Saturday, August 26, 2017

Why do I care about breech so much?

This letter explains why I want vaginal breech birth to remain a viable option for all women. It was originally written to a member of the Coalition for Breech Birth Facebook group and shared with permission. (I added paragraph breaks for readability.)


Hi F___, I found your posts that had the hashtag "forcedcesareans." I searched it because I feel like very few people understand the pain I'm going through. I had a forced c-section because my baby was frank breech. I knew vaginal was possible, and that it happens in many European countries (hospitals too). I live in WA, and as anywhere else in the US, hospitals don't allow vaginal breech. I felt completely trapped, I wanted to run away before the scheduled surgery but I couldn't because I've been showered with scare tactics by the doctors.

The day of the surgery was a complete nightmare and I was in shock and scared the whole time. I felt like dying while the needle was entering my spine. "When you'll see your baby it won't matter", they said. And it didn't for a couple of minutes, because I was drugged and tired of fighting over what was no longer my pregnancy. But then I stopped taking opioids (I had to have an unmedicated birth... I didn't want anything like that! I wanted at least to go into labor...), the pain became less intense and anger grew inside of me.

I still feel angry and I feel like it's growing everyday. I still have flashbacks that some days are very frequent. And I feel angry and desperate and lost. They all knew. Everyone knew I absolutely did not want this. I cried at every appointment since the word "breech" was mentioned. I cried every day in between, and after, especially as the physical pain was decreasing, leaving space for more anger. I do not trust hospitals anymore. I hate my body now. I was loving it. I was loving my pregnancy until then. Now I feel like half a person. I have a baby but I didn't give birth. And no, I didn't. Every time I hear someone who's never had it done say "it's the same, a friend of mine had both vaginal and cs and she said there's no difference!" I get angry. I hate everything about it.

I don't trust hospitals anymore, at least not for birthing. When they saw I was in despair they kept repeating me next time I cod go for a VBAC. They were already planning my next pregnancy, exacerbating the feeling that what I was living wasn't my pregnancy anymore, and the next one too (the hospital being more TOLAC friendly than VBAC. What a joke.). They also made me feel inadequate because my baby was too sleepy from my opioid-tainted colostrum and she lost 11% of her birth weight, telling me I had to integrate with formula as my nipples were also sore.

I'll never forget what a horrible thing was done to me, all because of hospital policy and the lack of expertise. Because of their limits I had to be sliced open, had my baby removed from my body before labor even started, leaving me deeply traumatized, emotionally and physically broken, afraid of my own body and worried about my future pregnancy. I will have to report the surgery even if I will have to go to the dentist, reminding me every time that my bodily integrity is gone forever. All because my baby was head up.

Sorry for the long message... I just need to communicate how painful and horrible it is to prevent a woman from doing something so natural that her body needs. It messed up my psyche and I feel anguished about surgical birth unless strictly necessary. Thanks for reading... ❤️


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