Hello! I saw your forum on Lamaze International, and am very intrigued by it.
I have been reading the Official Lamaze Guide, and love the natural take on
pregnancy and labor. I have a doula who is wonderful, and I am currently trying
to find a midiwife to assist me in my pregnancy and labor. I want to have as natural
of a birth as possible. (No meds, no ultrasounds, no induction), I believe in the
body's ability to do what it's supposed to do. I'm a very holistic minded person,
I work for a NSA chiropractor, so get frequent adjustments which has helped
get my nervous system in tip top shape!
But, there is a catch... and I hope you will hear me out on this because it is not a black
and white issue. I had a blood clot a year ago, Deep Venous Thrombosis in my brain, which
is now gone.
I was taking desogen birth control for ~5 years, and prior to that was on 4 different birth
controls = 10 consistent years of birth control. The medical doctors attributed the blood
clot to the birth control I was on; (they did testing and my blood doesn't have the abnormal
clotting factor.) However, I was on birth control for 5 years (total of 10 years) without any prior health
compensations, so I believe there were other contributing factors than just birth control...
The day I went to the ER was the same day I left my extremely stressful job. I was
a receptionist, administrator, and office manager, in a very large unorganized stressful
office. I have never been as stressed out in my entire life as I was at that place. I
worked long days, never taking breaks, drinking very little water, and nutritionally compromised.
Towards the end of working there, about 2 weeks prior to leaving, an in-house massage therapist
was performing traction on my cervical. He was very inexperienced and I truly believe he
was experimenting with his technique. On top of that I was sharing a ride to and from work
in rush hour with my boyfriend who at the time was unemployed and an addict.
So in a medical setting these very important details don't seem to matter much. But I know that
body, mind, and spirit have to be in sync in order for the body's health to be a in a good state.
I also know that stress is the leading cause of disease and illness.
I tell you all of this because I am seeking help. I thought I could just be strong-willed and have
a natural birth, but it seems as though before md's even here all of the above details I've
already been stamped as high-risk with a protocol of a heparin drip during labor and birth.
My body is light-years beyond where it was a year ago. I know it doesn't sound like a long time ago,
and it wasn't. But since then I have been working at an amazing job. I am a chiropractic technician for
a NSA chiropractor. If you aren't familiar with this technique it is an non-invasive technique that
brings awareness to the body- and the body does the correcting on its own. My spine has
centered itself, and I've gained a cervical curve since being under care there. I've released an immense
amount of stress, my boyfriend is recovering from his addiction, has been clean for 6 months, has a
great full-time job that has (insurance thankfully!) In a much better place to say the least.
So I have a story, and medical doctors are not interested, I guess they don't have time and they are
more interested in protocols.
At this point I would just like someone who is knowledgeable to listen (truly listen), and guide me in a
direction that will allow me choice and a natural pregnancy and labor. Do you have any tips
as to how I can refuse the heparin drip? Or is that a terrible idea? I want to be able to stand and move
around freely, take a walk if i need to and allow my body to do the work. I also don't want any foreign
toxic substances in my body. But most importantly, I want to keep myself and my baby safe. Any tips?
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for being available for women like me who can't
always count on a mid-wife or medical doctor to listen (because i've tried.)
Your story is an unfortunate example of three of the fundamental systemic problems with maternity care, and indeed, medical care in general, in this country: 1) cookbook management that fails to take into account variations in the individual's case, 2) failure to understand the interplay between psychological issues such as extreme stress and physical health, and 3) failure to respect every patient's right to make an informed choice about medical treatments.
The key, as you have recognized, is finding someone who will "truly listen" and who believes that optimal care is care that best promotes safe, healthy birth with the least use of medical intervention that individual circumstances require. I think the best way of finding such a person is by tapping into the "mother-friendly childbirth" community. Is there a birth resource center in your area or a birth network group? Talk to them. Probably there are doulas, trained and experienced women who provide labor support. They will know who the progressive doctors and midwives are. Call your local hospitals and ask the nurse manager or charge nurse of the labor and delivery unit which doctors or midwives are most supportive of a woman who wants a natural childbirth, and then make a conference appointment with that person. At this stage, don't limit yourself to the providers your insurance covers. The crucial issue for now is to find a clinician whose judgment you can trust to advise you, and it will be well worth the money even if you have to pay out of pocket.
Let me know how your search goes.