“There were too many things going on that we couldn’t explain.”
This, ultimately, is what led to my surgery. I have to backtrack to get the whole story out. I am going to be elusive as I am afraid someone might figure out various people I’m talking about as I recount all that’s happened, as I wonder if anyone else has ever had the same series of events. First, some background: my first pregnancy I went to midwives at the first birth center in my metro area (hereafter called BC1). All was well until my water broke. I have regretted for over 3 1/2 years since she was born that I called right away like they said to, and was immediately put on the clock. It was about 2am. I was dismayed that out of the large practice, the midwife on call was the only one I didn’t like, who had stressed me out two weeks before (38 weeks) that the fundal measurement was not increasing and that I was running out of amniotic fluid and would need to be induced. She made me go for an ultrasound and the AFI level was 18, which was plenty, and the radiologist read it on the spot and said everything looked fine. So I knew she was induction-happy. Later in the morning, around 10am, she called to see how I was doing, and she said she could tell that since I could talk during contractions that they weren’t real contractions. Already she was saying I was probably not going to progress and when I got to BC1 she’d find me to be 1cm, but for now she was saying to try castor oil. Other than go to the bathroom over and over, that did nothing. By that afternoon, I was saying I’d come to BC1 if her concern was that my water had been broken for over 12 hours to get on antibiotics, even though I didn’t see why that was such a big deal as I was GBS negative.
So I went to BC1, sure enough only 1cm, immediately transferred to the hospital for Pitocin. I stupidly thought BC1’s policy was you had 48 hours to go into labor; it had been about 16 and she never considered any of that labor. She made me sign a consent form for a possible Caesarean section right at the outset. I had been using HypnoBirthing and a TENS unit, but after being awake for over 24 hrs, and being scared in a hospital, I wimped out at 3 cm and asked for Nubain. She gave me that, and phenergan (didn’t tell me about the phenergan, I saw it on the report later) and I slept between contractions. Hours later, not much progress. They kept turning up the Pitocin. No change. Then my husband noticed that there was nothing dripping from the bag because there was a clot in the IV. Finally they cleared it, but didn’t turn down the Pitocin. By this point the Nubain had worn off. No other pain relief option except an epidural. I asked the midwife if an epidural would slow down labor, and she said no, but by this point I did not trust anything she said and decided that if they get that needle in my spine, then it’s too easy for them to turn it up and force me to have a Caesarean because I was close to being over the time limit, so I went without it. For hours. Just HypnoBirthing and TENS. Finally, the head was there. Suddenly there were tons of people in the room, and suddenly I was no longer to use the “breathe the baby out” technique, nor was I allowed to be in any position I wanted—I suggested a semi-squat, and she said, “Then you are sitting on your baby”. Instead I was forced to lay on my back, while me and various other people held my legs back and one nurse shouted, “Push like you’re pooping!” all while being forced to hold my breath for a count of 10. I didn’t want to do any of those things, but everytime I protested, the midwife threatened to turn me over to the obstetrician. At one point the baby’s heart rate deceled to the point the OB was in there saying I’d better consent to the vacuum or, “It’s a C-section next for you, missy”. While she prepped it, I did HypnoBirthing slow breathing and visualized a valve opening to deliver more blood to the baby. By the time the vacuum was ready, the heart rate was fine, and the OB said, “I guess I scared it into beating faster”and threw up her hands and left the room. I was given oxygen and continued pushing the way the midwife wanted me to. Eventually, something happened that my husband described as the head being partly out, the baby attempting to take a breath, and getting gook in her mouth. The midwife gave me a scared look and said, “It’s very important that you push as hard as you can NOW — don’t wait for the next contraction!” and I did and got what turned out to be a girl, both shoulders at once, and while I did not tear, I got hemorrhoids so severe that it took two surgeries to repair the damage. The baby didn’t make a noise and they whisked her away to do suctioning while I shouted across the room, “Is she okay?” I thought at first I had killed the baby by arguing about the breathing technique and not pushing correctly. Then the placenta didn’t immediately come out. I asked repeatedly to try to nurse the baby to get it to come out and the midwife ignored me. I asked what would happen after more than 40 minutes passed with no placenta if it didn’t come out. “You don’t want to know”, is what she said. Finally, it came out, and she ordered me to pee. I did, she said it wasn’t enough, and catherized me. After that she finally left and finally a nurse brought me my already-swaddled, already eye-ointmented baby nearly an hour later. I felt disconnected to her, and ravenously hungry. I asked when I could eat, and they said when I gave the baby back and went to my room, so I did, and regretted it, especially since it was hours before I finally got fed, after everyone else in the ward got their food. By the time I saw my baby again, she was asleep, and mainly stayed that way for the hospital stay.
