Live c-section on the Today Show

Thanks to ICANtweets I learned that the Today Show aired a live Cesarean section from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston as part of the “Today Goes Inside the OR” series. A healthy 10 pound baby boy was born via scheduled c-section to Carrie and Josh Johnson. According the The Today Show’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman, they elected a c-section because babies “run big” in the parents’ families and Carrie was “past her due date.” Dr. Snyderman adds, “And those are two indications that a Cesarean section is a lot safer than having a vaginal delivery.”

A lot safer? Really? You might want to weigh the risks for yourself.

Photo courtesy: tifhermon (Flickr)

Photo courtesy: tifhermon (Flickr)

Here’s the link to watch the Today Show c-section video

I found it hard to watch how the baby was handled and the way mom seemed to be left out of the process. Why can’t they clean up the baby where mom can see?

I also found a few other things quite disturbing.

At one point in the video, the doctor doing the c-section comments to Dr. Nancy that one reason for having a c-section is if the mom has had a c-section before. Then when asked if this mom gets pregnant again and has a “normal size” baby if she can have a vaginal delivery? The doctor responds, “absolutely, absolutely.”

That sounds like she’s giving mixed signals to me. Not to mention that many doctors and hospitals no longer allow vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) due to insurance costs. I left a message with Beth Israel hospital to find out what their policy is re: VBACs. I’ll update if I hear back. Joy Szabo had to move 350 miles from home to have her VBAC. And some women are being denied insurance after having a c-section.

After the baby was weighed (10 lbs.), Today Show co-anchor Meredith Vieira commented: “They chose the right way to deliver that’s sure by section.”

Dr. Nancy Snyderman agreed: “They sure did.”

So having a larger baby vaginally is the wrong way to have a baby? I strongly disagree. I think so would Justine who had her 11 lb. son at home on Jan. 6. And Kara who gave birth to an almost 10 lb baby vaginally. And Cathy who describes herself as petite and said both of her boys weighed 9 lbs. 4 oz. at birth. And Arwyn who said, “At home in the water was the right way to “deliver” my 10lb 6oz baby!”

What did you think about all of this?
Email the Today Show your thoughts at: TODAY@nbcuni.com

Read more about my reaction to the live c-section.

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51 thoughts on “Live c-section on the Today Show

  1. I think it is sad and scary how much they push c-sections now. It seems like they no longer trust womens’ bodies to do what they have been doing for thousands of years.

  2. I have heard the strangest things since I first announced that I was pregnant. From elective C-section because babies “run big” in the family, to not breastfeeding because someone’s breasts are too small… It’s just appalling how little many women know about their own bodies.

    My hospital, Yale, offers VBAC classes and VBACs are encouraged. I was very happy with their policies when we visited, and I’m really please we’re choosing to have our baby there. Here’s my post about it: http://countrybaby.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/birth-class/

    As for me, I feel very thankful for the family history we have: my mom delivered all of us naturally (including my 9lb 3oz brother… mom’s 5’1″). And she nursed us for a combined total of almost 10 years. My husband’s mom delivered all of her babies naturally, including twins. So our moms are very supportive of our decision to go for as few interventions as possible.

    I have found, however, that most of my friends encourage epidurals and inductions, and I’ve taken the “smile and nod” technique. I’ll do what I want, thank you.

  3. I delivered a healthy and normal 10 lb 3 oz baby vaginally in a hospital setting because I had an OB who believed I could. It was a far easier delivery and recovery than my 7 1/2 lb baby. I can definitely say that the vaginal birth was NOT the wrong way!

