As a mother of 3, you could say I have some experience giving birth. Each one was their own unique experience and I mean that sincerely, not in a new agey ‘you’re a unique snowflake’ sort of way.
The first two were done the birthing in America fashion by which I mean the OB/GYN, pee on stick, step on the scale and cry.. My oldest son, now 11 was pretty much a standard pregnancy. Being my first I didn’t know what to expect, so I read ‘the book’.. yes that one, ‘What to Expect, When You’re Expecting.’ You might say it was my bible at the time. I read it cover to cover, several times.. I can’t remember if the book talks about midwives, I’m sure it did but that wasn’t an option available to me, as when you birth in America, you realize quickly that you’re not in charge of how you give birth; the insurance companies determine that and whether it be private or government instituted, THEY are in control.. not YOU! So I went to the insurance covered in network provider. I cried each time they put me on the scale, they told me I was too fat and gave me the following nutrition advice, ‘don’t drink juice anymore..’ that’s it. They sent me to do the ultrasound where I got the first picture of the baby and learned the sex, even though I didn’t want to know. They injected me with needles that drew my blood and tested for things, most of which I never learned what or why, they had me strip down naked, where a paper dress and lie on a bed with my feet in stirrups, so that my vagina was as wide open and exposed as possible to make it easier for them to insert a hard cold metal object inside me. This allowed them to poke their fingers around the inside of my uterus.. shockingly.. even before I was pregnant I never enjoyed this practice, the doctors would always tell me I was ‘too sensitive’. Yeah.. it’s ME
After I was about 3 days past my due date, they told me to plan an induction of labor. When I told them about how ‘the book’… my bible said that induction wasn’t necessary at this point they complied but unwillingly and sent me to receive more ultrasounds.. I was stressed.. I cried more… they had set up an induction on Friday that I declined and ultrasound on Monday which I accepted and later that evening, I went into labor.. NATURALLY.. my water broke in my bed the following morning. I know it’s hard to believe but babies were born prior to the invention of pitocin (the serum used to induce labor in case you didn’t know) and my son, Avery was one of those babies. I went to the hospital, had an epidural, delivered without complication, he was placed into a plastic bassinet with bright lights and strangers cleaning, examining, poking, prodding and eventually cutting of the tip of his winky. This is considered a ‘normal’.. ‘successful’ even, birth in America.. How can that be, you ask? And how do I know? Because it gets worse.. much much worse, as I would find out the second time around.
Two years after my oldest son was born, I would have another son. I went to the same in network provider, had pretty much the same experience except one of the doctors at the practice was no longer there, so the wait at the office went from about an hour to upwards of 2 hours per visit. I gained a little more weight the second time around, even though I was considered fat the first time, the second time was even worse. I wasn’t offered any nutrition advice, though they tested me for diabetes twice, both times were negative. I never had an abnormal pap smear, I never had high blood pressure, aside from a little low iron, I had a normal, healthy pregnancy.. other than my unexplained fatness which would cause a panic throughout the office by about month 8 or 9.. In all honesty, I didn’t gain that much weight but the size of my uterus was apparently an inch or so larger than it was supposed to be.. according to them. The solution to this problem was to induce labor, once again, even before my expected due date. I reminded the doctor of the ‘book’s’ word and that it was not medically necessary at this time to do so, his response and I quote ‘There’s nothing worse than giving birth to a DEAD baby..’ Honest to God that’s what he said. I left the office that day a nervous wreck, crying uncontrollably while driving myself home. The doctor’s solution was the same as before.. more ultrasounds.. of which I would end up having about 5-6, as opposed to the 2-3 the first time around. Each visit would require about a 2 hour wait in the office, often with my then 2 year old son in tow.. yeah.. fun!
About 3 days after my due date, the doctor asked me to reconsider the induction.. I did and went to the hospital for a planned birth. The nurse examined me with the fun cold metal object and stuck her hand way up my uterus where she would declare that the baby had ‘not dropped..’ meaning that the baby hadn’t dropped to my cervix yet. ‘Why would the doctor plan an induction, when the baby hadn’t dropped?’ She would ask me.. I had no answer. Later she would ask the same of my doctor, declaring ‘She’s sky high!’ Without looking at me or anyone in the room, he would quickly glance at my chart, hand it back to the nurse and state ‘high blood pressure’, as he walked out the room and down the hall. The nurse chasing the doctor down the hall with my chart in hand, I could hear screaming, ‘there’s no high blood pressure.. her blood pressure is fine..’ Mind you at this point the nurse had already followed doctor’s orders and hooked me up to an IV that delivered the pitocin causing me to go into full blown labor with contracting and all.
