Monday, 7 February 2011

A Letter from an Old Friend :-)

Hi Amber,

So I got to attend a natural birth at a hospital Sunday morning. That was the most awesome experience. I realized it has been 10 years since I caught a baby and back then, I didn't really know as much as I do now, nor did I have kids, so it wasn't necessarily as powerful an experience as Sunday mornings was! All that saying, it was also a very strange experience. This was the first hospital birth I've ever been to. My patients that I had in clinicals as a student nurse didn't have their babies while I was there, so this was the first one. So I decided, pretty much the only thing comparable between hospital birth w/ a midwife and home/birthcenter birth was delivering drug free, and they lay the baby on your chest post birth. They also delayed cord cutting, but it didn't seem like it was very long. They did say that it had ceased pulsing. Hmm.

It was definitely a very strange situation. She had 6 different nurses come in and say they were her nurse and wanted to know if she was going to use pain medicine (this is while she was in transition mind you). On top of that, the anesthesiologist comes in and wants an informed consent for emergency C-Section just in case. And of course, my friend is trying to breath through contractions and can't exactly answer immediately, and the anesthesiologist won't let us answer for her. Not sure if that was routine, or if that was in response to the baby's heartrate decreasing, b/c we were having trouble getting the monitor to stay on (one reason I love intermittent monitoring). I found myself paying way too much attention to the baby's heartrate, and I know everyone else was too, which is probably another reason they jump the gun and do c-sections. I've heard they try to have you change positions, but I was not so sure w/ the way things were going.

Then she gets to a 9, and when they are checking they say, "That's a bulging bag of water. We are going to break it, so that it will relieve some pressure." I'm thinking in my head it's going to break any second now, she's having the urge to bear down and push, why don't you leave it alone. They tried to, but can't remember what happened, and weren't able to, and I asked them why they were doing it, and they said they didn't have to, and sure enough the next contraction her water broke.

It was also weird b/c the nurses weren't helping her at all, the midwife stayed outside til she had fully dilated to a 10, and then came in all steriled up to catch the baby. I was the one putting pressure on her lower back. I was the one holding her leg up and open and rubbing her leg to keep it from cramping. Just odd. Oh, and unfortunately she got comfortable in a side lying position and w/ the way the bed & her leg was positioned, she ended up pushing uphill against gravity. Ugh! I kept trying to get her to stand up and squat to help baby descend "faster" and to let gravity help, but she had gotten comfortable side lying.

In the midst of all this, another nurse comes in and starts doing her chart. She mentions that she has pitocin ready for after the baby comes. I asked, "Why?" Basically the answer was to help contract the uterus so that there isn't any excessive bleeding(true, but apparently this was a routine procedure). I told her she didn't want it. She asked if my friend had told her midwife. I wasn't sure, but I said Yes! So, she patted me on the back, and said patronizingly, "Don't get me wrong, I am all about natural births, I have my Masters in Maternity, but we need to have it here just in case." (Ok, I can understand that, but really you don't have to talk to me like you are better than me!)

It felt like they play to all the just in cases instead of just letting birth happen. It was a very strange experience. After that I was soooooooooo thankful that I don't go to hospitals to have my babies. I can't imagine having that kind of experience. There was nothing calming about it. I can't imagine being constantly interrupted by people who know nothing about me, wanting to ask me questions while I'm in transition. Ugh!

Anyway, all that to say, Thank you so much for allowing me to have a very amazing birth! After the hospital experience I was ready to sign up to take midwife classes again to counteract what I had just witnessed! But then reality hit when I came home, and had to take care of 3 little ones. Gotta hold off a few more years, and then maybe start the classes again. At least it got me more passionate than ever to finish!! I'm sure I'll be asking for advice from you!!
Thank you for believing in natural birth, and being so easygoing. I tell everyone you were my favorite midwife! Keep up the good work!


1 comment:

  1. This letter really blesses me. There are times when bring a midwife is hard. There is so much opposition from the mainstream medical field and at times you really question your dreams. Stories such as this one help remind me why I started doing this. Thank you Rachel for sharing!!