Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our Story (3) : Bittersweet Beginnings

I was pregnant. So what did I do for the first month? I hate to admit this, but I cried. It was hitting hard that we were going back to sleepless nights, changing diapers and a crying baby. Thank God that I have the most level-headed husband. He calmly reassured me every time that this really wasn't such a bad thing. We knew how to love a baby...all the rest wasn't a big deal. Of course he was right. Then I started bleeding. A lot and frequently. I thought for sure I was losing this baby. I felt so guilty for all of my complaining and fit-throwing. I really did want this baby. I had a miscarriage before becoming pregnant with my oldest. I knew how heartbreaking it is to go through that. I tried to tell myself that I couldn't care about this baby because there was no way we could avoid what I thought was surely a miscarriage. But then I would stop bleeding and think that everything was ok and then it would start again. What a roller coaster of emotion! It went on for most of the first trimester.

In the midst of the crazy emotional ups and downs, I started talking to the one midwife I thought might take me (and was covered by our insurance.) But, I had major obstacles. I have struggled with hypertension since my first pregnancy. Because of the hypertension and the type of care I was receiving at the time, I had had c-sections with all three of my children. Over the past ten years, I became more and more drawn to a more natural way of living, a more holistic model of care. I became more and more frustrated looking back at those births because I felt cheated out of something so powerful for me and more gentle and natural for my babies. My dream was a home birth, but I knew that would be a tough sell with my history. I had to try. New Mexico has such a wonderful home birth community. If there was ever a chance of my dream coming true, it would be here. I started to plead my case. The midwife was wonderful and encouraged me to pursue a natural birth, but I could feel her apprehension regarding a home birth for me. She asked me to contact an ob/gyn to discuss the possibility of a natural birth in the hospital. I was so scared. I still felt like doctors were bullies and I didn't want to be bullied anymore. I brought Brad with me to have my back. We sat in the exam room and waited to meet the doctor. I had just started Hypnobabies meditations so I put myself in my "bubble of peace." ;) In walked the doctor in jeans and a sweater with long straight hair. She introduced herself by her first name. And we talked. I swear she sounded more like a midwife than a doctor. I could feel that she wanted me to have a voice in my care. She wanted me to choose the kind of birth I wanted. The only thing she brought up was the possibility of pre-eclampsia. She said that if I showed signs of it, she would need to talk about a repeat c-section. That wasn't a problem for me. I told her I was a reasonable person and would of course be interested in discussing a different approach if any serious condition arose. Honestly, I wasn't worried about pre-eclampsia. I had three full term births all with hypertension. I just didn't think it was a risk for me. I knew it would be the first question anyone would ask because of my risk factors and my previous hypertension issues. My head was really in the sand on this illness. But, I left her office encouraged that I might actually get a chance at a natural birth. It wouldn't be at home like I wanted, but I guessed it would be the best I could get. As Brad said to me after we left, "You didn't even need me there. She's perfect for us!" I thought maybe he was right.

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