Monday, July 29, 2013

random facts about babies #1

Delivery sucks. I'm awed by women who do it repeatedly. And I'm never doing it again (mind you, I was already convinced of this prior to giving birth, birth just confirmed it).

I had all these visions of doing my labour naturally, with as few interventions as possible. Unfortunately life had a different lesson in store for me. Isn't that just the way of things? Instead of going drug free, I was put on pitocin (an evil drug if there ever was one) almost immediately after I'd told the nurse my water had broken 12 hours earlier. (Yes, my water broke in a classic gusher in a movie kind of way.... not fun but a funny story for another time).

Sometimes it's a curse knowing a fair amount about labour/pregnancy because it puts you in the awkward position of trying to seek alternative options within a medical profession focused on crisis prevention. Instead of waiting things out, the medical model's attitude is to react proactively with interventions. So while I would have waited out my waters breaking and labour starting (which is safe for up to 48 hours provided you stay hydrated and take care of yourself), I had an appointment at the hospital the next morning which led me straight into the medical intervention model. I wanted to blow it off but felt like that was irresponsible, so I went. Trust me when I say I wish that I hadn't and had followed my instincts.

Why? Because the hospital has one priority: to avoid infection. Ironically however, your chances of infection go up in the hospital setting because of all the interventions. I tried to avoid being checked in but of course the reaction is to tell the mother to be that it's dangerous, you're risking the health of your child and that no, you can't go home.

The thing is, you can, but it's really hard to insist upon it because of the fear rhetoric they use (albeit out of concern and good intentions). So instead of doing things naturally, I was hooked up to tubes from the get go, monitored constantly, had an epidural and gave birth via forceps.

Thankfully, as much as I wanted the natural labour, I've seen/read enough about birth plans going awry that I'm not devastated by the drastic change in plans that unfolded. I didn't have the labour I expected but in the end, while I've decided that pitocin based labour sucks, it worked out the way it needed to work out and I have a beautiful (or stunning as Paul prefers) little boy. He's healthy and came out the way he needed to arrive in the world...

And drugged or not, the feeling of him coming out and being placed on my chest was one of the most amazing moments in my life. Truly, honestly, out of all the labour related memories I have, this is the memory that is the strongest: that last push, his first cry, and him being all scrunched up, frog like, on my chest. It still makes me teary eyed just thinking about it.

I blame the raging post partum hormones. Seriously, you have no idea what those hormones are doing to me....

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