Friday, January 25, 2008

A stressful night (warning: long)

So, when I woke up yesterday, I was under the impression that things would go smoothly- it was a Thursday, after all. And for the most part it did. I got lots done at work and had some free time to myself at work (aka emailing time).

When I got home, McKay was in class, and would be in class until 7. I told him I was planning on going to Enrichment at 7 for the card-making group because I need to make cards for a swap. So I leave the apartment with dinner in the crockpot for McKay and a message on the white board with where I am and how to reach me. I left the phone at home for him- that way he could get ahold of me at Enrichment. I grabbed the flashlight and started the 2-block walk (it's dark at 7).

Downhill from there.

So I did finish the cards I wanted to make, but I heard some of the most frustrating things EVER! I probably should have spoken up, but I felt greatly out numbered and I'm not good with being on the spot.

One of the women there is expecting in 2 weeks and the baby is breech, so she "has" to have a c-section because her doctor has that "feeling." "And a section isn't that bad, right?" she says, "I hear you have a hard time laughing and sneezing and coughing for a while, but I can't do that now while I'm pregnant- so it'll be like being pregnant for a few more weeks, but I'll have the baby." Of course it was mentioned that since so many people have sections, it must not be that bad to get over.

Ok ok. So first, who is this doctor who can receive intimate insight on a woman's body and baby? He's known her for like, what: 8 months? Along with who knows how many patients? He just has that "feeling." Ugh.

And a section- yes. EXACTLY like being pregnant. (rolling my eyes) And frankly, I don't want to feel pregnant when I have a newborn. And for the record...and I'll have to go find my source... but you're 3 times more likely to die from a cesarean delivery than a vaginal one. Yes, it must not be that bad. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization states that cesarean rates shouldn't be higher than 10-15% in developed countries; any more than that and they're being done unnecessarily. In America, they're hovering around 1 in 3. That means at least half of all cesareans in America are unnecessary.

This was when I thought I'd pipe in a thing for and trying to turn your child, but I was dismissed very quickly. That was when I decided it'd be best to not say anything for a while.

Then someone mentioned a woman we all knew who just had a baby boy, but (gasp!) she had a midwife and used a birthing tub. You should have seen their reactions. This was when I officially decided that I was going to keep my mouth closed and vent later, which is what I'm doing now. Well, while they were all aghast about such and idea and sharing birth horror stories, I quickly finished my cards and headed home to see McKay. The whole way home I was very shaken up- I was trying to figure out if it would have been better to pipe in my 2 cents or if I did the correct thing in being silent. I told my baby I wouldn't let anyone cut it out of me. I think the baby's glad for it.

I came home and the apartment was dark- McKay wasn't home yet and it was 8 o'clock. His class ended at 7, so he should have been home by now. There were two messages on the phone and it said I had missed a call from the lab (where McKay works), so I figured they were both from McKay. Wrong. One was from my mother and things are very stressful at home. The other was from McKay and he had to stay late.

So, I'm shaken up from Enrichment and my mom's call and McKay is at school and I have to go get him. I tried very hard to keep my composure. I brought dinner and went up to his lab and ask him about his day- I figured it'd be best to hear about his day before I go off on mine. We come home, talk to the neighbors as we pass by, which was nice and then I tell him about my day. His reaction to the cesarean discussion was, "Were they joking?" "No." "They're in denial then." I love my husband and his support.

So he's gone today on a field trip to southern Utah to take pictures and I don't know when he'll be back- 6pm? 10pm? I work half a day and I'm going to try to get some more dishes done (I didn't have much time last night) and run a few errands and make a few phone calls. I'm buying rings to make a sling! And I left my gloves at the LLL meeting on Wednesday, so I need to go get those. I think I'm going to call J to detox from last night. I'm still shook up about it all (hence the venting)- I almost feel nauseous.

And now for a quick shower before I head to work! Nice, warm water!


  1. First off, thanks for the plug ;) Secondly, this will be a lonnnnnnnnng comment. But know it was written in love!

    And thirdly, while I value your opinions and agree with you on most of them, I have to remind you that your opinions are your own. And mine are mine. With that being said, I think many women out there trust doctor's too much and don't take enough initiative on their own to do some research and make their own educated decisions. And for that, I applaud you. However, I've been on both sides of your situation. Just hear me out (eye rolls are even welcome :)

    My entire pregnancy I planned for a natural birth. I even switched doctors when I was seven months along because I didn't agree with them. I found myself a nice doctor who worked with midwives. Since it was my first pregnancy, I opted to have a hospital birth and had a serious birth plan in the works (for a natural birth).

    But a week before Will was due, he hadn't dropped/descended, etc. He wasn't breech (I was prepared in case he was... I was knowledgeable and had a midwife, after all). He was simply spinning in circles. Turns out I couldn't have a natural birth.

