Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The whole "birth experience" thing.

Whenever I read articles, status updates, comments about home or natural births, I get annoyed. I get annoyed for so very many reasons, but it just dawned on me, that mostly, I just get annoyed because of the tone. Now, mind you, I am speaking in generalities. Most people who have had, or plan to have, or advocate for home births behave as though it is the ONLY way to give birth and have an amazing, magical, wonderful experience. They act as though any hospital birth, especially one where you get an IV, and epidural, and have an OB/Gyn instead of a midwife, robs you of the miracle that is bringing another life into this world.

So, now it's my turn. I laughed and smiled and joked through my last two deliveries. In fact, I had such a wonderful time delivering Curtis, that I was looking forward to the delivery of George. My husband was by my side the entire time, and with the epidural, I could comfortably hang out with him. We took pictures. We talked. We discussed the possible middle names of our soon to be child. I napped. The jovial nurses periodically came in to make sure I didn't need anything, then they left the room. I bonded with every one of my delivery nurses, and think fondly about them always. I look forward to seeing them again, and they all visited me in my post-partum room because we had such a great experience together. I relaxed and enjoyed my brand new baby laying on my belly as the doctor repaired any tears, because I didn't feel them. I sat back as others took care of me. I shared the experience with my husband, yet, my entire family was just a hallway away to come see the newest addition just hours. They got to feel like they were part of the whole process.

And yes, after both Curtis and George, I said to myself, that could easily have been done at home, less then 7 hours of labor, less than 3 pushes and their out, no don't need an MD or DO for that, but it didn't ruin the birth for her to be there. I love, and text, and email, and visit my OB/Gyn. Who says you can't bond with your doctor? Only midwives are personable? Only midwives listen and are interested in your life?

I am not really sure why I am required to be in pain, and to sit in a bath tub, and to clean up my own house after giving birth in it, in order to love my delivery or to have the healthiest baby possible. Brock was born with the apgars of 9 & 10 (as high as you can get, never seen a doctor give a 10 at one minute.) Curtis 9 & 9. George 8 & 9 (he was really purple and had a knotted cord around his neck...which wouldn't be any different at home.) My boys were and are, healthy as a horse. No colic. No allergies. No hospitalizations. Two ear infections, total, ever, from the 3 of them at this point. They gain weight and grow like it's their job. They are extremely happy kids. And people want me to feel as though I stole something from them by having in a hospital, with pain medication? And took something from myself, as a woman?

Surviving 9 months of pregnancy is the hard part. That is where a woman is made. Not the one, short day that ends it all. The only thing important about that day is a concluding it with a healthy mom and a healthy baby. Period. Happiness, joy in the experience, that is a far second. You cannot convince me otherwise. Because a sick baby or mom? No matter how smooth, and according to plan the birth went, means for a miserable delivery experience.

You notice I don't mention Brock's delivery, this is because I can't lump it into the other 2, as it was completely different. And it is why a hospital is necessary. My water broke, and I wasn't in labor. I was also Group B strep positive, meaning I required antibiotics. I get to the hospital, get my antibiotics and 8 hours later, still nothing. Not in labor. Not dilated. Had I waited around at home for this thing to get rolling, my 27 hour labor would have been no less than 48, and certainly, Brock's apgars would not be 9 & 10. I required nearly every intervention in the books, just barely short of a cesarean. I pushed for almost 3 hours. Thank god for that epidural. After 24 hours of labor, I had the energy to push for 3 hours. And with all of that hulabaloo, and medical intervention, I still look back at November 23rd, 2008 as the HAPPIEST day of my life. Why would I change even a minute of it? I got Brock.

So, finally, let me say something that the home/natural birth fanatics rarely, if ever, say; to each their own. Every woman has a birth style or plan, and they are all, for the most part, reasonable. So let her choose. I wouldn't change a thing. And I hope to have a 3rd delivery someday, as wonderful as my previous two. You cannot look at these pictures, and not tell me it is one of the most touching, beautiful moments you have ever witnessed.

1 comment:

Cat said...

#1 Reason Against Home Birth: My insurance pays to clean up that mess.. why would I pass that up?
Actually.. maybe it's a tie between that and the epidural).