Part of my reason for wanting another child was to have an experience that would heal this one, which at this point I considered bad. That was before I knew what was to come next. First, I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks, and was fired by my job the same day for missing work that morning to have the ultrasound that showed no heartbeat. I was in the office being fired as I was bleeding more and more and hoping I could get home before it happened. I didn’t explain what had happened until a week later, with radiology and lab reports, so that they wouldn’t think I was making it up.
A few months later I was pregnant again. Again I got a job shortly after finding out and needed to hide it. They had less than 15 employees, which negates many laws, including pregnancy discrimination laws. Fortunately, everyone but the tall guy and the vegan was so fat that no one noticed my weight gain. Unfortunately, I caught H1N1 flu during a blizzard and they were short-staffed and pissed off at me for missing work. Thought about telling them I was pregnant and the flu was especially dangerous, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Took antibiotics and TamiFlu and started to feel better and was ready to come back after three days, but was fired for missing work.
This was halfway through the pregnancy. Couldn’t find appropriate work again that would fit the timeframe left. Shortly after the flu, had bronchitis. Lost weight. The midwives at the second birth center (BC2) were concerned about this. But I ate more and eventually caught right back up to where I was supposed to be. Then at week 28 tested borderline anemic 10.1 hGb and was threatened to be kicked out of BC2 over it. After eight weeks, got the level up to 10.9, but had one BP reading of 128/84, slight swelling (but I had been wearing socks) and trace protein in the urine. I argued that it was a very hot in the office and I was worried about a career-related exam the next day (which I subsequently failed). Suddenly, I was almost kicked out of BC2 again over that. Did what they said and rested more, and while on my left side on the fourth day, my older daughter was crying in pain over an ear infection, the fetus could hear it and was making frantic movements, and suddenly my abdomen took on a weird triangular shape and the movements stopped. I felt around and thought, no, please tell me I’m wrong—the head was no longer in the pelvis and appeared to be lodged under my ribcage.
The next day, I went back to my planned visit to BC2 and was cleared of the pre-eclampsia threat with a reading of 112/68 and no protein in urine and no swelling. But it didn’t matter, as two midwives confirmed that the baby was now frank breech. They urged me to go to the one OB in the metro area who would do external cephalic version and then “let you go home”. He also was known as the only one who would do vaginal frank breech births. I did not get anything to eat or drink in between these visits as it was urgent as it was 37 wk 5 days. I waited for hours, sweating, in the office. He thought he turned it. Went next door to the hospital for a non-stress test, baby still frank breech. Tech read AFI of 8.85 and OB said forget it, not enough fluid to turn baby. I argued that it had only turned 12 hours before, it obviously had enough then. He said my placenta was failing and that a vaginal birth was out of the question and that nothing I could try was going to get the baby to turn and there was no way to bring the AFI level up and that he was not going to let me go past 39 weeks. I started crying and he told me that I’m the mama and stop being a baby. I asked at least if I could have general anesthesia and he said no way and that no one would do that.
I told the midwives at BC2 what happened, and their hands were tied because they could not help me anymore. Three days later I asked for a referral for another ultrasound to see if my attempts at bringing up the AFI level helped (the moxibustion, inversion, HypnoBabies breech turning CD, and chiropractic Webster technique had done nothing for the position) and the report was an AFI of 9. Since that was still not high enough, and days of frantic phone calls to doulas, midwives and birth activitists groups didn’t get me anywhere, I decided on a drastic course that was to completely disrupt my whole family: a two-day drive to a group of rural midwives, CPMs, not CNMs, with the legal ability and expertise to do frank breech births.
