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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Sep. 17, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Thanks Michele.  I'm in a lot better place mentally and emotionally than when I wrote this, but it still stings.

I'm glad you read this, though.  I really want women to know how things can go down, even when you come prepared.

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Sep. 19, 2009 at 2:55 AM

I just saw this for the first time.  You posted it when I was out of town.  I am so sorry that you dealt with this.  You should have had the support of your midwife and/or doctor.  It is your body and you are in control! 

I am angry for you because I feel like you were violated in so many ways.  I wish I could take that from you.


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Sep. 26, 2009 at 7:39 PM

There's way too many comments for me to read them and honestly, I'm too teary to do it. For fuck's sake, that woman basically raped you, medically. I want to kick her in the face FOR you. And I understood every single word you wrote.

After my epidural, at one point, a nurse came in because my contractions stopped (as they do in my labors) and instead of sticking up for myself, when she said 'pitocin or cesarean' I just said that I never said I wasn't agreeing to it, but I just wanted confirmation that it was safe (especially with the amount of pain I'd already been in resulted in NEEDING the fucking epidural in the first place, I could have been in thr process of UR or adhesion separation or whatever, I was a VBAC) and really, I just wanted my doctor to come up and say that he approved it. But I didn't want to be lectured or a 'bother' so I just went back to sleep. I knew it would be coming from the minute I decided to go to the hospital with the thought "I'm either in transition or I need an epidural, because I'm crazy and in so much pain I can't handle it").

I'm so sorry all of that happened to you. I'm so sorry things went so badly. And I'm also sorry that you even know what should have happened :(

Is there a reason you've ruled out homebirth? Or are you done? After that experience, I couldn't see why anyone wouldn't support you birthing at home from now on. I know I plan to (although I couldn't have with Naomi--I would have transferred if she'd been a homebirth, that pain was a nightmare).


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Sep. 26, 2009 at 7:42 PM

We're done, Xak.  Any future kids would b born at home though.

Sorry this opened old wounds for you,  *hug*

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Sep. 26, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Oh, and like you said in a comment (I did go back a page ;) ) I, too, am very educated on birth, etc. Knowing all of that was partly why I just gave in to the interventions when I got to the hospital. I didn't want to ruin what I COULD get out of my VBAC. I knew if I wanted it natural (after all, I'd tried that the first time around and we know how THAT went--no pain meds, but I was gutted like a fish for no good reason), I had to stay home. I also know that in labor is the last time you should be trying to stand up for yourself, because it goes against your instincts, even when people are violating those instincts. I still went.

Education and conviction aren't everything. Sometimes things still go out of our control and it's NOT YOUR FAULT.

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Sep. 26, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Naw, not old wounds, I was upset for you, that that happened.

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