When I found out that I was pregnant, I was not filled with joy. I was only 15 at the time, and after a lengthy debate within my family, it was decided that I would place the baby up for adoption after s/he was born. Although that tore my heart out at the time, in retrospect it was really the best thing that could have happened to the both of us. Throughout the pregnancy, I had problem after problem after problem. Finally, the doctor told me that I was Toxemic. This explained a lot. Additionally, I was told that I needed to watch how much weight that I gained because of my small size. (I gained a total of 14 pounds until the day I delivered, when I weighed 19 pounds heavier than pre-pregnancy weight.)
The night before Scott was born, I was generally restless. Although my original due date had been March 17th (St. Patricks' Day) My doctor had moved the day forward 2 weeks, and I was two weeks past that. I went to my aunts bedroom (who is a doctor) and I told her that I was unable to sleep. "Maybe I am in labor?" I said to her. She told me to go back to bed. I slept until 9 the next morning, when I got up and got ready for my OB/GYN appointment. Then, I started having back cramps. I called my uncle at work and told him that I thought this was 'it'. He left his work and took me to the hospital/doctors office. All the way there, whenever I had a back cramp, I would ball my hands into a fist. "Are you having one" he would ask me. "I don't KNOW!!!" I would answer back, trying to figure out why my back felt like it was on fire.
Dr. Taylor was happy to see me and then he started looking at me down below. "Get UP, Get Dressed, and walk across the street. You are almost there." "What do you mean?" I asked. He then told me that he was going to break my waters. All of the sudden, I felt the GUSH come from inside me. He looked over at his watch. "It is 12:57. This is your first child, and you are 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. You will have the baby probably around 5PM or so." I nodded and quickly donned my clothes and walked into the waiting room where my uncle was, in his full Dress Army Uniform. (don't ask me the proper title for it.) "We have to go over and admit me." He went to go and park the car in the hospital parking lot, and I walked over to the hospital. As I was crossing the street, a contraction hit me. Bracing myself, I walked in to admitting, cutting through line like crazy. The elderly women looked at me "You need to go right to the end of the line. These people have all waited as long and longer than you." Before she could finish, a contraction interrupted her. "AHHHHH AHHHH AHHH!!!" I panted.
"I....am....here...to....DELIVER....NOW" was all I got to say before I started panting again.
I guess she understood I was serious, and she had me brought to the Labor Room. My uncle came in, and he was absolutely great. I told him that I did NOT want any drugs, and he must not let them give me any. He agreed, and then I threw up all over his handsome suit.
He left and got cleaned up, and a nurse appeared. She started thumping my arm, and I asked her what she was doing.
"We start IV's on all of the Mommies to be." "Not this one." "Hospital Policy" She sneered, still thumping my arm.
"NO. No Drugs."I barked back, pulling my arms into my side.
"It is just fluid to keep you hydrated." She said as she pulled the arm back to her for further thumping.
"NO" "Yes, we have to, policy you know." I relented because it is sometimes easier to agree with stupid people and then do what you want anyway. Within a minute, I was writhing in agony, screaming for my uncle. He came in, frantically looking at me. "You OK?" He said. "Get the NURSE. Something is wrong Get the damn NURSE." He came over to me and looked at the IV bags. "Why do you have Pitocin?" He asked me. "I don't have Pitocin." He showed me the little vial screwed into the IV. "Shit. Get the NURSE" He left, and the Keystone Cops medical crew arrived.
They refused to allow him back into my room, and he was supposed to be there for me. I told the nurse that I felt the need to stand up for my rights, and that I wanted no drugs, and Pitocin was a drug. She smiled the Stepfod wives smile, and said "But your doctor ordered it" I said that I did not care if the Pope himself ordered it, I said no drugs. She simply shrugged her shoulders.
The urge to push came so fast, I was surprised. I told the nurse I was ready to push, and she told me that I was mistaken. Then she checked me. "DON'T PUSH" she yelled as she ran for a phone. My doctor was called and he ran across the street. He scrubbed very quickly, and then sat in front of me in the 'catch baby' position, and asked for the scissors and the Novocain.
"No episiotomy no episiotomy" I moaned.
"You will tear otherwise" He said as the nurse handed him the stuff.
"Hey this is me. This is MY body and MY baby. NO CUT!" He ignored me and made the cut anyway.
I ignored him and pushed my baby into the world, much against the will of the doctor and his nurses that were in the room. He was born 11 minutes after my water had broken. They tried to take my darling away, but I told them that I had not signed the papers yet, and that I was going to room-in with him and breast feed. The miracle was (to them) that I was still able to give the child to an adoptive family after "seeing" him. I think the miracle is that nearly 13 years after the birth of this child, hospitals still treat childbirth as if it were a terrible thing they must cure.
I for one spoke up.