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:

mama_l
Aug. 17, 2009 at 7:00 PM

I am sorry such negative things happened during such a positive experience!  You did everything you could at the time so please don't beat yourself up over it all!  We can all look back at almost every situation in our lives and see where it could have gone differently.

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logan...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 8:31 PM

I agree with Wendy.  I think most of us would have been the same way in that delivery room.  There is power in numbers and we are at our most vulnerable point during labor.  That is why having a medical staff that believes in you is so important.  You thought that was what you were getting, and you were betrayed. 

It is upsetting how that medwife lied to you.  I hope that writing this out has helped  you process the hurt somewhat.

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SxdUp...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 8:56 PM

All I can say is that I completely understand.  I'd almost made it through the day without crying until reading this.  Oh, well, it's good for us, right?  No matter how different the beginnings and endings of our stories are, they still leave us with a feeling of violation and vulnerability that neither of us has the personalities to deal with.  You know I'm here.

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JoyeA...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 9:09 PM

Damn, Christie.  :(

I wish I knew how to comfort you in this, and I hope with time your heart can heal.  *hugs*

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Morbi...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 9:18 AM

I'm so sorry you went through this hun.

On the bright side, you do have a beautiful little girl to love, cherish and adore.

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Guinh...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 11:31 AM

I'm sorry, Christie, that you feel bad about this. Don't beat yourself up over it; you didn't do anything wrong. When we're in the mix like that, especially when we're in physical pain, situations have a way of just getting away from us. Our bodies are processing so much right then, and even though our brains are saying "Whoa, wait, back that truck up, we didn't want this" voicing that when we're in the center of it seems overwhelmingly hard. Not only that, but you were dealing with a serious breach of trust with someone who was SUPPOSED to be one of your staunchest allies, and that can be really hard to process under normal conditions, let alone when you're in labor, in a hospital, giving birth.

However, like all things in life, you will take this away, learn from it, and if and when you go down this road again, you will be able to do what you feel is right and best next time. You will make your voice heard, no matter what, because you know what it's like if you don't.

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21noa...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Trust me, those A holes at the naval hospital will manipulate you to do anything they want you to.  I never had a problem w/ Farrel, it was the other one, Williams I think her name was that would have killed Noah and I had she been there that night instead of the doctor. 

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RanaA...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 12:45 PM

noahsmama, at the very least, I'm grateful they didn't treat me like a criminal like they've done to my husband everytime he's been hospitalized there.

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smitt...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 1:10 PM

That self-doubt you went through is the 3rd (and last) signpost in labor according to the Bradley birthing method. It means you were >>>thisclose<<< to full transition and had your MEDwife known that, she would've let you progress and things would've been fine. Unfortunately, this is the point at which drs love to attack because the woman is thoroughly exhausted and will pretty much consent to anything at that point. Everything you know and believe in becomes "I dont know" and then they take over at your most vulnerable time. Its sad.

A lot of nurses, drs, midwives roll their eyes when the mother starts standing up for herself...but its not unlike a bride on her wedding day. Its her day, her ONE and only day, and it should be everything she wants. Medical people see hundreds of births,so yours was nothing special to them - which is understandable. But it could be your last for all they know. I'm constantly amazed at how self-absorbed some people can be. It was your labor, not theirs. Its not about their convenience or their timetable. *shakes head* They dont get it.

IYou did good though and I'm glad you and baby are healthy. Next time (if there is a next time) you'll be able to stand firm for what you WANT!!

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amile...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM

It's not all you you know.   Don't put all the responsibility on your shoulders.      Everyone has been trained to be "nice to the staff" be "nice to the docors"  don't be "difficult"  don't be "demanding" and be "a good girl."    You are trained to believe that the medical field isn't a job like any other and then you are convinced that if someone's meal gets interrupted, or they have to gather equipment and walk over to you, that its so inconvenient!  You forget that accomodating patients is what they are PAID for!   That is HARD to overcome especially when there are several people pushing you when you are most vulnerable.

I let my husband's doubts convince me to go to the ER for contact dermatitis when I KNEW I'd be fine.  I'd been fine before.   His doubts needled me and needled me and I caved and got talked into prednisone.   Something I KNEW would make me feel like crap.   I realized later that I fell into the trap of accomodating someone else.  It worries me that I'll fall into that trap again! And that was just ONE person in a NON vulnerable situation!!    I can't even imagine being in labor having people violate me, and talk down to me, and ignore me.  

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