A few minutes later in the middle of a contraction, the nurse would walk into the room and say the doctor ordered to stop the induction. She unhooked the IV, propped me up and sent me home. I would continue to have active contractions for the next several hours. It didn’t feel good.
By this time my mom was visiting, as I was supposed to have an induced labor and she would be around to help but there was no baby delivered yet. She watched my 2 year old while my husband and I went to do the next ordered ultra-sound. The ultra-sound tech or doctor or whatever he was, brought us into his office. He said, ‘you’re baby is around 10 pounds, you’re too small to deliver it, you should have a C-section..’ I was horribly terrified as I had read in “the book” about the unnecessary numbers of C-sections done in this country, of the complications and that any future children would all have to be delivered via C-section. I was certainly thinking I wanted more children and did not wish to have this surgery every time. My husband would calmly nod his head and turn to the ultra-sound dude (I believe that was his official title) and ask the following question, ‘If she were your wife..’ ‘I don’t have a wife’, he interjected.. ‘Okay, if she were your sister.. what would you advise her to do?’ my husband continued.. ‘If this were my sister, I would advise her to have the baby vaginally’, WHAT? Then what the fuck, ultra-sound dude? Why? Why did you just tell me to have a C-section??
I came home from that visit in shambles, I went into the shower and suddenly had a feeling of panic. The baby in my uterus which had always been very active was not moving.. In my gut I felt the ultra-sounds were harmful but in my fear I proceeded with doctor’s orders. I had no indication that this might be the case, ‘the book’ said they were safe.. I had asked these questions the first time around, ‘were these things safe?’ No one.. except maybe my husband, who seemed to be mistrusting of all medical procedures would say they might not be.. He then told me about the whales. Large sea mammals would beach themselves on shore and die when the navy conducted sonar testing in the ocean.. Sonar meaning sound.. ultrasounds?! Sound waves could kill a whale under water.. hmm.. I came out the shower not thinking of the whales but my own baby. He wasn’t kicking.. ‘he’s different, he’s not the same..’ I said, crying in fear.. My mom and husband would come to console me with worried looks upon their faces. The baby kicked and my worries began to subside… sort of.. In the back of my mind I would always ponder.. should I have left the office during those 2 hour visits.. were so many ultra-sounds necessary.. what did they tell us anyway.. These questions were never spoken by me at the time and would eventually leave my head.. That is for several years, when they did in fact return.
The next bit of advice from I don’t remember who, was to go on a long walk… So my husband, my 2 year old, my mother and I, all went to the LA Zoo where we spent hours walking.. It was a nice spring day in April. The next day I was to go back to the hospital and try to induce labor again but a funny thing began to happen on the way to the hospital.. I started having contractions.. on my OWN! No pitocin, just a walk in the zoo and the baby was coming. We checked in, which was another long wait.. Then a very old man with a wheel chair pulled up. He was to take me to the deliver room.. We got into an elevator and went to one of the floors, it wasn’t the right floor.. he looked confused. My husband said, “I know where to go, just let me take her..” “No, we can’t do that..” said the old guy, “..it’s against hospital policy..” In circles we went until about 30 minutes later we found the right floor and were directed to the right room.. the old guy had said that the building was being remodeled and he was confused.. yeah, we noticed.
In the delivery room, I was put into another paper dress, where I would lie down on a bed with my feet in stirrups, more examinations by the nurse, another IV with a deliver of pitocin.. why more pitocin, given that I was already in active labor? To speed up the process of course.. The process was sped, I was about 9 cm dilated.. The anesthesiologist came in to deliver the epidural. He had me sit up as he attempted to give me a spinal tap.. In active labor and excruciating pain, I would attempt to sit still for over an hour.. ‘I have a strange spine’, he would say.. Again.. I’m defective.. It’s never a failure of the system, incompetence or an unnecessary procedures.. no.. it’s always YOU.. or in this case.. ME! After a little over an hour and several stabs into my back (I think we counted 20 or so by the marks left behind), I said ‘no.. I’m done…’ I sent the anesthesiologist away and decided to do it without pain killers. The nurse felt for me and gave me a little codeine for the pain and a little valium for the stress (I think, I can’t fully remember, she gave me something).
