#133 | Julie's Birth Story: Redemption in Home Birth After a Traumatic Midwife Hospital Birth

November 3, 2021

When Julie was 40+4 she had a slow leak but no contractions. Eagerly, she went to the hospital where she was admitted and encouraged to "get things going" by breaking her water.  She started Pitocin and when it came time to push, her baby was born with meconium and shoulder dystocia and was helicoptered to a nearby hospital with a NICU.

Devastated, poorly treated by hospital staff, and left in the dark about what was happening to her baby, Julie drove hours to get to her newborn who was being treated for possible brain damage.. Thankfully, her baby was fine, but she was not. 

When she became pregnant the second time, she realized in order to overcome her fear and anxiety, she needed to educate herself and take more authority over her own birth experience. She found a home birth midwife who reviewed her medical records, smiled, and said, "This shouldn't have happened and it won't  happen again."

Tune in today to hear Julie's redemptive home birth story and how it changed her for life.

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View Episode Transcript

And the one thing that she asked for me was that I got my birth report. And I did. And I let her read it. And I just watched her face while she read it. And she was so calm. And she just looked at me and smiled and said, this wasn't supposed to happen, and it won't happen again. And she just explained how, you know, everything that went wrong in the first birth and why it went wrong, and that it wasn't me, it wasn't my body, it wasn't, you know, my baby. And she was just like, you're gonna have a great birth, we're gonna do this. And, you know, the home just felt so beautiful, and it's just filled with so much.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

Julie, thanks so much for being with us today on the down to birth show. We know you're a podcast listener of ours, and you reached out because you wanted to share basically your two birth stories, the first being very traumatic, the second being quite healing and that process in between of getting through and past the traumatic experience and preparing for your second one. So first, just thank you so much for offering to come on the show today and tell your story.

Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited. You guys are just my favorite podcast. So I'm excited to be here to share this. My name is Julie Masek. I live in Maryland with my partner and I have two little girls.

Alright, so how do you want to start your story with your first pregnancy or your first birth?

I'll start with the first pregnancy. It was a dream. We weren't it was a surprise. And so you know, very lucky on that aspect of all things. But it was a very welcome surprise. And pregnancy was just perfect. You know, nothing was wrong. There are no warning signs, nothing like that. It was just smooth. This could be textbook pregnancy. And I was seeing an OB and just you know, I didn't grow up with birth around me. I'm the youngest with two older brothers. It just wasn't part of my family dynamics. We didn't talk about birth, I didn't know anything. So you know, you go to a hospital, you go to the doctor, that's just kind of the path that you take. So I spent a lot of time during that pregnancy and really focused on how to have a good pregnancy and how to care for a newborn. But the birth part I was confident in my care providers and confident that it would happen because it had to. And so all of my focus went into pregnancy newborn, and that is, you know, the biggest regret that I have about that. But I went to an OB nothing spectacular. I was, you know, seeing her for five minutes each appointment, no information, it would always end with what questions do you have? And being you know, pregnant for the first time I had none. I don't know. I just figured that the doctor would tell me things about birth and pregnancy. So I just really put all of my trust and faith into them. And then fast forward to the day that I went into the hospital. It was because my water was leaking. And it was just so subtle, barely noticeable. I called the doctor and she said go to the hospital get checked. I was 40 weeks and four days. And I was also GBS positive, which is important to note. So she sent me into the hospital and I got checked. And they said yes, it's amniotic fluid. You're not going anywhere. You're having a baby. And so I was like, Alright, great. That's awesome. I'm excited. And didn't ask any questions didn't wasn't given any choices in any form at all. And so they immediately started me on antibiotics. And then the midwife who was on call, she was a hospital midwife, she came in and said, Okay, we can either break your water now and get labor started and you can have a baby by tonight or you can maybe get a little bit of sleep. What do you choose? And so I was just all on board. I was like, Okay, let's have a baby. You know, no pros and cons, no risk factors. You know, it's nothing was discussed about it. No informed consent. Yes, exactly. And I trusted them and I even trusted more so that she was a midwife. You know, because cuz that was kind of in line with my ideals anyway. And so I trusted her even more than I would have with an OB.

