Early in my pregnancy with Trey I had been seeing an OB. I had been looking for a new one before finding out I was prego. I had decided to have a consult with a friend’s OB which happened to be after I was expecting my period. I went to the consult and the OB was nice enough and I had told her we were trying to get prego and that my period was late. She asked if I wanted to take a test and I said no. In the back of my mind I think I already knew I was prego, and I didn’t want to call David and tell him over the phone. So 2 days later I took a test and it was positive. So I called the OB’s office and got started on my doctor visits.
This was during the fall and so flu season was kicking in. I think I might have had the flu once in my life and it was as a child and as I recall not that bad (for being sick that is). I’ve never gotten a flu shot, since I don’t get sick that often and I don’t get the flu and I don’t like shots I’ve never seen the need. I especially don’t see the need for a shot when I could still get it. So when the OB mentioned at my second appointment that I should get a flu shot I was nervous. I wanted to think about it and did the whole next month. I wasn’t comfortable with it; I didn’t like the idea of my baby getting the vaccine either. But I was torn, because the OB had played the “if your baby gets sick….” card.
So we went to the next appointment still undecided about the shot, when I told the nurse I wasn’t sure she told the OB and the OB came in and started “selling” the shot to me. I was so torn, I wanted what was best for my baby, but wasn’t sure this shot was necessary. She made me feel like I wasn’t being a good mama by refusing the shot. So, I got it.
Afterwards I wasn’t convinced I’d done the right thing. I think it was at that point I started looking for other birthing options. I thought that if the OB was going to badger me into a flu shot now, what would she do when it was time to birth? I was already having anxiety about being in the hospital. I hate hospitals, that’s where my loved ones got to die or have something terrible fixed. I hated the way they smelled and didn’t like the idea of being stuck in a bed with things hooked to me.
So, I figured I needed to look at a birthing center. I started doing my research and didn’t find any in my area, so then I thought “well, what about home birth?” You see my mom had had one of my sisters at home (the baby), and my other 2 sisters in a birthing center and had tried to have me at one too (I was the first and her labor stalled so she went to the hospital). So home birth wasn’t foreign to me. The more I thought about that option the more I loved it. I liked the idea that no one was going to tell me what to do or how to do it, that I was going to birth the way God designed it. It was at that point that I knew I was trading pain meds for a better environment, and the more I thought about it the more I was comfortable with it.
So after showing David my research on the safety of home birth and how the experience would be much more pleasant and that he could even catch the baby if he wanted (he did want to) we made an appointment to visit with the midwives. I was convinced immediately. They had already heard stories from other clients about my OB, and they weren’t good. I liked their laid back attitude about birth. Birth was a normal thing to them and they treated it as such. They were going to let me do what my body wanted me to do and offer suggestions along the way.
David and I talked afterward and decided to switch over to the midwives. He wasn’t very pleased with the OB. He watched as she bullied me into the flu shot and didn’t like her attitude about it. She was night and day from the midwives. The OB had the attitude that she knew everything and that I need to just sit back and let her make the decisions. I was an ignorant first time mom who didn’t know what it was really like. She would give me the illusion of making the decision but in the end it would be hers.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d stayed with the OB? I have no doubt I still would have had a c-section. You see my friend who recommended her had already had 2 c-sections with her. I would have been induced and this would have caused a cascade of interventions, the pitocin would have made the epidural necessary and that would have put me stuck in a bed. All things I didn’t want. But with all those medications going through Trey what kind of long term damage would have been done to him? I know that the outcome would have been the same but the journey to get there would have been much more traumatic.
Several months after Trey was born we had a family friend (she’s a nurse) basically tell us that we should have been in the hospital. She wasn’t saying it outright but was telling us that we made the wrong decisions. I have no doubt in my mind that we made the right decision to use the midwives and attempt birthing at home. I’ve done lots of research since and constantly comb over the details of Trey’s birth and I don’t regret our decisions. None of them. We did what was best for us in every situation. While it definitely wasn’t what we had planned on, or hoped for, we have peace about his birth. For some reason his birth was supposed to be this way. Maybe to make my next birth experiences better, maybe to help other women trust their instincts and to help educate them. I hope that my story makes someone else’s story better.