Shoulda: One of my strongest feelings from DD’s birth in 2004 is that I shouldn’t have gone to the hospital. When my husband started to nag me about getting to the hospital (I was severely dehydrated, and he wanted to take me in to get that treated), I thought, “I couldn’t possibly leave my house right now.” Somehow I did get in the car and didn’t puke or poop myself on the way to the hospital. The minute I got there, I *needed* a wheelchair. I was sick.
I wasn’t treated for illness. I was treated for childbirth.
I should have hired a doula. I thought I was “safe” because I was being attended by a CNM. I should have reminded her that my birth plan stated no artificial rupture of membranes. I should have insisted on changing positions even though I was peeing out my butt. What shouldas are ahead?
Coulda: I could have told my DH no, I suppose. I certainly could have told my CNM to go jump when she suggested breaking my water. What sorts of couldas are ahead?
Woulda: Had I a “do over,” I’d have stayed put. Or I would have refused AROM. I would have changed positions while laboring and for pushing. I would not have purple pushed. Not gonna do that again. Thinking too much about future wouldas is overwhelming. Let’s not go there.
Woulda shoulda coulda is that much more stressful when you aren’t given options. I’m not supposed to give birth to twins at home. That’s risky. I’m supposed to want to give birth at the hospital. That’s safe. Yeah, hospital birth is so safe for American women and their babies that our infant mortality rate ties Poland and Slovakia.