Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just Another Statistic?

I just found out that someone else I know had a c-birth. I cringe whenever I find out about another c-birth. Why? Why are they so common? It shouldn't be this way. Its ludicrous. I wish i could in the most polite way possible - tell every pregnant woman I know to try for a homebirth with midwives!!! Maybe watching the movie "The Business of Being Born" has brainwashed me... I also think every pregnant woman should watch that too!

Back to my thought for today...

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my c-birth in the past 6 months or so. There is a lot to think about. Why did it happen? Was it necessary? Could it have been prevented? Will I ever be able to have a natural birth?

When I found out I was pregnant with Stinx I was so ecstatic. When I told my cousin, Alisha, that I was would be joining her in motherhood she gave me the low down. She gave me lots of information on birth, breastfeeding, parenting etc. One of the things she told me was "Get Midwives! Its worth every penny". She had her first son at home (and now has had her 2ND son born at home as well) I decided to read a bit about Midwives and found myself liking the idea but I didn't have the $3000 spare. I figured that if many people have successful natural births in the hospital I could try for that too. I knew that I would be risking the chance of a c-birth by having my baby at the hospital. I decided I was OK with that - besides, I figured that most c-births were only in the case of emergencies.

I prepared myself for a natural birth. I wrote out a birth plan. I was really looking forward to using a birth ball, a squatting bar, and labouring in the shower. BUT, still I knew there was a chance of a c-birth (simply because I would be at the hospital). To me, in my opinion, a hospital birth means you have a 50/50 chance of a c-birth just because of the interventions. So I read a book called "What If I Have a C-Section" (http://http// I am soooo glad that I read this book. It is the perfect book to read if you are having a hospital birth. I don't want to review this book right now, but the book covers all types of c-births. It tells you ways to prevent them as well. Its a fair book, not making c-births pretty or attractive. I really found it to be an eye opener. Anyways, even though I read the book I still planned for my natural birth. I only read the book in case I might need a emergency c-birth.

I don't know if I have the energy to go into full detail of Stinx' birth. Basically, being the naive new mother that I was, I thought my water had broke and so called the hospital. They told me to come in and get checked. I went in on a Friday night. While checking me they realized that Stinx heart rate was super low. When I sat in different positions it would get better. The doctor on call wanted to induce me. She said that because I was 39 weeks we should just go ahead. Looking back - I should have, at this point, said "No way, see ya later!".. I told her I didn't want to be induced and asked what my options were. She said she didn't feel comfortable sending me home and that at minimum I should stay at the hospital overnight to be monitored and then in the morning be sent for an ultrasound to find the problem. So that is what i did. There wasn't even a room for me, so I stayed in the triage unit on a crappy bed. Overnight Stinx heart rate dropped a couple times but nothing too serious. In the morning the ultrasound unit was super busy. I didn't get the U/S until 3:00pm. So of course I was nervous the whole time about what could be wrong with my little baby. The U/S went well though and the tech led me on to believe everything was fine. However when I went back up to labour and delivery, the doctor told me a different story. She told me that my amniotic fluid was very low, the placenta was aging and that Stinx was likely pressing on his umbilical cord and causing the heart rate to drop.

The doctor wanted to induce me right away. I decided to go with her advice. I had refused to be induced up until this point because I had no reason to be. Now she had provided me with a reason. I really thought this would be best, because, that's what the Doctors told me. So I was induced. Of course, nothing really happened. And I wouldn't be able to walk around the hospital like I had planned. They told me I couldn't labour in the shower either because I had to be hooked up to the monitor the entire time. Then on Sunday morning they gave me something else to pick up the slack. Mild contractions started but not much happened. The nurses told me I'd probably have my baby by 11pm. Come 5pm or so I went to the washroom (I was constantly going to washroom) and when i came back the nurse realized that Stinx's heart rate had dropped. She didn't tell me this though. Myk and my mom were with me they realized what was happening as they could see Stinx heart rate dropping on the screen. The nurse kept asking me to turn this way and the other way. I was ticked, didn't she know what a pain it was for me, the 9 month pregnant woman, to turn over? Anyways, the story quickly picks up. She calls in another nurse, who calls in another nurse who calls in the doctor who calls in another doctor who calls in the surgeon. In the mean time the 2nd nurse breaks my water without telling me (or I don't remember) so she put the internal heart rate monitor on Stinx' head. His heart rate then went back to normal. The Surgeon recommends a c-section because Stinx' heart rate dropped so low but didn't go back up when I kept changing positions. He tells me it would be very risky to try for a natural birth. By this point I was praying to God that they would just give me a c-section. As soon as they broke my water and all those staff came in, I knew something was very seriously wrong. I wanted Stinx out - alive and healthy. I was so emotional at this point. Crying and just hoping for a c-birth. And that is was what happened.

