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After Birth Support Thread #1 April 05

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I thought I would go ahead and start this thread for us mamas who need support in our time after the birth. Brandi I think this thread is a great idea, not just for those of us who transfered or used mw's but also ones who need support after their UC as well.

When I have 2 free hands (ha!!) again I want to respond to a few posts from the UC support thread, but wanted to at least open this up
post #2 of 29
Great! I may have some things to discuss myself in regards to my last birth.........
Thank you for getting this started Jennie!
post #3 of 29
i am very thankful for this too!
I am in awe of my birthing and my baby.. it is nice to have some place to share it!
post #4 of 29
Jennie -- I was out of town for a few days and ran here first thing when I discovered this thread. Your experience has been haunting me. I told my dh about the mw's behavior and he was also very disconcerted. It tends to hit very close to home as that could have been us. I wish there was something I could do (is there?) to make processing it easier. I do hope you're doing okay. I also hope that Mama2Lennon finds this thread -- I think she'd find it helpful.

Please let me know if there's anything I can do. PM me if you want my phone # or if you want to get together after you're done babymooning. Love and hugs to you...
post #5 of 29
Oh,this is indeed a fabulous idea. I personally am over the moon and extremely happy with our birthing experience but others are not sharing my joy. My mother has proclaimed that she will never,ever forgive me for not including her in our plans and I'm getting the shocked,hysterical look from others when they find out if was just me and the dh "attending". My son's paternal Grandmother happened to stop by the other day and she was asking a million questions about my pre-natal care,the birth,etc. I'm almost half expecting a visit from CPS

Luckily,though...it just hasn't put a damper on my mood and overall feeling about the birth itself. It's just rather bothersome and makes me want to isolate myself from a lot of people. It isn't like I feel the need to shout from the rooftops about our birth experience but I AM rather proud and feeling empowered by the whole experience. We didn't do it to prove some point .We did it because it's what we felt was right to us and it was the birth WE wanted. When people have asked me questions about the birth, I feel like it would be easier to not be completely honest and share the details but then again,that makes me feel like I'm denying myself my own experience for the sake of others.

I'm finding myself telling myself over and over again that I can't be responsible for people's reactions and that their negative reaction is THEIR problem,not mine. Not much else I can really do about it,right?
post #6 of 29

This IS a great thread idea.

Thanks for starting it.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
So I am wondering will I ever have 2 free hands again? I forgot how much work a newborn is! Someday I will make it to this thread to really pour my feelings out.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have 2 free hands, its a miracle! Now on to my story, my rant....

Bitter. That is all I feel towards the medwives who were here that night I birthed my second daughter into this world. Disgust. That is what I feel towards myself for allowing them to steal my power, to rape me of all my control.

I had written such a well thought out, excrutiatingly detailed birth plan which also included how I wnated things done after the birth. Ignored! All of it! Not the before birth part as they did respect that much and left me to birth alone. For that I am glad, I had my wonderful, peaceful, unhindered waterbirth.

But that is where the beuty and serenity ended and the rape began. I had one mw over my shoulder constantly changing the blanket I had the babe wrapped in. Another mw was over the other shoulder trying to listen to the babes hb. Nevermind that everytime someone other than myself touched the babe she would scream to the high heavens. Wasn't that a sign to leave her alone? What happened to my request that everyone be quiet immediatly following the birth? Or to leave all baby procedures to when I was ready to take a shower?

Moments after giving birth I had mw#1 telling me I had to get out of the pool, baby can't regulate her temp while in the water. Can we cut the cord so mw #2 can take the baby and I can help you out of the pool? (why couldn't my dh take the baby? The cord was long enough that baby could have stayed attached while i climbed out of the tub!) But All of my energy was focused elsewhere, not on fighting with the mw's. I gently asked Rhi if it was ok to cut her cord and let her know it was going to happen. When the cord was clamped she cried out, it was too soon but now too late.

MW #1 then says I need to birth the placenta before getting out of the tub. Push for her, keep pushing! I am screaming inside that this isn't right but my mouth can't put into words what my heart is feeling. So I give in and I push. I deliver the placenta long before it is ready to leave my body. Suddenly my birth is over. My head is reeling, I feel weak and faint. mw#2 & #3 help me out of the pool and tell me to keep my head up. They walk me to the bed, where is my baby? I don't even know who has her then.

