Anyone else still processing their birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-05-2009, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I still have a hard time telling the story outloud in real life. I have avoided it so far and even though I want to talk about, I don't feel like I can. I don't think I have depression or anything, but I tend to cry if I do think about it too much. It doesn't consume my life or anything, but I really do cry if I think back to the experience and I'm not crying in a 'good way'. I really feel as if I am scared to ever have another child. This was my second vbac but first homebirth and I know that the issue isn't that it was a vbac or it was a homebirth, but I think it's just how the birth unfolded as a whole. I say that the birth sucked, but I realize it would have sucked just as much in the hospital so I don't "blame" the homebirth for that. The labor was intense, the contraction pain was worse than the pit contractions I had with my first child, I could hardly move afterwards, I disliked some of the things my MW did, etc.

I think a big part is that I think I put the needs of my DH above my needs in selecting a MW. He was not comfortable with the idea of a homebirth and I needed someone who would be willing to tell him, when necessary, that he was full of crap ("everyone else goes to the hospital so it must be safer"). The MW I selected had no problem doing that and she was able to put him at ease. However, I don't think she was what I needed. I think I needed someone who would be more involved. I posted here about her always being late, appts were constantly rescheduled, she didn't respond to my emails, etc. I really had last minute doubts that I even wanted her at my birth and I really wondered if she'd even show up in time. I honestly thought about switching back to a hospital birth as late as Dec 1. I called my DH in tears saying that I wasn't sure I wanted the MW there. He called my doula to talk to her about it, but she happened to be at a birth that night. By the next morning, I had settled down, but still had doubts. I had no doubts about her clinical skills and knowledge and I think that's why I stayed with her.

My child is 12 weeks old and I still haven't had a 6 week post partum visit with her so that I can talk to her about it and ask questions. She keeps needing to cancel and reschedule. One week it was a birth, another time it was the weather, another time she was sick, meetings, etc. Just as with the prenatal visits, it always seems to be something. Some of it is out of anyone's control like the weather and babies and there's not much you can do about that. She dropped off the insurance claim form so that I could submit that, and she said she'd stop by the following Monday on her way back from a meeting north of where I live, but she never called or stopped by and I haven't heard from her since. The stitches she put in didn't dissolve and I ended up having the backup OB take them out when I was there for something else. I didn't go there for that purpose, but figured since I was there, I'd ask him to take them out. He was oK with it and took them out. It wasn't her "fault", but sometimes the stitches don't dissolve.

At this point, I don't think I will try to set up another appt. I'd love to talk, but I guess I see that the ball in her court and she can call me if she wants to. Unfortunatly, I get the feeling she doesn't want to. I heard such good things about her that I guess I was expecting more from a homebirth MW. I just don't feel she was any more open/available to talk to than the OB I was using. I feel like his office was more open regarding questions than she was. Like I said earlier, I guess she just wasn't what I needed in a MW.

I recently changed my username, but I still say "Hello" to all those who know me in real life! Hi P, S, T and K!
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#2 of 19 Old 03-05-2009, 12:41 PM
 
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I'm sorry your midwife isn't giving you what you need, that has to be disconcerting. Is there anyone else you can talk to?

My second labor was insanely intense, I was so shocked. I did so much more labor preparation for the second one then the first, but the second one I couldn't stay on top of the contractions at all. But luckily it was a very short labor that was crazy intense.

I sometimes think the result of labor and birth is the moving part. Not necessarily the labor and birth.
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#3 of 19 Old 03-05-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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ferrum. Sorry you are getting the runaround. I discovered, too, that having a large support staff and other infastructure (like OBs and hospitals have) isn't always a bad thing. (Now if they would just quit trying to force us to do things their way...sigh.)

Yes, of course I want the best of both worlds.
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#4 of 19 Old 03-05-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. My mouth dropped further and further as I read deeper into your message. I can't believe her "professional" behavior. You defintely deserve closure with this but I don't know that I would expect through her, if you know what I mean.

There is one midwife in group that I used tht I never want to see again. My labor was so long that I went through three different m/w. During the most intense part of my labor the m/w's switched shifts. This m/w didn't even come in to talk to me unitl three hours into her s hift. I was beside myself b/c it was duirng the worst part of my labor; I started having back contractions on top of the pelvic ones. She wasn't there to help me at all. When my labor went past the 24 hour mark I started to worry a bit and had to keep requesting that she come and check in with me. I've not gotten past this behavior from her b/c all the other m/w are so great. I wasn't expecting her antipathy at all. SO I kind of know what you mean but to a lesser degree.

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#5 of 19 Old 03-05-2009, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been reluctant to put anything here b/c I know there are a couple other people who have used this MW on this board (not necessarily this month, but the board as a whole). If I can figure out who they are, they can certainly figure out who I am. However, there are many more details that I didn't put in my original message. I wish we could get together, but unless she calls then we probably won't.

