there would have been an ambulance to the hospital at some point, or my wife might have died. But we've never been a couple who worried about the medicalization of birth. It's one of main ways people used to die, giving birth, so I don't feel the least bit embarrassed about playing safe and being in a hospital at the time. We even went the whole hog and paid out for private obstetricians and paediatricans etc. But there's the rub - the boy still got his brain damaged. No path is 100% safe.

    As for the second, it turned out he was 10 pounds. Given that my wife had a 20 hour labour over the first who was only a 5-pounder, the doctors all smiled knowingly afterward and said "it would have been an interesting natural delivery".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Giovanni: we had roughly the opposite experience - several weeks of videos of births - basically to get us past the scariness I guess - then my son started to come 5 weeks early, we missed the 2 classes on breathing and actually giving birth - a friend stopped by and gave us a quick recap just before we needed it - then we got to bring him to the classes on how to look after the kid afterwards, by then we'd pretty much figured it out

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    my husband is in charge of the iPod

    Yeah, be careful about this. For our first child, we spent the final weeks in burning up a set of CDs for the birth experience. My wife's fond goal was to have the baby born to the sound of The Darkness- specifically, the song "Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman, Motherfucker". You can take the girl out of West Auckland... But in the end, it came down to an emergency C-section, so we were stuck with the surgical team's choice of music.

    Dido.

    Bloody Dido. Honestly! That's the NHS for you.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Bloody Dido. Honestly! That's the NHS for you.

    Man, that's gruesome. You should warn people in advance, you know.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Giving birth is (or, at least can be for some women) a transformative experience and it often does colour how you feel as you embark upon parenting. It seems logical to me that whether or not you feel empowered at the very beginning of being a parent is likely to impact on your on-going confidence in that role.

    Obviously sometimes birth doesn't go as we planned, whether an emergency c-section or a birth too fast and furious for the planned epidural, and mostly we get over it but it's not OK to tell a woman that it's illogical to grieve a less-than-ideal birth experience just because she has a healthy baby.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I had Comfortably Numb on my mental soundtrack. Didn't get around to doing a real one. Apparently a lot of midwives get totally over Enya in the course of their work.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I was humming Comfortably Numb whilst stoned on nitrous with my first - it felt a bit surreal.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sorry for the thread-jack, but if anyone wants to pop their sprog without benefit of modern chemistry, I could make up a mix tape of the Media Martyrdom of Cameron Slater. (Though I wouldn't recommend it for anyone prone to explosive vomiting.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I'm not sure that that whine is exactly soothing - more puts your teeth on edge ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Max - recalling a few stories I've heard. The early onset of puberty has alot to do with the stresses and pressures on the child, WWII & abuse have been cited as environmental causes.

    Who didn't bogart the Nitrous?

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I liked the feeling of nitrous - I remember thinking how all the 14 year olds in Manners Mall would love to be in my shoes right now - but it was a pain to time with the contractions. You had to start it almost before they hit to get it to work with the peak of the contraction.

    A guy on our antenatal tour got to try it as part of the demonstration.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I didn't really like the nitrous in the context of birth and wouldn't use it again for that purpose but I can totally see the point of doing it recreationally.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The other is seeing a human arrive in the world. Northing else I've ever seen or done comes remotely close to that.

    For me, seeing someone thats just left this world, had the holly crap I think I might be out of my depth affect.

    The hand holding at birth experience had me changing allegiances. At times I was thinking, get that evil thing out of her...

    It all turned out good in the end (better that the wedding). The alarming thing about the home-birthing, was that the next door people, didn't respond to the noise by ringing the police.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Can't believe how many times we were told that Justine couldn't eat soft cheeses, when in fact she could since we pasteurise milk used in cheese production in this country.

    Dammit. You with your logic and your cheesey knowledge!

    Not too long ago it was noticed that more babies were being born on Friday than any other day of the week in developed countries.

    In Dunedin I believe it's Thursdays. Why they're not spread out over the week, I'm not sure, I guess the medical staff do other sorts of operations Monday to Wednesday?

    Tell me why it means so much.

    I had no miracle of birth with either of my children, though the second was a c-section, which just felt "weird". The first was eventually ventouse-d out (feeling for you right now Ben) under epidural after over 30 hours at home and then another 8 or so at the hospital. Mum had to be told by the midwife when she was having her contraction so she could push.

    Miracle of natural birth? Whazzat?

    Sorry for the thread-jack, but if anyone wants to pop their sprog without benefit of modern chemistry, I could make up a mix tape of the Media Martyrdom of Cameron Slater.

    I haven't been following it closely, but it seems pretty well mixed up already. What a dork.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    The alarming thing about the home-birthing, was that the next door people, didn't respond to the noise by ringing the police.

