Apr 7, 2008

Stress stinks....

...but in one fell swoop today, I lost some major stressors and gained some minor ones.

No more concerns about what I feel is a faulty diagnosis of Gestational diabetes (Why I feel that way, summed up here by Henci Goer)

No more worry about who will watch my kids while I am in the hospital

No more stress of disagreeing with how over-managed my care has been (I have had TEN ultrasounds already, YIKES!!!)

No more stress about declining hospital policies I do not agree with (IV, continuous fetal monitoring, being pushed into an epidural)

No more stress about creeping suspicion that my hospital midwife was planning on finding an excuse to induce me at 38 weeks (weekly appointments scheduled once a week, months in advance that suddenly ceased at 38 weeks)

No more stress that cesarean sections kept being brought up in my appointments

No more hour long appointments EVERY SINGLE WEEK with me either under an ultrasound wand, or strapped to a monitor

No more stress from being told I could decline certain tests because they were unnecessary to being told suddenly it was no longer OK

No more being ignored when the NST monitor does not pick up the heartbeat because a wiggly baby and the alarm sounds for 5 minutes freaking out my 3 yr old, and then being ignored for 5-10 minutes after my timer goes off

No more freaking out about not liking the idea of driving 30 minutes to the hospital (I have two within minutes of my house, but not where my hospital midwife delivers)

And no more stressing about NOT wanting an OB again for as long as I shall live, and suddenly being forced to accept one

So after the last disastrous week being told that the last hospital midwife in town will not deliver me, I had a good cry, a ton of meditation, a lot of talking, a ton of additional research, and more prayer than I think I have ever done in my life, I decided I was going to seek out a home birth midwife. During this pregnancy, I have spoken with several midwives in town, all were in agreement that nothing in my past or present pregnancies makes me fall outside of the limits of the 95-98% of pregnant women who are good candidates for home birth. Not that, but the #1 most important job of a HB MW is not to catch the baby, but to know if a woman needs to be transfered to the hospital. From what I have read, 10-12% of women who start at home, will end up transfering. However less than 4% of those women who plan a homebirth will end up with a cesarean... compare that to a US average of over 30%. Is it a wonder why the US has some of the highest mortality rates in the WORLD?? This pamphlet, while hard to read because of the format, makes some wonderful points and quotes some wonderful studies.

So some minor stressors include:

Not everyone in my support circle are supportive

I now have another bill I will have to pay, although I have to say the HB MW is being VERY cool about it

Bobby and I are not in agreement about wanting the kids at the birth, although he has agreed to allow them, IF they want to be there

There is always the slight chance of being transfered, and in quite a few cases I have heard of medical staff not being very nice to women or their babies in cases where a homebirth attempt was made

I am worried about silly things, like homebirth etiquette and making sure everyone here has food to eat

I am worried about disappointing the staff at my old office, even though nothing they do or say will make me stay

So really, the "pros vs cons" list, no match-up whatsoever, especially so many of my worries of a hospital birth lead the things like a cesarean, which I just DO NOT have time to recover from with 3 active boys and a new baby girl.


Sheridan said...

No more stress about creeping suspicion that my hospital midwife was planning on finding an excuse to induce me at 38 weeks (weekly appointments scheduled once a week, months in advance that suddenly ceased at 38 weeks)

WOW, that is suspicious. So glad you have less stress now!

Allison said...

Oh, Heather, I'm sorry the drama exploded, but I'm so pleased you found a HB midwife who can take you into her care! Big hugs -- before you know it, instead of getting no sleep at night because of third trimester, you'll get no sleep at night due to a hungry baby girl!

Not that I'd know anything about not getting sleep or anything...

Karin said...

Hi Heather, I am from the land of homebirths, the Netherlands. I have had three babies. I tried to have them all at home. With my eldest son we had to go the hospital during labour because he was stuck. Like you said:

“but the #1 most important job of a HB MW is not to catch the baby, but to know if a woman needs to be transferred to the hospital.”

Well once mine realized I was not able to push him out, she drove me to the nearest hospital, were they used the vacuumthing and in one push my son was born. And he was just perfect! Hospital wanted to keep us for TWO days, standard policy after a vacuumthing birthing. We thanked them for there help in the delivering, cause they were great when I arrived in labor. And I took my big healthy boy and went home. Pediatrician had to say he did not agree but he was not expecting us back! He could recognize a healthy baby when he saw one.

Well son nr. 2 was born two years later at home. Oldest son slept right through it all but was very happy to find he had a little brother.

Son nr. 3 was born 9 years later at home when my sons were 11 and 9 years old. I asked if they wanted to be there. Eldest choose not to, but second son wanted to be there. And he was.
That delivery was perfect. I started early in the evening and son nr. 3 was born at 20:25, midwife went home at about 22:45. wishing all her home deliveries were that fast and easy.

Reading your rant I am glad I don’t live in the states. No fun being pregnant there. I have to add my sons are now 21, 19 and 10, so my experience might be outdated. I had only one ultrasound, on the last day of my last pregnancy. Because, like yours my babies tend to stay in for the full 42 weeks and I had to go to the hospital for test. after test the gynecologist gave me one more day to deliver naturally. After that day I was to be induced. Thankfully I never had to go back, my son was born that evening.
I hope it will work out for you!

SumnerRain said...

Thank you so much for this reply Karin, your story has really helped me to remember that birth is normal and safe and that the attitudes and practices of birth in the US is very scary.