The part that concerns me the most would be the location and the level of the pain I had during labor. The only place I felt it was low (where my c-section scar is). It was a sharp, stabbing, burning pain that was constant before, during ,after and between contractions. Towards the end, the pain started to go up one side of my abdomen. When I said something didn't feel right and that I thought something was wrong, all she said was "You're fine" while sitting halfway across the room. Eventually, she did come listen to the heartbeat to reassure me, but that was all I remember her doing. I'm still mad at myself for not standing up for myself. Even my doula said at a postpartum visit that she wasn't sure at what point the MW would have taken me seriously. This is what makes me scared to have another child in the future. What is someone really was getting ready to go wrong and I just happened to get the baby out before it happened? I didn't have this fear during my first vbac, but I have it now. At one point, my doula had to step away for a minute and a huge contraction came on and all the MW said was "You can do this one without her" and sat there and looked at me. She didn't even try to help me through it.

I guess I'm just mad at a couple different people: the MW, my husband and myself. I'm mad at the MW for reasons I've listed (and some other one I haven't listed). I'm mad at DH for not taking me seriously. After 10 years, he knows when I should be taken seriously. I'm mad at myself for not standing up, getting dressed and demanding someone take me to the hospital. I'm mad that I didn't dial 911 like I wanted to at a couple different points in time. I'm just mad that I didn't stand up and take care of myself when I was concerned something was wrong.

OK, I should just stop typing. If it bothers me this much I should talk to her, but she doesn't seem to want to so I don't know what I am going to do. I don't feel like I can share it with people in real life b/c so many people have used this MW and seemed to have loved her. I'll eventually find something that helps me get past this.

I recently changed my username, but I still say "Hello" to all those who know me in real life! Hi P, S, T and K!
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#6 of 19 Old 03-05-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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(((Hugs))). There's NO excuse for what this midwife has done. None. My midwife is insanely busy and I'm always shocked by what she's done in the past 24 hours or has planned for the next 24 hours, but she ALWAYS sees me when I need to be seen. It's perfectly normal for you to feel abandoned by her because that's what she's done. The one thing I would disagree with you about is that the ball is in YOUR court. Do you feel like you need to be heard? Press the issue if so. Would you feel better just walking away and letting go? Then do that.

I do remember your birth story and your complaints about your m/w. I don't remember details though...did you have a cervical lip? I ask because I had similar pain and it was UNBEARABLE and not normal labor pain. My hospital transfer was due in part to that and I cannot imagine not getting more support from my midwife had I stayed home through it. Either way, knowing you were a VBAC and knowing you had fears during labor, she should have handled things better. I was not a VBAC and it still completely freaked me out, and one of the things that calmed me was asking her over and over if she was worried and her reassurance that she wasn't, that and her emotional support and homeopathic remedies she gave to help calm me down.

I don't know what more to say other than to completely validate your feelings and say I think what she did sucks. I'm a huge homebirth/midwife fan, but it's not right what happened to you and continues to happen.

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#7 of 19 Old 03-07-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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Is it hijacking the thread to say that I am completely still processing my birth and still fairly traumatized from it? In fact my sister suggests I have post-traumatic stress from it...minor re-cap, well, I never wrote it out since I'm still horrified--some pre-labor activity the Fri before our son was born, my mw totally knew I was probably going to give birth that weekend, and I TOLD HER I LABORED very quickly with DD--and that was a first birth, back labor and malpositioned. She just didn't believe me, so she ended up not bringing her birth kit or oxygen (it was get to me before I delivered or get back out to get her kit) and our son came out blue and unresponsive...she didn't let us call 911, she didn't have anti-hemorrhage drugs (and I hemorrhaged w/DD, again, she knew this), she didn't have oxygen...she DID save his life, I am certain, with mouth to mouth but honestly although I am a huge home birth / birth choice advocate, I could not recommend her or my experience to anyone. And I'm not the only person who's had sketchy experiences with this home birth outfit (there are other m/ws). If I were to be pregnant again and have to decide how to give birth I simply don't know what my decision would be in this region...So yes, I'm still processing my birth experience. And I feel guilty every day that I put my DS's life at risk by working with this person even though I had huge red flags in general about her.
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#8 of 19 Old 03-10-2009, 12:23 PM
 
