Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 28: BABIES.

So first of all, I am going to comment on the number of people who read and leave comments on my blog that are in long distance relationships. I feel like it's an incredibly high percentage for such a strange sort of relationship.
Maybe it's just because I speak on it a lot of and it then makes those of you reading who are in them want to speak up... because I know a lot more people read this than comment.

I am so intrigued by this that I would like to put together a little collection of stories, if any of you are interested. Maybe for a blog post I write later this week, in 2 or 3 days or so... I would like to compile short blurbs of how you met if you are in a LDR. It might help shed light on how it happens for those who don't understand how it's possible. If you wanna leave a little paragraph in the comments explaining how you met your far-away significant other, that would be lovely and then I will share it in my blog soon.

Okay. Yesterday enough people expressed an interest in what I have to say on babies and birth and hospitals, that I am going to write about that now.

This is knowledge I have been taking in over the last few weeks and I don't have exact figures or numbers, but I can give you general ideas of things so you at least know the issue.

In America, 99% (ish) of births take place in a hospital. We see it on TV, in movies; the women being zoomed around a perfect white establishments and the doctor saying "it's time" and her screaming and pushing while lying on her back and the whole thing is a pretty terrifying experience.

This isn't how birth needs to be. In fact, it shouldn't be.

In other countries, that rate of hospital birth isn't so high.
It's more common in other countries actually to have a midwife rather than a doctor.

I know that sounds crazy, "I want a trained doctor delivering my baby!" but let's break this down. A Doctor is trained in surgery. A midwife is trained in CHILDBIRTH. To say you would prefer a doctor is like buying your ipod from Walmart instead of the Mac store. The ipod is cheaper at Walmart, yes, but do they have everyone's best interests at heart?

When it comes right down to it, it's ALL about money.
In a hospital, when a doctor says "It's time. This baby needs to come out," they're not telling a mother that her baby is ready to be born. They're telling her that she has occupied bed space long enough, that they'd like to get more patients in and out, that his shift ends in an hour and he'd like to get home for dinner... you think I'm kidding but I'm not.

The greatest part of childbirth is that moment when the baby has been born and before they take it to clean it up or cut the cord or anything, they just thrust the baby into the mother's arms and they get to be together for that first moment, knowing they just completed the miracle of birth together and will love each other their whole lives... mothers experience a rush of hormones called oxytocin that is stronger than any orgasm they will ever have right here, when this happens. Mother/baby bonding begins here, right at this moment.

When you give birth in hospitals, Cesarean Sections are so common that 1 in 3 women will get them. When you have a Cesarean, this bonding moment is stolen from you. It's true that every once in awhile there will be a complication with a baby where a Cesarean is needed, but that is very uncommon. The fact that C-Section rates are so high in America is because we're leaving the act of childbirth to DOCTORS, and Doctors are trained in SURGERY. A quick 10 minute surgery is way easier, more time effective, and what the Doctor is much more trained in. Also, with a Cesarean, the mother can't go back and sue Doctors for the child's health complications the way they can with a natural birth. Doctors will suggest a Cesarean at the drop of the hat, as a preventative method in a long labor when there might not be anything wrong with the baby at all. They'll pull the "it's best for your baby" card, knowing mothers are in a state of mind where they'll do ANYTHING that's best for their baby at that point.

You may think you're skipping the pains of childbirth by having a Cesarean, which is true, but you're forgetting it's MAJOR abdominal surgery. Then after your child is born, when you need to feed it and rock it and learn to care for it, you're stuck in bed with scars and horrible recovery pain, whereas natural birth allows you to bounce back much more quickly.

Also, the fact that hospitals have you lie on your back to give birth - this is one of THE stupidest traditions, as it is a terribly awkward position for the Mother to be in. Her pelvis is literally smaller in this position, making it more difficult for the baby to get out. It makes much more sense for the Mother to be standing or squatting, but THAT in turn makes it awkward for the Doctor to crouch under to catch the baby.
So the lying-on-back method is what's convenient for the DOCTOR, not the MOTHER.

People look down their nose at midwives because it sounds old fashioned, like something we've progressed beyond, but imagine being able to give birth in your own home where you're at ease and welcome and around people who you're comfortable with and support you. If that's too weird (which it can be for some people, I get that), imagine going to a birth center, where they have big tubs for water birth or at least for managing your contractions by sitting in a hot tub of sorts, or with people who don't care how long your labor time is... they want your baby to come when it's ready, not when the big football game is about to start.

It's terrible that women aren't more in control of their own births. They do have OPTIONS, plenty of them, but the American media makes hospital birth seem like the only way to go. For instance, I'll admit the blame does not lie entirely with doctors obviously. A huge problem is that celebrities are making Cesareans trendy, by being able to schedule their surgery and get it over with in one short trip, and this is WRONG. It's not how birth is supposed to be. You don't schedule your birth between your nail appointment and your bikini waxing. How messed up does that sound?

Hospitals and Cesareans and fancy surgery methods are great for emergencies, and it's wonderful that the technology is there if we need it when things go wrong, but we've been giving birth a LOT longer than that stuff has been around. Nature will make birth happen on its own, most of the time. We don't need to intervene with surgery 1 out of every 3 times just because we can.

So there you go. Why hospitals aren't necessarily the right or only option.
I only wish more people knew this.

Today's Word: Extach
1. A mustache that no longer exists;
2. A detachable mustache;
3. A mustache on the face of an ex. -euphonious

Days until Alex is here: 6
Doctor Who: Season 3, Episode 3

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Rosie said...

Hey! Well basically I met my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years in college. We were friends for a long time but not that close, we always got on well. We just eventually got together after flirting over msn for ages (oh technology) and we were together for a year until he got in to uni. I live in London and he now lives in Sheffield which is 2 hours 30 minutes away on the train and it's quite expensive. We see each other twice a month but he's back for holiday periods. I'm moving to Sheffield because the more you fall in love with one another the harder it gets being so far away...so yup! That's my story haha. Rosie x

Dave said...

I was SO with you until you mentioned the big football game. Then I started to see it from the Doctor's point of view.

alanlastufka said...

I was a C-Section baby, but only because the cord was wrapped around my throat and I was dying. I was born a few weeks early because of this. Quite scary to think about. This was a really informative post. =)

Joy said...

Oh I totally agree!!! My mum had my brother and I at home, and my two other brothers at a birthing centre (only because the midwife in those instances lived too far away to come to our house)...

Of course, you're always going to be influenced by what your parents think, but as I've gotten older and thought more for myself, natural birth realy does make SO much more sense. Birth should be a beautiful thing, and hospitals can make it so methodical and sterile. That, and hospitals creep me out a bit. I fully intend to have a natural birth when I (one day) have babies!

Preach it! :oD haha...

(Incidentally, I was born and grew up in America, but I now live in England. Natural births are so much more common here. Midwives aren't seen as old fashioned at all... it's a good thing!)

LullabyBri said...

i really love your blog today :) when you have twins though, or more than one baby, it's safer to have a Cesarean section though right? anyways, keep up the lovely blogs xD

Lauren said...

My boyfriend and I met because we both write music about Harry Potter.

I think that's all you really need to know. XD

I was a C-section baby because I was right-side-up and my feet came out when my mom tried to have a natural birth. But my sisters were both normal and she had a C-section with both of them because I guess she was afraid to try natural childbirth again after me.

pele-amelika said...

A few things. While I won't defend the high c-section rates, I think it's unfair to place the majority of the blame on doctors. I've actually done quite a bit of research on the subject (it was part of my senior nursing thesis).