So can we just take a step back for a second, I want to make sure everybody understands, because you went in because your water was leaking, right? So you had a small leak, not a frank rupture, right. So when we have a small leak, we don't always go into labor right away, we tend to faster if we have a frank rupture. So at that point, they gave you the option of rupturing the bag of water and trying to stimulate labor more quickly, or you said giving you the option to sleep, which meant maybe epidural and medication or she just said that was at nighttime.

It wasn't I went in, right after work. So it was probably about four o'clock. And then I think closer to eight, whenever she broke my water, whenever she said she'd never give you an option of just go home, take a walk, no shower.

Nothing, nothing. And, and that was my first my first mistake. I said, break my water, I'm ready to have a baby. I'm not gonna sleep tonight. Anyway, you know, if that was, if that was the only other option, I know, I'm not gonna sleep. And so let's just get it going. And also to note, I wasn't having any contractions. You know, there are no other signs of labor, other than I was just leaking water, there were no signs of labor because you weren't in labor. And that's one of the biggest misunderstandings women have when their membranes release, it doesn't mean labor just began, it means within the next 24 hours, it's very likely to begin, but if it hasn't begun, it hasn't begun. So now we're looking at rupturing the membranes of a woman who had who's not in labor. So what happened, contractions did start shortly after the timeline is all I don't remember, you know how long between each things. But move, I was moving as much as possible, I was walking around. And they kept checking me, you know, and it was like two centimeters, three centimeters, and then no progress at all. And I think I labored for maybe eight or nine hours, and just no relief. And so I just caved, and I got the epidural. One other important thing to note is that all of the people that I knew who had given birth before me, the advice is just get the epidural, like, don't fight it, you know, that kind of attitude, which is fine for some women. But that's not really the route I wanted to take. But I had that in my head. So I was like, You know what, I'm just gonna get the epidural. And so I got that, and my body still wasn't progressing the way that they wanted it to. And so they started Pitocin. And I was essentially just stuck in a bed not moving, they weren't helping me move, there's no peanut ball accessible, you know, none of these things that, I guess are more common. Now, even though this is only two years ago, I'm just not there is no help or guidance from from any of the nurses and moving my body. And then the next day, the midwife came in, and eventually I made it to 10 without feeling, you know, anything. The midwife came in and said, Alright, you're at a 10, let's start pushing, you're gonna have a baby. And I couldn't feel anything, you know, there's nothing, there's no feeling. And I said, Okay. And in that position, laying on my back in the bed, I started pushing, and then things started getting kind of serious, I developed a fever while I was pushing. And at that point, I was just sort of on a different planet. I just didn't feel present in the room at all, you know, and also the fact that I couldn't feel anything. Sorry. Go ahead.

I just curious how many hours you'd been in labor at this point.

So I, they broke my water at 8pm. And we started pushing probably around 2pm The next day. And actually, maybe around one, because I think it was an hour and a half that I'd been pushing for until she was born. So she eventually came out. She had shoulder dystocia. So it took a little bit longer. And that was the main concern. She had passed meconium and inhaled it. And then once she was born, I had a fever. She had a fever, there's a true knot in the cord. And she had the shoulder distortion inhaled meconium. And so when she was born, they they put her on my chest for the briefest moment. And she just was purple. And they moved her very quickly to the other side of the room. And nobody told me anything. Sorry. Just like she's fine, she's fine. She's fine. And then they just whisked her out of the room and kind of distracted me with delivering the placenta and showing me the placenta. And, and that was when she was born.

What did you hear or know or understand about the shoulder? dystocia?

Um, at that point, not much, because I was just had such a, you know, high fever that I just wasn't present. I do remember hearing the sort of alarm in, in the room. And, and then when she said there's meconium the room just filled with people. And that was all I really remember from that stage. Oh, actually, I have two important things about the treatment of, of the doctors and nurses in the hospital. The midwife was at one point, she was texting on her phone while I was like actively pushing. In my partner, Josh, he had to be like, she needs you over here. And she's like, Oh, my son's texted me, you know? I don't know. I'm just gonna answer this real quick. And the other thing, right before I started pushing, and this this part stuck with me more than like, any other thing is that the nurse midwife or the assistant came in, and she just kind of plopped down on a recliner beside the bed and said, What do I got to be here for?

