I wasn't afraid of giving birth. I'm an almost compulsive worrier, but when it comes to things that I feel I have no control over, I tend not to worry. I've always believed that those things would take care of themselves no matter what I did or didn't do. I really, and truly believed that birth was a natural process that would happen, one way or another. I didn't understand the epidemic of c-sections and epidurals, and I was shocked when my (hospital-based) birth class taught that 94% of women received and epi. I was confident in my ability to handle the pain and focus on delivering a healthy baby without resorting to either. I thought that by going to class I was educated. I thought that by having midwives as primary care I was doing the right thing. I thought that the hospital was the only place where babies were delivered, and that all of the routine care given was done for a good reason. I thought that DH was the only person I needed by my side at birth, and that with him I could manage any amount of pain. I thought that if complications happened, they wouldn't be because I had done something wrong. I thought that if complications happened, nothing I did would resolve them and that's why women deliver babies in hospitals. I thought that by going to practice with a low(er) c-section and epidural rate meant I was getting the best possible care I could have. I thought that going to a practice with many midwives and doctors would mean I would never have to wait to be seen, that I would not have to worry about my OB making it to the hospital in time, and that I would always have someone by my side when I labored.
I was stupid.
I wish I'd known that prenatal care CAN be personal, and I can be more than just a name on a chart (my charts were lost a few times, so they didn't even have that much). I wish when I realized I disliked several of the doctors, I'd understood that changing docs WAS an option. I never thought about the fact that I wouldn't get to choose who would be in the hospital at delivery time.
I wish someone had recognized I was experiencing depression during my 1st trimester and done something to alleviate it, and that my lack of activity was the main cause of my weight gain.
I wish I hadn't gained so much weight and been lectured about it by an OB who didn't even ask about my eating habits and just made (incorrect) assumptions that made me cry.
I wish I'd found MDC while pregnant.
I wish I'd never gone to the hospital.
I wish I hadn't circ'd my son.
I wish I hadn't agreed to AROM after 17 hours of drug-free labor with an OP baby. I wish I'd known my baby was OP and that the midwives had checked and that SOMEONE would have helped me turn him around.
I wish I'd had more information on transition and someone with experience there to recognize what I was going through. I wish DH hadn't been so upset by the pain I was going through that he badgered the L&D nurses into getting me an epidural RIGHT NOW.
I wish they'd never given me pitocin because my contractions "weren't regular enough."
I wish I hadn't dealt with the shaking fits and itching caused by all the medications coursing through my system, which of course required more medication.
I wish I hadn't tried to push for 45 minutes flat on my back as DS decelerated and an OB popped in once to cluck about c-sections.
I wish I remembered agreeing to the c-section.
I wish I could have seen my son after he was cut out of me, instead of only hearing him cry for 10 agonizing minutes and wondering what was going on. I wish I could have held him as they wheeled me away from the OR, but I was shaking so badly I would have dropped him so they propped him on my legs.
I wish I hadn't gotten a fever from all of the medications that I passed on to DS, which caused the nurses to test his blood for infection every few hours for the next 3 days.
I wish I could have held my son every waking AND sleeping second for the next several days, but DH and MIL and the nurses all took him away because I "needed to rest." I wish I hadn't been in so much pain that I couldn't even get out of bed or sit up when he started to cry, which made me cry because I couldn't get to him.
I wish breastfeeding had gone smoothly and that it hadn't made me a crying wreck for the next several weeks.
I wish my surgery had gone well, like they told me it did. But they also told me they needed to leave the staples in for a week and I had to visit my OB to have them removed.
I wish I'd never gone to the pediatrician's office, who criticized me for not giving DS a pacifier (he was crying) and gave me formula and told me to supplement.
I wish I hadn't gone to my OB's office two days early because I was in so much pain, only to have the OB tell me I needed to stop taking the drugs and just go home. And that I wasn't eating or drinking enough, but to stay in bed and do nothing. And that my incision "looked great" as she took out the staples and put on steri strips.
I wish that after I had the steri strips removed a week later, I hadn't woken up to see puss and fluid oozing from the incision.
I wish I hadn't returned to the OB's office only to have the midwife I was scheduled to see turn around and leave, ushering in an OB I'd never met (he didn't feel the need to stop by and see me while I was laboring and he was on duty in the hospital) who reopened my incision, drained and packed it without warning, and left me in the room without instructions except "come back tomorrow."
I wish I hadn't needed a home-visit nursing service to come every day for the next 2 months, and I wish I'd asked someone if insurance was really going to pay for each of those visits.
I wish my incision didn't still hurt and itch 5 months PP, and that I wasn't afraid to get intimate with DH for fear of reopening it again.
I wish that DH and my family understood what I'm going through.
I wish that I was with DS right now, instead of sitting at my desk at work, PAK.
Thanks for reading.
Lisa mama to Adrian born 3/09 by unnecessarean#2 is coming in May 2011! planning for a home