  4. Amy,
    I’ve been lurking here for quite awhile and I just wanted to poke my head up to the surface and say “thank you” for writing. I read your blog daily and enjoy all of the topics you cover, but I especially appreciate your coverage and commentary of/about birth. It’s not something that we talk about nearly enough.
    Best,
    Courtney
    http://alifesustained.blogspot.com

  5. really hated the “orderly, routine, just like it’s supposed to go” comment. Yes, and I suppose that taking care of urinary needs through a catheter on a schedule is more “orderly and routine” too. But most people prefer to just go pee when they feel the need…

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  7. Thanks for the mention Amy! Wow, this is a bit disturbing, for sure! Watching the video and hearing some of the quotes you mentioned bothered me. To not even attempt a vaginal delivery just blows my mind?! It is too bad, too….because with all of their viewers on the Today Show, they will scare so many women unnecessarily!
    Cathy

  8. This makes me sad: “They chose the right way to deliver that’s sure by section.”

    It’s bad enough that people can opt to have unnecessary surgery, and for a medical professional to encourage it only perpetuates the problem.

  9. If c-sections are the right way to give birth, then what is next- the rack to help our kids grow stronger. Hey, medieval torture devices the new way to a healthy population.

    I had my first baby, 9lb 14oz, at the hospital. A c-section was definitely not necessary, although the head nurse did offer me pitocin when I was in transition. To our labor and delivery nurse’s credit, who was a natural birth advocate, she didn’t call the doctor in until well after I’d started pushing.

    My second baby, 9lb 8oz, was born at home with the assistance of a wonderful midwife, whom you know. I would never go to a hospital to have a baby again, unless it were truly medically necessary.

    Our culture has undermined women’s self-confidence so drastically that most women can’t even trust their bodies to perform natural processes. Which reminds me, I need to go get an enema…

  10. I have such conflicted feelings about elective C-sections. I know that there are some women who choose them, even with all of the information available to them. I disagree with their choice on some level, but I defend people’s rights to birth in ways that are comfortable for them. I like to assume that means that with good support and information most people will opt for a natural birth, but what if they don’t?

    I hope this mom is happy with her birth. But I really wish that the segment didn’t spread fear of childbirth. The pervasive fear-mongering is just so not helpful.

  11. For the most part I agree with you, but its not a total blanket statement on the medical community. I had csections with the first three.. and if you recall, Mason was 12lbs 10oz. I really don’t know if I could have delivered that vaginally….his head was 17″ !!!!
    However, I also delivered Andrew and Austin vaginally after the three sections. Austin was 9lbs 15oz, so nearly 10lbs and though it was tough, it was fairly fast and I did well with no medications at all.

    I guess if women want the right to choose, then they have the right to choose… in any and every situation.

  12. I delivered my 10 lb 4 oz son vaginally, but I have no doubt that had I been seeing an OB rather than a midwife I would have wound up with a CS. I was a week past my due date when I went into labor, my husband and I are both tall (he’s 6″3′), my husband was over 9 lbs at birth, and my son had been measuring large all along.

    We actually had to bring the OB in to deliver him with a vacuum since he had his hand up by his face (my midwife tried pushing it down but he kept bringing it back up). In fact, the first thing the OB said when she walked into the room (in a very ominous tone) was “I can try to get him out but he may get stuck and you’ll need a CS anyway or you can just have a CS” and then she threw in the “Even if I can deliver the head I might not be able to deliver the shoulders and that would be bad” card (which makes no sense given that he was stuck with his hand up). Needless to say I told her I wanted to try the vacuum first but if I had been less educated, less sure of myself or even just more tired I probably would have been bullied/guilted into a CS.

    The one good thing about having such a big baby is that now I know I can deliver a large baby vaginally which gives me a lot of confidence going into future pregnancies.

  13. “I guess if women want the right to choose, then they have the right to choose… in any and every situation.” ~by Jennifer above…

    Here, here! I didn’t watch the video, so I can’t comment to that, with that said…

    My oldest sister delivered all three of her kids vaginally. My middle sister had all three via C-section, due to the fact that her first was an emergency C-section at 27 weeks. She never wanted to breastfeed and is really not at all into ‘fluffy’ feelings around birth/hospitals etc.

