Sometimes I get a bit carried away. If you read my birth experiences posted on this site, you might begin to understand why.
The whole time I was pregnant with Ceili Fey, I sort of felt as though I was a vessel for a baby. I was all alone, save for my mother, who faithfully attended all of the appointments with me. The OB was very impersonal, spending little time with me. I was told that I would have to have a cesarean – due to some health issues – and that we should schedule a date. Looking back, and being a far more educated consumer, I now know that my cesarean was completely unnecessary. I. Did. Not. Have. To. Have. One. At the time, however, I believed that you just did everything the doctor said like a good little patient, regardless of how you felt about it, and get on with life.
My second pregnancy (Elias) was micromanaged as well. During this pregnancy, I began listening to that inner voice a little bit more, realizing that I was not happy with my care. Plain and simple, my gut told me so many things were just wrong. I actually went and spoke to another OB who I wish I would have switched to. Instead, I listened to Jon when he told me that it would be too much of an issue with the insurance if I switched so close to term. I wish I had just gone ahead. I wound up with an epidural that I did not want, in the lithotomy position that I did not want, and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that I definitely did not want. Nothing was even remotely close to my birth plan. All in all, not a good experience.
My third pregnancy (Noah) I stayed away from OBs and, instead, went to a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife). Her views on pregnancy more closely matched my own, namely that pregnancy is not a medical condition to be managed, but an normal everyday occurrence. I also labored at home for quite some time. Honestly, I stayed home a bit long. I realized afterward that the baby was about ready to crown before we ever left home. After Noah was born, I felt happy, peaceful, yet energized!! Going to sleep afterward was the last thing I wanted to do!! Everything played out pretty much to plan – yes, I had a birth plan!!
Of the three, my youngest child was the only real positive experience. It was the only time when I did not feel as though I had to shout to be heard – figuratively because we all know “good” patients don’t shout. It was the only time that I felt it was truly my experience, on my terms. The only experience where, afterward, I was happy.
So, yes, sometimes I may get a bit carried away. It comes from being tired of being treated like a patient, like a case study, like a textbook, like a number. It comes from wanting the medical profession to see that women can actually know their own bodies so intimately, much more so than any doctor ever could. It comes from wanting to be heard. It comes from wanting to be treated as a person, not as a potential lawsuit.