(a letter from Nancy in reply to an impassioned e-mail from Greece)
I am crying right along with you.
You were given such bad advice every step of the way. I am so sorry. It appears as if the addiction to do unnecessary cesareans is not only confined to the USA.
Three weeks ago, a couple called me and asked me if they could come and talk to me. They were scheduled for a cesarean in two days. They drove about two hours and met with me. They were both in a state of anxiety and tension and panic. The mother is about 5 feet 7 inches and slender. The ultrasound said that her baby was 11 pounds ( I am not good at converting it to the metric system, although I wish were doing metric like everyone else!) and that since he had not dropped and she had too much amniotic fluid, she would not be able to have this baby normally. When I met them, they were two days passed their due date. They discussed the possibility of induction, but because the head was high, the doctor said the cord would prolapse and the baby would die.
I’m glad he said no, because inductions are NOT okay. If the body is ready to have the baby, the body will go into labor. If the baby is ready to be born, the body will go into labor. I spent two hours or so with this couple. I “played” gently with this baby from the outside and told the couple that they did not, in fact, have too much fluid – the fluid level was fine. Ultrasounds are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to assessing fluid levels. I told them that they did have a nice big, healthy baby, but it was not eleven pounds. And after hearing that this woman’s mother had two completely natural births two weeks after the “due date” – and that neither of her babies had “dropped” – I was quite sure that this woman could birth normally.
Eleven days later – so now they were 13 days past their “due date” (I call it a “guess time” as most people know – this is on my very new blog which I just started two weeks ago at the insistence of a client who’s had two VBAC babies with me – she said that I had to join the 21st century!!), they went into labor. They had an eight pound, twelve ounce baby boy. When the water released (nothing breaks, nothing is broken), there was just an average amount. The mother dilated to ten over several hours and then began pushing. We recommended that she do only two or three pushes in the same position, and then change position, so as to kind-of rock the baby down.
It took a little time, but she birthed naturally, in her home, another cesarean section avoided. I am so happy for this couple and I know they would be willing to talk with you.
If you do come across the ocean, I would be more than happy to do whatever I can to help you have a natural birth. I can never give 100 percent guarantees about an outcome as there are so many factors and I am not the one totally “in charge.” What I can tell you is that I am committed to helping each woman have the best experience possible. I want her to feel confidence which is bolstered through our (I have a lovely midwifery partner who birthed at home and two terrific student midwives) support. I want her to remember her great grandmothers, who birthed naturally at home. I guarantee that I will return phone calls promptly and not rush with my clients when we are together. I guarantee that I will everything I have learned how to do at this point to help you avoid being cut open again.
I, of all people, understand your sadness at having been sectioned (and in your case, not once, but twice). I was so truly bananas (that is colloquial – since English is not your first language – it means “being upset and feeling completely off-center” as a result of having a cesarean – and now I know that any conscious woman should feel that way, as a part of her feminine self, and her power, has been stripped from her when her babies are taken out of her). And so, if after we have talked and emailed, the decision is made that you will come the United States to birth, I would be honored to help you in any way that I can.
You will notice, this is a condensed version of the letter I wrote back to you and that I changed your name to protect your privacy. I went on line and looked up Greek names; I chose Bernice because the meaning is “Bringer of Victories.”