Retrospective Disappointment

I moved to my current location two years ago.  I’m on a quest to find the right provider, whether she be an OB, CNM, PA, or lay midwife.  I have yet to find a comfortable fit, but if and when I get pregnant again, I know I’ll find her.  I say “her” because I’m less likely to go through this process with a male provider.  Actually, I love our family practice doctor, and if he still delivered babies . . . I’d be a happy gal . . . or at least a hopeful one!

I talked to my CNM from my 2004 pregnancy and discovered that I have reason to be disappointed . . . I reminded her that she had told me I had a good pelvis for birthing.  She told me that you never know what a pelvis will or will not do until it’s put to the trial of labor.  Which at first was comforting . . . until she said that I am the example of someone who looks like they should be able to vaginally birth a child and didn’t.  Then again, I had so many things working against me that day.

I told her that an OB here in town said that my pelvis may not be adequate for natural childbirth.  It’s wide enough but not long enough (anterior-posterior).  My former CNM said that this pelvis shape (platypelloid) is rare and contraindicated for vaginal delivery.  I was so surprised to hear that from her.  I guess because my daughter never ever engaged into my pelvis (and I was fully dilated), perhaps she buys into this possibility.  I wish she didn’t buy into the whole contraindicated pelvis idea at all.  A truly contracted pelvis is extremely rare and is usually due to some sort of physical trauma.

I was disappointed by her advice to me regarding repeat c-section.  She told me it was ok to want to schedule a c-section in the future.  I guess she’s never had a c-section herself.  I doubt she’d be telling me to be ok with it otherwise.  Of course I am thankful that my daughter and I are both here and healthy.  I am thankful that my scar is minimal.  I am thankful that my c-section recovery was super easy.  But there are so many horror stories out there – I know women who have had their incisions burst open after the fact.  I know women who have atrocious-looking scars.  I know women who had excruciatingly painful recoveries.  I know too many women who have regrets – whether immediate or retrospective – regarding their cesareans.  Many women who have had cesareans don’t even feel like they ever truly birthed their babies.

Of course no OB or CNM is going to admit that actions they took may have caused the need for a cesarean section.  I believe the OB did her job – by the time she was called in, my daughter was stuck and just not coming out vaginally.  I didn’t think I’d need a doula, and I have no way of knowing whether or not after the hours of pushing that anything else could have been done.  I believe that my CNM offered me bad choices.  She knew that I didn’t want any intervention.  I shouldn’t have let her break my water.  Damnit!  I knew better.  That choice was the beginning of the trail to cesarean.  I regret that choice with every ounce of my being.

I hope my readers understand where I’m coming from.  I don’t believe cesarean to always be unnecessary.  I’m sure that by the time I had the cesarean that it was necessary.  I know some women do fine with ruptured membranes and induction and epidurals.  I knew that route wasn’t for me, but I succumbed to pressure.  I strongly believe that a woman’s body is built for childbirth, even if they’re not able to vaginally birth all of their children.  I believe that a woman must trust her instincts above everything else, because she and she alone is connected to the child within, and no doctor or midwife can possibly know more about that connection than the woman.

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One response to “Retrospective Disappointment

  1. Your birth story sounds very similar to mine. I was 11 days “past due” and my mother had come down for the birth. I wanted to avoid intervention, but felt rushed since I was already so “late” and my mom had to go home soon, so I agreed to let them break my water. Thirteen hours later, my son was delivered by c-section for fetal distress. I learned only recently that AROM can cause complications; primarily, fetal distress and increased likelihood of c-section. I was so angry when I learned that. No one mentioned any risks, not the CNM who took care of me, not my mother who is a CNM herself. I thought it was a benign, “natural” way of starting labor, and what could be the harm since I was already “overdue?” Why didn’t I stick to my guns about avoiding intervention? Why did I let someone else’s schedule determine when I thought I my son “should” be born?

    I am wiser and stronger now and next time will be different; I can guarantee that.

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