Sunday, August 1, 2010

Birth Intervention....Hmmm

Oddly enough....I AM pregnant. I was pining for a newborn and all along had that new life growing inside me. I guess my wish of staying home a while longer next year will come true. I will have a newborn to care for and will be sooooo close to earning my degree it would be a shame if I didn't. It may just take an extra semester to get it...but I'll definitely still get it.

Thinking of babies...I watched a portion of a show entitled "Freebirthing" on Discovery Health this morning. Apparently there are women in the western world who chose to birth at home with no "official" help (such as midwives, nurses, or doctors). "Freebirthing" as it's called is not only common in a majority of the world, it is completely normal and expected. In the western world however, pregnant women are expected to seek out and take all interventions of medicine to ensure their babies are born healthy.

While I do not necessarily encourage freebirthing, I do encourage women to seek out knowledge about their bodies and the birthing process. Many interventions are not needed and often times women can (and DO!) deliver perfectly healthy babies with no medical intervention.

With my daughter, I was only "allowed" (although I probably could have declined) to go 1 week past my due date before being induced. I was hooked up to everything imaginable and was kept in a hospital bed for over 15 hours! I had to use a bedpan to urinate. I was not allowed to eat anything or even drink water! Labor was intense (& probably more so due to gallbladder disease that was undiagnosed at the time).

I only dilated to an 8 before my gynecologist strongly suggested a c-section. In my condition I was unable to think clearly or judge what was going on, I simply agreed to everything he said and that was that. At 9:01 pm Dec 29, 2006 my daughter was brought into the world via an unnecessary non-emergency cesarean section. IF my gynecologist had allowed me another couple of hours I more than likely could have delivered vaginally.

I resent my inability to demand less intervention. I resent my gynecologist for encouraging an unnecessary surgery so that he could go home before too late on a Friday evening.

I now face the almost inevitable 2nd cesarean section with my current pregnancy. Our local hospital does not do VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) or at least they did not back in 2006. If I want to try a vaginal birth I'm going to have to seek out a hospital in another town (possibly 1 1/2 hours away) and another gynecologist that is willing to intervene as little as possible.

I could never give birth without a midwife or doctor present unless I had no choice in the matter. However, I strongly believe in the power of the body and the ability women have to deliver naturally.

I could go on and on about the disappointment I had in my gynecologist and the surgery and all the little details of the birth (like not seeing more than a glimpse or holding my newborn for over 30 minutes after the birth) as a result of intervention.

But for now I will settle on saying that you should never settle for less than the best care that respects the needs and desires of you and your unborn baby.