Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Business of Being Born

my sister sent me the link to a great documentary called The Business of Being Born. it's all about the medical industry and how maybe doctors and hospitals are not doing what is best for delivering mothers. i found the documentary to be biased toward midwives and home births, but the facts that it presented were hard to deny. and i felt very validated by what it was presenting. to explain why, i'd better share my birth story...

caleb was due on august 20th, but i was not surprised when the 20th came and went because my mom always carried her kids longer than expected (i was about 2 weeks late). usually my doctor doesn't let women go longer than a week overdue but we she was out of town the week of the 20th so we scheduled an induction for the 29th. i had an ultrasound that week to make sure that the placenta was still looking good and caleb didn't show any signs of distress. everything was wonderful. now i look back and wish someone had told me that i could say "no" to the induction. i would have liked to give it a full 2 weeks. but i didn't know... and i trusted my doctor.

i went into the hospital and they started pitocin. which i hated. contractions are supposed to start out more slowly but not mine. i went from none to minute-long contractions with at most 30 seconds in between. it was awful. after about 4 hours of that they checked me and i was still only dilated to a 6 and was not making any progress. i chose to get an epidural so that i could rest a bit. it helped (mostly on one side of my body), but i didn't like that now i was confined to bed for the rest of the labor. one thing just led to another. external monitoring wasn't enough so i was given an internal contraction monitor as well as internal fetal heart rate monitor. awful. and caleb wasn't doing so well with the hard contractions of the pitocin. so they stopped the pitocin but it wasn't getting better. to make a long story shorter, i was scheduled for a c-section but at the last minute caleb's heart rate increased, they started pitocin again, and i was allowed to labor on my own for a while longer. finally, after about 2.5 hours of pushing, i was a mom!

i guess what was hard for me was that i felt one intervention (pitocin) led to another which led to another and it was a huge downward spiral. now, i appreciate doctors and all the amazing medical interventions we have, but i truly believe my body would have been able to give birth without all that extra "stuff" getting in the way. and that's what the documentary pointed out... how amazing a woman's body truly is and how they were designed to give birth. i felt like all the frustration and confusion i felt during my labor was explained by the documentary.

lest anyone think it was all bad, let me tell you of a few high points. some amazing nurses fought for me to not have a c-section. my doula, merrell, helped more than words can describe. troy was an amazing support and partner to me throughout the entire ordeal. God sustained my spirits and answered prayers left and right. i have an amazing and healthy son. and i've learned a lot. next time, i'll be getting a midwife and probably delivering at a birth center.

so anyway, for those of you still reading... it's an interesting documentary. you should check it out.

1 comment:

Amy said...

sounds like you were the classic example of what they were talking about in that movie - where one thing leads to another and everything would have been fine if they hadn't induced! I have always heard horror stories about being induced...and it seems like doctors are so inducing happy. But, healthwise, the baby really can wait the full two weeks it seems like. Lots to think about! Chris says I'm freaking myself out by reading too much too early. :) I just hope that my doctor will be supportive of what I want to do...that documentary made me feel like doctors are going to force you beyond your will. I haven't met my doctor yet; and I keep telling myself if I feel uncomfortable in any way, I can still definitely change!