We arrived, and I was accepted to the practice, and examined and found to be at -3 station, long and closed cervix. The plan was to stay in a cabin and continue to try to turn the baby, but it was okay if it didn’t turn. After days of pressure, I thought I could relax. I was wrong. Less than six hours after arriving, I let my 3 1/2 year old nurse to sleep, as we had done throughout the pregnancy. Since the turning, the Braxton Hicks contractions had stopped during that time. That night, there was one slight contraction, followed by a gusher. I Knew it had happened again—my water broke. I panicked about what this meant for a breech birth. The flow was much faster than last time. My husband checked, no cord prolapse. He listened carefully and heard a fast fetal heartbeat. I should have learned my lesson, but was overwhelmed with guilt if I did not tell the CPM what happened. I will NEVER forgive myself for this. She came to the cabin and verified everything, and noticed vernix in the fluid. She said the most important thing to do was sleep and maybe I’d be in labor by the morning. I said what about taking pulsatilla, and she said that wouldn’t help. I said what about sitting on a birth ball, and she said that wouldn’t help. I said what about using Spinning Babies techniques now, and she said that would only help turn from posterior to anterior. It was very difficult, but I managed to sleep a short time, until my 3 1/2 year old woke up in the predawn hours scared because she didn’t know where she was. I told her, “Today is a special day. You can have “boo” all you want, the more you do, the more you help mommy have your baby brother or sister”. She beamed from ear-to-ear and enthusiastically took up the offer. I started feeling regular, mild contractions. With each one, I felt the baby adjust positions, and felt more fluid gush out. After the sun rose, the baby was noticeably, even to my husband, lower — the head was no longer wedged in my ribcage and I could take a deep breath. I started walking to get some breakfast. The CPM drove up and said she had already notified the OB at the hospital and he was now going to be doing the delivery. She said not to worry, as he was experienced with frank breech births and was willing to give me some Pitocin. This was after I told her about the contractions and the baby’s shifting movements and after she had told me the night before that she was going to give me twelve hours to go into active labor. This was only eight hours later. In retrospect, my husband and I believe she lied to us the whole time, and the second my membranes ruptured, she had no intention of being my midwife. I knew I couldn’t trust her, just like I couldn’t trust the midwife from BC1. Based on what she said at this point, and knowing hospital policies and how grueling Pitocin is, I made sure to get breakfast. I even had some orange juice with castor oil. As I was finishing breakfast, the CPM’s assistant came in and did the first exam. She found 2-3 cm dilation, but position still -3. She called the OB, and that was it—no Pitocin, no chance, it was a Caesarean and I must consent. We followed her a half hour to the hospital and I was crying hysterically. My 3 1/2 year old wanted to know why, and I told her now they won’t let me push the baby out, they are going to cut it out, and I won’t be able to do anything for weeks—not play with you, not drive, not even walk at first and that this isn’t how it’s supposed to be.
