With my first pregnancy, I was 18, went into it unknowing, and didn't have much obstetric care at all. I had my baby in an ER with a dr that did things like come in while I was in hard labor, pat me on the rump and say “we’re gonna have this baby” (what is he delivering, exactly?) and then gave me a HUGE episiotomy which tore into my anal wall and caused me perineum pain for the next 5 years (not to mention nearly made me bleed out) and proceeded to instruct forced pushing which shoved that poor 8lb 1oz baby through the torn-and-broken-me so fast that his lungs collapsed and he needed to be in the NICU for the first 24 hours of life while I took in a pint of someone else’s blood and felt like I had been hit by a bus.
Second baby: although I had a ‘natural’ birth in the sense that I didn’t have any drugs or epidural or anything like that, I had everything else that was 'routine' because I was 'high risk' due to my pervious birth being so ‘damaging’ and two recent miscarriages (one second tri). My daughter was born perfectly healthy. She didn’t spend any time away from my side. I, however, was broken. The Cytotec they gave me while I was in labor because “I wasn’t progressing” (whatever that means) caused me to bleed internally, and due to my birth plan saying that I didn’t want a blood transfusion, they didn’t give me one when I needed it and in fact never even talked with me about it. I ended up back in the hospital within days after being sent home and was very sick for months. I went home from my second hospital stay with a husband who was very certain he would never ever go through that again.
This is why it took me 5 years to convince him to try for another baby. While I was pregnant with Logan I did TONS of research and started to finally put together some of my birthing history. I realized that what was going on in the birthing room was probably the deciding factor in whether or not I came out of it damaged. They were adjusting my body in ways it would not have been adjusted had I just told them not to touch me. That could possibly mean that everything that went wrong could have been avoided.
I started looking into midwifery care. In my mind, a midwife was a perfect compromise. She would be there in case anything happened and to give advice and yet completely respect the fact that I don’t want internal exams (and just for my sanity, I didn’t want to be weighed while pregnant either). To be allowed to fully trust my body to know what I needed and when. From start to finish.
While I was convinced that it was the hospital that had caused the issues in the first place and had I been at home I would not have come out of those births as damaged as I was, my husband was sure that I would have died had I not had the hospital at my fingertips. He was terribly worried that I was going to kick the bucket without warning while in labor with Logan and he was going to be left with 3 kids and no wife. There was no way I could answer all of his questions and fears. I found a midwife that was in my area and I scheduled an apt with her office. Don was opposed to the idea. We fought over it a lot. Finally I convinced him to come with me and meet with them to pose his questions to them face to face.
It took some convincing by both me and my midwife team, but Don left our second meeting feeling apprehensive but confident that they could handle an issue should it come up and they would know when I needed medical help.
That pregnancy had some serious downs. I was sick for months, and terribly uncomfortable after that. But the hour I spent every month with the midwife always made me feel more confident in my body. I started to feel really confident in what I needed for a successful, natural birth in the truest sense. At home.
I called the midwife in hard labor. She got to my house in time to ask me if I was feeling pushy and even then I didn't let her touch me at all until the baby was literally falling out of my body. No tearing, no issues whatsoever. Despite the fact that this baby outweighed my previous babies by almost 2 pounds!
I had a similar experience with Luke’s birth just 2 months ago today.
I fully believe there is a time and a place for allopathic medicine. It is NOT in a routine birthing room. Our bodies are made to do this. No matter weather you believe in God, the Universe, Mother Nature... whatever... there is nothing that says that divine design looked at the human body, and said "holy crap... we screwed up! That’s not gonna fit."