    I delivered vaginally for both, but went into pre-term labor with both. At 34 weeks my son was 6.2 lbs. It was very medically invasive due to LOTS of circumstances. I couldn’t get him out because for my pelvis, he was already too big. At full term he would have been 10 lbs. A c-section for me since 6.2 needed a vacuum.

    With all the insane pressure around these parts in particular, I spent a long time working through my guilt about not living up to the ‘granola’ standard birth. I am pretty ‘granola’ after all. With all of that said, I think there is an insane amount of judgment and critique among many Mom’s with the incredible variations of ways women give birth. For too long we have been pushing that one way is better than another.

    It isn’t.

    It depends on who is delivering. Can’t we support each other instead of judge each other? It is so reminiscent of the stay at home/go to work debate.

    Sorry to vent, I just wrote a long article about my birth experience…and I am probably starting my period soon…

    lol…at least judging by the amount of sugar I have ingested in the last few days.

  14. I saw this show this morning and I was horrified to see how the baby was treated. I had to turn it off. The poor child was just brought into the world and they are tossing him around like a rag doll in front of lights and cameras. He didn’t even get a chance to LOOK at his mother. The poor mother didn’t even get to have a moment with her son. The whole thing was awful.

  15. I don’t want kids now and possibly ever but I don’t like saying the word never. I know someday me and my husband may want to have a child. My MIL is the type to constantly pressure and ask why all the time. She always asks if I’m scared and I say of course and she says there is no reason to be scared. Well from what I have read there seems like there is a lot more than just the normal fears to be afraid of. Not saying this would stop me from having a kid if I wanted one. But wow talk about adding fears to an already scary situation. And one more thing scares me, I am a very petite woman and I had a mole removed from my pubic bone area when I was a teenager and after it was done the dermatologist mentioned something about me having a c-section. I don’t remember what exactly but it was something about, your not going to have a c-section ever right, or something. It’s just all so much to think about and quite daunting.

  16. I really can’t believe that size alone is a good, healthy and safe reason for a c-section.

    My first birth was a c-section (twins at 29 weeks with TTTS). Second time round I had a 10 pound 3 baby vaginally without any interventions and with absolutely no problems. Both times ultra sound measurements of the babies got their weights/size totally wrong. Both my twins were supposed to be 1.4kgs or more, the biggest was 1.13kgs the smallest 960 grams. My ‘big boy’ at 42 weeks and 1 day (he was born 2 days later) was estimated at 3.8kgs (he was 4.6, sorry I’m an Aussie don’t know all the conversions. So apart from the fact that I birthed a big baby, vbac with no issues, they had no idea how big he really was anyway!

    I think there are some valid reasons to have a c-section, but being told that you HAVE to have a c-section because your baby is 10 pounds, and vaginal birth is unsafe just sounds like scaremongering to me. Give women the respect to choose the kind of birth they want after being given accurate unbiased information, not after being bullied, or scared.

  17. Many people who are witnessing their first c-section comment on the handling of the baby.

    I agree that the baby should have had time with the mother, but, I would need to know more information before judging.

    1. Was the mom diabetic?
    2. Did the baby show signs of distress? Often the head is delivered and distress is noted before it’s apparent to the outside.
    3. Were there measurement issues, pelvic scarring from an accident?

    It’s more complex than just a forced c-section. But, that opinion is never popular here.

    Smaller babies get stuck too. I think this is more of an issue of incomplete and irresponsible (shock) reporting than actual c-section footage.

  18. I had a 9 lb 9 oz child vaginally. It was VERY traumatic. The OB had to use a vacuum after I pushed for almost 2 hours. He was stuck. I had a rising fever. I had so much tearing and cutting that I was drugged up on morphine after the delivery and never got a chance to bond with my baby.

    With my second, I elected to have a c-section and it was a totally different experience. I was able to bond and breastfeed pretty soon after delivery. My recovery was easier so I was able to take full care of him. I wouldn’t elect the c-section without experiencing what it was like to deliver vaginally. However, for us, the c-section the second time was a MUCH better experience. Every woman is different!

