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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Birth Stories and a New Choice

So I have mentioned to ya'll I am planning on a home birth. I have made this decision for several reasons, most of which have to do with my second daughters birth and how I was made to feel. I was thinking I would go into detail of both my children's birth to show what I have learned and what I will do differently.

My oldest child L was conceived with fertility treatments. We had tried to get pregnant for a couple of years and had but had lost the babies. It was hard on me emotionally. We had reached a point where we could not even seem to get pregnant and I was 34, I able to enter the high-risk stage. After talking with my doctor, he said I should have been seeing someone a long time before because of my age. So, I scheduled an appointment with a fertilty doctor. We did all the testing, and they found I had an ovulation issue, and I had a blocked tube on one side. So they unblocked the tube, which was not pleasant and then I was given 5 days of clomid and I was to go in 12 days later, given a shot to prompt ovulation and told when to spend time with my husband. We got pregnant. We stayed pregnant. 

Fast-forward 40 weeks, I had started labor at 39.6 on a Thursday afternoon. I had a doctor appointment the next morning at 10. I labored all night, and went to the doctor appointment. I was effaced 30% and dilated almost 3cm. I was told that I would have this baby tonight. Okay.. Some more fast-forward, 3 days. I was still in labor, with some starts and stops. Finally we went to the hospital because I was worn out. They checked me.. I was 80% effaced and.... almost 3 cm dilated. I broke down and cried. I had labored for days for no progress. I was listed as a failure to progress. I was given two options. Morphine to sleep or an epidural and pitocin. 

I had read about pitocin and how awful it could be, but I was worn out. Exhausted both physically and emotionally and choose the epidural and pitocin route. They had trouble with the IV, oh so not fun, they had trouble with the epidural, oh so not fun. Finally everything is in place. The epidural is working, after an hour or so, maybe less, they start the pitocin. It was probably 4 in the afternoon. I was hooked up to nine kinds of wires, fetal monitors, iv's needles in my back, catather and on my back. I stayed that way. I had L 12 hours later with guided pushing and a one degree episotomy. 

My labor was exactly what I expected and had been taught and American birth story was. I was not disappointed in any way. I had my child, and she was beautiful. 

My second child, V was born in the same manner. It was not as many days because I recognized the signs. I went into the labor with her at 40.1 and had her 2.5 days later. I labored for a long while and did not progress and ended up with an epidural and piticion. However, her story takes a turn. We went to hospital and had a great resident. We were asked do you want a resident or a midwife. We choose the midwife because we felt we would get a more hands on approach and see her more often. WRONG.

I was given the IV, which they struggled with again. I was given the epidural which the wonderful lady who did that was quick and efficient. I was strapped to the bed with wires, and hooked up to all the stuff. No more walking, or eating or anything else as I expected. The nurses came in and check the monitors and sometimes said nothing to me. I had a contraction that was pretty bad, I did not feel it because I was on an epidural. They said they though my water had broken. 

Hours went by. Still on the pitocin and no one checked me to see what my progress was. I wanted to know. I was told that it was likely my water had broken and if they went up there, infection could occur etc. I was told that same sentence so many times you would think I could repeat it verbatim. After about 10 hours of this, I was becoming insistant that I get checked. I had been on pitocin a long time and no one knew how close to birth I was, I could not feel anything so I could not either. I got a new nurse who talked to me like I was an idiot and did not even bother to read my chart before entering my room. She was condensending to me and told me as a first time mother I did not know what I was talking about. I was not a first time mother.  I was not pleased and was still insistant that I get checked. Same speil over and over again. I was finally told I would be checked at a certain time, which was about an hour away. Okay. FINE. 

That time came and went. About 30 minutes later the same nurse comes in and I asked if I am going to be checked. Yep, you guessed it.. Same spiel. I was becoming irate. I have been laboring on pitocin for nearly 11 hours and we don't know where I am at. I was becoming insistant. Finally they said. So.. you want to be checked. Umm yes. Oh okay. The midwife finally came in, the first time I have seen her. She says the same spiel. I said I want to know what is going on. She tells me they have this special paper and they can check to see if my water has broke.. I thought my head was going to spin around, hours of arguing and there is a paper.. Okay let's use that. So she gets up and walks across the room, my room and opens a cupboard and pull out said paper. I do believe my head did spin at that point. 

They check. WATER NOT BROKEN. Leaking so she breaks the bag. I am fully dilated. Hmm wonder how long I sat like that. She said baby not in right station, I will labor another 2 to 3 hours like that. I don't know any better so I say okay. She starts leaving the room, and I get sick. I start throwing up and V starts coming out!!!! How could she be coming out if she was not in the right station. HMPT.. 
The bed does not get broken down, I have baby girl in 4 pushes. 

What I found to be tramatic is how much I had to fight to get my wishes met. I felt out of control and unimportant in my own labor. I was told stuff that was untrue, and was clearly a number on a chart. I was a schedule to get to, when they decided. I came away, unhappy with my birth. I was happy to met my girl, but felt her birth could have been so much more. 

This time, I decided no hospital birth. I won't say I decided that right away. Where I lived there was no natural birth network. It was likely to be a hospital birth, but I had pretty much decided it would be a natural birth. Then we moved, and then we moved again. 

The second move put me in a position to have a home birth with a certified nurse midwife. I am planning on a non-intervental un-medicated birth. I want to experience it. I want it to be MY experience. I want it to happen the way it is supposed to. I have learned so much about birth since I made this choice. Why, it is the best way. It is not the American way anymore but it is still the best way. Women heal faster this way, believe it or not. It is proceduralized. You are not a number on a chart. You are you. Your baby is your baby. 

I have been taking natural birthing classes and have learned so much. I learned that my very first birth class with my oldest was definitely geared towards a medicated birth because I was given no tools to deal with the pain of childbirth. This time I had tons of tools. I won't say I am not nervous, but I will say I feel empowered in my choice. 

Baby Girl is due in two weeks, so I will be posting my experience to you soon. I will let you know if I made the right choice. I believe I have. 

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