Monday, July 28, 2008

A Healthy Baby Isn't ALL That Matters

This was a post from March 26th, 2008. It is being published in one of the upcoming issues of Midwifery Today. :)



There are so many details of my cesarean that I have either left unwritten, or have written in fragments in various locations. A reply back to an online thread regarding the “safety” of a cesarean; or to a mom who is being told that her baby will be too big and she needs to have her baby surgically removed.

But you see, my story doesn’t just end when we brought our son home from the hospital on Palm Sunday in 2004. My journey began when I found out I was pregnant in 2003, and it continues every day. Some days I wish it would all just be over with. Be done with the deeply seated emotional pain, be done with the physical pain of ongoing adhesions and endometriosis from my cesarean – even 4 years later. The ongoing torture of the emotional pain could have been avoided, I suppose. However, in 2005 I made the decision to take the red pill. And for those of you who paid attention during the movie The Matrix, you’ll get my analogy here. The red pill enables us to see truths that we otherwise would have never believed. The red pill takes us out of the “habit” beliefs – simply believing what we are told or what we were raised to believe. On the other hand, the blue pill enables us to live in the “ignorance is bliss” state. Never digging deeper, simply being happy with the things we believe and never questioning the origin or the author. So, in 2005 I made the choice to swallow the red pill. The reality that had been mine in childbirth, was shattered as I learned more. And as I gained more knowledge, my guilt and anger grew over what I had done to my son; and also pain for the vast number of women who do the same to their children unknowingly.

Just before my son turned one, I found the ICAN support list. To this day I don’t remember exactly how I found it, but I did. I was still of the mindset and belief that some babies simply grow too big for mom to deliver safely, inductions are perfectly acceptable, and epidurals should be used by every woman. I joined the support list, totally oblivious to what I was walking into. Women who were totally angry over their cesareans, marriages compromised due to lack of support or differences in birth beliefs between a woman and her spouse. Women having their babies at home, after having undergone a cesarean with a prior pregnancy. Basically, a group of crazy women. Or so I thought at the time. I defiantly challenged their arguments that claimed it was intervention, not size, that caused my very difficult first birth and recovery. The harder I fought it, the more information and resources they flung my way. After a few days of this, I sent out a post calling them all crazy, and then unsubscribed. Six little words posted by a woman who is known for pulling out a wet fish when needed, haunted me and really made me think. “Damn. She took the blue pill.” The nerve! Crazy, fanatic, rude women! Who were they to tell me that my cesarean was unnecessary and avoidable? But it planted a seed…

I began to research all of the things that they had challenged me with. Little by little, that seed began to sprout. Three months later I returned to the list, apologized for calling them all crazy , and asked for help.

So why am I telling you about ICAN and my beginnings with it if I am not writing this about my VBAC? Well, because without ICAN I would have continued to believe that my babies were just too big for my body. I would have continued to believe that there is nothing wrong with cesareans. The day that I re-subscribed to the ICAN list, is the day that I chose the red pill. I no longer wanted to live in ignorance, because after all…ignorance is what led to my son spending 9 days in the NICU.

Ironically, it was my son’s 2nd birthday that hit me the hardest. On his 1st birthday, I was still learning, and not quite convinced yet that the cesarean wasn’t necessary. But by that 2nd birthday, not only did I know from research that it had been unnecessary, just five months earlier I had pushed out my VBAC baby onto my bed. She was 10.10lbs and posterior. By body had never been broken – I was only told that it was. As I began to really process through this, I realized just how alone and misunderstood I was outside of the ICAN list.

“He’s healthy now, that’s all that matters.”

From my friends, my mom, and even my husband. No one knew how damaging those words were, even though they were not meant to harm. I didn’t understand. How is him being relatively healthy now, negate all of the harm that was done to him in his first seconds, minutes, hours, and days of his life? When a woman is trying to heal from a rape trauma, do people essentially tell her to get over it…at least she’s safe now? But people are almost offended when the two are compared. Cesareans take place every single day and are accepted – even CHOSEN. So then, would it be different if many women didn’t mind their rape experience? What would happen as a society if we as women told rape survivors, that their experience was acceptable, because women are raped all the time? How damaging and belittling would this be? Cesareans are major abdominal surgeries. And so many women are lied to, coerced, and convinced to have one. Many occur because of a cascade of intervention during labor that never belonged there to begin with. As a society, we have strayed so far from what birth is – a normal, physiologic process. We’ve turned it into an ugly, scary, medical procedure. No wonder so many women are scared of it. All they hear are horror stories. You have to dig for the beautiful and unhindered birth stories that ARE out there. They are just not as common as the “You’ll be begging for the epidural…” stories. I’m afraid that until women take a stand for their babies, that our daughters are going to have to figure this out for themselves.

So, back to my cesarean.

The story is quite simple. I was young, I had delivered a larger-than-average baby vaginally 2 ½ years prior. The recovery from that birth was long and hard, and I had always been told that it was because she was 9.1lbs. Not the pitocin, AROM, stadol, or the forced pushing that ended up in a large episiotomy and vacuum extraction. I was terrified of another birth and recovery like this.

I met with a new OB late in pregnancy, because my former OB refused to induce me even though my son was showing to be over 8 ½ lbs already, and I did NOT want to go through the hell that I went through with my first. Yes, I warned you…I was completely ignorant. This new OB agreed with me about size, and went on to tell my husband and I stories of large babies and shoulder dystocia, nerve damage, and broken collar bones. He said our best plan of action was a cesarean, and soon, since my son was only putting on weight at this point. We agreed, even though my husband and I both discussed later how we had a slight uneasy feeling about all of this, but shrugged it off as uneasiness over the unknown. The very next morning I went in for an ultrasound and NST. During the NST it was discovered that I was contracting quite regularly. Upon a vaginal exam, I was told that I was 4cm dilated, and would be having the cesarean that afternoon, instead of the next morning. I was nervous, but the thought of finally meeting my son was what I kept focusing on.
A lab technician came in and drew several vials of blood. Then a nurse came in to start my IV, administer Terbutaline to stop my contractions, and to insert a catheter. My mind was in a whirl as I was being prepped for surgery, and trying to get a hold of my husband to get back to the hospital. He had dropped me off, thinking that I was just going in for routine pre-surgery stuff. He arrived, as did my grandmother in law and my mom. My husband was told that he could not go into the OR with me, until my spinal block was in place, and they were ready for the surgery. I was terrified, and I had to leave the one person that I trusted most in this world, behind. The one thing I asked before walking in was that they cover the instruments. I didn’t want to see what they were going to use on my body. They found this a bit strange, as they said that they have never had a patient request this before. Surely I couldn’t have been the only one afraid of being cut open, could I?

