This is not an essay, this is a rant.

“All that matters is a healthy baby.”

Thank goodness someone said that, otherwise I might have been consumed with the worry that I did not perform my birth correctly.
Mothers who know that, in the end, their baby is the only real part of birth, don’t need to feel sad if things didn’t go as planned, right?

No one said that to me when I experienced a horrific “birth” experience because I didn’t have a healthy baby. I became the example, I was the living proof of “what if”. You should be grateful you’re not her, your baby could be her baby. I had notes on Jericho’s birth story that read, “I’m so glad my baby is okay/healthy/alive”. If your baby is any healthier than mine was, then you should be grateful. Experience and hopes be damned.
Telling someone they should be grateful they have a healthy baby is like telling a rape victim she should be grateful she’s still alive; she could have been killed. While that may be true, her experiences and her trauma have been swept under a rug. Does she not matter at all because she wasn’t the worst case scenario? So long as she’s alive, she needn’t grieve her losses?

Most women have some expectations about birth, some more than others. A growing number of women care about natural birth and about not having a cesarean. The World Health Organization aims to have a cesarean rate of 10-15% maximum, but it currently stands at almost triple that number. In some places even higher. Where I live more than 1 in every 3 women will be given a cesarean, even though the rate of complication in a normal vaginal birth is so low that the small percentage of them in a VBAC is enough to scare off most care providers from “allowing” one.
Knowing this, it’s fair to assume that the vast majority of hospital-birthing women are given unnecessary interventions that may cause discomfort, pain or serious risk to themselves or their baby. Some women don’t mind, even knowing the risks involved, and that’s their prerogative – those that do generally do whatever they can to avoid these things, but sometimes they happen anyway. Through lies, manipulation, fear or threats even the strongest may feel weak.

Women who have felt violated by birth tend to throw around terms like “birthrape”: the act of being violated against their will, sometimes violently and with excruciating pain. Sometimes the results of which last days, weeks or months that may affect their next pregnancies, or their sex lives, or their relationships. In many of these cases the interventions weren’t needed, or were only required because earlier interventions caused a situation that needed to be remedied very quickly. When I have talked to women who had surgeries and violent interventions that did save a life it is only of minimal reassurance. Generally the public response is worse: thank god you got them – with no mention of how the mother must feel. Even if they did save a life, a woman needs time to grieve her losses. She needs respect, comfort, friendship, love and understanding.
It’s easy for you to say she should put on a happy face and go on with her life because the baby is “all that matters”, but it is a degrading and insulting thing to say to a new mother.

It can take weeks, months or even years for the scope of what happened to hit. The night I had my cesarean I was so disconnected from the experience that I actually said, “It was for a good reason” to the people around me. It took a few days for it to sink in, and probably would have taken much longer had Jericho survived past the first day.

It seems the women who have begun to accept and grieve for what has happened tend to be the more vocal advocates for a change in birth. Those that accomplish a natural, home or even simply a vaginal birth the next time around become one of those women that just won’t shut up about it. It seems the vast majority of those screaming about how amazing birth really is are the ones that have had an empowering one.
I have yet to meet a woman who had a successful unassisted birth, empowering home birth or a triumphant VBAC that didn’t feel like climbing a mountain and telling everyone about it.
There is insurmountable criticism toward those who are vocal advocates. Why do they care, anyway? Why can’t they keep their noses out of someone else’s birth experience?
Because they are changed by it and understand what the big deal is. It’s like your best friend who found Jesus. She wants you to know his love, she wants to find others who know the power of faith because it has changed her outlook on life. Women who are vocal advocates want others to feel that powerful, that amazing, and to know the secret: birth is incredible. It doesn’t have to be a painful, long and embarrassing experience.

That said, I do not preach what I practice: I do not advertise unassisted birth for everyone. It is a serious emotional commitment. It is not about taking a crash course in midwifery, or dumping your caregiver and setting up a corner of your house – it is about trust, care, knowledge, foresight and keeping a cool head in a time of surging emotions. It is about knowing what can go wrong, the likelihood of complicated situations and then how to handle them. It’s about preventative “prenatal care”, diet, a deep understanding of your body and it’s processes and communication with the baby. It’s also about knowing when and what requires more care than you can give; knowing the difference between a normal bleed and an unresponsive hemorrhage (and also knowing that you will have time to call 911 and get care if it is a hemorrhage), what an intact placenta looks like, how to handle sticky shoulders and what the risk factors are for a prolapsed cord.
Women who go into unassisted birth without emotionally preparing themselves and learning their fears risk a situation that results in them running to a hospital over fear, ending up with a birth of a healthy child who has healthy APGARS and no signs of distress or upset, but a lost experience and the knowledge they could have just stayed home. This is why I do not advocate birthing alone for every pregnant woman, but I do think that in an ideal world all women would not only have truly informed consent, but to have the option to birth at home with a respectful attendant where they are comfortable, and to feel unafraid because they know that in most situations it’s safer there. In my ideal world the hospital would be reserved for life-saving emergencies, or a truly informed choice and that women would not feel more comfortable there only because years of negativity and myth have made them think that birth is dangerous and frightening.
In my ideal world, when someone suggests birthing at home or unassisted the first response will not always be, “But how will you cut the cord?”.

I am sad for your birth not because I pity or judge you but because I wish for you to feel that which others have. I am sad when you walk away from your birth feeling like your baby was the only good thing about it and you are telling yourself they are all that mattered. I am sad when you walk away saying, “That was awful”. I am sad if you cannot bend over, if it hurts to cough or you can’t have sex with your partner for months because of what was done to you.
I wish for you to feel the way I did when Curtis and I pulled Xan out of the water together. I wish for you to feel so much joy that you can feel it’s energy bursting from you. I wish for you to feel incredible, triumphant, so brilliantly happy that you can’t wait for someone to ask you how it went so you can feel it all over again as you retell your experience. I wish for your labour to have been comfortable and safe, where you were free to move around your house or take a walk outside, eat and drink what you wanted and not have to worry about time limits or how the people tried to tell you that your body wasn’t doing things “right”. I wish for you to count your birth as one of the best moments of your life, not just because you met your new child but also because they were so beautifully and peacefully brought into this world that you spent the rest of your days with a new respect for yourself.

Birth is amazing, and I wish for you to feel that way too.

Comments

comments

Categories: Uncategorized

128 Comments

  • lavielavie says:

    You dont know me, but I’ve been lurking in your journal for a while. I find you very inspiring.

    I am replying to tell you this:

    In my list of 43things, I listed “have a vbac” as one of my goal. I wrote an entry that said, in a nutshell, that I had to have emergency c-section because my baby’s heartrate was dropping to the 40s between contractions, and that I was still disappointed that I didnt get to experience the full labor and delivery experience, that I wanted to birth him, to push him out and immediately take him in my arms and that next time, I was determine to have a vbac”, etc.

