How many birth stories have you heard? Well I have heard dozens, and one story is starting to sound a bit more commonplace then it ought… Does this chain of birth-events sound familiar to you?
1) Typically a first time mother,
2) Labors for a certain amount of hours, ironically predetermined as “too long,”
3) Only to find medical professionals classifying her labor as: “FAILURE TO PROGRESS,”
4) Only to find her labor ending in a c-section. (Often around dinner-time.)
After this series of above mentioned events, a new, and usually rather-disappointed mother, asks herself some seriously reflective questions:
1) Was my doctor right? Was my body really faulty and unable to labor properly?
2) Should my doctor really have been able to make the curtain call on my labor with such ambiguous reasoning?
3) Did I really “fail to progress,” or did I just “fail to progress” according to their progression clock?
As a medical professional, taught to be a critical thinker, I have a few questions of my own:
1) Why has labor been put into such a tight and confined box? And why is labor considered such a textbook event? (When in actuality every woman’s birth experience varies remarkably…)
2) Do all labors, in all women, for all time, seriously follow the same model?? Do they all have to progress the same way? Are they all characterized by the same things?
3) Why if the baby is not showing any signs of trouble…do long labors have clinicians sitting on the edge of their seat desperate to do something?
4) Can labor actually stop- as this “FAILURE TO PROGRESS” classification suggests? Can a baby really remain in-uterus indefinitely, and never deliver?
5) If labor starts, can it really just stop? Are there any other animal species wherein labor begins, but then stops, leaving an animal pregnant forever, or reckoned dead from an eternal pregnancy?
6) If a labor really can and does “FAIL TO PROGRESS,” and a mother goes against medical advice to have a c-section, can it be implied the mother and baby would just die in a state of labor-limbo?
Labor limbo. Ah, I just coined the term…. An ironic synonym for this “FAILURE TO PROGRESS” phenomenon. Look around at the rest of nature- is there anywhere else you find such static as labor limbo? I’d venture out on a limb, and say, no…..