Hello again! I feel like I've been posting a lot on this forum, but hey, somebody's got to! One of the things I have yet to address during this pregnancy are the feelings I have about my last birth experience. I had a pretty traumatic birth with my son and wanted to discuss with other women who may have some of the same types of stuff to work through this time.
My story. I had a CNM I didn't know very well because we moved to a different state when I was seven months along. She had only been doing homebirth for about two years. My ex and I took the Bradley method classes and my 'team' was made up of him, the MW, and my mother who is a nurse. I went into labor at 6 p.m., called the MW at 10 to give her a 'head's up' but told her we wanted to be alone for as long as possible. She denied our wishes and came anyway, checking me out and telling me I wasn't in real labor, that things would peter out and I should rest. She went upstairs to sleep. Labor picked up and by 6 a.m. I was dilated to a 6. Within a few hours (it's foggy, I was struggling) she started bullying me, saying if I didn't progress this much in this long she was transferring me to her hospital. Then it became, if you don't let me break your water to make things speed up I'm going to transfer you. May I add that my entire pregnancy was healthy and normal, SHE was the one in a rush. I finally gave in to the pressure and allowed her to break my water. Babies head came down at a funny angle and was uneven on my cervix. My body started pushing. At this point she had me lay down so she could check me again and told me I was at a 9.5 with a lip. Without my knowledge or consent she attempted to force my cervix open with her hand. All I remember is screaming 'no, no, stop, get OFF of me' and trying to kick her in the face while my husband held me down. My mother left the room crying. After this point I began bleeding profusely and vomiting from the pain. After about an hour of pushing she gave up on me, saying I 'push like a freight train, I can see the head, but he's stuck'. She went downstairs to sit on the couch, leaving my husband and I alone. My husband and I tried for over another hour to push on our own when I finally panicked and told him I needed to go to the hospital to make sure my baby was fine. We went, found out she had damaged my cervix, which was on the brink of tearing, I was swollen down to a 7 and with the state of cervical damage I had to have a c-section. They had no other options for me. In the hospital I was treated with such care, respect, and love. I had amazing lactation consultants and nurses who told me I was amazing for trying so hard and strong for having to heal from the experience of a natural labor AND a c-section. Months later when I was able to begin to deal with the experience and my violation, I went to the hospital to retrieve my records. She had removed everything in her notes regarding her interventions. There was a four hour chunk missing from my records. She knew she had caused it and was covering for herself. This time I will have a VBAC but have no idea where I will be most comfortable. I learned the first time, the hard way, it doesn't matter if you have a MW or an OB, what matters is that they respect you. Anyone else have a traumatic experience? Or a really beautiful one to share?
Also wanted to add, after I was home and healing I read up on a bunch of midwifery boards online about the practice of 'manual dilation'. Horror stories abound. Once you cause the cervix to swell there is little you can do. Forcing is not allowing. It causes what is meant to open to swell closed. Many midwives said the only time they had seen manual dilation used the end result was tearing of the cervix and/or hysterectomy. Glad we dodged that bullet!