I just wrote an abreviated version of my birth story for another post and realized I still have a lot of anger in me about the lack of support I received from the natural childbirth community around me. This is long and I left out the details of the section its self as it isn't relevant to my issues.
I was planning a VBAC, drug free, with a midwife and a doula. I had been doing all the "right" things, taking good care of myself, eating right, exercising, bouncing on a birth ball, etc. I'm a trained post partum doula, had read all the right books (Gaskin, etc.) and was feeling so positive. I passed my GD test with flying colors. Around 36 weeks I started having small sessions of painful Braxton Hicks contractions and knew I was gearing up for labor. By 37 weeks I was having nightly episodes of contractions. By 39 weeks, I was in constant pain. My belly ached, I had constant menstrual like cramps, and a few intense contractions. One night at around 38 weeks I had an intense 8 hours of constant contractions and thought for sure that was "it". The contractions stopped, but I never felt right after that. I was dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced at 38 weeks, the same at 39. My midwife had all the confidence in the world in me and I left every appointment feeling like I would get my VBAC. I started swelling up around 38 weeks, my feet looking like sausages and were aching. 3 days before my "due date" I took castor oil (2 ounces in a shake) in an attempt to get things started. I went into labor at 9pm that night, nearly 12 hours after taking it and labored until 6 am. Just as I was getting ready to call the midwife to let her know, it all stopped. The only thing that kept up was the constant pain I had in my belly all this time.
At my next appointment, on my due date, I told the midwife what had happened. I had also gained 7 lbs in less than a week. They ordered an ultrasound and after having my levels checked 4 times that day they diagnosed me with polyhdramnios. The levels came back at 29 and higher each time the u/s tech checked it. The midwife consulted with the OBs and everyone became panicked. They wanted me to go straight to L&D, but I put them off to go home and consult with DP and my doula.
I thought long and hard, and asked the baby what he thought we should do. DP was on his way home from the city, so I had a few hours to think by myself. I came to terms with the fact that the baby needed to come out ASAP before something went wrong, and I truly feel in my heart that something bad would have happened if I had waited. DS was no longer engaged, he had floated back up and was pushing into my lungs, if my water had broken there was a good chance the cord would have come out first. I live over 30 minutes from the hospital. It would not have been good. I am at peace with the c-section and have no regrets and no doubts about its necessity.
My disappointment lies with those who surrounded me. I had been complaining of the severe pains for almost 2 weeks and was just told it was normal. It was NOT normal. I will never have another child because I can't bear to go through that again. It broke me down to the point that I was almost crazed. I screamed at everyone, including my poor DD for those 2 weeks. There was no relief, no let up. It only got worse and worse. My swelling was discounted as normal as well, even though my toes were actually numb from the swelling. I was terrified those two weeks and had nightmares of something going wrong. I don't blame my midwife, she supported me by even coming into the OR for the c-section to be there for us and visiting me in the hospital the next day, on her day off. I don't know who I blame for it really.
To top it off, the doula I had hired and fully paid for was apparently disappointed in my decision to fall for the medical community's obvious attempt at forcing a c-section on me
and never bothered to see if I was all right. I *think* she called and spoke to DP the next day or so, but she never called me at the hospital or came to visit. I got an email from her a week later, I told her of all the trouble I was having with breastfeeding and pumping, and the scary stuff that happened in the OR and she never even offered to come for a home visit to help me out. She gave me the number of a lactation consultant over 2 hours away from me and she made no other comments or anything. I paid a lot of money I didn't have and got one prenatal visit and an email. The natural birth friends I had been making all disappeared on me.
Not a single person offered to come and help us. The only support we had was my brother and his wife who took DD for us for 2 days. What happened to women rallying around each other to help out? Is it because I had a c-section? Am I really that much of a disappointment to them? Even the person I HIRED and PAID to help me, bailed on me.
I'm bitter about all of this. I feel hurt and betrayed by a community that professed to love women and children and to be committed to healthy and happy mothers and babies. And now I'm an outcast because of a stupid c-section and because I couldn't breastfeed DS anymore.