With my first son, I was so young and naive. I was told on a Friday that I would be induced that following Monday if I didn't have my baby over the weekend so I took (a lot) of castor oil and ended up "forcing" my baby out on Saturday. It was so traumatic and I KNOW that the reason why we are having some issues with him now is due to the trauma he received during his birth. Years past and when my husband and I decided to have another baby I threw myself into learning everything I could about the birthing process. I was already well educated in some areas but "The Business of Being Born" opened my eyes to so many new things. Although my first son was born vaginally, the whole process was so medically induced that I couldn't wait to have my second son as naturally as I could. I enrolled in the Midwife program at the hospital and felt very confident in how the whole process was going. Just like my first son though, my second just didn't want to come. He was late and losing a lot of amniotic fluid. Devastated that I was going through this process again, feeling like my child was being "forced" out (although I know this time it was necessary due to the lack of fluid) made me feel like I was doing such a disservice to my child...I just had so much guilt. They started me on a super low dose of pitocin and told me that if active labor starts, they'd take my IV out. They kept upping the pitocin and I refused any drugs. 14 hours later, being in the worst pain due to the pitocin induced contractions, my widwife checked me and I was 7 cm and fully effaced. Her exact words were, "You are doing great and almost there!!." It was then though, the monitor lost the heartbeat because I shifted (this was something that had been happening the whole time I was at the hospital and his heartbeat the whole time was fine, it was the monitors that were acting up) the Midwife decided that she would freak out and call in the medical team. Within seconds I am wisked away to the OR where the heartbeat is checked and like the whole time, is 150 per minute. I point to the monitor and tell the Doctor, "He has 150 beats per minute! He is fine!" and she tells me, "What's matter most is a healthy baby!!" I respond with, "I am WELL aware of that." Right as I say that I get a contraction and I hear, "deep breath" and I am knocked out. My baby was born 40 seconds later, screaming and I didn't wake up for an hour....I missed the whole first hour of my baby's life. The kicker to this whole story: My Midwife was at my bedside when I woke up and she told me right there that the doctors had been pressuring her to get me "sectioned" for the last 2 hours....my Midwife caved in... 
So....I did everything I could to have the most natural birth possible. I love that with documentaries like, "The Business of Being Born" it is encouraging woman to have a voice and control when it comes to their children's births. I just hate that I love this "movement" so much yet I couldn't be apart of the experience. It's hard to read women's stories and feel like I missed out. Bottom line, I am so blessed to have my boys and the fact that they are healthy is all that matters but it is hard feeling like, everything with all of the information and planning, I still feel like I was robbed of a natural birth. 


If you made it this far thank you for reading and letting me just get this out! 

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I'm so sorry you didn't get the birth you planned!! I hope as time goes on the dissappointment of that fades. It sounds like you did one heck of a job fighting for yourself. I'm just sorry it didn't pan out the way you wanted!!
I'm so sorry you feel such a deep loss, its awful that you feel so robbed....I agree that it really sounds like you did what you could to birth the way you desired. Maybe third time's the charm?

*hugs*
I'm sorry that you feel ashamed or guilty about how your births ended up. You did your best in the given circumstances and you should be proud of yourself. I can't imagine having to read these stories and wishing that you had experienced something different, but you can focus on what you do have; two wonderful children, who have a mommy that obviously loves them very much.
Thank you Ladies-your responses mean a lot!
This makes me so angry. I know I should be kind, and respect doctors, other staff, hospitals, etc....but I just hear too many of these kinds of stories, and women who live with this their whole lives! And I wish this world was a better place for all of us, that EVERY woman who choses to bring a new little one here could do it in a gentle, knowledgeable, peaceful environment- no pressure, stress, inane rules, or disrespect of her body and the baby!! Sorry, just had to let it out for a moment here. Sigh. Katie, you deserved better.
OK Miss Katie. I am 33 weeks pregnant, and this is about the time my body starts waking me me up at 2 hr increments to get ready for a newborn. (boo.) Anyhow, at 3:30 this morning I found myself thinking in great detail about your post. So here's my 2 cents, edited for content and sleep deprivation. :)

Here's the stuff for you first. I just attended a talk given by Pam England (author of Birthing from Within. If you haven't read it, you should) on Preventing and Healing from Birth Trauma. It really opened my eyes to a new and very comforting perspective on birth, and I hope it makes you feel better. We as women tend to put an ENORMOUS amount of pressure on ourselves to birth the way we see best. It doesn't matter how we choose to deliver our babies, the mental pressure is the same. We develop opinions about birth in our subconscious minds, and then use those opinions to measure ourselves against after the fact. Not only do we do that, but we convince ourselves that it didn't go the way we planned because we "didn't stand up for ourselves" or we say things like "Mary got the birth she wanted (I wanted) because Mary did more yoga and Mary had a midwife". What we fail to realize, is that in every birth their is an element of grace. Those who have "normal" births didn't get them because they were better equipped than some of their peers, or because they ate better and exercised more. Had a doula , or a took Bradley classes. Grace played a hand. We are all no better, and no worse than any other child bearing woman. Comparing ourselves doesn't help. Focus on what you did that worked. I bet you will find a lot more than you think.