I get there and they hook me up to IV for antibiotics. I was GBS negative again this time. No signs of infection. Fetal monitor shows a heartbeat of 150 and contractions every five minutes. No sign of distress. Doesn’t matter. All OB and CPM can talk about is, “We don’t know why the baby is not descending, there must be something wrong with the umbilical cord”. I said I had two ultrasounds the week before and I specifically asked the techs each time where is the umbilical cord—is it wrapped around the neck? And both times they said it was nowhere near the neck. The OB said well maybe it’s too short and that’s why the baby is not descending. I said then how was it vertex for weeks, up until one week before? I said, we’re in a hospital, you have an ultrasound, why don’t you bring it in here and look at the umbilical cord. He said it is hard to visualize. I suggested amnioinfusion and an attempt at external cephalic version, again to deaf ears. In the meantime, CPM (the assistant one), a twice-Caesarean mom not nearly in the shape I am in in (to put it nicely) is sitting there trying to convince me that it is in the best interest of the fetus to do the surgery. My husband said I should have known when agreeing to have a child this could happen and that he was going to have to go with what the doctor said and that he would never forgive me if something would happen because I refused surgery. The nurse tries to put something in the IV to stop the contractions, and I yell, “Why?” because I hadn’t consented to that, and she said, “Because you are having surgery”. It still wasn’t going to be for hours, and I said I wanted me 9 day premature fetus to have as many catecholamines with each contraction as it could, because I was worried it would end up in NICU. I imagine they weren’t even going to tell me they were doing this and then afterwards use it as further proof that my body was a failure and I was lucky they cut the baby out of me. So the contractions continue, but they are “nothing to write home about” according to the nurses. No one lets me get out of bed or try anything that might get the labor to progress, even though the baby the whole time is doing just fine on the monitors. All I can do is cry and dread dread dread the imminent mutiliation of my body. The only condolence is this OB was willing to do general. When they wheeled me into surgery, even with the drape up, I could look up at the lights and see the reflection of the abdominal swabbing. I would have seen it all, and it was a long surgery, as we collected cord blood, which made me lose more blood, plus I hastily decided that since all hope of ever having a natural birth was gone forever that I never wanted to go through this again, so I had my tubes tied—which I later read in the surgical report resulted in tearing of one of the ligaments to the fallopian tube. He also found two fibroids—one on the outside of the uterus that was the size of a ping-pong ball that stuck into my small intestines, which he removed, and one in the “horn” of my mildly bicornuate uterus (which no one had ever said my uterus had an abnormal shape) where the head had been lodged—and that one he could not tell me was submucosal nor intramural, nor was it removed, nor was it ever seen by any tech in all the many ultrasounds I’d had, even though I would ask the techs if there were any because my mother had had fibroids. This fibroid he could not remove due to risk of further hemorrhaging. The original CPM had first speculated that I had PROM twice due to lack of vitamin E, which I don’t buy, as I took prenatal vitamins and had a normal diet, but makes for a convenient way to blame me. With this info, she speculated that the fibroid put extra pressure on the sac and caused to it burst too soon. If that were the case, then it had to have been present for the two other pregnancies, but no one ever said anything.
So after all the fuss about the umbilical cord—it was not wrapped around the neck, nor was it short—it was long enough to send a good sample to collect Wharton’s jelly. It would have been a long labor—so what, I was prepared for that. There was NO REASON that the ONLY thing that had to be done was surgery. If we would have tried to let me labor with Pitocin, and the fetus would have shown signs of distress, I would have been able to accept this as inevitable.
The only people I called the first night to say that I’d had the baby was my parents. I particularly wanted to ask my mother more about her fibroid history. But she had wagged her finger at the news of my first pregnancy and shrieked, “Mark my words! You are going to have a Caeasarean!” and was disappointed that I’d managed a normal birth. Now she finally got her wish, and screamed at me that I had tried to kill that baby, and what a stupid thing I did traveling out of state and who told me to do that. I hung up the phone without ever even telling the baby’s name and spent the rest of the night crying, and unable to sleep, even when I let them take the baby and give her formula so I could have Ambien.
I already knew a lot about the horrible after-effects from reading this blog, and the books “Thinking Mother’s Guide to a Better Birth” and “Pushed”. Ironically, from this blog I also knew about, and immediately ordered, the C-section recovery kit and the C-Panty. I also ordered SRC recovery shorts later on—they are actually the most helpful. I mention this as all additional costs that this horrible birth has caused. Trying to have a better recovery is the only thing I have any control of at this point. But that doesn’t matter, as none of what I read prepared me for these physical problems: (1) a paralyzed bowel after surgery that the CPM blamed on my taking more powerful painkillers — and I’ve had surgery before, but never did peristalsis just stop, with no amount of laxatives, stool softeners, or enemas helping for days. The one advantage I thought
surgery would have is no problems with hemorrhoids, but now I had that problem again, and it made sense, as my intestines were manipulated more than usual to remove the pedunculated fibroid; (2) mastitis, even though I’d been breastfeeding for 3 1/2 years; (3) severe pain after waiting what should have been ample time to have sex again. There is such extensive nerve damage in the layers upon layers that are severed in the surgery, some of which is “extended bluntly”, and some of it is from the bladder blade the lifts the bladder out of the way—right in the trigone area where the bundle of nerves that make up the g-spot are located. So now, instead of any enjoyment, there is severe burning pain, plus pain after urination (and no, there is no UTI, been tested postpartum), and no, I don’t care how much the CNMs at BC2 try to blame it on “stress” or “lack of lubrication”—this is not that kind of pain, it is a pain of damaged nerves that may never heal ever.