    This woman just replied to this entry of mine and said just about exactly what you mention. She told me that “the most important thing is that me and my baby are alright and together at last”. She doesnt get it.

    And worst is, that woman also list “have a vbac” as one of her goals!

  • j_lew says:

    bizarrely enough, I suffered awful injuries and had a terrible birth experience but I wish I had had a cesarean instead of the bloody medieval forceps which left me in shreds and unable to care for my daughter. . my second birth was natural and as your last paragraph, although in a hospital with one midwife not interfering at all apart from making notes. , I though I was the cleverest thing on earth!

  • you are RIGHT ON sister. i wish that more women understood what they are missing/losing….and what birth can be, if you let it.

  • schmatalie says:

    wonderfully written, per usual. :)

    That said, I do not preach what I practice: I do not advertise unassisted birth for everyone. It is a serious emotional commitment. It is not about taking a crash course in midwifery, or dumping your caregiver and setting up a corner of your house – it is about trust, care, knowledge, foresight and keeping a cool head in a time of surging emotions. It is about knowing what can go wrong, the likelihood of complicated situations and then how to handle them. It’s about preventative “prenatal care”, diet, a deep understanding of your body and it’s processes and communication with the baby. It’s also about knowing when and what requires more care than you can give; knowing the difference between a normal bleed and an unresponsive hemorrhage (and also knowing that you will have time to call 911 and get care if it is a hemorrhage), what an intact placenta looks like, how to handle sticky shoulders and what the risk factors are for a prolapsed cord.
    Women who go into unassisted birth without emotionally preparing themselves and learning their fears risk a situation that results in them running to a hospital over fear, ending up with a birth of a healthy child who has healthy APGARS and no signs of distress or upset, but a lost experience and the knowledge they could have just stayed home. This is why I do not advocate birthing alone for every pregnant woman, but I do think that in an ideal world all women would not only have truly informed consent, but to have the option to birth at home with a respectful attendant where they are comfortable, and to feel unafraid because they know that in most situations it’s safer there. In my ideal world the hospital would be reserved for life-saving emergencies, or a truly informed choice and that women would not feel more comfortable there only because years of negativity and myth have made them think that birth is dangerous and frightening.
    In my ideal world, when someone suggests birthing at home or unassisted the first response will not always be, “But how will you cut the cord?”.

    (sorry for super long quote)

    these 2 paragraphs spoke to me particularly. i want an unassisted birth but i know that i am not ready emotionally- any suggestions for that? i can totally see myself being that woman that freaks out and goes to the hospital mid labor.

    throughout my pregnancy i learned quite a bit about pregnancy and birth. i really wanted to have a homebirth but wasn’t committed enough to pay out of pocket for a midwife and didn’t feel i was ready for a UC. so i chose hospital. i thought for sure i would feel better about having a homebirth after delivering one child since of course, i’d know a little more what to expect. i wish i had just done it the first time. i am far more scared to have another after i’ve already had one. like i said, i still don’t feel like i’m ‘ready’ for a UC, but i need to make it happen, bc it’s not going to happen on it’s own.

    • admin says:

      Being emotionally ready isn’t really something you can ‘train’ for, it just sort of begins for you and you follow where it leads you. It isn’t something you should rush into, or “try” for. Just relax, read about what scares you, learn what you can and challenge yourself and your views. See how things change for you, or if they don’t. IF they don’t that’s okay, too – if you’re not cool with a UC then that’s great that you can recognize and know that and not put yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
      If, over time, you begin to feel more comfortable with the idea and find yourself being at peace with it then that’s great too. :)

  • This was awesome to read. I am sad that we’re done having kids because I would love to give birth again. Each time I have experienced it I have learned something about my body and felt a completeness that can’t be described. Birth is so much a part of the experience of having a child…

  • sualkin says:

    I am so thankful that I didn’t get shoved into a hospital birth simply because I had triplets. I don’t know if I would be able to get over such a violation that many of you have gone though. I don’t know how you’ve done it. :( *hugs*

  • florassecret says:

    You just made me cry for Jocelyn’s birth. It was so horrible. I hated every moment I was in the hospital. At 35 weeks I was induced and at the end I ended up with an episiotomy. My doctor didn’t even ask me if I wanted one, he just did it. I felt robbed of actually giving birth.

  • Thankyou

    I think I’ve only commented on your journal once before – when Xan was born. I’ve been reading your journal for well over a year, though.

    In that year and a bit, through your posts and essays about Jericho’s birth, your anger, your thoughts and your feelings in the time since then, have really made me start to think about birth in a way that I have never considered before. It’s not a means to an end, but an experience in itself. I’d never thought about it that way before.

    I don’t have children, and at 23, I don’t expect to have any for some time yet, but I want you to know that your posts have helped me to consolidate in my mind the way that I want my future birth experiences to be. I know now that I’m not happy about the idea of birthing in a hospital, especially after having what turned out to be an unnecessary appendicectomy last year, which I’m still annoyed about. I lay there on the trolley in the OR, consent form shoved in my face – too late to back out, though I suspected that my appendix was fine and that something else was causing the pain (I was right)… and I thought of you in that moment.

    I don’t want to look back on the births of my children in that way.

    Thankyou for sharing your experiences. I’m sure I’m not the only person you’ve touched through your posts, and I know that when the times comes someday I will be able to birth my children far more confidently than I would have had I not stumbled upon your journal more than a year ago. I hope that I can be as happy with the births of my future children as you were with Xan’s.

    • admin says:

      Re: Thankyou

      Thank you for this.

      And wow… about the unnecessary appendectomy. That must have been awful – do you mind if I ask what the issue actually had been?
      As a child that was one of my biggest fears: my appendix being taken out! My mother had hers burst at 8.

      • Re: Thankyou

        Burst entirely? Ow…!

        It was actually ‘terminal ileitis’ – the end bit of my small intestine was inflamed, and as it’s right next to the appendix, it was manifesting the same symptoms. I can understand how they came to the conclusion that it was appendicitis, but the examination was basically:

        poke! “Does that hurt?”
        “Yes! Please don’t poke me there!”
        “Okay, we’ll talk to the surgeon and see if he can fit you in.”
        Zuh?? That’s it?

        Cue operation, followed by the surgeon telling me that my intestine was inflamed and that it was Crohn’s disease, before leaving the room to let me contemplate this news. It was finally established, after four months of various tests and considerable angst that I did in fact have an incurable and potentially life-altering disease, that the inflammation had resolved itself entirely, and that he was probably wrong. Um, thanks, buddy. I really needed to believe that I was going to be pooping into a bag before my 40th birthday. Does a lot for a person psychologically.

