It was a Wednesday, June 10, 1987. This had been a pretty uneventful first pregnancy and I was 11 days past my estimated due date. At the tender age of 21, I thought that I was well educated about pregnancy, the physiology of labor and birth and breastfeeding - after all, I had read "What To Expect When You Are Expecting" (along with 5 or 6 other childbirth books). My husband and I had attended the childbirth classes that the doctor's nurse taught and we honestly felt like if there was something that we needed yet to know - that we would be told.
This state of mind, as you will see revealed many times in this birthstory, was one of the most dangerous places to be for a young woman about to begin labor with her first child.
We spent the day Wednesday in the doctor's office - not my OB, but the surgeon of my husband. He had (for the 3rd time since we'd been married for 9 short months) his abdomen opened up from an old appendectomy scar that didn't heal. The surgeon had opened the scar up and cleaned out a lot of the bad tissue. He packed it with gauze, made some jokes about me delivering while there and sent us home with pain medication. My husband was bouncing in a nightclub for part time income and thinking that he could sit on a bar stool and check IDs at the door - insanely decided that he would go on to work.
He left me at home with an upset stomach and feeling really restless but tired. My back had been crampy and I just didn't feel right. Having had no previous experience with prodromal labor or even having a baby in the first place - how was I to know what I needed to pay attention to?
About 10 pm, I noticed that I was having more and more regular contractions - but they were not any stronger than the copious amount of braxton hicks contractions that I'd been having for the past two or three weeks. If I only had known that this was a normal part of the body preparing to begin labor - I'd not have gotten all excited. I should have tried to go to sleep.
By 1:00 am on Thursday, June 11, 1987, I was into a timing frenzy. They were coming every 5 minutes and while they were not taking my breath away or causing me to really have to concentrate on the intensity of the contractions - I was acutely aware of the fact that something was happening to my body. In hindsight, I hadn't lost any of my plug and the contractions were not gaining in intensity - they just were becoming more and more close together. If only I had known..... Oh, how I wish I had known.
I phoned the nightclub at 1:10 am and told him that I thought that I was in labor. His excitement married with mine was a cocktail for problems. He rushed home and we timed those contractions some more. He was more excited than a football fan on playoff game day and insisted that we go to the hospital. The childbirth teacher had instructed us to come to the hospital when the contractions were 5 minutes apart....so that meant we should go immediately, right? Staying at home any longer would surely mean that I'd have the baby before we could get there, right?
We arrived in the ER a little after 2:00 am and they insisted that I be escorted to L&D in the wheelchair. This should have been my first clue that I was going to be treated as a sick person. I was too caught up in the excitement of thinking that I was in labor and about to become a mother for the first time to pay attention to the flags that were going up in my mind.
They were busy in L&D, I remember every space on the board being filled with a patients name and their corresponding Dr. They put me into a small room with an examining table and said they were waiting for a labor room to open up. About 45 minutes later, I was admitted to Labor Room #4 and the chart's first entry was at 2:55 am. They took a urine specimen and put me into a bed and strapped me to the fetal heart monitor. I remember them telling me something about having to wear that to make sure my baby's heart was still beating - and thinking to myself that surely if I wore it then it would insure that all would be "well." Since then, especially in my doula experience, I've become increasingly aware of how much of a role that doubt plays in a woman's birth success. Just the mere subconscious suggestion that our bodies might not be able of handling birth or that we can't have faith in the process or that our faith belongs in the hands of technology and machines - plants those seeds and it doesn't take much for those seeds to sprout and grow into the size of a giant oak.
I'm not sure if at that point that the contractions were gaining in intensity or if I was just caught up in the excitement that my mental and physical state was promoting. I remember the nurse saying that I was going to "be observed for labor" and that she would come back in a few minutes after getting "some strip" and check me.
She came back and commanded that I 'open up' so that she could check me to see if I was really in labor. The FHTs were in the 130's and when she checked me, I remember wondering why in the hell it hurt so damn bad....she kept saying that she couldn't reach it (meaning the cervix) but I think now that she was trying to strip my membranes without telling me. When she pulled her hand out - the glove was stained with blood. That was alarming to me (no one ever told me that there was something called a bloody show). I remember feeling so disappointed to hear her words, "Well, you might be in labor but its still early, you're only 90% effaced and not dilated any." Slump! I felt my hopes drop. My God! I had been having contractions for over 4 hours and they were not easy and I should have been much farther along than that. She said that she was going to go call the Dr and tell him my status and see what he said.
