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Question
Posted by: TV | 2009/11/02

Giving birth with dignity

I have been down every thinkable alley trying to get answers and have consulted numerous experts. Please help!

My husband and I decided to start a family. For as long as I could remember I wanted a water birth. It seemed to be a private and dignifying way to bring a child into the world. I started reading all the “ wonderful”  stories on water birth and then realized that, there is no difference. You have no control over what happen, the midwife will decide whether the baby is born in the tub, most likely she will get you out on your back. You will be examined internally (most described this as the MOST painful part of delivery) you are welcome to sit down with you husband and do a birth plan but note it will change!

I started phoning Midwifes, everyone I could find, (Sister Lillian, Genesis Clinic, Greenstone Active Birth Centre, Kloof , Eager Expectations, Nature’ s Way Midwifery, Storks Nest, Birth Right, Midcare, Great Expectations etc.) They all had one thing in common, “ sorry but you don’ t have a choice” . I phoned my GP how told me to consult a psychologist. I made an appoint at one of the best psychologist in Gauteng (People fly from Cape Town to see him!). R1000 and 45 minutes later I realisted that NO ONE IS LISTENING! It is not fear pain. It is the fear of not having control and losing my dignity! I don’ t want to be examined, probed and looked at from every angle by everyone except the cleaner!

One lady told me she belief I am not ready  if I wanted a baby bad enough it would not bother me! But how can I look my child in the eyes on her birthday and not hold it against her that on the day he/she was born I lost all my dignity! I also got the old cliché  “ They wont even remember you, they see hundreds daily”  Why did I stay a virgin till marriage, saved myself for one man. Nobody remember what a whore looks like the next day either! Does this mean I am a whore from the day my child is born?

Go for a C-section, I thought! That does not guarantee that you will not be examined. The logic that I don’ t understand is the following  Sometimes doctors say that the baby is stuck in the birth canal and a c-section must be done, but if you are scheduled for a c-section and labor is to far along they can not do a c-section. Reason for both (and all the other nasty thing they want to do to you) it is for you babies safety. If that is not good enough you are a bad person!

The only other alternative is adoption. AGAIN: you have to go for a full medical (including internal) examination.

I did find one way to have a baby with out internal examination and that is being HIV positive! Why can a HIV positive lady give birth without being examined internally? Is her babies live worthless?

I am at a point where I have to decide between having my baby in the back of my car (by accident) or living a childless live.

Please help me!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

If I understand you correctly, your main problem is with having a vaginal examination. This is done in all patients in labour (including HIV +ve women) to check on the progress of the labour and the baby. You do have the option of delivering on your own without a birth attendant and then there would be no issues of privacy, but most women these days do not do this because there are risks involved. You also have the option of a home birth where you would only have one person in attendance, so very little invasion of privacy.
The other issue though is around your own health care. You do need periodic vaginal examinations and pap smears during your life. If you choose not to have these, then any gynae illnesses that could develop will not be detected till a late stage. You will have to decide on what issue is a priority for you.

Best wishes

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: WVW | 2009/11/16

You must be Crazy i am sure of that do you really now how many couples will give any thing to fall pregnant even there dignity. God wanted us to have baby' s he did not say it is going to be easy. But if you fall pregnant it is a gift from God
We have been trying for 3 years to fall pregnant I would go for a internal examination every month if i can only get pregnant

Reply to WVW
Posted by: Kelly | 2009/11/05

Gosh , speachless and confused.
I think you need to see someone, really.
There' s something truly not right here with your thinking.
Go and have your head examined women, maybe you just dont deserve to have kids period!

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: gynaedoc | 2009/11/05

If I understand you correctly, your main problem is with having a vaginal examination. This is done in all patients in labour (including HIV +ve women) to check on the progress of the labour and the baby. You do have the option of delivering on your own without a birth attendant and then there would be no issues of privacy, but most women these days do not do this because there are risks involved. You also have the option of a home birth where you would only have one person in attendance, so very little invasion of privacy.
The other issue though is around your own health care. You do need periodic vaginal examinations and pap smears during your life. If you choose not to have these, then any gynae illnesses that could develop will not be detected till a late stage. You will have to decide on what issue is a priority for you.

Best wishes

Reply to gynaedoc
Posted by: Anon | 2009/11/04

you really need help woman. Who said HIV positive woman are not examined internally? Let me tell you something I am hiv+ and I gave birth to a beautiful little girl three years ago and yes I was examined internally like any other hiv- woman and you know what my baby is worthless and a gift from God. I wonder where did you get that Idea that hiv+ woman are not examined internally. They are human being' s like any other person and they are worthless and their babies too.

I guess you are not ready to bring a child into this world and you are not fit to be a mother. The other thing you started being a whore the day you started sleeping with a men! You are not better than any other woman in this world so get that through you head!

Reply to Anon
Posted by: shargal | 2009/11/03

i really sympathise with u,i am 26 and unmarried.the only thing bothering me now is whether to have an epidural or not.being a virgin or a whore does not have anything to do with child birth.its either u want one or you dont,anyway there is nothing special about u anymore u are just like the rest of us,one man has already touched you,so stop being selfish and focus on the more important thing.if having a baby couses one to loose dignity then how many women have lost it to have a sweet bundle of joy in their hands,u need to speak to your mom whom very well still dignified then do some introspection and decide if you want one or not!u truly need a psychiatrist

Reply to shargal
Posted by: Confused | 2009/11/03

If you are willing to give up the joy of a child just to save yourself from having to show someone your bits and pieces (that they see hundreds of)..... then so be it - lead a childless life.

Reply to Confused
Posted by: Janine | 2009/11/03

Well said Lauren.

Reply to Janine
Posted by: lauren | 2009/11/03

I feel sorry for you that you feel like that. My partner (Im an unmarried whore) had the greatest respect for me after I gave birth to our son. I have never felt so close to anyone in my life as I did to him that day.
Saving yourself for marriage is wonderful but it shouldn' t make you ignorant to what childbirth and parenting is all about. You have already proven to your husband that you have given yourself to him entirely and no one else.
Now have some respect for yourself as you did for him and think about the things you really want in life, not the trivial things like your bits " down there" .

Reply to lauren
Posted by: Anon | 2009/11/03

The person examining you is a DOCTOR, a professional person. They dont care what you look like. Have you been for a yearly gynae pap smear? If not why not?

I think you are a little crazy if THIS is the reason why you dont want a child.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: heidi | 2009/11/02

dear tv
my goodness, i personally don' t think you are ready for a child at all. if the thought crosses your mind that one day you will look at him/her on their birthday and think " I lost all my dignity on the day you were born"  then somethings not right. there is absolutely nothing undignified about being pregnant or having a child - its the most amazing experience on earth!
think there' s a deeper reason here why you are so scared of giving birth/losing diginity as you say. have you ever been to a gynae?
no matter what we say or try to convince you how wonderful it is, you will have to sort this out for yourself first before thinking of falling pregnant.

Reply to heidi
Posted by: Joey | 2009/11/02

You need help! Really, I have had a child and there is no way in hell that it is undignified, it is the best thing that will ever happen to you. The doctor is merely doing his job and that' s the way you have to see it. At the time of birth anyway, you are so involved in the moment, that you really can' t be bothered about who examines you down there!

I would rather take some more time to think about it before you decide to have a child - once it' s there it has to come out some way!!

Reply to Joey

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