Tuesday, September 8, 2009
"Certainly, not every woman who had a C-section is going to feel this way — and I’m glad of that, otherwise there would be at least 31.7% of women last year who were as traumatized in body and spirit as this apple was brutalized, which would be unconscionable. It’s horrific enough that even one woman feels this way, much less every woman. This can be a point of contention among post-C-section women — some women can’t understand why others feel victimized by the same surgery that they had no problems with, or were even grateful for. Perhaps this image will help everyone who does not have negative feelings about C-sections (or other birth trauma) understand those who do."
Friday, July 17, 2009
I post it here and dedicate it to Cool Ranch Luke in honor of our introductory exchange (refereed by Leila) on types of men, booby shaking, and the dichotomy of id. Heady stuff.
Here it is:
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I planned. I researched. I attended classes. I read books. I hired a doula. I switched from one clinic and midwife to a different clinic and midwife within a month or two of the due date in order to avoid having my child in a hospital machine with the highest cesarean section rate (36%*) in the metro area.
I wanted a safe and natural child birth. I wanted my son to come into the world free of any medicated haze. I wanted the satisfaction and empowerment that comes from going through the most intense and miraculous feat the human body can perform—one that it is built to do...meant to do. The exhilaration. The experience. I wanted the experience.
Also: the majority of women in my life (relatives and close friends) of my generation have had c-sections, planned and unplanned, and while I don't judge their choice or circumstances, I so wanted to avoid the same fate.
But if you go in for organized health care you can only dodge the hospital machine so much.
I had switched from a good midwife to an awesome midwife, but the switch in hospitals wasn't quite as impressive: the new one had a c-section rate of 27%. And then there are the rules. In particular, if you go more than two weeks past your due date you can no longer work with the midwife and are assigned an OB doctor.
So I found myself at week 42 . My pregnancy had been very healthy, so when my midwife suggested that I come in to get things started, I agreed. I really liked (and still do) my midwife and preferred to keep her over working with an MD. But she is one of three midwives at the clinic affiliated with the hospital we chose, and I went in on a day that she was off. The midwife scheduled was one who had rubbed me wrong on the two occasions I'd met with her. Not a good start.
I had a birth plan and a realistic enough expectation that not everything might go as I wanted, but I never expected the whole thing to be pretty much scrapped. The first interventions (ripening and induction) rolled into other interventions—just as I'd learned that they typically do.
One of my requests that did pan out for the most part—and the most positive part of the experience—was that I was not offered pain medication. I'm proud to say that with the support and encouragement of my husband and doula, I labored through about 18 hours of increasingly intense chemically induced contractions. I won't say it wasn't painful, but it was surmountable...I could rise above it and move through it because they both kept me focused, did what they could to provide comfort, and coached me through position after position to help my little one come out on his own. We tried all but an inversion position; all the positions that my doula (and others she called) knew. The effort did pay off. Pumpkin did respond and shimmied down, but ultimately he just wasn't ready. We stalled out at 6 cm.
I was exhausted and suggestions of an epidural and possible c-section were made. An anesthesiologist was called in. A nurse suggested laboring a while longer with an epidural and the midwife, on consulting with an OB doctor over the phone, pressed for the c-section. Even though Pumpkin's heartbeat never once wavered, she maintained that going longer would put stress on him.
I hated hated hated making the decision, but in the end, a c-section it was.
I'm full to the top with woulda-shoulda-couldas. YES, I have a healthy son and YES I'm so thankful for that, but what if I'd held out a little longer...ignored the 42 week deadline? Could I have avoided all of this or would a new set of rationales and warnings steered me toward the same end?
The deed is done, but it doesn't end there. I'm not broken, but I do now have this thin, seemingly innocuos scar. With it I'll encounter new rules and cautionary warnings should I get pregnant again because despite any scary, skewed warnings, I will not want another c-section. I can say that I'm pissed and that I won't let myself be steered away from the birth that I want. I thought I had girded myself for this first birth. How will the next one be different?
*"Countries with some of the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world have cesarean rates of less than 10%. There is no justification for any region to have a rate higher than 10-15%."
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I've tried to avoid delving into personal stuff here (though I've failed when it comes to work grumbles...which continue to linger), and since not much else but such stuff is occupying my mind—what with all the bulging and growing going on in my mid-section—I can't seem to pull together anything of interest or substance to post.
But I'm still reading around from time to time and may pop in for a comment. I miss it here and I hope to be back, but I'm certain I'll have no idea what hit me in a month or so.
In the interim, I have an average canteloupe, a honeydew melon, a crenshaw melon, a stalk of swiss chard (based on loftiness apparently), a leek (length), a mini watermelon, and the grand finale of a small pumpkin to look forward to.