Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What to think about this.

I've been really busy lately as my older son has been really, really sick (yup might have to start a Lyme Disease blog too!)

I had a moment to stop by my blog here and I was surprised to see a jump in the number of visitors.

When I looked into the source I found that a certain somewhat infamous "Dr.A" added my blog to her blog list.  I imagine this is because of my last post, which did express some dissatisfaction with my midwifery care.    Still how could a attachment parenting, non-vacinating, ICAN leader, home birth believing person, such as myself, end up being linked to by a blogger who I feel no common ground? A blogger who has been discredited by people I respect, and has a real hate on for bloggers I love, such as The Feminist Breeder.

Yes,  I wished that the day of the midwife was not the day before my son's birthday but I guess I should have been more clear that the problem I had was not with midwifery in general, but with the fact that I felt uninformed that registered midwives here are required to "tow the party line" and are in fact much more involved in medical style birth then I had understood.

I didn't realize that the info I was given by one of my midwives: that being 42 weeks pregnant was dangerous for the baby, and that cervidil's prostaglandin was the same as my own hormones and the risks of it's use were that it wouldn't work, were very much hospital dogma and not evidence based.

I didn't understand that in order to keep their hospital privileges, and be allowed to catch babies they must fall in line with the head of obstetrics, and classic OB protocols.   

I also feel that the chance of me experiencing an intervention based birth was not clearly articulated to me.  While we spent at least 10-15 minutes discussing the triple screen test, a test that give indication of relatively rare disorders we spent NO TIME discussing the fact that the hospital I was going to give birth at has more then a 30% cesarean rate, and the fact that my attending midwifes cesarean rate was 17%.  

Since entering the birth advocacy world I have heard so many stories of these types of problems, people thinking that Registered Midwife, means something other then what it does.  I think that a term like Nurse Midwife would be much more forthcoming of the type of care they are able to provide.  

Now all this might seem like complaints against midwives but that 


I believe that many big hearted, women centred, truly caring women become registered midwives.  I think that they are forced in to a position that is difficult to navigate, keep their hospital privileges and help women make choices that will lead them to happy births. Some appear to have become hardened by years of trying to lead women to empowering births against a massive medical/pharmacutical system.   I think back to the little comments my midwives made suggesting home birth, doulas, avoiding induction and now I realize that these little comments were their attempt to give me good information, but when it came mixed with the standard hospital "you could harm your baby" info I missed the good stuff.

I totally support midwives, both registered and not, I just think we are still a ways off from finding truely informed 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Three Years Later, Day of the Midwife.

The day before the anniversary of my cesarean section also happens to be "Day of the Midwife" in "Midwifery Month" -so much as I would like to just let my thoughts be with my little boy on his last day of being two, I am being bombarded with requests to attend birth workshops, picnics, and even flash mobs all celebrating the greatness of midwives.

And don't get me wrong I think that the rebirth of midwifery in Canada is in general a very positive thing.  Too bad my experience with midwifery care kind of sucked.

Sure I am all up for taking the blame for not having the birth I wanted, for not doing enough of my own research, for not being more demanding, for assuming that midwife meant what I had read about in all of my hippie birthing books.  The truth is that I feel that the care I got put me in a dangerous position of relying on people who were trained to do one thing, uncomplicated birth, when I was encouraged to leave that realm by way of induction.

I wish that the eve of little boy's birth was some other day and that I had not been asked to give three cheers for midwives 40 times this week.  It makes me a little pissed off actually.  Guess it's the universe's way of reminding me that, like it or not, birth culture has gotten up under my skin and I must keep using that fire for good.

So, happy Day of the Midwife, and a part of my heart really means it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

P.T.S.D. and Me, 2 and A Half Years Later.

Through exploring birth advocacy I have met women who are dealing with birth trauma. Most show signs of trauma induced anxiety, and some, like me, have p.t.s.d.

I was recently asked by a newly traumatized mother "Does it get better?"

Of course, my first instinct was to say "Yes, it does".

And it is true that the first wave of constant hyper alertness, nightmares, intense fear for yourself and the baby, grief and panic does pass. But does it get better, or just different, was the question I found myself pondering.

The nightmares are less. The obsession about the birth is less. I can get past more of the fear. But the bigger ripples are starting to show up in my life.

I find myself doing somewhat "crazy" things. In fact the last time I was alone with my toddle in the house overnight, we ended up barricaded in his bedroom. Three large switch blades, (I DO live on the side of a mountain so I own these as protection against cougars and bears), a big can of bear spray, and the phone were not enough to make me feel secure. I ended up having to slide the huge heavy dresser across the door in order to sleep at all. I spent much of the night imagining a crazed person breaking in to my house and trying to get in to our room. Should I stand my ground and try to stab him? Use the fire ladder to escape out the window? Spray his face with pepper spray? This was not a great way to spend any night. Never in my life before my little ones eventful birth have I had this type of overwhelming fear. Fear that prompts actions that I don't want to teach my child.

Also my anxiety has caused issues for the health of other members of my family, most notably, my older son. I ended up calling an ambulance for him thinking he was having an asthma attack, and he was, sort of. He had good oxygen levels, but was quite distressed and scared and breathing strangely. After being interviewed by the paramedics, nurses and then doctors it came together that I had freaked out so much over what was most likely a pre teen hormonal moment(acting funny, not responding to what I was saying) that he had been convinced that he was having a major attack and started to feel terrible. Basically I had caused the attack, -not so awesome.

I also have to really fight to stay positive, and not constantly think about the demise and my loved ones, or myself. A bout 10 years ago a good friend, who had had early childhood trauma, told me that when she says goodbye to anyone she cares about she always believes it will be the last time she will see them, Because of this she feels sorrow and fear at all partings. I was shocked, how could she be living with so much sadness? Now, I too have this burden.

So does it get better? Well for me it gets less acute. I have fun now, I enjoy my children, there are many moments when p.t.s.d. is not affecting me. But it has settled deep, and two and a half years later the journey to healing is certainly not over.

The upside of this: I am sure that this journey was one that was given to me with purpose. I am moving in circles with women who I know were meant to be a part of my life. We are working together to help prevent birth trauma and that is a powerful thing.

I am part of a new birth trauma peer support group. Which has a user friendly, yet highly informative website that I would whole heartedly recommend.

Here's to healing and helping. And really I think it's fair to say that Yes, It Does Get Better.