Friday, July 27, 2012

Midwives are where it's at.

At my 20 week appointment I had to see an OB for my VBAC consult. I'm not sure if that's how it goes for all women, but this is how it goes for this Army post.

I left there devoid of almost all the confidence I've had this entire pregnancy that my body was more than capable of getting the natural birth I so desire.

Well, things changed at my 6 month checkup when I was able to go back to seeing midwives. Thank God.

The midwife I saw, like all the other midwives I've seen this whole pregnancy, restored my confidence, reassured me that they were, in fact, on my side, and even cared about me past the physicality of being pregnant. She cared about me. It was unreal how comfortable I felt. I've never felt that with someone of the medical community. I felt like we were friends and she just happened to be seeing me for the duration of the pregnancy. I wish I could adequately describe the sense of empowerment I got from her, as well as all the other midwives.


At my 20 week checkup, the OB, as friendly and non-threatening as she was, already had a plan about me when I walked in the door. I wasn't a face, I was a file. She determined that I was, without question, a candidate for a VBAC, but that was about where my dream ended. Upon going into labor, she wanted me to come in right away, not even wait for active labor, have an immediate epidural, and labor in bed. I was blown away.

I wasn't going to argue with her; I knew it'd go nowhere, and I have way more class than that. But, I did let her know that I feel so, unbelievably, capable; that I feel great and that I have, literally, zero reservations about myself doing this naturally.

She didn't care.

She was all about scare tactics. And, unfortunately, a teeny, tiny bit of them sunk in and worked. She said if I labor at home AT ALL, and something goes wrong, we'll lose the baby for sure. She gave statistics like, "There's a 1% chance your uterus will rupture [because of the previous c-section] during labor" Hi, that means there's a NINETY NINE PERCENT chance it won't. And, "Of all women attempting a VBAC 60-80% of women do so successfully" Hi, it's me again, that means the odds are in my favor. I mean, I'd go on the Price Is Right with those odds.

C'mon now.

I asked if, instead of getting the immediate epidural, there was a way to assess, once I am in labor, if my ute is holding up so that I don't *have* to get the epidural. She said no. Super. I asked if I could labor in the comfort of my own house for at least a couple hours since I live no more than 10 minutes from the hospital. She said no. She was a big, fat stick in my spokes.

I left there feeling so....dejected. She was punishing my me for what my body did almost 3 years ago when I was having Jake. She was punishing the weight gain I'm so proud of (minus my CA spike :-/), the blood pressure that shows no bad signs of anything (118/63), and the healthy way I've been maintaining myself for just over 6 months now. None of it mattered to her.

What a weiner.

I walked into my 6 month checkup, back with a midwife, and she restored every single bit of anything I needed. I vented to her about the evil OB and she totally understood. As "luck" (?), would have it, she was someone who went from an unwanted c-section with her first child to a vaginal birth her second time around. She was me, plus 15 years.

In fact, she was so supportive I felt she was trying to sell me on how much they were going to be there for me. She said that although all the midwives are aware that I have a slightly higher risk of things to go wrong, because of the c-section, that no one was going to treat me as if I was broken. And, no one has.

There will be constant fetal monitoring while in labor, because you can easily monitor how the uterus is doing based on baby's reactions, but that doesn't mean I'll be strapped to the bed for the duration of labor, as the OB insinuated. I'll be on somewhat of a leash, where I can move around. Because she knows how much I want am going to do this naturally, she was like,  "we'll get you on the birthing ball, you'll move around your room, if the fetal monitor allows, you'll get in the birthing tub..." It's like she was the one who wanted what I want. She's that much in my corner.

Per her approval, I can labor at home until active labor. She doesn't doubt me because of the nothing-I-could-do-about-it pre-eclampsia of my first pregnancy. She even gave me the extra confidence boost when she said that if I could handle 12 hours of pitocin contractions without any type of meds with Jake that regular contractions should be completely doable for me.

She also made sure I was going to have people with me, and she made sure that the people who'd be with me (Jake's Godmother, Gabby, and my own madre) were supportive of what I wanted because it can be difficult to see someone you love in pain. I wasn't just a file to her, I was an actual living, breathing, people-making person sitting in front of her. Amazeballs.

And, after I read this incredible story, I couldn't help but share this. Midwives are bombdotcom.

Au naturale, I'm comin' for ya :-)

1 comment:

So Very Domestic said...

It's so true that pitocin contractions are like, otherworldly compared to regular contractions. I made it through two labor and deliveries with no meds at all with regular contractions and totally caved for an epi during the pitocin contractions. Damn girl, you got this!! <3

Midwives are incredibly special people.