My first birthing experience was less than ideal. It pretty much covered everything that happens in a typical hospital birth by an OB. It was almost textbook, practically cliche. First-time mom goes in for induction, gets Pitocin and lots of it, then gets an epidural because there is no pain management technique used (OB never suggested classes or reading up on different methods), and while the new mom-to-be is drugged up she keeps trying to keep her OB from wheeling her into surgery for a cesarean. Yet, we all know that this is an inevitably in my case and many others’ and it’s just not right. Unless, of course, you genuinely need a c-section or opt to have one in the first place. Those are different scenarios and were not in my ‘plan,’ if I even had one to begin with. I had a cesarean, a rough transition off of my epidural, and was kept separated from my baby for several hours. During that time, she received formula in the nursery and this is probably why nursing was so challenging for us while we were in the hospital. I also had a huge bruise on the side of my thigh and I have no idea how it got there. Thankfully, the site of my incision healed quickly so that was one of the many possible issues that I didn’t face with my surgery. We were in the hospital for five long days. Hospital staff kept interrupting valuable bonding and sleep times with their checking and making sure I was drinking enough water. Too bad that hospital services aren’t a la carte because I would have opted to NOT pay for that service. But you don’t have a choice, now do you? Once you are in the hospital you are on their clock and have to follow their rules and let’s face it, thanks to the many lawsuits that hospitals and doctors have had in the past, there are many processes and procedures in place that are mostly for protecting the employees of the hospital. These protocols and rules are generally at the expense of the patient (in any situation, not just labor and delivery) and will ultimately make “care” more invasive/painful/unnecessary/expensive.
This is all just my experience and my opinion so take it with a grain of salt if you feel the need to do so.
In order to avoid such a traumatic and aggravating experience this time around Jacob and I are going to have a different kind of birth. We switched from an OB/hospital birth (I was seeing an OB for the first half of my pregnancy) to a midwife practice in a birth center. Their philosophy and approach to birth is what I didn’t even know I wanted or needed. I feel like a person and not just another check from the insurance company and that’s a good feeling. My first midwife appointment was last week; the midwife (one of three in the practice) and I chatted for an hour before she did any “medical” things. It was no wonder my blood pressure was normal – I was finally relaxed. I feel safe and totally at ease at the birth center.
In addition to birthing away from a hospital, Jacob and I are also using the Hypnobabies birthing method. We have only been practicing for a week but it seems like a great way to have a relaxing, zen, peaceful labor. Who wouldn’t want that? Every night Jacob and I listen to one of the tracks designated for that particular week and, at thirty minutes long, we rarely make it to the end before falling asleep. I think that’s a good thing! Listening to it makes me feel so peaceful. In fact, the “trigger” word that we will be using to release my natural anesthesia during contractions and labor is peace. Peace. I love it. Just saying it feels relaxing. For the next four months Jacob and I will be practicing this technique together. So far, it’s been nice laying next to him, breathing, letting go. It’s a good way to melt off the stresses of the day and has made us fans of meditation.
That’s our two-part plan on how we are going to ensure that this birth is full of love and support and not fear-based hospital practices. It’s going to be awesome.