Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Birth Story

I was going to an ob clinic who was pressuring me to get a c-section because of the huge baby I was going to have. When I said no they made me sign papers saying that I understood all the dangers of vaginal delivery. They then told me I needed to schedule an induction for 39 weeks. When I brought in my birth plan the ob yelled at me. He said I might as well have a homebirth and that if I came in while he was on duty at the hospital he wouldn't deliver my son. He yelled at me because I wanted to be able to walk around, eat and drink, I didn't want Pitocin, and I wanted a saline lock instead of an IV. He left the room and walked across the hall the the office, loudly complained to one of the other doctors, then came back to yell at me more.

I left (in tears) and went straight to a midwife. I went into labor a few days before my due date. I was having contractions 4-5 minutes apart from the beginning but they were painless. My water broke the next morning at 7am. I kept moving around, walking and sitting on my birth ball. At 3:30 I went to The Birth Center and one of the midwives said I was 2 cm. The head midwife came in around 4-4:30 and checked me again. She also and stripped my membranes and stretched me from 2cm to 4cm, without asking if this was ok first. It hurt!

After that contractions were one on top of the other and unbearable. She then hooked me up to an electric breastpump; I'm not sure why since my contractions were plenty strong. All it did was make my nipples hurt so bad that I cried. This was all too much when I wanted quiet and relaxing so we decided to go home. I went home but all I could do was try to catch my breath. Contractions continued one after another with only enough time in between to take a breath. At 8 I decided I couldn't take it anymore. The midwife said it might be transition so I went back to see her and she checked me again; I was still 4cm. I went to a hospital and asked for an epidural.

The nurse said everyone had to leave while she asked me some questions. since my birth plan was to be in a birthing center and here I was in the hospital very little of my birth plan applied to my new situation. But I made sure to make sure the nurse knew the important points: immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeeding, don't wash him off before you give him to me, and no Pitocin. Then when she was done she gave me a narcotic because the anesthesiologist wasn't going to be able to see me for a while. It knocked me out, but that was all it did. Unfortunately I woke up every time I had a contraction. Walter walked in while I was passed out but he was sitting behind me (I was laying on my side) so I didn't know. I only remember waking up in intense pain, crying and thinking I was alone. It seemed to go on like that forever but I know it was only about 3 hours.

When the anesthesiologist finally came in it was around midnight. Being in the hospital and having an epidural was the last thing I wanted but at that point I was so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted that I was grateful. I got the epidural and was finally able to rest. I'd wake up when the nurse came to check how dilated I was and then fall back to sleep. After I had slept for about 3 hours I felt better and sat up to talk with Walter and my mom. The nurse came in and she mentioned that my contraction slowed down a little so she gave me some Pitocin while I was sleeping. I couldn't believe it. She put it in my IV while I was sleeping so I couldn't refuse.

About 5am I started feeling this uncomfortable pressure in my hips so the nurse checked me. I was fully dilated. She had me start pushing but he didn't need much encouragement. Even when she said to stop pushing so she could get the doctor I could still feel him coming on his own. Thinking back now I wish I had've let him take the slow pace he was setting instead of pushing so hard when they told me to. The cord was wrapped around hid neck so Walter didn't get to cut the cord but Dorian was fine. I got a second degree tear from listening to the hospital staff telling me when to push. Despite my original doctor's office telling me I couldn't do it I pushed out a 9lb 10oz baby in under 20 minutes.

There are a few things that upset me about what happened during my labor. The first and, in my opinion, worst is definately my midwife deciding to help me along by stretching my cervix and then putting me on the electric breastpump. My body was going at it's own pace, I was working through the contractions, and everything was fine. But she broke the trust I had in her as a midwife to listen to watch and wait. That's why women go to midwives. If I wanted someone who thought my body didn't know what it was doing I would've stayed with the ob's I was seeing before. I found out too late that my trust was misplaced. I just want to share my experience to show others that just because you're going with a midwife doesn't mean she doesn't follow the ob model of care. Be careful.

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