The nurse walked me into the OR. I remember how cold it was. It was like walking into a sterile vortex. Bright lights, blue paper sheets everywhere, trays, oxygen devices, and nurses in full face masks and scrubs. It was surreal. I sat down on the operating table, trying to brace for the spinal. I was absolutely terrified beyond my wits that the spinal would not work, and I would feel them cutting into my body. I began to cry as the anesthesiologist prepped my back for the insertion of the catheter, and a nurse stood in front of me in efforts to console me. She made eye contact and told me that everything would be okay. I just cried. I don’t remember a whole lot of the tiny details from here. I remember seeing my husband’s face come into view above me when he entered the room, and felt him touch my hand. I remember my Obstetrician “joking” about how we’d better get the show on the road if he was going to make it to his office in time for furniture to be delivered that evening. I remember slowly falling asleep from the drug cocktail that was placed in my IV, and desperately trying to stay awake. Then, it hit me. The smell of my flesh burning as my OB cauterized at each step. I tried hard to tell myself that it was the oxygen mask on my face. I was smelling the oxygen. I am only smelling the oxygen.

My OB announced that the baby would be here in just a few moments, and that I would feel lots of pressure as the nurses pushed on my fundus to get baby out. I said that it felt like she was sitting on my chest, and they joked and said she was. I heard a suctioning sound as they announced that his head was out. I felt the tugging sensation release when his full body was pulled from mine. I waited to hear him cry. Waiting, waiting…and nothing. I kept asking what was going on, and received no answers. I turned to the side to see people in blue working vigorously on him. I was falling asleep. Then, I finally heard him cry, and let go a little bit. They bundled him up, and put him to my face to kiss quickly, and while he was in front of me, he once again stopped breathing. I have pictures of us in this moment, and he was so very grey. As soon as I had kissed his cheek, they pulled him from me, placing him into an Isolette and whisking him off to the NICU. I fell asleep as I was being sewn back up, and wheeled to recovery.

Then, a moment in time that I will never forget. The neonatologist visited my husband and myself in the recovery room, and stated that my son had experienced two seizures. They needed to find out why. I was asked to sign a consent form for a spinal tap. You’re probably thinking that it’s unforgettable because I learned that he had experienced two seizures, right? Well, it’s unforgettable because I remember thinking that it was no big deal. I was so drugged up, so out of it, that it never even occurred to me to feel worry about my son. To even ask if he was okay. I signed the consent form, and fell back asleep. Later on that afternoon, as I was moved to my post partum room, I remember asking about him and not understanding that he needed to stay in the NICU. I was on the phone telling a friend that he had arrived, and then told her that he was in the NICU being checked out and would be in my room with me later that day. No one told me otherwise. No one told me much of anything, come to think of it. I continued falling asleep off and on throughout the day, sometimes even while my poor husband was mid-sentence. It wasn’t until he went home that night and I sobered up a bit, that I asked about my son. They said he was having some breathing difficulties and that I could see him in the morning. I was again confused, but again didn’t worry much because no one was seeming to make a big deal out of it. I requested a pump to help my milk come in, so that I would be ready the next day. I pumped every 3 hours that night.

The next morning my husband arrived, and I had already had my catheter removed and had the nurses help me up to the bathroom. We prepared to go to the NICU to see our son…for the first time since the surgery. No one did or could have prepared me for what I was going to walk in on. I was under the impression that he had mild breathing issues, and just needed observation. What I walked into was a mother’s worst fears. He was in his own little room, because he needed around the clock observation. When I entered the room, I couldn’t believe what I saw. He was in an open isolette, sedated, horribly swollen, and hooked to many lines and machines. He wasn’t moving. I began to cry as over and over in my head I kept repeating “This isn’t my son. This can’t be my son, they’ve made a mistake. This isn’t my son.” This fragile and broken baby couldn’t possibly be the one who was too big and healthy for me to deliver vaginally. He was swollen…he didn’t look like me or my husband! That couldn’t possibly be our son. I could not hold him, so I touched him and cried quietly. I stayed for a while until I couldn’t stand anymore. My belly was hurting, as was my back and the rest of my body. As my husband and I went back to my room alone, I just cried. He remained strong and just held me and told me that everything would be okay. I wasn’t so sure. After all, they had told me that my son would be big and healthy.
One of the hardest parts of the hospital stay was being the only mom on the floor who was without their baby in their room. I listened as babies cried in the next room, and then were promptly consoled by their mother’s touch. By nursing at the breast. By their mother’s soothing voice. My baby was in another place. He was in darkness induced by drugs. He was listening to the sound of the machine’s beeping, and by the sound of the nurse writing notes in his chart. My arms felt so empty, and I felt so helpless.

Two days after he was delivered, as my husband and I prepared to see him again, we were stopped by a NICU nurse. She explained that they were intubating Noah, and to please wait in the family waiting room for the neonatologist. I was confused, worried, frantic, and crushed. He had been doing just fine on the CPAP. I was so afraid that he wasn’t going to make it. The neonatologist came in after 15 minutes or so of agony, and explained that Noah had taken a turn that morning, and the CPAP was no longer as efficient as it needed to be. We asked questions, mainly why was this happening. He was the biggest baby in the NICU, by far, and was full term. He explained that this is a common side effect of babies delivered by cesarean. Why hadn’t our Obstetrician told us this while he was telling us all of the myriad risks of delivering a large baby vaginally? Why hadn’t we been told? He couldn’t answer those questions for us. We were allowed to go in and see our son a while later, and all I could do was cry. I couldn’t even talk to him, because it made things worse for me. I just stood and stared as I held his tiny little limp hand. There was no reaction, no ability to grasp my finger. Emptiness.