  19. It seems like any judgement taking place here is not of the mother’s decision but of the comments made by the doctor and hosts of the show. So I don’t think there is any judging of other women issues with this post.
    I will say this though, if I were that mom and one of these people had said on tv that I made the *wrong* decision I would be PISSED. Because of that, I’m not sure there was much else they could have said. They could have had some stuff about alternatives for birthing a larger baby but the show wasn’t about birth in general, it was about surgery so it wasn’t really the time for that. Still, I think alternatives could have been mentioned without making the mom feel like she made the wrong choice.

  20. Vegas710 – Exactly. My issue is NOT with the mom. I’m not judging her and I apologize if it seems that I am. That was never my intention.

    My issue is with the Today Show and the comments Meredith, Dr. Nancy and the c/s doctor made.

  21. Email sent. I’m amazed that they are showing c-sections like they are no big deal when so many impressionable women and girls watch their show. Talk about role models.

  22. So many things were wrong with this, I think I had to pick up my jaw from the floor. Thank you for your post, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  23. YES! Thank you! Ugh. I saw that this morning and nearly spit my coffee out over the flippant attitude by the reporter and the statement she made inferring that the section was the safest way since they predicted the baby to be too big and she was overdue. My issue is it seemed to be pretty irresponsible reporting. I don’t know what other issues the mom had/has, or if she truly educated herself and wanted a c-section. If that was the case, then so be it. It’s her choice to make, but I feel like the reporting certainly didn’t show that they’d done very much research on the REAL risks of c-sections vs. vaginal births and VBACS.

  24. What I will never understand is how we can live in a society that empowers women at every turn but then tears down their God-given right by instilling fear in them or a sense of wrong by referring to a major medical, not to mention, unnecessary procedure as the “right” way to be born. What’s so wrong with giving birth the way God intended? I don’t argue that a section might be necessary in some cases, but in most cases it’s not. It’s a case of the doctor or the patient, for that matter, wanting to schedule it around “their” time or because of some ill-conceived notion that a big baby can’t fit through a woman’s birth canal??? PLEASE! We were created to do amazing things and birth (of large or small babies) is no different!

    Thanks for bringing light to this and I hope everyone will email the Today Show encouraging them to show both sides of the coin so that women can decide for once and for all!

  25. I’m very glad I missed this segment. That is very sad to say such blanket statements but I’m not surprised. Look at the numbers of medicated births, c-sections and inductions… staggering.

    With my first I had an unmedicated birth and had the help of a doula. I knew I had a small birth canal (even though I’m 5’9″) from complications with my mother’s births. The doctor confirmed this and I had a very traumatic birth with my daughter who was 9 lbs. She had a shoulder dystocia birth. I think the only way she was born without major injury is because I was unmedicated and moving around and getting into positions recommended by Ina May.

    I just had my second and he was growing even larger that my first. They were firm about me having a c-section due to my first delivery and the rate of how big he was. I did my research and without a doubt another vaginal delivery was extremely risky and I read all the natural birthing books.

    So I had a c-section and it was as cold as I thought it would be. I accepted the birth even though I would never wish it upon another. Unless really necessary, a child should not be born this way. In the end, I’m just grateful to have two very healthy wonderful children.

    Shame on the Today Show for promoting this type of delivery.

  26. I actually had to Google this today because I COULD NOT believe I was hearing correctly when I saw this on the Today Show yesterday, and Google is what led me to your website. The whole thing was so wrong and made me just furious. Last time I checked, Meredith Viera isn’t a doctor and Nancy Snyderman specializes in head and neck cancer, not obstetrics (not that she writes the story, but you know what I mean). Thanks for letting me vent.

  27. OMG I am so yelling at the computer right now as I read this! It just confirms another suspicion I already had of Meredith Viera: that she’s completely stupid.