That’s for the physical part. Now for the mental part. No one mentions how emotionally different a surgical extraction of the fetus is. When the baby was brought to me, as far as I was concerned she could have been any baby. I didn’t believe she even knew who I was, even a day later. Once they mutilated me, then I got the Pitocin, for 24 hours, so I could have the joy of contractions while nursing on a scarred uterus, and no chance at all at any of the natural oxytocin I should have been rewarded with. No endorphins, either, just crappy morphine that did not kill the pain but made me so dizzy that the room was spinning and I was afraid to hold the baby. The first picture that my husband took of me and the baby, I refused to fake any kind of joy—nothing like the way I felt with our firstborn. Indeed, the subsequent pictures have forced smiles, as I cannot be around this baby and feel any kind of happiness. I look at her and find her ugly and the smell of her makes me nauseous. I take care of her, but feel no joy and cannot smile at her. At seven weeks old, she doesn’t smile, either, as surely she realizes that I hate her for doing this to me. She had to turn and ruin everything.
So of course everyone reading this will think, oh, it’s just post-partum depression, it’s just hormones. No, it’s more than that. Having the baby extracted changes the entire structure of the brain’s response to a babies’ cries, and this is already evident in the fact that this baby screams bloody murder for every thing that bothers her, with no variation. Obviously, I didn’t pick up on the cues at the beginning and now that’s my fault, too. She also got used to being held a lot, as I could do so little at first, and now only that is acceptable and she won’t sleep on her own. This is exactly what I wanted to avoid after doing attachment parenting with the first child. Now the house is a complete disaster, and even though I have a disgusting red scar smirking upwards at me under a “shelf” that the CNMs at BC2 are trying to humor me into thinking is a healing ridge that will go away, and I’m STILL bleeding, I have to hold the demanding monster while trying to move heavy objects and climb ladders and put things on shelves. Why don’t we hire help? All the parties involved—BC2, the birth assistant I had to hire who ultimately never was used, and the CPMs have yet to reimburse us, plus we owe the hospital a sizeable copay. The CPMs did next to nothing—one prenatal visit, the useless companionship at the hospital, brief post-natal visits, yet charged an arbitrary fee that is not itemized that may or may not have been submitted to our insurance that equalled more than the entire charge of all my visits the whole pregnancy with BC2, and almost the full amount the delivery would have cost—with the gall to demand more after I had already been mutilated. I think the overall feeling is that while I’ve been bullied and not listened to and coerced into bad decisions in my life, this is the one that has destroyed the integrity of my body—look up the percentage of c-sections that cause adhesions and cause permanent nerve damage — it’s ALL of them; destroyed my ability to enjoy motherhood the second time around; and destroyed my trust in ALL people—I cannot trust my husband ever again and we cannot stop fighting since this happened, I already knew not to trust mainstream doctors, but also I cannot trust the alternative to the mainstream—and if anyone is thinking this is a group of “medwives”, you would be shocked to know who they were, they are people you think are on your side. NO ONE is on your side. If you have an unassisted childbirth in this situation and something happens, you can be charged with murder. No one trusted me and my instinct. I wanted the chance to get the baby out the way nature intended and never believed it was in any danger, and no one believed me, and ultimately no one is going to believe me about anything else in life, either, if they can’t even believe me about something that could have avoided my having major abdominal surgery and much higher risk of dying. It’s obvious that my instinct and my health means nothing when all anyone can say is “you have a healthy baby, that’s all that matters”.