The very next day, we had been told that they took the intubation tubing out overnight. The neonatologist said that he had never heard an intubated newborn scream so loudly, and that Noah had tried pulling at it. They sedated him once again and pulled the tubes out. He was now on a nasal cannula. I still was not allowed to hold him, and it was killing my heart because I was scheduled to be discharged that afternoon. I had continued to pump around the clock to leave colostrum for them to administer through his g-tube. It was heartbreaking having to leave him there under the care of strangers, and head home with empty arms. Beginning at four days post surgery, I was driving myself back and forth to the hospital to visit Noah. Finally, on day four I was allowed to hold him for the very first time. I remember the gut wrenching feeling of placing him back in the isolette because my guts and back were hurting from the surgery. I had waited so long to hold him in my arms, and I then failed to be able to do it for long. I was told that the next day his g-tube would be removed if all was well, and he could begin feeding by mouth. I left explicit instructions for them not to feed him by bottle, that I would be there to breastfeed him. Thankfully, they respected my wishes, and I was able to breastfeed him for his first feeding. The poor baby was choked by my rush of breastmilk, as my milk had already come in. It was awkward to try and breastfeed when my belly was so tender, and he had tubes everywhere. I returned 3 times a day to feed him. I would often call the NICU in the middle of the night during pumping, just to see how he was doing.

It was finally on day 9, Palm Sunday, that we were able to take our son home. During his NICU stay, they had not figured out what had caused his seizures. They did a CT Scan, an ultrasound of his brain, X-rays, blood tests, the spinal tap, and an EEG. They found nothing abnormal. Once he was through with his round of antibiotics and did well on room air, he was cleared to come home. I was nervous, excited, anxious, and scared all at the same time. I had never cared for a sick newborn before. Yes, he was fine when we took him home…but I had images flashing in my mind of the baby that I walked in on the day after the surgery. These images still haunt me.

I know that I will carry guilt with me for the rest of my life. I have taken responsibility for my role in his delivery and his NICU stay, even though it was all done out of ignorance. I firmly believe if my son had been perfectly healthy after the cesarean, that I never would have learned my lesson. Sometimes we have to learn things the hard way, and sometimes God has a reason and a purpose for what He allows us to endure. Had I not found the ICAN support list, I’m sure I wouldn’t be who I am today, and be so passionate about birth today.

So you see, a healthy baby is not all that matters. A healthy mom matters too. A healthy birth matters. Just because a baby is healthy after a delivery, does not make everything that happened during the delivery any better or safer or healthier. And this doesn’t just apply to cesareans.

Oh…for those of you who are wondering…my son only weighed 8.8lbs.

This is my story. My journey. Today is the 4th anniversary of when I was told that my body was incapable of safely delivering my son. And tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of my c-section. Happy Birthday precious Noah. Even though this was written with tears, in a whole host of bittersweet emotions.

34 comments:

Kayce Pearson said...

I just want to say that I am so sorry for what happened to you.

My daughter was born at 37 weeks by my due date, but 36 by my ultrasound (I think she was 35 1/2 weeks from the length of my periods and such).

I had a cesarean, and she was in the NICU for 5 days because she couldn't breathe. I didn't see her for 8 hours, and no one would tell me what was going on. I wasn't as out of it as you were, but I thought she was fine, and I didn't feel a connection to her. When I finally saw her, she was black and blue, had an IV, was on oxygen, and had wires sticking out of everywhere. Our hospital only had a level 2 nursery, so onda 3 of her life, she was life flighted to the NICU 50 miles away.

They put her on higher levels of oxygen, and finally started giving her my colostrum (before she was 4 days she had sugar water through an IV). Because they hadn't used my colostrum, 3/4 of it went bad.

I pumped religiously. WHen I was finally able to start nursing, the lactation consultant was so rough that nothing happened. I leaked the entire time, but Glade wouldn't latch. She would grab my swollen and sore breasts like she was pounding meat, and force it into my weak daughter's mouth.

The next day I refused to have her come. I tried by myself but it just ended in tears. One of the nurses (I will always remember her), just came in and encouraged me. That's all I needed. A kind word. After that, I was able to do anything.

She was exactly a week old when we took her home. She was put on oxygen again (we lived 3000 ft higher than the NICU), so just in case of a relapse. We were also given an oximeter, so we could make sure she was getting 85% or more all the time.

I was terried to take her home. What if she stops breathing? What if she starves because we aren't nursing right? What if I did something wrong and killed her?

I would never wish a cesarean on anyone. If they are medically necessary, that is fine. If not, why are you cutting a woman open? More babies end up in the NICU from this than anything else.

Laura (aka Waldenmommy) said...

I am sorry what happened to you and what happened to your son.
Yes, a healthy mother matters. BUT-
My son was born at 35 weeks due to PROM. I had the best delivery ever. Even though it was augmented by pit, I delivered vaginally and unmedicated, just like with my others. I mean, I have the perfect natural births, the gold standard of the natural birthing movement. Heck, even the contractions were easy!

My son was in the NICU 9 days. I thank God every day that I am the one with lasting tramua. My son suffered. My son suffered and couldn't breathe (RDS) because my body failed him and *I did nothing wrong.* He is healthy and happy and I am the one still in emotional pain.
I am thankful it is me and not him. I would have gladly switched places with him. I would have happily taken a c/s w/o pain relief to avoid the suffering my child went through.
I was delt with more in the past year since his birth than I have ever. While, yes a healthy mom AND baby are important, if I had to pick, I would pick a healthy child over me. For me, having given birth to a sick, premature child and seen very ill, premature children... I would rather it be me than them any day.

Christine Fiscer, Traditional Midwife said...

Laura - I'm pretty confused, and I think you either missed the point of this article, or missed the fact that MY son was in the NICU for 9 days as well.

I'm not sure which one it is. I'm also confused as to why they induced you at 35 weeks due to PROM. Were there other factors? An infection present?

Kathryn said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story !

mo said...

What an amazing story. I'm so sorry you had to experience this.

I was lucky enough to be born to hippy parents and a family that always insisted on drug free natural labors. I'm so glad I was lucky enough to become educated before having my first son, as I'm certain I would have ended up with a c-section otherwise.

Thank you so much for telling your story. I'm certain that if it is passed on enough it will save other women from experiencing what you had to go through.

Marcy said...

This is an incredible, powerful story. Thank you for sharing.

Michele said...

I really liked what you said about taking responsibility for your part of the birth even though you were ignorant of the truth.
I, too, had a cesarean that I never wanted. I went to a birthing center and when my labor was no longer convenient for their schedule, they broke my water, and then transfered me to the local hospital....my baby was never in danger...yet, the hospital gave me an epidural that I did not refuse at that point and then when the pitocin didn't bring my labor back, they called for a c-section because my water had been broken and infection was a new risk...she was born healthy and no issues. taking responsibility has been a big part of healing...
I commend you for getting it out there and I plan to be a stronger advocate for birthing truths...such as labor can last for several days in the natural world, especially for the first child...wish I had known that one..
God bless you!

