Doubting My Resolve
In my un-ending search for knowledge during this pregnancy I've done a complete 180 regarding my feelings about the actual birth and the kind of care that I want to receive. I mentioned that I've been reading "Creating Your Birth Plan" and in doing so have had several moments of clarity.
I realize I'm the girl who nearly died getting my wisdom teeth removed because I had a massive anxiety attack while they were putting me under. Causing my blood to not get enough oxygen and creating a lethal mix of anesthetic in my system. I know that I fear pain and needles. I realize that at the beginning of this pregnancy I vehemently stated that I would rather be knocked out completely than go through a live birth.
Drugs have always effected my body greatly. If I take 1/2 a vicoden for something I sleep for hours and am drugged beyond belief. Once I was given Trazadone which is supposedly a mild drug to help you sleep (with the added benefit of being an anti-depressant) and I slept for 12 hours straight and didn't move like I was in a coma. I'm aware of what my body does I'm also aware of my history with anxiety and pain.
I've had a change of heart. That's actually putting it mildly - I've had a change of mind, body, and soul.
I called my OB's office yesterday and cancelled all of my future appointments with her and her nurse practitioner. I then called the midwifery group at the hospital close to my home and made an appointment with a woman who has the most norwegian sounding name I've ever encountered in the US. I've officially decided that my pregnancy and birth would be best guided in the loving hands of a midwife.
I feel in my gut that it's the right thing for me. I also feel in my gut that I can do this birth thing. I can do it because I'm mentally in a place to be able to do it. I've read thousands of birth stories ranging from c-sections to natural home water births. The overall message I get from the natural births is that they didn't fight their bodies. They allowed nature to do what it does - make babies. Was it painful? Hell yes! Did they live? Hell yes! Is it worth it? Hell freakin yes!
I can't put into words the shift that my mind has taken on this issue. Its all encompassing and very overwhelming and hard for my family and friends to understand I'm sure. Last night we had dinner at my dad's house and my sister was there. They balked when I told them I was going to attempt a drug free labor. They also disapproved of my wanting to have no episiotomy, no instrumental extraction, and no induction. They went on and on with the usual retorts that I should trust the doctors as they have the knowledge and they known whats right.
I just can't subscribe to that anymore. I don't buy into the idea that just because somebody is in a white coat means they are doing whats best for me. Not me as in late 20's female, history of anxiety, first baby, healthy, etc. But me as in strong, extrovert, smart, capable, and mother. They don't know me so how can they possibly know what's right? On paper, any doctor would medicate the hell out of me at first glance. They would also create the best situation for c-section to occur at any moment. They would most likely compartmentalize me into the category of "problem child" and to be honest - I just don't think that gives me enough credit for the whole woman that I really am.
Mr. M jumped on the bandwagon a bit with my family when they started throwing their doubts at me. He said that he fears that I will look to him to fight battles with the Dr's while I'm in labor. Which is right, I will be doing that, he is my support person. He should be as involved and as on board with the birth plan that we have as I am. He should fight tooth and nail for me to not have an episiotomy. He should question their reasoning when they want to start Pitocin. He should throw a big red flag when they reach for those forceps.
I tried explaining to him that it's not that we are fighting with them - we are merely reminding them of our wishes. We are reminding them that we'd like them to exhaust all other options before doing the things that we don't agree with. I realize it's easier for a Dr. to take those scissors and snip than to massage the perineum with mineral oil. I get that. I understand that they'd like to get home to their families and starting Pitocin will allow them to possibly not miss Grey's Anatomy this week. But it's not what is right for me and it's not what is right for my baby.
I of course reserve the right to make an informed decision at any time. If they say to me - we can start Pitocin or you can keep going. Then I can weigh my options and if I decide to go against my birth plan than so be it. The difference is that it is MY informed decision - not a Dr. or nurse or anyone else pushing me to do what works best for them.
In my job I do things all the time that I'd rather not do. I renumber 30 page questionnaires and spend tedious hours reviewing tables and checking numbers. I do these things because they are whats best for the project and what's best for my client. I'm not thinking about my inconvenience - it's my job. I expect the same out of the medical staff.