Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shaky ground, this bravery stuff. I am trying.

I get to the point where if I KNEW that I could be one of those strange creatures on television who sits there with their epidural and their straps and their monitors and catheters and plays cards until the nice lady tells me to push and then out pops the baby, hell, better than a section, right?
But I know better, been down that road too many times, trusted in the intervention-package too many times, and just have so many aversions to buying into the idea that I am so flawed, so broken, so useless, that I basically need to be "delivered" by The Machines. My last 2 babies were big. Too big. Maybe. SO now to digest that I am some weirdo chick, some pseudo diabetes which I do not have at all fat chick who shouldnta ate the sandwhich or something??? What happened to Ina May and well nourished? What happened to the Brewer Diet? I am trying so hard to get this. So many things to work out and settle up with all that MDC rhetoric about how my body wont make a baby I cant birth, and then realizing that maybe it will, I think it did, and then feeling like my own self is this 3rd party subject matter...I feel like I suck and am weird. Or that I am suppossed to think that I am sucky wierd and broken but I am not but I dont want the baby to die or be stuck of course but ACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
I just don't feel it in my heart, today, but I respect the risks. But I don't really think there is anything wrong with me, nor do I know what to do besides just --well frankly I do not know what. Be good. Be glad. Eat Kale. No pepsi. Get rest. Stay home for most of labor. Trust everyone. Accept what the old c sections have meant for my present. Be glad they are "letting" my baby come out of my vagina maybe. (I am, I am!) Its just so f'ing bizarre. Today. To me.
Its just, well, my homebirth was so straightforward, went into labor around 5am, baby was born at 2:50 pm. Pushed less than an hour, hanging out eating pizza by 4. Sometimes this is all too surreal for me to deal with, but I am trying to stay on top of it or deny it or something. Better than a c-section is all I can muster today. A csection with five children home.

But I will even go so far as to say (gasp gasp gasp) that if I was one of those rich chicks with the helpers or the family or whatever, I get it with the planned cesareans. At least you don't go through the fricken ORDEAL that I am picturing/fearing one of these hugely interventive and "panicky" hospital labors to end up being. Wires, tubes, pain, confusion, disappointment, miscommunication, some bullshit ending with them screaming at me, some fake thing about hurry! hurry! push push!!!12345678910! ripping out the baby, cutting the cord instantly, washing her all mean with some nasty soap, fighting about not vaccinating, eye creams, having to tell the stupid nurse "how long she nursed"....knowing that if I don't act sweet and complacent that the lunch will be late and all the little punishments they do to you when you act like you know about breastfeeding or you have opinions about no scissors in your you know what.....shit shit I wasn't going to think about this stuff. I HATE that this entire birth will be some huge battle, some passive victimized ORDEAL, me versus "the staff". I just wanna have my baby. Maybe I can do a come home super early thing. Unless I have a c section, then I think they kick you out too early. But my kids will be besides themselves if I am gone a week again, especially baby Charlie, @#$%$#@#$%$#@#$% I HATE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I worry. I do understand and yet I worry. I keep on top of things with the very real gratitude that the baby is healthy and that I have such a great midwife. I just feel so disturbed that I cant or maybe cant or blablabla just have a baby. The lump in my throat battles with the bravery most of the hours of my days. I hate being 32 years old and having to pretty much just "hope it doesnt suck". I feel like I dont know what I should do to prepare for anything, really, and that is so different from my last births. How can the mamas who love the hospital-birth stand this?


Lynette said...

Oh, Joy. I kind of understand this run-away-train kind of fear. My baby was transverse for quite a while in my pregnancy and I figured I was going to end up in a hospital too--that I'd have to take myself in there willingly, that I'd be the one who did it to myself, that I'd submit to that cesarean too soon when waiting another minute might lead to the baby turning on her own. I had all these same fears of hospital birth. And even similar confused/tortured feelings about myself and my body.

What can I even say? Not all hospitals are super-interventive (is yours really bad?). Not all doctors are awful. Not all nurses are awful. It's possible to have a good birth in a hospital -- I've been told this by people I trust and who know homebirth too. I know women who've quite successfully had delayed cord clamping and avoided eye goo -- all that happened is they got a dirty look from a nurse. And if someone is telling you how to push and counting you off, just tell them to shut the #&*$ up!

If a hospital birth is what you think is best in terms of safety and health, then I do think you can have a good one. You are informed and knowledgeable and experienced and you know what to look out for and how to stand up for yourself. If you don't know how to prepare, talk to your midwife, talk to your doctor, even talk to other women who have birthed happily in this hospital.

If your midwife is going to be with you, that will make a difference. Even if it is a battle, you won't be alone in it.

Don't fall into the idea that they're "letting" you give birth this way. If that's really how you feel then maybe you haven't yet truly made the choice you think is best.

You totally have the right to express all these fears and I'm not trying to dismiss any of them. I'm just trying to offer the best thoughts I have.

Kelley said...

Joy, it is posts like this that make me think I don't have anything to say except to offer support. Your midwife is so wonderful, and you are, too. You are strong and smart and fabulous. Yes, your baby may get big, but you are her mother and you know what is best for the two of you, even if it is deep down and hidden right now. You have so much wisdom. Let it come out in the open.

Jill said...

I really don't have anything constructive to say, because you've echoed some of my own fears in this post and I haven't figured out for myself how to conquer them yet, so I have no business telling anyone else how to do it either. BUT, I can say that I am here for you and love you and pray that you are going to do well. I have good feelings about this, I really do.

Andrea said...

Have you read Birthing From Within? There was a part that resonated with me about a woman who couldn't stop worrying about her birth, what if this, what if that. And then she went on to have a normal, happy birth. And the idea was, "worry is the work of pregnancy."

