My sagaI felt so powerless when it came to my son's birth, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm military and so were the OBs I saw. I didn't feel I could stand up to them because they were Majors and I was only a Senior Airman. I tried - when I found out he was breech, the doctor immediately said C-section. I said "I'd still prefer a vaginal birth." He immediately said "No doctor here will do a breech vaginally, especially for a first-time mom." I shut up. At the next appointment (different doctor), I brought it up again. She said "The only way we'd do a breech vaginally is if it was a mom of five that came in with the baby hanging out of her." Again, I shut up. At my 37-week appointment, we found out he was still breech and the OB scheduled a version - but not until 39 weeks (when the baby's usually too big to turn anyway). She asked me if I wanted to do the C-section right away if we couldn't turn him, or if I wanted to wait till I went into labor. I guess that was the point I accepted the fact that I was having a C/S.
The next day, my water broke. I wasn't sure if it had broken, so I went to the clinic to be checked. Without even looking at me, the doctor started ranting about pregnant women peeing on themselves and thinking their water broke. he checked me and said I was at 5cm and sent me to the hospital. He said I should go straight there before the baby's feet fell out (he was NOT footling). I followed orders and went to the hospital for my C-section. When I was cleaned prior to the insertion of the catheter, I said ouch because the nurse was so rough and I have vestibulitis, and she MOCKED me, saying "That was just the cleaning wipe!" in a condescending tone. I asked for the curtain to be lowered, but was refused. I wasn't told what was going on, but at least my arms weren't strapped down. I had to tell the anesthesiologist twice that I couldn't breathe before he even looked at me, then all he did was put oxygen in my nose.
DS had to be bagged to breathe. He was wrapped up and handed to his dad. I got to see him for just a second, before he was taken to the step-down nursery and put under an Oxihood because he was grunting. As she walked out of the door, the nurse asked me if I wanted DS circumcised. If I had said yes, I have no doubt it would have happened then and there, before I got to nurse him or hold him, and before he was an hour old. I was taken to see him on the way to recovery, but I had to leave after a minute because it was so hot in there I was getting nauseated. DS's dad left to buy a camcorder and I went to recovery where I vomited alone for four hours.
Later that night, the nurse helped me pump my colostrum. She said she'd cup-feed him so he wouldn't get nipple confusion. She was so sweet and supportive that I was shocked when I got my records a year later and found out she'd also been cup-feeding him Similac without my permission. No wonder he was sleepy and not interested in latching when I finally got to nurse him - he was full!
I was forced to stay in bed all night with inflatable things on my legs. I couldn't sleep because my legs were so sweaty and itchy. After asking several times, I finally badgered one of the nurses into unstrapping my legs for a few minutes. I kept trying to lift my legs so air could get to the undersides, but she kept pushing them back down.
When I finally got to go see DS, I found out the nursery nurses hated me. I refused to let them give him a pacifier, which made one nurse whine about how long he took to settle down after I left after each night nurse. I forced them to call me every time he got fussy so I could come down and nurse him instead of letting them give him a pacifier or a bottle.
The day before we left, the pediatrician asked if I wanted DS circumcised. I said no and he said "Yeah, it's unnecessary, but I don't try to discourage parents from getting it done, because it's a procedure and I LIKE doing procedures!" Word for word what he said. My jaw hit the floor and I couldn't even respond. DS was NEVER left alone with that man!
ETA: The kicker to this whole thing was that I had been planning a UC. I wasn't really comfortable doing a breech UC for my first and I agreed to birth at the hospital if the baby remained breech. He did and I allowed myself to be bullied into an unnecessary C-section.
So that's my birth saga. That's just one example of what I've had to deal with. I endured four years of excruciatingly painful vaginal exams, rude questions, and rudeness before I could get a doctor to believe that I had vestibulitis. I was repeatedly told that it was all in my head, that I just wasn't using enough lube, or I wasn't aroused enough, or I might not love my husband, or I might not be sexually attracted to him. Most of this came from women, by the way. It took me two years of infertility and five years of symptoms before I could convince a doctor that I had PCOS. I'm just now being treated for it, seven years after my symptoms first appeared.
It's stories like these that make me even more determined to be a midwife. I will fight tooth and nail for the women in my care. I will treat them with respect and dignity and I will do everything in my power to give them the birth experience they deserve.