Sunday, November 7, 2010

Facing the Past, Overcoming.

Seeing the rotating photos on my sisters computer desktop of when I was in the hospital having Leena while I was at her house made me quite sad. Not because I miss that time or how big Leena has gotten or anything along those lines. It makes me sad for the lack of research I did to back up the birth I was imagining. I fell into the hole of just believing all the doctors told me with no real thoughts otherwise because I was scared and unprepared. I went in being induced and regret it. Every second of it. I wish I would've known what I was putting my child and myself through by making that choice. I was worried Joey would not be home for the birth so we planned it. Forced it. On our time, not hers. She was given the eviction notice even though SHE knew best of when her body was ready to leave her first home and enter into our arms and we took that choice away from her. When we got to the hospital I told the nurse of my plans to go it without the epidural. Natural, as natural as it could get with choosing to be induced. She answered back with a, "We'll see" and a roll of her eyes. My body was gearing up, being 4 cms dilated already by the time we went in and we were too impatient and scared of Joey's work schedule to let it finish on it's own. Little did I know that by accepting to get pitocin that I was setting myself up for failure with wanting a "natural" birth. Pitocin is a synthetic of oxytocin. A synthetic that makes contractions stronger and longer than your naturally occurring contractions. A synthetic that once cancelled out by an epidural, because generally it's inevitable to be able to work through synthetically produced contractions, needs MORE pumped into your body AND your babies because the epidural effects both of your bodies abilities to work for a natural birth causing more and more squeezing of the babies body. Unnatural squeezing. Squeezing that causes air supply to be compromised to the baby. I got the epidural. Leena got the epidural. It DOES affect the infant. It does. Anything that goes into your body as a pregnant woman affects your baby and goes into the baby. I hated the epidural. I hated being in a hospital. I hated feeling the loss of control over my body. I felt paralyzed. I didn't feel free. I felt trapped and alone. I felt violated. I felt like my opinions didn't matter in the eyes of doctors for my own birth. For my own child. Monitors beeping. Straps and wires and an IV. This is not what is supposed to happen. After getting the epidural it was "suggested" I get my water manually broken to speed things along. After a few hours I thought to myself also, what happens if I have to pee? So I asked. "If I have to pee will I just pee on myself and not realize it?" "Oh…." said the nurse. They were supposed to put a catheter in. They forgot. I meant nothing to these people. My baby didn't matter. We were just another patient. We were just more money. More interventions, more money. That's all that mattered. Time came to push. A doctor, who I hadn't seen more than 10 minutes throughout the 12 hours I was in the hospital, an anesthesiologist and a nurse. All telling me when to push. A nurse and anesthesiologist pushing, no SHOVING on my belly and my baby girl. Pushing so hard to the point of me almost blacking out. I zoned out. I could not focus. Paralyzed from the waist down, being told when to push and being put down for not being able to feel where or how to push. Shoving, black closing in. Pain, fear, anger. All things that were not wanted at my birth. Not needed. Easily avoided. If only. My daughter deserved better. After only 45 minutes of this soul crushing pushing it was "suggested" they used forceps. My mind screamed no. My body, my voice was gone.

In the short few seconds I had from when my doctor said that was the way it was going to be to the time Leena was born I had lost all my respect I had for the birthing process and for my doctor. Leena had bruises on her face for the longest time afterwards from the forceps. After that it was a whirlwind. I can slightly remember telling them to wait on taking Leena to the nursery so we could have a bit of time with her. At some point a nurse came in and asked if I had tried to nurse Leena yet. Oh gosh! I hadn't even thought of nourishing and connecting with my child in such a way yet! What is going on with me?! Later I find that pitocin/epidurals/anything that is an intervention and make your own bodies natural "love" hormones shut down. A look of disdain washed over the nurse's face that I hadn't tried to breastfeed Leena even an hour after her birth. The only thing I could really fully feel was hunger. EXTREME hunger. I was exhausted from being in labor and being denied food. A bodies fuel. Denied. They came again to take Leena to the nursery. I was reluctant but again, was told it was "necessary". A couple hours later after they moved me and Joey to our room we would be staying in for the night, Joey phoned the nursery. Where is Leena? She had a "low temperature". So there they refused to bring her to us. Left her in the crib, under the heat lights. Alone. Without her mom or dad.

They asked if they could give her formula to see if it would raise her temperature. Absolutely not. They said they would wait a bit then to see if her temperature raised on it's own. Joey calls again. Just before midnight. Still the same. Low temperature, formula? No. Joey relays the next message, "They are asking if they can give her sugar water now. Yes? No?" FINE. I just want our child! Finally. After midnight, we get our child again…after a phone call asking if we just wanted her to stay in the nursery overnight so we can now get some rest. No. Bring her. She can stay with us. Where she belongs. She breastfeeds like a champ. She just wanted her mommy and daddy. She wanted Love. Comfort. Peace. Home. No more artificials.

When it was suggested that we could spend another night at the hospital we immediately declined. We just want to go home. We want out of this prison. I wasn't even allowed to walk myself out of there. I had to feel like I was ill. Wheeled out in a wheelchair, perfectly useful legs that were perfectly useless the night before in the birth of my daughter, denied the ability to walk, even though they could.