Christine Fiscer, Traditional Midwife said...

Michele - I'm so sorry that was done to you. As a Midwife, it infuriates me to hear stories of Midwives screwing women over, setting them up for a cesarean. It's NOT right.

Responsibility has to be a part of it, if there will ever be a change. Do I fault care providers? Most CERTAINLY, because they know better. But it is also our jobs as mothers and consumers to know what is going on, and to do the research to support our decisions.

((Hugs)) I hope you continue healing! ( I still am, 6 years post cesarean )

Jami said...

I am so sorry for your birth experience with Noah. But thank you for writing your story. And for taking the red pill. So have I.

My ceserean was over 6 years ago and I am still healing. I had a normal healthy pregnancy. I had expected, that my birth would be the same. Yep, I was young and niave. I trusted my OBs, even though they were distant and barely took the time to know my name, even though I had been seeing them since I was a teen. At my first appointment in the pregnancy, the female OB examined me and abruptly told me she thought my baby had stopped growing and was probably dead inside me. Seriously. She handed me a prescription for an ultrasound and I left the appointment in hysterical tears, went with my husband to my mom's house and cried on her couch, spent that whole night crying. I should have RUN then, never gone back to that OB's office. I can't tell you how much I wish I had done that. The next day, after staying up all night crying with my husband, who was pretty quietly in shock and didn't know what to say to comfort me, we went for our ultrasound. And saw our perfectly healthy baby growing inside me. I had told the OB I believed I was around 10 weeks at the appointment. When she examined me she said my fundus showed I was no more than 5 weeks, 6 at the very most, and as I said, bluntly proclaimed without feeling that my baby was most likely dead. Well, the ultrasound dated the pregnancy at 9weeks 5 days. Funny how you remember that so specifically, but it was the biggest relief in the world, burned into my brain. When I heard her heartbeat on the ultrasound, the tears rolled freely and I thanked God over and over.

For some stupid reason, I decided to go back to that practice. I grew to trust them, even though I only ever saw a doctor for about 5 minutes a visit, and they almost always had to check the chart before addressing me to make sure of my name. They weren't horrible, they weren't great. I was told that this was just how it was, OBs were very busy. My mom went to these OBs, as did both of my aunts. Both of my aunts had delivered their children with them.
(It never occurred to me that it was odd that they had been healthy young women but had had mostly csections for their babies.. my one aunt had 2 csections with this practice, the other aunt had her first vaginally, then 2 csections..) Everyone raved about them. My one aunt called the one male OB in the practice "Dr. Hunk" because she had a crush on him and raved about him. I was never that impressed with any of them, but thought that if everyone in my family went to them, they would take good care of me. Right? Wrong.

Jami said...

So, I was due on a Sunday. Late Friday night, I went into labor at home. My water broke, after having sex with my husband, a trick I was told would help get labor started. I was elated, again so happy I cried. I called the OB as I had been instructed, and they said to come on down to the hospital. Stupid stupid niave girl.. I look back and want to shake myself. It was like you see in movies and tv, the water breaks, you grab the hospital bag, and off you run. Only I wasn't to have the quick happy birth you see on tv. I got to the hospital, was shown to a room and ignored. No one came in, not a nurse, a doctor. I was 22 years old. I had no idea what to do. I sent my husband out to ask a nurse to come in. They said they were too busy. Again, I should have run. I changed into a gown and sat on the bed, grinning ear to ear. My husband and I took a few pictures. I look back at how excited and happy I was and think, you poor fool, you had no idea. sigh. Eventually the nurse came back, told me I should get an epidural early, there was no way to guarantee when the anesthesiologist would be able to get back to me. I told her I wasn't sure if I'd be getting an epidural, and definitely did not want one yet. My contractions were about 4 minutes apart, and were very tolerable. She scoffed and told me I would DEFINITELY want one. The doctor came in and told me how far I was dilated, not much, and the waiting game began. They put me on an external monitor and told me to stay in the bed so it could work. I am so sad to say I listened and was a good little patient. I was so polite to everyone, even though most of them barked orders at me. I wonder now who I was trying to win over. sigh. My mom and her boyfriend came, my sister and her fiance came. We sat and watched Flashdance on tv. We joked that I was in such good spirits, actually enjoying the contractions. It seemed crazy. The nurse came back when I was about 4cm and told me it was my last chance for an epidural and I better get it because the anestheiologist was going on break and if i didn't get it now I wouldn't get it and I'd be sorry. I briefly consulted my husband, also very passive and niave, and in a people-pleasing demeanor. We decided I'd get it. They made him leave the room, which was awful. I begged for him to stay and they laughed at me and made it seem like a stupid thing to want, told me no one's husband ever stayed. The nurse and anesthesiologist got the epidural going, while talking about their date plans for later that day. It was Valentine's Day. By the time the day was over, I knew what pretty much every person in the hospital was doing for the holiday. That's all they talked about. Not one person asked anything about me or my baby or pregnancy. Seriously. It was like I was invisible, just something they had to deal with while socializing. I had several copies of my birth plan with me that were virtually ignored andd laughed at. The epi didn't go well. It took them 4 tries to get it in, including having to take it oout once and start over. I cried and they told me it wasn't that bad. Really? Did anyone else in the room have anything poking into their spine?? Yeah. By this point, I was losing the happy glow. I was being beaten down by the neglectful attitude, the treatment like I was somehow a nuisance and a cry-baby. I should have run before that epi got all the way in, but I was scared and, honestly, I felt like I was about 5 years old. Everything was being done TO me, I was disappearing, my voice being quieted so many times was growing quieter and quieter.

Jami said...

After the epidural, I was examined again, told that I was about 5cm and again left alone. My husband came back and I cried, told him how awful it was and that if we ever had more kids I was NOT having the epidural done without him. See, already they had convinced me the epi was normal and necessary. sigh. They insterted a catheter and internal monitoring system and again it felt like my voice disappeared a little more. I felt like a child and all the adults were doing what needed to be done, I had no say. As labor went on, they mostly ignored me. Came into my room randomly and checked me with barely a word. Nobody ever asked how I was doing. I tried not to look like a crybaby and just went along with what everyone said, quietly. By morning, I was hungry, ravenous, and everyone in my family, including my husband, left me to go eat at the cafetaria. They tried to bring food back and eat in the room, the smell of food was torture, as I wasn't even allowed to have ice chips. I cried and sent them all away. While they were gone, I laid an rubbed my belly and talked to my baby, told her I was sorry that things were going this way, and how much I loved her and wanted to see her. Not one person had mentioned her the entire time in the hospital, and I felt like I was the only one that still remembered HER. I laid and cried, as the blood pressure cuff randomly tightened then released. One leg was numb, the other not. I was not feeling any contractions, but saw on the monitor they were going on. I laid there thinking about the stories I had read on a birth board online and how mine was turning into one of the badd ones. I pushed the thought away and cried. I felt a huge movement from my baby inside, it felt like my entire belly rolled over. I told the nurse when she came back andd she brushed it off, told me I was imagining things.

