Monday, February 07, 2005

Tossed Salad of Feelings.

Since the birth of our son, someone said to me: "I was glad to see that you weren't unassisted this time, not because I disagree with it but because of (your husband's) illness and (your 4-year-old). I thought about it before the birth but didn't want to say anything then." This is my response to their email about it, that revealed to me some of my feelings on the birth that I am still trying to sift through: We had decided to hire a midwife that would be hands off so we could decide on what we wanted based on how DH was feeling the day the baby came. We had not planned to call them for the birth because DH was feeling pretty good (for him, in other words was not out on his feet) and adrenaline can do wonders in the time of need, but I had a prenatal appointment with them and they showed up with a student in tow (who was NOT supposed to be at my birth because I had not met her in advance). Based on my progress over the 40 plus hours prior, they stayed and prepared for a birth based on where I was in the contractions, etc. Had I not had a set appointment that day I probably would not have called them at all until very close to or after our new son was born so they could check him over. We felt they were here for far too long. It just got uncomfortable. Obviously, I have a lot of feelings about the birth I am still contemplating, due to the newness of it all - but I was glad they were there for verbal support during the pushing. This new baby was bigger by half again as our first, and this labour was that much more intense as well - it was very intense with all back labour. Not that DH was not great emotional support, but he was so busy catching and holding me as I pushed that the extra encouragement just when I thought I could not do it anymore was very helpful. DH did an amazing job even with his illness, though he is paying for his expulsion of energy and adrenaline now with some symptoms being more pronounced than usual along with his extreme tiredness and pain (he has more short term memory loss, speech is more impaired, and balance is very off). He doesn't care though, he'd do it all over again. He did most of the work at the birth (other than my job), then he had to rest, and relaxed with the baby while the midwives “helped me” post-partum (by helped I mean, in part, told me that I was taking too long to deliver a placenta, which was exasperating and stressfull and annoying). Still, as great as they were emotionally, and as good as the overall experience was, in retrospect unassisted is *OUR* best option. There are "interventions" and "management" that midwives cannot help but do that just bother *us* too much. Birth is not a managed event like a concert, it is free flowing… and hubby found that he often had someone “in his bloody way”. A midwife can be as hands off and sitting in the corner of the room being silent even, and it STILL changes the dynamic of the birth for the couple. I had my neighbour here to be with our daughter regardless of any midwife in attendance, and that was the best decision I ever made, especially my choice of person. She was everything I anticipated and could have asked for, and more :) She is a great friend and this experience has only confirmed and strengthened the friendship. She is the only person I trust my kids with, even over some of my own family members. No matter how much midwives believe in the naturalness of birth, they cannot help it... they are trained to watch for any variations from “normal” and “treat it”. Sometimes it feels like they spend their time looking for a problem to fix, rather than waiting to see if one appears and dealing with it then. This, for us, isn’t dealing with things perceptively and intuitively, and runs against our beliefs. It also caused us some unneeded aggravated feelings with this birth and there was a definite “anxiety” vibe they radiated even though things were fine. I can say with some assurance that this is our last planned child, and that I will likely not be birthing anymore - 8+ months of tiring and sicky pregnancy feelings, along with caring for DH and two kids would be hard to do for me, so we are feeling quite finished. But, if we were ever blessed with another child unexpectedly, we will likely be going unassisted in the birth for sure.


Anonymous said...

Its Jenni!! Great job on EVERYTHING!!! On the birth on the page on the beautiful baby boy even though i am very jealous of all babies with hair as at almost 14 months mine still doesnt have any!!!!! GREAT JOB FAMILY!!! Being a big sister is such a special job!! Ask lexi from one 34 week babe to another! and i think the age difference between both girls to their baby brothers is very similar as well!!! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Navelgazing Midwife said...

Congrats, Ril and family. What a beautiful baby!

I am so sorry the midwife had her hands and opinions in there. We aren't all like that. Listening to your story helps me be a better midwife. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

And your man's story and pictures are divine! Thank him lots.

Anonymous said...

Oh how special! I love the pics. What a nice blog! It brought tears to my eyes. I love the cute faces he's making! Hope to see you on the EC list again soon RIL! - Enjoy the babymoon and don't forget to rest! - Jen D.