    Even more miraculous was that the three-year-old slept through it.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Shazza,

    Makes me crazy that there are such high expectations of the whole experience that anything that deviates from perfect is seen as a "bad" birth experience.

    With you on that. My judgypants experience came from the nurses at National Womens after my son was born. After c20 hours' labour at home with a lovely home birth midwife and my very switched on GP, the GP finally made the call that baby had turned and - despite me literally hanging from the ceiling (fascinating rope contraption!) - was not 'progressing'.

    So from a planned home birth, it was a - luckily - quick race to the hospital. Epidural ended up not working properly. A c-section was proposed with the lovely young registrar earnestly explaining my options and me screaming "just get it out!" at her. Which they duly did. The actual op was more of a problem for my partner than me. Bonded beautifully with my bonny boy - which was lucky, because I've never forgotten the reaction of two nurses doing rounds later that day.

    They peered in the open door of my room and consulted their clipboards - one said to the other, "That's the failed home birth." They shook their heads and moved on!

    I lay there thinking .."Failed? How could I have failed - just look at this gorgeous boy!"

    It was a while ago ... I hope attitudes have changed.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Greville Whittle,

    Gosh, the whole pregnancy/baby thing. Here are my haphazard thoughts.

    I remember sitting with a group of fellow new Dads, they were all talking about cutting the cord and how wonderful it was. I felt hugely guilty for finding the cord cutting hugely anti-climactic.

    Walking new baby to sleep through the halls of the birthing centre, so Mum could have a break, was a different matter. There were tears.

    We heard all sorts of stories about the LLL, but found them to be very open and not judgy.

    Choosing a mid-wife was hard, we didn't know what questions to ask. In the end we made a short list of those that gave options, rather than those that seemed to push an agenda.

    In whole I was unprepared by how much complete strangers would get involved or intrude. Random people would walk up to Kirsten in the supermarket and try and touch her stomach etc. It was like she stopped being a person and was more of a thing. I wanted to buy her a "Keep your f$%^ing hands to yourself!" t-shirt.

    I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories and thought on this thread, been the most engrossing read I've had in a long time. It's also a really good example of why I love PA, everyone is mostly civil, which for the internet is just.....wow, freaking cool.

    Cheers,
    Greville

    Hamiltron • Since Oct 2008 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Article here exploring pregnancy food advice and 'myths' associated with it.

    Some responses here.

    WRT the judging thing, it seems to me that there may be significant overlap between one persons boundaries and another's 'just trying to help'. My wife has threatened to unleash whatever the verbal equivalent is of 'shock and awe' on the next poor unfortunate stranger who offers unsolicited parenting advice. 'Oh, she's grizzling! Maybe she's hungry?' Yeah? No shit, we hadn't thought of that.

    I'm sure it's all well-meaning, but it does start to wear on the nerves somewhat.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I liked those links, Rich. A big study came out in early 2009 about low alcohol consumption, not finding any link between 1 standard drink a week and rates among 3 year olds of behavioural disorders and the like.

    I remember hearing that Naomi Lange had lost a fetus very late in pregnancy to listeriosis, and renewing my cheese-avoidance. Nothing like one anecdote to demolish good statistics.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I remember sitting with a group of fellow new Dads, they were all talking about cutting the cord and how wonderful it was. I felt hugely guilty for finding the cord cutting hugely anti-climactic.

    I made a bit of a hash of it when I did it. A couple of hacks and it was all uneven. The nurse had a good look at it and clucked a little before letting me pick her up to take her back to her mother. Luckily I didn't end up deforming the kid, that bit shrivelled off anyway.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    The backdated mussels miscarriage back in the early 90's might be worth keeping in mind too.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I guess it's a good thing they don't let fathers do circumcisions ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    it's not OK to tell a woman that it's illogical to grieve a less-than-ideal birth experience just because she has a healthy baby

    Well, it's not OK to tell a woman anything about how she should be feeling, I suppose is the point. I just know what my (personal, not necessarily relevant to other people) priorities on this issue are, and all the converse pressure on the Baby Internet to feel a certain way and do certain things at the birth just make me annoyed.

    Also, can we stop talking about listeria please? :) I had just about convinced myself it was OK to eat a well-washed salad, and now I'm considering spending the rest of the summer eating a menu consisting entirely of items heated to 100+ degrees. Refreshing!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Danielle, will you just have the baby please? :) This thread may as well stay until next week at least.May as well count the days down. Wasn't there a concert you must attend. Could be a band birth then.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Danielle, will you just have the baby please? :)

    I am not due until *March*. You guys are totally screwed. I will be whining annoyingly for weeks yet.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

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