Sunday, July 23, 2006

Coming Out Swinging

Okay, I'm taking a deep breath now. I've enlisted the help that I need. My buddy Charlene will help me chauffer Kathy around, the Wilsons will be spending lots of time with family and won't expect us to entertain them, and I've made my feast a potluck, so that instead of preparing all the food, everyone will contribute. Sitting down and making lists so that the tasks seem manageable also helped.

I got quite caught up in reading blogs yesterday and wasn't quite as productive as I should have been. I'm afraid its becoming an addiction. There are so many homebirth related blogs out there and they are all so good. One entry in particular, on Belly Tales, caught my eye. The person seemed to be writing my story. She is a midwifery student who is quickly becoming disenchanted with the whole process. Her words rang so true. I left midwifery school because I had great concerns that I would end up as a part of the problem and not the solution. That's what happened to me as a nurse. I'm so glad I can now call myself a former labor and delivery nurse. I could never shake the feeling I was a co-conspirator. People told me that they were glad Iwas there to help women, but I didn't think I could be much help to women. There is unbearable pressure to conform, and to not, is to be in a constant and unrelenting battle. I was slowly but measurably beat down and began to perform as expected. I started to resent my patients, because I couldn't care for them the way I thought they should be cared for (sounds crazy doesn't it). I started to shut down and tell myself, I'm just here for 12 hours to punch the clock. Worst of all, I started to withhold myself from my patients- I didn't want to know them, didn't want to get involved. I just wanted to do my "job" and go home- to my real life. The whole thing became so perfunctory, I knew I had to get out. I don't plan on ever going back to the hospital setting- not as a bedside nurse anyway. I have to find a whole new way to serve childbearing women.

Right now my job is to walk in their shoes and report the findings. So far, the findings suck! My own midwife, whom I've been seeing for years, dropped me for the duration of my pregnancy when I insisted on having a homebirth. I knew she would. I knew her practice agreement with her docs wouldn't allow for it. She cheerfully told me she'll see me again postpartum, but I have to think, will she? Should I return to a practice that did not support my choices? (I believe my midwife really did, nontheless, she was powerless to continue my care. Then there was the insurance company that told me they would not cover a homebirth. What are they crazy? Look how much money I'm saving them, and they'd rather chuck out thousands for a scheduled induction or elective cesarean??? This is all going straight into the book. Next, will be my hunt for a pediatrician. We'll see how supportive my current one is and how she reacts when she hears about my homebirth and breastfeeding plans. (Those Peds always give lip service to breastfeeding but they'll stick you with formula at the drop of a hat.) I'm starting to sound cynical, but really what's the world of birth coming to? Must everything be a fight?


Rachel said...

I know a few pedi's who might be good for you; or you can always go the naturopath route. There is one over in your area. E-mail me or call if you need the info. Blessings. I am loving the Blog and wish I could attend your blessing ritual. The necklace is a wonderful idea. My women friends made one for me just recently with my last pregnancy. I will cherish it forever.

Laborpayne said...

Thanks Rachel for the suggestion. The neclace will be beautiful and cherished, and I will be stregnthened for my labor by wearing it.

The MSILF said...

I always worry about the same thing - that I'll end up being just like all those doctors I see. But you seem to have kept your path. How? Any advice?

Laborpayne said...

Sorry MSILF,
I can't help you there! I kept to my true path by getting off the professional path. I recommend the blogs "FLEA" and "FPMama" to give you some insights.