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Ina May made me feel like crap

I know that my feelings come from a place of defensiveness and irrationality, but Ina May hits a sore spot for me.  Early in my pregnancy, I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and was inspired by all the medfree birth stories and her view on childbirth.  It made me want to give it a try.

 Then, at 38 weeks pregnant, I had a very high blood pressure reading and had to be put on bedrest.  I also had some signs of pre-e, but not yet the tell-tale protein in the urine that most ob's use as a call to action.  I went to Ina May's book, hoping to find some inspiration that I could still have a med free childbirth.  The only thing I saw about pre-e was that, in her view, most pre-e could be avoided through diet and nutrition, and that Pre-e was practically nonexistent at the farm.  No words of wisdom, no back-up plan, just a "you could have avoided this if you had tried harder." At least that's how I read it at the time.

Now I wasn't perfect during my pregnancy, but I would say I was much more diligent than average.  I ate lots of fruit, veggies and lean protein and avoided fast food. I drank a crapload of water.  I exercised regularly.  Granted, I also allowed myself to indulge from time to time on sweets and some other goodies, and I spent the last 4 days of my pregnancy looking back on every time I did and feeling like complete ass about myself.  And feeling like because I had messed up, an induction and eventual c-section were almost inevitable. (I ended up with an "official" pre-e diagnosis a few days later, resulting in a failed induction and a c-section.)

Anyway, I don't know where I'm going with this.  Maybe it's just a vent, and like I said, I know that it doesn't make much logical sense, but feelings related to childbirth rarely do.  Just wanted to put it out there if anyone else felt similarly about Ina May or anything else.

Re: Ina May made me feel like crap

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    Sorry mama ;-(  You definitely shouldn't beat yourself up as pre-e can happen to anyone, regardless of how they handled their pregnancy.  While I enjoyed the book, I agree that it can be a little "preachy" and doesn't leave much room for situations that call for medical intervention.
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    What does she say you should have done to avoid pre-e. I had it and am curious to know. I was enduced but I pushed my baby out with all the pain of a natural birth.

     

    Put that book down and don't let anyone make you feel bad. (please and thank you)

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    :(  Yes, she does idealize things a large extent in her Guide to Childbirth.  I found _Spiritual Midwifery_ more realistic.  (Some sad stories along with all the great ones.)  Perhaps my friend who said she was too 'pushy/bossy' meant some of what you said above. She really can't stand Ina May.

    Birth takes on many forms.  Good and the not-so-ideal.  Sucks that we ended up in the not-so-ideal side of things.

    All the macrobiotic/organic Farm birdseed in the world wouldn't have stopped that pre-e Calhoun.  It's something that happens and it sucks.  I'm glad your little one got here safely, but I hope that you have a much different experience next time around.  Perhaps it will help your heart heal from #1.

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    Lilypie - (C6hS)

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    I had a similar thing happen to me (except my body somehow knew and went into labor on it's own at 38 weeks, in the middle of being diagnosed w/ Pre -e) and I thought about this as well b/c I had read this book.  I can sit here all I want and talk about the organic and yummy foods we eat... MOST of the time.... because whether I, or Ina May, believe it was my fault or not, I know that I not only ate meat and dairy (I'm pretty sure she believes in a Vegan lifestyle) but I ate my fair share of complete crap as well, so yeah, I could be to blame.
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    Most likely she is talking about the Brewer Diet.  It is a very high protein diet, 80 to 100 grams per day.  I followed it and found some relief from morning sickness and did not develop pre-e.  No one knows what causes pre-e, while the Brewer Diet has some studies that show it can reduce pre-e, some people will develop it anyway.  It was not your fault you developed pre-e.

    Thomas ~ 07/07/2008 ~ 8 lbs, 5 oz

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    imageLydiaE2:
    Most likely she is talking about the Brewer Diet.  It is a very high protein diet, 80 to 100 grams per day.  I followed it and found some relief from morning sickness and did not develop pre-e.  No one knows what causes pre-e, while the Brewer Diet has some studies that show it can reduce pre-e, some people will develop it anyway.  It was not your fault you developed pre-e.

    Yes, but she probably takes it a step further and promotes vegan and all organic too. No white flour, sugar, etc. 

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    imageLydiaE2:
    Most likely she is talking about the Brewer Diet.  It is a very high protein diet, 80 to 100 grams per day.  I followed it and found some relief from morning sickness and did not develop pre-e.  No one knows what causes pre-e, while the Brewer Diet has some studies that show it can reduce pre-e, some people will develop it anyway.  It was not your fault you developed pre-e.

    This is the diet that most MWs that I know recommend.  I followed it with ds religiously.  But even with that I still developed pre-e.