And that part is it just shows little concern. And shows you how little concern there is for you and your baby. And those two things were like, just like burned in my brain.

I just want to I just want to talk about this for one second. Because at you know, when you hear that a woman has a traumatic birth, it adds to that fear, like, Oh, my God, childbirth is so hard. It's so painful. It's so scary, but this is what traumatizes women. It's how it's how they're spoken to. Exactly. It's sometimes the birth itself, as well, of course, I mean, yeah, there can be anything related to a birth that can be traumatic. But this too, is so deeply traumatic.

Well, and I'm and I'm just know that it would have made such a big difference if I had been cared for in the way that women should be cared for. You know, like, if that were a supportive environment, the trauma maybe wouldn't have been so intense. And that's huge. That's huge.

We have heard multiple stories of moms who have had births at home with shoulder dystocia, or postpartum hemorrhages, or babies who don't transition well. And those moms had a scary experience in their birth, yet, they still walk away from their birth failing, not traumas, not traumatized, because of the way they were treated, and supported in the way things were. The way they were cared for through the scary moment. Yeah

And that was that was huge. There was no I mean, the the nurses that were there were very sweet. The assistant in the midwife were just like, they just didn't care. They just didn't care at all that I was a human giving, bringing a new life into the world. It was just another birth.

Exactly. And I keep saying, you know, to anyone who listened to me tell this story over and over, you know, if I didn't have trauma, in that birth, I still would have had a horrible experience. And that was like solely based on the treatment of the staff there. But to jump back to the time, you know, the birth itself, after they put on my chest and she wasn't moving, she wasn't crying. They just put her in the, in the bed beside me in the room filled with staff. And then eventually they whisked her out, and there is still no conversation for a while. And they invited Josh to come back while they weighed her into and did whatever else they did. The midwife came back to me and said, Yeah, so this is what happened. She got stuck. She inhaled Mykonian they're thinking maybe they might have to fly her to another hospital. But I don't know, you know, just like that. And I was like, wait a minute, fly her to another hospital. Like, what? And she was just Yeah, I don't think it's gonna have to happen though. Um, but I gotta go my shift, you know, like, she just was out, she was out of there. And so I was just left in this room with no information and no guidance and like, just nothing for a while, and the nurses kept coming in and saying, she'll be fine. She'll be fine. She'll be fine. You know, just like, don't worry. And that's not helpful when nobody's actually telling you facts. So eventually, the neonatologist came in and the way that he spoke to me was very different. He was very just medical, every term that he said I was just like trying to catch up with until he said brain damage. And that hit me really hard. And they had they had made the decision to fly her to a hospital with a NICU. I should also add that I, this town that I live in is very small, and we just don't have a NICU unit essentially. So they had made the decision to fly her to Morgantown, in West Virginia. And I got to go see her, they wheeled me over to go see her before she left. And she was just, you know, laying on a bed with her arms, with the wires and everything. In her eyes close and just no movement. And the medivac pilot came in, and he talked to me and he was very sweet. And he gave me a teddy bear to take home with me. And then she left. And then after that, they kind of were like, Alright, do you want to take a shower now? And I was like, No, I'm not ready for that.

So they they fly the baby without the parents. Yeah. How many hours postpartum was that?

Oh, um, that was probably just about six hours postpartum. Because so what they were afraid of was a brain injury called HIV, which is hydrocephalus, Apoxie ischemia. And so that is just a lack of oxygen to the brain. And they are concerned because of the inhalation of meconium. And then her Apgar score, I also want to add was the one. So that's essentially, you know, resuscitation and when they flew her to Morgantown, they did it because they have a cooling treatment that they do for babies who have this sort of brain injury at birth. And from what I understand, it's a fairly new process and extremely like, revolutionary it just has, has really changed the outcome for babies who have these kinds of brain injuries. Back to the hospital, they I finally got in a shower. They brought me some like overcooked pasta meal. And then they put me in a postpartum room. And in the postpartum room, they gave me a baby diaper filled with ice cubes, like hard, hard ice cubes to help me, you know, heal, to hold against yourself, family for your parents. Yeah, yeah.

