Reflections on Motherhood and Life as a Doula

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Tribute to Dads - Michael's story Part 1

I'm starting off the month of May's, Tribute to Dads with my husband's perspective on our birth experience.  I had asked him to write a separate story for each birth.  He admitted that telling them in two different stories is difficult because they are so connected.  He attempted to split them up.  So here it is:  Michael's story, Part 1

When Meagan's water broke I had the same visions in my head as most other people (from media/television).  I pictured her on a stretcher with her legs up screaming.  I started running around like a chicken with my head cut off because I thought the baby was about to pop out any second.  Or 39 hours later...

I was pretty excited when we got to the hospital.  I was anxious, nervous.  I was scared.  Not knowing what we were about to get into, I probably wasn't scared enough.  Everything progressed along pretty normally.  A lot of waiting.  Walking down the hallways.  After 31 hours of stalled labor, our midwife at the time advised Meagan to get the epidural to calm down and get some rest.  Even though we talked about going natural with the midwife several times prenatally, she still suggested it.  I knew that Meagan didn't want it, but she talked us into it by dropping words like "death, distress, fevers"...almost putting a blame on my wife, that if something were to happen it would be her fault.

I don't know.  I think I blocked most of Stephen's birth out.  Next thing I know, they were sticking weird things in her vagina and trying to suck Stephen out.  From there it was a hop, skip and a jump into surgery.  The thing about the surgery is that although we had to sign consent forms, at no point was it provided as an option. 

At some point, the crowd of  20 -30 people in the operating room moved from the bed over to the side of the room.  Had it not been for our other midwife, they would have run Stephen right out of the room never saying a word...not even mentioning he was a boy.  We spent 4 hours in recovery during which the only time we had medical personell give us any info or updates, was when the pediatrician, who could barely speak any english, came into give us the form fit standardaized "my lawyer said I have to tell you this so you can't sue me, your baby could die" speech. 

Thats about it.  It was just a cascade of interventions.  Once you get one, your on a turbo-path to surgery.

When I found out Meagan was pregnant again, I was scared that we would have to go through this a second time.  And when my wife mentioned she wanted a homebirth, I was terrified.  I was terrified because I wondered if the doctors were right.  What if being 20 seconds from a cutting room was what saved Stephen's life.

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