I shall trust myself

kristen - bozeman, Montana
Entered on March 23, 2009

I believe in trusting myself.

About 2 years ago I switched doctors during my pregnancy because I was worried my current doctor was more likely to say I needed a Cesarean section (c-section) during my labor. I had lengthy conversations with my husband, new Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.), and my birth class teacher about my deep seeded fear of having a c-section. I am a smaller woman and I had faith in myself and my body that I could have my baby naturally, without the help of drugs, and other modern devices. Having my baby naturally was extremely important to me. I felt that many doctors, and health care providers would see only my small size and jump to conclusions about my abilities. I also knew that my mom had had a c-section with me when I was born, and that the medical establishment as a whole generally leans in that direction to protect themselves. I had a goal in mind and felt that I needed the help and trust of those around me on that special day.

When the time came, we felt ready. Labor progressed smoothly and all seemed well. After 22 hours of labor, and having declared that I was dilated to 10cm twice, my doctor suggested a c-section. I wish I had the energy to confront him on his decision. I was so angry to have come so far and be turned away from my goal. But my husband and I were both too exhausted to keep fighting and a c-section seemed like the easy way out. I healed nicely for the first 2 weeks afterwards, and then a deep fever set in. No one had any idea what caused it. I was admitted to the hospital with my almost 3 week old baby boy. I was placed on 3 types of IV antibiotics and had my blood taken every hour so they could try to figure out what type of infection I had coursing in my veins. Family members called scared out of their minds, deeply worried about my condition. My son thrived during that time, fortunately. Doctors half heartedly concluded that I had a kidney infection as a result of the c-section procedure, wary to get into the specifics for fear of a law suit. They were never 100% convinced. Obviously, my baby and I came out on top, but I learned from that experience that the only person you can ever truly trust is yourself. I definitely rely on many people in this world, but during that time, I lost complete faith in the modern medical system. Of course I am exceedingly grateful for my beautiful son, yet in so many ways, I strongly regret the way the experience went. I hope to never again have to trust doctors, who often place their needs before their patients’ desires, due to our sometimes backwards system. I hope to be able to give birth naturally, on my terms next time around. I share this story for so many women who have felt as I did. As for me, I shall trust my own body, when others do not.