Finally I am in bed and I comment that I am fairly certain I have a tear. They ask why I think so and I told them I felt a bit of a burning sensation as the placenta delivered. Next thing I know my legs are spread wide open and mw#3 is in my yoni trying to clear away blood to check for a tear. This is not how I imagined things going at all but I feel powerless to stop it. My instinct however is confirmed that I do have a tear, and a skid mark as well. No surprise since Rhi came shooting forth from me like a bat out of hell. She was in a rush to get out!

OUCH! mw#3 is masaging my uterus, pressing really hard. It's not necessary, I know it but she keeps on. Wants me to show her I know how to do it. Does she think I am stupid? This is my 4th birth afterall. I think I know my body much better than she does, seeing as how this is the first time she has ever even met me. I'm furious with her. I don't think I have ever met such a condescending woman before in my life. During the entire time she was here she treated me as if I were an idiot.

I want to nurse babe but there is so much commotion she is having a hard time settling down. She really doesn't want to nurse yet, can't say that I blame her. mw#3 insists she must nurse now. She grabs my breats and tries to shove baby on. Baby is having none of that and resists her at every try. HA! Take that! Maybe I am powerless at the moment to stop you but my babe will tell you were to stick it.

Finally I am left alone. I don't feel peaceful tho, still trying to catch my breath from all that has happened. Not sure how much time had passed, it just felt like a whirlwind of activity and commotion, i was struck by a tornado of mw's and medical procedures. But finally, alone time. I can quietly nurse my babe, who still isn't totally ready to nurse but I know if she doesn't that b**** will surely be back.

And suddenly just as the tornado had passed, it has come back. Now they want to check the baby. She is taken from my arms to be weighed, measured. They check her reflexes and again try to hear her HB. This she doesn;t care for and screams so they cannot get the HB. Ha! She really wants you ppl to leave her alone and she isn't afraid to say so. Now they want to check her eyes, see if her pupils dilate. But she is a stubborn babe and says heck no, I will not open my eyes for your flashlights. Its a good 5 min struggle but mw#3 decides to pry my babes eyes open, success for her but now I am fuming and want to knowck her head off with the flashlight. I think she sensed that and quikly left the room, I didn't see her again after that.

Bt the other mw's continue berating me, how much has baby nursed, let me check your bleeding, time to massage your uterus, we need your BP and temp. OMG leave me alone!! Why is it I am being treated as if I know nothing? Hello! Get out of my house!

Finally, finally sometime around 11:30, 2 hours after my babes birth, the rapists leave. But one will be returning the next day. And again the flow of questions will start, because you know I obviously know nothing! But still I am unable to say anything negative to her, to stand up for myself, why?

She and mw#2 return again on day 4. Again I must be stupid and my babe is dehydrated (no she isn't but you would think she is b/c oh no she only nurses for a few minutes at a time! never mind that she is a super pe'er and all i do is change wet diapers, trust me she is getting plenty of milk tyvm!), don't you dare sit cross legged, your tear won't heal properly. Have you massaged your uterus? Of course not but I tell them yes.

Now here we are 2 weeks later. I see the mw Thurs who was not able to attend the birth. The one I wanted to be here. Altho I have recently discovered she would have been just as interfering in the afterbirth as the others. I do plan to share my thoughts and feelings regarding my after birth treatment with her. I plan to let them know not to put me on their list of refrences as I would not recommend them to anyone I know. And the ladies I do know being seen there are all being warned by me so they are not taken by surprise of their brutal treatment. I hope they can have the peaceful after birth I missed out on.

Hopefully the mw's can all learn something from me, take something from my expereince of hell with them. Make them better. I can only hope but in my heart I know they will have learned nothing. They are much to conditioned to the medical standard of care. It's a shame b/c I know they coul dbe great mw's if only they learned they need to step back and only enter moms space when mom asks. To not take the power from the mom, its not their power, its hers!
post #9 of 29
I am angry for you and you have every right to be upset. (((Hugs))) to you and your sweetie. Reading that makes me even more thankful for the restfulness immediately after E was born. Maybe too little support is better than too much!