    So Calhoun you can stop beating yourself up. Pre-e can sometimes be avoided with diet.  But sometimes it can't be...even with all the diet restrictions and rules in the world.

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    I couldn't agree more.  I liked how empowering her book was, but it left out all the complications you can have even when taking good care of yourself.  I walked or swam every day, ate organic and vegetarian (dairy only in the form of the occasional ice cream)  and my water broke at 35 weeks.  They never had an explanation for what happened other than "some uterine linings have defects."  I don't think even Ina May would have been willing to deliver my baby at "the farm."  Nor do I have any idea what I could have done differently to change what happened.  Although I can say from experience that many hospitals are seriously over medicalized, I wish people like Ina May could also support the medical community for the things that they do offer.  Maybe then we'd have fewer medicalized births. 

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    I know exactly what you mean.  A lot of the "natural birth" books make me feel like crap.

    What really bothers me is that they have all this info on how to do things "right," but then nothing for people like us who end up with complications or unexpected cesareans.  It's like we're SOL.  There is no chapter to comfort us or help us still make the best of things or guide us in our healing (physical and emotional).

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    imageiris427:

    I know exactly what you mean.  A lot of the "natural birth" books make me feel like crap.

    What really bothers me is that they have all this info on how to do things "right," but then nothing for people like us who end up with complications or unexpected cesareans.  It's like we're SOL.  There is no chapter to comfort us or help us still make the best of things or guide us in our healing (physical and emotional).

    Yes

    Wife, mom, Ob/Gyn resident
    Sarah - 12/23/2008
    Alex - 9/30/2011

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    I found the book very inspiring, but used it as inspiration, not gospel.

    I too ended up with high BP and bedrest at the end of my pregnancy.  I ate well, vegetarian and walked a lot.  Yes, I could have done more and may have been able to prevent it.

    I ended up overdue, induced, 4 days of pit-induced labor, almsot had a C/s but ended up with forceps.  That may have been prevented and I think about that often.

    Or maybe it couldn't have.

    I read so many books when PG I should have been able to get a masters in natural childbirth.  I also read Spiritual Midwifery and actually found that one to be more hippie/cultish than IMGTC.  But I took them all together, along with videos and Web sites and blog posts and realized not every birth is sunshine and roses and auras and babies popping out and big breakfasts and naked love after the fact.  I wish they were, but the human body is a human body and not a machine and we still don't fully understand it, can't predict what it will do and how it will react.  We as humans, our birth experiences and those amazing little lives that come out of us are like snowflakes.  No two are alike and we cannot predict how it will take place.

    Knowing that IMGTC is a book that is half about childbirth and half about promoting The Farm makes one understand why she left out a lot of the negative stuff.  I found the Mothering message boards, the Dr. Sears books and personal blogs a great resource in knowing how to handle when things are not all daisies and spiritual births.

    Though I think support for those of us who had less than stellar births is severely lacking.  I guess it doesn't sell books.  We should write that book, I think publishing companies don't know what a market there really is for that sort of story - that sort of support and inspiration. Big Smile

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    FWIW, I feel like I took very, very good care of myself during pregnancy but somehow my blood pressure went through the roof while I was in labor. Since I labored at home until I was fully dilated, I had no idea how much danger I was in due to my bp. After delivering DD, I had to be on a magnesium drip for about 12 hours and I still had protein in my urine for about two weeks after.

    My OB/Gyn thinks I developed pre-e and that's why I went into labor 2 weeks before my due date. She says I could have had a seizure during labor, which is really frightening to think of.

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     I am sorry you feel bad. 

    My BP was high around 28 weeks and my MW put me on the Brewers diet right away and it came down.  I carried Lily to 43 weeks and my blood pressure never went up once after I started the diet.  It does work in many cases and it pisses me off that most OBs and many MW don't focus more on diet during pregnancy.

    Midwifery is all about preventative and obstetrics is for those times that when you need extra help.  I really don't know what Ina May could have done for you.  

    Edit- now that I think about it, my MW did mention that she had a patient that was pre-preeclamptic and she put her on 120 g a day of protein- and her BP came down enough that she was able to deliver at home.   Just food for thought.  

    Edit- I don't mean to sound harsh or insensitive.  I just don't see how this is Ina's fault.  Her methods (the MW Model of Care) does work and it is not her fault that most OBs and many MWs don't choose to follow it. 

    It is, however, in no way YOUR fault.  You work with the information you are given and did what what best in your situation.  You rock Mama.

     

     


    Lilypie - (ZESJ)Lilypie - (QAi1)

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    No- you're right.  It's not Ina's fault, so to speak.  Nor was it mine.  The discussion of Ina May just sparked a memory in me - one that was more painful than I thought and obviously need to deal with.  Thanks for listening and responding to my ramblings, all.  I appreciate it.

