Updated: May 20
Content Warning - if you prefer to read only positive birth experiences, you may want to skip this one. Here at Madoula I do believe all experiences are valuable and I share all kinds of experiences, but I like to let you know if you're pregnant and avoiding difficult stories, this one may not be for you.
Cat gave birth at Hospital Nuevo Belén in 2019. She previously gave birth in Edinburgh in 2015. She chose this option because she wanted a water birth, as natural as possible with freedom of movement, only air and gas as pain relief and in a midwife-led unit. She heard amazing reviews about Nuevo Belen and at the time it looked like the only one that would guarantee her wishes.
I like to think it was a good one. Delivery was super fast and despite the "issues" I would like to think haven't got any "traumas" but looking back I do feel very disappointed with how things went and I have the feeling that I was robbed from a very special experience. Since it wasn't going to be my first birth, I was EXTREMELY specific about wanting gas and air.
One or two weeks before due date, while chatting with one of the midwives I tell her that I intend to give birth in "all 4" position as it worked really well with my previous birth (Olivia) and she tells me that the pool is a lovely "ilusion" but that for the "pushing part" I will need to get out of it or give birth lying on my back since it is not deep enough and some other lame excuse. Anyway... I believe the excuse and then scratch out of the birth plan the pool since I am not going to get wet for nothing.
Labour day arrives... I call said midwife and tell her I am on my way to the hospital (she didn't believe labour was as fast as I told her) this was around noon. I got to the hospital in 20min but no sign of my midwife. Luckily there was a change of shift at 1 and the new midwife came by just to "say hello" before changing into her uniform and preparing my room.
She checked me (no one in triage had check how dilation was going) and when she pop out of my legs, with a big smile she tells me... "well... you are already 8cm, we better move fast". The second she left the room my water broke and I finally screamed (apparently I have a very high pain threshold) so all eyes were on me. They rushed me to the delivery room where the midwife was (also rushing) to put her scrubs on and then we started with the active pushing.
As soon as the first contraction on that room was over I begged for the air and gas and the midwife tells me there is a small "glitch" and since it is Sunday and she is the only one that has access to the storage it's either her leaving me to get it and me delivering on my own or me delivering with her and her junior midwife (but obviously no gas) My husband couldn't believe it.
Luckily baby was out in 15 minutes (it felt a lot longer and I thought at some point that I was going to faint) and all went well but it things were NOT like I wanted at all. Yes, I wanted a natural birth but I was expecting to have some sort of pain relief. Had I known, I would have prepared differently. At some point during labour I got really stressed and thought I was going to be capable of delivering that baby.
To make things even more dissapointing, the bill came perhaps way too fast and not in a very empathic way (even if the insurance covered it, there are ways and timings to do things) on top of that, on the 1st month check up the pediatrician tells me that baby's collarbone was broken during labour, but that I didn't need to worry as it was perfectly clear. I COULDN'T BELIEVE what she was telling me and she had to repeat it not twice but 3 times and made me feel baby's bone to prove she was not making things up.
She "calmed" me saying it was a fairly common injury specially if they had manipulated baby during labour (which they did - right after the head went out they rotated her because her shoulder was "stuck") When I told this to my midwife in the UK, she explained that in they would have never touched the baby but perhaps made the mum move so the baby would un-stuck on its own avoiding breaking a bone.
To wrap up, I had a birth "against my wish" and despite pointing it out and mentioning it to several members of staff and hospital admin I am yet to receive any signs of sympathy or "apologies" as a matter of fact, the midwife that assist the birth said I should be proud and thankful that it had been a "text book" labour with no compliations and so fast. Yes, the labour was fast. So fast my gynecologist didn't make it in time and the photographer I had hope to capture the moment missed it too but it was not the birth I wanted.
Did you have a doula? If yes, how was the experience? If no, how do you think having a doula may have changed your experience?
No but if I had had one, I am sure she would have help me adapt and manage the stress way better than I did on my own or with my partner.
Did you feel supported in your chosen method of feeding your baby(ies)? Why or why not? How could this have been improved if you didn't feel supported?
Not suported at all. As described before I actually felt cheated.
Thank you Cat for sharing this experience.
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Giving birth in Madrid or a new mom in Madrid? Looking for support on the wild ride called parenthood?
Look no further - book a free discovery call with me (Madison - doula in Madrid) today and let's chat about how together we can work to make your experience a positive one! And be sure to check out the Madoula homepage. If you're looking for doula support during your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum please be sure to contact me for a free consultation!
Giving birth is one of the most vulnerable moments in a person's life. There are many factors to consider at all times. The support of a doula from home to hospital adds an additional layer of support for both the birthing person and partner. Continuous care and individualized support both increase the likelihood of satisfaction with one's birth experience, regardless of the birth outcome (C-section, instrumental birth, etc).