So why don’t I get any help for the mental problems? Indeed, I have, but that has not helped, as I knew that no stupid SSRI—in this case Effexor, was going to work, as they really don’t work for most people any better than a placebo and have never worked for me. The lorazepam has helped with sleep—although I keep having nightmares, sometimes of being raped at knifepoint while in labor. I also had a blood test to see if it was a thyroid problem. Nope. Am taking a mini-pill to up the level of progesterone. Not helping either. To add insult to injury, the CNMs referred me to a psychiatrist who charged triple the normal rate and didn’t take any insurance, thus further adding to the financial burden and increasing my guilt. I’ve also bought an oxytocin enhancer that I take before breastfeeding, hoping that it will somehow give me the good bonding feelings I had the first time. That hasn’t helped. Nor has co-sleeping, skin-to-skin contact, kangaroo care, trying to talk nicely to her or sing to get some kind of reaction other than screaming in my ear that is now causing me to have ringing in my ears when I try to sleep as if I’d been to a loud concert.
If things do not start getting better, I think I need to get out of my family’s life, especially the baby, who shouldn’t grow up with a mother that hates her.
Annie posted this comment which I’m posting here as a follow-up
I wanted to respond to OB’s question: the first baby had late decels with the Pitocin contractions, but I still ultimately delivered normally. The second baby had a steady heart rate of 150 the whole time, and it was hours from the time I arrived, after being rushed by CPM #2 who told me that the doctor was doing them a favor by coming in on his day off and he was waiting for me. I wanted to ask you, OB, if it is true that you cannot visualize an umbilical cord to find out if it is too short, too long, or wrapped around the neck, as this OB kept telling me. I asked several times to have them bring in an ultrasound machine and take a look. I thought they could use a Doppler ultrasound to measure the blood flow. I told him to call the two radiology centers that had done ultrasounds in the past week and he wouldn’t. I showed him the reports. He said it could have changed. I had screwed myself over by signing the consent forms they threw in my face the second I arrived, so I guess I couldn’t unconsent and no longer had a right to demand anything by that point.
As far as the tubal ligation, I had planned to get a Mirena IUD, but my husband had in the past said after two kids he wanted me to get my tubes tied, and I said no way was I having abdominal surgery. So I knew that was what he wanted, so I figured do that, too. I have since found out that BC2 only allows VBAC with double-layer sutures (which I did get) and another vaginal birth to “prove yourself”—so I’d have to have four kids. And all the hospitals around here ban VBACs now, so I’d have to have a homebirth with a midwife that I could trust—and I don’t see how I could ever trust any midwife. And if it is the fibroid, 3-4 cm. on the top of the uterus that causes the PROM, and I get a myomectomy, then I’d have two scars on my uterus and surely no one would allow me the chance to have a vaginal birth.
Something I think I forgot to mention in the story — there were many hours that passed while everyone waited for my stomach to empty. That is one of the things I keep dwelling upon. The CPM who followed my to the hospital charged by the HOUR to do nothing except reinforce what CPM 1 and OB kept saying—I am going to have a dead baby if I don’t have the surgery. I don’t know how many times dead baby was mentioned. I didn’t find this out until we got the itemized bill, as there was nothing in the contract about it, nor was it told to me verbally, as there was no reason for her to even accompany me. If I had been at BC2 there was a set fee for a birth assistant 50% less, and I’m pretty sure my birth assistant would have done something besides coerce me into surgery as the first and only resort.
I also forgot to mention some other things I tried to do to get labor to progress—I had taken Gentle Birth uterine toner that day and for several days towards the end of the pregnancy, and rubbed a blue and black cohosh salve on my abdomen multiple times. I so wanted to take pulsatilla, which I learned about in the section of “Pushed” about Christine Callaigh, (I wish I could have had someone like her instead) but CPM 1 kept telling me, “all that will do is make the baby kick”.