CDMR (cesearean delivery by maternal request) makes up a large percentage of the c-sections that are done today. And many doctors do c-sections in the name of CYA (cover your ass). OB/GYN docs are well known to have the highest costs in insurance because of the American public constantly suing them, largely for no good reason.

Lastly, you say that OB/GYN docs are trained in surgery. Well, yes they are. But they're also trained in childbirth! I find it very hard to argue that they are less trained in childbirth than c-sections. They're both bread and butter of the profession! At least at the hospital where I did my practicum at, there was always a resident (doctor who has completed med school, now in post-school training) available, either watching or catching the baby.

Again, there are multiple things wrong with the way childbirth is routinely done today. But the fault is multi-faceted.

carlaforyou said...

i think lauren was what they called a breach? when they're feet-first. happened to my sister with.. one of her babies. she has four; i can't keep track.

this is a beautiful blog post. okay that sounds weird. but seriously, very informative and interesting, especially since i'm both looking forward to having kids and horrifically afraid of the process. it's true how trained we are to think of doctors and hospitals as being the only smart option.. scary. midwives need more love.

made a half-assed attempt at a LDR before but... no. not for me. i'm really glad you and alex are doing so well. kind of a bittersweet topic for me as i'm studying abroad and of course kind of have a guy thing and leaving in a month but life goes on.

i really love your blog, by the way. i should start commenting more.

Stefan said...

It's so weird because I never knew any of this stuff till I saw Pregnant in America like a year ago. I think that's what you saw in class.

Conversely my wife doesn't want to hear any of. She will not watch the movie, will not listen to anything I have to say about it.

it is all about options and I certainly don't want to force her to do anything she doesn't want to do but I do wish she knew the other options.

any one have any good ideas on how I can convince one of the most stubborn people in the world to just learn a bit more about childbirth?

Gwen Felton said...

I completely agree! When I heard people were actually scheduing C-sections, I couldn't believe it! That seems like the stupidest thing to do and only because it's convenient for the mother and the doctor. My doctor tried to get me to schedule my daughter's birth in general. I was literally appalled at the fact that she was even asking me. Is that really the doctor's place to attempt to get me to have my daughter earlier than I want to? Much less earlier than my daughter even wanted to arrive into the world.

I definitely think C-Sections should only be for real emergencies.

omgitsannie said...

My brother and his ex were in a long term relationship - not on separate continents or anything, we live in Wales and she lived in England, but still. They met on Holiday in Greece, and then just continued dating when they got home. He was in Uni in England at the time so got to drive to see her on weekends, and after he graduated she occasionally came down to stay with us - twice a year, or so. After three years of dating he moved into her parent's house and they were starting to look for a house of their own, but then she broke up with him.

alyssadarrling said...

Well my boyfriend and i met because of the nerdfighters ning actually. we used to talk on there alot but its not like i liked him or anything, it was just another nerdfighter i talked to. then we went a long time without talking and i found this youtube collab called "ExoticTofu" (i found the link from the ning also) and thought it was really entertaining, especially because of the incredibly cute boy who was monday (i didnt realize he was the same person i talked to on the ning so much). and i became friends with him and all the girls in the collab and eventually Simon (the boy, monday) and I liked eachother and decided it was worth it to start dating, because we couldn't be with anyone else anyways, even though it would be easier.
I live in Orlando, Florida and he lives in Aalborg, Denmark. But i get to go visit him this summer (i think) which will be amazing :) then he's coming here next spring break to see me and for the harry potter park (which should be open around that time)

yep. thats us. and it's so worth it.

VicMorrowsGhost said...

"Midwifes are trained in birth, doctors are trained in surgery."

The reason this statement is good is the same reason it's bad. Simply, what if you need surgery?

Most women don't need it but many do. Too many woman probably do get c-sections. While there are a number of negative effects in many cases it's required and if it is, it's required quickly.

It just seems like such a risk.
Ideally your hospital would have a relaxed, well appointed birthing center attended by midwifes. But because it's part of a hospital you have access to a obstetrician if there is a complication.

Leesa said...

Not all "doctors" are surgeons. Also, some of the premises you make seem to be counter with what I know. Recovering from a C-section is longer, so if we are talking about $$$, it is in the hospital's best interest to have a vaginal birth and free up the room sooner for another paying customer (billing after the first day - mostly perdiem - is not that much).

A good friend of mine had a doula, and that experience was a NIGHTMARE. I have heard good things about midwives (they are licensed independed practitioners). Doulas get certifications, but they range from great to sucky.

Hospitals try and avoid C-sections (some doctors prefer them, though). You can always ask your OB-GYN the percentage of C-sections in a given timeframe (they track this stuff).

Bottom line is that your own healthcare provider is the most important person to chose. Your advice seemed simplistic.

A friend of mine sat on a birthing ball with a doula in the room. She was not progressing as she should, and the doula was useless. There finally needed to be a C-section.

The C-section rate should be about 10% or so to be deemed good, but it is too high. Some women ask for C-sections, and some women, once they have a C-section, are not offered VBAC.

I wish the C-section rate were lower, but you can't blame hospitals alone. And with healthcare, there are several "players". Hospital Admin, the licensed providers (doctors, midwives), and the insurance companies.

nenalyzed said...

wow, I've never thought about all of this before... I don't live in the US, but I think it is kind of similar in Belgium as well... Well, probably not the figures and stuff, but I don't think it's that different. I do think it's very important that women are informed about the different possibilities.
I thought it was really interesting to read.

About the other subject: I've never had a LDR relation ship, so I don't know anything about it, except for the fact that I don't know why it shouldn't work. Of course it's harder then a 'regular' relationship, but if you really love/like each other, then everything will be alright.
I think it's quite a good idea to have a relationship, it gives you freedom, which is always nice. And not to forget: modern technology makes you feel way more close then it used to be. Instead of waiting two weeks for a letter, you can just skype/email/facebook/instant message/...

Nicola said...

Hi =) I told you about my LDR on the ning before.. basically, I met him through his friend who I met on a message board. I live in Scotland, he lives in California. We started talking online 5 years ago this summer, and we've been together for 3 years & five months now (we count from when we first met). Last year I lived in California on exchange. We were still 250 miles apart but it was probably the easiest time for us - right now we see each other every 2or 3 months. We don't have a long-term plan as yet, what with visas and everything, but it's worth it and I can't see us giving up any time soon.

Sarah Arant said...

I just ended my long distance relationship, but it wasn't because of distance, just where I am in life right now. So I can still give you the story.

I met him in 2004 when our families were adopting our younger sisters from China. We traveled with our families and actually spoke for the first time in the LA airport. When the trip ended, we talked on AIM a lot and emailed frequently. We ended up seeing each other once a year, and he apparently liked me from the beginning. For nearly 3 years we liked each other off and on, but never committed to anything. Last winter we decided to actually give a relationship a try, and it was great. I just have too much going on right now to handle any relationship, so we're just friends now.
He lives in Wisconsin and I live in North Carolina, and we handled the 1000 mile distance for 3 years without many issues.

emmet the allisonian said...

i'm totally with you on the babies-should-be-born-in-less-insane-circumstances-more-often thing.

but i do see this issue advancing in a positive way. i was born at home with a midwife in 1986. that midwife left the practice of midwifery soon after, because at that time, canadian law was very unfriendly towards homebirths, and midwives were often persecuted and had a really difficult time practicing.

things seem to be much better now, at least where i am. the midwives i know now are able to practice with much less interference, and when i was in the process of applying to post-secondary institutions, i noticed that a lot of schools were now offering midwifery programs, and there seemed to be a lot of encouragement for people to enter this field. biology freaks me out, so i didn't apply to any of those programs, but it was heartening to see nonetheless.

also: in 1986, homebirthed babies like me used to get these wacky birth certificates that were completely different from those given to people born in hospitals. until i got mine replaced with a regular birth certificate about a year and a half ago, it used to take a disproportionately long time for me to conduct certain official transactions like opening a bank account, getting a passport, crossing the border (or, hey, getting into a bar), because quite often people were reluctant to recognise my birth certificate as "real". i'm not laying blame on those individuals who gave me trouble specifically, because it's not their fault the government decided i needed to be marked as suspicious and weird and give me a document that very few people would have seen before and be able to identify as legit. annnyhow, long story short, i gather they don't do that any more. (although if they did, i think they'd find those documents becoming more and more common.)

so: there are getting to be fewer and fewer reasons for women/families to choose scary, effed up hospital birth over a birthing centre or homebirth. and this makes me happy.

pele-amelika said...

