Posted by: emjb | September 21, 2007

In a nutshell

I had to give a brief response when joining a local ICAN chapter about who I was and why I wanted to join. I thought what I ended up with was a nice succinct guide to my birth history and radicalization. Enjoy.

My name is emjaybee, my husband’s name is Matthew, and my son Nathan is nearly 2.

Birth story: water broke at 42 weeks. “Midwives” did not let me labor naturally, insisted on pitocin (because I was 42 weeks and it was “policy”)–and I didn’t know my rights, so I went along. Needed an epidural after 6 hours of pain, no shower allowed (because of monitor) no food allowed (because of stupidity). Progress halted at 8 cm for an hour, that was considered bad enough to c/sec.

Surgery was extremely traumatic. Hospital was filthy, cruel, and treated me like dirt, and I felt lucky to get out of there alive. I suffered with depression and trauma, and frequent thoughts of suicide, for a whole year and more. Breast milk never came in, and I had to formula feed.

I had a hemorrhage 10 days postpartum that no one could explain (because it’s “impossible” for a surgeon to leave any tissue inside; apparently the blood gushing between my legs was somehow imaginary), but I must have passed the tissue and only spent one night in the hospital before I felt like I wasn’t going to die. This did not help my recovery. I was a mess, because I trusted people in a system which did not care about me or my son.

Not surprisingly, I’m radicalized, and will homebirth if I ever birth again. I also finally found the courage to admit I want to be a CPM, and am planning towards that goal.

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