… about my birth experience or what prompted me to make such drastic changes in my life. It’s not that I’ve just been hiding in the shadows and trying to shuffle everything to the back burner, but in the beginning I talked, I shared, I tried… and most people don’t want to listen. In an effort to educate myself I read, I researched, and I tried to let go of the feeling that I harbored that I felt were biasing my thoughts.
The facts of the matter still remain. I had a successful birth, which immediately discredits my feelings to a vast majority of the population. I should be perfectly happy that I didn’t have any complications, that my daughter arrived in this world healthy. I am grateful that my daughter is here, happy, and healthy. I’m not in any way grateful of the way I was treated in her arrival. If you have read my birth story then you know that by most standards I had a typical birth. I was in the hospital, attached to fetal monitors, an IV drip, nurses, doctors, students, bright lights, gowns, stitches, pitocin injections, staydol, and paperwork.
Did I need nurses telling me that I was “scaring everyone on L&D”? Did I need a student nurse with her hand in my vagina while I transitioned from 8cm to full dilation so she “knew what it felt like”? Did I need to be answering admission questions two hours after arrival because they thought they would have “plenty of time” for that later? Did I need to be told to stop pushing because “they just paged the Doctor” and he was on his way? Did I need a dose of staydol added to my IV “to take the edge off” when I clearly stated that I wanted no pain medication? Did I need nurses pushing Lorcet after delivery because I’d “really want it when my epidural wore off” (the epidural that I never had)? Did I need to walk to the nursery to get my daughter, because they said they would bring her back in “a little bit”, two hours later? Did I need a Doctor that cut an episiotomy without even so much as asking or a warning before my daughter was even crowning? Did I need to have a shot of pitocin to speed up delivery of the placenta because five minutes was too long and they “needed to stitch me up”? Did I need a Doctor that really thought it was appropriate to say “well you just gave birth without much help” when I said the stitches hurt? Did I need to be laid on my back for checks and other procedures while I pleaded with my husband and nurses to “get me up” because it hurt so badly?
Yeah, my daughter was born. She was perfectly healthy, my labor was relatively short at just 3 hours and 24 minutes from hospital arrival to delivery. I left the hospital two days later a completely different person. Not just in the sense that I was now a mother, but in a broken, hopeless, and utterly defeated sense. Not a single person asked me how I felt during any process, procedure, or during my stay. Not a single postpartum appointment addressed any feeling of resentment, disappointment, or even depression. No one noticed that I woke up in the middle of the night crying for several years dreaming of my birth experience. Even now, when I think about it like this, I cry. Why? It’s not because things went “wrong” it’s because of the things that were going right were dealt with completely wrong.
So why don’t they ask? Because it doesn’t matter to them if I’m broken. They did “everything” to make sure my daughter came out healthy, damn the consequences to me, my mental health, and my general health. I still have general pain from my episiotomy, I have problems in my right hip that my current providers believe may have been from having my legs/knees twisted and pressed toward my chest during labor by nurses holding my feet. Sometimes it hurts to walk and even sit. Even postpartum depression to providers doesn’t address labor and delivery resentment. I’m labeled as greedy, ungrateful, a hippie.
I say it’s unfair.
So now, I’m back in school. Two semesters down, six to go. I was inducted to Phi Kappa Phi last semester and I have been accepted to the pre-nursing curriculum this fall. Next spring I will be applying to the Nursing Program and hoping for the best. I don’t want to be a nurse. I want to be a Midwife, this is a step toward that goal. I will not stop until I reach it. I will not be the person that wishes for change and does not help create it. I will not stop.