I know it doesn't always work out that way. But I think there's a point to which, by thinking these things through now, you can work through your fears so they won't come to bite you during your birth. Or, if something comes up, you can just deal with it, without it becoming your worst nightmare.

Just a thought, not to minimize how hard it is to deal with your worries, but to offer a possible direction to point them in. :)

Anonymous said...

You are in the middle of a need to process what has happened before and what is happening now and then you can move forward to what will be.
Its going to take some time.
And its going to be scary.
It sucks.
But ya gotta do it to get to the good part...the push...the doing...the being.
Its uncomfortable but you have to go through this. You will come out the other side clearer, and freer than you are now.
I can empathize with EVERYTHING you are expressing...I did it too when I planned my VBAC. You will get thru it...and you should be proud of yourself that you are trying to process and work thru your anxiety and fears. Cause many others would just "bury" their feelings.
Like that works.
Be proud of yourself.
Work it out.
Thank you for sharing, there are folk out there that care!!

Sgt Howie said...

With your midwife there to advocate for you and an OB who supports midwifery and homebirth, I don't think hospital birth would end up being the battle you fear. Fear and anxiety are normal given what you've been through but I hope you don't let it dissuade you from a prudent plan than takes the potential interventions you might need into account.


Mere Mortal said...

Joy, I hear your fears and concerns and honor them. You have a right to them.
That said, I've attended beautiful, interventive free, respectful hospital births. They can be done, esp. with the support you have.
Just came back from a 30 hr induction...and she birthed her baby naturally, peacefully, quietly on her own terms in a hospital.
You can do it.

Kat said...

I just read your post "Here's the scoop, Week 25" and it sounds like you have a great birthing team. I have seen beautiful hospital births, they are possible, especially when you are strong and you have strong advocates, which you are and do. Trust your heart and it will lead you where you need to go.
Thanks for sharing!

Judit said...

it's all so confusing...
you are so confused and anxious
your thoughts are running in circles... they offer up scenarios that are causing you pain and anguish... your mind is fighting battles whose time may never come! These images are very frightening and it does take an inordinate amount of bravery to battle with them! I wish I could be there with you to remind you to stop; breathe; be kind to yourself; come back to the present where you and your baby are safe and whole. Now. Everything is okay right now! Imagine yourself a different birth, a peaceful delicious birth, right now. The birth you want for this precious baby girl that acknowledges your history of not just all your past births but all your best hopes. Indulge yourself in the birth fantasy that makes you love life and smile inside! Blog about it if you will! Use it as an escape from the ugly thoughts. The ugly is no more real than the beautiful. Encourage your hopes, not your fears. And remember we love you very much!

Nicole D said...

Joy - I hurt for you, I really do. I have read this post three times in the last three days and still tear up every time I read it.

You know, you CAN birth this baby. You CAN grow a healthy sized baby and push him/her out.

I wish you didn't feel this trapped sensation. I wish that you were freed of your scar, your fear, your hospital plan - I wish you were freed to birth your way.

Hearing your hurt, and this is nothing you don't know, you have a path ahead of you to healing so that this baby can come out with no hindrance. I, like everyone else here, am lining up to give you support. I wish I could give more!

Housefairy said...

These comments are too sincere, too meaningful to me to even express. I feel so much better than I did the day I wrote this, and these comments are complete treasures in my life. I am moving beyond this to a place of excitement and optimism and happiness, which the birth of a baby truly is! Perspective, perspective, you'd think I had a little more of it by now!

I am not a victim and this is gonna be very very cool and good and right. I am so lucky to have the people I have now, and to be having a baby at all!

Deepest gratitude...

Stacey said...

Oh, Honey ((((Joy)))

mama k said...


All I can say is that my planned hospital birth was peaceful and (almost) intervention free. I had my plan, took my Bradley classes and brought a wonderful doula and my supportive hubby.
Maybe two vag exams the whole time, no IV, in and out of the big tub when I wanted, no drugs or epseodmy (sp?).. the OB even used oil and massage to prevent tearing.
Whenever a nurse said they were going to do something, I just said "my Dr said it's OK if..." And if they wanted to check they were free to look over the birth plan the Dr signed off on or to call the Dr themselves.
I guess I say all of this because I know that many of the "natural" birth advocates paint hospitals as these horrible places (and sometimes they are) but it IS possible to have a decent birth at a hospital if you are prepared and choose the right support staff and the right hospital.

All that being said I'd like to give the homebirth thing a try next time, but if we can't afford it I'd be confident heading to the hospital again.

Best wishes in whatever you decide!

CappuccinoLife said...


You are awfully lucky to have kneelingwoman for a midwife!! :)

I totally understand your fears. In spite of my best efforts, I have had hospital births with all three of mine, because my only other option was unassisted birth, and I am not ready for that.

And I went through all these emotions, fear, anger, upset, hating myself even (for being fat and growing "huge" babies and not going into labor before 42 weeks, etc). My midwives backup doctor was awful, unsupportive, condescending, fear-mongering, and that certaintly didn't help.

But in spite of that, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I did have a wonderful midwife in attendance the last two births, and never saw a doc until it was all over. They respected my wishes as much as possible, and I was firm but noncombattive, and we worked it out. I birthed my last two babies (9 lb 15 oz and 10 lb 8 oz) on hands and knees, no drugs, no episiotomy, no "extracting" the baby. He went right onto my chest after birth, and didn't get a bath until he came home. :) I had my boxing gloves on but it turned out I didn't have to do any fighting, and I wish you the same experience if you end up in the hospital!