A Birth Story, Part Two

After my scare at the government hospital, I became a bit nervous.  Not because I was 41 weeks.  I knew that the baby was fine, but I was worried about what would happen if I didn’t make the government’s arbitrary deadline.  My midwife assured me all would be fine. (She did that a lot…)

Two days later, I had a routine appointment at my private doctor’s office.  I told her about the situation, and she said, “I was going to ask you if I could give you something to help you along.”  She checked to make sure that everything was okay.  Again, all was great!  The placenta was mature, but not too much.  There was plenty of fluid.  The baby’s heartbeat was strong.  I consented (clearly without thinking much), and she implanted a little pill to help me start my labor.  When I asked about the effectiveness of the pill, she said, “It is VERY effective.  I have only had 2 patients that it hasn’t worked on. “The doctor told us that it would cause me to go into labor that evening, or Sunday at the latest.  Misoprostol works by ripening the cervix.  It is also used to cause abortions.

I didn’t know that.

I came home, and began to google search the pill I had just willingly accepted into my body.  I became terrified.  Check this out:Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 10.20.26 AM

While misoprostol is used all over the world for the purpose of starting labor, it isn’t recommended by the FDA for that purpose.  I accepted an intervention without doing the research to see what it was.  I made the choice.  I didn’t talk to Victor or my midwife, I just went ahead and let a pill be introduced into my body.  A pill that could potentially have disastrous effects.

As tears streamed down my face, I sent a message to Tirsa, the midwife.  She said it wasn’t what she would choose to help me along, and that the labor would probably start within hours.  I was terrified.

The one thing I believe more than anything is that my body KNOWS what to do!  God made us perfectly–and the natural development of the baby is what triggers the labor of the mom.  Without waiting for my natural induction, I worried that I was rushing a baby who may not be ready.  Victor didn’t support the idea of making something happen either, but he wasn’t with me at the doctor’s office when I had to make a decision.  I felt guilty, angry, and more than anything, scared.

I asked my midwife if I could reverse the pill somehow.  Or maybe take it out.  She said it could potentially be removed if it was whole.  I had watched the doctor crush the pill and put it into some gel, so I knew it wasn’t whole.  But I was willing to try.  So was Victor, so with great care, he attempted to scoop out the crushed up pill from inside my hoo-ha.  It was as humiliating as it sounds.  There I was, nine months plus, legs spread wide asking my husband to clean out my insides.

We didn’t feel like he had been able to remove anything, so then we prepared for a baby to arrive.  We cleaned, washed the sheets, and went through our box of homebirth/new baby necessities.  My contractions began, and continued through the night.  My midwife reassured me that all would be fine, and encouraged me to get some sleep.  Even the next day, Sunday, I was having weak contractions.  We stayed home from church thinking that the baby might arrive, but no baby.

My midwife told me, “If the pill hasn’t worked by noon on Sunday, it is out of your system.  If your labor starts after that, we can assume that it has started naturally.”

And so, the waiting game continued.

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A Birth Story, Part One

 

Autumn came to visit for my labor. It was a great visit, but when she left, there still was no baby…

 

To begin the story of Josie’s birth, I should fill you in on the weeks prior to her birth.  We knew we wanted to deliver at home again, but we wanted to look into just renting a pool on our own and using our doctor.  After I posted a question online, we met with a doula at a place called Nacer Libre (Free Birth).  Silka, the doula, asked if I might be interested in a midwife.  Upon meeting Tirsa, the midwife, we were sold.  There would be no need for the doctor–we wanted to have a peaceful waterbirth at home, assisted by a midwife.

My due date was January 28th.  My in-laws were here.  My friend was here.  The baby was not sure she wanted to be here.  The private doctor I see (who delivered Ale at home) had been told that I planned a homebirth with a midwife, but I continued with my visits to her.  I was told that the baby would probably come around the full moon, but the full moon came and went with no baby.  All was fine in my visits–baby and I were healthy and just waiting for the big day.

I was 41 weeks on a Thursday, and I had to go to the government hospital to extend my maternity leave.  They had begun my maternity leave a week late, so that is the only reason I had the paperwork and payment for that long.  (In Mexico women receive six weeks before the birth and six weeks after the birth.) If the baby isn’t born by the due date, they will give you a one week extension, taking you to 41 weeks.  At that point, they induce or schedule a c-section.  The coordinator informed me that I would only have until Monday to delivery the baby.  Then they would need to schedule something, because I couldn’t extend my leave past one that day.

The IMSS doctor did a normal check (blood pressure, listening to the baby, etc.), then told me that I needed to go downstairs for an ultrasound.  This was strange, but she insisted because I was at 41 weeks.  Things began to feel ominous when, instead of pointing me in the direction, a secretary walked me down.  On the way, she said I needed to call my husband and have him come meet me.  This was really weird.  Why did he need to be there for an ultrasound?  We tried, but he didn’t answer.  Finally we arrived, but I was confused.  “Why were we in a different place,” I asked, “and not at the regular ultrasound room?”  The secretary informed me that I needed to see the doctor in the Tococirugia.  (I had no idea what that word was, but there was a symbol of a pregnant woman.  I did know the word cirugia (surgery), and that made me more nervous.

When I told the receptionists that I was going to go home, they said I couldn’t.  Because, after all, I was forty-one weeks pregnant.  I sat in a dirty little waiting room for about 15 minutes listening to the sound of some poor girl screaming bloody murder in the hallway in front of me.  I waited.  I speculated.  And I decided I needed to get out of there.

On the wall there was a sign that said if you wanted to leave against the doctor’s wishes, you had to sign something accepting responsibility.  That sounded pretty good to me, so I asked the receptionist to sign so that I could go home.  This was a different girl, and she began to tell me that I could leave–I had not been to see the doctor, so I didn’t need to sign anything.  At that point, her partner began to text on her phone saying, “Espérame, espérame.  Es que tiene cuarenta y uña semanas…”  (Wait for me.  She is 41 weeks pregnant… )  I wasn’t going to wait around to see what they wanted.  “Okay, bye!” I said quickly, and ran out the door.

I was so scared someone would follow me or call security.  I was walking so fast, my heart was beating a mile a minute, and all I could think was, “Get out of here!”

When I made it home, I googled Tococirugia, and found out that it means Labor and Delivery.  I sent a message to my midwife updating her on the situation.  She said, “It’s a good thing you got out of there!  It sounds like they may have tried to induce you.  I’ve never known IMSS to let anyone go past 41 weeks…”

Gulp.