Let us know what comes of your next meeting.
post #10 of 29
Jennie....I attempted to read your post to my dh, but I started crying so hard that I couldn't finish reading it aloud. We now realize how lucky we were because this could have been us, too. I'm so so sorry that this happened to you. I imagine it must be even more painful after having a previous wonderful uc experience.
I'm appalled at their behavior, Jennie! They must know that the first hour after the birth is the most important bonding time for baby and parents -- for them to be so intrusive (and abusive) during that time makes me...furious! I really don't know what else to say...your experience with them makes me almost speechless.
I can't imagine you're looking forward to your appt with B&B on Thursday, but I do think the message you'll be giving them is so important and I'll be sending you strength that day.
If there is some way I can help you heal from this experience, please don't hesitate to let me know. I just want to give you a huge hug. You and your baby Rhi. How is your dh dealing with it? I'm sure he must understand your reaction. I do hope you find some peace. Love to you...
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Kate I am so truly glad you did not go thru what I went thru! Your Finn was wise in guiding you away. Rhi tried to guide me away too but I was stuck. I can see how much the after birth has effected Rhi. It really is the craziest thing but every night from about 6 (when my ctrx started to pattern out) to about 11:30 (when we were finally left in peace) she is very fussy, inconsolable! It is heartbreaking not being able to soothe & comfort her during that time. I know she too is trying to work thru her trauma and this is her only way to vocalize it right now.

I have decided after Thurs I will not be returning to B&B, I will find another to place my IUD when I am ready to have it placed. I don't trust that V would be very caring after hearing what I have to say. Its S I will see this week but I plan to write a letter for V and the other attendants that were here. I really don't think I can face her now with all of these feelings so close to the surface. But I must get my closure and let them know how I felt and still feel.

DH was and is mostly just ticked off that they were even here once the baby was born. But we haven't talked much about it. Right now I am just too close and emotional from the rawness of the feelings that I would have a very hard time not breaking down. He knows I am upset and when I am ready to talk I will and he will be there for me.

Thank you Kate for all of your support, and you ear/eyes as I am sure I have talked/typed them off your head lol My friend who is VBAC-ing with this group will be coming over today for lunch so I will be showing her my post hre to read. I am worried for her so much right now, especially since I recmmended them to her
post #12 of 29
Oh Jennie, I think of you often. I cannot tell you how many times I have read a post by you after your experience and have been brought to tears.

I am so sorry they raped you. You did not deserve it.

I really hope you are able to express your anger to them at your next mtg. Is your hubby going to be there for support? Be angry and be strong!!!

My heart is with you, and I wish I could come w/you and hold your hand while you honor these emotions.

post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you Amy! DH can't be with me unfortunately

I have written a letter but I don't think I am truly getting my feelings across. Although I don't want to put them so much on the defensive that they do not gain anything from my experience. Tell me what y'all think...

I want to begin by saying this is a difficult letter for me to write. I have many emotions to deal with regarding my post partum care.

I do want to think you for honoring my birth plan a far as my labor and birth went. I felt I achieved as close to an unassisted birth as one can achieve with midwives in the room.

However, I feel as if my wishes for after the birth were totally disregarded. And being that I had just given birth I was not in much of a position to control the situation, I was vulnerable and feel you took advantage of this.

The first hour after birth is very important bonding time for both mom & child. I did not have this uninterrupted hour as I had wanted. I was pushed into getting out of the birth pool, pushed into cutting the cord & delivering the placenta before it & I were ready. From there I was rushed back to bed spread eagle in a compromising position.

I was bombarded with questions, the baby was constantly being forced onto my breast. I was made to feel as insignificant and stupid as one could possibly make another person feel. I was attacked & abused as was my baby. Everything we suffered was completely unnecessary and totally degrading.

There is no evidence to show that I needed to get out of the pool immediately. There was no need to force the delivery of the placenta as I was not in an emergency situation. All of the “standard of care” procedures could have waited an hour or more until we had had our quiet bonding time. I feel robbed of the experience I wanted and envisioned.

