My birthing center journey didn’t start off in the horror category. Sequentially it was more like rescue ➡️ romance ➡️thriller ➡️horror.
The birthing center we chose actually rescued us from our very non-supportive, conveyor belt of an OB/GYN office. Well, in all actuality we rescued ourselves, the birthing center just happened to be the remedy. At 32 weeks, probably later than ideal, we transferred our care to take back control of our birthing plan. Josh and I wanted a drug free, vaginal birth and this was not a viable option at the doctor’s office. The two midwives running the birthing center commended our course of action (especially so late in pregnancy) and assured us this was the birth we’d have under their care.
Enter the 33rd week of pregnancy. It’s around this time that our care was officially transferred to the midwives and they could begin to work their magic. Childbirth classes were included in their packages which I thought was amazing plus they started me on a host of natural medicines to raise my iron & hemoglobin as well as recommended a natural prenatal vitamin that I was able to keep down. Our midwives were on call for us 24 hours a day and constantly sent us out the door wearing rose colored glasses… until of course they started saying “Babies low but she’s still a little posterior.”
Don’t you hate when people use jargon with you when you’re not trained in their field? I actually went a few more weeks before really understanding what my baby being posterior really meant. Like most first time parents, Josh and I asked what we should do… here’s where things begin to turn into a thriller for me. Our midwives gave us a couple exercises to practice including some moves on stability ball and squats. We were also instructed to tightly wrap my belly and the coup de grâce, refer to spinningbabies.com for additional exercises. First off, spinningbabies.com reads like the intended audience is midwives and doulas, not regular pregnant women. It’s full of industry jargon and references I didn’t understand AT ALL. This annoyed me even though after days of sifting through the information I learned from the website, not my midwife, that posterior meant Lavender was head down, face up.
So here we were: full term, wrapped belly, bouncing up in down on a stability ball hoping our little baby girl would turn around.
Let me start this section by sharing that after 18 hours of drug free labor at the birthing center I was taken to the nearest hospital to have a c-section. I failed to progress past 7cm and that’s when our birthing plan went right out the window. There was nothing the midwives, Josh or I could have done to prevent this. Having the c-section is not the horror story. 18 hours of Drug free labor is not the horror story. The lack of professionalism and protocol inside the birthing suite is where the horror story lies. It’s clear to us now that our midwives didn’t know how to treat or care for us during labor. The beginning was fine, once we got around 12 hours our lead midwife began to complain of being tired and hungry. Just imagine how that felt. Then I was accused of not trying hard enough! Because they were the “professionals” I listened to them. I stopped listening to my body and started listening to them. I didn’t take breaks; I did high knees in between contractions then squatted and pushed when contractions hit. I barfed, pee’d and lost my bowels all over the floor. I pleaded to be taken to the hospital only to be met with judgmental looks and comments. At 17 1/2 hours when I failed to progress, a lot of the defeat I felt was due to the unprofessionalism of the midwives.