Sunday, August 12, 2007

My third child

My third child is my best birth story...but sadly, it wasn't what I wanted, and I regret it. This birth was a huge inspiration to keep plugging away towards my midwifery education. I don't want other women to have regrets about their birth experience.

By the time this kid rolled around (again unexpectedly but wanted - we wanted three children but the girls both came when I was on birth control and to this day, still don't do things my way!), I was an RN and working on general education requirements for my bachelor's degree.

I had switched at about 16 weeks to a private ob/gyn (I was seeing the family practice group which involved seeing residents *ugh*). There were no midwives anywhere in the reasonably near area. I liked the idea of seeing one provider throughout my pregnancy and that provider being present for the birth. I wanted to establish a bond. I really wanted a female provider however, I found none in practice in anything but large groups. My provider was very nice - although he kinda laughed off my wanting to have natural childbirth. I prepared myself during the pregnancy by reading Penny Simkin's Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: the Complete Guide, and the Birth Partner. Unfortunately, my husband is a birth idiot and had no idea what he was supposed to be doing or how he could help. So the hospital I would be having my baby at had doulas on call and it was at no cost to me. So I planned to have a doula.

I was feeling cranky, crampy, and tired so took some benadryl on a Tuesday evening to help me sleep. I had a five hour chemistry class (and test) the next day. I had been studying that evening and wasn't feeling good about the material!! So I went to bed about ten pm. I woke up at midnight, banging out hard contractions. I had had several bouts of 'false labor' (how I hate that term now) previously but felt like this had to be the real thing. My husband was calling his sister to come stay with the kids so we could go to the hospital. I decided to take a warm bath for pain relief while waiting (she lived almost 45 minutes away).

I couldn't stand it...being in the tub was incredibly uncomfortable. Which was a bummer cuz I really wanted to shave my legs. Now I haven't met a laboring mom yet who cared whether we noticed if her legs were hairy or not at the time a 7-8 pound baby is coming out of her cootchie. It usually seems to be the least of her concerns (and I certainly couldn't care less). But I wasn't at that point yet.

So I got out of the tub and got ready - my sister-in-law arrived and we headed out to the hospital. By the this time it's almost 2am and even though the streets were deserted, we hit every red light. We finally arrived at the hospital. I'm tolerating contraction pretty good as long as I'm upright and moving...we danced in the parking lot several times :)

Mistake #1 - I let the receptionist lady put me in a wheelchair to ride up to L&D. I could feel the intensity of my contractions so much more! So by the time we get to a room...

Mistake #2 - the nurse (who knows I want to go natural) gets me in the bed and checks my cervix (I know I looked pretty active), which was 5-6cm. She asks me if I still want to go natural or do I want an epidural now. I would have not ever have asked for an epidural but when she offered it I said yes. Oh wise readers, you are probably asking yourself what exactly she did wrong. You don't ask someone who is strapped in a bed experiencing intense contractions if they want you to make it go away. Well, no sh*t sherlock, the answer will be yes. Instead, she could have been supportive and helped me cope. And if she wasn't capable of doing that, then get the doula there ASAP.

Anyway, I got the epidural - which at least I can say was a great one. I had good leg control and absolutely no pain. My water broke and I was ten centimeters. I labored down so much that the baby almost fell out. I didn't tell the nurse I was pushing...*giggles*...I just kinda did the grunty thing because it felt so good. Wehn I felt like my body was starting to really push though I asked to come on in. She had me push once to see if she needed to call my doctor...

Ok, I'm a multip stating I really need to push....naturally she says "whoa, wait a minute, I have to get the doctor here". I'm telling her ok but you had better hurry.

The doctor arrives, the tech is setting up the table, and he asks me to go ahead and push. I do. He says "stop, wait until she's done setting up the table". What on that table do I need to have a baby??????

So I had a 7 pound 10 ounce baby :) The doctor had offered to let my husband catch the baby but he declined. I kinda wish he had though...I think it's so awesome to know that the first hands to touch this baby are mommy and daddy's.

Overall, it was a nice birth experience but I do regret that I didn't go natural. I know I could have. It was my last baby though, so no more opportunities. I don't want women to experience those regrets. I had a woman who wanted natural childbirth, second baby. She told me in the beginning not to get her an epidural even if she asked for one. She labored wonderfully and quickly, but towards the end did ask for something for pain. I checked her and found her to be 9 centimeters. I got her standing upright and she had the baby in 15-20 minutes. The position change was all she needed.

I don't know why there is such a general mistrust of a woman's body. Our bodies are so capable and strong, but this seems to scare others (read: mostly men). Well more on that later...(soapbox).


Sage Femme said...

I was surprised that you got from my post about hospital birth that I was anti-CNM. Nowhere in that post did I say I didn't believe CNMs were evil or medwives. The provider in this story just happened to be a CNM and while my client admitted that she was the "most aggressive CNM on staff", I never said anything in particular about her being a CNM and that was the reason for the violation. It could have easily been a family practice doc or an OB/Gyn.

I know there are exceptions, and said so in my post. I think that perhaps you were reading a bit into my post, since your profession is one that works in that environment. It certainly wasn't anything that was intended, even after I went back and re-read it just to be clear.

Hope that makes sense.

Thanks for responding!

Laborpayne said...

Interesting post. You are right on target about the epidural. Women don't realize they are exchanging comfort for control. Saying yes to an epidural is the first nudge toward that downward slippery slope.