Saturday, October 8, 2011

Birthing Soapbox

I feel like I am experienced enough (and possibly intelligent enough) to speak on this subject of giving birth. So here goes...
I have given birth in 3 different states: North Carolina, Montana, and now Texas. All three were completely different, obviously. At each birth, I had them all natural (no epidural or pain meds) but only one was me going into labor on my own, which was the first with Colton in North Carolina. The other three were induced with pitocen.
Now, my opinion is strictly just that, MY opinion. And I am completely biased.

We will start with North Carolina, which rates at number 2 in my book. One thing they had going for them is that midwives were in abundance. Although it was a military hospital (Ft. Bragg) where we gave birth, it had a definite big hospital feel, and everything seemed pretty rigid. They did let me go into labor on my own, and instead of admitting me the first time I came in, they sent me home to labor there. No forcing me to be tied to a bed with an injection of pitocen to speed up my contractions so that I would have the baby before their shift ended. This is good.
Colton was put on my chest right away, and they were very mama/baby oriented.
One con was that I had to share a recovery room for the two days we were there. Again, not the end of the world, but not the best situation either.

So here is Soren's birth story::
Now, we will go with Texas. If I could rate it lower than number 3, I would. And my experience wasn't bad. It just left a sour taste in my mouth.
From the moment we walked in at 515am, I was in bed. Now, bed is nice, but when you are in labor... without pain meds.... not exactly the best place. The doctor broke my water at about 8am, and told the nurses to start the pitocen in half an hour if my contractions didn't start coming regularly. They didn't.
At 930am they started the pitocen at the lowest dose. A two on their medicine pump. Contractions started coming pretty regularly every 5-6 minutes. Not very intense, but contractions.
They upped the pitocen to a four at 1130am, and contractions starting getting more intense and coming every 2-3 minutes. I was still in bed. I could only get up to pee because of an interuterine contraction measurer contraption thingy. (Not used during my other TWO inductions, but told that it is standard procedure in Texas to do when induced)

We watched Top Gun and A Baby Story during this time, since I could not walk around.

At 2pm the doctor checked my cervix and I was dilated to 8 cm. He said to me that I was far too pleasant to be that far along. The contractions started becoming more and more intense soon after, but i could still breathe through them. When the nurse checked me at about 230 and said I was still 8cm, I almost bit her head off. I knew I was close. 10 minutes later, I told her I HAD to push. She had the nerve to tell me no, the doctor is not here yet. Well, he better get here, was all I could think. Needless to say, I was not able to stop pushing, and although I tried, 3 pushes (contractions) later, Soren made his appearance.
The doc made it... barely.
Right away, because of the interesting knot in his umbilical cord, the doctor was distracted. He cut the cord, without even offering the option to Tyler. I had asked to have the cord delayed in clamping so the blood could all be given to the baby. Yeah, that didn't happen.
They cleaned us up, the doctor left. Soren was given to me and all was good.
All I could think about was how much better this birth could have been if I was in Montana. (you will see why.)
But it was a great birth because we got adorable little Soren out of it. And he was healthy and HERE finally!
The whole time, it felt like pregnancy was a disease or an illness that had to be cured. Which I find about as impersonal as can be.

I remember at different times during labor I would mention to Tyler... we could still be at home right now if we weren't induced. How much better would that be? To labor at home. Now, I am not a homebirther... admittedly, I am scared of giving birth at home. It seems to me that anything could go wrong. But here in Texas, I really wish I would have considered it a little bit more! I am so jealous of my SIL, Danielle and her beautiful third birth that she got to have at home just a month ago.

Now Montana, was very much as close to homebirth as you can get. It was awesome. I am so thankful that I was fortunate enough to have two of my babies there. For one, I had the best doctor ever. And I am not just saying that. She took the time to get to know my family and what I wonderful.

We were induced with both Ayla and Kellen, but those inductions were so ... different.  I didn't feel like I had wished I had considered having them at home. I didn't feel like it was routine. It was a birth for gosh sakes.... it was a miracle.
With Kellen, I was lucky enough to experience a water birth. Even though I had been induced! Can you believe it? They had monitors that could be used while you walked around and labored. (Here in Texas they are behind the times, and had REALLY old monitors.) A waterbirth is about as peaceful as you can get.

All in all, my four births were wonderful. I just don't feel like there are enough options for birthing here in Texas. And it breaks my heart that the general population here won't know how amazingly peaceful a waterbirth can be; or how strong and capable you can feel after giving birth naturally. The nurses were amazed that I wasn't using pain meds. They asked two different times if I needed anything. It seems a standard procedure memo went out to all the doctors and they have to do everything accordingly.

They're all mine!!! (well, Tyler's too!)

Now I will get off my soapbox. Thanks for listening :)

Colton and Ayla's birth stories are somehow not written down... maybe sometime soon. I have them in their journals, and of course I remember them by heart :)
(Actually here is a short and sweet version of Colton's birth... really it was more INTENSE than conveyed here!)
Here is Kellen's birth story.


Danielle said...

in the end you got a baby, I'm sorry you ended up stuck in bed.. I had so hoped that wouldn't happen to you. I can't imagine having to labor stuck in bed (let alone deliver on your back). It's awful to feel you have no control over the situation. I hope someday Texas catches up with the rest of us. Birth is natural, not a disease.

Anonymous said...

Everything done in the hospital is done as if it is an emergency. Midwives know birth is natural and only occasionally do problems occur. Most problems at hospitals are created by doctors who want to speed everything up and control something that should be on a women's own time. I have had both my boys at home and if I have more will do at home too. I am scared to go to hospital because of the problems they might create! Congrats on your beautiful healthy baby, Melanie