        So yeah, I wasn’t really enamoured with doctors before, but after that, I’d really like to avoid being in a situation where I’m being pressured to do anything I don’t want to do by medical types. You only have your children once, after all.

    • nearlyalegume says:

      Wow.

      I was clicking around and found this comment from five years ago. That was me.

      I now have two beautiful little boys, and two very different birth experiences. The first, very traumatic (both physically and mentally), after which not a day goes by when I don’t thank the universe that my son is physically and cognitively normal after being dragged into the world by the head with a pair of giant salad tongs, the second, just twelve days ago, and a triumph that brings joyful tears to my eyes whenever I think of it, particularly given that I felt like a failure for 26 months beforehand. I did it, and I’m prouder that I ever thought I’d be.

      Neither worked out exactly as I’d planned five years ago, because both my boys were born in a hospital after all, but I was glad to find this comment, an echo from the past. I was idealistic, certainly, but I wish I could go back to my 23-year-old self and tell her that while it took two goes to get the birth she hoped for, that it IS possible and that when the time comes, she will be able to do it.

      Twelve days, and I’m still euphoric. Does that feeling ever wane?

  • I wish I had the confidence and support to have a homebirth. At times I honestly feel like just having a scheduled c-section next time. I cannot go through the trauma of another unplanned one.

    • admin says:

      There were points in my pregnancy with Xan were I was so afraid of the loss of control (I’m not really sure what “of” just control – it was a fear from the cesarean) that I felt like submitting myself to someone else’s power. It seems so much easier to completely disconnect yourself than it is to devote yourself… and it might be, but it’s not what is healthiest and it’s not what I would want in the long run.
      It is bizarre that fear from an experience makes me want to have it again in my weakest moments. I think that’s a strange, backwards way to try and gain power from it and make it seem less frightening in retrospect.
      What saved me in those moments was to remember that I cannot gain anything “Back” from that, even if I made the choice it won’t make my last experience any better – nothing will. I can only plan and focus on this experience and what I know is best for us.

      You do have confidence inside you: you are powerful and amazing – you just haven’t touched it yet. :) You aren’t pregnant now, you have a while to take deep breaths and help find a situation that is comfortable for you. Have you read “birthing from within”?

  • heavynleigh says:

    Can I link this to my midwives? I think they would really appreciate it.

    What you say is so true. My first birth experience was horrible in so many ways and I’m still very emo about it all. It’s not something you just get over and my baby wasn’t healthy for the first few weeks so I didn’t even have that comfort. He ended up being okay in the end but at the time I was so wrapped up in everything that had gone wrong and feeling like a big huge failure that it’s still hard for me, reflecting on that time. With my second, I was determined that it would be better but it wasn’t really. I was limited in my choices and things started spiralling again towards the end and I just flashed on everything repeating itself. He was healthy and we went home together but it was still a lot sadder than I envisioned because once again, I was denied the birth I wanted. I was numbed and sliced open and my baby was wrenched from my body. The whole time I was terrified he would be another NICU baby and I wasn’t sure how I would handle that with a 2 year old at home who needed me as well. This time, I live in a different state and have awesome midwives that I’m working with and I hope to have a homebirth. I will have a homebirth.

    • admin says:

      You can absolutely link it to your midwives.

      Hearing stories like yours make me so angry that someone can then come along and say that just because x person loved their cesarean means everyone else just needs to shut up about it or “learn to love” it. No one needs to ‘learn to love’ their trauma and their grief.

      • heavynleigh says:

        Honestly, I feel nothing but anger and remorse and injustice for what was done to me. I don’t think there’s any room in me to love what he did. Nor will I ever try to make room for that. It has certainly made me stronger and more determined than ever to do what I feel is right this time around and I will never blindly trust another doctor or cave to the fearmongering or propaganda ever again. So I suppose some good has come of it but I’d much rather have never had the experience to begin with.

  • maylea_moon says:

    i’m going natural with this baby (in the hospital, blahhhh, but still) and you make me so much more excited for it!

  • oopidsnot says:

    This was a very emotional rant for me to read. I’m glad you posted it, it brought suppressed feelings to the surface.
    I remember that even Jon would say “at least our baby is healthy” whenever I tried to talk about my birth experience. I don’t think he’ll ever understand that there is more to birth than just a baby. I eventually just stopped talking about it.

    When I really think about it, I don’t consider Freja’s birth to be a true birth. I was numbed, and someone else took her from me. I had very little to do with bringing her into the world, and that makes me incredibly sad. I only have one brief and exhilarating moment, during one push where I felt her moving down the birth canal. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as excited, happy, and empowered as those few seconds.

    When I get pregnant again, I want more for my birth experience. Much more. Part of me feels wiser from what happened; and another part of me feels as though I won’t be able to trust a doctor when he suggests a c-section, even if it is truly necessary. I feel I’m victim to the “boy who cried wolf” scenario, and I fear it has clouded my judgment.

    • oopidsnot says:

      (also, may I post a link to your rant from my website?)

    • admin says:

      I love you so much.
      When you had Freja after all that I was so fucking proud of you, and I still am, for giving them what-for. In the situation you were in you did amazingly.
      But by no means do I intend for that to overwrite your feelings about your birth, because those are valid, and I completely understand them because I’d feel the same way. I was so upset when I wasn’t there for you in those moments. :(

      … but I’m glad you were there for me in both of mine.

  • delababy says:

    Honestly, what matters is the health of everyone involved, and I mean total health. It blows my mind that medical practitioners expect people to forget about all but the end details of any medical experience. I am so happy that you were able to have the birth you wanted with Xan. I was so sad for you that you not only lost little Jericho, but that it happened the way it did. It really seems to me that Xan was sent to help heal your family, starting from the very beginning.

  • greenmama says:

    I completely agree. I hate how everyone just tells me to buck up and forget my bad birthing experience because the baby is healthy and fine. I’m overjoyed he’s healthy, but that doesn’t mean I have to like what happened or let it happen again.

    I can’t even talk to anyone about the birth anymore. I just don’t want to hear how I’m a big doody-head for giving a crap that the stuff done to me in the hospital ultimately left me with a life-threatning infection, unable to care for my newborn first child, repeatedly admitted into the hospital, evacuating my bowel VERY PAINFULLY every hour for TWO WEEKS, and unable to breastfeed, which I was looking forward to from the moment I conceived. Yeah, guess I’m just a whiner.

    This birth, I’m hiring a doula.

  • someone else said, but soon as I started reading I thought, “I love you Babs!!!!” you’re like the internet big sister saying YES you can!!!

    I know that I wont’ go unassisted this time, but I making sure my midwife is there. My hubby won’t go for a home birth and there’s not much other viable option for us other than a hospital birth, but I intend to make a much better experience than I did last time. If not, I’m liable to just walk out of there!!!!!

    and it takes us each, one at a time to change attitudes. I know I”m going to read more and I know myself so much more. Thank you for know yourself and being able to share it with us all.