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Is it hijacking the thread to say that I am completely still processing my birth and still fairly traumatized from it? In fact my sister suggests I have post-traumatic stress from it...minor re-cap, well, I never wrote it out since I'm still horrified--some pre-labor activity the Fri before our son was born, my mw totally knew I was probably going to give birth that weekend, and I TOLD HER I LABORED very quickly with DD--and that was a first birth, back labor and malpositioned. She just didn't believe me, so she ended up not bringing her birth kit or oxygen (it was get to me before I delivered or get back out to get her kit) and our son came out blue and unresponsive...she didn't let us call 911, she didn't have anti-hemorrhage drugs (and I hemorrhaged w/DD, again, she knew this), she didn't have oxygen...she DID save his life, I am certain, with mouth to mouth but honestly although I am a huge home birth / birth choice advocate, I could not recommend her or my experience to anyone. And I'm not the only person who's had sketchy experiences with this home birth outfit (there are other m/ws). If I were to be pregnant again and have to decide how to give birth I simply don't know what my decision would be in this region...So yes, I'm still processing my birth experience. And I feel guilty every day that I put my DS's life at risk by working with this person even though I had huge red flags in general about her.
OMG!
I'm dumbfounded.
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#9 of 19 Old 03-10-2009, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it hijacking the thread to say that I am completely still processing my birth and still fairly traumatized from it? In fact my sister suggests I have post-traumatic stress from it...minor re-cap, well, I never wrote it out since I'm still horrified--some pre-labor activity the Fri before our son was born, my mw totally knew I was probably going to give birth that weekend, and I TOLD HER I LABORED very quickly with DD--and that was a first birth, back labor and malpositioned. She just didn't believe me, so she ended up not bringing her birth kit or oxygen (it was get to me before I delivered or get back out to get her kit) and our son came out blue and unresponsive...she didn't let us call 911, she didn't have anti-hemorrhage drugs (and I hemorrhaged w/DD, again, she knew this), she didn't have oxygen...she DID save his life, I am certain, with mouth to mouth but honestly although I am a huge home birth / birth choice advocate, I could not recommend her or my experience to anyone. And I'm not the only person who's had sketchy experiences with this home birth outfit (there are other m/ws). If I were to be pregnant again and have to decide how to give birth I simply don't know what my decision would be in this region...So yes, I'm still processing my birth experience. And I feel guilty every day that I put my DS's life at risk by working with this person even though I had huge red flags in general about her.

That is awful! I think it's inexcusable to not have brought her equipment & supplies even if it was 'just in case' especially since she knew you labored quickly with your first. I'm sorry this happened to you. I don't know what I would do in your situation either. Have you talked to her since the birth? Has she made any contact with you from her end?

I recently changed my username, but I still say "Hello" to all those who know me in real life! Hi P, S, T and K!
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#10 of 19 Old 03-10-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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Is it hijacking the thread to say that I am completely still processing my birth and still fairly traumatized from it? In fact my sister suggests I have post-traumatic stress from it...minor re-cap, well, I never wrote it out since I'm still horrified--some pre-labor activity the Fri before our son was born, my mw totally knew I was probably going to give birth that weekend, and I TOLD HER I LABORED very quickly with DD--and that was a first birth, back labor and malpositioned. She just didn't believe me, so she ended up not bringing her birth kit or oxygen (it was get to me before I delivered or get back out to get her kit) and our son came out blue and unresponsive...she didn't let us call 911, she didn't have anti-hemorrhage drugs (and I hemorrhaged w/DD, again, she knew this), she didn't have oxygen...she DID save his life, I am certain, with mouth to mouth but honestly although I am a huge home birth / birth choice advocate, I could not recommend her or my experience to anyone. And I'm not the only person who's had sketchy experiences with this home birth outfit (there are other m/ws). If I were to be pregnant again and have to decide how to give birth I simply don't know what my decision would be in this region...So yes, I'm still processing my birth experience. And I feel guilty every day that I put my DS's life at risk by working with this person even though I had huge red flags in general about her.
Wow. I'm glad y'all are OK.
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#11 of 19 Old 03-14-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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just sending you hugs.
reading your story what comes to mind for me is that you are a hero. and therefore you had a heroic birth.
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#12 of 19 Old 03-14-2009, 11:25 PM
 
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I did see her, for all my postpartum checks. I must admit, I didn't confront her at any point because we ARE in the odd position of knowing that she did save his life. I am debating what to do. There is a client satisfaction survey I could fill out, but she's the office administrator so I don't think that would go very far. I know two board members and have thought about meeting independently with them. I think she would be very defensive and say that I was just not a good home birth candidate (too anxious). Maybe that's true but she was still negligent.
I don't know quite how to deal with my OWN emotions and I wake up in the middle of the night almost every night convinced DS is dead and it's my fault.
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#13 of 19 Old 03-16-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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I did see her, for all my postpartum checks. I must admit, I didn't confront her at any point because we ARE in the odd position of knowing that she did save his life. I am debating what to do. There is a client satisfaction survey I could fill out, but she's the office administrator so I don't think that would go very far. I know two board members and have thought about meeting independently with them. I think she would be very defensive and say that I was just not a good home birth candidate (too anxious). Maybe that's true but she was still negligent.
I don't know quite how to deal with my OWN emotions and I wake up in the middle of the night almost every night convinced DS is dead and it's my fault.
Wow all I can say is wow. I had similar red flags and I switched to a significantly less convenient midwife group and reading both of your stories I'm so very very thankful I did. I can't imagine my current midwives dismissing anyone as being too anxious to home birth, or for them to show up to someones house without their birth kit. When my midwives are on call their birth kit and O2 are with them all the time.

