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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm a fraud

For all I scream and shout, write, draw, create, nudge, urge, educate, beg and plead, I am still helpless. Because what does any of this matter if I am powerless to help those closest to me?

I have two sisters, sisters, who are pregnant and due within just 3 weeks of each other. First baby for each of them. Sister A and sister H. Sister A has been told by her OB that if her baby weighs more than six (SIX!) pounds, she'll "need" a section. Really? Six pounds? Yes, she's short. All of the women in my family are short. Our mother is just 5'1'' and gave birth to seven children who all weighed right around seven pounds. One of our youngest sisters gave birth at just 14 years old to an almost 8 lb baby.

This section will be SO hard on A, too. She doesn't want it. She doesn't even agree with her doctor that it would be necessary if the baby was over six pounds. This is the only ob/gyn she's ever seen though and she's not comfortable changing care providers. Her plan is to go to the hospital and refuse a section. That's exactly what she'll do, too. She'll go into labor completely on her own. She'll labor at home for as long as she feels is necessary, then she'll go to the hospital and say "I don't want a c-section. I'm fine and my baby is fine." Then her (s)care provider will bully my sister. She'll say she's a bad mother. She'll say she's going to kill her baby. She'll say her body can't handle a baby "that big". Then, A will consent to the section because she doesn't want to be a bad mother and she'll cry as they wheel her into the operating room and strap her to the steel table and cut her baby out. Then A will look at this small, perfectly capable of being pushed out, baby and think, "I could have pushed her out. I wanted to push her out."

And I'll be standing right there. Helpless. I know that look on her face. It says, "why didn't you tell me I could do this? Why did you let this happen to me?"

But I can't help her. She won't hear my words. I can't save my sister from the knife. MY. SISTER. She won't listen. I'm a fraud. She won't hear my words. I can't save my sister from the knife.


  1. You're not a fraud--you're just a sister. She doesn't listen to you because you're not her OB. Probably also because she's scared and doesn't want to believe that she is really headed for a C-section. You've done what you can--the rest is up to her.

  2. Hi, I have been reading your blogs for about 3 weeks now. I love them all!!! I just VBACed TWINS at home 4 months ago. My first baby was a C-section, the next 3 hospital VBACs and then the twins. I wish like crazy that I would have had a sister like you who could steer me right back then. Don't give up, and don't feel like a fraud. You are helping other people's sisters. Helping others may hit home with her/them. Or someone ELSE may be able to get through to them. Keep praying for God to change her heart/thoughts/mindset. I've seen God do it before. Keep up your super terriffic work! Oh, I don't have a blog of my own, that's why I show up as anonymous.

  3. I am sorry you are so upset. But none of that has happened yet. How does the OB know she won't be able to push out the baby?

    The good news. If she goes in at night, the Ob will be sleeping and less likely to push a C-section. Ob's are easily distracted.

    You may be suprised. I hope you are suprised. Have her tell the nurse when she goes in what her concerns are. Many times the nurses do have a lot of sway. They have worked with the Dr for years.

    There is a DR at my hospital who likes to do C-section. So I use reverse psychology on him and say "Oh I don't think the baby will fit." He always says "No, I think her pelvis is adequate."

    So who she gets as a nurse will help. Does she want natural child birth? Tell the folks when she goes in what she wants. Where I work we try to accomadate patients who want NCB with a nurse who can be with them her whole shift.

  4. If she wont hear your words would she read them ?.

    Could you put a little booklet together for her so she can make an informed choice ?....

    And if some nurse does say that to her in re:to being a bad mother for refusing the knife, tell her to put it in writing and you'll take it up with the NUM....

  5. Just the same as how I could not save my best friend this past October...we nearly lost our friendship over it...and then to get the phone call that after 30 hours of labor and three hours of pushing that she was being prepped....I almost died inside--for her. Because as much as she did not want to admit (to me, at least) that she absolutely did NOT want a c/s...she made her choices. She was the one who switched from a midwife at a birth center to an OB "who was more conveniently located to home and work"....and in switching stationed herself to deliver her beautiful baby in a hospital with a c/s rate of almost 40% (which, of course is an adjusted rate for multiples and known preemies, gotta love Florida), where they routinely separate moms and babies after births for hours on end, only to be browbeaten by her husband three days postop to send the baby to the nursery so "she can get some rest" and then he calls me to tell me it's all my fault....

    Yeah. I think I know how you feel.

    I'm so sorry that you are going through this. The hardest thing in the world to do is watch the ones we love walk into a pit of lions, and no matter how much we love, teach, rant, rave, scream, cry, pray, meditate....they *have* to learn for themselves. Because that is how they want it.

  6. I am so sorry. I can relate to this helplessness quite well. It has not happened to my own sister, but I fear for her when she starts having children (she's 17).

    There has to be a way to make her listen. Would you feel comfortable linking her to your blog? Or just take her out for lunch and sit with her and really pour your heart out to her? I have hope that she will listen to you as HER SISTER, even though you are not her OB. Please, do something. I know it is hard. But you've got to try.