As for LDR, I've been in two. The first one started in the latter half of my senior year in high school where I went to college and he was 30-40 miles away in his senior year. That ended 2.5 years later, but it was a good thing because we just weren't old enough and wanted to do different things (though I didn't see it that way at the time).

The one I'm in now, I met David at Prophecy2007 when we were random roommates, although we didn't start dating until last year. He lives in Sheffield, UK and I live in Washington D.C. Because I have a good-paying job, I've been able to see him 3 times in the last 6 months and he's come over once as well. This one wasn't as hard as the first because we started out long-distance, rather than seeing each other every day to going long distance.

I wish you and Alex well!

lvly-raindrops said...

I don't think it's wrong or stupid or anything to use a midwife, and I agree with you that natural birth is preferable to a C section. But I don't think it's safe for all women to have their babies at home either. What if something DOES go wrong? Midwives are not equipped to deal with some emergency situations at the mother's home.

I saw on television (Discovery Health, I think) a show about a birth center at the top of a hospital. That sounds like an ideal situation to me. You get the more natural birth and you are at a hospital in case something goes badly wrong.

I really enjoy reading your blog. Have a good day!

Maura; said...

My mama had me in a hospital and after that, she pretty much said NEVER AGAIN and had my three siblings at home with the help of midwives (we live in the UK)
Since forever, she's told me that giving birth on your back is pretty much the worst thing you can do. Whenever she sees any films or whatever with women giving birth on their back, she gets stressed out simply cause it's what people will expect to do and it's not right.
So yeah I liked your blog cause it was easy to read and explained stuff I didn't know, even with my mama spawning ridiculous amounts of children (well, in my eyes :P)

Laura said...

What an interesting blog post! This class really sounds like something keeping you thinking about it and something that will be useful in the future.

I'm pretty sure my mom used a midwife when I was born - but also a doctor because, well, I was apparently awfully comfortable and didn't want to come out for 63 (!!!) hours of labor. But, I agree with you completely that our entire medical system - births included - is backwards and needs to be examined.

Have fun gathering the LDR stories!

Believing_Be said...

My boyfriend and I met in our 11th grade AP English class (which actually says a quite a bit about us. Hehe). It was a bit of a Pride and Prejudice story, really. He was infatuated with me from the get-go (who knows why! :P) and I felt threatened by him because he was much more likely to be the teacher's pet than I simply because he was more outgoing and charming. Something clicked eventually and I fell head over heels, too. We finished out high school together and are now closing up our first year in a long distance relationship at rival colleges. Haha. Life is a funny thing. :)

Thank you for your perspective on childbirth, as well! I'd never really thought about it. We really are conditioned to just automatically go to the hospital to give birth here in the U.S. I honestly had never even [i]thought[/i] about a homebirth. Every time I ever thought about giving birth, I always immediately pictured a hospital room. I'm praying I won't ever need a caesarian though. Yeech.

Bianca23 said...

I agree with what you've said a full 100%.

Where I live (the Netherlands) it's normal to deliver your baby at home. Only when there are complications, you give birth to your baby in the hospital, otherwise you just do it at home. I really like that, being in your own comfortable home. It's good that the US people know their options and that they can decide where they want to have their babies. This was really a great blog!

Melody said...

1. I already had my negative feelings towards hospital births. Thanks for sharing all that information, all the more reasons to get a midwife instead. You made some good points.

2. Whenever I mention my LDR on YouTube or something, it brings in a flood of people explaining how they are in one too. That's why I created ldlove.ning.com. It's fun to hear other stories, it's more common than you'd think! I believe that people don't know it's so common because it has such a bad reputation in movies and stuff. People say things like, "I've known someone in a LDR and it didn't work out!" but they don't realize that we all know a bunch of people in SHORT distance relationships that don't work out. Same thing. Blah!
Ok I might as well share my story then.

Isaac (England) found me (Oregon) on YouTube in 2006 and started sending me little messages here and there. At first, I pretty much ignored him. He was just like any other person messaging me, right? The only thing is, he never praised me for how "good my videos are" or complimented the way I looked, he just talked. I soon started communicating with him. This led to messages every day and then IMing, Skyping, all that. By June 2007 it had morphed into something more than friendship. We didn't meet in person until February 2008 for two weeks and then again in September for a month. That's when he proposed at the Oregon coast. :) We won't see each other again until all our K1 Visa process is through and he comes for our wedding in about 2010. Long wait, I know. We'll make it.

Laura! said...

This was the most educational thing I have read in a long time. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I really, really hate that C-sections are "trendy," and I know that if/when I give birth, I will definitely consider a home birth.

Jessie Quinn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pansy said...

Oh I'm so glad you made this post- I've been on the midwife side of things for AGES. I wish more women would actually check out their options before going straight to the hospital, just to see what will be best them personally.

brookerochelle said...

I actually have a story about c-sections.

BACKSTORY: My grandmother had a c-section with my uncle (who is the first born) because he was coming out the wrong way and they couldn't turn him around. When my mom (and then, later, aunt) was born, my grandmother chose to have a c-section again.

REAL STORY: two summers ago I was at my grandmother's house for a month (she lives about 4 hours away) and about half way through that month she had a really bad stomach ache. She had always had stomach aches, especially when she ate anything fruity, but this one was really bad. So we took her to the doctor and they told her she had to have surgrey to correct something. Some of the scar tissue from my mom's c-section wrapped around her stomach and was slowly squishing it. She was in the hospital for a week and couldn't eat anything but ice.... yeah, i don't really have any way to end this story, other than she's alright now and she doesn't have any stomach problems because of fruity stuff. :)

gumog: a person that doesn't share their gum; a gum hog.

J. Gray said...

I had an amazing hospital birth. I was initially terrified of course but it turned out to be the best day of my life! I needed to be at a hospital for my own peace of mind as too many of my friends had emergency c-sections. And my doctor was amazing.

My best friends sons cord came out of her and was pinched, they had literally seconds, the nurse was holding the cord (gross I know) as they rushed her away. One second he was fine and all of a sudden his little life was in jeopardy. She'd had two natural hospital births prior.

My other best friend had a hospital birth and she waited two days in labor because she wanted a natural birth so bad, it wouldn't happen, they tried everything.

I've even had a friend who's baby didn't make it through labor and she delivered her still born. Omg, seriously, beautiful 9lb baby girl.

These are just a few of my friends horror stories. I just wanted my baby to be okay, if it meant possible unnecessary surgery that was fine with me. I just wanted my baby to be safe. Ultimately I didn't need one, everything went really well, unbelievably well actually.

I am glad that women are having more of a voice about their birthing experience and I really hope they do have actual birthing centers at hospitals just in case something goes terribly wrong. As a mother, I can't even think of not having my little girl in my life.

Elizabeth... said...