Well I guess I did have the energy for most of the details. So now the question is, was it truly needed? Well I will say yes, I probably did need the c-birth at that point. But why? I believe its because of the induction. Inductions are known to drop babies heart rates. So why would the doctors push me to be induced, especially if the issue I was having was Stinx already low dropping heart rate? That doesn't make any sense to me!!! Why would you induce me if he was having heart rate issues?

Which leads me to believe that my c-birth could have been prevented.

If I could go back to Feb 23rd at 7:00pm I was at the bathroom at Tiffen House restaurant. I thought my water broke. In fact, it was just pee - the uncontrollable pee of a 9 month pregnant woman. My water was still fine. Even if I decided to go to the hospital to get checked, i should have just gone home after. I wish, I wish, I wish I had done something other than what I had done.

Our rights are our rights. I clearly didn't know my rights at the time. I just trusted the doctors. I trusted that they had my best interests in mind. And maybe they did, maybe they just air on the side of extreme caution and safety, fearing a lawsuit if something goes wrong.

Maybe I just needed a Doula. Mom and Myk were great support, but looking back, I really needed educated support.

I do take some relief in knowing that I didn't have a c-birth because my labour was taking to long and my doctor had a golf game to go to. That was not the case with me. My doctor has just got on shift. In fact, I had seen 3 doctors from Friday night to Sunday evening when Stinx was born. All of whom were fairly supportive of my birth plan.

When I start to get angry about my c-birth I try to just think of this positive: Stinx was born alive and healthy.

When I start to think that if I had done things differently, I try to think that God was in control and had a plan. And this brings up more to talk about. I PRAYED for months that I would have a natural birth. MONTHS. God fully understood my desire for a natural birth. But that is not what happened.

So when I question my c-birth and get upset about it, am I really just questioning the doctors, or am I questioning whether it was in God's hands. Maybe if I had been more educated (though i had read so much! and took a prenatal classes!) or maybe if I had midwives God would have changed the circumstances? I don't know. I know not to question God's will. But then, is everything God's will? God doesn't will me to make bad choices, so was a hospital birth just a bad choice?


Stinx and I went to the zoo today with my old friend Dawn. She just moved back to Calgary with her family. She has 2 kiddo's and one on the way. While browsing the pre-historic park at the Zoo we chatted about my birth. Dawn brought up some very good points. Prior to her 3rd pregnancy she seriously considered going to school for midwifery/nursing and so studied a bit about birth. She pointed out that low amniotic fluid is a real concern and that the placenta aging is an issue. She said she was surprised they were even going to give me the chance for a natural birth. After talking with her today I am feeling more that my c-birth wasn't just an unneeded medical surgery - perhaps it was crucial and important.

I think its good and healthy to question this birth as some c-births are really unnecessary. I guess its just easy to see mine as a statistic. How does one know if theirs is really required? I mean, I will never really know because it was done, and my child was born safely. There was the possibility of risk.

At my 6 week appointment the Doctor STRONGLY recommended trying for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) when I have another baby. She said that I likely wouldn't have the same problem again the next time.

Although Myk and I haven't decided 100% that we will have another biological child, I do know that if we do go that route, I will be going with Midwives. I really hope that I might be able to experience a natural birth. I do feel that I missed out on a piece of the journey by having a c-birth.

So I am going to say that this birth really was in God's hands. His will is the way - and I really shouldn't question that.

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