And it was a baby diaper filled with ice cubes. And like, I just don't understand why that was, why that's what they're using the house ever be comforting. I mean, they were like sharp cubes. And that was the biggest thing. I was like they might have been out of postpartum pads.

I'd never heard of that before, either. I was just like, blown away by that's what you know, that's how you're going to try to help women heal. I just, it didn't make sense, but and they brought me a pump and just kind of explained how to use it. And then that was it for the night. The next morning, I had to spend the night there. And the next morning, the doctor on call came in and he just kind of was flipping through his chart and said like, huh, they had a fire away. I didn't think our numbers were that bad. And then he said, You know what they're doing in Morgantown, though it's really cool. And kind of like made a pun on on the treatment that she was receiving. And we were just like, what, like, what is happening? And then he was just like, Alright, you're discharged, you can go and that was it. And so I was immediately got in the car, ran to my house, packed a bag and went to Morgantown, and we stayed in the NICU for two weeks.

What was more traumatic, the birth, the recovery of the birth physically what you went through emotionally the anxiety around whether she would recover.

Probably the not knowing the anxiety of whether, you know, she was going to be wheelchair bound and, you know, with a feeding tube for the rest of her life or if she was going to live a normal life. But I will say that the the NICU staff was incredible. And that's where the difference in care really showed through like they treated Josh and I like we were, I mean, we are the decision makers. We were her parents and very much a part of what happens to her in the hospital as much as they are. And so that experience was as good as it could be for being in the NICU. You know, and, and we had a lot of support with family and friends and and that was incredible as well to, you know, get that kind of support from strangers even who who had heard about our birth. And that that made a huge difference, I think in the immediate healing process. And so eventually, you know, they do the cooling treatment for three days. And then they have to rewarm her. So it's this whole process, and she thankfully, made a full recovery, and has no long term effects from her birth injury. But that was also you know, the first year of postpartum was looking at every little thing in questioning whether this movement was normal, or, you know, she's meeting this milestone, just totally on guard the whole first year until we finally made it in the clear, and given the discharge from the from the neurologist. And now she's an amazing little two year old who's just bright as can be. But yeah, so then, about two years later, we got pregnant again. And also luckily, it was very easy for us. I did notice though, that in my first trimester, I had a lot of fear and anxiety, which I didn't experience with my first pregnancy. And, and I didn't understand it. At first, I didn't connect the dots. But I just, I had a lot of bad thoughts about this pregnancy. And I also didn't know where to go from there. So I just I went back to my OB and she immediately mentioned C section. And I kind of had that in my head already at my at my six week postpartum checkup, she told me that the next one would be a C section, because of the shoulder dystocia. So I kinda in my mind had already expected that to be the conversation. And I didn't want that.

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She kind of put it is that we would have a conversation about it later further on. But I just I knew that's not what I wanted. And from that point, once I hit up that my second trimester, I really just dove into learning about birth, and learning about the physiology of birth. And all of these things that I just I didn't know before. I hired a doula and really considered a home birth. But I just there's not a lot of options in this area. There's one midwife that I knew of, and she didn't have the best reputation, so as very intimidated by making that choice. But my doula said, you know, I know this woman. She's a midwife. And I think she might be doing home births. Now, let me call her. And turns out she was and she had one available spot for July when I was when my due date was. And so she came over, I think the next day we met, and she was just like this, this wonderful, kind, sweet, gentle woman who has, you know, 30 years of experience, and I felt it's so much peace and ease with her. And the one thing that she asked for me was that I got my birth report from medical records. And I did and I let her read it and I just watched her face while she read it and she was so calm. And she just looked at me and smiled and said, this wasn't supposed to happen, and it won't happen again. And she just explained how, you know, everything that went wrong in the first birth and why it went wrong, and that it wasn't me it wasn't my body. It wasn't, you know, my baby. And she was just like, you're gonna have a great birth. We're gonna do this. And and so I really trusted her and felt at ease with her and just spent the next several weeks Every second that I was awake, I was learning about birth, I was talking about birth, I was, you know, exercising prenatal yoga, spinning babies, just everything that there is to do in order to prep yourself for a home birth. Podcast. Definitely. I mean, that was honestly the the best thing that I had done was just listened to all the podcasts. I mean, this one, especially, which is why I wanted to tell my story with you both, is because it was so influential in helping me find the confidence to do this at home, and to have all of the right tools and knowledge and also hearing other women's stories. It's just one of the most beneficial things that you can do throughout your pregnancy. And, and honestly, every pregnant woman I see now I'm like, You need to listen to these podcasts, listen to these bursaries, listen to this information. It's so helpful.