I love the way you describe things, I can feel your passion for what you are telling us.
Natural and midwife centred births make so much more logical sense as long as there is the option for help in an emergency everything should take (in my mind) the slower route.

Poive - like pepper but not.

Al said...

I really liked your post today. You gave this information in a really interesting way.

I'm in a LDR and I met my girlfriend almost 3 years ago. We met through a community online and became super close through skype and text messaging, things like that. We were best friends for a really long time and we always flirted with each other but I was in another relationship so the timing wasn't right.
I ended that relationship almost a year ago and I've been with my girlfriend now for almost 8 months.
She's in Michigan and I'm in Kansas so it gets tough (but luckily we're both in the same country. thank god) but we've been in love with each other for years so it's worth it.

Shawn Marie said...

I'm de-lurking to tell you my long-distance relationship story. =-)

He and I are actually from the same area, but we never dated while we both lived there. We met at the local Wal-Mart, where we both worked. After high school, he joined the Air Force. We kept in touch and stayed friends for another 2 years. Then, one time when he was home visiting, he kissed me, and that's how it started.

We were 800 miles apart during that part of the relationship. We communicated via text messaging, telephone, IM, and webcams. We saw each other in person every 2 or 3 months. It was ridiculously hard, but completely worth it. We've been married almost 3 years now, so I guess you could call us a long-distance relationship success story! =-)

impossible-things.com said...

This was a very interesting entry to read, because I'll be the first to admit that I know little to nothing about childbirth. But I have always had the opinion of preferring a natural birth to a C-section--that just seems so unnecessary for something that has been happening on its own since the beginning of time.

My mom had a C-section with my sister, the oldest of us children, because she was breech, but when it came time to have my brother, my mom wanted to give birth naturally (as the C-section had been done out of "necessity", not choice).

She had to search for a long time to find a doctor that would agree to deliver my brother naturally, as I guess most doctors are afraid of doing that after a woman has had a C-section previously, for a mess of reasons. Eventually she did find one though and delivered my brother fine (and he was a fat baby--the doctor said if he had known how big he was going to be, he never would have agreed to it). And she delivered me fine, too.

You're right--people do make it a very medical, precise science when sometimes they should just let Mother Nature do her thing.

When I think of birthing centers I think of the Rugrats Movie for some reason, haha! I haven't thought of that show in forever...

hayleyghoover said...

I'm completely obsessed with pregnancy, as I've told you before. I've always considered going to a designated birthing suite, because it's healthier than doing it at home and more of an experience than doing it at a hospital.

One upon a time, I received a video response about Harry Potter from a nerdy new youtuber. I don't know what it was that intrigued me, since the video itself was nothing hugely entertaining or anything, but I had a weird feeling upon viewing that I would end up knowing the guy. A little while later, he posted a couple of responses to 5AG videos, and I realized that he was REALLY CUTE and REALLY INTERESTING. Like a creep I looked up his username on facebook, got his skype name, and we started talking. I felt an instant connection... and at the risk of sounding like a Miley Cyrus lyric, I felt like I knew him in another life or something. Everything he said mattered to me so much more than it should have. We talked on skype, and then we flirted on skype, and then we flirted in text messages, and then on the phone, and then one day I got drunk and said "I like you." Soon thereafter he got high and said "I love you." The intoxication should have been a clue.

He visited me last summer, and I've never in my life *felt* so much. I was utterly and unabashedly in love with him. The level of intimacy between us was intense, and I could think of absolutely nothing, ever, but how much I loved him.

But we fought a lot. Like... more than anyone ever, ever, ever should. Said some awful things, did some awful things. We broke up a few times for stupid reasons. And yet somehow I never thought we were REALLY broken up. Always in relationship purgatory; like being broken up was some silly game we'd get tired of eventually.

Then a whole bundle of drama occurred, including his saving my life, my hating him with a firey passion, his 'talking' to another (much prettier and thinner and saner) girl, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Of course, you knew all that. But it feels good to get it out.

Chirstina Lee said...

I was a c-section baby. It's a LONG story.

calitty- a callous baby
(or cruel/evil baby)

Tesni said...

I was born at home :)

LDR story:
My best friend moved to Cornwall and I visited a lot, and got to know Josh, and we clicked. That's the shortened version (gets rather complicated!). I live in Bath- thats 4 hours away, but I'm at university 8 hours away so its almost the same as you and alex, but still the same country. Difficult to be apart, but sseeing him this weekend for the first time in a 5 weeks so I'm HAPPY!

angellizzie said...

I was a csection. The only reason I would like to have my baby in a hospital is fear of something going wrong. I'm scared we wouldn't make it to the hospital on time or they wouldn't catch if something was wrong.

My mom had to have a cesection for me and my sister and my sister probably should have for her son being that she almost died giving birth to him.

So my genes aren't great.

Really great job though. I see your perspective.

RebeccaInTheTARDIS said...

Brilliant blog. When we were learning about child birth in science a few years ago, we had to wach a video of a baby being born. The woman who's baby it was ecided to have the baby at home, and the voiceover man said that it is unusual for that to happen for the 1st baby, as if it wasn't as safe ect. I think they should change the way they teach us about childbirth , because going to the hospital is probably the most common thing, because not everyone knows what other options there are.

Faith said...

I realize I might contradict myself in the following comment. Don't hate me; My dad's a doctor and my mom's a nurse. I also have an aunt who is a nurse in the delivery section of a hospital.

Anyway, I was born by C Section myself, and that was after a 36 our labor. My mom had the choice of a C- section or... I can't remember the name, but my mom said they were like salad tongs, basically. So her choices were a) go through who knows how many more hours of labor, b) give birth to a bruised baby because salad tongs were being used for delivery, or c) have a C-section. She chose the C- section. (Mom did say that C sections do have longer recovery time and she had some other post- op side affects that I would rather not have)

2) Doctors today are trained in childbirth, and many doctors do deliver their own children.

I do think natural births are good, and C- sections should be used in emergency situations only. However, in America, women are used to the "General Hospital" way of birth. A good compromise would to have midwifes in hospitals. I'm glad a birthing class is teaching this, by the way.

rustandthestardust said...

i met him in new york city when i was fifteen. we were attending the same summer camp. he was from new york and i was from portland. we would sit against brick walls complaining about the heat together, sometimes holding hands. after i went home i would call him all the time and pretend not to care when he spoke of kissing girls with purple hair. a year passed and i dropped out of high school and flew to new york: met his mother, kissed him in his childhood bed. he started college in minnesota and i started college in portland and we began to spend borrowed money on plane tickets. now it has been a lot of years. we see each other every month and are about to graduate and get married. it was all an accident, really.

i agree with you about childbirth.

Nicholas said...

Goodness gracious, so many comments...

let's just say that my LDR did not work out, BUT I think it was mainly because we were much too different and not because of the distance. Love makes you blind to differences... at least in the beginning.

lanna-lovely said...

I live in Scotland, there's a maternity hospital where I live and as far as I know it's nurses and midwives that are in charge there - everyone I know that has had a baby has had their baby there (except for a lot of my family, me included, who were born at the maternity hospital in Glasgow instead) and had a midwife present, they're not seen as old fashioned or anything here, maybe it's just different in America. :]

Word: Donesk -
The act of mumbling an answer incoherently under your breath (often done when embarressed or ashamed of the answer or you're just too tired or hungover to speak properly)
Pronounced like "don't ask" all run together.

A said...

Your opinion on childbirth is interesting. I've never thought of another option to the "normal," and while I do feel like some of what you said is a bit extreme, you are very devoted to what you talk about and that makes it worth reading.

Laytune: Singing about being late.

Callidora said...

