Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Choices in pregnancy, empowering mom

Our bodies are amazing. We heal so easily, we have so many ways to just be - I really believe that almost all of the minor health problems I have are related to MY ACTIONS and not related to my body, DNA, et cetera.

This goes for birth as well. I was naive when I was pregnant the first time. Naive, excited and trusting. Nothing wrong with any of these, but when put together, it can be dangerous.

Dangerous? Yes, dangerous.

The first thing that I chose to do that led me to this path was not researching my options when we moved in the middle of my pregnancy. I went online to a "mommy board" found some options from other moms and picked one nearby. I liked that they had a few different OBs on staff and had two hospital options. I chose the hospital that was both closer and had a lower cesarean rate. I had a friend who had a cesarean after hours of labor and I SO didn't want that. How horrible, to labor all day and then end up being cut open!

Anyway, here are the warning signs that I was destined for induction:
- multiple, unnecessary ultrasounds through the end of my pregnancy (basically waiting to find any reason to find something "wrong")
- the practice had a high cesarean rate
- no discussion regarding preparing for labor at any of my visits

And with induction, we have cesareans MOST of the time. Did I know that going in? NOPE. Did I need to be induced? Most likely not. What I didn't know was that I could question the doctors.

What I didn't know is that I could have used their on staff midwife. My insurance excludes midwives and I thought that meant I couldn't see one. Nope. I could have and I'm sure my experience would have been different. Most midwives who are in an OB practice are eligible under the OB for billing... I wish I had known that.

I wish I had known that I could have said "what are my options"?

I wish I had known that the nurses who were not nice during my induced labor could have been kindly asked to not come back in my room. I could have asked for a new nurse. I didn't want to be rude. But, they surely didn't mind.

Can you see the lack of emotion in my post-baby post that I just found. I'm excited about my baby, but instead of feeling emotion about the birth of my daughter... I had facts and times. Nothing more. The birth of my son was so much different. Even if it wasn't entirely natural, I was a lot more in control of my birth.

That's the thing. My pregnancies are mine. I CHOOSE to share them with providers. I want their support and advice. I'm not just their patient though. If they don't know my name, do I really want them seeing my entire body? Do I really want them to be around me when I'm most vulnerable?

I wish I had known. I hope for someone reading this... you understand that the birth is yours to behold... yours to experience.

If you want to be in control and feel empowered, trust your body. Trust birth and find a provider who feels the same. A non-arrogant one will refer you out if they don't feel comfortable with you. You need someone you trust and someone who trusts just as much in YOU.

So I'll end by admitting this post is not as it was meant to be... I lost my post after I'd researched, written, re-written... and when I went to find a photo of my swollen hand from being induced... I accidentally cut all the text from the post and deleted it. Maybe some day I will get back to that post... 

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