I do not plan to return to this midwifery practice for anymore care nor do I plan to recommend this practice to anyone else. I do hope that in the future with other patients you will be more respectful of their space and bonding time before proceeding with what you need to do to protect your license.

With that I leave you with a wonderful quote and 2 sites I think may be beneficial for the practice to read.

{quote} Yet, after thinking about all of this, I am left to ponder the question that bothers me the most. Whether or not we do things like this as a regular part of our personal practice, why do we feel we need research evidence to support the argument for not intervening? In a model of midwifery that assumes normality, I would assume that midwives would need to see evidence that something is useful before incorporating it into their practice, not the other way around. Have we become that uncomfortable with the physiology and normality of birth that we would rather intervene than not? Are we so fearful of litigation that we feel we need to “do” rather than “be with”? And are these practices really so ingrained in us that we feel compelled to continue them on a routine basis unless – or until - they can be proven unhelpful? {end quote} From http://www.withwoman.co.uk/contents/info/tofeel.html

post #14 of 29

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you Merrick! You lurker you
post #16 of 29
I just wanted you to know that I'm here, Jennie...if nothing else because I wanted you to be aware that I'd read this because I felt like some sort of voyeur. But also, of course, because I am so sorry that you've had to deal with this with Rhi, I wish I could somehow have shielded you from this or could say or do something that would help, which clearly I can't. It is so awful to feel vulnerable and to look back and say "why didn't I do something?" and it takes a lot to realize that you shouldn't have been put in a position where you'd HAVE to be assertive in that way. You trusted your caregivers to attend to you and your child in the way that was best for you, and they didn't and that totally sucks.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you Merrick, honest and truly.

I am doing better now That I poured out my story and had a few good cries. I'll feel even better when I deliver this letter and fire them.

I didn't really trust this one mw much to begin with, in fact neither did my dh or friend who was here. But like me they were totally caught up in the birth, caught off guard & vulnerable. We are all kicking ourselves for not having done something but there is nothing we can do to change it now. We can only move forward and hopefully keep it from happening to others, which I am doing by sharing my story with some of their patients that I know.

But dangit I'm gonna just have to have another babe & UC in HI again
post #18 of 29
I'm glad you're moving forward and that you're telling them specifics of what you would have liked to have seen RATHER than what they did -- sometimes it just doesn't occur to people that the way they are doing things is violating, degrading or inappropriate. Sort of a "it's the way we've always done it" attitude seems to prevail in a lot of situations. Hopefully you can help open their eyes to the error of their ways and guide them toward being more giving and more aware of the varied needs of their varied clients.

As far as helping others -- you've added a whole list of discussion topics to my list for my appointment on Friday. I am gonna address this in advance with my midwife and discuss in depth what I want in an ideal postpartum period.

BTW I can't believe I'm in the "days" countdown part of this pregnancy. How did it get to be April, let alone mid-April already?
post #19 of 29
Jennie -- I think your letter is perfect -- very articulate and I think you definitely get your point across. I don't know if you've left for your appt yet, but wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you today.
I'm glad you're able to process this whole experience -- I do think you'll do others good by your words and warnings.
Love to you...

p.s. how sad that Rhi cries from 6-11pm. That's very chilling. But as you said, I'm sure that's her way of processing the experience too. Perhaps you should let the mw's know this as well.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Merrick--I'm glad my experience has given you more food for thought and questions to ask your mw

Thank you Kate! I didn't take the letter today but I did talk with S & the student mw who was there. S gave me ideas for how to approach V with my feelings without putting her on the defensive. But they both said its possible that V reacted preventively as perhaps she saw a gush of blood & felt it was necessary to get the placenta out right then. The only way to know is of course to speak with V. So I set up an appt for next week for us to talk.

I did get the feeling from S that V is not normally the mw in charge of the pp period but rather puts her nervous energy to cleaning up and such. I also got the feeling that V practices on fear based reactions. She has only been a hb mw for 3 yrs and in her 2nd yr saw the loss of 2 babes. In a way I do understand but at the same time if she is carrying around this fear she is passing that ebergy off to the moms.

Ok Rhi is needing me so I gotta end this but I'll update more once i speak with V.
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