Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Trusting The Great Physician

One of the main reasons why this decision seems right to us is that we have lost trust in the medical field when it comes to treating women and newborns how they should be treated. I was so disappointed to hear the doctor tell me that I would most likely never be able to give birth to a child vaginally because my pelvic bones were just too narrow. I trusted her, after all, she has a degree in this! Well, going through the dozens and dozens of pages of records from the birth I came to realize that after she would talk to me in the room she would then go back and type into my records something that contradicted what she had just told me. Samuel's head had gotten below the narrowest part of my pelvic bones. She never told me that. She told me he hadn't moved down in quite some time. That was wrong. He was making progress.

Aside from the disappointment in the doctors, finding that particular fact out was so empowering. My body could do what it was designed to do. There was hope and a great possibility that another child could do the same thing! I had come so close to the home stretch. That fact alone gave me no reason to need to automatically have another c-section.

Thus began my search for my next step. Would I again allow myself to be at the mercy of someone who their only concern as of late was malpractice suits and getting the most bang for their buck (doctors get paid more for c-sections than vaginal births), or would I take all the knowledge I have learned and put my trust into women who believe that women are being treated very poorly in hospitals and being lied to on an hourly basis. I choose the latter! I choose to put my trust into women who have gone against the grain to step out and support those women who want their births to be treated like a miracle, not a disease. These women have once worked in hospitals and some still do doing. They see the error, and they want to make a difference. They want to step out and give women a choice of having a safe and natural birth outside of the confines of unjustified rules. I am so thankful that homebirths are now 'coming back' into popularity. They are coming back because so many women out there have been so disappointed in the medical field in regards to childbirth.

Why is it somehow okay for doctors to lie to their patients? I am so fortunate to have gone through the experience where both Samuel and I did not suffer much physical damage (aside from the 7 inch scar across my abdomen and a matching one through my uterus). But, what I still feel is the emotional pain. Their is lingering grief to not having the guts to stand up for exactly what I felt like was the right thing to do. Samuel was posterior, and I knew that. I knew posterior babies take much much longer to be born. I knew that both him and I were doing very well. My water had not broken so I was in no danger of needing to worry about the time. Even if my water had broken, I still had many hours until I had to worry about fear of infection. But, I was tired. I did not have the motivation to argue with the doctors when they were telling me that I really needed to start pushing this labor along. That my time was running out. So, I got some pitocin to speed things up.

What I was convinced of was that my labor was abnormal. That my labor was unusually long and that it needed to be ended shortly. Because why? What were the medical reasons I was given that I needed to hurry things along? None. I was not given facts. I was just told that if it did not hurry up they were going to have to take the baby c-section. But, I was doing fine, and so was Samuel! Why couldn't we just sit it out and let nature take it's course. I will never know what the outcome would have been if just a few details were different. But, what I do know is that if I can at all have a say in what my birthing experience will be like with Joseph, it will be nothing like it was with Samuel. Praise the Lord, I have a say!

It was quite a long journey to get to where I am today. I went from accepting the fact that I was just going to have another c-section with Joseph to realizing that I should probably get more than one doctor's opinion, to realizing that there is absolutely no medical reason why I cannot attempt a VBAC, to finding a doctor and midwife team who would support my VBAC decision, to realizing how limited I still will be giving birth in a hospital, to wanting to try to give birth in a hospital with a doula for guidance through the labor so I have the best possible chance. All that lead me to come across the idea of a homebirth and how it would allow me to have the absolute best possible chance of a natural birth. This was a very unfamiliar topic to me as I began researching into this topic. It seemed Hippie. It seemed unwise. But, it also seemed like a wonderful way to bring a child into this world, if the circumstances were right.

There are lists and lists of reasons you should not consider a homebirth. I do not fall into a single category on one of those lists. I am healthy, active, have good nutrition, have no medical issues whatsoever, am not pregnant with multiples, and have had a very easy pregnancy with both of my children. I am a perfect candidate for attempting a homebirth. But, I've already had a c-section. Not a huge problem! The reason why I 'had to have' the c-section was for an isolated innocent that puts no hindrance on subsequent pregnancies. My uterine scar is favorable to labor again. Yes, my chances of a uterine rupture go up, but they only increase an insignificant amount. Considering a woman who has never given birth has a chance of her uterus rupturing as well. This gives me no real reason to shy away from it.

It has been a long and windy road to where we are today and the journey is by no means finished. We have a few more months to continue to build our knowledge on this issue. We feel very blessed that the Lord has put this opportunity in our path. We want to make sure we are making our decisions as the Lord would have us, not what others are trying to convince us is the right decision. We have decided to trust the Great Physician!


Susana said...

I LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing!