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Although I fell well within the "normal" category during my pregnancy, labor became potentially "difficult" at our midwives' birthing center. My experience throughout was positive, but I later learned I would have been a candidate for an (unnecessary) cesearean in a hospital setting.
Uneven dilation and baby turning posterior, both common in labor, combined, resulting in six hours of active pushing. The midwives regularly monitored fetal heartbeat and other medical signs to ensure that neither baby or I were in any danger. Since we were not, they gave us the space and time to progress naturally, supporting us with a variety of very helpful practices for pain management and positions. My experience of labor was of confidence and encouragement and I was never demoralized or alarmed by being taken out of the laboring zone with unneccesary technical accounts. My husband was updated calmly outside the room once at his request. After baby was born completely healthy (in water), we had round the clock gentle asistance for 2 days with nursing, delicious food, diapering, and getting up to go to the toilet . After a blissful week, the midwives and I discussed the birth in more objective terms, and I learned baby had circled 180 degrees (a rare "long arc") and that had I been in a hospital, I most likely would not have been permited to push for six hours and would have been told I needed a c-section, a decision that would have been made on the basis of a clock rather than my or my baby's actual medical condition.
The way a woman feels about her birthing story is not merely a sentimental or extraneous matter - it greatly impacts her health and her abilities to care for her newborn. I am grateful for the unconditional love and support that surrounded me, and for the natural hormonal processes that were not interrupted by medical interventions or drugs.
I can't sing the praises of midwives highly enough for their inexhaustible breadth and depth of knowledge of the processes of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. The level of professional and empathetic care I received not only empowered me to think and advocate for myself as a patient, but should be the standard of all health care, not only prenatal care, for all people.
posted 2 years, 9 months ago
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