Really, can I ask you a question? Yes. When the homebirth midwife said, all those words to you, after looking at your report, can you name the emotions you were feeling? I was validating your values. It was the perception that I had if my birth, you know, I knew I knew that it was all of those things. But I didn't have the, you know, I'm not a medical professional. And seeing her read it and just just smile and so calmly tell me that it's okay. It was it was a big moment. And I think at that point, too, I was like, alright, we're moving forward, we're doing this. And that's when I felt, you know, all of the anxiety and negativity that I had all of the all of the dark thoughts that I had, initially, they just kind of disappeared, and I just got really excited. And moving forward from then, was just a beautiful experience. It's just like, gave me that pregnancy experience that I had with my first pregnancy. It was beautiful. I loved every second of it. And, and I just, you know, I always thought it took a special woman to give birth at home. And I think that it does, but I think that we're all that special woman, you know. And in the difference was the education and the information, the birth stories, all that stuff that I took in was really what gave me the strength and confidence to make that decision. And so towards the end of this pregnancy, I had heard exactly 42 weeks and, and I just at 4041 in six days, I did everything under the sun that you could do to induce labor naturally. I was I think I walked six miles, I you know I was and leading up I also ate all the dates, I drank all the red raspberry leaf tea, also two things that I think made a huge difference in my labor and birth. And so the day that I had her I was in denial all day I was having contractions. But I was just like, it's because I'm walking. And if I stop walking, they'll stop. And so that day, I was just in denial until I couldn't be in denial anymore. Josh was watching me starting to track my contractions. And we weren't at my house. Were at my parents house. And he was just like, Okay, I think we need to go home now. That's like, I'm fine. I'm not in labor. And I just kept talking. And he said, No, really, we need to go home. And so we went home and this is probably about six o'clock pm, I set up the birth pool, and texted the midwife texted the doula and, and everybody showed up. And I just felt guilty because I thought it was gonna be a really long night. And that I called all the all the troops and super early. And then I had maybe one or two contractions that were really serious that I needed to just stop. Josh was just holding me up. And I was standing in my living room and my water broke like the movies, you know, it splashed all over the floor. And they had literally just put pads under my feet a second before. And as soon as my water broke, my body started pushing. And the fetal ejection reflex it was instant, as soon as my water broke, they kind of just put me in this chair because there wasn't water. There wasn't enough time to fill the pool with water, which was such a huge disappointment. But my midwife was like Alright, what's the next plan? Here's the chair. So it's kind of like on all fours, I had my arms up on the back of the chair and my knees on the seat of the chair. And my body just with every contraction was just pushing. And I was vocalizing a lot through it. And my midwife so sweetly and gently just said to me, like, I know this feels really good to I know it feels so good. But if you could just take that energy and just push it down to where you know to where you're feeling you can tract and just really try to absorb that energy. And in this moment, my brain oh my gosh, I was just like so primal. I was just, I was just in my body and I heard her say that out of nowhere, you know. And I instantly listened. And it made the biggest difference. I think she was born into pushes after that. And she was born with a nuchal hand, and there was no tearing. There was there is no issue at all. It was just it was perfect. It was beautiful. It was fast. It was transformative and empowering and just a spiritual blessing. You know, the home just felt so beautiful, and nurses filled with so much love.