She came back about 3:15 and said that the Dr said to admit me since I was 12 days post term.
We went through - or I guess I should say that I went through all the 20 pages of admittance forms and questions and I began to notice that I was feeling very crampy (side effect of membrane stripping). I wanted to move around but the nurse kept insisting that I be still so it wouldn't mess up the monitor readings. My husband was over in the corner, doubled up from his incision hurting and hardly said a word once we were in the labor room.
I wanted to go to the bathroom - really, I wanted to get up out of that damn bed and move around. The Dr came in about 5 am and I had my 2nd internal. NO change - I felt the wind go out of my sail even more. His VE hurt even worse than the other one and I was beginning to experience my first serious seeds of doubt regarding how wonderful labor is. I told him that he was hurting me and he pulled his hand out - more blood. He left and said, "We'll have a baby today - one way or the other so get comfortable." He walked out the door on that note.
At 5:15 am, the nurse came in to start an IV. "Why do I have to have an IV?", I asked. "Because the Dr ordered it" she snapped back. Once she got the IV in, she pushed Stadol and Sparine into the IV. I didn't know that she was putting medication in the IV and it was only when she put the side rails up on the bed and told me to stay put because she just gave me medication did I realize that something other than saline was flowing through that tubing. "He just ordered it to make you relax and feel more comfortable" was what she said on her way out the door.
A few minutes later, I felt the room starting to spin.... I felt trapped in a bed with monitors beeping and totally UNsupported because my husband (who was an hour into his pain pill) had been sleeping the entire time in the chair and was oblivious as to the traffic in my room. I felt like I was going to throw up.....
I pressed the nurse call button and said I was going to be sick and for the next 20 minutes proceeded to empty out my stomach of everything that I had eaten that previous day. The contractions kept coming but I felt loopy and disconnected and I hated that feeling. I hated it. I wanted to get up and move around but I was so afraid that I'd get in trouble if I moved and something might happen to my baby or the monitor straps... I felt trapped. And I was.
I wanted to get up and go to the bathroom. I had to pee. They had pumped almost half of that bag into my veins and I wanted to get up and go pee. "No, you have to stay in the bed once you've been given drugs....hospital policy. I'll get you a bedpan." Oh great.
I don't know about any of you people - but I have a mental block when it comes to using a bedpan. I told her that I wouldn't be able to go and she laughed and said, "when it gets full enough, you'll go, don't worry" and then she left me sitting there with just the monitors and my sleeping husband. I sat on that fucking bedpan for over two hours until my belly hurt so bad I couldn't breath. I felt like I was going to be sick again and my bladder felt like it was on fire. My legs were asleep from sitting on the pan at the angle that I was. This was not working. I decided that I was going to get out of that bed and go to the bathroom. And I did.
I remember sitting on the toilet and beginning to cry. This wasn't the beautiful experience that I had been dreaming about all my life. There was no miracle taking place. I was alone. I was scared. I was hurting. I was trapped. Most of all, I felt alone and frightened. I just sat there and cried until the door opened.
Yeah, the nurse came in and gave me the lecture about staying in the bed, how it was policy and how she would have to call the Dr to report me if I didn't obey the rules. She also made some sarcastic comment about me not needing to cry cause that wasn't going to help me birth a baby. She never knocked - just came right onto the bathroom. I didn't care at that point. She must have felt like she needed to teach me a lesson because about 30 minutes later (at 7:00 am) - my OB came in and told me that I would have to stay in the bed like I was told. He checked me again and there was still no change. I'd been there for over 5 hours and nothing was happening.
They should have sent me home.
Instead, they began the pitocin. It was 10:30 am. Every thirty minutes, someone would come in and increase the dosage. They had it running through one of those machines that regulates the dosage so it was easy to control it by small increments. The wicked nurse gave me an enema and shaved my bottom. I've often wondered if it gave her pleasure to humiliate me and belittle me like she did. She didn't once look me straight in the eye.....if only I had known that it could have been different.
An hour on the pit gave me some serious contractions - but with no support and no clue - my sense of anxiety only increased. So did my blood pressure (according to the monitor). No one came in the room and the only sound was my gasping with the contractions and my husband snoring over in the chair. The monitor would signal that the contraction was coming and before I'd even feel the tightening power, I'd hold my breath and just buck back and forth in the bed.
