For the 4th time in 3+ years, one of my clients ended up in the operating room.
I have supported clients before where I felt like they got steamrolled into a cesarean. Earlier this year I watched as a doctor (with all of his students watching) told a woman (primip, after 1 hour of pushing) that she could push some more if she wanted to, but she was going to end up in surgery so they might as well cut their losses. It was going to be a really big baby, after all.
It was 7lbs, 9 oz.
This was not like that.
This mom was an awesome laborer. She was totally able to get into the zone, that one that is so hard to describe but we all know it when we see it. She tuned out the world, tuned into her body and her baby. But in the end, her baby was in a bad position and she did not want to move. When the time came to call it quits, everyone in the room (and there were alot of us) felt good about the decision, including mom.
I cannot say enough about her midwife, Kathleen and her group, Pacific Midwifery. They are the only midwifery group completely staffed by CNMs in the area that do hospital births. And after what was no doubt an enormous amount of work, Legacy Salmon Creek is now the only facility in SW Washington doing water birth.
This, my friends, needs to be the wave of the future. Respectful, passionate, informed childbirth that takes place wherever you are comfortable. Although I believe strongly in home birth, I also feel women should be able to birth their babies in a hospital without fear. And although this birth ended in cesarean section, countless others in Kathleen's care have had normal, natural births without routine intervention. All women deserve that.
In 1965 4.5% of births were via c-section. In 2005 30.2% were. We cannot allow this trend to continue. The World Health Organization recommends a rate no higher than 15%. To find out what's being done and what you can do, visit www.motherfriendly.org
On a personal note, my wonderful doula who tended to my every need at the birth of my second daughter, is moving back east. Her compassion, support, humor and sisterhood will be missed by many, including myself. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a doula like her.