Cindy’s Birth Story
Cindy Paul, Ontario
My name is Cindy and I am a mother of six children. Two angels and four live children.
My first pregnancy happened when I was only 19: the year 1990. I wanted to do everything right to prove that young mothers can do it. I took Lamaze classes and assumed all would go well. I went into labour on my due date and was admitted to the hospital in the very early stages of labour. They hooked me up to monitors and proceeded to tell me when I was having contractions. I told them that I thought the monitor was malfunctioning because I remember being in pain and them telling me I wasn’t having a contraction when I was, as machines know best I guess. They had me lie flat on my back and surprise, surprise my labour did not progress. After many hours an obstetrician saw me and wanted to do a caesarean. I refused. I was accused of wanting to kill my baby. I wanted to know where the OB was that I had spent months getting to know during prenatal visits. It was not his turn on call, I guess.
Anyway my son was born with help of forceps and had some minor complications that were a result of the epidural I was conned into having. I was strapped to the table during the delivery. It was awful and barbaric. I was cut and tore as well. To compound matters I was only allowed to feed my son every 4 hours. I cried to hold my son but they kept him on a regular schedule and insisted I rest, even though I felt fine.
My second pregnancy I was a lot wiser. I waited until I was in a lot of pain before I went to the hospital and got there when it was too late for an epidural. This really scared me but I was so glad I did it this way in the end. I recovered almost immediately although they insisted that I get an episiotomy yet again (you wouldn’t want to have a jagged cut, they said). I tried to fight them on it but no luck. Once my son was born I was bugging them to go home. In 1992 it was almost unheard of to not stay a few days but 20 hours later I got my wish to go home. Again they were on the every 4 hour feeding schedule. Apparently on demand feeding was unheard of.
My third pregnancy I got a midwife. What a HUGE difference! I was so happy with my care. I got to meet a couple of midwives and my care rotated so that I would feel comfortable with whoever was at my side during the birth. My appointments were an hour long (not 15 minutes like they were with my doctor). I decided to have a hospital birth with a midwife due to pressures from my family. I got to have the birth my way, though. I remember asking my midwives questions and they guided me to trust my body to know what to do and they were right. I was nursing my son within minutes of the birth and was up and walking within 10 minutes. I left the hospital 3 hours later and had continuous home care from the midwives in the following weeks. No complications whatsoever and NO episiotomy and only a tiny tear that required 3 stitches.
My fourth pregnancy I decided to have a home birth with a midwife. All was going well until I had a false positive on my maternal serum screening test which I had volunteered to take. The maternal serum screening is offered to all mothers. I was told I didn’t have to take it but did anyway since it was offered. My test showed a 1 in 67 chance that my child would have Down’s Syndrome which is considered a positive result as I was only 26 years old. My midwife came to my house and sat with me while I cried. She stayed with me for 4 hours. What doctor would do that? I had an amniocentesis later which showed that m
y daughter was healthy and I had my home birth without a hitch. No tearing or stitches~yahoo!
My 5th pregnancy happened in 2008 by surprise. I had started my care with a midwife but my blood pressure started to go up at around 19 weeks. I was referred to an obstetrician and was put on medication to control my blood pressure. It was controlled well with the medication. I had my 20 week ultrasound and found out I was having a boy. At 27 weeks I had a 3D ultrasound. They couldn’t get a clear picture of his gender and since they guarantee a gender shot I was to come back in a week for a repeat. I did get to see him suck his thumb and hear his heartbeat. On the repeat ultrasound he was already gone. I was told to go to the hospital, and my midwife went with me. My loss was confirmed and after 15 hours of labour I delivered my dead son into the world. He was perfect. An autopsy confirmed his death was due to a cord accident. My blood pressure had nothing to do with it and nobody could have prevented it.
My sixth pregnancy was in 2009. Basically I found out I was pregnant and miscarried a week after. I was not successful in conceiving again and the stress of it all caused my spouse and I to separate. Thank you for sharing my story.