Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Update on the midwife meeting (dun dun dun dun!)

Aaah, life in France.  What magic, what wonder!  By that I mean: I wonder what they will pull out of bag of tricks next.  By "they" I mean, ALL French people, all the time.  No, just kidding.  But since I have just returned from the states, the contrast in culture is all that much more stark.  Soon, probably, as the memories fade - and as I grow again accustomed to just how difficult life can be made at nearly turn - I will become comfortably numb to it all.

But til then, allow me to update you with the result of my  previously mentioned "debriefing" with my former midwife, the midwife who broke confidentiality with me as I shared with her my previous birth experience during an interview and the psychologist who was to determine if I was still very upset by Sabine's birth and therefore not acceptable to return to their services.  Funnily, when I had told midwife #2 whom we will call by her name, Muriel, that I wanted something different than I had will midwife #1, Willy, she strongly urged me to find somewhere else to go.

What continues to amaze me is that there appear to be about five or so midwives in this giant city who actually speak English.  Okay, there are probably some in the American Hospital or the British Hospital, but they are both incredibly expensive and you are not "followed" by the midwife, meaning that the person who is in the room with you as the baby is born could be a complete stranger.  They also don't take Social Medical card soooo, not an option anyway.  I told Muriel, that there really was NO where else for me to go that would provide a less-medical model style of birth.  They don't have cozy birthing centers like in the states.  There is ONE that is close, but still the birthing is done usually in the hospital after laboring in a lovely room.  I mentioned it in a previous blog and while it is great, no speaka the English.

Anyhoot, the meeting went well.  Even though, it was held against my wishes and if I didn't go then I was out,  the meeting did go well. Nor would I say it was worth MY time, per say, as the rendezvous was done at the urging of "the team" to ensure that there was peace between myself and Willy.  But to put the team's mind at rest that there wasn't a raging (and ranting) woman dragging Groupe Naissance name through the mud, I went.  And I found that I felt much more understood at the end (always feels good to be understood) and I felt more compassion towards Willy. 

I highlighted how I felt completely under-prepared for the birth, though I was led to believe that I was prepared.  How Willy's style of complete non-nonchalance when I didn't know what to do but was scared was incompatible with what I want for the next time.  We talked about how tense my muscles became and basically left the meeting with the clear understanding that for the next birth, I intend to get to the bottom of these issues and hopefully not repeat them.  I was reading in my "HypnoBirthing" book that "fear is the cause of tension within the body, in particular the uterus" p4.

For Sabine's birth, at Willy's strong urging, we did not read or become informed about birthing, breathing, techniques or even how to use the birthing ball.  He was of the mind that the body just knows what to do.  I actually totally agree with him, that the body was designed to birth a baby without medical intervention (in most cases) and that given the time, space and respect the mother can deliver a baby without her having a medical degree.

But, for me, what was missing was the basic idea of what was happening and what was going to happen.  I was also not told that things that were worrisome were normal and fine.  Being that vulnerable and frightened just made everything tense up.  I am not even talking about the labor, which I got through fine with music and my breath.  That part, I had a handle on.  But when the urge to poop was overwhelming, I had no knowledge that that was the push the baby out urge and so, not wanting to poop on the floor, I resisted.  No one told me at that time.   

I am only now learning about HOW to give birth.  Because hot-damn, there are helpful tips out there!  As of yet, however, I still do not know where I will give birth nor who my midwife will be.  But even if we do end up going to the nearby hospital, I will be more equipped to extract our daughter confidently and without fear.  (Who knew breathing like blowing a balloon helps?)

Because it wasn't the labor pain, which was without excess pain.  I found the pain tolerable with Libana's singing lulling the pain like the ocean washing up on the shore- and gushing back and washing up and gushing back.  It was invigorating and cosmic .... right upon until the harsh change of room, hallway, elevator, medical bed, fear, confusion, tension, variety of ineffective change of positions each one more painful than the last (the change of position), the incorrect breathing, no more music, no more candles, just commands to PUSH for three hours.

Ah well, I am thrilled that I get a do-over on this one.  Worth mentioning that this HypnoBirthing book by Marie F Mongan is really great and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is pregnant.  In about three months, I will let you know how it worked!

Pictures of our incredible journey coming up, really, I promise!  I have been busy unpacking and organizing.  Don't believe me? Take a look at how Sabine's (+new baby) room has transformed:

Those drawers on the left will hold Sabine's clothes soon.

This changing table will start being used again, heavy sigh.

We needed new book shelves (left) thanks to all the wonderful new books!  Thanks to Joan for some of the really special ones :)

Got more vertical storage, got rid of some clutter and decided how to resolve the bed situation.  When the new baby is ready for her own bed, she will take Sabine's crib and Sabine will sleep on a trundle mattress kept under the crib.  I pondered the idea of getting an elevated bed, but decided to keep it simple for the moment.  Who knows, we will hopefully be moving next summer. 

So, almost entirely ready for the baby!  Now, focus on the French driver's license!

1 comment:

Marieanne said...

Ah yes - the culture shock of coming back! Makes everything seem a bit more intense here but the Paris survival instinct will kick in soon I'm sure.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and glad to hear things are unfolding in a positive way for you regarding the arrival.