birth – medicalized


Originally uploaded by schleifnet

This post might offend some people. It is not going to be garish or obscene. No, just a reflection of my pregnancy and birth compared to other women’s reflections. Reflections that annoy me as this will probably annoy some.

I have read quite a few blog entries, letters to editors and articles by women who feel cheated out of the birth experience they desired. They ended up with an over medicalized birth when all they wanted was to do it the old fashioned way. My labor and delivery of Annabel were definitely not the old fashioned way – but then neither was my pregnancy.

From the get go we relied on our doctor and much medicalization to make our pregnancy last. At the beginning my hormone levels were too low so I had to go on a hormone supplement (that was not proven to help but at least we would know we had tried). In my second trimester I had more complications and had to go on more medicine as well as full and complete bedrest except for weekly doctor’s visits. By the end of my pregnancy I had given up hope (partly) of the natural childbirth I had dreamed of (and goodness knows I only dreamed of one because I had never given birth), while still reading my book on the Bradley method and practicing my breathing.

The actual labor and delivery of Annabel was nicely planned by my doctor and went smoothly. She broke my water, my labor became harder, I progressed from 4cm to 10 cm in an hour and a half, the epidural guy FINALLY showed up, I “labored down” for a epiduralized hour, then pushed for three contractions and Annabel was out.

I do not regret anything except that the epidural man went to the wrong room. I missed nothing I desired to feel by having an epidural for my last hour. I felt myself pushing and when I pushed Annabel out it felt right. The feeling of pushing her out was the right feeling and I knew it even with the epidural in.

Yes, it would have been nice if I hadn’t had so so so many complications during my pregnancy. It would have been nice to feel like I had some decision making power at some point between conception and that last push. But, I have Annabel. She was and is perfect. I would do it all again for her – with a million times as much medical interference if it meant I would get her in the end. So, when I read about those women who feel cheated by the birth experience they had I get annoyed because it seems like all that should matter now is that they got a baby out of it. Who cares about any of the other details.

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