Archive for May, 2011

May 23, 2011

Why

I would like to delve into the “why” I am doing this. When I finally found someone to love me at the age of 10, I latched onto them and believed every word that spilled from their lips. They were my salvation. I guess you could say I am a product of my environment and as such have been scarred relatively deeply as a result. I never questioned this person until recently in my life.

Growing up I touted their medical background as some sort of prize that I had won. I was proud. Of course I had no real background in medicine myself, I just grew up with this medically minded person and revered medicine as some sort of higher power. I was often told stories of death and of lives saved and I would listen in amazement and marvel at the power we hold here on Earth. For most of my life, I did not believe in God. Past hardships had led me to a belief that God either didn’t exist or was an incredibly cruel being that deserved no attention of mine.

It isn’t any wonder then, that when I happened upon my first pregnancy (yes, ‘happened upon’ – we did all the “right” things and still fell pregnant) at the young age of 18, I immediately sought medical care and an Obstetrician who was very good at what she did. The pregnancy was unexpected and I was caught off guard, but I never once questioned my decision to see an OB. I never once considered there might be another choice. I soon learned that I was carrying twins and if I had questioned anything at any point up until then, it would have gone right out the window with all ideas I had of birth. When I discovered we were having twins,  I wanted every specialist in the country to come and be sure my babies were okay. I settled for my OB and a Perinatologist who came highly recommended.  The only thing I stuck to was the hope for a vaginal birth. For some reason, not sure where it came from, I was more than a little terrified by the idea of a cesarean. It was the only desire I voiced the entire pregnancy.

The pregnancy was fraught with issues from midway through right up until the end. However, each issue was easily remedied with the recommended solutions.

Incompetent cervix? Take it easy, bed rest when you aren’t working. When that wasn’t good enough, we moved to strict bed rest, allowing me to only be in a sitting position to eat and use the restroom and that seemed to do the trick. While I was miserable, my babies were able to continue growing.

Pre-term Labor? Come in to the hospital, we’ll give you something that should stop the labor. And it did. At 34 weeks I went into pre-term labor and was given terbutaline and labor stalled out.

Pre-Eclampsia? Ah, induction! And that’s what we did. An induction at 38 weeks 6 days pregnant.

In medical terms, the induction went “beautifully.” Everything went right. It didn’t take too long for things to progress. I got an epidural long before ever being in any pain so there was none of that chaotic, useless, unbecoming grunting and screaming some women insist on doing when they’re in labor. In fact I laid there bored, scared, impatient, and hungry for 11 hours. I pushed when told, didn’t object to being wheeled into the OR, just in case, didn’t object to 2 IV’s just in case, didn’t object to an oxygen mask, just in case, didn’t object to a single thing they asked of me. I was a good, little patient and did what I was told. When it was all over, my OB was so proud of herself for getting me through such a rough pregnancy and delivering healthy babies with an uncomplicated labor and delivery. She said it was the “perfect” twin birth.

After they were born, I didn’t really see much of them. I was so out of it. I had been given magnesium during my labor along with my epidural and pitocin and had a bit of hemorrhaging after the birth of my first child and somewhere in there, something made me beyond drowsy. When we made it to our room, I could barely hold my head up. I wanted to sleep, but I didn’t want to be rude to my step-mom and the nurse – both of whom couldn’t wait to bathe the twins. I couldn’t care less. In fact I was only holding out until they would take them to the nursery (or wherever) so I could sleep. I thought that was normal. I thought it was normal to just crash after the birth of your children. I thought it was okay to want some space. I thought it was okay to bond with them later.  If only I had known.

It wasn’t until the birth of my 2nd son that I realized what I had missed out on with the twins. In that first moment that my son was placed on my stomach, wet and squirming, I immediately knew that I had missed out on something so special with the twins. That they had missed out too. Something that we would never get back. Something that is lost forever.

It was only after the birth of my 2nd son that I dove headfirst into researching birth, pre-eclampsia, labor, dialation, pregnancy, swelling, incompetent cervix, etc, etc, etc. I learned so much so fast I think everyone I knew were too scared to come  around me because all I could focus on was childbirth and how broken our system is. I wanted to share it with everyone. Anyone. If only they would listen.

I knew I needed a ‘healing’ birth. Although my 2nd son’s birth had been different than the birth of the twins, it was not healing in any way. In some ways, it was more traumatic. It was after birth, the baby moon with him, that had been healing and heartbreaking all in the same moment. Since we weren’t done having children, I knew my next birth would be exactly what I needed for both myself and my child. His birth would be calm and peaceful. I would be relaxed and open. His birth would be different. And it was. It was nearly everything I’d imagined.

So, back to ‘why’ I am doing this.

I am doing this because I don’t ever want another mother to go through what I had to. I have seen the “other side” and know that it is light years away from what we consider “normal birth” here in America. I think every mother should get to experience a miraculous birth on her terms. Or at least the chance to.

I know that what I write here will not change everyone’s mind. Maybe not even most people’s. That’s not my goal. I won’t lie, I’d love it if we were all home birthing mamas who only went to the hospital for emergences in birth or if the hospital would up and change all policies, allow midwives to practice freely and only call in an Obstetrician when truly needed, but I know that just isn’t reality right now. My only goal with this blog is to open your eyes, even just a little and make you question the system we currently have in America. Research. Educate yourself. Learn about birth and the natural, normal process our bodies were made to do. Don’t take it from me if you don’t want to. Just be inspired to learn for yourself. Be inspired to truly choose your birth.

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