Monday, September 20, 2010

Love Fest

There is a nurse that works per diem in my unit at my hospital and she also works full time at the hospital where I delivered my 2nd baby. I didn't know many people that worked at that hospital, so I was very pleasantly surprised when my coworker walked into the delivery room as I was birthing my baby to be the newborn nurse. There were only five people in that quiet and dim room- my husband and myself, my nurse, my midwife, and the newborn nurse. Immediately after Lilee was born, I was so completely overcome with "love hormones" that I began proclaiming my love for everyone in the room! It was so crazy- it was like I had to fall in love with everyone nearby! That oxytocin is strong stuff!

Anyway... I saw my coworker for the first time since the birth last night and I was just so shocked at how much I wanted to talk to her and be around her. I didn't know her too well before the birth, but now, after she attended my birth, I just feel so connected to her. It's so interesting to think about how something as personal and intimate as birth can bring two people together! That (natural) oxytocin (NOT pitocin!) is so good at causing bonding to occur- not just between mother and baby, but everyone else in the room. It's kind of like how a baby duck imprints to the first thing he sees (usually his mother). I felt bonded to everyone I saw immediately after the birth. Another reason to choose your birth team wisely!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I had a sudden "attack" of weepiness yesterday regarding my c-section. It has been two years. When will this end?

It's amazing to me how completely and totally that one day has changed my life. I get so frustrated when people just brush cesareans off like they are no big deal, that they are "just another way to give birth." WRONG! I didn't birth my son. He was ripped from me. Unnecessarily. It isn't just the section that frustrates me. It's all the events that led up to it. If I hadn't gone for my biophysical profile, they wouldn't have noticed the "low fluid". AFI is a tricky thing to measure by sonogram. If the fluid is on the inside of the uterus, between the baby and the interior wall, it won't be seen and won't be measurable by sono. It just makes me so mad that there was this tiny excuse that they found to induce me. I had a perfect pregnancy and I was young and healthy. And I am so mad at myself for letting them do it. I wanted to leave, but they manipulated me by saying I would be "discharged AMA" and that "if anything happened to your baby, it would be your fault." Disgusting.

The induction led to the epidural, which led the the c/s. I know from my second birth that I had absolutely no problem at all birthing a big baby. I know I could have done it. Why did I let them mess with my body????

My son's birth broke me. I felt assaulted and victimized. Strapped down, naked, to a metal table with bright spotlights shining on my most private parts while a dozen people file into the room. A drape is set up in front of me-- was it to shield me from the surgery or was it to dehumanize the section for the surgeon? I felt so alone as I was cut open, my uterus taken out of my body.

Even before the actual surgery, when I was pushing in the labor room-- there were two nurses, a midwife, an OBGYN, and a med student all yelling at me to "PUSH," again with my naked body exposed to the world with spotlights and an open door. Strangers could have walked right in. How humiliating. I didn't at all feel like a person. I felt like a just another patient on a birth assembly line. "Let's just get her delivered!"

This DISGUSTS me! I thought that my beautiful birth with my VBAC victory baby would have helped me heal. But, now I know how AMAZING natural birth can be. And I feel even worse that I missed out on that with my son. That experience was stolen from me. And instead, I struggled with a very difficult physical and emotional recovery. And... in some ways, I will never recover.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Patient Story: denied birth

I recently found an old friend of facebook and we got to chatting about our kids and she sent me her birth story for her second daughter:
"my first baby was born at an army hospital 6 years ago, and she was a natural birth. However, the army nurses were very against anyone getting out of bed and moving so I was made to stay flat on my back in bed the entire time, and then gave birth to my posterior baby while going through the worst agony of my entire life. Not such a fun experience, but at least I didn't have a c-section with her. Then in 2007, I went into labor in the middle of the night and things were going smoothly. I had an epidural this time and actually was very relaxed, and when it came time to push, I was not nearly as exhausted as with my first. I pushed for 15 minutes and the doctor told me that he could see her head, that with the next push we would have a baby. When that time came and I was pushing, he suddenly started yelling at me to stop and telling the nurses to call the OR, and I had to have an emergency c-section. I had no idea what was going on; I felt fine and the baby's heart rate was totally normal. As it turns out, she was frank breech and he would not let me deliver her, never mind the fact that her bum was partway out at this point! I was furious and scared. It was definitely horrifying, to say the least. He kept telling me that if I continued to push, my cervix could close around her neck and she would die. I now know, after having a vbac, that that was very unlikely. Anyways, she and I both recovered, at least physically. I still hold bitter feelings about the entire situation, so when she was 6 months old and I found out I was pregnant again, I began researching vbacs. As it turns out, there is a group of midwives here that will do them, and it was an absolutely wonderful, perfect birth experience. I spoke with my midwives about my c/s, and they said that had I been their patient, they would have just delivered her as long as she was not in distress. How in the world the doctors and nurses did not know she was breech is beyond me, but I know I can't change the past. I just refuse to go back to that hospital for anything!"

The above story made me SO ANGRY. I can't even tell you! That vaginal breech births are virtually impossible in a US hospital is just such a shame!