Another thing she said is that we( as midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, and fellow women) spend a lot of time telling other women to stand up for themselves during delivery and speak their minds. Forgetting that what we are asking them to do, most people can not even begin to attempt given the nature of birth. So on the other side, these women feel they have failed both themselves, and their babies because they didn't speak up. I would also like to point out here that you DID speak up! That in itself is amazing! I don't know how many have the strength and presence of mind to continue to say what they want as they are being put under for surgery. Feel GOOD about that! Lastly, think about what your baby would say about you now if he could talk. I bet he would say that from the first time he saw you, you've rarely stopped holding him. That you keep him feeling warm, happy, and loved. That you devote yourself to him ALL the time. That you are the only mommy he would ever want. I guess the gist I am trying to get across is that you need to look past the things that you could not control, and to see all things you have done well, and that are working for you and your family. Give yourself some credit!

Okay, so now in regards to your midwife. In my area we have recently found out that effective today, two CNM's who work with a local doctor(who happens to be a very outspoken home birth, breech birth, VBAC advocate) will no longer be able to deliver at one of the two hospitals they have been delivering at for years. The hospital says it's because only one of those hospitals has a NICU, and they are trying to avoid a law suit. Basically they are implying that these two women put moms and babies they are assisting at an increased risk, and they need the added insurance of a NICU on sight. Even though, they have only sighted 1 transfer between the two EVER. So because this situation is on my mind, and because I assume that the real reasons behind this new ban are purely political, I started thinking about the enormous pressure your midwife probably has/had to endure as well. Imagine having a doctor breathing down your back, whispering things in to your ear about "your responsibility to the patient", and just generally breeding negativity. How long could you put up with that? How long could you be certain that you were making the right choice? I think the fact that she was sitting bedside when you woke up speaks volumes about her, and how she feels about you. We are all human, and it sounds like she tried really hard.

As always this very lengthy post is purely my opinion, and if you want to tell me to bang off, feel free. :) But I hope it helps.
I loved your "lengthy" post, KM! It brought tears to my eyes! Even only being 6 wks pregnant, I'm already forming the "ideal" birth experience in my mind, and I've been worrying so much about things not going as planned (e.g. breech birth, extreme post-date, malpresentation, preeclampsia, etc) that would force me to accept interventions I would normally refuse. I really don't know why I'm worrying about things so far off...I'm blaming the progesterone. :)
Your words to the other Katie (LOL) have really brought me some peace. Thanks!
I don't want to reiterate what has already been said (such a thoughtful post, KM), but had to speak up to say that what you described happening in your second son's birth sounds, to me, like assault. Did you give consent for the c-section before they knocked you out? If not, regardless of whether or not the midwife "caved", you still had the ultimate say over what was being done to you. If the doctor did not have permission to section you, then you experienced unlawful bodily assault. Period.

I hope that you have communicated your feelings about what happened to both the labor and delivery unit staff (doctors, midwife, head charge nurse) and the hospital upper management, because this should NOT be happening to women. You might find that expressing yourself to the people at the hospital is cathartic, and helps you bring some closure to this traumatic event.

I hope I don't upset you by saying these things. It just boggles my mind that doctors can get away with this kind of behavior. It's disgusting.
Really great posts from everyone, and Amanda, I totally agree. I just read about a woman who was laboring IN THE PARKING LOT of the hospital, because she was terrified they would section her. She went in when the baby's head was crowning, but the doctor knocked her out and did a c-section anyway!! Unbelievable. Isn't that illegal? The doctor told her later that he had the nurses push the baby back because "it is against the hospital rules to do a VBAC". Wow. If these types of things happened on the street, of course there would be screaming and suing! I don't understand...
I am so sorry for what happened...I really feel for women in your situation. I want to tell you something that I always want c-section moms that I work with to hear. Thank-you. Thank-you for bringing a beautiful sweet baby into this world. I admire you giving of yourself and having to go through something like this so that a little baby can come into this world. You are so strong...so courageous. So, big hugs from afar:)
Thank you all again for your responses! While I know I can't dwell on details...sometimes it's just hard not to so I appreciate the support.

KM:
"I think the fact that she was sitting bedside when you woke up speaks volumes about her, and how she feels about you. We are all human, and it sounds like she tried really hard."

--This is very true. Looking back I do see how she truly didn't have to be there when I woke up and I do know that she cared. As you can imagine at the time, it was hard to focus on that or much else for that matter when I was still so emotional over my son being here and the whole emergency c-section process. But yes, you are so right in that it did speak volumes as to the woman that she is.

"Lastly, think about what your baby would say about you now if he could talk. I bet he would say that from the first time he saw you, you've rarely stopped holding him. That you keep him feeling warm, happy, and loved. That you devote yourself to him ALL the time. That you are the only mommy he would ever want."

--So the tears are now falling! Thank you so much for that...it truly means a lot to hear.



Amanda:

"If the doctor did not have permission to section you, then you experienced unlawful bodily assault. Period.

I hope that you have communicated your feelings about what happened to both the labor and delivery unit staff (doctors, midwife, head charge nurse) and the hospital upper management, because this should NOT be happening to women. You might find that expressing yourself to the people at the hospital is cathartic, and helps you bring some closure to this traumatic event."


--Believe me, you are not the only person who has told me this. I can express my feelings to them and I do know how that in itself can be a therapeutic process but I think my decision to not say something was actually my way of trying to focus on the fact that he is here and most importantly, healthy. If there was any issue regarding his health AT ALL that was triggered by his birth, then there is no doubt in my mind that words (and paperwork) would have already been exchanged. I just think by focusing on my baby and trying to get back to my everyday life with him now in it, helped me "cope" with the fact that I had an emergency c-section...if that makes any sense? Also, I gave birth at a military hospital so my odds of getting anything legal off the ground are pretty much slim to none.


Again, that you all so much!
Glad all this great support is helping. That's why we are all members of this community right? Not to judge or belittle, but to encourage and up lift!

Enjoy the joyful road ahead!

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