So, the typical story... so many interventions, my voice quieted by a sea of people who "know what they are doing". I never progressed past that 5 cm when I had the epidural. My mom, her boyfriend, my sister, and her fiance, all left around 10am to go home and shower and get some rest, telling me they'd be back later. I have never told them how much it hurt, how abandoned I felt. Like they had given up on me and left me for the hospital to do whatver it wanted. And, it did.

Jami said...

About an hour later, the new on call OB from the practice, the one my aunt just loved and called "Dr. Hunk" breezed into the room with a gaggle of nurses andthe anestesiologist, all smiles telling me it was time to have this baby! I was confused. Had I progressed all th way?? I asked what he meant. Everyone laughed. He could have patted me on the head and been less patronizing when he told me that it was time for a csection "of course". I immediately started crying and protesting, this was NOT what I wanted. I was telling them I was NOT going to have a csection, as they were handing me the consent papers. I had read all the bad csection stories online. No way was that going to be me. They had mentioned a csection in the office in the prior weeks and I had told them I did not want that. I think they had planned all along that was the way it was going to be. I was just to niave to see this, I thought, silly me, that I was in control. The doctor smiled and laughed and told me that I didn't have a choice, I hadd to do what was best for my baby. I asked if the baby was in distress. No. But she could be if I don't deliver soon. And I had had to have a shot of epinephrine because my HR and BP had dropped so low after the epidural.. so obviously my body wasn't handling labor well. I kept crying and refusing. I looked at my husband for help and realized he looked like a deet caught in the headlights, wide-eyedand scared, I couldn't connect with him. I kept crying telling them NO. The nurse told me, I will never forget, "Stop being such a sissy, you're about to be a mother!" I kept crying and told them I wouldn't sign consent. The male anesthesiologist told me it was no big deal, that women had csections every day. I glared at him. No big deal? Had HE had one??? The OB laughed at me. I asked if my family could come back first. He laughed again and told me no, we were doing this NOW. He got serious for a minute and told me if I did not sign the consent, they would have my husbandd sign for me and I'd be knocked out with general anesthesia if I didn't comply andd then I'd miss the birth of my baby and be sorry. It might be in my head, but I'm pretty sure he told me to be a good girl and sign. I looked to my husband to see if he would really turn against me and let them do that. All I saw was the deer in the headlights. I knew he would not stand up to them. He was terrified. In tears, I asked if I could call my family and let them know I would be having a csection, as I signed the paper. Hysterically sobbing, I left messages for my mom and my sister, begging them to come back to the hospital. I couldn't even get the words out coherently I was sobbing so hard. The doctor and nurses chatted, laughing and again implying how silly I was being. When I got off the phone they said they were ready to take me. I screamed "but I'm not NUMB!!" and they laughed and told me of course I was, that I had had an epi in. I raised my one leg that I still had full feeling in shoulder high to them. They stopped laughing and the dr. told the anesthesiologist to adjust the epi before surgery. He rolled his eyes. And my epi was re-doe a 5th time. They didn't wait for it to work, just wheeled me right into the OR.

Jami said...

I was hysterical still, crying so hard, my whole body shaking with sobs. This was NOT want i wanted, and NOBODY would listen to me. I was captive, I was a prisoner. They transferred me to the table and strapped my arms down spread out on each side of me. I hated it and asked WHY they had to do that. Agian I as laughed at, and told that they had to do that so I wouldn't try to reach down and end up getting cut or hurt. A male doctor or nurse, I have no idea, stood behind me and put an oxygen mask on my face. He put his hand on my forehead and held it down. I kept shaking my head to try to get him off of me, but he heldd there. I didn't have arms to push him away, they were strapped tightly down. My husband wasn't in the room, he was told to wait until they called him. I laid on the table, with tears streaming down my face, bright lights burning my eyes, listening to everyone laugh and talk about their Valentine's plans and their dates. I never stopped crying or praying, telling my baby in my head how sorry I was.I had failed her. They started the csection, and I was alarmed that I could feel it. I tried to tell them again I wasn't numb, and again they brushed it off, telling me of course I was, that I would just feel pressure, not pain. Not true. I felt pain. And I smelled my burning flesh as they cauterized my skin. A revolting smell. Still they all talked and it felt like I wasn't even in the room. Not one person talked to me, asked how I was, told me anything. All I heard was their date plans and hospital gossip. At one point I remember a nnurse saying I should name my baby Valentina because it was Valentines's Day. I tried to protest, as that made me angry,. I said her name is JULIANNA. They ignore me and referred to her as Valentina. It was just one more insult and ingoring my say in anything. I kept crying. My husband was finally let in, when they were probably halfway through. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes, my arms strapped down, my head held down, and just wished so much he would save me. He looked at me with pity and helplessness.

Jami said...

When my daughter was out, everyone commented on how much hair she had. The doctor said she had a cone head from being in the birth canal. I heard her cy, and I cried. So happy to hear her, but desperately wanting to see her. So sorry that this was how my precious baby who I loved so much already was coming into the world.I begged to see her, and one male nurse tried to pull the curtain to the side a little so I could get a peek, and he was told NO!! and it was immediately pulled back so I couldn't see. My husband left me to go over to the area where they cleaned her up and weighed and measured her. During labor they had told me she was over 10 lbs.. possibly 12. She turned out to be 8lbs. 2 oz. I cried the whole time they sewed me up, and so did she. The nurse said something about giving her the eye ointment and vitamin K shot, and I yelled from across the room "NO!" they were stunned, asking if I was honestly telling them what to do. My husband snapped to attntion and told them we had decided not to do those. They scoffed and obeyed, only because hewas right there watching I'm sure.Eventually, my husband was allowed to hold her. How unfair, after all the work I had done, after all I had been through, that HE got her first, I remember thinking. I never got to see my baby girl until she was cleaned off and wrapped in blankets, never even got a picture of her all messy. I have always wished that I had gotten to see her like that or seen a picture, anything. My husband brought her over and stood by my head while they finished me below. She stopped crying for the first time since being born when she saw me.We looked into each others eyes, and I told her "I love you Juli" just as I had done my whole pregnancy, and she smiled up at me. People say babies can't smile, but my baby did, only minutes after her horrible birth. As soon as they let me, and unstrapped my arms, I held her. I would not let her go, and they let me be wheeled back to my room in the bed with her in my arms. I had reached my limit of giving in and doing things their way. I wasn't a 5 year old anymore, I was a fierce mama bear. And I wasn't letting go.

