Designing Mama

My thoughts on Midwifery after a Stillbirth

Luana Cardenas8 Comments

When I fell pregnant, I was completely drawn to the idea of having a natural birth experience. I was in love with the concept of a mindful pregnancy, completely trusting and allowing my body to grow my child the best way it already knew how. I was even more fascinated and excited when I chose to have a midwife accompany my pregnancy and perform a beautiful home birth where I would get the pleasure of birthing naturally and in the comfort of my own home. The midwife I chose came highly recommended to me by someone I trusted. I did my research. Everything was perfect. I was a new mom and I completely enamored with the fairy tail of it all. 

Looking back, I was conditioned to believe that nothing bad would or could happen. This is not to say that I was not being careful, or that my midwife was doing a bad job. I only knew that I was having a perfect pregnancy and never imagined that at 36 weeks my pregnancy would end in the way that it did.

If I were to be painfully honest with myself, I wish I never decided to go with a midwife. This truth is particularly hurtful because it means there is a small piece of me that blames myself for the loss of my son.

Would Solomon still be here if I had chosen a doctor to accompany my pregnancy? 

No one really knows what led to Solomon’s death. He simply stopped moving inside my belly. The only closure we have is that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck tightly when they removed him. They say it was likely a cord accident, as they call it. 

Deep inside I know that no matter what the answer to this question is, nothing can bring my Solomon back. I can re-play every move and brainstorm all the what if’s and still never know if the death of my son could have been prevented.

I know that half of stillbirths are unexplained and almost all are unpreventable. And I know that I never actually experienced the whole "natural" side of midwifery as I never actually went into labor. I also understand that most women do successfully gestate to term and deliver beautiful and healthy babies with the oversight of a midwife. Even though I was having a perfect pregnancy, no birth path, however beautiful and magical, is worth the risk of not delivering a living baby (even if the statistical risk is less than 2%!). Realistically, there is no one to blame. Maybe that makes things a bit more painful.

There are memories of Solomon all around the house. I love my baby so much.

There are memories of Solomon all around the house. I love my baby so much.

 

Today, my perspective is this:

I don't care how “special” I need to feel at a doctor’s appointment. I don't care how medical, sterile and uncomfortable a hospital may be. I don't care if its a place where people are sick and go to die. I don't care if the nurses are rude. I don't care if I have to wear an old blood stained gown. 

Regardless of any other mothers' horrific hospital experience, I wish I could have a chance to choose differently. I would choose to set aside what I know see as taking a risk.  I would choose for my Solomon to be here with me. 

The midwife I had during my pregnancy has never reached out to me after Solomon passed away. I don't have very nice thoughts about her. To me, she is the worst type of person.

This was so hard to write. Grief can be so consuming. My heart is still broken. 

Disclaimer: These are just my thoughts based on my personal experience. I know there are many birthing options out there. Every mom has to choose what is best for her and her baby. I get that. I'm too tired to argue about anything.