I also wanted to respond to Amy—I haven’t let me husband read the story or comments, but I told him what you wrote, and he said, “Why do you believe everything you read?” I said I didn’t know why you would make that up. You are lucky you got a good outcome, I don’t know if I could have done that.
To people who have told me to try another therapist—I meant to write about the one that I saw immediately asked leading questions about my ability to take care of the baby, then got my husband on the home, and demanded that he come to the next visit. There was no next visit, as we both think she was on the verge of calling child protective services, just because I said I was having trouble bonding with the baby. I have been taking good care of the baby—we cosleep, we do EC, I wear home sometimes (another product I like—-the Miracle Cami), I sing to her, I breastfeed on demand. And she is still a miserable baby. I can be doing all those things, and she still screams in my ear. And I still hate the way she smells, especially her hair.
To Sarah—you are the only one besides me who thinks my husband betrayed me. He says, “I drove two days to help you avoid surgery. What else was I supposed to do?” I say, “not say things like I hope we are not bringing a tiny casket home”. I told him that what I wanted to do while following CPM 2 to the hospital is find out if the baby is okay and try to renegotiate with the OB to do the Pitocin. He said he would have done that. But once we were there he was just agreeing with the doctor. One of the things I had a hard time doing in convincing him to make this trip was find benefits to the baby for a vaginal birth. So far, I think she coughs and sneezes more than my other child, and seems to have digestive problems. I said that I think this is because she didn’t go through the birth canal and get the fluid out of her lungs and get colonized with my bacteria. But I guess you can’t prove that.
To Julie—I’m not sure if there is really anything to sue about, but it is keeping me from naming names, and I so want to.
To the people who suggested I join an advocacy group—I don’t know what more I would advise a woman to avoid an unnecessarean, as the group I went to are well-known in those circles, and if that didn’t work, I don’t know what will.
To the people who said it wasn’t my fault—I still think it was partly my fault. I should never have called the CPM when my water broke once we knew there was no cord prolapse and the heart rate was good. It is is my fault for dragging my family two days each way, costing us so much money, instead of trying harder to find a midwife locally to do a home birth. Even if that had been a hospital transfer, it wouldn’t have been so much money. And I question if being in a bucket car seat (something Spinning Babies mentions as a cause of malpositioning) for two days made things worse, as the baby was also somewhat posterior.
To Spinning Babies lady (sorry, forgot your name)—neither CPM tried to do anything with me once the water broke, they had a rebozo and didn’t bring it, and my husband, after I told him throughout the pregnancy to make sure he had his cellular broadband card and that site bookmarked, forgot to bring the laptop to the hospital. That was because CPM 2 was rushing us, hovering over me, upsetting me more.
Which brings me to Gayla’s point about “fight or flight”—yup, it was hours of arguing, on my back, attached to an IV and an EFM, while CPM 2 did nothing but say that my baby would die if we did anything else. If I could have had someone supportive with me, if they could have taken me off the monitor for a while, put in a heplock, let me walk around, let me listen to my HypnoBabies/Birthing CDs, which I did bring, maybe I could have progressed. They didn’t want me to progress, that’s why they tried to sneak the contraction-stopping med into my IV.
Another detail I didn’t mention—on the surgical report it says, in addition to the breech and PROM, “Having never met this patient before, it was decided to do a caesarean”. So, punished by the OB and the CPM group for being someone they just met. All these conversations went on behind my back. Another haunting detail—one of the last things said to me before being put under was one of the nurses saying, “This is a happy surgery!” I shouted, “That’s because it’s not YOUR body!” It was so condescending. Just like when I said in my first phone call to CPM 1 that I just wanted someone to believe I could do it and she said, “bless your heart”. I now realize that phrase is meaningless. I took it as a sign of encouragement.
Again, without giving away who this group, who are not medwives, who in fact some of you who commented words to that effect might know of, or even know personally, as they teach other midwives, did not do any encouraging things for me , they did nothing for me, and yet there are happy birth stories on the Internet about births with them and even in particular with the first CPM and specifically more than one talking about breech births.