Jami said...

We got to the room and were finally left alone, just me, my hsuband, and our baby. No one in my family had come back yet. I unwrapped her and took off all the blankets and examined her perfect little body, counted her toes and fingers and took off the hat and saw her mounds of thick black hair, still curly with afterbirth. She was beautiful. She was MINE. And I was not going to let these monsters hurt her or take her away from me. I nursed her within an hour of her birth, and was more determined than ever taht I would nurse her exclusively and for as long as she wanted. My body failed her at her birth, but I would make up for it with my breasts. I would not fail her again.

Our hospital stay was more of the same.. me fighting them, them rolling their eyes and laughing at me and my insistance. I had unimaginable pain in my incision and by the 2nd day I was sure there was something wrong. It was hot and red and felt like a knife in me. No one would listen. They told me I was fine. The morning of my relase, on the 3rd day, the doctor, not the one who had delivered her, checked me and gave me the okay to go home. I told him I was in a LOT of pain andd that something was wrong. He waved his hand and said I was fine. As we got ready to leave, I couldn't even walk, the pain was causing me to double over and cry. Sweat was rolling down my head and face. I honestly thought I was going to die. I couldn't put clothes on I hurt so bad, my husband had to bring me huge sweatpants to go home in. I felt like I was watchign it all happen, I was in so much pain I really wasn't there mentally. It was a haze of agony. I finally thought, this is crazy, you cannot go home like this, and told them I was not leaving until I saw a doctor. My husband went to put the things in the car and I sat on the bed with the baby, sweat and tears rolling down my face, in agony. The nurse came back and said no doctor would come, taht I was fine, to go home and put my feet up. I had had enough, and just accepted this because it would get me out of this hellish place. We went home.

Jami said...

Our hospital stay was more of the same.. me fighting them, them rolling their eyes and laughing at me and my insistance. I had unimaginable pain in my incision and by the 2nd day I was sure there was something wrong. It was hot and red and felt like a knife in me. No one would listen. They told me I was fine. The morning of my relase, on the 3rd day, the doctor, not the one who had delivered her, checked me and gave me the okay to go home. I told him I was in a LOT of pain andd that something was wrong. He waved his hand and said I was fine. As we got ready to leave, I couldn't even walk, the pain was causing me to double over and cry. Sweat was rolling down my head and face. I honestly thought I was going to die. I couldn't put clothes on I hurt so bad, my husband had to bring me huge sweatpants to go home in. I felt like I was watchign it all happen, I was in so much pain I really wasn't there mentally. It was a haze of agony. I finally thought, this is crazy, you cannot go home like this, and told them I was not leaving until I saw a doctor. My husband went to put the things in the car and I sat on the bed with the baby, sweat and tears rolling down my face, in agony. The nurse came back and said no doctor would come, taht I was fine, to go home and put my feet up. I had had enough, and just accepted this because it would get me out of this hellish place. We went home. The agony continued and got worse. By that night, I couldn't even sit up, I was screaming in pain. The baby was scared and crying, my husband was helpless and didn't know what to do. I called the on call service and the doctor who had seen me that morning called me. I told him what was going on and that I thought I had an infection. At first he agreed, then asked me who had discharged me. I told him HE had. Then he backtracked and said it wasn't an infection, to call the office the next day and set up an appointment for the following week to get seen. I cried that whle night, trying to force myself to nurse my baby and not scare her with my screams. I remember biting my hand. Even 2 percocets at a time wasn't touching the pain. The next day I called the office and got an appointment for that day, insisting I needed to be seen NOW. I was sure I was going back in the hospital, and packed a bag andd somehow shaved my legs even though I couldn't sit or stand. I was also horribly engorged that day, the baby wouldn't latch and we were both miserable. I called a lactation consultant who taught me over the phone how to manually express so I could make the breast a little less hard and get the baby to latch. Andshe did!! And then we went to her first checkup, which was another story altogether of stupid doctors, and I was in agony, coudn;t stand, sit, walk, etc. I got there by shear force of will. And then did the same to get to my appt with the OBs. The nurses were whispering about me and when I was finally taken to a room, I heard the one nurse tell the doctor, in a condescending tone,"this woman INSISTED on being seen. She just left the hospital! She SAYS she has an infection! You could HEAR her eyes rolling. The doctor came in, took one look at me, and looked at the nurse with disgust and said "That's because she DOES!" It was the first time I was happy, not for having an infection, but just for a tiny bit of support, somebody standing up for me finally and agreeing that I was right, validating my feelings.

Jami said...

He sent us back to the hospital, where everyone was much nicer and accomodating. I put my foot down about Julianna being able to stay with me and contniue nursing, and they agreed as long as my husband would be with me at all times. We got a tiny room where we were almost hidden away. IT was the room they used for tours of the L&D unit, didn't even have a real bed. They brought one in for me, and my husband was given a pillow and told he cold sleep on the floor. At this point, we were happy I was being seen and taken seriously and could keep the baby with me to nurse, so we agreed and they started me on strong IV antibiotics. That was Wednesday. By Friday night my daughter was getting sick from the IV antibiotics I was getting. She was having almost constant diarrhea. I told the female ob, the one I had seen on my very first appt who told me my baby was dead (ugh!!) that I was worried about my baby and the medication I was getting. She acted like it was no big deal and told me it wasn't a problem, I could just discontinue breastfeeding and give her formula and she'd be fine. With a big happy smile. Uh NO. I told her I was very determined to breastfeed, and she told me a few days of formula would be fine, my milk would still be there. I again told her no way. I knew better by this point She was annoyed with me by now and told me that we would re-evaluate how the baby was doing the following day and if she was still getting sick I would have to stop breastfeeding temporarily.

Jami said...

