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The Goddess Is My Midwife
Orion's Birth (abridged version)

On February 23, 2001, my 23rd birthday, Orion Peter Cochran was born. There are so many ways I wish his birth had gone. I am confident that had I the knowledge I have now things would've gone very differently. First, I wouldn't have had him in a military hospital. I would never have allowed the words of my friends, family, the nurses and the doctors to have frightened me. I would never have had an epidural and I would've been adamant about not having pitocin. I would've been in complete control.

Things went wrong, however, and I found myself too afraid to trust my own body. Instead I relied on what I was told. I felt no pain, but was afraid I would because the nurse convinced me that there was no way I would be able to handle it. Shortly after I got the epidural I stopped dialating. I was at 6 cm and never went any more than that. I know that this was partially because of the drugs and partially because of my intense fear of the situation.

The doctors were concerned and I found myself agreeing to a cecerean. I was so fearful. I had no idea what was the correct thing to do and I was so afraid I could hardly think properly. So, I let the doctors do as they wish.

The time I spent in recovery and the maternity ward was no picnic either. All I wanted was to go home as I knew that was the best place for us. But, unfortunatly, I couldn't just leave after having major surgery and the doctors were concerned that Orion may have a viral infection. So, he was in the NICU and I had to walk down to visit him if I wanted to breastfeed. The nurses gave him a pacifier if I didn't make it there before he started crying. This made him suck so hard on me that I was only able to breastfeed for a week after we got home. I had gotten so many blood blisters I couldn't feed him without flinching.

For the longest time I blamed the hospital it's staff for what went wrong with my son's birth. I no longer feel that way. The doctors were only doing what they were trained to do. Look for the slightest complication and deal with it. They're trained to deal with problems, and sometimes as a result cause them by accident. I don't think they meant me harm. They just didn't know any better. And, neither did I. I no longer blame anyone. Not myself, not those who warned me of the intense pain (the meant well but that's what caused my fear), and not the doctors.