Wow, this is how I feel exactly
Okay, to start out, I know that with a wedding, the chance of death and injury is much less than with a birth. BUT that being said, if we pushed precautions and intervened and caused stress in weddings as much as in births, I think there would be more problems.
In my case with my first, I looked forward to seeing my baby for 9 months (hmm, same amount of time I planned my wedding!). I planned where I’d have the baby, packed clothes, dreamed of the day, took classes (same as the wedding too!). And when we finally arrived at the hospital (10 days overdue, so I HAD to be induced…) I was put into an ugly exposed gown, there were bright lights, beeping monitors, people coming in and out. I was exhausted from not sleeping, and trying not to get stressed out. Since I wasn’t spontaneously starting labor on my own, I was given medication. Now the medication made my back labor even more painful, so I got an epidural, WAY TOO SOON. Now I couldn’t move around, so labor took even longer, so they upped the pitocin. Now not only could I not feel what I was doing on top of my exhaustion, my contractions were hard and stressing out the baby…I needed a c-section!
Do I regret my c-section? No, but I truly feel that my Dr and I CAUSED it. My Dr due to a timetable and convenience, and me due to not standing up for what I wanted and impatience. Instead of waiting and encouraging my baby to come on his own, encouraging me to do what my body was made to do, helping me find ways to manage the pain. No, we rushed the timing, made it harsher through meds, therefore masking my body’s natural urges to push and therefore causing more problems. I was pushed into a horrible situation that caused my son to feel distress in what should have been the safest place for him and he had to be quickly removed into a brightly lit, harsh surgery room and rushed to a warming bed, and then was separated from me for hours.
But I had a healthy baby, right? How healthy could he have been if he had been given another week if he needed it, if he wouldn’t have felt the harshness of medically induced contractions, if he had been born into a peaceful loving environment? And what about that initial separation that caused my hormones to get even more screwed up, that made nursing and bonding more difficult? I’m so very fortunate that I was able to nurse (even with him “needing” a bottle of formula initially, because THEY WOULDN’T BRING ME MY BABY because they needed to monitor him and bring his temp up, and as a surgery patient I couldn’t go to the nursery!). And that amazingly I had barely any “baby blues”.
But really, no wonder why so many women have a difficult time nursing and bonding, and why so many women experience post partum depression. We place a high value on this upcoming day when our baby will be born, and then nothing goes according to plan: “Well, at least you have a healthy baby”. We have a hard time bonding because our bodies weren’t allowed the hormone cycle that God created to help us bond and nurse: “Here’s some more pills to help with the depression, but oh, you shouldn’t really nurse while taking these.” No one empathizes with what you go through, but many will make you feel bad about the sadness you feel because here you are with this beautiful, healthy baby.
I’m so thankful that I did have a beautiful, healthy baby. What about the poor women who have complications due to the interventions (even more than poor bonding and depression!)? There are women who are injured and even paralyzed from a poorly performed epidural. What about the higher risk of asthma and breathing problems for the baby from a c-section? Not to mention accidentally cutting the baby… And maternal complications and death TRIPLES with a c-section. Shouldn’t a healthy baby also have a healthy mother?
Why can’t the medical community save induction for medically NECESSARY reasons? Sorry, a timetable or a possibly big baby does not equate medically necessary. Why is 41 weeks a late baby in America…it’s considered full-term in the rest of the world. There is risk of placental detachment at 42 weeks with previous c-sections, but even 43 weeks is safe as long as everything is watched for in a first birth or all previous vaginal births. Yes, we are uncomfortable and ready to see our babies, but it’s so easy to rush and get talked into things at this stage. I think it should be unethical for a Dr to push it induction on a woman unless it’s medically necessary, but instead it’s the norm!
And then they push the meds so hard we need more meds to balance and counteract those meds. It’s a horrible spiral that leads to complications so that finally at the end, we HAVE TO BE happy that at least we have a healthy baby.
And back the the analogy with the wedding. I’m tired of people belittling the feelings I and other women feel when we aren’t happy with our birth experience. I did get a healthy baby at the end, but that almost makes me feel worse about the method of his delivery, because I could have waited. I could have avoided induction in the first place, let alone delayed the c-section at the end. There was no medical reason for all I went through, because HE WAS HEALTHY!!!
And, I’m tired of scare tactics from some people by making me feel selfish for wanting a natural birth this time around. Like I’m risking my kids’ futures and the health of this baby. Really? Is healing from surgery better for any of my kids when I could be up and around in days after a natural, vaginal birth? Is adding to the risk of uterine rupture and other high number c-section complications worth it to any future children? Is higher risk of asthma worth it to this baby? Do I really want to play God and know exactly when this baby will arrive, or should I let God FINALLY time when this baby will arrive…because he sure planned when this baby joined my family in the first place! I want to experience birth the way He made it, despite the pain I know I will feel. I want to be able to bond with this baby the way He intended all women to be able to bond with their babies. And I want to heal from the sadness I feel when I think about the decisions I made with my previous births and know that I did the right thing, even if in the end it does turn into another c-section.