I felt so alone but more than that - I felt robbed of an experience that I had anticipated to be much different than what I was experiencing. WHY in the HELL had that nurse who taught the classes told us that they were "contractions and not pain"? Why? None of the books were honest and upfront and factual to communicate that this was what labor is like. I was hurting and I just wanted my momma. I reached for the phone and called her to come on to the hospital. My thoughts were that at least she would be awake and hopefully more help than my sleeping husband.
My blood pressure was creeping up and there were more and more variables to the FHTs. I didn't know it because I was hurting and scared and being hypnotized by the sound of the monitors. By 1:30 the pit had been increased 3 times and I was now receiving over 1 ml/min. The contractions were really hurting and when I tried to tell the nurse that I was hurting - she laughed and said to me, "Honey, you ain't felt nothing yet. You don't know what hurting is."
I grew to really hate that woman and the condescending bitch that she was. It would only be with my next birth that I could truly understand how undermining this woman's attitude and behavior was to my birth experience. She rewarded me a little while later with another push of Stadol, Phenergan (to prevent me from barfing this time) and more Sparine. I spent the next 2 hours in la la land sleeping while the pit continued to do its dirty deed.
The Dr came in at 4 pm for another VE - 95% effaced and barely a dimple. I swear that I smelled alcohol on his breath but at the time I dismissed it to me being drugged from the pain medication. I do remember him saying that I had an "incompetent cervix" that was "being pretty stubborn" and he'd "need to help it along a little more." He walked over to the pit machine and beeped up the number a little more. I know that I saw that number read 1.6 ml/min but I didn't know what that meant. He said to me on his way out the door, "We'll see some action pretty soon so get ready to hunker down."
The nurses came and went but from that point on, I was pretty out of it. I honestly thought that my uterus was going to split wide open from the pain. The labor records indicate that I received another dose of Stadol and that the FHTs were up in the 150's to 170's with contractions of +2 and +3 quality on palpitations. When a woman is laboring, a trained person can place their hand on the belly during a contraction and feel how hard/high the contractions tighten the uterus. The higher the number, the more intense and higher on the uterus the contraction is. A 3+ quality is in the upper 2/3 of the uterus and is a productive contraction.
My husband had gone to the cafeteria for something to eat so he could take another pain pill and my mom was not helping me. She couldn't shut up. She kept talking about what was on the TV. She kept trying to tell me what was happening on the monitors....warning me of another pending hellish contraction. She was definitely not helping *me*. Nothing was helping me. I think back now on that nightmare in LDR#4 and how things could have been SO different had I been better educated, more mobile and had the services of a doula. In 1987, no one knew what a doula was. All I knew is that I was NOT having fun, and I surely was going to die.
The records say that about 5 pm, I received another VE and was found to be 0 station, 100% effaced and still 1 cm dilated. Progress was being made but it was very slow. The records reflect that I received another dose of Sparine/Stadol at 4:45 pm and when the Dr came in for a check about 5:15 pm (because he was finished with his office visits and wanted to know how 'bad' I wanted to have a baby today) he upped the Pit again. I don't know how much, I just know that he bumped those buttons a few beeps. I just kept my eyes closed because his VE was still hurting even though he had taken his hand out already. Its amazing (in hindsight) that my body accomplished anything after constantly being drugged and sedated.
I remember crying to him that I wasn't going to be able to do this anymore - the contractions were hurting too bad. He said I could have an epidural and I wouldn't feel anything but that he wasn't going to turn the pit off because he would 'blow that baby through that cervix if he had to". I agreed to the epidural - anything to stop the pain.
The anesthesiologist came and gave me the epidural. It was uneventful, went in without problem and the only thing that was hard was sitting still while I felt like my belly was going to explode.
I remember him finishing up and tilting the head part of my bed down.... I couldn't breathe and I tried to tell him. He told me to be quiet and relax, that I was just nervous and needed to let the medicine work. How many times during that whole experience would I be denied my feelings and told to shut up and relax. I couldn't breathe and my pulse started racing. I could hear the BP alarm going off and so they opened the IV all the way. I later learned that BP problems are to be expected when an epidural is administered. I couldn't move or feel anything below my arms....I couldn't breathe. I was scared shitless and remember trying to open my mouth to speak but it wouldn't come out. I just blacked out.
A few minutes went by and I came back around and found myself still in that bed, only this time - the rails were locked in the upright position and I couldn't feel anything from the breast down. According to the monitor, the baby's FHTs were in the high 160s with variables down into the 130s.
It took about 30 minutes for the pain to go away. The nurse told me that the Drs idea was to take away the pain so I could rest and then try to get things moving after I took a nap. They speculated that my previous cervical surgery in 1986 had caused cervical stenosis and that it was just going to be really hard for the cervix to dilate with all that scar tissue. What they didn't tell me was that it is very common for first time mothers to go two or three days with piddly contractions and that when supported by rest and proper nutrition and hydration - that labor begins in its own time - when the baby and the mother's uterus are ready.
Since I was still only a dimple, they couldn't break my water (couldn't get the amniohook through a closed cervix) and the pit wasn't working as well as they hoped. They had tried to stir/strip my membranes several times with no luck.
I am still not sure after 18 years what sensation I was feeling about 6:40 when I asked my mom why the bed was wet........I had had my epidural in place for almost an hour and was supposed to have no sensations at all. Regardless, I choose now to believe it was divine intervention because when my mom pulled the covers back to see if the bed really was wet - the look of horror on her face told a tale.
She dropped the covers on the side of the bed and I looked down to find a blood clot about the size of a small paper plate. It was just sitting there on the chux pad, draining its fluid into the bed. My mom opened the door and screamed into the hall. The nurse and Dr were at the nurse's station and looked up. I think my mom screamed something like "Get in here! She's bleeding out" and they both came running.
What transpired in the next few minutes are still of a blur to me and it all happened so very fast. He (the Dr) ordered a cesarean "STAT" and wires and tubes and bed rails and covers were flying. The bed started moving and someone threw a set of scrubs to my husband and ordered him to get dressed. I don't know what the monitor was reading when they unplugged the wires but I remember the nurse on the gurney and standing over me with her hand inside my vagina while we moved quickly through the doors of the OR. I didn't know what was happening.
I remember the pillow that I had been using between my legs being shoved under my head and feeling my hair feel wet and matty. I turned my head to the side upward to see what it was and my hair was soaked with blood from that nasty pillow. I remember telling the nurse that I had blood all in my hair and on my face and asking her could she move the pillow and I remember her snapping back at me that I had "more important things to worry about right now than a bloody pillow" and I just closed my eyes and begin to pray.
According to the hospital records - she was born at 6:56 pm with apgars of 3 and 4. The hospital records do not reflect the true course of events (I'm assuming because of liability) and there are several parts of the labor record that were crossed out and written over. My husband remembers them saying that my placenta had separated (called placenta abruption). I don't think that the plate sized clot between my legs was part of the placenta but just clotted blood from bleeding out. I also don't know how long it was before the separation and when she was delivered. I do know that it was less than 5 minutes between the time when my bed was being rushed into OR and when she was born.
I don't remember hearing her cry for the first time. I remember feeling like my lower body was being tugged to the other side of the room. I felt pressure but no pain. I remember hearing the pediatrician issue orders for bagging and suction but it was very hectic and noisy and I couldn't keep my eyes open to pay attention. I am thankful that the Dr had enough sense to give me a low transverse incision but I am NOT thankful that he used betadine to prep my belly. I am allergic to betadine and it causes 2nd degree burns on my skin wherever it is applied. Imagine healing from abdominal surgery on top of skin that is burned and blistering. Ack!
The operative report is an identical one to most c-sections....they do say that the uterus was rotated to the side (he wasn't kidding when he told me that he would blow that baby through my cervix, was he?) and that they tried to get a finger in the cervix but it was hard and barely dilated. The last sentence says that I tolerated the procedure well and left the OR in good condition.
They wheeled me to recovery and gave me a Polaroid shot of my newborn baby to look at. I insisted that I wouldn't be satisfied with that and enlisted the help of my mother to have them roll my bed up to the nursery so that I could see her (even if I couldn't hold her). They did but I had to view my baby through the safety glass. She had been taken to neonatal ICU for observation and treatment. She weighed 10 pounds, 1 ounce and was 23 inches long.
I was in front of that glass for all of 3 minutes before they turned me around and rolled me back down to the recovery room. I kept asking about her, asking to see her, asking to hold her but kept getting every excuse in the book. The most common one was that all the rooms upstairs were full and I was stuck in recovery and that babies could not leave the nursery floor. Everyone promised to see what they could do to help me see/hold my baby. Promises but no action.
Because of the high delivery traffic of the previous 24 hours, all the rooms upstairs were full so I had to spend the evening in the recovery room downstairs outside of the OB OR. The recovery nurses were not used to caring for postpartum patients for more than an hour or two and there were none of the regular supplies for post partum women anywhere in recovery area.
