So, by now, some of you know that I didn't tell everything that happened with Aurora's birth in my other post, and that some of it is proving hard for me to deal with.

Some of you guys know how worried I was about the Naval hospital during my pregnancy, and then how RELIEVED I was when I met the midwife, Commander Farrel, who seemed to really be on board with no interventions, and birth as a healthy occurrence, etc.  Then, she just happened to be the one working the L&D floor when I went into labor anyway, which I was initially excited about.

Well... she ended up really betraying that trust.

If you go back and read the story as I wrote it before, I mention that at 6cm still but with nothing happening, Kyle and Rowan went to get food.  I was SUPPOSED to go with them.  They had told us that since I wasn't even officially admitted yet at that point, I could get dressed and leave, eat, and they just wanted us to stay at or near the hospital, just in case.  I got dressed and we were getting ready to leave when the midwife came back in and said the baby's heartrate looked a little low and they wanted to try for a better baseline, so maybe Kyle should go get food and bring it back.  Her heartrate HAD been a little lower than normal (she was relaxed - it was early morning... stupid me), and so they were using the "the baby is in danger" tactic to get me to do what they wanted.  I realize now that was bullshit and they just made up a reason to not have me actually leave, because her heartrate didn't change, but it was suddenly "fine" once Kyle was gone, but since I was there, they got me admitted and got an IV in my hand.

So there's the first thing that's upsetting.  The midwife made up a lie to make it so I couldn't just go walk around, go eat with my family, etc. even though I wasn't even in ANY pain, my water wasn't broken, etc.

Next, I'd had the membranes stripped by her 5 days prior, remember, and was in horrid pain that whole time, right?  Well, after still fighting with them over not wanting my water broken, there was a point where my midwife was checking my cervix, and she just suddenly announces that she's going to strip the membranes again to try to help things along since I won't "let them" break my water, which "would make her just fly out if you'd just let us do it".  I tried to tell her I DIDN'T want it done again, but she totally ignored me and I was crying and yelling, "Ow, ow, stop, stop!" while practically crawling up the bed to get away from her, being ignored still, and terrified that she was "accidentally" going to break the water with her hands.  (Kyle was still gone with Rowan at this point, and was furious when I told him way later.  He said he would have gotten me the AMA form and taken me home.)

When I got closer to transition and started hurting, I climbed in the tub and a smart nurse came in with a WIRELESS, WATERPROOF heart monitor and was listening to Aurora's heartrate.  When I got OUT of the tub, suddenly they refused to use that monitor anymore.  When I was badly hurting and trying any position I could to deal with labor, I'd lean over the bed and the ball and have Kyle rub my back, etc. and they just kept telling me (what seemed like every five minutes) that they wanted to get a "quick" check again so they'd make me lay back down with monitors on.  It makes it impossible to deal with pains when every time you find something that works, someone makes you stop and lay on your damn back.

I honest-to-god only got an epidural because I was really scared of how badly everything was going to hurt once my water was broken (because that's when I hurt with Rowan, and it hurt BAD), and I was only going to let them break my water partially because I knew Aurora would get out sooner if they did, but partially to make them leave me alone about it, since they'd been bugging me about breaking the water since my OB appointment two floors below.  I really wanted Aurora born en caul, though (even they said she probably would have been)... it's supposed to be good luck, and it makes me sad that I let them ruin that.  When I agreed to the epidural, Kyle's shoulders dropped and I heard him murmur how I didn't need it and I was doing fine without it.  He was disappointed in me, and so was I.  I DIDN'T really need it, and I did it anyway.  From the second he said that, I kept thinking how I should tell them I changed my mind, but I don't know... I didn't want to be an "inconvenience" who had them call the anesthesiologist back from his dinner, had them get everything prepared, and then tell them I changed my mind?  Argh.

As I guess "aggressive" as I seem, in certain situations, I just lose my nerve.  Yes, I know I should have just left since I wasn't really feeling labor, but not knowing if I was going to feel contractions at all made me worried that Aurora would just fall out in the car or something.  By the time I was feeling the contractions, I was already 8cm or so.  I didn't have the guts to try to leave at 8cm and in labor, of course.  I didn't have the guts to stop someone who was physically hurting me while I was screaming for her to stop.  I didn't have the guts to just tell them to shut the fuck up and back off, or to leave me alone and let me do it myself.

... I really should have.

When I agreed to the epidural, they have to get a bunch of IV fluid in you beforehand, and in the rush to try and get it done, I could see the vein pumping and bulging in my wrist and it hurt because of the location (it still hurts right there, by the way).  It wasn't going "fast enough" for them, so the anesthesiologist even asked a nurse to take the bag off "pump" and had her SQUEEZE IT by hand.  Kyle and I both really were worried by it, it scared us.  He even mouthed to me, "I don't like that," and I agreed... yet we didn't fucking stop them.

The midwife was nothing but a medwife, no matter what she'd promised during my pregnancy.  When it came down to it, she might as well have been an OB.  She built up my trust during the whole pregnancy, and then smashed it into painful bits when it mattered most.

I hate it.  I hate that I can be so much of my own advocate and so vocal in my opinions... except when it really counts.  I let so much happen that wouldn't have if I'd just opened my damned mouth.  I hate that I let it all happen.  It still hurts that so much happened, that I LET so much happen, that even in the middle of it, I was telling myself IN MY HEAD to make stop, but I couldn't bring myself to do anything ABOUT.

