is my experience typical or not? scared to get pregnant again - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-24-2010, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I never wanted to just have an only child. but after my experience with my midwife and the hospital, I've been terrified at the thought of ever becoming pregnant again.
I guess what I want to know is if my experience is typical or not.

I live in the U.S. and we are a military family. I found a state licensed midwife because that was the type that Tricare insurance was willing to cover. but because she was state licensed, she had all these bureaucratic hoops that needed jumping through, certain requirements I had to fulfill in order for her to be legally allowed to attend my birth. (so when I say "forced" or "had to" that's what I mean.)

Besides seeing her all the time I had to see a regular doctor twice (which turned into many times), the first of which kicked me out because I refused a 7 week ultrasound. I was also forced to take the gestational diabetes test at the hospital,. I failed the 1 hour, barely passed the 3 hour, and still didn't get "approval" from the hospital to have a homebirth so I had to see a different doctor in order to get the write off. I hated having to visit the midwife every month, which later turned into multiple times a month, each time having my urine and weight scrutinized. My pregnancy was going fine but it was just standard protocol, again I had no choice. She also made me attend her first timer child birth classes. I was so tired of all the appointments, none of which I really wanted to go to. I also was forced to ask our military base commander if I could have his permission to have a home birth on base where we lived at the time, and he said no. so I was stressed because I didn't know where to have it after that.
I was also forced to get an ultrasound later on in the pregnancy since I didn't know my due date, and then made to chug castor oil and take some other unmentionables because if they baby didn't come with 2 weeks from my due date I wasn't allowed to have a homebirth basically. the midwife ended up using something very potent to induce me since we had a ticking clock hanging over our heads and my labor ended up being very traumatic. the midwife assured me her bathtub would be deep enough to have a waterbirth in and I couldn't even float in it, and throughout the whole labor everyone was silent and unsupportive even when I begged for some encouragement. I had the biggest first time baby the midwife had ever seen and ended up transferring to a hospital because I couldn't take the pain. It was like being in hell. I ended up with a 3rd degree tear which was poorly dealt with, I'm definitely messed up 'down there' now and I'm pretty sure I've got some organ prolapse going on.

I initially chose a midwife because I wanted to be in control of my own pregnancy and labor, and it turned out to be one big stressful hassle. I'm still traumatized from the labor a year later. I guess I might sound like a big whiner but I actually feel like I need to start going to therapy because I'm still having a hard time.

Next time, is there any way I can make my own decisions? like how often I want to visit the midwife, whether or not I take the gestational diabetes test, have blood drawn, my urine and weight scrutinized all the time, whether or not to have an ultrasound, etc?

I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to afford paying for a different kind of midwife out of pocket, and I'm also worried that if I go the hospital birth route, I'll be forced to follow all of their protocol as well (if I don't want to be fired as a patient for refusing tests and what not like the first doctor I saw.)

and Im wondering for the next time around.. is it typical to have the same amount of pain, and just as large of a baby? or is it typically easier the second time?

thank you for any kind words and for your time.
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#2 of 5 Old 06-24-2010, 01:06 AM
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I'm so sorry for your experience

Basically you had a hospital-type experience not a homebirth-type experience. All of the "have-to" and "if you don't pass this then" is hospital-like. Her protocol are pretty much passed to her by the same medical establishment that shapes all the hospital horror stories.

My homebirths were with independent midwives who would have handled that much differently. Here you cannot get insurance to cover a homebirth with an independent midwife last I checked. They would not have pushed an US--lots of ladies choose not to get them, some ladies choose no internal exams ever, and I've seen ladies go really late--like "officially" 4 weeks late Oh My! I for one have never had a GD test in my life. I've only had one ultrasound in my life. FWIW I have had some issues related to overly-relaxed care that turned out okay. That said a midwife is trained to watch out for real signs of problems and may scrutinize in the event of something worrisome. It sounds like your experience was shaped by fear, your midwife was controlled by her fears, and that a natural birth was not supported at all.

It is possible for you to have a different kind of birth experience. Baby size generally does not cause traumatic birth; my first was a very fast simple labor and 10 pounds, my others have been smaller, the twins were early and smaller, my last was 8lb14oz. None of these were traumatic births. (My midwife almost missed my first and did miss my last.) I have met/heard of a few women who had successful homebirths with 12 lb babies.

Feeling you can be in a safe place and trust your support will make the difference. A doula can help A LOT even if you can't arrange a midwife. Maybe ask around ahead of time about your state's options in finding your tribe to know what kind of alternatives are available in your area. Homebirth options vary quite a bit from state to state.

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#3 of 5 Old 06-25-2010, 02:12 PM
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I'm so sorry you had such a difficult time.

Talking about your experience is NOT whining.

And getting therapy to help in processing what happened to you could be very helpful. You are certainly not alone in feeling afraid to get pregnant again, but you don't have to stay stuck in that place. I encourage you to seek help so that your decision about whether or not to expand your family can be based on something other than a response to the traumatic experience that you've been through.

Good luck mama!

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#4 of 5 Old 06-26-2010, 01:23 AM
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You don't sound like a whiner at all, you sound like a woman who knew what she wanted and had it "withheld" for a bunch of stupid and arbitrary reasons. I am so sorry. I had a traumatic birth 9 months ago and have found therapy to be really really helpful. If you decide to go, find someone who is trained in birth trauma or at least sympathetic to it. Many people do not understand what a huge deal it is and why it can impact us so profoundly. My therapist is trained in EMDR techniques, it is hard work, but we are going through it and it has helped so much. You can have the birth you want, but you might have to pay out of pocket for the midwife, or go unassisted. We are a year from TTC but are saving up for the midwife and doula so we are ready. It's an investment I expect to have a great payoff.
Good luck, I hope you can get the time and space to heal. It is a big deal how people are born, and how we, as women become Mothers. Don't let anyone tell you different.
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#5 of 5 Old 06-27-2010, 12:28 PM
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I'm sorry for your difficult experience. I agree with pps that therapy could be helpful for you; I hope you find a therapist that suits your needs.

Originally Posted by mariekitt24 View Post
and Im wondering for the next time around.. is it typical to have the same amount of pain, and just as large of a baby? or is it typically easier the second time?
I hear that second births generally are easier on the mom (at least that's what my midwife told me).

Good control of blood sugar is also a big factor in limiting baby size, so if you do go with a less interventionist practitioner next time it might not be a bad idea to consider keeping tabs on your sugar again, and taking appropriate dietary measures to keep it within normal limits.

I know you said you weren't interested in childbirth classes but lots of mamas here have had good luck with classes for pain control (eg Bradley, Hypnobabies) so that's something to consider as well.

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