Thursday, March 16, 2006

Uterine Politics

This was the week to make the decision between MD or midwife at Chez Wo. Interesting challenge. With our first baby we were completely clued out and made no self-directed decisions. I pretty well just went where my GP, who did no obstetrics, sent me.

This time we thought quite seriously about the choices midwife, MD and doula, midwife and doula. We are very fortunate in BC to have fully funded midwifery, and have had since 1995. I was quite interested in being the sort of Mom who supported midwifery in my community. I even had as an option a rather cool program called the South Vancouver Birth Project that brings together nurses, doctors, midwives and doulas and places the family in a continuing care model with a range of peers.

I think you can tell where this is going... We thought it would be a good idea to try something else, but in the end we won't.

The delivery of our Girl Friday was pretty much exactly what anyone could hope for, I'll tell you all about it sometime. For now, I'll simply say it was unmedicated, of manageable time period and any possible down sides of it were subsequently completely eclipsed by life with said Girl. It was a hospital birth managed by the very amazing Dr. R. The come what may doc. my former GP sent me to. For the first time in almost a year and half I saw her again today. Baby E. saw her too -- the first face she really ever saw, in so much as newborns can see. Particularly, bright red and screaming newborns busy screaming "Where the HELL am I???"

Dr. R. was the best doc. I found this out when I blurted out to one friend in my post-partum period, "The birth was great!" She laughed like I must be kidding, but I wasn't. I am pretty sure if it was so great it had little to do with what p-man and I brought to the experience.

When we first phoned Dr. R. during early labour I remember she said, "OK, you're gonna pull an all-nighter. This is no big deal you have done this before. You will sleep tomorrow.", sure Ok, whatever you say... I guess I can do this... She also said brilliant things like "It is pretty hard to abnormalize pregnancy, you know" and "Wow, there is no question that's p-man's kid!" She stayed with us for 10 hours as we laboured and delivered. I could not go to a midwife because they all are supposed to provide this care. I went to Dr. R. because she is a rare doc who choses to do it this way. She seems someone who loves her job, loves to do everything right about her deliveries and let's admit it this woman can read me like a book. This is sorta handy.

If I want the next delivery to be anything like the first, seemed the shortest route from A to B was to put the team back together. Although I freak about details we do not have handled for a new arrival, after today I really can't wait for the due date to come.

As I left the midwife interview last week my mind drifting to calling our old doc. I was disappointed in myself. Thanks to a really good but f*ed up prenatal clutch we were a part of I definitely can buy into wanting to opting out of the doctoring of deliveries... But in the week I've taken and leaving the office today that internal debate of who has rights over my birthing activities evaporated. Uhm, it's me duh! And, why go through the work of disclosure of a Wo family birthing process with anyone new when I was so happy the first time? Count me out of having this fetus take a political stand before the vegan announcement at age 9.


Blogger Andrea said...

ya I read in books about all these decisions you should make and the lists you should present your doctor with and it went on and on.
The only decision I made was
-get it out!!!
painkillers wasnt a choice, they have only just started offering it in a very few hospitals in Japan so that answer was no.
if and when we have another kid it will be in BC with all these choices and I think my head might explode just thinking about it!! lol

10:38 p.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

My first was a hospital birth in a small hospital in upstate New York. Officially, I had an obstetrician, but in fact, I was delivered by midwives, with the doc showing up ten minutes before my daughter's appearance. Unmedicated, lovely birth. A birthing centre within the hospital, which had me seeking out birthing centres for my next deliveries. Birthing centres are staffed by midwives, as it happens. I didn't know that at the time.

My second was in a large urban hospital (in its birthing centre) in Toronto with a GP, who only managed to be in attendance because he happened to be in the hospital when we roared in. The entire labour was 87 minutes. Again, it was the midwives who did the work.

My third would have been a home birth with midwives, had it been covered by provincial health care, but she was born the year before it came into effect. So once again we went to a hospital birthing centre, this time here in Ottawa. And once again, the GP showed up only at the very end; the midwives did the work.

You are lucky to have found a doctor who'll stay right there with you. I taught prenatal classes for ten years, and I will tell you that doctor is extraordinary. From your description, I would say that you received midwife-style care from her - so of course you don't need to seek out a midwife.

All of my childrens' births were wonderful. From 16 hours down to 87 minutes. Because I made the right choices for myself. As are you.

4:13 a.m.  

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