  • birthingway says:

    I totally agree and posted a similar vent in my journal yesterday.

    I wish our culture wasn’t so effed up. I wish for women to stand up for themselves.

    I wish for every woman who chooses to give birth a powerful experience that deepens her sense of who she is and sets her up to begin motherhood with that knowledge.

    • ppplmgwiw says:

      I wish for every woman who chooses to give birth a powerful experience that deepens her sense of who she is and sets her up to begin motherhood with that knowledge.

      That is so beautifully stated. What a wonderful message.

  • This gave me chills.

    Thank you for continually sharing your story and your passion with the world. I think it means more and does more good than you will ever know.

  • ppplmgwiw says:

    My first birth, although it was in a hospital, felt the way you describe Xan’s birth. I mostly labored at home with my husband and doula, and had no interventions in the ~2 hours after I arrived at the hospital, at 8 cm, had no one doing anything to me. I delivered Clea in the hospital instead of at home because I was going to my family doctor of 10+ years for prenatal care, but the hospital setting was totally irrelevant to me at that time–I was already so ‘in the zone’ by the time we got there, and my labor was such that all the nurses and my doctor were just on the sidelines anyway, so I felt completely, 150% in charge and at the center of it all. (I know that’s not typical of hospital experiences; I had a combination of good luck, a good doctor, and a good doula.) It was, truly, the most amazing experience of my entire life. I had my eyes closed the whole time–I remember opening them for a moment, here or there, between pushes, noticing dim light, but just being so focused on myself and my baby, in a way that feels delicious to remember. I have never, in the 10 years since, been able to shut up about that and wish all women could have those moments for themselves.

    Which is one of the reasons why my second birth was even more traumatic and horrible, and why, 7+ months later, I often still cry when I think about it. I know what I lost. Yes, Annika is, thankfully, healthy. But I’m not. I’m hurt in a way that will probably never heal. That matters, too.

    • admin says:

      I am glad that you can talk about it and say that, about Annika’s birth that is. It’s so hard just to get to that point.

      • ppplmgwiw says:

        I’m processing it, my thoughts about it are changing as time goes on and I’m learning to live with it. I spent the first 5 months trying to ‘get over’ it; spent the 6th month realizing that would never be possible and actually just makes it worse. So now it’s a matter of figuring out how to fold her birth story into my life, how to live with both emotional and physical pain and scars, with uncertainty and an absence of answers. Some days are easier than others. I still have a hard time reading good birth stories; when my best friend was telling me about her natural birth (baby was born 7 weeks ago) and described it as “magical,” and said how her midwife commented that it was the kind of birth they want to use to advertise birth to other people, I wanted to run screaming, which made me sad because this was my best friend and I wanted to be happy for her. I guess it will just take time.

        I try to remind myself that at least I did have a wonderful experience with my first baby (it’s the central reason why I wanted to have a second). Some women never get that at all, and I’ve got to try not to let Annika’s birth blot out that memory.

        • admin says:

          It won’t ever blot out the memory, just as Jericho’s birth won’t ever blot out the memory of Tempest’s or destroy Xan’s. They are all so different they can’t even really be compared to each other.

          I felt the same way you did about your friend, after Jericho died. I had brief moments of it, at least. The rest of the time I remained so incredibly disconnected from the cesarean that I really believed I never had one. I just made it up and one day someone would discover I was lying about it.
          Still today it’s hard for me to look at my scar and really accept it all. Because I was unconscious during the surgery it really feels like it never happened. Someone just told me it did.

          • ppplmgwiw says:

            It must be totally surreal for it to have happened while you were unconscious. For me, even though I was awake during every second of the surgery, and I know it did happen, I still can’t really believe it happened to me. I don’t have c-sections. I still just shake my head and think, WTF? But, on a different note, the other day I looked at my scar and realized it was where Annika came out of me–not a natural place, not what I wanted, but still the spot where she emerged–and for one brief second I was able to feel connected to her birth. It’s not a consolation, it doesn’t make anything better, but it’s a little tiny bit of connection.

            • admin says:

              Sometimes I have those moments to, it’s brief and very intense, where it all sort of comes crashing in and I can accept everything that happened for just that instant. I really do feel that as long as it’s been from his birth and death I still have so far to go before it’s “real”.

  • tau says:

    Its funny that you write this – I’ve often felt a sense of failure, because I had two hospital births.

    Neither were really my fault – the first time wasn’t my baby, I trusted the natural birth process (I was 42 weeks) but my IPs didn’t. Thats the one I have the hardest time with because I KNOW I would have delivered within a day or two had I been allowed the chance. It was still a natural birth, but it wasn’t one of mine.

    The OB was a bitch who scared my IPs by telling them they would have a dead baby if she let us go back home. She didn’t do the interventions that she said she HAD to do. (for which I’m grateful, but it just proves that shes a liar) And she told me that the only reason I was pushing so hard for a natural homebirth was because I had “control issues.”

    The second time was Lydia. We really did have to deliver in a hospital – it was our only way to give her a chance at life. I do believe that was worth it – and I fought tooth and nail to find a high risk OB that respected my ability to birth and to give me every opportunity to have a nurturing experience.

    And I did have an amazing labor and delivery – it was almost as glorious as being at home. I hold onto that experience so much more tightly because Lydia died. I do feel like – “I lost a baby, but at least I had my labor.” And I can’t ever really share that – because people don’t understand.

    People might even be horrified.

    But they are my labors. I need them – they are so important, especially as a surrogate. They get their cherished infant, and I get my labor.

    How can I ever articulate how much that means to someone who hasn’t been in that inward spiritual and profoundly powerful place? When I hit transition – I touch the universe, or god, or the collective unconscious – or something akin to those things. It is transcendent, it is beautiful, it is the closest I’ve ever been to enlightenment/nirvana/absolute wholeness.

    I so need this baby to be healthy, and I need him to be born at home. This is my last – my last surrogacy, my last baby, my last homebirth, my last chance to end this role in my life in a way that affirms everything I know to be good and true and whole. I need this more badly than I can say and I don’t know anyone in my life who really understands that.

    So much of what you write about trips very deep things in me – and I’m sorry that I keep dumping my neurosis in your journal.

    • admin says:

      No, no – thank you for writing that. It was wonderful, and I completely understand.
      Jericho was born by a violating cesarean experience, but I did have a peaceful labour. So peaceful that I didn’t even know I was having it. It was as close to a painless labour as you could get. And I’m glad I got that, because it’s the only piece that I’ll ever have from what my hopes for his birth were…

    • carlos2112 says:

      Control issues. *snort* That’s rich. She’s not the one who carried the baby, she’s telling you how to birth it, and you’re the one with control issues.

