Monday, June 25, 2012

Twin babies born by c/section, one still in the caul. Amazing and very rare photo!

Thank you Rebecca for sharing your inspiring story and the incredible photographs of you and your babies!

 I had a c-section with twins. My story is one about struggling to do what is best for mama and babies within the confines of hospital setting.It is also a story about not being afraid to advocate for what you want in spite of a medical system designed to protect doctors and nurses at the expense of mamas and babies.

I put on 80 pounds during my pregnancy but walked at least 2 miles every day up until the day of the delivery. The doctors kept saying i should stop being active-but I felt this would be a sentence to high blood pressure, diabetes, and bed rest for sure. They heavily monitored my pregnancy, having me in weekly for scans and constantly threatened early delivery and bed rest, which did not make me want to show up for the scheduled appointments at all. 

Torn between wanting to be sure everything was going well, and wanting to be left alone completely, I always showed up. At my 30 week appointment, they did not let me leave, and admitted me for delivery. I was very angry and felt it was unfounded (it was based on one doctor's impression that a doppler reading was too high). None of the nurses on the floor could understand why I was there once I told them the doctor was threatening to deliver my babies so early based on one doppler reading. (Doppler readings display the blood flow from baby to placenta, and can vary day to day. I had offered to come back the following day for another test, and i t was then he said I could not leave). Though I was admitted and stayed overnight, the next day the supervising doctor came in and apologized for having kept me there against my will based on the other doctor's assessment and released me home. That doctor was taken off my birthing team and I was given a new one. All the nurses stopped in before I left to congratulate my on my successful avoidance of such an early delivery.

I had always wanted a home birth, but once we found out it was twins I knew that most likely I was doomed to a hospital setting. The scheduled me for a c-section at 36 weeks, and this was a battle I was not willing to fight. One thing I knew I wouldn't compromise on was breastfeeding my babies, no matter what. I considered myself lucky because we were in New Zealand, where there are midwives AND nurses on staff. 

Once they were delivered, eyes wide open, one still in the cull, I was able to give skin to skin. They were not put in NICU at all, thanks to the midwives advocating for us (and my stubborn disposition), and we went straight to our room together. There was an incubator to keep them warm since they were only 4 and 5 pounds each.

Once the morphine wore off I realized the nurses were coming in and force feeding formula to my babies through nose tubes. I explained I was only going to breastfeed my babies, and that at the hospital's request, I had pumped a lot of colostrum that was in the fridge in case the nurses needed it. I was told what they were doing was standard practice and that I could breastfeed after they formula fed.

I was livid, knowing that I would lose my supply if the babies weren't allowed to nurse on demand. The midwives were keen to my concerns and let me breastfeed instead of formula feed when the nurses were not on shift. When the night nurse realized what was happening, she got very angry and ordered an emergency glucose test on both babies, telling me my milk could not support their needs and I was hurting them by allowing them to nurse for longer than 20 minutes at a time, because if I had enough milk, they would not need to nurse for longer than that.

The tests, done at 3 am, came back fine. She left my room crying, so upset that she had caused me such stress and because I made her feel extremely bad for questioning such a natural process by explaining that though the hospital may have protocols to follow, I was not so sure that everyone would thrive under their protocols. Her supervisor came in for a visit and I successfully lobbied to have the nurses who wanted to formula feed through nose tubes banned from my room, the nose tubes removed, and was able to breastfeed my babies on demand, undisturbed. The midwives were thrilled, and many of them stopped in to thank me for being such a vocal advocate for breastfeeding. Instead of being made to feel bad for being so argumentative, they told me they wished more mamas would be firm in their desires for skin to skin and for nursing. We left the hospital 4 days later with the babies in tow. We took a train from the hospital to town and walked home. This too, of course, was against the hospital's best advice. 

I am glad I trusted my body and my intuition- because the pregnancy was trouble free and the babies healthy, despite an early delivery at 36 weeks. I understand that the medical community is there to ensure everyone survives, but I also think they assume there are problems when there may not be. My babies came out alert and healthy, rooting for the breast. I think it is a sad myth that babies born by c-section cannot breastfeed, or that the mama won't have milk. I hope that women everywhere can feel empowered enough to advocate for what they want for them and their babies. Please don't be afraid to argue and speak up for yourself and your babies!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Will the real Dr. Amy please stand up? Part II

In my previous post, Will the real Dr. Amy please stand up? I presented my readers with an idea of what the skeptical community really thinks about Amy, the unlicensed and retired doctor. It was quite the eye opener.

Well, I have stumbled upon some new information and I realized, that after all this time, I have had Amy all wrong. I always believed she had something against natural birth and homebirth but it's much more than that. The reality seems to be that she is against women. I know that sounds extreme but let's not forget who were are talking about here. This is a woman who sees the world in black and white terms. It would make sense that she would be so vehemently against homebirth; homebirth gives women choice. If you dislike women, you don't want them to have choice.

You may wonder what the point is in giving you all a look into Amy's mind. Why don't we just ignore her, right? She's just a lonely, old lady with some wacky views. Well, I wish it were that simple. I really do. The problem is, Amy deceives a lot of people. If you don't know her background and all you read is.. "Harvard educated, Ob-Gyn", you may think, "Hey, maybe this lady is legitimate. Maybe we should listen to what she has to say." And you know, she actually could be legitimate but she loses all credibility when she takes her views too far. Her rigid and unwavering stance on so many issues really calls her rationality into question. Quite frankly, Amy Tuteur is not a reliable source for unbiased information.

Below is an exchange between Amy and her readers on a post she wrote about children deserving to have biological parents in their life and in their home, everyday. Sounds fair right? Well, it's not that simple. In a perfect world, yes, every child would have a happy home with both biological parents. But we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where some biological parents lie, cheat, gamble and drink. We have fathers who are mentally ill and unstable and worse. In those instances, a mother is doing a service to her children, when she removes him from the home. That's not what Amy believes, though.. let's take a look, shall we?

The belief that women should be stigmatized for being single moms. I can't help but think this would harm the children of single mothers, more than the mother's themselves...

The belief that children should only be conceived in marriage. So, mothers who accidentally get pregnant are automatically selfish and self indulgent?

The only thing that counts when two people divorce, is that the woman gets want she wants, she never thinks of anyone else but herself. Bad, selfish women..

Hmm. So, if your husband cheats on you- even repeatedly, you are supposed to stick around and take it? And if you don't, YOU are the selfish and self indulgent one? According to Amy, a cheating father doesn't threaten a child's happiness.. no, it's the mother's choice to leave that cheating husband that really threatens her child's happiness...

Wow. Women are pretty scummy aren't they, Amy? Not only do they only care about money but sex also takes precedence over their children.. 

A commenter is in disbelief that women leave their husbands simply because they want to have sex with other people..

So the ONLY reason women leave their husbands ( notice, it is ALWAYS the woman leaving the man and never the other way around) is because they simply- "don't like" them anymore. I always thought women wanted their children's fathers in their lives. Guess I was wrong...

This commenter has a few ideas why a woman might leave her husband..

Once again, it's the WOMAN'S fault. If only she still liked her husband after he beat her, cheated on her and spent all their money at the track. If only she put aside her needs for a minute and thought about her children's "alleged" happiness....

I always thought the man that was loving and consistently in the child's life was the father but I guess as long as you give your sperm that is the only requirement needed. I have a feeling many  children would disagree...

 Well, have no fear ladies. I know you think Amy is a woman hater but she doesn't think so highly of gay people either. At least we aren't alone!

I bet this kid would disagree with you Amy....