I sat down tonight to watch the premiere of One Born Every Minute on Lifetime, and before I get started writing about the show itself, I need to start my post off by saying it is not a show I will ever tune into again.
The show is meant to show the in’s and out’s of labor and delivery today, and I think they very accurately depicted childbirth in hospitals today. From epidurals, to pitocin in most births, extreme emphasis on pain, a c-section, and of course the couple with a birth plan, and a doula made to look like some kind of loony bin.
I guess I really had my hopes high because of the amount of bad childbirth shows all over TV, but unfortunately within the first 15 minutes of the show, I knew it wasn’t going to be a show to help change the way birth is viewed, or treated. Fail number one for the Lifetime Network.
The first mother was a scheduled induction, which again is something typical for birth today. The nurse attending the birth then went on to discuss their 90% epidural rate, which shocked me, but after watching the full hour long show, and how many times epidurals were offered, and pushed to just three birthing women in the same hospital, I can understand why their epidural rate is so high. One nurse might as well have shoved the epidural directly down another mothers throat, even after she expressed no desire in an epidural.
Mother #1 had her epidural just mere minutes before she started pushing because her labor progressed so fast. When the nurse asked the mom if she would like the baby placed on her chest after birth, a look of disgust washed over her face, and she told them no, she only wanted the baby once she was cleaned off. While I am someone who certainly respects woman’s wishes for birth, but as a mother who can never have that experience myself, it made me sad for her.
Mother #2 had a history of a large baby with her first son, and her boyfriend was comical to say the least. While she was in labor, he left to go to Walmart to buy a travel system for the baby. Because we all know laboring women need that piece of baby gear to get through birth! Then instead of simply bringing the car seat back into the hospital, which wasn’t needed during labor at all, he brought the whole stroller, in the box into the labor and delivery unit. I just about died laughing, as did the nurses.
Mother #2 repeatedly said she did not want an epidural, and was frightened of having a c-section, which ultimately she ended up with both and delivered a linebacker.
With the first two mothers, the main emphasis during the conversations, and narration was pain. Pain, pain, and OH MY GOD! More pain. But I think what really bothered me the most is the pain of childbirth actually being compared to the pain associated with dental work. As someone who is a huge baby, and literally needs to be put to sleep for dental work, I can say, having my teeth drilled, filled, or pulled is way worse than the 26 hour long labor with my second son, or the pitocin induction with my first. I would take those a million times over again over having my wisdom teeth out, or having a cavity filled.
The third mother, and the only one who wanted a natural birth. She was two weeks overdue, under midwife care, and there for an induction, with her very supportive husband, and doula.
The first thing that bothered me was the way the couple was depicted, then the way the doula was depicted. They were made fun of, shown to be combative, talked about and laughed at behind their backs by the hospital staff, and then they actually laughed at the fact that she was choosing to labor in the shower. Like it was something new, or not common!
The nurse confronted the doula for expressing the wishes of the mother and father, and in many cases the nurse didn’t even listen to what the father was saying while the mother was working through contractions.
I think what really got me about it, more so than anything, was when the mother denied a vaginal check, the nurse was actually mad and complained about it to others after she repeatedly pushed the suggestion on the couple being denied each time. The mother wanted her midwife to check her, that was it, and of course that was her right.
In the end, I can say it is a show I am not going to tune into again, unless I need my blood pressure to go up a couple points. I don’t really suggest it for first time mothers, or mothers who may be scared of birth in general. It will for certain scare you much more. Birth doesn’t need to be how it was shown in the show, and shame on Lifetime for producing yet another bad birth show.
photo: flickr.com/claus Rebler