Eight pounds and five ounces. And also another side note, when I was still seeing the OB, we told her we didn't want to find out the sex of the baby. And at the next appointment, she said, so has she been moving? So she told us you know that we're having a girl that way. And then she said, you know, you're measuring really big. And I think you need to have an ultrasound because your first daughter wasn't a small baby. And first of all, I was infuriated that she just let it slip that I was having a girl. Like what she just took away this huge moment from me, even though I was really happy to be having another girl. And then she put the idea in my head that my baby was too big. And I had just started seeing my midwife at that time. And, and I told her this story. And she measured me and she said, What did she tell you? What number does she tell you? And I can't remember what it was it was too early to even be concerned about it. But my midwife measured me and she said no, you're right on track, you're measuring fine. And anyway, it's just that's not a concern. The difference in care is unbelievable. You know, I went from seeing this person who didn't even know my name. And so you know, after having one pregnancy with her and seeing her for probably, I think it was about 24 weeks when I switched to having this woman who's essentially like part of the family now. You know, I was very sad at her last visit.

Look at the difference in the birth outcome. I mean, the one would have been C section and the other was the most transformative, most powerful, exactly, exhilarating experience of your life.

And it's unbelievable. And, and I originally had only wanted to have two kids. But now I'm like, I want to do it again. I want to do it again. And again. It was just incredible. And, you know, one of the major fears that I had was a pain, of course. And it just was so different than anything that you've ever experienced physically, it was intense. But it wasn't painful. You know, it was just intense. And I got to be the first person to hold my baby. You know, she stayed with me and hasn't left.

Can you talk to us a little bit about what that conversation with your midwife was like when you went through the birth report of your first baby? And what what were the things that made you feel differently about and gave you the confidence feel to do it at home?

I think a lot of the conversation she had worked in a hospital setting before. And she was kind of pushed out of the hospital because she wasn't willing to, to follow their guidelines to comply. Exactly, exactly. And they pushed her out. And that's when she started doing home birth. And so she was reading through this birth report like she had seen it before. You know, every every part about it. And she just even though she was calm and gentle. And in talking to me with it, I could also feel that there's a lot of anger behind, you know, her voice and in frustration and knowing that what I was put through was very much because of what the hospital environment is putting many women through.

It's called the cascade of interventions. And what happened in your birth was a very kind of classic case of one intervention leading to the next leading to a bad outcome.


Julie, can you talk a little bit about how when, you know when a woman has one birth, that's traumatic. And for that period in between babies, it's like, imagine all she dreams of is a healing birth. Exactly. Yes, please. Yes. So I want to ask you a question. I've noticed in my many years of doing this work that when women get that healing birth, it doesn't erase the trauma. It doesn't. Can you talk a little bit about I mean, you're still how far out are you postpartum? How old is your young?

Three months?

Yeah, you're just barely on the heel, giving birth the second time, but what have you observed or learned so far about that balance between Healing birth and still dealing with the trauma or processing the trauma? Does it change the trauma in any way? Does it release it in any way? What? What work is still ahead of you? Do you think I mean, what's your what's your opinion about this, I think I still have a lot of work to do. And, and I want to say to that after I had Frankie, I knew that I wanted to have another baby, because, because I wanted to have another baby. But it also because I knew that that's not what birth was supposed to be. And I just I so badly wanted to have a positive beautiful birth experience. And so I wasn't afraid of giving birth again, initially. And then when I got pregnant again, all of those fears kind of hit me in a way that I didn't expect. And, and I also knew throughout my second pregnancy, that it wasn't fair to put a lot of weight in, in this becoming what heals me, even though I knew it would be a part of it. And so I, I thought a lot about you know, what a positive birth experience would do to my first birth, and honestly, it just made me more angry about it. It's just made me a little bit more bitter about it, and that that women go through this all the time. And in in a lot of ways, it's it's ignited sort of a passion in me and in helping first time moms or second time moms or whomever know their options. And and understand that there are options. And so like, I just signed up for a doula certification course, and jumping into birth work, which is also probably really common of women who have had this kind of experience.

