(the nightmares of an episiotomy)
I decided I wanted a midwife instead of a on OB when pregnancy was just a conversation and not a reality. I chose to have a midwife after hearing birth horror stories from every single woman I knew that had given birth recently in my area and even beyond. Episiotomy wasn’t a suggestion or a last recurse, it was standard. Stitching was careless. Recuperation was a bitch.
Most women I knew who had given birth in recent times weren’t just overwhelmed coping with their tiny human in their hands, their bodies had been torn apart by careless impatient hands and while struggling with breastfeeding and all, they were in constant pain, unable to sit.
They had terrible pains, were unable to go to the bathroom, one had an abscess, another one had to go to the ER two days after delivering because the doctor had forgotten to tell her to take a stool softener. Another woman had such an infection she got a fever. One more had such bad stitching done that she had to have plastic surgery after to have some normalised sense of self. One more had such incredible disastrous stitching that she had to go to surgery to open up her vaginal canal (they had almost sewn it shut), or slowly train with dildos to open herself up.
(I find it quite interesting that from all the pregnancy groups I am subscribed to, there are articles saying how episiotomy is not a standard procedure anymore and should only be done in x, y, and z conditions, and yet I know of no woman who has given birth with an OB and without using a person like a doula or training with an epi-no who have NOT had one. So why is the un-standard still standard?)
The only women who didn’t have it as bad were the ones who had had C-sections.
That did not make sense to me. Why would a major surgical procedure have less recuperation hardship than a normal physiological event women have been doing forever? I blamed the doctors. What do you do when you see the same outcome over and over again with the same procedure? you change things as much as you can. I decided I wanted a midwife.
A home birth was not an option for me, being the daughter of a doctor and a bit too knowledgable, while it is perfectly safe to deliver at home for a non high-risk pregnancy, I also know that a lot of things can go wrong and minutes can be life changing.
I was lucky enough to find a group of midwives who deliver in a birthing center within a hospital.
I am still waiting to meet my baby dragon, but in the mean time I know that my desicion was the correct one. Every single appointment I have been to has shown me what compassion and care the midwives have. They never hurry me and answer all of my questions as well as my husband’s.
Whenever I have a fear they dismiss it in a way that makes me feel safe and taken care of. They have never been alarmists nor critical. When I was gaining too much weight they said “let’s wait and see” until my next appointment and my glucose test, instead of presenting me with the worst case scenario from the get-go.
When I came in having way too many contractions they did not do a vaginal exam and told me to drink a glass of wine after I had fully hydrated, they knew it was Braxton Hicks and there was no sense to be alarmed.
When at week 32 the baby hadn’t turned they just told me to be aware and that I could do some things to help the baby turn so it wasn’t breech. They were never concerned nor worried. (With non invasive chiropractor and acupuncture I managed to make the baby turn. :-)) (they never spoke of a c-section if the baby didn’t turn by itself.)
When I mention my fear of an episiotomy they tell me that with all the births they’ve had they can count with two hands how many episiotomies they’ve done. Only in extreme cases when one was actually needed, they say. When I mention I have an epi-no, they get excited.
When I ask if they will do a vaginal exam they say no because it is invasive, uncomfortable and at this stage there is no need for them to stick their hands up my crotch. They are more respectful of my body than any other OB and physician I have ever met.
My midwives make me feel like I can have a natural birth because that is the way my body is built. My midwives make me feel like I am strong and capable.
I have not gone through the marathon that is labor, but I am confident and sure. I have a loving and supporting husband who is getting educated and as prepared as he can. Most importantly he believes in my strength. I have a marvellous doula who is always available to answer my questions and will do everything she can to have my birth plan respected. I have an incredible group of midwives who will do everything they can to make my baby come out with as little intervention as possible, who care about my body as much as they care about my baby.
I trust all the people who surround me and who will help me deliver this baby, but I have also taken an active role in my education for this insane feat I will ask my body to do. I cannot expect anyone to be as respectful and loving of my body as I myself can and should be. I am aware of my fears and limitations. I am also very aware of my strengths and capabilities.
I chose to deliver with a midwife because I know I will be able to be myself and listen to my body in this life transforming event.
(I do not judge nor am I opposed to an OB or an epidural. I believe it is a very personal decision and you as the mother of your child should be as confident and comfortable as possible with the people who will help you with this transition.