Well, I thought it was pretty traumatic, anyway, and I wanted to share and see if anyone else had experienced something like this.
I wanted a natural birth - my mom had four kids at home and on the only birth with a complication her midwives saved her life and her OBGYN flat out told her she probably would have died on the table with him. But my insurance at the time wouldn't cover a midwife so I found an OBGYN that advocated natural, drug-free, zero-intervention type births. Like most doctors, she belonged to a practice with eight other OBGYNs.
I went in to labor early one Saturday morning. I called my mom, who came and went through nine hours of contractions with me and then sent my husband and I to the hospital - about a 45 minute drive from our home.
My OBGYN was NOT there. She should have been, but called in for personal reasons and would not be present again until Monday. But one of her associates was there. This person checked me and said it didn't matter how active I felt my labor was (talking down to me the whole time) that I was not dilated enough to be admitted and she sent me home. I sobbed all the way home b/c I was pretty exhausted and disappointed. They even gave me meds to take to slow down my contractions and make me sleep. My mom was no longer at my house and I didn't want to call and wake her at home, so I took the meds and went to bed. Ten minutes later, I threw everything up and my contractions started becoming stronger and closer together.
My husband called my mom - who was a phenomenal labor coach - who came back and helped me labor from midnight to 6:30 AM. She even had me sleeping in between contractions! My husband slept through the night too, so he was awake and ready to go when my water broke. "There's no way they'll send you home now," my mother said. I had insisted all night long that I would NOT go back to that hospital where the "mean doctor" was. "Just go and you should be delivering soon. They may not even give you any pain killers at this point."
The mean doctor was still there when we got there, but this time she took one look at my face and had me in a birthing suite. I vaguely remember her being furious that I arrived at such a late stage that they did not even have time to get an IV in me - they put it in AFTER I gave birth. Makes me chuckle now. But she did talk me in to pain killer b/c I tore. First thing she said was, "You may feel okay now, but it's really going to hurt. Let us give you something." I protested that I would be fine with just IBprofen or something but she insisted. My ignorant response: "Okay. You're the doctor."
Ladies, to this day I'm not sure what I was given. I've heard a few educated guesses, but I can't find the actual drug on any of my hospital paperwork. But whatever it was caused me to completely forget that first day of my daughter's life. I called people to tell them about the birth, but the next morning woke up in a panic thinking I hadn't told anyone. I couldn't remember nursing my little girl for the first time, being in a hospital room with family, and apparently I even fainted rather dramatically and had most of the nurses on the floor in my room trying to revive me and get me from the bathroom to bed. I remember nothing of any of this.
I've spent the first year and a half of my daughter's life quite angry about the pain medication and furious that the know-it-all doctor sent me home. I was 23 years old, frightened, and I had longed for the "comfort" of a hospital full of technology and medical knowledge and doctors.
Now, after reading the book and watching the documentary, I am beyond relieved that everything worked out the way it did. Because I spent so much of my labor time at home, I avoided having drugs pushed on me and a C-section. Turns out that the attending doctor has an extremely high C-section rate and her personal opinion is the polar opposite of what I wanted. Maybe it was all for the best.
For my second birth - only ten weeks away now - I've found a certified nurse-midwife who has a lovely birthing center. And she accepts my insurance. My husband is also going to take a very active role, whereas in the hospital he was kind of pushed to one side. He's now a certified paramedic and my midwife loves the idea of him doing some of the work. :-)
Just thought I'd share and wasn't sure where to do it. I also thought this would be a good introduction - so, hi everyone!
Thank you so much for sharing your story!
Thank you for sharing this!
Your story is one that I hear similar variations of all the time - it seems to be the standard of care now to be talked down to and treated as if you don't know your own body OR what you want intervention-wise (as if you're not smart enough to figure it out, or to realize that of course this is a very dangerous thing that you need to be saved from!)
Good for your mom for knowing what to tell you, and it's awesome that you stood your ground as much as you could.
Do keep us posted about how this birth goes! You also may want to look into hiring a doula - they make all the difference too!
Charis Brown Malloy
Thank-you for sharing your story. It is wonderful that you had the assistance of your mom--the presence of a calm, supportive woman who knows you. I am sorry that you had a medication pushed on you. It sounds like scopolamine, but I didn't think that drug was being used any longer. Blessings on your coming birth!
One of the best bits of advice that has been given to me about first births is that they are what they are. Mine was less than desirable but I was also not as informed as I am now. The only thing we can do it to improve upon the next one.
Hope your second birth goes perfectly and Good Luck!
Thank you so sharing your story. Have a beautiful birth and Happy 2011! xoricki
Congrats on your upcoming birth. I am sorry for your experience, I know that must have been very hard for you. I hope your birth & babymoon are beautiful. Maybe your husband can "catch" the baby, then he will have experience in case he has to do it in the field. :-)