I was thinking while you were speaking, I hope she goes into birth work. I just said that. Yeah. I mean, every cell in my body is telling me that, that's the next step for you. It's so funny, I never think about that when I'm listening to birth story. And well, that gave me just said that, that gave me goosebumps, because I literally just signed up yesterday. And I had been kind of thinking about it. And, and it's just something that I feel so passionate about. And for the first time in my life, honestly a career that like, I think will just be the ultimate passionate work experience. It's just something that I can see myself doing for a long time and loving it for a long time. And that's also something that my midwife had said, you know, she's witnessed 1000s of births, and she just was like, every single one is incredible. Every single one is special. And she said, the minute that I lose that feeling is the minute that I'm going to retire. Because Because nobody should have a provider who doesn't care about her.

Yeah, and part of your trauma is the whole feeling of there's so many types of trauma we had on our podcast, as you may know, who had an amniotic fluid embolism. I mean, she was she died during her labor has risked he was revived. She survived and she said oh my god, that staff saved my life. But there are so many probably the majority of traumas, the vast majority are like yours and the pain is different. Yeah, trauma is different. It's that that that didn't need to happen to me. Exactly. There's the resentment and there's the guilt and there's the self blame and there's the you know, the regret it's a whole different kind of healing that house it is it is and there's a lot of releasing that I need to do still about blaming myself for not educating myself you know, because the information is out there. I just didn't think about birth the way that I do now and I didn't know that hospitals weren't to be trusted trusted. I mean, why would you though you know we Yeah grew up seeing birth in the hospital and that is what we're told is safe Yeah. And you like so many other first time moms come into it with from the same place not knowing that they need to know exactly not knowing what that they need to know you don't know what you don't know. And then you learn and I you know, and you can't be hard on yourself with that either because you only women only need to be educated because we're not being served appropriately and answer randomly and that's just it's unjust to begin with so yes, we need to be educated but if they were all doing their jobs.

Yeah, we're not supposed to have to know as much as we need to know to make Yeah, right choices because we're supposed to be able to feel more trust in our providers that they'll do the right thing but that is not how the hospital birth model is set up not at all and and one other thing is that you know, like my appointments with the OB I spent 40 minutes in the waiting room and three minutes literally my i times what appointment it was three minutes. And she came in and she measured me and said all right, what are your questions and and that was my second pregnancy. Now she's like Not, not because I knew in that moment to that, like, I'm not coming back again, I'm not gonna see you again. And the midwife's spent as long as I needed to her, for her to be at my house, she was there, she drove an hour and a half to be there, she would spend an hour and a half, if not more with me, and my partner, you know, Josh's there and she included Frankie and everything, she found things to talk to me about. And when she saw that I was struggling with, with fear or withholding, you know, that trauma, she would tell me like, I can see this in you. And I think that you need to journal this or read these positive affirmations or, you know, take a walk, but you need to focus on that, you know, she wouldn't let me ignore it, she made me face it. And I took all of her advice every step of the way. And, and it was all very beneficial.

Look at your two experiences, you had a smaller baby in the hospital with a shoulder dystocia that had, you know, this very difficult traumatic outcome. And then a second baby bigger baby at home without a shoulder dystocia No, cuz no tearing, because you were left alone to do the thing that your body knows how to do, and very supported, very supported. Just the trust was enormous. And the respect was enormous. And in she cared about this experience for me as much as I cared about it. And that's just like such a beautiful thing in finding somebody to work with his for somebody to care about as much as you and also the postpartum healing I laid on my couch. After having Margo and I was just in shock. You know, I was in shock for maybe three days, I was just totally high and in love and just so empowered and happy. And I just sat on my couch and I and I told everybody, like, I wouldn't have known that I physically just gave birth to a baby. If it wasn't for holding this baby, because healing was just, there was no issue. There's no issue. There's no pain. I wasn't so I mean, I was a little sore, but I wasn't like I just had a baby, you know, the way that you would expect or I was just, I was good.

Right? You got to hold my baby and that was, you know, the most beautiful part was was that moment and that was a moment that I had trumped up for. You know, even when I was pregnant with Frankie holding my baby for the first time was the moment I've always dreamed of. And it was just everything.

Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

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About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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