Here’s a note that I sent to a friend who is concerned about having a natural childbirth. I’m pretty passionate about this sort of thing so I wanted to share this here too.
Well, where to begin…I personally have two friends who had their membranes stripped and now look back on it in regret. They both ended up with very long labors and one ended up with a C-section because after over 50 hours of labor she still was not dilated enough. The other one did have a natural birth, but only after many, many hours of labor. They told me that they think their extraordinary long labors were due to them having their membranes stripped. I believe that their bodies went into labor because of the “more natural induction-which getting your membranes stripped still is induction, ” but that their cervix wasn’t softened or dilated like it should be when a normal woman would go into labor. Therefore, I believe they suffered long labors because their bodies were being pushed to do something that their bodies just simply weren’t ready to do. Any time you do anything invasive liking stripping your membranes and etc. you are less likely to have a natural childbirth.
I really dislike doctors’ sayings like,”I don’t want to let you go past this date,etc” because, if the baby is healthy and showing no signs of distress, why make the mom feel at all like she has to have a plan in place to move the baby out into the world before they are ready? Again, a lot of this goes back to just being able to rest in the fact that God knows more than doctors and He created the baby to signal to the mom’s body to start having contractions when his body is ready to be born…not when it’s convenient for the doctors schedule. Woman and their husbands need to protect themselves. If a doctors goal, is that the baby needs to be born before he leaves town, then a woman can often end up with a c-section and very painful healing, being in bed, etc. for two months while the doctor is just fine and on his way to whatever life event he has at the time then something is wrong. Childbirth just simply doesn’t work like that.We shouldn’t try to make the birth fit with our schedules, but rather make our schedules work with the birth.
I’m sorry you have been made to have this possible alternative plan about possibly getting your membranes stripped because, like so many woman I’ve talked to, these are the very things that result in an unwanted C-section. Well meaning woman think that doing “more natural” interventions will help protect them from getting a C-section, but in fact they are more likely to get one because they have chosen the path of intervening with something that most often times doesn’t need any intervening at all. One intervention usually always leads to another. If someone wants a natural childbirth that means that they should simply not intervene.
With my first, I never even had my midwife check how far dilated I was until I had been in labor for something like over 15 hours. It is not necessary to know how far dilated you are really. If anything, it just puts more pressure on the woman to “do something” to try to magically make her body dilate faster. My daughter was born after 12 and a half hours of labor on the kitchen floor with just my husband and I before the midwife got there! I have absolutely never known how far I was dilated during any of my pregnancies. I did not ever need to know. It’s not necessary. Checking the babies heart rate and moms blood pressure are important though.
Also, use caution with your doctor because my moms membranes were stripped with her last 2 children (same doctor) without her knowing it. She told him she didn’t want to be induced or anything like that and he told her that he was just checking to see if she was dilated. She said he was being rough down there and that she ended up going into labor within 24 hours with both of them after the appointment with him. One ended in a c-section…after she had already had 3 vaginal births and then the last one was natural. She thinks she had the c-section because her body wasn’t ready to go into labor and she was “secretly” induced by her doctor.
I hope you have a natural childbirth and exactly what you are desiring.
DISCLAIMER: I want you to know that you should see everything I am writing as my opinion and not medical advice. Please use wisdom, but also use caution.
Having your baby at a hospital already is setting you up for a battle to have a natural childbirth. I believe it is still possible if you come in with a plan and strictly stick to it. Also, if the baby naturally comes later, be okay with using your doctors back up doctor if you go in labor while he is out of town. You have to decide what is more important to you, having your doctor and the increased possibility of a c-section, or using a backup doctor, letting the baby come when he is ready and being more likely to have the birth you want. I know that their are a lot of decisions involved with all of this, but it is your body, your baby, your future, so protect it.