Monday, March 8, 2010

Beth's Story

"When pregnant with my 1st daughter, I was already seeing an OB because of previous miscarriages, I never thought to use a midwife, nor had I given much thought to what I wanted in labour, I just knew I was anxious for a baby. I often felt rushed through my appointments and given very little time to ask questions, and my concerns were brushed aside. After taking prenatal classes, I decided I wanted a natural birth, and made this very clear on the birth plan I submitted to the hospital. My water broke before contractions started, and the hospital wanted me in there right away. Labour quickly started on its own, and although [I was] admitted at 8 am, I never met the OB on call until 7 pm that evening. While I was coping with the pain, I was quickly getting overwhelmed, and after repeated offers of medication and an epidural, I soon broke down while my nurse kept insisting I had hours and hours to go. Three hours later my baby girl was born after 40 minutes of pushing, narrowly avoiding an episiotomy, with a small tear, only needing a single stitch. An okay birth, but not what I wanted, I felt really disappointed that while the hospital asked what I wanted in my birth, they seemed to have little intention of helping me get it.

"My 2nd baby girl was born 22 months later. Silly me, I went back to the same OB, and felt even more rushed, and brushed aside during appts. A cesarean was scheduled at 38 weeks because my baby went into the transverse position. My OB refused to try to turn the baby, citing an 'inferior pelvis'. I was told it was impossible for the baby to turn on its own, and an immediate cesarean was necessary. The next day I reported for my cesarean, and was experiencing mild contractions, causing my OB to point out why this was so necessary. The resident asked to do an ultrasound to see the baby's positioning as she had never seen one in transverse before. My OB got really annoyed when she mentioned the baby appeared to be head down, until he checked for himself. Oops, those mild contractions were my little monkey baby changing position and going head down. I hopped off that bed, and went 2 more weeks before going into labour on my own, 1 day past my EDD. Labour was fast and hard. I had mild contractions that quickly got stronger. I was admitted to the hospital at 6 cm, my OB was on call, and decided he wanted my water broken right away to speed things up. He insisted I was silly to insist I didn't want it. I quickly found the contractions too strong to bear, and asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist and my nurse got into a fight over my back while doing this and bickered among themselves for quite some time. Ten minutes after the epidural was done, my baby girl was born, in 2 pushes. No stitches, and no OB in the room. He was sleeping.

"Baby #3 was born 2 1/2 years later, and yep, silly girl I went back to the same OB. I was determined this time to do things the way I wanted, and had lots of questions of my OB, so I could be prepared. He told me that he didn't have time for my questions, as this was my 3rd baby, and I knew what to expect. I tried to switch to a midwife, but the practices near me were all filled up. I went into labour on my own early in the morning, mild contractions, but I felt I needed to get to the hospital quickly. I got the hospital early in the morning. [It was] very quiet on the floor, actually two nurses were asleep next to the admitting desk. I was 6 cms when I checked in. Twenty minutes later I insisted I needed to push, and was told it wasn't possible, but it was. I was fully dilated, but had to wait for the OB on call to wake up. She rolled her eyes, and asked what was taking so long for my next contraction to start, so I could push. Baby girl was born in 2 pushes, no stitches thankfully, and I finally got my natural birth. I was thrilled and felt great right afterwards. During my hospital stay, I noticed that I was pretty much left to my own, rarely having a nurse check on me and my baby. I figured it was because this was my 3rd baby, and I knew what I was doing, until I wondered why no one came in to release me. After asking at the desk several times when I was going to be able to go home. I found out they didn't know who I was. They had forgotten I was there, and then after doing a quick check, told me I couldn't be released because my blood pressure was too high.

"Two years later, baby #4, the day I found out I was pregnant I called my closest midwife practice hoping to get in. My family Dr. strongly encouraged it. I got in, and loved it from my very 1st appointment. I wasn't questioned about why I didn't want to have the triple screening done, and very few ultrasounds. My appointments were an hour long, and I could ask any question I wanted. I was asked questions and given choices about things I didn't even know I had choices about. A dating ultrasound revealed placenta previa, and my midwife phoned me at home and went over this with me, and what it could mean, when a later ultrasound revealed that it had corrected itself, she phoned me right away to tell me this too. Because I was Group b Strep positive with 2 previous pregnancies, I started taking a homeopathic regime in hopes to avoid it again. My midwife phoned me at home as soon as the test results came in to tell me that I did it, I was negative. At 35 weeks, my baby was still breech. I was given a homeopathic recommendation that worked immediately .We chose to have a home birth, with my 3 older daughters in attendance. This was strongly encouraged, however at 39 weeks it was felt that it would be better for me to be induced, which would mean a hospital birth. I did choose to go a different hospital than where my older daughters were born. My water was very low, and baby appeared to be in distress. My midwife spent over an hour on the phone with me explaining the induction process and phoned the hospital to see if they would make an exception and allow my daughters in to watch the birth. Their policy was no one under the age of 11 and my daughters were 6,4 and 2. The hospital bent the rules for us. Some complications arose during labour, and the attending OB had to be brought in. She told me that she respected my desire for a natural vaginal birth, and she was going to have the OR prepped just in case. She wanted me to try my hardest to push my baby out quickly, and that she too was going to do everything she could to get me the birth I wanted. I was only 6 cm, but she stretched my cervix the remaining 4 cms, and we got her out 5 minutes later, a healthy baby girl was born. I very narrowly escaped a cesarean again. I left the hospital 2 hours later with my midwives and went home to rest.

"I am currently expecting my 5th baby. This was surprise, and I was 3 months along before I knew I was pregnant, I was petrified that I wouldn't get into a midwifery practice. Fortunately, I did. I ask tons of questions at every visit, and I'm never rushed. They encourage me to bring my younger children to every appt. I am planning a home water birth again, with my daughters there to watch, and am very eager for my next experience :)"

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