Then the doctor finally enters the room, he walks over to me without a word, without a look, without an anything and as if he is Moses himself, parting the Red Sea, he sticks his hand up my vagina and breaks my water.. he then leaves the room. I look to my husband and ask, ‘did he just break my water?’ ‘Yes’ and that was it for the next several hours. The nurse and my husband would act as the birthing coaches until the last crucial minutes when the doctor, whom I lovingly now refer to as ‘Dr. GodComplex’ would re-enter to instruct me what to do.. I don’t remember what he said.. My husband would try to assist to which Dr. GodComplex would instruct him to ‘shut up or he’d be kicked out of the room’. Eventually the nurse would come around to whisper in my ear, ‘push really hard.. a C-section requires a spinal tap and you don’t want to have to go through that again..’ Oh yeah.. the anesthesiologist.. the 20 holes in back.. NO.. I certainly didn’t and I pushed… pushed and pushed more until that 9 pound 9 ounce big boy finally emerged. I was exhausted!
They took him from me immediately and did the plastic bassinet with the lights and the strangers and the eventual clip of the winky.. I was sent to the recovery room to sleep. When I awoke there was no one there.. My mom was back at the house with the two year old, I didn’t know where my husband was and there was no baby. I called the nurse to find out what was going on.. ‘let me find out..’ Around the clock different nurses would enter the room. In an increasing panic, I would ask where the baby was.. ‘let me find out..’ I could barely walk, so running down the hall was not an option.. all I could do was keep calling.. Eventually, 6 hours later, the nurse would emerge with baby in tow.. ‘we pricked his foot and his blood sugar was low, so we gave him some formula,’ she tells me.. ‘But I instructed no formula, as I’m planning to breastfeed,’ I answer back to which I receive no reply… ‘Well I guess if you had to…’ I continued a little disappointed to not be my son’s first feeding experience but I’d manage, it would be okay..
The next day everyone was there.. In laws, mother, 2 year old and husband.. I would tell the story about the 6 hour wait and the formula. My husband looking over my medical chart turns to me with a confused look, ‘it doesn’t say his blood sugar is low..’ No? What does it say? ‘It says they couldn’t find YOU..’ Oh right.. remember the old guy who didn’t know where to go because the building had been remodeled? ‘..they couldn’t find you, so they gave the baby formula because he was hungry..’ Angry my husband continues.. ‘if you can’t breastfeed him, it will be their fault..’ Nervous but not too nervous, as I had just come off of a successful breastfeeding run for the past two years.. I could do it again, I thought and I did.. We did! He had a little trouble latching on the first few days but the milk came in and we managed to recover from our birthing in America experience..
Later after the vaccines took my son, Aydan, my second born, into a world called autism, I would think back to these early memories. The mainstream and even alternative medicine world will claim ‘its a combination of genetics and environment, that cause autism’.. Hmm.. saying vaccine induced autism is a combination of genetics and environment is a bit like saying the fall-out victims at Chernobyl who got cancer were ‘genetically pre-disposed to cancer’.. I mean not everyone exposed to fall-out got cancer… right? (If you don’t understand that comment than you haven’t looked into vaccines, I suggest you do that now).
So these constant misleading and often ridiculous arguments about genetics would leave me feeling numb.. it’s always YOU.. and in this case ME.. Which of course it was me but not my faulty genetics. It was me that felt in my ignorance and fear to forgo my internal instinct to put trust.. or not trust even, more like compliance into a system that did not, would not and will not care about me.. or my son… A system that does not respect or even understand, the life saving, natural, birthing and bonding process… A system comprised of a band of rapist who will tell you, you are ‘too sensitive’ when you find your rape disagreeable.. A system that will brand your child with a serial number on your way out the door, as they have you sign a piece of paper agreeing to pay whatever amount of the $10,000 – $30,000 hospital bill your insurance does not pay.. I mean, how can you put a price on a ‘complication free’ birth, right? Oh and don’t worry, you’ll be able to write it off on your taxes… And that, my friends… is Birthing in America!
Please stay tuned for the next installment of ‘Birthing in America’ and more in the upcoming book…
Or website and radio show archives at Truther Talk: http://truthertalk.com/
-Are Ultrasounds Causing Autism: http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/04/29/are-ultrasounds-causing-autism-in-unborn-babies.html
-Autism and Induced Labor: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/autism-and-induced-labor/
-Harm and Physical Effect of Circumcision: http://www.circinfo.org/Warren.html
–There are now a multitude of studies that show that mothers and babies should be together, skin to skin (baby naked, not wrapped in a blanket) immediately after birth, as well as later: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&id=82:the-importance-of-skin-to-skin-contact-&Itemid=17
This article was originally released on the old blog 11/29/2014: http://aydansrecovery.blogspot.com/2014/11/birthing-in-america-part-1-setting.html