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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babyb...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 10:54 PM

I'm sorry you had to go through that but as someone said before me we're just moms and the baby is in trouble is the best way to get us to cave.  It seems like she knew that and she used it a lot.  I'm glad my doctor wasn't anything like that I probably would have kicked her in the face if she had been.

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RanaA...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 11:10 PM

I've noticed a few people saying they had experiences like this "when they didn't know as much as they do now."  I'd like to let you all know that I'm NOT lacking education on birth.  I figured that much was obvious in my discussion of what went wrong and why.  It just goes to show NOT that a lack of education hurts you (although it does) but that even the most EDUCATED people can have things ruined for them in the hospital, under pressure and stress.
I've never been pro-homebirth for myself, and desperately wanted to get OUT of the hospital and into a birthing center, but it wasn't an option.  I was nervous about birthing in a hospital the entire pregnancy.  That's where a lot of the hurt and betrayal comes in, because the midwife was so supportive and talked the talk during my pregnancy and helped me RELAX about being in the hospital, so I stopped worrying about it much.  Now I wish I had done a homebirth, but alas, my tubes are getting tied soon.

Unfortunately, I'm now completely on board with the women who state that if you want a natural birth, you need to stay away from the hospital... no matter what the staff promises you.

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happy...
Aug. 19, 2009 at 11:52 AM

I understand what you mean about being educated, but not being able to advocate for yourself--that is why doulas were invented!

I'd like to add that there is zero difference between a birth center and birthing at home.  A birth center is where one births when one can't or doesn't want to use their own home and does not want to use a hospital; it is not a medical middle ground between home and hospital. My own dh did not understand that until he actually saw the birth center (an early 1900s house) and said "we may as well stay home." And we did stay home for our second.

Sometimes hospitals have what they call "birthcenters" but those are essetially really "homey" looking rooms that may have extra features such as jacuzzi tubes, but you are still subject to the same hospital protocol. A hospital "birthcenter" is still the hopital, no matter how nicely dressed.

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21noa...
Aug. 20, 2009 at 12:53 PM

The criminal comment thing, you are SO right.  EVERY time Jim went into that hospital, they treated him like total SH*T!  Like he wasn't ALLOWED to be there.  It was just ridiculous how horrible they treated him while he was there.

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Knoxv...
Aug. 21, 2009 at 1:41 AM

I've noticed a few people saying they had experiences like this "when they didn't know as much as they do now."  I'd like to let you all know that I'm NOT lacking education on birth.  I figured that much was obvious in my discussion of what went wrong and why.  It just goes to show NOT that a lack of education hurts you (although it does) but that even the most EDUCATED people can have things ruined for them in the hospital, under pressure and stress.
I've never been pro-homebirth for myself, and desperately wanted to get OUT of the hospital and into a birthing center, but it wasn't an option.  I was nervous about birthing in a hospital the entire pregnancy.  That's where a lot of the hurt and betrayal comes in, because the midwife was so supportive and talked the talk during my pregnancy and helped me RELAX about being in the hospital, so I stopped worrying about it much.  Now I wish I had done a homebirth, but alas, my tubes are getting tied soon.

Unfortunately, I'm now completely on board with the women who state that if you want a natural birth, you need to stay away from the hospital... no matter what the staff promises you.

And your experience is sadly, just one of the many, many examples of WHY women who know what they want for birth are having to push to have their babies at home. I read through all of the comments and really liked the ones there to remind you that YOU were VULNERABLE and had your trust betrayed. It would be like you choosing to have a home birth and then your midwife calling an ambulance to transfer you for no reason whatsoever.

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Knoxv...
Aug. 21, 2009 at 1:44 AM

Oh and a previous comment said there is no difference between a birth center and a hospital...not completely true... there are many "baby friendly" free standing centers that can be a good compromise for some women with certain conditions, or who choose to not have a baby in the hospital OR at their own home.

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RanaA...
Aug. 21, 2009 at 2:15 AM

Thanks KD.  :)

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hatch...
Aug. 22, 2009 at 5:10 AM

THIS is why I don't want to be anywhere near a hospital in November, when I'm going to give birth again.

My first was a beautiful midwife helped completely natural - no intervention birth.

Second was an intervention-laden hospital nightmare where some idiot nurse 'accidentally' gave me pitocin while I was just in for monitoring - among other things.. I left that mess feeling like I was raped.

Third birth was also in a hospital though, though the only intervention was my water being broken.. I had more support and a birth plan stapled to every surface I could stick it to, so the issues were minor... and I decided not to even press the call button when I knew he was on his way out so my hubby got to catch him.. THAT was cool, but there were still issues and still people in my face trying to force things on me.

Reading your story made me cry because I felt the same way more than once.. my hubs just sat there wordless during some of the worst parts of my second birth. I only hope I can have my homebirth this time.. hugs to you mama!

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.Molly.
Sep. 2, 2009 at 3:27 AM

I feel so sad for you right now! I don't know how I missed your birth story, are you not on my friend list anymore? I am glad you got a healthy, beautiful baby but I know how hard it is to recover from a traumatic birth. I hope you are coming to a better place with your experience.hugs

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Cafe...
Sep. 17, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Thank you so much for sharing this. You ARE strong and by sharing this with others helps us learn...and it's not fair you had to go through this, but I really feel like I learned something from reading. En Caul for one (I googled it) and knowing other women's experiences with birth is truly invaluable.

I know that feeling you had -- not reacting how you wanted to looking back on the situation. I've been there in other situations and it's as frustrating as heck. As you know, I'm set to give birth for the first time in a couple of months. I know how I think I will react, but time will tell.

So...thank you for sharing your story and big hugs. I am so happy to know that despite it all, Aurora and mommy will be OK.

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