    As a writer myself, I always thought journalists should do research before writing about or reporting on a subject. *Sarcasm* Now we definitely see that isn’t so.

    And this doctor is actually saying she could have a vaginal delivery after two sections? What an outright lie that is! Sure, you can – but no doctor in America anymore will support your decision, no matter what the facts say!

    I think we should all flood her inbox and give her a piece of our minds – and encourage them to do a “real” segment on birth in America. Perhaps next week they can air a live VBAC. Or a home birth. Oh, but wait – those can’t really be *planned* for live television like a c/s can. Gimme a break.

    I wonder … did being on television have any bearing in this mom’s decision, or her doctor’s, do have another c/s? :/

  28. I find it sad that C-Sections, and inducements, are becoming an accepted normal standard here in the US. They are great options for women to have when medically necessary but I think that they may not be necessary most of the time. Ir is terrible that the Today show would promote this, they should be exposing how they are used when not really needed probably due to insurance reasons.

    I had my daughter in Ireland and was 6 days overdue, they do not induce there so quickly as here and everything went very naturally for me where I am sure that I would have been induced here. I am shocked at how many new mothers I speak to here that have had C-sections or inducements but were really not even as far along as their due date or had barely reached it. They do not make it clear to you here at the doctor visits that the due date can be off by a week very easily so many times if you are a week overdue, you may actually be just on time.

    I plan to have another, and that will be here in the US most likely, and I am glad I saw another way to do things overseas so will not be rushed into scheduling an inducement or C-section. As someone in another comment said, we need to trust women’s bodies more since they have been doing this for thousands of years.

  29. Did anyone notice at the very end, Meredith’s last comments? She said how ‘her first baby was a c-section.’ She has three children, and her comment implies that what – she had two VBACS? As far as I can tell, they are her biological children.

  30. I don’t have any children so I have no idea what it is like. First I was told I couldn’t get pregnant because of my weight. I’ve seen many heavier women having babies. I think it would be nice to focus on what is best for the individual mother and baby, not what the doctor wants. I can see where a c-section would be necessary. The other problem I have is from watching all the birthing shows that are so popular now. I am uncomfortable with the position the woman is in. I would feel more humiliated flat on my back and my feet being held in the air, maybe from modesty. Tilted up to a sort of sitting position seems much more natural and respectful. What happened to all those birthing chairs used in the past? Plus it seems like a position more conducive to helping the baby out naturally by gravity. But as I said before I have no children, so this is just an opinion formed from observation and information.

  31. I didn’t and won’t watch the video.
    I am small framed and had 2 boys who were 9lbs, and 9lbs. 4 ozs. and a 8lb 12 oz girl. My 4th child was a relatively “normal” size at 7lbs 3 ozs. All my babies were born vaginally without medication.

    I do not understand why SURGERY is treated so blithely by the doctors and media. Yes C-sections are there when they are necessary and needed but I strongly believe many doctors push or make that decision without there being a medical reason for it.

  32. I know SO MANY women who were told that their babies would be large, based on u/s estimates, and they might need a c-section. And out of all of them, only ONE actually had the large baby. U/s measurements can be so off, I can’t imagine having an elective section based on what is usually incorrect info. It’s like saying, “Hey, your baby MIGHT be large and he MIGHT get stuck, so let’s just skip all that and cut you open.”

    Our childbirth instructor told us that after 30+ years as an L&D nurse, she’d seen a 5 foot Asian woman deliver a 12 pound baby vaginally with no problems and a 6 foot 2 woman unable to birth a 6 pound baby. I just wish women would educate themselves. Try it. If the baby gets “stuck” get off the bed and try something else. Give your body and yourself a chance to do what your body intended.