  • kris1225 says:

    Homebirth rocks. I shout it from the rooftops daily hoping that one woman will hear it and change her life because of it.

    Great “rant”. :)

  • splonk says:

    This was a wonderful thing to read. At a doula board I’m a part of, we’re discussing UC pretty in-depth, so this came at a really convenient time. You summed up all my thoughts pretty perfectly!

  • starfish11 says:

    This was so beautiful, and so true. It DOES matter.
    My first child- I can’t even think about the brutality of his birth without cringing, and he’s five years old now. Second time round I birthed Emmanuella (at a hospital, interestingly enough) into my own hands. The power of taking her from inside my body to holding her in my hands without an intermission of gloved hands and fear for her was immense.
    Birth needs to be a choice, made with full knowledge. Knowledge of risks and benefits. I just wish more women had the knowledge and understanding of how amazing natural birth can be.
    This was my birth affirmation for my last birth. I just thought I’d share it here, because it says, as much as I can, what I wanted for my birth. Healthy baby, yes…but getting him here mattered to me too.

    I can do this. I am not afraid.
    This is pain with a purpose.
    It is opening me up, to birth my moonbaby.
    Strong. Gentle. Powerful. Beautiful.
    My moonbaby. My Jericho.
    I can do this, and I will not be afraid.

  • conchispa says:

    Thank you!

    I can’t call my first birth traumatic and overall I was well taken care of and had a positive experience, yet it was also disappointing in many ways. Two years later I still obsess about what went “wrong” and what I can do differently this time around. “all that matters is the healthy baby” is so completely invalidating. Yes I am thankful that my daughter was born fine, but my experience matters too. Unfortunatly many people don’t get it. Hopefully this time going to a birth center will provide me with that empowering experience I keep reading about from others birth stories. I want a do-over! *crosses fingers*

  • unconformed says:

    YEAH!

    Although, I have to say, immediately after my peaceful, unassisted waterbirth, I wasn’t thinking “That was great!” I was thinking “That was awful and I am never, ever doing that again!” (I’ve since reconsidered). The afterpains were horrendous, too. One of my friends had a scheduled repeat c-section in April, and she was so happy through it all, smiling through the whole thing and walking miles by the end of the week… I was a little jealous. I feel like there should be some work involved in birthing babies, honestly… for them to just appear at 9am on a Thursday after you have a nice dinner and a good night’s sleep seems the height of unnaturalness.

    • admin says:

      Do remember that just because she didn’t experience pain in her recovery doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. After a cesarean you are loaded up with drugs. No one has a drugless surgery! After a UC you don’t get narcotics for the afterpains.

      The afterpains after Xan were worse than labour, by a long shot.

    • erinmdmd says:

      I had a few months of “OMG, never again!” after my UP/UC. From talking to others, its not an unheard of reaction. I’ve since determined that I may actually look for a MW next time, but I’m very open to the possibility of another UC.

      • unconformed says:

        If I have another, I’ll have another UC. I’ll put a lot more planning into natural pain relief methods, though– a TENS machine, maybe, or who knows what else. And I’d like to have RX painkillers for the afterpains.

        • admin says:

          For afterpains: ibprofun + tylenol together works well, better than two of one of them.

          • unconformed says:

            That’s what I took and it didn’t cut it for me.
            Of course, after my superfun trip to the ER 10 days PP for mastitis, I got Vicodin… why couldn’t I have had that like, the 3 painful days after the birth and then the week in between where I was engorged and infected? Grrr.
            Seriously, I’m going to have some strong stuff waiting the next time. Supposedly the afterpains get worse with each kid and I’m terrified.

            • admin says:

              It didn’t cut it for me either but it was better than nothing! ;)

              I actually had to cut Xan off from nursing a few times in the beginning because the afterpains that came with it were too intense.

          • erinmdmd says:

            I took those once. I honestly don’t recall any uterine pain after the placenta was delivered.

      • admin says:

        I have that about pregnancy – I want another baby… eventually. But right now the idea of being pregnant again is very “OMG NEVER AGAIN”. With Xan it was hard. Very hard.

        • erinmdmd says:

          My reluctance about another baby stems from the fact that finding adequate breastmilk is so.much.work.

        • jenrose1 says:

          oh god… being pregnant… I want to take out my IUD because I think it keeps me from losing weight and I don’t want to get pregnant again fat… and I can’t stand the thought of being pregnant again, omg no, I felt so bad for so freakin’ long….

          The birth wasn’t fun, but I can say that it was likely because of her genetic issue which is unlikely to repeat.

          • electricube says:

            I went to your website to see if you were in the US or not… I know that in many women, Mirena (hormonal IUD) causes weight gain that cannot be addressed through diet and exercise. Have you considered the Paragard (copper IUD)?

            (definitions in parenthesis in case anyone does not know)

            • jenrose1 says:

              I absolutely will not get the paragard. I have horrible periods without the Mirena as it is, Paragard would make them worse.

              If I do take it out, I will have to “bite the bullet” and just deal with my periods and be fanatically careful about sex (which shouldnt’ be too hard as we rarely have opportunity anyway and my husband is pretty good about being careful)until I’ve lost the weight I need to lose. THen I will either get pregnant or get the Mirena back in, as I don’t tend to gain much on it, I just can’t for the life of me lose.

              • Anonymous says:

                You know, I cannot use any kind of hormonal birth control at all, and I’m unwilling to use spermicide, so I truly understand the frustration with the lack of options. My man and I use condoms. We use Pleasure Plus brand and they really are different; the silicone lube does not burn my vagina, and the ridges inside stimulate him. They are wonderful condoms.

                We’re also looking into getting a diaphragm, cervical cap, and Lea’s shield and try them as backups to the condoms. We haven’t had a condom break yet in the 1.5 years we’ve been together, but we would feel better with a backup. Also I’m interested to start charting with the fertility awareness method; so we’ll know when to be extra careful (although I can feel when I’m going to ovulate anyway.)

                Anyway, I understand, and I hope you find a solution that works well for you. I will pray that someone comes up with something better!

    • jenrose1 says:

      I felt robbed at how damn much the homebirth hurt. Right up until I found out that my baby wasn’t healthy, and that her medical condition was why it hurt. Knowing I’d managed to get through it at home for her rather than subjecting her to the nonsense the hospital would have done… made the betrayal of my “gentle, peaceful candlelit waterbirth” which was actually one of the most violent things I’ve ever experienced (not external violence, thank GOD I don’t have to feel like that torture was done to me by knowing adults), easier to bear.

      • admin says:

        Is it okay for me to ask what about her condition made the birth so difficult?

        • jenrose1 says:

          Oh, I thought you and I had talked about that before. You can read some of it on my journal, she was born mid-March of 2005.