I feel if you can afford it, you deserve, and need to seek a professional to discuss this. Also I feel as though you should speak with another rusted midwife in the practice and or the board members. Even though this midwife technically "saved" your babies life with CPR, it does not excuse the reason you and your child were in the situation to begin with. I'd consider filing a complaint about her. Good luck! And I hope you can find a way to get through this.
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#14 of 19 Old 03-16-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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You guys are so validating. I have only told a couple of people about this and their response tends to be well, it all turned out in the end...well, SORT OF. I'm kind of a mess about it. And I feel like a fool for having pursued a home birth because that choice was the one that put him at such risk, really. His condition was straight-forward enough and would have been super common in a hospital. I still struggle with why she didn't want us to dial 911, etc. I mean, she didn't even have a doppler, she had NO idea what was wrong with him, and I worry it was because midwifery is only recently legal in this state and she didn't want to deal with the PR it might have involved?
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#15 of 19 Old 03-17-2009, 01:14 AM
 
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Totally scary. "Wouldn't let" you call 911?!

Talk to a professional if you can. They can help you sort out what to do next (if anything). At the very least you deserve to get a good night's sleep.
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#16 of 19 Old 03-19-2009, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys are so validating. I have only told a couple of people about this and their response tends to be well, it all turned out in the end...well, SORT OF. I'm kind of a mess about it. And I feel like a fool for having pursued a home birth because that choice was the one that put him at such risk, really. His condition was straight-forward enough and would have been super common in a hospital. I still struggle with why she didn't want us to dial 911, etc. I mean, she didn't even have a doppler, she had NO idea what was wrong with him, and I worry it was because midwifery is only recently legal in this state and she didn't want to deal with the PR it might have involved?
While I am glad that both of you are OK, it doesn't mean that your feelings don't matter. I agree with the others who have mentioned that if you can, talk to someone about it. Whether it's her, the board members, or a therapist, it might help you to talk about it. I would hope that she wasn't more concerned about PR than you/your baby, but I think that the publicity that something bad happened while newly legal would be worse. I think that people would have jumped on that "See, midwifery is legal and look what happened!".

On that note, I am going to try again to contact my MW. Even though I think she should know who her clients are, what stage of pregnancy they are in, and what appts are still needed (postpartum) I am going to make another attempt at discussing things with her. I do not feel that I can bring it up at my local ICAN or homebirth groups b/c she is too "connected" in the community and I am afraid my comments will get back to her and will get twisted around beforehand. I'd rather talk to her myself first but so far, that has been unsuccessful. I do appreciate that she is active in the community and in working towards making non-CNM midwives "legal" in this state. I'd really like for her (and other MWs) to not have to worry about practicing legally. I think her skills are excellent, but perhaps I just value the little things such as keeping appts, being on time, etc more than she does.

I recently changed my username, but I still say "Hello" to all those who know me in real life! Hi P, S, T and K!
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#17 of 19 Old 03-23-2009, 03:30 AM
 
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To the OP, I am so sorry for your situation. That is a very unprofessional midwife, regardless of how many people like her, she did work for you. I would file a complaint. At least, this will draw some attention to this. I also think you should pursue a pospartum talk, unless you really feel like it would be better to let it go.

To League mama, that is an awful experience. And not at all what midwifery is about. Either of these situatioins really. She could not at this point say that you were not a good homebirth candidate. That is something she should have assessed and continued assessing during your pregnancy and birth. If she felt like you weren't a good candidate or that she wasn't comfortable working with you, she should have discussed it with you and referred you to someone else. I think you should also complain. Situations like these give homebirth and midwives a bad name. I'm so sorry this was what happened to you.

And to answer the original question, yes I am still processing my birth. I have a really hard time with it and often cry about it. I feel sad for my daughter and her welcome to the world. I'll add more later. Must go.

Jessica, mama to Emma, 7, Mattie, 5.5 and Lilly, 3 and someone new this Halloween-ish.

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#18 of 19 Old 03-28-2009, 12:39 AM
 
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still processing. still grieving. still hurting.


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#19 of 19 Old 03-28-2009, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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still processing. still grieving. still hurting.


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We're here for you if you need us!

I recently changed my username, but I still say "Hello" to all those who know me in real life! Hi P, S, T and K!
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