I cannot undo anything that was done. I cannot change anything. What's done is done. I am lucky to have my baby girl so perfectly healthy. We have learned our painful lesson. We are moving on and up. I know next time things will be entirely different. I will not be bullied. Unpleasant thoughts are not allowed and won't be allowed into our birthing space, which God willing will be our home. With the right people present. Leena's birth lead me to the path I am embarking on. After over a year of a process of learning, researching, letting go, not forgetting, remembering, filling in gaps of that my memory pushed aside and growth we as a family are taking a HUGE leap. I am going to the Doula workshop in Houston. Really getting the ball rolling and seeing where this leads me. Birth is natural. Birth can be amazing. Birth, as it's been said so many times before, is NOT an illness. Women do not need to be rescued from it. I have regained my respect I had for birth times a million since that terrible but wonderful day of meeting our daughter. ( I cannot say the same for the hospital staff however.) Women need support. The right support. Support without hesitation. Support without the tiniest bit of fear of the unknown. Our world is in a serious crisis of how we view birth.

I am healed. I can look at Leena's birth with no more anger but with gratefulness. Gratefulness to be able to see the world from the other side of the glass. I can help women who have been in this same situation. Leena is absolutely a blessing. The way Leena was birthed was a blessing completely in disguise.

Peace and Love.

P.S. This is NOT a pregnancy announcement.


Sara Patton said...

This makes me sad. I'd be willing to bet that almost every pregnant woman goes through the same situation if they choose to give birth in a hospital. I did. All 3 times. And you're absolutely right about how they do not give a shit about you. You're just another number to them. I was induced with Hannah. We had all kinds of problems, including them calling some kind of code something over the intercom because she came out not breathing. Probably due to the pitocin and epidural. With Levi, my epidural didn't work at all for pain, but did paralyze me. I felt everything, but couldnt move. He came out with a broken collar bone from the whole birth experience. It's a shame. We all need to get back to nature in more ways than one. New life should not be greeted into this world with big metal forceps, drugs, or a heat lamp.

brandi said...

I never knew your birthing process was so terrible for you, mine wasn't great either, though I think yours was worse. I would have to say possibly because you choose Women and Children's hospital or your doctor did, Gauthier Birthing Center was very nice to me and caring, you stay in one room for everythig and they don't really have a "nursery" they took Bray for maybe an hour and then they encourage the baby to be with you, I believe we asked them to take him for a bit so we could rest bc I was exhausted from the pain of the day until I received the epidural. I regret the pitocin and induction more than anything, but I believe other than those factors I enjoyed my birthing process. My pushing experience was about an hour long and a tad frustrating but I started to get how and where to push and they were pretty patient and were joking about how small my pelvis was and we were laughing bc everyone in the hall said they could hear us and were wondering what could be so funny, haha. A mid wife actually delivered Bray and she was great! :) I agree with doulas and home birth if that's what you want, but I think the hospital I chose was a good choice just not the induced part....enjoy your workshop and your journey!!

Peace Love and Leener said...

Oh yes Brandi, having the right team around you is crucial. Joey and I were both unprepared and in an unknown state. Having a midwife at your birth was a fantastic choice. Most OB's, not ALL, but most are just wanting it done as fast as possible. They could care less how the baby comes and doesn't feel it's important but it is crucial. Joey and I are prepared. Whether the team of people around you is simply yourself, you and your husband or yourself, your husband/partner and midwife or doula, it's important everyone is on the same page. I was not on the same page as the doctors of their "just get it over with" attitude. I will NEVER go to that doctor again or Women and Children's hospital again. Nothing wrong with birthing in a hospital…as long as you are prepared and have a great supportive team around you. Gauthier is great for having a "birthing center" type atmosphere.

Poor Pitiful Pearl said...

wow...girl... I know Ive been there. two time ive done all natural in a hospital... and they totally treat me like CRAP there! ill have to tell my story sometime on my blog... wow.. very inspiring girl.. so glad you will be helping educate other women... much love to you and your new journey... excited for you.


AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! (relax) Shoot...Well...I probably read hundreds of birth stories, and was struck by the fact that the vast majority of HOSPITAL (oh really!?) birth stories were negative. Probably 90% or more of them expressed disappointment, frustration, anger, and feelings of violation or betrayal regarding the way the women who wrote them were treated in the hospital.


I hate-HATE hospital/Dr./etc.!!! (June - Nov 2006 / 2 strokes, lots and lots seizures, BLOOD CLOTS!! Well, I almost died...)

My husband and me...a unassisted water birth...period!!!

I'm sorry.

Kamika said...

I cant believe I had never seen this until now, I am glad you linked back to it in todays post! You know my story, so I share a lot of the emotions you felt around this. And even though I had no choice what with the placenta previa there was interventions done in NICU on Claire that I wish I had declined, been more forceful about. OI VEY and the formula pushing? Ridiculous isnt it? They were constantly asking me and I always said now and sent down pumped out colostrum if I couldnt get to the nursery. They had weird hours! And I couldnt walk after the c-section so I needed someone to wheel me down :(