Unstag: One who has a date to prom.

Hakeber said...

Good bananas/bad bananas: when someone says "this shit is bananas," a way to designate whether it is a good kind of crazy or a bad crazy.

Example: "OMG THE ALL CAPS BAND! THIS IS GOOD BANANAS!" or "I bought my shower curtain less than a month ago and my cat has ripped it to shreds with her claws already. This is bad bananas."

hfm said...

I am so glad you shared all this baby info with us- I read so much of it out to my sister [she's done Biology at uni and didn't know half the stuff you said].
I told my [guy] best mate about the hormone released at the time of birth and he said, 'Yeah, I have that for breakfast!'

Silly lads.

hfm said...

bitchy whore: BORE.

Oh wait.

alexis julian. said...

I met my boyfriend of five and a half years on Inklink, which is essentially online pictionary. We're headed towards marriage and have obviously met and see each other every 3-6 months.

Lisa said...

Every time I think about childbirth, it makes me want to have children less and less.

I heard somewhere that King Louis whatever the number liked to watch his subjects give birth and suggested that the mother be lying down so he could see it better, and the midwives found it more convenient than squatting. All about convenience, like you said.

I'd rather give birth to my kids (if I ever have any), in a hospital, however, because they have epidurals. Yay!

falletron said...

I don't really want to jinx my proto-LDR since I'm not actually IN it yet...but I'll tell you we met five years ago on an online text-based RPG (Nerdfighters, HOOHAH!). We kept in sporadic correspondence since then, but it ramped up over the past year, so we're finally meeting over the summer, and seeing where things go!

Wow, I knew almost none of that about birthing. Just imagine if you'd stuck with the Japanese class :P

sophie said...

I was a c-section baby becasue of a serious medical issue my mother had and I would have most likely have died in a natural birth.

So guess I appreciate the option.

But I do get your point about midwives and doctors.
When I decide to have children (well, IF i decide to have children), I want to know all the options, not just the most popular.

Tenley Nadine said...

I'd love to launch into a detailed story about my relationship, but it just started so theres not much to be said yet.

However, I will say that we met on the ning. Basically, we both were commenting on the same forums and such and eventually we started messaging each other. From there we found each other on other sites and we started talking more and more.
So yeah, for now thats about it. I kind of wish this project would have started in a month or two so I could contribute more, oh well.

Sarah said...

Interesting thoughts! There is a midwifery course at my university. I realize I'm making huge stereotypes/generalizations here, but I love midwives - I've met a bunch of the first years through classes etc and they are just the nicest, sweetest people I know. I do love the idea of midwifery too, and its values and principles. I worry about the whole potential for having a high-risk birth and being unable to get help issue though...I wonder what happens in that case?

Manted - past tense. Ranting about your long-distance boyfriend and how you wish he was closer. E.g. "Oh I manted all night - I can't believe it's six more days until I see him!"

Kailyn said...

LDR ftw. Really.
Storytime. :) Met my boyfriend of nearly 6 months over a year and a half ago on a Star Wars fan forum. He and I are about 1600 miles apart. I live in a fairly small town, the kind where you marry your high school sweetheart and never leave. So when I tell people my boyfriend lives 1600 miles away, they are quick to judge. On top of that, when I tell them I've not actually had the joy of meeting my boyfriend face to face yet, I get the looks of shock and surprise.

Sadly, in my town we have an extremely high rate of teen pregnancies, so to many couples in my town, physicality is obviously very necessary. I explain that my boyfriend and I are planning to meet up this summer, they are shocked that I can be in a deep emotional relationship with someone I've never met, let alone touched.

We're happy though, and I've learned to block out the negativity.

In many ways, we are polar opposites. I'm an English/History person, he's majoring in Math, Physics, and Chemistry. Oh, the nerdfighterlike abounds! I prefer cold weather, he's grown up in California and loves it. I love cats, he likes dogs. We both are exceedingly stubborn though.

We've got a long road ahead of us, and we know it'll take some effort. We're going to make it work though. :)

Kudos Tina, you and Alex both are an inspiration.

Molly said...

I wished more people knew this, too. The class you're taking sounds so interesting!

I watched "The Business of Being Born" and it goes over pretty much everything you just said. It definitely pushed my inkling of wanting to have a home birth to 100% positive.

Ovensi (adjective): awaiting an act or instance of being born, pertaining to a bun in the oven. "The ovensi baby was eager to explore the world."

Vuraaa said...

this was really interesting. it's practically a part of our culture now to have babies in hospitals, people probably don't even realize there are alternatives. it doesn't surprise me that the main reason behind hospital births being more common is simply people not bothering to learn more about natural childbirth. people rarely bother to learn more about ANYTHING.

euphonious said...

Aw! My word was used! :D

Let's see, abridged version of how my boyfriend and I met:

My best friend moved to London to study Philosophy. I visited every so often, and kept in touch with him. He found a group of philosophy-course friends and I was introduced into the group. The last time I went to London, I ended up staying up until five am with my LDR boy, because one of the flatmate's I was staying with had loud friends and they were drinking. I introduced him to slam poetry and randomly amazing music. A few days later, he took me on the London Eye, and took me out to have dinner at Bricklane. :)

And he's going to be at my house on Friday, and we're going to be inseparable! :D

As for the birthing: I was going to be born about 15 weeks early, so my mom was on bedrest in the hospital with me until the time I was supposed to be due. When she went into labor with me, I was breach, and my mom had cervical cancer in early stages, so I was delivered C-section.

Captcha's make me laugh:

Squori: A story concerning a squirrel.

I love reading your blog. :)

lovethetube said...

My mum had all her kids naturally, she had me in a hospital, possibly my siblings also but i'm not entirely sure. Anyway, I could be wrong but I don't think the c-section rates are as high in the UK? When you go into a hospital to give birth here i think quite often you still have midwifes instead of a doctor and then if there is a problem.

Secondly, why is there a symbol for disabled next to the word verification box? Somehow that doesn't seem right....

Word: ilinaes

parselmouth for childbirth Julia Nunes is awesome!

I know that is a really unrelated definition, but I just downloaded Julia Nunes and love her music, secondly i'm hoping to score brownie points for the whole parselmouth thing :)

erin meagan said...

This is a FABULOUS post! I learnt a lot! Thank you Kristina!

delightfully mediocre said...

This is a really interesting post, thanks for putting so much time into it. Lots to think about.

I'm in a long-distance relationship, but I'm not sure I can help you because we didn't start that way. I've known The Boyfriend since Freshman year of high school (we're both now in our mid-twenties) and three years ago we re-connected in our hometown after long stints in other cities for each of us. We just ran into each other randomly at a restaurant neither one of us ever goes to... since we don't live in our hometown. It was serendipidy/fate/luck/awesome - whatever word you want to use. We live three hours apart which is nothing compared to lots of people, though it does take a commitment and some money to see each other, usually once a month or so. This weekend, yay. :)

Emma said...

This was a really interesting blog entry... I was actually born in the same house that I still live in now. Before we remodeled our house, my bedroom was the same room I was born in. I've never really thought about how weird it is to have a baby at the hospital, but after reading your blog entry it just seems sort of ick. I hate hospitals, why would I want to have my baby there?

Haley said...

Did you by any chance happen to watch "The Business of Being Born" in class? It's a documentary about natural childbirth that is fantastic and hits practically every point you talked about. Also, on netflix.

sushixpack said...

Thank you for discussing natural birth. It really does make so much more sense to have your child the way that the child is SUPPOSED to be born. Complications are one thing, but like you said, skipping to a C-section just to "make things easier" is ridiculous.

ohmyrainingducks said...

