My Decision to Switch to a Midwife

“Why are you going to a midwife this pregnancy?”

It’s a question I hear often at the moment, so I thought I should type out a post to clarify exactly why I have made the personal decision to pursue a completely natural and med free birth.

I was in a hospital during my labor and birth with Harmony. I had an emergency induction due to pre-eclampsia at 37 weeks. It was not what I had wanted since I did not want to be induced whatsoever, but I knew I had to. I began my grueling 27 hour labor that night and everything seemed to be fine, until the next morning. My normally amazing ob/gyn came in and man handled my lady bits and claimed that because I was squirming when he checked my cervix that I NEEDED an epidural. Having your cervix checked is no pleasant task to begin with, and I had no problem with the nurses. He man handled me and then insulted me. I was so pissed, but I was so tired already that I just went with it. I just wanted it to be over and done with.

I was 9 cm dilated and my epidural wore off. My blood pressure was through the roof because I was in so much pain because my body had so much pitocin in it, and then it stressed me out because I knew Harmony was not having fun either. After they gave me more medicine, I started to feel pressure. My body was telling me to push. I can’t really describe it, but I knew it was time. I told my mom to let the doctors know, but it took a nurse 20 freakin’ minutes to get into my room, all while they kept telling me not to push yet (now I wish I had just said “fuck it” and pushed anyway). She told me I was only at 9.5 cm, but I insisted that I truly needed to push. She let me do a test push, and my cervix expanded the rest of the way.

Finally, it was over. I was looking into the eyes of the child that I had only known from inside me for 9 months.

It was a short lived visit. I didn’t get to nurse Harmony right away like I wanted. They wrapped her up and took her away from me and Jeremy for 4 HOURS. At one point I was alone in a room still numb from the waist down…everyone was seeing my baby, the one I yearned to breastfeed and cuddle, except for me. At 11 pm I was moved into postpartum room (apparently they were backed up) and given Harmony. I had never nursed a baby. I had no idea at the time Harmony was tongue tied, and we were struggling to get her to latch. It was so late that there wasn’t really anyone there qualified to help me, and I was too scared to ask too much in fear that they would force formula down her throat. Jeremy allowed me to sleep for a bit and he watched Harmony. To this day, I am still grateful for that. Jeremy was the best part of that entire blasted hospital experience. Dad of the year, in my books.

I have other horrible non baby friendly tales to tell, but I will not do that in this post. This post is to focus on why I am not going to a hospital this time. At least, I am hoping to not be in one considering I am high risk this time.

I am now at Lisa Ross. I have a few friends that have given birth there and loved it. I wanted a med free birth to begin with for personal reasons. I hated the epidural. I hated not being able to walk and control myself. I’m someone that would rather be in immense pain than to take anything that will make me lose control of any part of myself. That’s just who I am.

I went to an orientation at Lisa Ross one night to see their actual birthing center. It’s gorgeous. There were actual beds and chairs. There is ample room for water birthing tubs and whatever else you may need. We were told that moms are free to eat and drink while they labor and even shower (whaaaaat?). To me, the idea of being in temporary pain and having freedom sounded way better than being in no pain and feeling like a damn prisoner strapped to a bed and hooked to machines.

It was just those factors that made me switch, though. It’s cheaper. They dim the lights because the florescent lights in hospitals actually increase the risk of jaundice in newborns (this blew my mind, and explained a lot). They give you your baby directly after and they wait until the umbilical cord has stopped pulsating to cut it. They will even allow yourself or your partner to catch the baby and be the first one to hold it.

Sista say what?

I didn’t really need to be told anything else after that point. My heart was set on Lisa Ross.

Since then, they have been so caring and helpful this pregnancy. They check my protein and blood pressure often. They gave me diet advice to help reduce my chances in getting pre eclampsia again. They haven’t treated me like I have an illness.

I want this so bad. Every day I day dream about having the birth experience that I long for so bad. Pain and all. Am I happy that Harmony is healthy despite my last experience? Yes. I truly am. If I had to go back and do it all again I would, but I don’t have to. I have the power to do what I want this time, and I am fully abusing the power.

I am keeping positive. My motto for this year is “strength and support.” I will be supporting Jeremy as he pursues a job that he just got, and he will be supporting me fully in 6 months to welcome our new baby no matter what happens. He is totally on board with the decision to be at Lisa Ross…I did promise him he could catch the baby if he wants 😉

I hope that the pre eclampsia was a one time thing. I hope that every effort I am making to be healthy will pay off.

 

Your Tiny Hands

My daughter is over a year old now, and the love I have for her still overwhelms me every single day.

Those who say love at first sight doesn’t exist have never had a child. I wrote my daughter a letter when she turned one, and I feel like I should post it.

 

My Dearest Harmony,

It’s been a year since I first laid eyes on you. It doesn’t feel that way. It feels like I’m dreaming, and I’ll wake up in the morning and you’ll be the sleepy newborn you were a year ago. I’ll carry you around on my chest and sing to you and kiss your bald head as you slumber away for most of the day. I remember the sleepless nights, the tears I cried because we struggled so hard at at nursing. How did I not see myself in you every time you tried and tried again? You were so persistent. You were determined not to let a small obstacle get in the way of anything, and because of that you helped me push forward as well.

I remember awing over your tiny little hands and feet. I remember holding them in my own hands and just counting them over and over. Those tiny hands of yours have had a tight grip around my heart since the first time I heard your heartbeat. I’ve fallen in love with you all over again so many times. Sometimes I would catch myself watching you sleep and watching the morning rays hit your innocently chubby cheeks. I would think about how a new day for me meant something completely different to you. You were still seeing much of the world for the very first time, and I had the honor of showing it to you. I look forward to showing you more and more of the world as the years pass.

I used to interact with you so much when your home was still in my womb. I remember sitting at work in the wee hours of the night and listening to whatever came across my iPod at the time. You loved music. You would kick and move around as if you were dancing in your own little way. You still love music, and even a year later I know when you recognize a song because you stand so still as if you’re trying to remember something, but just can’t put your finger on it. I’ll always remember it clearly for you, even when your infant memories begin to pass into the shadows. Your infant days are coming to an end, and even though you will not remember them in a few years, they will still be vividly branded in my own mind and heart.

Now the little girl that stands before me is a wandering little toddler. Your baby chunk is starting to slim down, you’re walking more and more as each day passes. You’re slowly starting to trust people. You used to cry when someone tried to talk to you, but now you’re starting to see that they’re just trying to make you smile. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t love you. I know that every time I see the little dimples in your cheeks my heart stops, so I can only imagine what effect it has on total strangers.

You have a smile that could make the darkest human being feel a little love. That smile has brought me out of some of my own darkest moments. That smile is going to change the world one day.

Sometimes I try to imagine what my life would be like if you weren’t here, and I can’t. I can’t imagine a life without you. My life would mean nothing without you. You are my life, and my life began at the very moment I saw you.

You’ve changed me as a whole, and for that I can never show my gratitude. The only thing I can do is dedicate my life to you.

I know I may not always be the best mother. I know that sometimes I may seem distant, and that’s an ongoing battle that I am continuously working on. Please know that I love you. Please know that I love you more than my own life. I value you over myself, tiny hands and all. You’re my best friend, and sometimes I can’t understand how someone as perfect as you can love someone as flawed as myself. Your love and sweet cuddles flatter me in the best way possible. I love every single bit of you unconditionally, from your little giggle to your tiny hands.

This has been the best year of my entire life, and I know that it will only get better from here.

 

Love,

Your Mother