My third birth was a planned UC, but things went wrong very suddenly, and we called 911. My daughter had been head down and engaged, and everything looked great the night before. But she turned to double footling breech in the middle of the night. I woke when my water broke, and suddenly my baby was coming, very fast, feet first, with a prolapsed cord. Every doctor I spoke to later assured me that we could not have done anything to predict or prevent it. Those who rushed to my assistance, and those who cared for my daughter in the hospital, all acted with the utmost professionalism. They were respectful and supportive. And, most importantly, they did everything they could to save and protect my daughter. They kept us informed, and respected our decisions. It was everything health care should be.
Compare that to my first two births, where my sons and I were completely healthy -- until I was physically and emotionally abused by hospital staff, tricked, mocked, unnecessarily pumped full of drugs (sometimes against my will) from which I suffered unnecessary side effects, and generally mistreated. I hired care providers for the explicit purpose of protecting my children's health and my own, and instead they endangered our lives for their own convenience. Even while I literally begged them to stop.
The end result is that my daughter suffered a minor shoulder injury, and may have suffered a seizure (though fortunately no lasting effects), while my sons came out completely unscathed. (Sure, I suffered major surgery for the first one, and that surgery later endangered my youngest son, but my baby was born healthy, and that's all I'm supposed to care about, right?)
Here's what I don't understand. How exactly am I supposed to not feel angry -- furious -- and betrayed that the people I trusted to protect my sons, instead endangered them? Why, just because they got away with it? "Oh, sure, you abused me and recklessly increased the risk that my sons would suffer serious injury or die, but you didn't manage to actually hurt them, so thank you!"
How am I not supposed to feel grateful, and even joyful, that when my daughter suffered a sudden, unpredictable, unpreventable emergency, care providers rushed to our aid and saved her life? How am I not supposed to feel especially grateful to these people who went so far in restoring my broken faith in the health care system? Not completely, I don't think I could ever trust completely again, but they helped a lot. Where previous doctors and nurses had used manufactured emergencies as an excuse to act in their own best interest, and against my children's and mine, these paramedics, doctors, and nurses actually helped us without stripping away our rights, dignity, or security.
I guess, all things considered, I really prefer my last two births, both at the same hospital that treated my daughter. During my fourth birth, there were no emergencies, and I was treated with respect. During my fifth, we only had minor trouble, and only one b*tchy doctor who was mostly kept away from me while I was attended by a different doctor. Better to have both good care providers AND no emergencies. But I can't ever forget the wonderful people who saved my daughter's life and mended my faith. I can't help feeling like they saved us both.