          She has a chromosome deletion. It affects a lot of things, but one of the side effects is macrocephaly and craniostentosis… basically, giant head that didn’t mold at all. Weirdest soft spot I have ever felt, like a giant old-fashioned keyhole, her head was basically open from the top of her forehead to the back of her head, instead of the usual two triangle/diamond fontanels. And yet, with all that room, her head did not change shape one bit as she came down the canal.

          I had to dilate to 11 to get her out, and could not make her descend on land…but once I got in water, my hips were able to give way, my tailbone broke and my pubic bone separated and she came out in about 10 minutes. Hurt like a sonofabitch.

          The last two hours of tremendously hard contractions, I could feel my cervix like a hard band around her head, and wondered what was wrong. What was wrong was that it was not my cervix that was trying to dilate at that point, but the uterine muscle, which isn’t supposed to do that…the cervix was long gone. She stayed high and we couldn’t figure out what position she was in–turns out she was in a perfect position, but that the dimension on babies that is normally the smallest, on her, was just huge, hard, and not bendy. Her sister coming through had a conehead and I totally felt it and pushing her out was not hard. Shiny… when her head got up to the os, it just felt like I had baby head filling the whole thing, bone to bone, and I could not find a position (went through about 10 in 30 seconds in the water) that would not make it feel like I was coming apart, so I finally just said to hell with it and pushed anyway.

          I thought something was seriously wrong with me that it would hurt so damn bad… it wasn’t… it is a triumph that I could birth her at all. In the hospital, I would have been sectioned, because they never would have let me back in the water after my waters broke and I simply did not progress at all in getting her down on land. Tried, squatting, standing, toilet, everything, just could not let go of the muscles *that* much until I was in water.

          I couldn’t walk well for 5 months after, and the only breastfeeding position that worked involved sitting on my broken tailbone.

          Sciatic nerve pain still gets me now and then, more than 2 years later, though I did manage to get my pelvis back together.

          • admin says:

            Holy shit! You are superwoman.

            I knew what condition she had but I couldn’t remember how it affected your birth (or maybe you didn’t tell me? I’m leaning toward the former).

            That’s incredible.
            On a totally unrelated note, you are the only person I have met that has used the word ‘os’ correctly, and not when it stands for ‘operating system’.

            • jenrose1 says:

              Really? I was trying to remember if that *was* right, but os is just “opening” and there’s a vaginal opening and a cervical opening. Been a while since my doula days.

              Anyway… Mostly I’m just stubborn. :)

          • jenrose1 says:

            http://www.jenrose.com/shiny/PICT1836.jpg is a picture that gives a good idea of her head shape on the back of her head.

            http://www.jenrose.com/shiny/PICT2070.jpg
            Shows the odd bump at the back of her head.

            Her head has always been like this. When she came out, I thought it was molding, but she’s has a number of craniosacral treatments which did help release the stentosis, but didn’t really affect her head shape.

            • admin says:

              Xan has that funny bump, if we’re talking about the same funny bump (but definitely not the head shape).

              • jenrose1 says:

                It’s something you can’t really feel until you get your hand around it. She has the most pronounced occipital bulb I’ve ever felt. Her head from forehead to bulb is very, very long relative to what one would expect, and then it has this wide bit at the top of the back. Basically, when I felt her head, I realized that yes, every bit of confusion and difficulty we had was about the odd shape.

                I’ve seen people with bumps back there… but they’re small. Hers is almost a knob. It’s very hard to photograph because of neck fat/skin/hair, etc.

  • You already know how I feel. :)

    I brought up birth with a group of friends the other day at dinner… it was funny to watch them all squirm. They were also shocked when I told them that laboring on your back isn’t the most comfortable position for the mother, it’s the most comfortable for the doctor. There were extra-horrified looks when I said that yes, squatting was a perfectly fine way to give birth. Most girls (and guys) my age seem to think only masochists don’t want an epidural. I think you must be in a freaking lot of pain to let a gigantic needle near your spinal cord.

    That said, I agree with whoever said that women should be respected, whatever choice they make. (And I don’t think you disrespect other people’s choices, to be clear.) If other people want epidurals and standard hospital births, that’s totally fine. I think everyone should have a chance to know their options.

    Just my 10 cents.

    ~Monkeyscience/K’Tara

  • This is awesome! I’ve been reading for a while now, and your experiences have really set me thinking about how I want to have a family. It’s not in the near future for me; I’m only 20 and am nowhere near ready to have kids, but I think it’s important for women to at least be aware of different birthing options out there. A few years ago, I would have assumed that to have a baby you had to go to the hospital and be medicated–going “natural” and epidural-free, or even having a baby at home would have been completely incomprehensible to me. I don’t know yet if I would be completely comfortable with having an unassisted home birth, or even just a home birth, but I feel good knowing that the option is out there, and that I can be a strong woman who is able to construct a well-informed birth plan that can make having a baby a wonderful, rather than exclusively painful event. Thank you for putting your voice out there–even if you don’t always “preach what you practice,” I think it’s important for people like you who have so much clout on the internet to keep others aware of their options, and to fight and stick up for people like the friend you referred to, who may have a healthy baby but lost the birth experience that she wanted. I applaud you for this post!

  • arymabeth says:

    ::applauds::

    I can’t wait till my turn comes. I want in on the secret.

  • ivymae says:

    I am sad for your birth not because I pity or judge you but because I wish for you to feel that which others have.

    I remember after Ella’s birth feeling like I needed to save the world from traumatic birth, because we deserve so much more. As women, as mothers, as human – we deserve to feel the power that we are given. We deserve to feel whole (if not overflowing!) after birth, instead of empty. We deserve so very much more.

    Keep shouting from rooftops. People are listening.

  • you should post this over on associated content (you can google it) you get paid a small amount (between 3 and 20 bucks) if the story is accepted, depending on what category it winds up in, and then later get more money if it gets several views. A lot of people have started reading stuff over on AC and its becoming more popular, I think it would be a great site to share this info on.

  • gngr says:

    I love you, and who you have become since I’ve known you. A wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an entrepreneur, and an advocate. :) I just love you! lol *squishies*

  • carlos2112 says:

    *hugs tight* You rock.

    Thanks to you, I’ve decided to go the natural birth route.

    Hang on a sec. *checks* Ah, shit, that’s right. I’m a guy.

    • admin says:

      LOL

      Well Carl, if you ever have a baby, I hope for as uh… normal a birth as possible for you!

      • carlos2112 says:

        Haha! Well it worked for Arnold.

        I went on a date tonight with a lady who has a six-month-old boy. We had a long conversation about her natural birth. She described how she envisioned a drop of water dropping in the ocean and the ripples expanding, as she was…. expanding (dilating, though she didn’t use that word). Anyway, it was a discussion most men can’t have (intelligently, anyway). I certainly couldn’t before I read your journal entries. So, thanks! In all sincerity I’ve become an advocate for home birth. Even a guy can inform and educate.

