My husband often works the weekends during which my two eldest boys are at their dads so I usually spend some time on Saturday watching things that I would like to watch but know my husband would rather not; Downton Abbey the Borgias, time pieces mostly that I know bore him to death as much as the star crap* category bores me to tears, so this past weekend I watched a series called the midwives, I don’t know why but since I was young I’ve always had a fascination with the birthing process I love listening to peoples birth stories looking at their pictures it’s such a special thing to share in that moment with somebody especially when the birth did not go as planned, I don’t know if it just a womanly thing to share and be interested in each others stories but I find it very encouraged and empowering when I hear what trials some woman had to overcome in order to hold their babies in their arms.
In any case my thought stream today was sparked by one of the episodes whereby a woman came in saying she thought she was in labor and she was told to go home and wait for active labor to begin as their beds were all taken, after the woman has walked out the midwife remarks that the woman will know when she is in labor, this for me was a real rofl moment.
I have also been told several times by people including my gynea oh you will know when labor starts when I have asked for signs and such to look for and why this makes me laugh is because I have had it happen that I have been in labor and not known it.
My first son was born at 36 weeks due to my waters breaking prematurely upon reaching the hospital and after being checked and hooked up to the machine the nurses could not believe that I could not feel my contractions indicated on the machine they also speculated that I had been in labour for several hours already…. Mmm…ok
In any case he was born via emergency caesarean and 2 years later I fell pregnant with my 2nd son Gabriel.
His pregnancy was terrible from swine flu to having my appendix removed to leaking waters and early labour which had to be stopped it was a real roller coaster ride but again the only reason they knew I was having contractions was because I was hooked up to the machine in the hospital again.
Gabriel was born at 38 weeks after much speculation that he would be early again via caesarean section.
Last year I gave birth to my youngest Jesse, with Jesse I was determined even though I didn’t want natural birth I really wanted him to come into the world on the day of his choosing and I really wanted to experience the onset of labor, after much convincing and a very smooth pregnancy despite a few bumps my doctor agreed.
I speculated that Jess would come at 39 weeks and sure enough at 2pm in the afternoon at 39.1 weeks while sitting at home with a tub of Natella watching Alice in Wonderland I started getting pain in my back, the pain was not terrible sort of like a very mild period pain, I had often experienced these pains in my pregnancies and it was ligament pain or nothing so I thought none of it but they did not subside, my husband came home I attended to the kids got them into bed and still nothing so I decided to take a bath and nope the pain still didn’t subside at about 9pm the pain started to worsen and I asked my hubby to call the labour ward thinking it was an infection or something and they advised that we go in.
Called my mom left hubby at home and off we went, as we were going I was convinced that this was not labor and I would be home within an hour if lucky ….. TOTAL DENIAL, well now that didn’t happen, I walked into the emergency entrance in the rain which was such an amazing blessing and omen the insisted I go up in a wheel chair as they were wheeling me up the pain got worse but as soon as I got onto the bed the pain lessened so when they put the machine on I thought ok here we go I should be home soon, after 15 minutes the nurse came in and low and behold contractions 5 minutes apart I could not believe it next thing I knew I was being prepped for theater and my mom was rushing desperately in order to get my husband to hospital, he made it just on time and walked in just as they were closing the theater doors, I can say however that this time as soon I realized I was having contractions whether it was my mind making up the pain I don’t know but I sure as hell felt them on my way up to theater.
I still remember vividly how in shock I was at all happening so fast but in the end I got the natural ceaser that I had hoped for.
It took 3 pregnancies for my gynea to voice that I would never have progressed in labor and never would have been able to deliver naturally I would have labored for hours and my babies probably would have gone into distress before I realized something was wrong.
My point is a lot of friends have asked me over the years how will you know, it’s a scary anticipation for any woman I think and my answer is you may not most woman do and that is great but my advice is if you feel off in anyway go in and have it checked you never know, I find it disheartening after hearing so many stories from woman who have insisted they are in labor only for their doctors to patronize them and make them feel stupid to the point where they nearly lost their babies or delivered them on their own because they were in fact in labor.
We as woman are encouraged to listen to our bodies and yet when we express our views we are often made to look the fool to the detriment of the innocent life we carry within.
Another thing that I found quite amusing but also sad from all the stories I have heard as well as watching this series is how often woman feel they have to give natural birth as if having it any other way will lead to depression and a lack of the ability to bond with one’s baby.
I am a firm believer that all woman should be allowed the birth of their choosing or at least to attempt as such but it really bothers me when woman feel that they have failed or been robbed of something if they cannot achieve natural birth.
I never desired natural birth and I was completely happy with my ceaser’s everyone said it would be so painful I would regret it but it wasn't and I do not.
I know everyone is different but honestly I have watched a natural birth and by the gods I would never be able to look at my partner again if I had gone through that, my births were all over in 15 minutes and 2 of them saved my boys lives, I was up and walking as soon as I could feel my legs and even drove myself home with my 2nd son and drove after a week with my 3rd no problem, it was calm and I bonded with all my babies the moment I laid eyes on them none of them will ever remember their birth nor will they care how they came into the world the only one it really is any of a concern to is me.
Having said this I have so much respect for woman who do manage natural birth for them it is probably a very empowering process and they must feel a sense of achievement but no matter what your birth choice you are no better or no worse than the person next to you.
What matters most is that your child came into this world and is loved the nitty gritty in between details are irrelevant at the end of the day, no one is going to stand before you on judgment day for instance and shake their finger at you because of your birth choice.
It is really bothersome when woman feel a need to judge other woman over their birth choice or whether they breast or formula feed, the way they discipline their children or what they allow them to eat etc.
We receive so little support from each other sometimes that it is shameful we need to encourage eachother and advise each other we need to support each other and the future generations to come, at the end of the day that is what matters the most.