I stayed up that whole night, crying and praying. Talking to my grandfather in heaven, asking him to help us and watch over my baby, to help her get better. My husband slept soundly on the floor. I was up, in pain, nursing her, and changing constant diapers. I counted and she had over 20 diarrhea diapers.. not just normal loose breastmilk poop, this was scary. By morning, when the nurse came to give me the next dose of antibiotics, I had made my mind up and found the courage to tell her I was refusing all further medication. She just about screamed at me, literally telling me I was stupid and no way could I do that. I held my ground and asked to have the LC and the OB sent to see me. She stormed off, loudly talking about how I was crazy and how they would not let me do this. Ha! I thought. "Let me do". Fuck them, they had done enough to me, made enough decisions against my will. I was DONE with being told what was goingto happen to me and my baby. I was in charge. Yep, that was the moment I fully swallowed the red pill. REfused to listen or accept being told what to do. I was an adult and would be making my own decisions.

The LC came and told me she could not give medical advice or stand with me about refusing treatement.Fine. I was prepared to go it alone. The OB came, the youngest one in the practice. The nurse loudly and with annoyance filled him in. He smiled at me and told the nurse he agreed. Oh thank God. He said the best thing for me was to go home and nurse my baby. That he would transfer me to oral antibiotics which wouldn't get into my breastmilk as much as the strong IV ones. And he agreed to finally remove my staples, which everyone else had refused to do no matter how much I begged. By now they were horrific looking, even more than originally, all twisted and covered in blood and pus andlooking rusted. Thank God this doctor was the one on duty that morning and set me free of the metal in my bely and the hell of the hospital. We celebrated my baby's one week birthday by getting the hell out of there!! And not looking back

Jami said...

My journey is like so many women's, burned into my brain. It haunts me. I will forever have the scars physically and emotionally. I have been told to get over it, to deal with it, to be happy that my baby is healthy and had no problems, that that is all that matters. I had a long recovery, constant pain and an oozing incision for about 18 months. Even still 6 years later I have pain in my incision. I don't dwell on my birth like I did in the beginning, but when I start talking about it or writing, as you can see, it comes back like it was yesterday. I don't want to scare other women, but I want them to know that births like mine happen every single day in this country and unless you are prepared and ready and able to be an advocate for yourself and your baby and your birth, it can happen to you. I want women to go into birth strong and believing in their body and themself. I don't want anyone EVER to go through what I did. I want them all to take the red pill BEFORE they have to learn the hard way. Before they are scarred for life.

And I did do things differently when I had my second child, did achieve a vbac. But sadly it was not healing. My vbac was also a nightmare and I was again scarred and traumatized, maybe even moreso than my first birth, if you can believe that. Its an even longer story (eek!) so I won't get into it. But I had a midwife, a doula, and my husband was amazingly supportive, and I was fully prepared to be my own advocate. But aain I was convinced into birthing in a hospital and that was the death of my birth. It was so unimaginiably horrible I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and my body went into an autoimmune spiral of craziness for my son's entire first year of life. It was hell and a very long story, that I also feel is important to share, but I've already been longwinded here. But I will say that after 2 hospital births gone wrong, one a csection, one a vbac, I will never ever ever never put mine or my baby's lives in the hands of a hospital again. I would sooner birth in the middle of the woods, all alone. I am still working through the trauma of my 2 experiences, and my plans of having a big family are uncertain. Because of the trauma I have suffered, I am not sure I can go into the fray again and take a chance of things going badly again. But I secretly want at least one more baby and am pretty sure that I will have another at some point. I am not done yet, I know in my heart. And when it is time for that 3rd baby, he or she will be born at home. There is no doubt in my mind. Nothing else is even a possibility. Maybe I am a slow learner, but I have learned. Finally and fully, that birth is not a medical condition and does not belong in a hospital. If (when) I have my next baby it will be on MY terms.

Jami said...

Oh, and I did succeed in breastfeeding, made it through through issues, succesfully nursed my daughter until she self-weaned at 4 years old. She was the first child in my family to nurse more than a few weeks, the first to never have a drop of formula or one bottle. I am so proud of that. She nursed through my second pregnancy and went on to tandem nurse with her little brother for several months before deciding she was done. He is 29 months today and still nursing on demand and will nurse until he decides to be done. He nursed through all the awful health problems I had his first year of life, most of which I attribute to the traumatic birth and its effects on my body and mind. He nursed through me being hospitalized, having surgeries, going into liver failure as a result of one surgery, never had an interruption, never had one drop of formula or one bottle either. Again, I am proud. It has given me strength and restored my faith in my body. I have been disowned from my family over my choice to nurse. I have been told it is weird, it makes people uncomfortable, that it self-righteous and judgemental of those who cannot nurse. Whatever. I made it through hell with my births. Was failed by my body and the system. I persevered and nursing my babies has been THE MOST HEALING thing I can imagine. :)

Christine Fiscer, Traditional Midwife said...

Oh Jami. :( I cried reading your story. You were abused, belittled, coerced, and completely robbed of even a HUMANE birth experience. I'm so, so very sorry.

And even more sorry that your VBAC was bad as well. I wish I could say that every VBAC is a good one, but it really all depends on the 'who' and the 'where'. If you hire a care provider who is not going to honor your wishes, treat you with respect and help you have an EMPOWERING experience ( no matter how it ends ) ... it can be just as bad as the nightmare you were hoping to erase.

I pray you find healing. And I pray that you are able to have that empowering birth next time around, and I am thrilled to hear that it will be outside of hospital walls.

Many hugs.

Jami said...

wow. Sorry that was so long. I get emotional when reliving it all and it just comes out. One thing I did see I left out, among the many typos (sorry lol I type super fast haha) was that when I felt my baby move in my belly and they told me it was all in my mind.. yeah, it wasn't. She was born posterior, she flipped during the long labor. I felt it, told them my whole belly rolled, was told I imagined it. ugh. Everything about my birth was a nightmare. But I made it through. And I found out a lot about myself, mostly that I am MUCH stronger than I ever knew. :) I consider myself a birth advocate, a breastfeeding advocate and an intactism advocate. And while some people try to silence me, like during my birth, I now laugh them off and keep on talking and spreading the TRUTH. :) Red pills for all. :) :)

Jami said...

