This was my sixth pregnancy, and I found I was pregnant when our oldest was only 9 months old. I was excited and nervous.
The pregnancy started off with a bump. I was about 6 weeks pregnant and feeling severe pain in my left ovary. I was terrified that I had an ectopic pregnancy. I went to the emergency room and they found an intrauterine pregnancy and no problems (I did see the heart beat!) However, the pain continued.
I am not one for the overuse or routine use of technology, but I knew that I needed to know what was going on in my body! I felt like I was losing my mind. Finally at this ultrasound, in the ER at 7.5 weeks, they found that I had a cyst on my left ovary. They assumed that it was a corpus luetum cyst (normal for pregnancy). I didn't have any pain relief, but at least I knew the baby was okay. The doctor didn't even bother to look for a heartbeat and we didn't see one off the bat, so I did spend some time worried about that.
I had another appointment with the OB that week and he did an ultrasound to look at the ovary and the cyst. The baby looked fine and he said that the cyst could stay or go, but the pain might continue. It amazed me how much better I could deal with the pain just knowing that it wasn't hurting the baby.
We had a history of anencephaly in our family, and had had the AFP test with older child. Since it came back saying that everything was fine, we didn't even question whether or not to do it again. The day before Hilary's first birthday they called and said that the test had come back positive and that we were to report in two days to the genetic counselor for a Level II ultrasound and an amniocentesis.
We could live with the ultrasound, but were unsure of the amnio. We spent hours arguing with the genetic counselor, crying, and thinking. It was very emotional. In the end, my husband, left it up to me to decide (Gee, thanks.). I decided to do the amnio, we just couldn't live the next five months without knowing.
I didn't have any medicine to numb the area, but it was just like any other shot. The procedure was over quickly, and except for the bad jokes the doctor made and me holding my breath the entire time, the procedure itself was not so horrible.
The next morning I woke to water leaking out of my vagina! I called the doctor, he said to come in. They did and ultrasound to inspect the fluid volumes, which were down. The doctor told me to report to the hospital for induction. He said that my baby was dead!
I refused! I had seen the heartbeat. I started asking questions, but he wouldn't really listen to me. I told him that I had read that the water seals back sometimes, etc. He told me to go home and read my "foo foo midwife books" and to report back Monday for an induction. I told him that we would come back Monday, but I was not inducing until I was sure there was no other hope.
Monday I went back, I was still slightly leaking, but my fluid level had stabilized. I refused induction. I went back Friday and everything had cleared up, the water was sealed and the baby was great!
That's when I really started worrying about a hospital birth. I had already had one birth with a doctor who hadn't really cared or listened to me. It had been unpleasant and the reason I had switched doctors. Dr. D had seemed so nice in the beginning, telling me he would support me, etc. However, when push came to shove, he could care less what I felt about the birth.
In the following weeks, our differences really became apparent. I had come up anemic, and the nurse told me to get my iron level up or I couldn't have my epidural. When I told her that was fine with me, I didn't want an epidural, she told me I was nuts and the doctor would make me see the light. The doctor told me that I should take 4 iron pills a day in addition to my prenatal vitamins (It wound up being like 1000% of the iron you need every day.). I asked if I could do something nutritional? Nope. He mentioned nothing about absorption, vitamin C, avoiding caffeine....
I started talking to my childbirth educator friends who had had home births. I started reading a lot about midwives and how they were trained, and how to interview. We had no CNM (nurse midwives) practicing here, so I would have to have a direct entry midwife at home. I interviewed four (all I had to choose from) and chose one. I was 28 weeks pregnant.