    You have no idea how I felt. And you won't, unless you go through a similar situation. Here I was, planning all along for a natural birth (which would be the start of many home births in the future, or so I thought), and was told by both doctor and midwife that maybe I should consider a c-section. And guess what we did (after copious amounts of tears)? We prayed.

    Two days later, I went to the hospital for a scheduled section. I show up, and the nurses start to take care of me. And then, guess who decided to be head down? Will. And then, guess who decided to tell me that I had no right to be there and that I should go home? The nurses. You cannot even begin to imagine the emotional, psychological and physical roller coaster I was on those few days. From going from a planned natural birth, to finally coming to grips with a section, and then being told to go home! One of the worst things I've ever had to experience.

    Needless to say, I hate being told what to do and being treated like I'm stupid and uneducated. Me. With a B.S. in Health Science. Me. With a minor in Biology. Don't patronize me, I know how the body works. Stupid nurses. So I stayed and waited for my midwife.

    She shows up and gives me a thorough pelvic exam. I respect this woman and her opinion. She has been through how many births? She knows what she's doing. She tells me I have a less than 50 percent chance of getting Will out (all of those important angles are two small. Imagine that! I thought with my hips, I'd be safe, HA!) And even if i were to get his head out, what's to say that his arm or shoulders wouldn't get stuck (causing some serious neurological damage)? And if I were to go home and tempt fate (I only had another week to wait... yet he wasn't ready), my water could have broke, the cord could have slipped around his neck, etc. I can't even remember all the risks that would have, and could have, happened. So we stayed.

    Within an hour, Will was delivered, via section. And within that hour, he had flipped. Those stupid nurses. But you know what? I'd rather have had a planned section than go through a natural birth, with the risk of not getting him out/complications, and then have an emergency c-section. And you know what else? Rather than having an epidural and going through 12 plus hours of labor, I had a spinal and he was born 15 minutes later. At least I had my baby right away, and safe from any drugs and any possible complications.

    Now whoever this girl is, may not realize the decision she is making. Sections are NOT easy (despite how Mrs. Spears makes it seem). It is NOTHING like being pregnant. You have to relearn to walk. You can't sit up. You're numb in your stomach for two years. Your body does not jump back from a surgery. It is obviously, not the ideal choice to make. But I made it, and I'm glad I did. And this girl has every right to make her decision, too. You don't know what she's going through. Birthing is a very personal decision, just like the decision to have kids. Ultimately the decision involves the so-called experts, but mostly the parents, and the Lord.

    Now, who knows what will happen the second time around. If baby number two happens to drop and everything turns out to be normal and perfect like it should be, then I would like to think that I could go ahead and have a natural birth like I have always planned. And I would love to find a center who not only accepts VBACs, but also have birthing tubs, etc. for me to use at my disposal. That, of course, would be ideal.

    But sometimes things don't go according to plan. I commend you for your plans and I hope that things go smoothly and perfectly. I believe you're making the right decision for you and your family. But please, keep in mind, that for all the women out there who have their ideal births, there are those who can't. You may not have to agree with them, or me, but please, respect their decisions.

    All in all, I'm glad you have a wonderful and supportive husband. Go McKay!! And please know that I do have some experience, being a mother and all (believe me, I know how ANNOYING that comment and other "tips" are from mothers, especially when you're pregnant. I remember all to well...), and that I am more than happy and willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have. I think we have very similar ideas, hopes, fears, etc. Please know that I too, love and support you in your decisions, and wish you the best. I am, actually and quite seriously, very jealous of you.

    Don't hate me :)

  2. I think we sometimes as women like to get shocked and appalled together. People talk about one thing, and then people like to bring up the horror stories, more for the social atmosphere than to convey information.

    Had I been in your situation, I probably would have felt exactly the same, and reacted the exact same way. I just wonder if there were any other women sitting around that table who would feel like you and I would, wondering if they were all alone. Sometimes we avoid conflict by staying quiet, and that is always my natural inclination, but I don't think it is wrong to speak out. Had you decided to present another side of the story to them, and stand up for the mother who had the baby in the tub. As I say, I am not saying you should have spoken out--I probably would not have, but I think you would not have been in the wrong by speaking out.

    As for the lady who is having the c-section, it does not hurt to take her aside and tell her she has other options, but as important we may feel something is for us, people have to make their own decisions.

    For example, were I in your situation, I would probably be a little terrified knowing I was going into a birth without anyone helping me that had been there before and was an expert. For me, that definitely would not be the right decision, but I can respect it as your decision, and I hope everything works out for the best.

    I guess I just wanted you to know that even if there wasn't a woman around that table feeling the same as you, there is someone across the city who would have felt the same way.

  3. Having had two sections, I can't wait to see that girl after she has hers. Mine were both necessary, but someone has been lying to her by saying it is easy. My sister had a section because she was told how easy it was, and they screwed up her nerve endings so three years later she still feels pain. If is is her decision, fine, but she should be able to make the decision with ALL the information, and not get tricked into it.


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