(you have a great POV)

I met my boyfriend through my best friend. (He's my best friend's cousin.) I was at her house and there he was, on the couch playing Kingdom Hearts II, screaming at the television because he couldn't get past the Tron world. He got so irritated that he threw the control, and it hit me. He then apologized for what seemed, many many years. I immediately liked him. The only problem was he lives in the Bronx, and i live in New Jersey. Since he's cousins with my best friend, he came to her house only on weekends. After that, i came to my best friend's house every weekend to more or less to see him, and help him beat Kingdom Hearts II. In those days we spent together, we found we had many things in common, love for Dragonball Z, Pokemon, Naruto, Kingdom Hearts, FF, and had the same witty sense of humor. After a year and a half of play-fights, phone calls lasting till 5 in the morning, i.ms, my "like" for him developed into something deeper. I knew it was love, but i seriously doubted he felt the same way. On 07.07.07 (on the phone) he told me he loves me. It was the happiest/ shocking-est day of my life. Thirteen days later we became a couple (he wanted to wait until we were together to ask me) A month later we had our first hand-holding, three days later we had our first kiss. We've been together for a year and nine months.
That was really long, but i can't shorten it. You might think the Bronx and New Jersey isn't that far, but it is to us. Sometimes we don't see each other for months. We basically live on phone calls, and emails.
Actually, i miss him right now, so i'm gonna go text him.
G'night Kristina (:

Manda said...

Oh wow... 65 comments! You popular woman!

On the topic of babies: my friend Amy was in labour and the doctor told her that the baby wasn't coming. He said that she was wrong... 15 minutes later Mia was born. I wanted to kick that Doctor in the nuts. As if the woman with the baby pushing down her cervix doesn't know whether her baby is coming or not?

Julianne said...

So I normally don't comment, but I thought I would tell you my LDR story.

My boyfriend and I met and became friends in High School and then went to the same college as one another. We both started taking a romantic interest in one another around our junior year of college, but the timing never was quite right and then we kind of lost touch for a year and a half.

Then one semester we happened to be in a class together and reconnected. This time the timing in our personal life was right only he was graduating and moving to Arkansas (9 hours away). We basically decided this was too long coming and our connection was too strong to not try. We dated for about 2 months and then he moved away. Now we try to see each other at least once every 2 months. We will both most likely relocate when I graduate in December, based on where I get a job he will try to take a position in a branch of his company located near by.

It's all about a willingness to compromise and to make time for each other when you can.

Good Luck!!

Ellie said...

I was almost a c-section baby because I got part way out and then stopped so I guess I was suffocating or something. Just before they took my mom off to surgery this nurse tied a sheet around my mom's stomach and kept tightening until I popped out.

Kelsey said...

I have some friends who are really gung ho about home birth and such, but your the first person who has made a well founded argument. I'm not really sure where I stand on the debate, i'm not really into thinking about children just yet. The one thing i totally agree with though is the lying down thing, it just doesn't make sense, plus if you're standing up you've got the whole gravity thing working for you, my aunt gave birth like that, but in a hospital, she had to ask for that sort of procedure though. She also heavily involved a doula in the process.
thanks for the informative post.

Jillian said...

I'm a tad offended by this post as I am in training to be a doctor now. Doctors aren't only trained in surgery; they're trained in everything having to do with caring for humans bodies. An obstetrician is, like the midwife, trained exactly in childbirth also. Are you insinuating that they just all have the surgery buzz and they do childbirth on the side without knowing exactly how?? No. They are specially trained in childbirth.

It's safer to have a child in a hospital because it's a sterile environment and in case something goes wrong they have everything they could possibly need to fix it. There's a reason that infants and their mothers survive at an astronomically higher rate than they did back in the old times when midwives were the only option.

Perhaps I'm a tad biased and I know that probably half of the doctors out there just do it for the money, but it's not always the case and you assuming that the doctor never gives a shit about the patient is extremely cynical.

noCsallowed said...

Wow. This stuff is really interesting. I'm completely rethinking everything I thought about childbirth. I'd love to know more when you learn more! :-)

Question: What about hospitals that are "for women"? I was born at Woman's Hospital, a hospital specializing in childbirth, breast cancer, gynecology, etc. You know, female health issues. It's still a hospital, but surely it's at least a little better than a general hospital?

Robynne said...

It's scary to think of Alan almost dying before he was born. I can't remember who it was, but I know one of my friends was like that. She was born blue...

In the past 2 years, my sister has had two sons and my pastor's wife has had a daughter. All of those were induced. None of them really had problems with the baby, but the babies were far enough past their due dates that the doctors wanted them to be born, already. They were horrible experiences for the mothers. They almost did a C-Section for my sister's first kid after a while of trying to induce, but she wouldn't let them.
The part about being on your back is something I didn't know. Maybe I'll get a midwife or go to a birthing center if I ever have kids. My mom had at least one of us kids in a birthing center...

Brynne Annaƫ said...

My mom had midwives with two of her four children (my two youngest brothers) and the last was a home birth, so I've heard the whole schpiel before - but it's nice to hear it coming from someone other than her. :)

Joy said...

In September of last year, I was taking in my daily amount of roleplay on Gaia Online. When I came across this guy who was talking about Joe Strummer, who just happens to be an interest of mine. We sparked up a conversation that lead to many different things. We exchanged information, such as AIM screen names and cell phone numbers. (Sounds dangerous but I felt unusually trustworthy towards this guy) In mid-January we became an official couple after many nights of flirting and getting closer. He's from Virginia and I'm in Wisconsin. We just survived him being in Air Force basic training and not being able to speak to each other for two months. And now he goes to school in California, so our distance will remain for a while and our love will only get stronger.

Oceansurferg said...

My mother didn't have a cesarean, but her labor was induced because of high blood pressure. I always believed that I'd want to give birth in my house, because it's more convenient for me in the end.

emprols: an emperors roles.

shakethedust said...

I was cesarean, but I was a breech baby (feet first) and a little bit dead, so I had to be cut out. I have met a lot of people who were born this way, all due to breech.

To answer to Lauren (and anyone wondering) as to why her sisters were also cesarean: usually if the first baby is cesarean, they recommend cesarean for any births following. I'm not 100% sure why, but I think it's something to do with scar tissue from the first cesarean making natural childbirth more difficult and risky afterward--hemorrhaging is a higher risk. I just know that was the case with my nephews,first baby being breech.

Also, I think in hospitals today they have tables in which you sit upright in and give birth--like a, uh, toilet--because it's easier. Mind you, I agree with you on having a midwife or going to a woman's center, but I just thought I'd point that out. :)

[morgan.] said...

I had a URL LDR for about two years from the time I was 15-17. (I'm 19 now.) I met my "boyfriend" on an online forum for one of our favorite bands at the time (which, ironically, neither of us listen to anymore). During our time "together" I never met him. That was one of the reasons we broke up. It was difficult to maintain a relationship like that without any physical contact. This year, during my first semester of college, I drove the 200 miles to finally meet him. We officially dated again for a few months after that but I broke it off because my perception and knowledge of him changed after I met him. That perception change wasn't a bad thing and didn't affect our friendship. In fact, he's probably one of two people I can call my best friends. We call each other frequently (3 hour conversations are the norm), text each other almost every day, and talk online a lot as well.

Corinne said...

1. I met my boyfriend in Italy, where we were both working. We were friends pretty much from the start. Two months later, we got together. In the beginning I was afraid what would happen when we both went home (he lives in the UK, I live in Holland), but we´re doing so well! We try to see eachother once a month, but now we have to wait 2 months, because of uni etc. It´s really hard sometimes, but is so worth it in the end. And after the summer we´ll see eachother pretty much every day, because I´m moving over to the UK!