I was pain free until after midnight. Everyone had gone home (including my husband) and after a short nap, I awoke to excruciating pain. I felt like I was dying - and I couldn't move my legs. I could feel the pain but I couldn't move. Oh my God, I was having a reaction to the epidural that they talked about in class. I was going to be paralyzed for the rest of my life. I had every possible horrific scenario running through my mind. I didn't know what was real or not but I knew that I was experiencing the worst pain of my entire life - beyond any of my knee surgeries.
I reached for the call button. I pressed and pressed and pressed. No one answered, no one came. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting and praying and crying I began to holler for someone to come. The hollering escalated to screaming and within 20 minutes, I was screaming at the top of my lungs for someone to "Help Me". Over and over I screamed as loud as I could, begging for someone to hear me, to help me, to come. No one came, no one answered. Eventually, the screaming died down to barely an audible whisper or plea for help. Anything, anyone - just help me. Please. I had lost my voice and couldn't speak.
I tried to reach the phone - it was about 6 inches past where I could reach. I tried and tried to reach that phone to call someone to come help me. I couldn't reach it. My arms weren't strong enough to pull my whole dead-weight body from the waste down sideways to reach the phone. The thought occurred to me that I was in that darkened room all alone, with the door closed and that I could stay there for literally hours before anyone would check on me or come by. I felt down by my side and felt the Styrofoam cup that had turned over and what I felt like was a soaked spot on the sheet. I felt for the straw and used the straw to hook the phone cord sitting on the bedside table. Once I snagged the cord, I pulled the phone towards me and the base of the phone went crashing to the floor. Somehow I managed to keep hold of the cord and pulled the base back up to the bed. I dialed -0- and waited/prayed for someone to answer.
The operator of the hospital answered. It was sometime after 3 am. As hard as I tried to explain to her that I was INSIDE the hospital as a PATIENT - she kept insisting that she could not ring patient's rooms or the nurse's station when it wasn't visiting hours. I began to sob into the phone and tried again to explain to her that I was stuck in the ob recovery room downstairs, that I had given birth to a baby girl the night before and that they had left me there, I didn't know if my baby was dead or alive and that I was paralyzed from the waist down and couldn't move and the nurses call button wasn't working. I tried to tell her in between sobs that I had been screaming at the top of my lungs for over an hour for someone to come help me and it wasn't working. My voice was hoarse and barely recognizable. I told her that I would keep calling until she transferred me. She finally rang the recovery department nurse's station.
The janitor picked up the ringing phone at 3:17 am on the morning of June 12, 1987. I tried to explain to him what was happening and within a few minutes, the door to the room where I'd been trapped opened and 2 nurses and the janitor entered. While the effects of the epidural that make you paralyzed had not worn off yet - I could feel all the post operative pain that there was to feel. I began to cry again, this time from relief. They set about quickly to work on me. My blood pressure was 150/100 and it took me a while to calm down. They of course, administered pain meds thru the IV and changed the sheets from where I had bled all over them (it wasn't the drink that had spilled). Basically, they just forgot about me being in there and when the shift change took place - no one knew that I was in there. I know....very poor nursing care.
When I finally got settled and back into bed after one of the nurses bathed me, I began asking again about my baby. Four different people promised to check on her condition and get back with me - no one carried through with what they promised.
By 8 am, I was really getting on their nerves with asking about my baby and wanting to see/hold her. I hadn't held my baby yet. I didn't even know if she was ok. My husband was who knew where, my mom had gone home and I'd suffered an extremely traumatic night in the downstairs recovery room. I was moving beyond being upset and quickly approaching the pissed/rage state. My BP was edging up and I was getting on their nerves. They slipped me something in my IV to make me sleep.
When I awoke, it was after 1 pm. I called my husband to come to the hospital. I didn't even bother until later that evening to explain to him what had happened to me. I was so angry at him for leaving me there alone to suffer the way that I had. If he had been there, I wouldn't have had the negative traumatic experience that I did. At that point, I just wanted my baby.
When he arrived, I told the nurse that if someone didn't bring me my baby within 15 minutes - then I was going to get out of the bed and go upstairs and see her myself. I had full movement of my lower body and the catheter had been removed and I'd been up to go potty. She must have known that I was serious because she came back and said that she was going to roll my bed upstairs into the stair well space and see if she could arrange for them to sneak my baby out the back door of the nursery. What hogshit this was but I didn't care - I just wanted to hold my baby.
