The Birth Survey Booby Traps

Three Births

labor and childbirth

I am deaf, my husband, too since birth. We took Bradley hearing classes with an interpreter. It was very difficult for me to understand what my Bradley teacher taught. My Bradley teacher don't have everything display for my deaf visual. She showed us and my class many videotapes.

With my first girl, I had five hours contraction then urged to push for two hours and gave birth at home by lay midwife. I had no problem at birth.

I got pregnant with second child as four months later, my husband got a new job and got health insurance. It paid 100 precent cover OB/GYN doctor fee and hospital fee. I visited the hospital and asked head nurse supervisor to find best OB/GYN doctor. I got referral doctor name. I met OB/GYN doctor. I asked him about my birth plans. He kept his head yes like he argeed with me 100 precent excpet he didn't sit and discuss at all.

On April 7, 1986 at 7 a.m., my water bag broke like trickle of fluid. No contraction yet. About 4:30 p.m., my contraction started. It was very light and weak. I followed five minutes apart. Hold this paragraph...

Focus a specific...doctors, doctors' nurses, doctors' secretary all kept tell me "Five minutes apart...go to the hospital right away!" No one include my Bradley method teacher explain me about focus...How long "pain contraction" hold and stay last until rest five minutes apart? How much pain...weak or mild or stronger?

Back to contraction held last only 30 seconds with five to seven minutes apart. My husband and I went to the hospital...I had an in sign language interpreter. The nurse had cervial exam and said it was 7 cm (It is not ture, I got copy record from the hospital, the nurse and doctor wrote and said "4 cm"). My contraction was same all night and all day on April 8th. My OB/GYN doctor showed image you can't believe what my doctor looked like....very bad mood. He said he started on his vacation. His back-up doctor took care of my case. My back up doctor showed up, he never looked into my eyes. He ordered me to have cesarean section. He never sits and talk with me about why I need cesarean section....I wondered why? I wrote paper and waited for my backup doctor. He showed up, I gave him a note...he picked it up and tore it and threw it on the floor. He said "Ready for cesarean section." The nurses were hurring around and put me hook up IV, bathroom tube, shave my hair...the nurse pushed me to sign paper. That was real messing up. I had healthy baby boy normal 8 lbs 0 oz. After birth, my back up doctor never come back and sits to discuss with me "Why I have cesarean?" I got copy record from the hospital and found that my back up doctor wrote "Fail to process."

Three months after my cesarean birth, I looked at vaginal birth mothers talked about their experience. I got angry over my cearean and I started very depression (Now, I accepted cesarean, proud of it, lucky I had experience of cesarean birth so I can help deaf couples about ceseran plans), because I have no experience of vaginal birth of my son. I brought VBAC books, read them a lot. I learned a lot. I made mistake for choose a wrong hospital and wrong doctor.

I was fourth month pregnant with third child, I looked for OB/GYN doctor and got ones. I told him to require to have interview about my desire for my birth. I told him "No IV, stay out of bed without fetal monitor, NO cesearen that I want him to require to sit and discuss with me is my own decision. It is my own body. Not for doctor...I told him "Trust my body and follow it" My doctor pointed his finger at wall in his office, he said, "Look at my licenses...I don't want lose a job! You must follow my orders." I turned him down.

I was seventh month pregnant and found new doctor but he is same thing as first ones. I turned him down again.

I talked to my lay midwife about find very good lay midwife told me there was one doctor accepted VBAC at The Family Birthing Center in Upland, California. (Now that birth center was closed in 1994 or 1995 (I think so), because Dr. Rosenthal is retired.) My eyes opened wide and I was very interesting. I asked her "Where?" She gave me the address. My husband and I drove one hour and 15 minutes away from my home to visited birth center and met OB/GYN doctor. His name is Dr. Michael Rosenthal. Oh, boy, I felt very very happy and exciting with birth center and that doctor. My doctor gave me newsletter about his clients' birth experiences. I read them. Newsletter was very impressing me. I was very satisfy with my new doctor. My doctor gave me book "Beborn Birth" by author Dr. Michal Obent. It was very interesting.