I argue with doctors and give alternative opinions ALL THE TIME.  Why is it that in an ACTIVE situation, I can't do the same?

So, I'm furious and feel horribly betrayed by the MEDwife - the one person who I thought I could really trust and who I thought had the same goals as me, and I'm so insanely disappointed in myself because it's like I had two selves - one letting all this shit happen, and the other one just watching, saying, "No no no, why are you doing this?  Make them stop," and never did the two meet.

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Comments:

auror...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Awww ((hugs)). 

You know...no matter how educated we are, no matter how much we know and how much we think someone is full of bull, "Your baby is in trouble" really get us moms by the balls.  As full of knowledge as we may be I think, at least personally, there is always a teeny part of your mind going "What if they are right and I'm wrong and something bad happens?"  Ya know?

And as for the rest, nothing ever turns out exactly like we had planned.  I don't mean to invalidate your feelings so I hope I don't sound that way, but even if you're not the happiest with the decisions that you made, what's done is done.  All there is to do now is move forward and learn from it; maybe it will prevent some other pushy doctor from forcing you into something that you're not comfortable with in the future.  I hugs you again.

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Melan...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 2:43 PM

I love you babe. If you need someone to vent to further, I'm just a call away. <3

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Knoxv...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 3:41 PM

My first thought is.. I'm sorry. My second thought is.. please stop carrying so much GUILT over this--no woman should have to stand up for herself during labor and birth. The very fact an authority figure used a lie to proceed in a manner she knew you didn't want is proof you made your choices known. She just didn't hear you.

Take the experience, grow from it.. grieve over it... and know you did the BEST YOU COULD under the circumstances. Thank you for sharing your story, you are an amazing woman.

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Toddl...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 3:46 PM

I think it's disgusting, the things that were said and done to you, Christie. I love you very much and I'm sorry for what you went through by professionals who were supposed to be on YOUR side. I hope that you can find peace and healing with time.

(((hugs)))

I voted this popular. I think we should get birth story journals all over the popular list so that more women start actively thinking about their birth plans and how to advocate for themselves.

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sapient
Aug. 17, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Yeah Christie - You have WAY too much guilt about this. If you were anyone else, you would be so happy that you pushed that baby out and didn't die. Seriously, you are disappointed in yourself when in reality you built your expectations up so high and when you didn't meet those, it is a crushing disappointment.

I know how you feel though, but try to go easy on yourself. We love you and Aurora loves you and everything turned out right in the end, right?

SMOOCHES

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parri...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 4:55 PM

The only person I would truly be upset over is the midwife. She clearly wasn't doing her job ! When you're in any medical situation and in pain it's hard to think straight and you had an arrangement with her and she didn't come through. I commend you for sharing your story so other moms will know to stand up for themselves and have a plan, tell the doctor over and over prior to birth and make sure your spouse or significant other speaks for you and your wishes.

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airfo...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 4:55 PM

I'm sorry, Christie!  I agree, though, don't let yourself feel so guilty.  You did everything you could beforehand... you discussed what you wanted and expected, and you were assured that is what would happen.  You weren't prepared to have to "fight" for it, because you were promised you'd get it.  That's why you (as you say) didn't do anything about it.  Most importantly, you're both healthy, and your experience may be able to help others.

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wendy...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 5:18 PM

This is pretty much EXACTLY what happened to me during Bianca's hospital birth, which led me to have my homebirth.  Because I realized no matter how much I KNOW what I want, how I wanted my birth to be, something about being in the hospital turns most people literally timid.  I know this, and honestly, now you know this too.  Even today if I were to go into a hospital, I am not sure I could completely stand up for what I believe in.  The "fear" of birth is gone from me, but once they start playing "something is wrong with the baby!" I would probably turn to mush.. In the presence of their "authority" most women will NOT question it, and they know this.

And I really HATE to make it sound like I'm pegging them as the big bad evil OBs and medwives... BUT COME ON... Your midwife (and mine too with bianca) KNEW what she really did and did not believe. They KNOW they are lying to us when they tell us they'll follow our birth plans.  They know this as surely as they know we most likely wont fight them as soon as real labor hits, and they can "have their way" with us... If that isn't "big bad evil hospital" Then what is? What more do they have to DO to women before the MASSES say "wait a second, thats fucked up!" and stop it?

*sigh*

You are NOT alone in this.  It took me my first uneducated birth, and my second educated but convinced I could have it my way in a hospital birth, until I finally realized my one and only problem is stepping one foot out of my door during labor!

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MemaSu
Aug. 17, 2009 at 5:20 PM

This entire incident should be reported to the head of the Unit, head of hospital & head of base. You & your husband both were dissatisfied with important services & lied to before & during treatment- since there did not Need to be treatment, but natural birth, then the treatment itself needs to be reported as costly & unnecessary.

As a former Ombudsman, you should have an advocate that is on your side & represents your issues with the entire situation. Good Luck!

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clean...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Don't beat yourself up for one more second.  Like Katie said, what is done is done and you really did do a phenomenal job giving birth.  When I say what's done is done, I don't mean that in a way that minimizes your feelings of disappointment in things not going as you had planned or would have like.  What I mean is, don't spend too much time dwelling on it and certainly don't feel guilty about it.  You are a great mom.

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