So, it was the afternoon of Friday, June 12, 1987 around 2 pm, more than 20 hours after she was born, that I held my daughter for the first time. I marveled at every curve of her facial features, her soft skin, her huge blue eyes, the way her tiny fingers wrapped around mine instantly. I loved her immediately, feeling as if finally I'd found my calling. My purpose. I lifted my hospital gown to latch her on and the nurse started to try and tell me that I couldn't do that. "Oh yes I am - this is my baby and I'm going to breastfeed, she's almost 24 hours old and hasn't nursed yet"
I realized at that moment, that I had overnight developed some balls and backbone that I didn't possess the day previously. She knew that she wasn't going to get that baby away from me and when she mentioned that it was time for the baby to go back inside the nursery, I looked her straight in the face and said, "I'm not letting go of her. You just said that she is fine now and doesn't need to be under any more observation and she is staying with me...so find us a room and put us there and then you can leave us be."
And they did just that. One of the first things that I had them do on the postpartum floor was remove the IV so that I couldn't be drugged anymore to be kept quite and compliant. When the OB came by that night for his rounds, I told him that I wanted to go home. He tried to explain to me that I needed to stay a little longer because I was not only postpartum but that I was post op. I told him that I wanted to go home. My mom would take care of me and I wanted my baby. I told him I wanted to go home. He negotiated with me that I could go home in the morning and I agreed.
At 4 am the next morning, I began asking to go home. I was a pain in the ass to everyone on that floor. I wouldn't let my baby go to the nursery without me. I wanted her with me and I was causing problems with hospital policy. When the nurse tried to explain to me that the Dr would have to discharge me - I reminded her that he put a note in my chart that I could go home.
I called my husband and by 8 am, we were on our way out the door.
I remember the feelings and thoughts that I had running through my head as I was rolled in the wheelchair up beside our car. I was walking away from a very valuable learning experience. Never again would I be the victim in birth. I had been dissected like a frog specimen. I had been railroaded with protocols, impatience, insensitivity, drunken error and poor/neglectful nursing care. I had learned. Never again.
When I got into the car and we began to drive away - I looked back and said to myself, "There has got to be a better way and I'll find it. I am not coming back here and doing this again."
And so began my journey to VBAC, natural birth and becoming a doula.
[If only I had known......many women have birth stories that mimic mine described in this post. I love my daughter. She was worth every second of what I went through and I'd do it all again IF it were necessary. That's just it though, stories like mine are so UNeccesary. Women are not presented with options or factual, non biased information about medications, procedures, interventions and natural laboring aids. They don't know what they don't know. If only I had known what the early stages of a normal labor were like. If only I had known that I should have insisted to go home when they found me at 1 cm when I got there. I had the right to say I wanted to go home, even at 12 days post term. What would it have been like had I stayed up and mobile, if I had labored at home in an environment that I felt comfortable and safe? What if I had been more aware of the things that were being done to me? What if I had declined them? What harmful effects did we suffer from all those drugs they gave me?
I'm lucky. Lucky that my daughter didn't die or suffer permanent braind damage. Lucky that I lived through a placental abruption and emergency surgery. Lucky that I was able to get ahold of that phone cord and get some medical care in that recovery room. Lucky that while I had an intoxicated Dr who upped the Pit too high, I still managed to make it through that horrible experience.
This birth taught me many things - it taught me is that I am responsible for my own health care and well being. I can't depend on others to tell me what I need to know - I've got to get out there and dig to learn what it is that I need to know, especially the things that are not freely offered. Only I can be the one to help myself. Perhaps the most valuable lesson that I learned is that while all births are magical - not all deliveries are something to celebrate. I was born as a mother that day - but my daughter was pulled from my body in an emergency fashion because of stupid stuff. My section was necessary by the time it was performed and I'm thankful for that medical procedure but the events leading up to that need were caused by the doctor and a bitchy/know-it-all nurse, not because my body wouldn't work naturally and in its own time. We never had the opportunity to find out what my body was capable about of in a natural, supported state.
If you are pregnant, empower yourself with making healthy choices and choosing a caregiver who believes in the process of birth - someone who respects you, the power of birth and who will support you to become an educated consumer for your baby and self.
If only I had known.......]
Happy 18th Birthday A, I love you.
Copyright 2005 DDL