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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Aug. 18, 2009 at 2:25 PM

This is similar to what happened to me with my youngest's birth.  I wasn't as educated about birth as I am now.  I was having horrible prodromal labor and was at 4-5cm and 90-100$ effaced and only having a few hours of "labor" a night.  I was tired.  I as getting pressure from my family to get an induction if I wanted someone to be able to watch my older son.  I discussed it with the OB I had.  He had said I could keep my birth plan while inducing labor (I was told I could just get a little pitocin to jump start my labor then let me labor naturally)  Then I get to the hospital.  They start the iv and say,"Oh no you can't get up to go pee.  You have to stay in bed.  Oh we can't get the baby on the monitor easy enough.  You need to hold still in that exact position.  Can we start your epidural?" Ummm no.  The contractions were only about as bad as they had been at home.  The dr start pressuring me to break my water.  He said that the baby wasn't putting enough pressure on my cervix because he as still high up.  Started hinting at if we didn't hurry they'd section me.  His heart rate was fine.  They used a section as a tool to coerce me into what they wanted.  I caved.  I said fine, but get me my epi and wait for it to take effect.  They did that, then of course they couldn't get his heart rate again.  Yet again, if you don't do what we want you to do we will cut you. Enter internal fetal monitoring.  One nurse checked me and said I was complete and made me push.  Well the epi only numbed one leg and lowered my blood pressure to make life difficult for my son.  I could still feel everything.  I told her it hurt and felt like I had a lip left.  The dr came in and confirmed it.  She told me not to push unless I wanted the lip to swell up and they'd section me.  I snuck pushes during conractions to help move my son down and because that's what my body told me I needed to do.  I trust my body more than I do the dr.'s.  If it hurts wrong then there's something wrong.  If it feels good to do something, then chances are it is beneficial for the whole process.  I layed perfectly still in the position where he wasn't laying on his cord while dealing with ctx at 9.5cm.  I used the techniques I had learned during my bouts with prodromal labor.  I honestly think had I just waited another week, he would have come out no problem on his own.  I was about 15 min from the hospital so I could have gone in pushing nearly from the time I went into transition.  If we have more children they will be born at home.  Between that and the intervention in my other children's births I have no trust in obs.  I'm losing trust in them for everything, even down to bc options and dealing with ovarian cysts.

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I'm sorry that this didn't go the way you planned. And, that the midwife lied to you. It's our rights as mothers to give birth the way we want too. Shame on her. Buuuuttt, stop feeling guilty. Whoever said it before: a woman in labor shouldn't have to stand up for herself. YOUR plan was clear...SHE violated it.

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 3:46 PM

I gave birth to my first on an Air Force base.  Luckily, they no longer have an OB ward on AF bases.  I had a horrible experience with my midwife as well.  I was only 19, so I didn't know what I wanted.  I had only been at the base for like 2 months.  I didn't really get that connection period to talk about what I wanted, and what would be best for me.  I went into labor on a Saturday.  They sent me home.  Sunday, I went back.  They sent me home again.  I spent all day Monday in the tub because the pain was so bad, and they wouldn't do anything but keep sending me home.  I called several times, begging them to do something, they basically told me there is nothing they could do until I was further dialated.  Monday night I went back, and they finally decided to keep me.  They decided to induce me since my contractions weren't regulated...why did that take so long to decide?  77 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing, then they find that she was sunny side up.  They turn her, and when she was born, she wasn't breathing on her own. 

Hindsight is always 20/20.  My husband was an E1 at the time, 3 months out of school.  I was still so scared that he would get in trouble if I didn't say ma'am or sir to an officer.  Now, I don't think he would have let it go that far.  I'm sorry you had such a crappy experience!

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 5:32 PM

I understand you are upset, they did the same heartbeat thing with me, i was in a lot of pain as well. i also had complacations.

i would have never gotten the epi if i knew, but fate played out and the baby came to first. i understand, however the thoughts and craziness my ob  had to play out saved the lives of my babies.

 yes he can be crazy at times, but he also knew what he was doing. she may have f"up your birth but hey you are both alright. at least i think so.

i never got to hold either of my babies after they were born, and i almost lost both of them. i am thankful for a hospital and a wise ob.

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 5:43 PM

OMG honey i am so very very sorry you went through this break of trust when you needed it to be ther ethe MOST. Please do not beat yourself up over this furtehr. you live and learn. take the lesson in hand and get on with life!!

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 7:27 PM

I urge you to print this journal out (and the other one if you feel it would help) and send it to the medwife.  With any luck it will make her think about how she listens to her patients.   At the least, it will make her feel like shit for dismissing you and not honoring her verbal contract with you.  Too, it might help you to at least feel like you've gotten some closure after all this. 

This was your chance to control your own experience and she refused to listen to you and respect the plan you both made. 

SEND IT TO HER.  If nothing else, it will feel better to get it off your chest to the party who wronged you (and she DID wrong you).

(And I don't think you should be charged for that epidural.) 

I heart you, Gidget.

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 7:41 PM

What an absolutely horrible experience you had to go through! Have you thought about writing a letter to the hospital board members. I am not sure if anything will be done, but maybe it will help you feel somewhat better in that you expressed how you felt about your labor and the doctors who ignored you. Let your voice be heard; it's not too late.

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Please don't beat yourself up over losing your voice (I know that you will, I've done it several times in my parenting and still the guilt gets me). The system is NOT set up for women to be in control or have power. A powerful, controlling laboring woman makes the hospital work harder. You did not fail, the system failed you.

I am glad that you are venting this out. I hope you continue to work through it and find healing. :)

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 7:58 PM

 i feel you have only good coming be grateful you and your baby are fine count your blessing focus on what is now and positive your baby!

A foot in tomorrow and a foot in yesterday means we are peeing on the only day we have TODAY.

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Aug. 18, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Don't ever beat yourself up about what happens when you're in labor. It has to be a mother's most vulnerable time. But I do now understand why my sister had her last two children at home, with a real mid wife! Your child his here and healthy, and in the end that is what matters. I am not minimalizing your experience; I've had a couple kids myself. But if you decide to have another child, you will be all that more prepared. And again, your child is healthy, praise God and love that baby.

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