2. I really like what you wrote about childbirth. My siblings and me were all born in the hospital, because of complications or early birth. I love the birth centers you have now, where you get your own room etc, but there are still doctors close if something goes wrong. That´s why I would never give birth at home, just because I´d be afraid something would go wrong.

Aly said...

Really interesting post.

My boyfriend and I aren't really in a long distance relationship, we go to the same college. But during the summer we don't see each other at all or rarely because he lives in NC and I live in CT. Also, I studied abroad in Australia last semester for 5 months and I didn't see him that whole time which was really tough. Yay for Skype!

MegTao said...

All of this midwives being better than doctors for birth makes a lot of sense to me. My one fear if I were to every give birth is what if something were to go wrong. Does the midwife have the C-section option in case of emergency?

catihug: A hug given by a Caterpie.

EmmZ said...

I know that I should be talking about the whole doctor, C-section, midwife thing, but I think that everything posted by you was definitely agreeable (besides for the fact that if you needed a C-section, when you had a natural child birth it would be scary and risky)
So are you saying that it's bad to get your iPod from Walmart? That didn't become clear to me.

Keiko.LeMon said...

I met my boyfriend while I was in school in the UK. We met, and the flirting began then, and a month later we were dating. That was 2.5 years ago. He is in London and I am in the states... and now we are looking into marriage visas. Long story. But yeah thats how we met and where we are potentially going.

And about midwifes. I completely agree that they are the way to go. However I would want to be near a hospital with a goo neo-natal team in case of complications. My little brother was born with bi-lateral pneumonia and spent 12 days in neo-natal ICU and if we had not been there he would have died. But yeah, midwives all the way!

Mallory said...

I completely agree. I told my mum and boy that I'm going to go midwife route a few months back and they both kind of looked at me . . . but my mum gets it, she wants to be a midwife!

Woo-hoo for non-Americanized traditions! :P

God's Rock Angel said...

Third attempt at commenting!

The first time I commented but realised it was stupidly long so decided to blog my response and then give you a link.

Second time I hit close then realised that I got the verification wrong so it hadn't posted.

My comment was stupidly long so wrote a blog post the link is http://rockangel.co.uk/?p=1277 so that you can go and talk a look if you and have the time,

Bel G said...

ok, this is the first time i comment here! you write effusively, and i seriously have no time to read and comment as often as i'd like! but i'm pretty sure you read your comments!

on the whole baby, labor, hospital subject - i think babies should be conceived at hospitals! that doesn't mean women should opt for cesarians, especially because it's not highly recommended... natural labor heals faster, and is healthier for the mother and the baby!

conceive at home equals pain due to lack of anesthesia, and i don't think we'd like that either! or at least, I wouldn't!
plus, hospitals are cleaner, which exclude a myriad of diseases the baby could be exposed to, and that's not me being a neat freak: studies have shown that way less people died on operations when doctors simply started WASHING THEIR HANDS before operating, in the past...

ok, that's sort of it...
congrats on your blog!
have a nice day!

: )

Jessie said...

Omg so many replies on this one!

My boyfriend was my friend since we were 13 but when we were 15 he came out as bisexual so I never saw him that way at all. At the time we lived in Spain but I moved back to England for college. We got really really close over msn and became best friends, regularly telling each other how much we missed and loved each other.

He came over to visit me 6 months ago and when I dropped him off at the airport we kissed.

Oh nostalgia... :P

I thought what you said about the C-sections was fantastic and I've always been of the opinion that I want a home birth when I'm older. Both my sister and I were caesareans (I was emergency, she was planned) and I was 9 when she was born so I saw how long it took my mum to recover.

Births are also easier in a home environment because the women are more relaxed and 50 years ago something like 60% of women had homebirths.

I love your blog Kristina, I'm going to be so sad when BEDA is over :(

Jessie said...

The person above my previous post said this:

"on the whole baby, labor, hospital subject - i think babies should be conceived at hospitals!"

Sorry to name names I know it was probably a mistake but it did make me giggle just because of the unwanted images of er... stuff going on in hospitals


Silly imagination

Word of the day: Sinmagination - A dirty image that appears in your head involuntarily that shouldn't be there (usually happens in church)

nightwingtruhero said...

I was a C-Section baby, as it seems a great deal of your commenters. I'm a twin, and knowing what was to come I tried choking my lesser half...just kidding. We were born early because my umbilical cord was wrapped around my sisters so it was an emergency surgery to save her life.

So I see the necessity of them, but I had no idea how common it was for unnecessary situation. I found your blog very enlightening today about all the other aspects as well. Kudos.

My LDR isn’t that interesting but I’ll tell you anyways. =] I first met my guy years ago as just a friend. Then about a year ago we decided to give it a try. He is a soldier in the US Army stationed in Colorado, and I was going to school in Florida. Anytime he had leave he would visit. In-between we would always call each other and web chat to keep updated. Anyways, it was a good relationship and the uniform was an extreme turn on, but we lived two different lives and our interests started to change. Sometime this month he is being deployed to Afghanistan for a year. We decided that we're still young and it wasn't fair of me to keep holding out with almost no contact for a year when - while there was a very strong attraction - we weren't in love. I guess in the end we just drifted apart, because I couldn't handle it anymore. So you definitely have my respects and best wishes for your relationship.


Anna said...

Hey! This is my first time commenting on your blog, but I comment on your videos all the time. I've even said something about my long distance relationship.

My fiance and I met online (on AIM) when I was in 8th grade and he was in 10th (I lived in NC and he lived in NY). We were in an "online" relationship for 3 years and then we actually met my junior year in high school and it was amazing! We've always known we were meant for each other. Even though we've had our rough patches they've been few and far between and they were usually because of distance, but we've now been together for 9 years and got engaged in Christmas 07. Right now he's living in CA (cause he graduated college and had to get a job out there) and I'm in NC right now finishing up my degree. I'll be moving out there sometime this summer for good, but we've had patches where we've been able to spend mass amounts of time together.

This got kind of long, but there's actually a lot more I could have gone into. Anyway I wish you and Alex mass amounts of luck! I know how difficult it is and it takes REALLY special people to stick through a long distance relationship.

Rivvy said...

This is such a complicated issue....When I had my son, I used a midwife but the actual birth was in a hospital. Hospital birthing wards are not like you see in the movies...all pristine and white. Many of the rooms look like living rooms and are lushly decorated with views, etc. I'm thrilled that I had my son at a hospital because if I hadn't, neither of us would be here. Unforeseen complications are WHY we have babies in hospitals now. So many things can go wrong with births (which is why OB/GYN's have the highest malpractice rate of any specialty) and it's just better to be safe than sorry (or dead).
Natural births are good, and I agree that midwives can sometimes add an extra 'touch' to it, but these things should take place in a hospital setting.
I'd also like to agree with an earlier commenter who said that doctors are trained in birth as well as surgery. As a medical student, I can tell you that those who choose OB/GYN as a specialty are some of the most caring and warm individuals you'll ever meet. It's also a very difficult specialty, both emotionally and knowledge-wise so you can be assured that any doctor who delivers your baby isn't just there to 'get it out.' They're really taken with that miracle each and every time they witness it.

Kylie said...

In case I've missed it, it's entirely possible to have a vaginal birth after a c-section (deemed VBAC); however, there is an increased risk of uterine rupture. However, compared to when most of you were born and today and how the OB/GYN performs the procedure, it's mostly safe to have a natural birth after you have a c-section.