  33. As a mom who had a c-section with her first because he was breech, and who is due in 4 weeks with a second who we will find out tomorrow his position but in the meantime has been thinking quite a lot about the choices available to me…what *I* find shocking is that people feel they are better than me or that I am making a bad choice if I do not opt for a V-Bac. It’s MY choice and I can weigh my own options. Obviously with my first son I had no choice and wanted to do it naturally. But I’ve just been amazed that whenever I tell someone he was C-section I ALWAYS have to explain why- because so many people assume that it was elective!! I feel like I am always defending myself, and I will be if I decide to not do a VBAC. And I think that’s wrong. I think it’s great if other moms feel comfortable but it’s my choice to weigh and I shouldn’t feel ashamed about it. I have yet to watch the video (I googled it and that’s how I found your blog)- but I will say my delivery was a very positive experience- I got to see my son, they cleaned him right near me and I held him within a few minutes. Recovery was a breeze. I just wanted to speak to the other side of the coin- so that everyone doesn’t get lumped into one category. Just because someone had a vaginal delivery does not make them better than someone who had a C-section- which is the sense when I read a lot of the comments here- whatever the reason was for the section.

  34. I don’t have an opinion on c-section vs vaginal delivery. I think woman have the right to choose. I personally would have been terrified to have a c-section. The doctors thought I might have to have one with my first because I was very sick with her. On life support at 21 weeks, they weren’t sure she’d make it. Thankfully, I was able to deliver her naturally at 34 weeks.

    I am definitely more scared to have surgery then pushing out a baby. I wonder if a video like this would really make women more scared to go natural. I’d love to read some comments from women that planned on going natural & then changed to c-section after the video.

  35. After two years of reading comments from women who have had traumatic and damaging C-sections, and having had a C-section and a VBAC myself,(vaginal birth after cesarean), I can state quite confidently that in *MOST* circumstances, a C-section is NOT the right way to give birth, and it is a more damaging way- on so many levels- emotional, physical, & financial, to name a few.

    “Stories” like this, that makes a *surgical* procedure seem like a normal birth is irresponsible and offensive to me. I’m going to e-mail this comment to Today as well.

    If anyone has any doubts, you can read over 100 comments- the majority of them from women who have been damaged in one way (or many) by C-sections.

    Thanks for blogging about this, Amy.

    http://amamasblog.com/2008/01/31/the-reality-of-c-sections/

  36. After two years of reading comments from women who have had traumatic and damaging C-sections, and having had a C-section and a VBAC myself,(vaginal birth after cesarean), I can state quite confidently that in *MOST* circumstances, a C-section is NOT the right way to give birth, and it is a more damaging way- on so many levels- emotional, physical, & financial, to name a few.

    “Stories” like this, that makes a *surgical* procedure seem like a normal birth is irresponsible and offensive to me. I’m going to e-mail this comment to Today as well.

    If anyone has any doubts, you can read over 100 comments- the majority of them from women who have been damaged in one way (or many) by C-sections.

    Thanks for blogging about this, Amy.

    http://amamasblog.com/2008/01/31/the-reality-of-c-sections/

  37. Interesting comments. I agree that we don’t know all the ins and outs of this particular birth story but for crying out loud it could have been covered better.

    To offer another viewpoint, I’m a Navy wife and many women are interested in bringing labor on early so that Daddy can be there for the birth. Some are left to their own devices while others actually “get lucky” and get an OB who will schedule them for an induction at 36, 37 weeks.

  38. This is just another time that I am glad to live in Canada, especially in a province with fully funded midwifery care. I had a wonderful unmedicated birth experience with my 2nd who was born at 41 weeks and 3 days and weight a very juicy 10 lbs 9oz.
    I know lots of babies born my emergency c-sections where there was no other choice. But the Today show made it seems that a women’s body isn’t able to delivery a possibly big baby.