    And for those that suggested it (but maybe not in so many words), yes, a "What the F do I do now?" chapter in some of the childbirth books would be nice. ;)

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    imagecalhoun05:

    And for those that suggested it (but maybe not in so many words), yes, a "What the F do I do now?" chapter in some of the childbirth books would be nice. ;)

    See, the reason it is not there is because it is not MW area of expertise- they only work with normal pregnancy and birth- nothing high risk.  If  my MW had not been able to get my BP down with diet and relaxation (she doesn't believe in bed rest in most cases), I would have had to transfer to a hospital birth and most likely an OB because it is not just not her expertise.  KWIM?

     



    Lilypie - (ZESJ)Lilypie - (QAi1)

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    My main objection to Ina May Gaskin is her use of language in "Spiritual Midwifery." It's called a vagina, not a puss. I don't want to read "puss" in connection with female anatomy while reading a book about childbirth. I don't know why that bothers me, but it does.
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    imagemcgee:
    My main objection to Ina May Gaskin is her use of language in "Spiritual Midwifery." It's called a vagina, not a puss. I don't want to read "puss" in connection with female anatomy while reading a book about childbirth. I don't know why that bothers me, but it does.

    Haha I'm pretty sure "puss" is nowhere to be found in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

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    Big sister {September 2008} Sweet boy {April 2011} Fuzzy Bundle {ETA July 2014}

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    imagepinksweetpea2:
    imagecalhoun05:

    And for those that suggested it (but maybe not in so many words), yes, a "What the F do I do now?" chapter in some of the childbirth books would be nice. ;)

    See, the reason it is not there is because it is not MW area of expertise- they only work with normal pregnancy and birth- nothing high risk.  If  my MW had not been able to get my BP down with diet and relaxation (she doesn't believe in bed rest in most cases), I would have had to transfer to a hospital birth and most likely an OB because it is not just not her expertise.  KWIM?

     


    I didn't mean that Ina May should write about how to deal with a high risk pregnancy, since that is obviously beyond her scope of practice.  I'm not feeling very articulate right now though, so I guess I'll leave it at that.  Maybe one day I'll write the book I want to read haha.

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    Big sister {September 2008} Sweet boy {April 2011} Fuzzy Bundle {ETA July 2014}

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    imageiris427:
    imagepinksweetpea2:
    imagecalhoun05:

    And for those that suggested it (but maybe not in so many words), yes, a "What the F do I do now?" chapter in some of the childbirth books would be nice. ;)

    See, the reason it is not there is because it is not MW area of expertise- they only work with normal pregnancy and birth- nothing high risk.  If  my MW had not been able to get my BP down with diet and relaxation (she doesn't believe in bed rest in most cases), I would have had to transfer to a hospital birth and most likely an OB because it is not just not her expertise.  KWIM?

     


    I didn't mean that Ina May should write about how to deal with a high risk pregnancy, since that is obviously beyond her scope of practice.  I'm not feeling very articulate right now though, so I guess I'll leave it at that.  Maybe one day I'll write the book I want to read haha.

     

    I would read it.  You always write things just right on here. :) 


    Lilypie - (ZESJ)Lilypie - (QAi1)

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    imageiris427:

    I know exactly what you mean.  A lot of the "natural birth" books make me feel like crap.

    What really bothers me is that they have all this info on how to do things "right," but then nothing for people like us who end up with complications or unexpected cesareans.  It's like we're SOL.  There is no chapter to comfort us or help us still make the best of things or guide us in our healing (physical and emotional).

    I agree with this to some degree.  I really thought that all those natural childbirth books I read were going to make me feel like a total failure if I ended up with an epi or a c/s.  But turns out, they didn't!  I labored for 11 hours med-free and pushed through four sets of contractions before ending up with an emergency c/s.  It was my worst nightmare come true, but in the end I don't feel like a failure after all.  I did the best I could and ended up needing medical intervention to safely deliver my daughter, and her safety is all that mattered.  And as for your pre-e, you absolutely should not beat yourself up about it, and certainly don't feel bad if you don't end up with the "perfect" textbook med-free birth!!   I know women who are crazy-healthy, take excellent care of themselves in pregnancy, and still end up with pre-e.  I ate whatever I wanted and didn't watch my diet really at all (except to make sure I got good nutrition and enough of it) during pregnancy, and even with all the cupcakes, milkshakes, and cookies, I still didn't even so much as get swollen ankles while I was pregnant.  So you shouldn't worry about the few indulgences you've had!  You did not cause your pre-e.

    Just remember, no matter how your pregnancy and birth go, whether you have interventions or not, you are already a rockstar for growing a baby and bringing it into the world!  You should be proud of yourself no matter what.

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