i feel kind of funny posting here, with some mamas having had truly traumatic births, but this has been making me angry for so long and has taken so much joy out of dd's birth. i feel angry when i remember her birth.
background: after many years of infertility and losses i became pg with dd. we found an AWESOME mw and planned our hb. now, our mw was a hosp cnm with 860+ births under her belt, who had literally just begun her hb practice. we were her first clients, and had to even wait until i was 20-something weeks to officially begin care. she was a gem, i love her to this day. anyway, dd's birth was her first hb.
here comes the problem. my mw's asst was out of town for my birth. so my mw called in another local, famous mw with her own practice as an asst. no problem. when the "other" mw arrived at my home, i did not like her energy. it was just *weird*. no matter, i can shrug it off.
fast forward: labor starts to get heavy. "other" mw is in the room i'm laboring in (my mw is there too), and they're setting up. "other" starts some kind of swaying and praying, sitting on her haunches. i'm annoyed. then i start to hear snippits of the mw's conversation and it amounted to this: "other" mw, so high and mighty on herself was using my labor as an oppportunity to "school" my mw in all the ways "other" "does her hb's". i could tell it was annoying my mw, who was polite but firm.
at one point i went into the tub and turned on the shower so the water could hit me. "other" mw came in, didn't say a word, and sat between the shower curtain and the shower curtain liner and started rubbing my back, half-assedly. my mw came in and asked what "other" was doing because not only was it really *weird*, my mw could plainly see i was irritated. my mw directed her out of the room and apologized.
as the "other" was going out, i heard her say something about me sounding "pushy". at that point i hadn't even hit super hard labor, let alone transition, and it was obvious.
it just went on and on like this.
finally, i was in the 2nd stage, kneeling and leaning over the bed, feeling dd move down and feeling her ready to be born. "other" comes over fast with a doppler before my mw has a chance to, and then starts in about the baby going into distress.
dd was ABSOLUTELY NOT GOING INTO DISTRESS.
because i am in an acid-trip like part of labor i can't verbally communicate and she drags me to the bed, puts me on my back and tells me to push. my mw was cool and gentle and calm. "get the oxygen ready" is all she said. she helped coach the pushing. then the "other" starts SCREAMING in my face "IF YOU DON'T PUSH THIS BABY OUT RIGHT NOW, I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU A HUGE EPISIOTOMY!".
i am not kidding one single bit. those were her exact words. i will know them until the day i die. i saw my mw look at her with complete disgust.
needless to say, dd SHOT out of me, crying bloody murder before her mouth was even all the way born. she was TINY, 6 lbs, and i tore up AND down with a 3rd degree tear, requiring idk how many stitches.
she was not in distress and never was. she would have been born into my hands in the next 1-2 contractions had the stupid "other" not interfered.
to top it all off, an hour or so after dd was born i wanted a shower. i had been stitched up, dd had nursed until she fell asleep, been weighed and bundled up. i had long thick hair and was sweaty and bloody from labor and birth. dd was sleeping and all our family was taking turns holding her. she didn't need me, and as a first time mama, i wasn't sure when i would ever shower again!
so i head to the shower and begin the monumental task of washing my locks. maybe 10 mins later the "other" comes in and sarcastically says "you know, you're not going to be able to get all the blood off."
i said "i am washing my hair." in my iciest tone, and she went out. there was no reason for her to be in the bathroom, let alone make a completely rude comment like that. then i overheard her saying something to my mw about me showing signs of not bonding with my baby.
i am still so angry about how it all went, if she hadn't been there or had minded her own damn business and acted like an assistant, instead of seeing it as some opportunity or whatever she viewed it as, dd's birth wouldn't be ruined. labor was great fun with dh, but dd's actual birth moment is completely ruined for me.
the only good things that came out of her actions are these: 1) i had a uc with ds and i will never in my life have anybody at my birth i don't know and completely trust. i don't care who you are, i don't know you and therefore can't trust you to respect my body, my birth and my baby.
2) i have also made it my goal to become a mw just so i can help other mamas who want back-up for uc's. no woman should be at the mercy of any hcp that is rude, unethical and damages her body and baby.
if you got this far, thanks for reading. this is still eating me up after 4 years. i feel just as angry as i did then. a perfect pregnancy, labor and homebirth marred and ruined by an egotistical hcp.
tearing as i did definitely affected my ability to care for dd in the early weeks, i felt like i had been hit by a train. it hurt to sit, stand, walk, lay down, pee (forget pooping), shower, nurse, get food for myself. instead of a peaceful birth, i was threatened with physical violence. instead of a peaceful postpartum, i had a painful 3rd degree tear and stitches to deal with.
this mw is the most used in our area. i have talked to other mamas who have used her and were less than happy with her medieval style. she is very bossy, bitchy and grouchy. "oh, don't sit there! that's _______ chair!" but because we homebirther's don't ant to make mw's look bad, limiting our choices anymore, no one really says or does anything about it, you know?
ugh, i don't know how to close this post, just that i hope this can start some healing for me. i have never been able to even write dd's birth story in the beautiful book i bought for her birth story, so she could have it when she is older. i've lost the joy and can only feel the anger and injustice of it all.