  • ibejimom says:

    Beautifully written!

    I, too, have never commented on your journal. I work as a nurse in a hospital based birth center a few times a month and unfortunately those words all that matters is a healthy baby are uttered all the time. By the MDs, nurses, family, visitors.

    There are rare, wonderful moments, however (even in that setting) when I can and do tell the new Mom, now you know the secret.

  • admin says:

    There needs to be many, many more nurses like you in our hospitals.
    Not because you’ve said those words, but what it represents: you understand that her experience, her pain or triumph is meaningful. That all her feelings are valid.

  • now I don’t know you at all, but I’ve been lurking on your list awhile now so I figured I’d impose myself and comment. beautifully written rant it should be submitted as an essay to a major publication, the problem with the ‘rah rah empowering birth crowd’ is as you said, they often tend to preach and come off as too far from left field, this rant on the other hand put into context exactly what it is natural birthers want to get across that it should be an empowering and moving experience not a traumatic one. in both of those pictures you are the definition of serenity, that is something to aspire to when giving birth.

  • timmytm says:

    Hospitals are striking me, more and more, as businesses. Just look at circumcision.

  • thank you very very much for your voice. i’ve commented off and on before, but i had to stop and thank you for this one.
    you are the story that changed the tide for me. i had my first child at home, almost a year ago and…well as odd as it sounds coming from someone you’ve never really spoken to before, i have you to thank for it.
    would you mind terribly if i passed this along to my midwives’ practice? i think it’s something that could help a lot of women out there who are struggling.

  • t0xicmadness says:

    I’ve never commented before, but this was absolutely wonderful.
    It’s a shame that circumstances even come up, forcing you to even feel the need to write this rant. But it’s wonderful none the less.

    • admin says:

      Thank you.

      I was just really angered by someone starting up the “all that matters is a healthy baby” bullshit to someone who lost their birth expectations and hopes. Before she’s even had a chance to tell her story her friends are already devalidating her feelings and experiences. She had a lot of hope and want for a natural home birth and it’s clear she didn’t get that. She’s going to be feeling raw and confused and to come back to two dozen people screaming, “Well, your baby is healthy and that’s the only part that matters!” (literally) is just so awful.

      It breeds guilt, shame and depression. Am I ungrateful if I feel sad for my birth? Why can’t I just love my baby?

      I just wish people would get it: women and their births matter, too. If birthing mothers experienced a loss of their hopes and experience, they need to be supported in their grief.

      • crafterson says:

        It breeds guilt, shame and depression. Am I ungrateful if I feel sad for my birth?

        This is so true. Two and a half years later and I’m still feeling this way.

        I had an emergency c-section at 36 weeks when I started to hemmorhage. I had a complete placenta previa and was expecting a c-section, but not the emergency, general anesthetic version.

        Whenever I mention to anyone of my disappointment with my birth experience I’m met with the same kind of comments. Yes I know I didn’t bleed to death this way, and yes I know I have a healthy baby, but it STILL doesn’t mean that I don’t feel completely ripped off that I didn’t get the birth that I wanted.

        Why do people feel the need to lump these two things together, that if you feel disappointed then you’re automatically ungrateful? Why is it such an awful thing for us to feel disappointment?

        • admin says:

          I think the labour/birth aspect should actually be considered a different entity from the baby. They are processed so completely differently.

          And really, does any mother EVER choose a birth knowing it would absolutely seriously damage her baby’s health? It is in our blood, in our BONES to protect our babies… to accuse a woman of caring about her birth only because she cares about herself is so terrible.

  • I feel similar about the birth of my second child. I describe it with words like: joyous, empowering, beautiful. I tell everyone about it. One of the reasons I waited 6 years between babies is because of the horrific birth experience I had with the first.

    It makes me sad when I hear moms getting down on other moms about their options:

    “You HAVE to have an epidural!”

    “If you don’t breastfeed you are a bad mother!”

    I feel like I’ve heard them all, and all they do is confuse a new mother. It’s her birth experience, her baby, and her choices.

    I’ve said too much. Thanks for sharing, Babs.

  • Wonderfully written rant!

    As someone who works with women preparing to give birth/giving birth, I often hear “All that matters is a healthy baby” when they are talking about their birth plan. As in, “I don’t want XY or Z intervention, but if it’s medically necessary for the baby then it’s okay.” I often struggle with how to respond to their statement of “all that matter is a healthy baby.” Some times I will smile and nod, but then other times I will add something like “but how you experience birth is important too.” I don’t know what else to say.

  • Anonymous says:

    On the other hand, you seem to think that women who don’t have completely natural UBACs, etc, *SHOULD* feel bad about their birthing experiences. And that’s just unacceptable and very anti-woman. I’m a homebirther myself (over here from MDC) but there are (educated, informed) women who have had epidurals, hospital births or even C-sections and are completely happy and satisfied with it, and don’t feel violated or manipulated. Not all women need or want what you had, and that doesn’t make their births any less empowering, special or valid.

    • admin says:

      Actually that’s not true at all. In the rant I specifically said, “Some women don’t mind, even knowing the risks involved, and that’s their prerogative”.

      And the entire subject matter of this is about women who did have a lost birth experience based on expectation, not about women who chose otherwise, were informed and were completely satisfied.

    • the_lissa says:

      You clearly do not know her at all. I had a hospital transfer and epidural with my first, and she never made me feel anything but supported and congratulated.

    • No, I dont feel she is saying this at all. I feel like she is saying that women who had expectations that weren’t met, due to their choices that were never choices to start with (doctors pressuring into decisions that were not on the agenda and probably not neccesary)may feel a loss. She also said that Unassisted and homebirths are not for everyone, that if you feel you cannot keep a level head during surging emotions then you will probably do better for yourself in another situation and that is fine.
      I personally would love to have a homebirth, however, I know I would be in so much unease and panic that I would relax better in a birthing center, which would be better for me and baby. And I dont think Babs would think any less of me for it.
      She is just sharing from her own experience and feelings and I think it was very well written and non-offensive!:)
      Welcome from MDC though, Im on there too!:)

      • admin says:

        Thank you. That is exactly, 100% what I was saying.
        My wish on homebirth was only that it would be a presented option for all women (within reason, obviously there are situations were a cesarean is the only way) and that mothers were not scared, lied to and manipulated into thinking other options were unsafe and frightening. In that world they could make a truly informed decision about where they birthed and would feel comfortable and not be at risk of unneeded intervention and procedures.

