My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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A difficult birth

I have three posts that I am planning related to childbirth, family planning and being open to new life. It seems though that no matter how I arrange this in my mind I have to get this post out of the way first because it deals with my own personal experiences and it ties in with my topic.

All of my births have had some sort of difficulty or another but I would say the birth of my first son, and my first daughter were probably the most traumatic.

With my son, I have to say I was every doctor's and every hospital's perfect patient! I was young and healthy, compliant and not too well read. I did pretty much whatever I was told when I was told and did not ask a lot of questions. My feelings were that the doctors and the hospital were very experienced in handling childbirth and that I should just tap into their wisdom and experience. I felt that they had my best interest at heart and that they would never do anything to cause me unnecessary problems or hurt me in any way.

Because of this trusting, naive attitude I was admitted to the hospital WAY too early in my labor, particularly for a first baby. I was forced to lay down on a hospital bed strapped to a monitor for "insurance reasons." My husband who had been touted throughout the pregnancy and childbirth classes as my birth partner, had to time my contractions so he could sneek off to pee or even grab a candy bar from the closest vending machine. One of the worst moments for me was when the OB in charge decided to break my water. There was no discussion of the risks, benefits or options. I certainly didn't give anything that could have been considered informed consent. He put his hand in my vagina to break the bag of waters and I remember telling him how painful it was. Then he griped that his wrist was hurting because he could not reach the cervix. I will never forget this. The two med students on either side forced my thighs apart so that he could reach my cervix despite my screams of pain and discomfort. When they were done they simply left. I felt that as if I had been raped. My husband felt as if he had watched his wife be sexually assaulted. We were stunned.

The pains increased with the next contraction and I was totally unprepared for it. I was in agony. Mr. Pete tried to tell me it would be alright, but it occurred to me that he knew even less about childbirth than I did and I told him to just shut up and leave me alone, while I begged him to stay. That went on for hours until they finally said I was complete an could push.

I didn't realize that the doctor who saw me for all my prenatal visits would not be there during the pushing. A nurse was with me. I would push and the baby would come down, but then his head would go back up (I later learned that was perfectly NORMAL). The nurse acted discouraged. I felt as if I was taking every body's time.

I should also mention that I grew up in a household with my uncle who had had some sort of a birth injury from a botched birth. That had been impressed upon me since I was a kid.

So with no progress, and the baby starting to show distress, when they suggested a C-section, I felt as if I had no choice to go through with it.

So with my first birth I got to experience over 24 hours of labor, an hour of pushing and a C-section. When Peter would tell people that mother and baby were alright I felt like screaming, "I AM NOT ALRIGHT! THIS WAS AWFUL, I AM IN SO MUCH PAIN!!! I HATED THIS. I WILL NEVER EVER DO THIS AGAIN!!" The first time I saw my face in the mirror I saw the pain in my eyes and etched on my face, and I started to cry right in the bathroom.

Fast forward one hospital VBAC, and two homebirths later to the attemtped homebirth of my daughter. You can read about that homebirth transfer with emergency C-section here.

One of the darkest parts of that birth to me, and one of the most baffling to this day is that it was always assumed that I was insane or having an anxiety attack when I mentioned that when they put the oxygen mask over my nose that I could not breathe. I was not insane, I was not overly anxious, I was in full command of my mental capacities. I wanted the oxygen mask because I wanted my baby to have oxygen and keep her heart tones up. When the mask was on with no air, I was startled. I was also trying to keep from pushing my daughter out, fighting the strong urge that I reallycould not control. Even the next day when I tried to tell my nurse about it she said, "well you were probably imaging it." The hell I was.

I over came that experience two have two more pregnancies and a beautiful baby girl two years ago.

I promise to tie these experiences together and why I am sharing them, in an upcoming post.

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