Thanks so much Christine. :) It does help me heal to know that I am not crazy, that others hear my story and see it for the hell that it was. That I do not have to just get over it and move on, that a real trauma was forced on me. My second birth, I was so prepared. lol I went to birth classes, vbac classes, read books, talke to birth advocates. Hired midwives who I grew to love and trust, had an amazing doula, and had my husband on my side, firmly committed to standing up for me. But, the midwives would only let a vbac patient birth in the hhospital. And when we got to the hospital, 7 hours into a nice normal labor, all my wishes were out the window. The midwife on call was my favorite, one I had really grown close to and trusted. She betrayed me. Turned a 180 on everything we had agreed on for my birth. She had heard in detail my first birth story and promised me better. And lied. Within 5 minutes, literally, of getting to the hospital, she said the word csection. She said MANY times that he was too big, she estimated at over 12 or 13 lbs and would NEVER fit. Talked about hospital protocol, forced interventions. Beat me down and stole my birth. I am still so betrayed by this. My doula was awesome. My husband was amazing. But the hospital staff and policies and the midwives were bound and determined to control me and the birth. They pressured me to have a repeat csection, and by 20some hour into labor, only my husband was left on my side. We held out. I did have a vbac. But they forced every intervention imaginable and tortured me. He was delivered by forceps after them forcing me to push with everything I had, causing 4 (yes FOUR!) prolapses. I lost 2 liters of blood, and had retained placenta and a D&C just minutes after his birth. By then the epi they had forced me to get at 18 hour in had worn off, so I felt the whole D&C. Was sewn up haphazardly. Not given a transfusion and went into shock from bloodloss. It goes on and on. The kicker.. the midwives felt they did me no wrong. They expected me to still trust them. And when my body started falling apart after all of the assult.. they turned their backs on me, telling me I was crazy. And telling anyone who would listen that I was crazy and it was all in my head. Which is why it took so long for me to get medical help and find out that my body was attacking itself.. I had symptoms of just about every autoimmune disease. I literally fell apart. THank GOD I am on the other side of that nightmare. Its been 2.5 years since he was born and I am JUST NOW beginning to feel like myself again.

Christine Fiscer, Traditional Midwife said...

Jami, you are definitely not alone and MOST definitely are not crazy and just need to "get over it".

As a Midwife, I am completely infuriated when I hear stories of other Midwives ( whether home or hospital, though particularly with HB MWs ) abusing and harming women. It's inexcusable.

Sadly, this is why I encourage women to hire an Independent Midwife though, as a hospital or even birth center Midwife will be under pretty strict protocol most of the time, which in turn ends up screwing women over ... even if they may not MEAN to.

Not to say that independent MWs can't be just as bad ... because I've SEEN it. ( Which infuriates me even more so! ) I hope you're able to very carefully choose a care provider next time who will not only honor your wishes, but respect your past history, and know that there are so many things that will be tied into it, emotionally.

Jami said...

Oh, I almost forgot the best/worst part. The midwives I had my son with.. yeah, they just went into practice with the OBs who tortured me at my daughter's birth. Lovely. I can't imagine a more stinging betrayal. The night I found out about the new merger, I hyperventilated and had an anxiety attack. Cried for days. I can't even put into words how horrible that made me feel. I will never go back to those midwives now either, the only midwife practice in my city with a freestanding birth center. Never. I still want to confront them though, on what they put me through and then to betray me by teaming up with those that torture me the first time around. It would almost be funny if it weren't so hurtful. Poetic justice. Now I know FOR SURE one joint OB/midwife practice to avoid in the future!!!! Homebirths are all but illegal here, and there are only one or two midwives who perform them.. you have to know someone who knows them to even find them, but when the time comes, I will. I would never set foot in a hospital to birth again. I would even consider going out of state to birth. SEriously, I have thought about going to Ina May's farm hahaha :)

Christine Fiscer, Traditional Midwife said...

Sadly, Ina May's farm isn't a good place for VBAC women. She has VERY strict protocol, and would have turned me down had I gone to her for help. Nice huh? My uterus was closed with a single-layer suture ( instead of the widely used doubled ) and she has said that women with this are "ticking time bombs" waiting to go off.

She's also very hands on. Lots of vaginal exams. Lots of protocol to follow to keep her excellent numbers excellent.

You're welcome to come to Utah. I'd be happy to serve you. :)

Jami said...

Wow I didn't know that about Ina May's farm. What constitutes a single or double layer? How do you know which you have had? I had staples and then the steri-strips closing me. My sister, who sadly, delivered her daughter with the same OB practice I had 2 years after my birth with them also ended up in a csection with them and only had the steri-strips no staples closing her. Does that make it a single layer? Very curious, had never heard of that before. Thanks :)
Oh, and I'd definitely see you as s midwife if you were anywhere close to me!! I'm in Pittsburgh PA and the birth climate here is just horrific. :( The midwives I had my son with are the only care providers who accept vbac clients. And you see how well that turned out. I have heard through the grapevine of 2 HB midwives, but they stay under the radar after much publicized witch hunts here a few years ago. You have to be put in touch with them via someone who knows them, and if anything necessitates a transfer, they will not accompany out of fear of prosecution. ugh. Its awful here.

Jami said...

Oh, and writing this out here, finally motivated me to write it out in a note form on my facebook page and to share with others. I have shared bits and pieces, but this is pretty much the entire birth of my daughter. http://www.facebook.com/#!/note.php?note_id=400834439280&id=506938835&ref=mf
I linked to your blogpost, hope you don't mind :)

the birth of my son will come another day, when I have more strength. lol

edaj84 said...

I am so sorry for your experiences :( I don't know what else to say but sorry. I cried reading them. I had a bad hospital birth but NOTHING like that horror.

drinkcoco said...

Christine and Jami and others,
Thanks so much for sharing your heart-wrenching stories with us, more people need to know that this could happen to them, and even if it's not always this bad, many people's experiences have some elements of what you went through.
Jami, here's a URL to an email from Ina May Gaskin about single vs. double-closure (of uterus, not external): http://www dot collegeofmidwives dot org/news01/VBAC%20gaskin01a.htm. Hope that helps.
RD (midwife)

stubber said...

Wow, what a story... and so unecessary. But without it, would you be the midwife you are today?

Christine Fiscer, Birthkeeper said...

Stubber - I don't think I would be a Midwife at all. If all had been "fine" after the c-section, I VERY likely would have gone on to have c-sections without even a second thought.

My journey has been very difficult, down to my last birth 5 months ago. But I firmly believe there is a reason for everything, even when it just sucks and comes with heartbreak and anger.

Christine Fiscer, Birthkeeper said...

LOL Sheila - should have known by the last name. Boy am I still tired!

Love to you!

Jessie said...

Your story touched me deeply. Thanks for sharing.