      • starpolish says:

        I’d like to second this. I love the idea of home birth, but I’d be a very bad candidate for it. I am high strung and would be too worried something was going wrong. Also, my mother had complications with my sister and I, so that would add to my worry. I also hate hospitals, so for me a birthing center is the perfect compromise.

    • jenrose1 says:

      Her rant was *so* not about that, and the fact that you feel a need to cast it in that light anonymously is irritating in the extreme and EXACTLY the problem. People are told they cannot talk about how good something is because “someone else will feel bad” and misinformation is perpetuated. Screw that.

      This rant was NOT about people who were happy with hospital births. It isn’t criticizing them and it isn’t belittling them. It simply is not about that.

      • admin says:

        Man, if you think that was bad you should see the series of (public) notes I got on OD. Since they’re public no one cares about letting another see it, it just saves you the time of following the link and digging through the other notes to find it:

        First one said: “You took my words totally out of context, and that is unfortunate” (I have no idea who this person is and haven’t noted her, read her, nor has she noted me recently with anything that’s possible to ‘take out of context’. So I was totally lost). When I told her I had no fucking clue what she was talking about she said:
        “So, after reading this in it’s entirety, this “I am sad if you cannot bend over, if it hurts to cough or you can’t have sex with your partner for months because of what was done to you”, in particular, struck me.

        I had a beautiful birth. Birth center, midwives, no interventions – exactly what I wanted. And, still 2 1/2 years later, I’m having surgery to repair a cystocele and rectocele prolapse) that was caused by that beautiful, gentle, everything-I-wanted-it-to-be birth.
        My point is – sometimes things happen. Sometimes even the “best” birth with no interventions causes damage to the mother or baby. It doesn’t mean she failed – but it also doesn’t mean the “industry” failed. Sometimes things just happen. Period. Not because something was “done” to you.

        Is it possible that there’s not always someone to blame? That of course it wasn’t my fault, but that it wasn’t my midwive’s fault either?
        Or, hell, maybe in your eyes it is my faults.

        Maybe if I’d had him at home with no one else there those tissues would have stayed in their rightful place. Or, MAYBE, if I’d never told a single sole I was pregnant, I’d never have had Hyperemesis and lost 20+ pounds.
        Or, maybe, if I’d done everything “right”, and exactly as you had done it, the same thing would have happened. Maybe, contrary to your ever-pushed believes, my body just wasn’t able to handle a 9 pound baby.
        And, did it ever occur to you that you might be the reason that I and women like me cry that our bodies failed us? Did it ever occur to you that maybe you might by why we can’t look at our children and say “it’s okay that this happened to me. It’s okay I’m having to go through this. I have you, and you’re all that matters.”
        Just my perspective.”

        • jenrose1 says:

          Oh lord.

          I am so over the idea that “if I do everything perfect, no one can possibly ever be sad or get hurt and I will not be damaged” notion.

          Just done with it.

          Also completely done with the notion that simply because some people are sad and others are happy, it should make the happy people sadder and the sadder people happy. That if someone is happy with a hospital birth they’re somehow “wrong” because someone else is happy with a homebirth? Or that if someone was miserable in the hospital they shouldn’t talk about it? Or if someone had a great homebirth it will make people who were happy about their hospital births sad? What?

  • six58 says:

    i find you so inspiring.
    you’ve actually helped me plan for future pregnancies/births.
    i’ve learned so much from you.

  • collette says:

    Very well said! I, too, am saddened that most women who give birth will never truly experience it. That is something that each laboring woman deserves!

  • jennnk says:

    my husband wonders why I want to do the next one at home. I think I’m going to show him this as part of my “why.” Because even though I had a vaginal birth, everything I said or wanted was so undermined by the environment, other peoples’ fears, the “midwife,” etc. that I really did feel violated. Thank you.

  • just_shoe_me says:

    that was so well-written and informative. Thank you for sharing it.

  • vloky says:

    I don’t think I’ll ever get over my birth experience. :(

    • admin says:

      And you don’t have to. I’ll never get over Jericho’s death, but I can come to terms with it and I can live alongside it. I think that is the best we can expect from serious trauma.

      Every time I see your name around I think about your birth, and when I first read it on the DDC. I really do think about you so often and wonder how you’re doing now, if anything is even a little better.

      • vloky says:

        Well, I had the surgery in march to fix the fistula, but my vagina feels weird now, and i think of it as deformed and I had the ok to have sex a month or so ago and didn’t even try until the other night and I couldn’t after like 10 seconds. Bah. I really would like to find a lawyer because the doctors/hospital screwed up so much but this state has tort reforms and the max you can sue for is 600k and that isn’t enough of an incentive for most lawyers. Not having a catheter is so awesome though, it was in for almost 5 months. I feel like I missed out a lot in evans first months because of all that though.

        • 600K isn’t enough for most lawyers??

          • admin says:

            That was my response!!

          • vloky says:

            well that would be the total amount rewarded, I don’t know what percentage lawyers get. If I was married to evan’s dad they could sue on his behalf also because it caused him problems also. Although I wonder if they couldn’t sue for seperate things? They screwed up so much, they even did a hippa violation AND I put in writing in my birthplan I didn’t want any medical students/interns at my birth and verbally stated it twice and guess who they had at my cesarean section? A medical student.

            • admin says:

              I am so angry for you and all of that crap.

            • vloky says:

              the hippa violation was that there was a lady I was considering as a doula, but she was a bit rough around the edges and frankly scared the shit out of me so I didn’t, and she knew one of my doctors, and he shared some information with her about me,my pregnancy and me having a birth plan and what it entailed.

            • I would think there would be a few lawyers who would do that – plenty take on much smaller amounts than that. I don’t know your whole story, but what little I get here sounds horrendous. :( I can’t believe the doctor even violated your privacy like that! Disgusting.

        • t0xicmadness says:

          Wow.
          I can’t even imagine what had to of happened for you to need to go through all of that. I am so incredibly sorry for you.

          Is your story posted anywhere?

          • vloky says:

            I have the beginning part posted in my ddc at mothering. http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=542659

            It turned out I had a vesico vaginal fistula which came out right by my cervix. Originally they thought it was on my cervix and I had no cervix left and they even suggested a hysterectomy and said it was a possibility. It wasn’t as bad as they thought, but any future pregnancy will be hard to achieve and will be high risk and I’ll have to have a cerclage, and I will probably never have a vaginal delivery. They were able to fix it vaginally thank god, they were going to go abdominally but decided to try it vaginally once I was under, I woke up very pleased.

  • mspurrmeow says:

    You may not speak loudly or often about it, but you are by far one of the strongest voices and examples of natural birthing that I’ve ever crossed paths with. Your voice is heard, even while you are not talking.
    You shared that experience with all of us, and I for one (and I don’t think I’m alone) am forever changed by it.

  • pipu says:

    This is so incredibly beautiful and well-written. Thank you for posting it.

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