  39. C- section has now become common in pregnancy. Even women who can deliver the baby normally also tends to go for C- section because of the pain involved in the C- section

  40. There are many reasons why a baby is delivered via c section, and there could possibly be more vbac if the proper incising, healing and health of the mother allows. I am shocked at how docots and nurses gloss over peoples pain after surgery and forget basic things like binders- check out our site-
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  41. I’m all for individual rights and respect that some would like the opportunity to deliver how they think is best. The reality is that we live in a very litigious society. any good doctor should weigh the risks of a c-section vs vaginal delivery when it comes to larger babies. a physician should also respect the desires of the patient. I just wonder how many crunchy/granola families would be so forgiving and not bring any kind of case against a healthcare professional who allowed a mother to have a high risk delivery at home/in the bathtub/etc. In the case of a bad outcome, how many of you would cry foul that a doctor HADN’T pushed c-section hard enough? Things can go wrong despite your healthcare professional taking every conceivable precaution and hindsight is 20/20. Obviously a doctor’s OPINION is biased because of his/her medical background.

  42. I disagree. I gave birth vaginally to my son who was 11 lb 3 oz. While it wasn’t the most enjoyable moment of my life, I am glad I got to be a part of it. Plus it gives me something to taunt him with when he is older :)

  43. The “right way” is totally subjective, and should be determined by the mother, father, and medical team. The major thing women have to remember is, if it doesn’t seem right to you, in your specific life and situation, then you need to speak up. Yes, hospitals and doctors can be pushy, but ultimately it’s your body and your baby and your health, so use your voice.

    My first child was delivered by c-section because he was almost 11 pounds and had a 14″ head that would not come through the birth canal. We decided to keep him and me safe was the “right way” to deliver, and that way turned out to be a c-section. I am expecting my second child in a month, and although my doctor has said it would be fine for me to try a VBAC this time, when this baby started to measure big again, my husband and I decided a c-section would be the right way again this time.

    I was also upset by the way the mother was pretty much left on her own in this video, but this was also a TV moment…staged and stretched out over commercial breaks. Not reality. I agree with you that elective c-sections are too common; there is a misconception that c-section is the easy way to deliver, when no one really takes into consideration the lengthy recovery period or the dangers of a major abdominal surgery.

    However, the judgment has to stop. There is such a holier-than-thou culture among women and mothers in our society — it really bothers me. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. Working moms vs. stay-at-home moms. Vaginal deliverers vs. c-section births. Really? Do we need all this judgment? Does it really make you any more of a mother for pushing your baby through your vagina than it makes me for delivering a healthy baby through an incision? Nope. Ultimately, we both still have healthy children, which by definition makes us mothers. Being a woman and a mother is difficult enough in our society — how about we respect one another’s decisions, support each other, and understand that we each know what’s the “right way” for us and our family?

  44. My second son was 10 lb 4 oz, 13 days late, and born vaginally. My other two babies weren’t as large. A wonderful friend of mine delivered her 11 lb 6 oz baby boy vaginally as well.

    We all deserve an opportunity to let our bodies do what they were designed to do.

  45. My second baby was 10lbs 1oz and giving birth to him in our bathtub at home was one of the most exhilarating and empowering experiences of my life. I feel sorry that many women will unknowingly give up the opportunity to control their own bodies and its natural process. I truly believe that trusting your body and letting the process unfold naturally is one of the most empowering experiences a woman can have. It’s the ultimate expression of feminism. How sad that mass media has not only made us hate how our bodies look, but it has also made us distrust how they are designed to birth our children.

  46. I watched and waited for them to say why she was having a Csection, then waited anxiously to find out the weight…10 lbs? I gave birth vaginally to a 9 lb 15 oz baby who was also 11 days ‘late.’ (boy people sure thought I was crazy! I avoided going to church the Sunday before he finally came because I didn’t want those ‘you’re STILL pregnant?’ questions)

    Not long after getting my epidural, it was turned down to prevent my blood pressure from rising. After that it really never worked and I did feel that little boy’s big weight (and the doctor said he had a big head!). I was crying and felt like I was being more vocal than I normally am in pain and I kind of felt embarrassed for it afterward. But after seeing how some women run to the O.R. in my same situation – and minus the medical pain relief – and I choose to do as much of it alone as I could…well I felt like a superhero.

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