Most women don't choose c-sections. I don't know of anyone who would actually CHOOSE that; however, you're not stuck in bed after birth. I feel so old compared to some of your readers (I'm 30), but I recently gave birth via c-section, and they recommend that as soon as you feel your legs to move around. Granted, you can't lift heavy things (and a baby isn't that heavy), if you're are careful, you aren't stuck in bed unless you've had more complications. ;)

However, there are emotional things that you mentioned that go along with the c-section, mainly the bonding. I didn't get to see my baby until 2 hours after he was born. That was one of the most frustrating times in my life.

As far as giving birth in a hospital setting or using a midwife, I think it's entirely up to the woman who is giving birth. However, things do happen, and I think women get caught up in a 'vision' of how they want their birthing process to go when in reality, it's nothing like they thought it was going to be. We're fortunate that we have choices of how and where we want to give birth in the United States, so always be thankful for that.


C.Mch said...

I completely agree with you.

My mom had me and my other two sisters at home with a midwife in the comfort of her own bed. It is obnoxious how people (because doctors aren't the only one's that want to get the baby out as quick as possible) are so concerned with time. Things need to be done now, Now, NOW!

When i go to have kids, i will have a midwife no matter what.

idyllic said...

My mom always tells me not to get a C-Section. She had to have a C-Section for me because I was born a month too early. Anyway, but she had my sister naturally and said it was the better way to go. I really liked this post, because you're right, we rarely see midwives on tv. The only one I can think of is a Gilmore Girls episode where the midwife was portrayed as a crazed, bra burning feminist. You really opened my mind :D

Anyway, I thought that since I made you that video about LDR, I'd tell you about mine. One of my best friends, who I met on a HP forum(:P) lives in Arkansas, and I go to see her a lot. He lives there, and last summer when I went to be with her, we hung out a lot and kinda hit it off. But then he waited until after I went home to ask me out :P We dated until the end of December when we both knew that the distance got to hard for both of us. We still talk and we're still close, so that's good. First loves usually are. ;)

TarahPaintsDaisies said...

I just want to say thank you SO much for discussing how women have childbirth options taken away from them and they aren't even aware of it. I feel so informed and now I know that when that day comes I'll actually be able to have a natural, totally mellow experience. Not a terrifying nightmare. I mean, childbirth is something you should look forward to, not dread.
So thanks again! :]

itsbenjarmin said...

I don't know if you'll even see this or if it's already been said, but there's a footballer named wayne rooney. He's like really famous and his baby is due around the time he's playing the world cup so his wife is going to have a early cesarean (is that how you spell it?) but yeah she's having it a few weeks early so Wayne can spend time with the baby for his match/s. I don't know about you but I think that's really wrong! You shouldn't just choose a time so it's more suited to your schedule or whatever. But they're bound to be able to 'cause they're celebrities. I was just wondering what you think about it.

acometonitsway said...

I understand where you're coming from, and I understand that you're in a childbirthing class in college, etc., etc., but I find it completely ridiculous to say that doctors are the root of all evil (yes, that is not a direct quote, I understand). Doctors are not shitbags, and they're not just trained in surgery. Surgeons are trained in surgery. Doctors are trained in medicine. A lot of your points I agree with very much, but others I feel are extreme and ridiculous.

Phoenix said...

Is it just me, or don't you think it might be a little better to have the bikini wax before the birth? Or at least not directly after.

Paxomaniac said...

Two epic stories, one post-- I'll try.

I met my girlfriend/now fiancee about 2 years ago on a forum, and I'm going to admit it was for High School Musical. She lives in the Philippines, and I live on the East Coast of the US-- that's about 8,500 miles from one another. We had been best friends first and became boyfriend and girlfriend after being severely cyberstalkingly in love with each other for a little over 3 months. We haven't stood face to face yet, but my parents approve of her and approve of me moving to the Philippines for us to live together. We've been engaged for about 3 months now-- and I intend to propose again as soon as I get off the plane on that summer day. It might seem a little backwards, but I guess nothing is normal with long distance. She refuses to write me a song called Mrs. Paxomaniac though, and therefore I've told her that before she gets the ring, I must get my personalized song.

As for birth stories, I was born 2 months early via C-Section. It wasn't as if my mum really had a choice, the doctor had basically said in the most uncouth way I could imagine to my 27 year old mother "he's just not gonna budge"-- that made me throw up a little. I feel like it was their creative way of masking to my first time mother that her son was in quite a bit of danger as it was and my dad had passed out already I believe. I'm really grateful for my mom being so open to not having a normal first pregnancy, because lord knows I didn't set a good future precedent.

JANE said...

I am Kristina's BIRTH 101: Culture of Birth course instructor. I am graduating from nursing school this week, and have been a practicing doula and aspiring nurse-midwife for years.

Here are some of my comments:

1) "Midwives are trained in childbirth/Doctors in surgery" This was a commonly refuted statement among 'posters'. Here is some clarification, midwives are only trained to work with normal, term, healthy pregnancy and birth, so they see normal, term, healthy pregnancy and birth. Doctors are trained in hospitals, not homes or birthing centers, they are trained to use the revolutionary life-saving equipment and procedures that are available and so they do this--problem is since most women give birth in the hospital (98% in the US) and most women have normal, term, healthy pregnancies and births they are unnecessarily subjected to doctors' interventions. Ask any physician or OB if they've ever seen a totally natural childbirth (no hospital gown, no IV, no fluid bag, no continuous monitors, nothing) they have not.

2) What a wonderful blog that reaches all over the world, notice a trend of birth comments from folks who do not live in the United States? These were almost all stories of midwifery supporters and pro-birth choicers. Hurray England, Scotland, Netherlands, Canada etc.! Americans: take note.

3) Genuine concern for "things going wrong" in the homebirth/midwife scenario. Let me simply eradicate the myth; midwives are trained in childbirth--did we mention that already? Midwives not only are trained in emergency procedures such as active management of postpartum hemorrhage, neonatal resuscitation and care for cord-prolapse etc. but these are extremely rare in the homebirth/midwife scenario because midwives don't sit around waiting for red flag warning signs of impending doom. They pay very close attention to possible pink flags and are typically very conservative practitioners: they will transfer care to the nearest hospital using a siren-screaming ambulance to ensure that nothing not normal occurs outside the hospital doors. Media loves a midwife/homebirth scene gone wrong. Happens everyday with physicians in the hospital (poor outcomes) but it is not shared with the public.

4) Things do happen... with cesareans. One woman told us here a story about her grandmother recently going into hospital for a cesarean-related condition, possibly incompatible with life (thank goodness it was not); decades after her sectioning.

5) Doulas. I am sorry to hear that someone had a negative (choice word was actually 'nightmare') doula experience. Again one bad apple can definitely rot the mentality of the whole apple cohort. But 'bad doula' aside, doulas, or labor coaches are human beings who not only don't bring magic wands with them to labors to avoid interventions but the whole concept of the doula is to empower the woman and her family to advocate for themselves and be in as much control of their health and birth experience as possible. Doulas have no medical training, they are physical, emotional, educational support providers. Also, if there is remotely a personality clash, a successful doula-client relationship will be difficult to achieve, thus a safe, supported, advocate position will be near impossible. Always choose all your providers wisely, best tip ever: use that gut.

6) LDR: my sig-o lives four hours from here. We met at the gym [7th grade gym class in alphabetical seating] and our mutual long lost crush was realized when we were 26 when we finally re-connected through friends. So we continue to travel to each other each weekend, hoping someday one of us will be less tied to our work in these two cities across the state from each other.

Kristina, thanks for sharing your blog with me, keep up the fantastic posts and starting such a heated and riveting discussion on the culture of birth! If my class was actually graded I would give you extra credit. Well done. Take good care.