Birth Transforms in Unexpected Ways

Meet Danielle Elwood, one of the Giving Birth with Confidence writers. Danielle will be sharing stories from her own two experiences in pregnancy, birth and parenting, as well as her journey to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. Danielle also is a blogger at Momotics.My journey began almost three years ago when I got pregnant with my first child. Of course, like most twenty somethings I thought I knew it all, and even assumed I had an extra edge over most because of my experience as a doula. I went through my whole pregnancy with an obstetrician who insisted I was high risk because of previous surgery I had in my teen years.A month before my oldest son, Camden was born, my husband's younger brother passed away very unexpectedly. It sent our whole family into a huge crisis, which I don't think my pregnancy recovered from. From November 11 til December 11, I lost a notable amount of weight, and started to not be able to keep any real meals down. My OB suggested induction, and I went along with it because of course it seemed to be for the "safety" of my son.I wish I could go back to that moment and switch OBs before I had to deal with that, and I wish I never consented to the induction. I had virtually no idea what I was getting myself into. Only seven short hours into my induction, my OB booked an operating room, because she insisted I would "never had this baby" or progress anymore than I had. I was devastated, but I did not feel as though I had an actual option. It was never presented to me as a question, or even an option to consent to, I was virtually told this was going to happen at 4:30. Had I known more about informed consent, I know it would have been a different situation. I had an unnecessary c-section just in time for my OB to go home for dinner.When my child was eight months old I got pregnant with my second son Benjamin. I knew I wanted to do everything differently. I interviewed several local midwives and doulas and made my decision very carefully. I knew VBAC was my only option, and I charged full speed ahead. My second pregnancy was nothing like my first. I was not considered high risk and I was not treated like I was sick or ill. I was just pregnant, woman with child, growing my child to bring into the world when he was ready. He decided that on May 16, 2009 he was ready, and I went into labor on my own while manning a booth for my local ICAN chapter.After laboring for over 26 hours, and a very stuck little boy, I had a second cesarean section that not only saved my son's life, but also saved my own. (You can read more details about Ben's birth here.)I had the experience of both sides of the table -- the unnecessary surgical delivery and one that was necessary. But something new clicked in me. A need to help others on a deeper level. Not too long after starting to look into becoming a birth professional on another level, I came across an article about the serious need for childbirth education in our society today, and the gross misconceptions about pregnancy and birth.  I knew right then and there that childbirth education was the field I needed to move toward.With the help of several friends in the birth community, and after weighing out all of my options for certification, I decided to take a Lamaze workshop. I am excited to be bringing Lamaze into my community, as there aren't many local teachers, and I feel as though I identify the most with Lamaze when it comes to their philosophy on childbirth.I am really excited to have the opportunity to write for Giving Birth with Confidence, and help my own journey to help other mothers, as that is what my calling is now.

1 Comment

Informed Consent

April 25, 2017 07:24 PM by Elsie Smith

Your story sounds alot like mines. I was told I cannot have a natural birth and I was booked in to have a RCS. I was so sad! I contacted so many people but unfortunately no one got back to me. I was on FB and posted about my issue with the DR, not allowing me to have a natural birth and  they said NO! A lady called Chanelle contacted me. She owns a company called she supported me and travelled to where I was and spoke to the hospital and positively she managed to come into labour with me and I HAD A NATURAL BIRTH. Informed consent can be hard at times but having a support person with you can make this easier.

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