Some friends and I were recently discussing another article on the perils of hospital births. Coming from a woman who wanted a home birth but ended up with a hospital birth, I find articles like that are often one sided. Women who are informed often want a natural drug-free birthing experience. And amazingly enough, some don't and say I would rather be in my back in a hospital bed with an epidural asap! But interventions are sometimes necessary for the safety of mother and baby. My friend, who by the way had three home water births, once told me not to feel bad about my c-section, because the hospital is there for a reason, when there are complications, and we can be glad to have trained medical professionals readily available when there are reasons for intervention. As pro natural childbirth that I am though, now that I have had one delivery in the hospital, it's not the end of the world and Elida's birth was still the most amazing, emotional experience for me. I am still a strong woman who went through 24 hours of hard labour before resorting to a c-section. My nurses and OB were very supportive and kind. They gave me the time I needed to feel comfortable with MY decision. So to see very slanted articles is disheartening because you know that while empowering women to give birth naturally is their goal, they are also tainting the birth experiences of women who were not able to have the natural birth that they wanted and planned. Birthing a child is amazing no matter how you look at it and it would be nice to see more articles that give us information on both sides of the childbirth coin.
Just for the record, I was in no way offended by the article, or any article. People are entitled to their opinions and entitled to voice those opinions. Birthing children is something that women are getting more and more impassioned about in recent years and that is in large part because of there being so much more information available. I think that is awesome in itself. But opinions are often largely based on experience and we all know that no two birth experiences are exactly the same. There are so many factors. So I don't think it is as black and white as some make it out to be. There are varying shades of grey. Listen, I was so EXCITED to birth my first baby at home. I was prepared beyond prepared. Except for one thing. I knew things could go wrong. I knew there could be complications. I knew interventions may be necessary. For SOMEBODY ELSE. When my midwife came and checked my blood pressure only one hour after my water broke and told me it was alarmingly high and we needed to immediately go to the hospital because I could stroke out, I was SHOCKED. My pregnancy had been healthy and normal. My birthing pool was set up. I had my birth music cued. I had my candles. I had my pain management skills honed. I was ready for a home birth. But you know what I didn't have? A bag packed in case I had to go to the hospital. I was 40 weeks pregnant and hadn't made any plans just in case The Plan fell through at any point in time. Just plain dumb. Even though everything went off the rails from the very beginning, I can still honestly say that once I got over the fact that I wasn't going to get my dream birthing experience and came to terms with the fact that I was going to labour in a hospital, I was alright with it. Despite the circumstances, I still felt like I had some control, I got to say what I did or did not want. I laboured for12 hours with major back pain and vomiting with almost every contraction before I finally asked for an epidural. I was reluctant because I knew the facts. But I was exhausted and at that point I just needed relief. I had done what I could do on my own strength. It took me 2 hours to make that decision, but when I finally asked, it was me asking and not someone telling me I should. Of course, the epidural did what it is almost guaranteed to do, took away my pain and slowed down my contractions. I was not surprised, but by then I was back in my right mind and pretty irritated that now I needed an oxytocin drip which never did bring my contractions back as strong and regular as they had been on their own. Bottom line, I landed in the hospital because of high blood pressure and my baby was delivered by c-section because she was posterior and her 8 lb 11 oz head got wedged into my pelvis. At the end of a very long day, I felt like I did everything I could to deliver my baby. I was at the exact opposite end of the childbirth spectrum than where I thought I'd be. If I had it to do over again would I still wish for my home water birth? Hell yah! But going through the experience I did only proved to me that even though she and I didn't get the birthing experience I had hoped and dreamed for us, she still has one strong momma! How did I do it? The same as any mother does. You focus on your baby. That is what this is all about. Becoming a mother. Giving life to your baby. It is what drives us to go through this whole life changing experience, from conception to birth and beyond. So you just do it. And maybe you cry for a few minutes when you realize that your child's birth isn't going to be what you wanted it to be. But she was born and she is ours and it was still amazing. Why beat yourself up about that? It is just one chapter in a lifelong saga. I would want women to know that the experience of giving birth can be many things, some of which you can control and others you cannot. But just be informed. Know all your options. But most importantly, BE OPEN.
Edited by Momma to Elida - 12/2/11 at 6:29pm