At birth center, the RN nurse explained me about how long contraction hold last, how much pain. I finally understood this.

On October 26, 1988 at 6:00 p.m., I was in bathtub with my two young children. I felt nausea each three contractions for five minutes apart. I realized it was labor contraction. I told my children to get out of bathtub. I dressed up and went to living room. I sat and waited for my contractions for make sure if it is false or true. Sure contraction raised and raised stronger and stronger pains. It held average 65 to 75 seconds between five minutes apart. I was whinning. I couldn't stand it no more. My four years old daughter heard my whining and ran to come to me and she said, "Will baby born soon? Are we going to the birth center now?" She said, "breathe slow, breathe slow." I followed her. I called my husband Gary at work to come home quick. Gary came home and took me and my two young children to the birth center. My two years old son kept tapped my shoulder and pointed his finger up at full white moon for one hour. I couldn't pay attention him since I foucs my contraction pain. I tend avoid to get mad at him. I know he was innocent, not know my pain.

At birth center, we arrived. I walked down the hallway and saw RN nurse, Janet came and asked me "How do you feel?" I showed her my thumb down, I said "Much pain!" My nurse laughed. We went to exam room, my CNM (Certifiated Nurse Midwife) Linda Church showed up and checked cervial exam and said it was 5 cm. My midwife Linda said, "Congradulation!" I really loved that. One hour later, I went into the very warm water tub. I felt very comfort there. My midwife Linda and RN nruse Janet really were nice, friendly, patience and always "smile" at me. I loved that. At about 9:45 p.m. my midwife examed cervial again and said, "10 cm now" then she asked me, "Do you feel any urge to push yet?" I answered her "No, I don't feel any." She said to me "Start to push when contraction comes" I felt contraction came, I pushed and finally felt "urge to push" each of my contractions. Only 15 minutes later, the RN nurse Janet said the baby head was vision. I said, "What?" The nurse Janet said wait a second and she left and came back with the mirror. She said,"Look!" I finally saw the baby head on my vaginal. My 4 years old daughter jumped, jumped, excited, she yelled, "I can see baby head, I can see baby head!" My two years old son was bad mood and tired. My husband let him held my camera to take pictures. (the battery dead, lucky, I brought second camera) The head came out under the water. My contraction stopped, I rested. My midwife don't say anything at all. I knew my midwife Linda trusted my body than her knowledge. My contraction came back, I pushed baby out at last. My midwife Linda got the baby and put my baby into my arms. My baby cried a lot. What a very beautiful! I looked at sex, then I said to my children, "You have a new sister!"

Ten minutes later, my four years old daughter cut the umbicial cord. She felt good and smiled. Then I delivered placenta by myself. That was nice. Two hours later, I had seveal times trip to bathroom (before my birth, during my labor, my midwife Linda encoruaged me to drink water of full 8 oz. glass three times, because it helped me walk to bathroom and walk to get recovery quick. I really liked that. My midwife is right!). My baby weighed 8 lbs 13 oz. 21 inches long. Her name is Nancy Roush. (no middle name).

I am VBAC deaf mother!

Now, I am certified childbirth educator of ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. web site address: or office address: P.O. Box 382724, Cambridge, MA 02238) Since 1991, I had taugh about 30 deaf couples childbirth classes. Only three of them had cesarean sections for good reasons. I had attended birth several times, I learned a lot and got to use. It is easy for me now. I really love to help deaf people to understand clear about contraction pains, also I warn them to not let doctor pull cord and placenta, because of hemorrhage bleed problem, surgery, unable to hold newborn baby for two to four hours. I still warn them about doctors' attitudes and hospitals. (One of the hospitals near my home is real behind in the times, still have no LDR (labor, delivery, recovery all are in one room) rooms and no rooming in rooms, the nurses don't know what to do with deaf patients. I tell them to not go to that hospital....terrible).

My all three children are hearing. They know sign language to communicate with me and my husband.

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