I was preparing myself for an unnecessary induction.
First time mom, and I didn’t know that I had all the right to decline such a medical intervention by a doctor who wanted to be home by 5pm. You see, I followed all their rules. I didn’t question a thing. I use to be very passive, before I had kids. Anyways, the induction went smoothly up until it was time to push. The epidural wasn’t placed correctly, and I began to feel extreme pain on my left side. I told my doctor about the pain, and he was immediately annoyed that the epidural wasn’t working.
A few moments later the nurse and doctor began to instruct me to push. I was so drugged up that I couldn’t feel my body’s natural urge to push. After a few pushes the doctor grabs a pair of scissors (I’m assuming or medical instrument) to cut an episiotomy. This was done without my consent, heck I didn’t even know what he was doing. He wanted to make a straight cut instead of me tearing and him not being able to stitch it quickly. I was left with a 2nd degree episiotomy.
Who’s to say that I would’ve tore naturally? Preventative measure is what he called it. This doctors bedside manner was horrible. I would never recommend him. After a few more instructed pushes, and with the extreme tugging of the forceps(I did not consent to the usage) my 8lb 4oz boy came earth side perfectly healthy. He was born at 5:46pm. (doctor was visibly happy that he could now go home, and not as happy about assisting in the miracle we call life) Eight fingers, two thumbs, and ten toes.
The kid made me a mom.
A title I never dreamt of.
A title I never wanted.
A title that was meant for me.
I’m a believer that he chose me. Becoming a mom is one of the hardest, most isolating, scariest, happiest, and most tiring, experiences that i continue to grow through. I mean it is so much wrapped up in being a mom. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I said all of that to say that YOU have a choice when it comes to your maternal health. If you aren’t comfortable with any medical intervention that your doctor is suggesting, it is okay to say no. It’s okay to fire that doctor and to hire another one. It’s ok to get a 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes a 4th opinion. It’s your body. It’s your choice. Be informed. Make informed decisions. I wish I had someone to tell me that I had every right to my own body. That doctor treated me extremely poorly, and with it being my first pregnancy I never once questioned him or his behavior. I thought it was normal.
During my first pregnancy, and birth I felt powerless when I should have felt empowered. Let’s save our sisters, and brown babies ya’ll.
Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die of pregnancy or delivery complications than white women. Honestly, it has a lot to do with the type of care we receive. As you have read my story, you see there is a lack of education on maternal health. Where can we ensure that our moms get this information? WIC? Schools? Health departments? We need to know that we have a choice. Prepare a birth plan and talk to your doctor about your wishes. I’m not saying that your birth has to be completely natural or that you have to do this or that. I’m saying that you have a choice to choose which interventions to allow and not to allow.
Have you read Serena Williams story? Even your socioeconomic background doesn’t matter. We have to take our health into our own hands.