Sunday, August 15, 2010

Birth stories vs Baby Stories

Ever since B died a few weeks back I've been thinking alot about something she said to me.  We were talking about where to give birth.  I was about 8 months and she was maybe 2 months along.  I was going the whole home birth route and just in general talking about how I had changed doctors out of the practice she was using because the doc I met with just didn't jive with me and I didn't want to go to the local hospital.  It had a high maternal death rate, high c-section rate, and high infant morality rate (not sure offically but I had heard enough around town).  B said, "I won't get the birth I want but as long as I get a healthy baby."

Her words haunt me.  She got a healthy baby, after Baby J's week in the NICU.  But she didn't make it home.  I'm sure B would thought the trade off was ok.  I'm sure I would have been happy with the trade off too.  If I had died by Audrey was a health baby, well then I had done my duty. 

I read alot of homebirth forums and blogs.  One time a person made the comment on one of the forums, "Women are going to die.  Not everyone will survive birth.  Whether at home or at the hospital, women are going to die.  It is just a part of birth that not all of us will make it."  I remember reading that thinking how true, we don't all survive birth.  Funny, I read it, I understood it but I still didn't think it would happen to me.  My sister-in-law nearly died in childbirth about a 7 months before Audrey was born, I figure that would be a close as anyone I knew would get to dying in childbirth.

I'm second guessing decisions that had nothing to do with me.  I wonder if B would still be alive if she had been at home under the care of a midwife?  Did the hospital kill her or was it just her time?  Women die during childbirth, it is a fact.  The hospital pushes c-sections to save babies and moms but sometimes they still die.  You can have a natural childbirth and still die.  It is just a matter of luck or your time being up.  I have to admit I had a level of survivors guilt.  I had my baby at home with a midwife.  My water had been broken for 60 hours before Audrey was finally born.  In some people's minds I deserved to die from complications, I did all the wrong things.  B did everything right, she went in for an induction at 41 weeks, just like a good patient.  She agreed to the c-section when the doc said the baby was in distress, Baby J needed CPR as soon as she was born and then a week in the NICU so the doc was right.  But was the induction the cause of everything?  What if they had just let Baby J have one more week?  Having a baby at 42 weeks use to be normal now it's late.  It's hard to see normal in a hospital.  I made the decisions that were right for me.  B made the decisions that were right for her.  We both met our goal, a healthy baby.  But did we get the same outcome?