Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pitocin Post Fallout - My thoughts on the Birth Community's Response

I'm sad about how my researched post on pitocin worked out.  I guess I was reaching out for support on my pitocin sensitivity or the possibility that I was overdosed.  When I posted it on a few due date clubs it's amazing how many people left a comment like, "I had Pitocin a billion times and it worked great for me."  If I had been complaining of a tylenol sensitivity would they have said the same? Would they have said, "I've taken tylenol loads of times and I've always been fine."  I admit I take offense to comments like these.  What is the point of a drive-by comment like that?  To give me comfort?  No, it's to defend the use of Pitocin.  But Pitocin needs no defense.  It exists in our birth system and is widely available to everyone who needs or just wants it.  I wish I'd known more about it, and for this reason I thought others might want to know more about it. 
however, even if I had known more about Pitocin before the birth of my son, I still might have consented to it.  At that time I would have had no way of knowing about my sensitivities.  It works really well for some people and not as well for others.  The same is true for most drugs in existence.  Why the debate on this one?  Why would you go out of your way to tell someone who had a problem with Pitocin that you had no problems with it.  Pitocin could have killed my baby, and people responded that their baby had no problems.  Is that not similar to going out of your way to tell the mother of a child with birth defects that your child is healthy?  Or perhaps they were just pointing out that their body was strong enough to endure the pitocin without harming the baby and mine wasn't.  Thanks, that's already occured to me.

I think it's pretty clear I suffered side effects from pitocin.  My side effects are listed as possible side effects in the package insert provided by the manufacturer, and yet many people doubted me.  Again, would they have doubted me if I was complaining of a tylenol sensitivity? Of a food allergy?  I wonder if they believe that Pitocin is the only drug in existence which has no side effects, or if they think I am simply not able to judge whether or not I suffered them.

So strange how polarizing just the word pitocin has become.  I witnessed women turn against each other as the birth debate found a small new battleground on my forum posts.  It seems when a woman feels she has to have a c-section for whatever reason, someone tries to talk her out of it.  Trying to talk her out of a c-section is a way of dissapproving and disrespecting her decision.  It's OK if someone wants to have major surgery just because their doctor told them to without doing any of their own research.  Adults are allowed to make whatever decisions they want to, and if she and her family are comfortable with their decision, they're likely to be comfortable with the outcome.  Making a woman uncomfortable with her decision is likely to worsen her birth experience or make her feel she forever has to defend it.  I've seen women who run to the defense of anyone who mentions the word section, you can tell they have major insecurities and this is the only way they have to feel better.  Do they have insecurities because they regret the section or because they're so tired of people questioning their decision?

I feel that I need to have a natural birth for my own emotional and physical health.  Do I have proof that an epidural will give me back problems or spinal headaches so severe I will be unable to breastfeed or care for my baby? No, but I am very prone to those types of problems, I've already experienced side effects from a commonly used birth drug, and I've seen women go through those awful things.  While I don't have proof that Pitocin would be so bad for me the second time around, I do have proof that it's certainly in the realm of possibility or even a likelihood.  Even if my side effects were caused by an overdose as opposed to a sensitivity, I'm delivering at the same hospital with the same doctor.  I think it's possible the same thing could happen.  Yet, when I say I need to do an unmedicated birth there are people who doubt me.  Just has a woman who has decided to have a section is immediately doubted.  I wish we'd all accept each others decisions.  I'd like to have an unmedicated childbirth with as few interventions as possible.  That feels like the right way for me to do it.  I don't think that's how it should be done by everyone, and I completely respect if you've made a different choice or have no plan at all.  Birth is scary.  Birth is hard, and we're all very different people.  Why shouldn't we all handle it differently?

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