Aug 092012
 

It took me awhile to finally get up the courage to call a midwife.

Even though it seems to be the general consensus that contacting one before even getting pregnant is a good idea, I had difficulty with thinking I’d be wasting her time.

Really, it was a front.

I was afraid she’d tell me she wouldn’t take me.

I was afraid to get my hopes up, but even more afraid for that fledgling hope to be completely crushed.

I was afraid of what would happen if we didn’t feel comfortable with her, since she’s the only one close who is truly comfortable with (and can legally attend) a VBAC at home. There was a lot of pressure for this phone call and meeting to go well.

But I got over it. We talked over the phone briefly and she invited Jake and I (and whoever else wanted to come) down for a consultation.

At an hour away from her office, I’m at the limits of where she is willing to travel, but she is willing to take me on!

We talked about my previous births. About why I would need to transfer to an OB: multiples, gestational diabetes requiring insulin, pre-eclampsia, pain at my incision site between contractions, excessive bleeding during labor, true fetal distress, I ask to be transferred.

Besides her actually being willing to attend my homebirth, I feel very confident that she is the best fit for me and my family.

It is very important to me that my care provider is familiar with what I’ve been through, that they are comfortable  with current medical technology as well as natural methods. And as a CNM (certified nurse midwife) she has had extensive experience attending births in hospitals, birth centers, and at home.

I’m still a bit nervous about getting my house as clean as I want it anytime in the next 25 years, much less by the time I’m ready to birth a baby, but if that’s the worst of my worries then I guess I’m doing ok.

Take that back, the worst of my worries is how my parents and grandparents will respond and what kind of support, or lack thereof, I will get from them. But that’s in God’s hands.
This is one huge step down the road to a HBA2C, slow and steady, walking it out.

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Aug 022012
 

I’ve always wanted to have my babies at home and last week I talked about why that didn’t happen for me with Aedyn & Jaron.

So why this time?

Why not wait until I have an uncomplicated hospital birth before I try birthing without an OR next door?

Because I’m not sure that it can happen for me. I have absolutely no confidence that I will be able to give birth calmly and naturally in an environment where doctors and nurses are just waiting for something to go wrong. Or at least where I feel everyone is just waiting for something to go wrong.

I am too much of a people pleaser, I don’t want to be an inconvenience. In a hospital setting where the policy is more focused on getting mom in, baby out, and everyone moved to the next unit, the clock starts ticking the moment you walk in the door. I don’t want to be rationalizing with myself over why I should feel bad for advocating for what I want and need and what is best for my baby and me.

I don’t want to feel like I’m being difficult because I want to take my time and let my baby do what he or she needs to do. I don’t want to have to fight to be left alone or allowed to move. I don’t want to have to wonder if I’d get a different recommendation if the on-call dr were a different doctor.

I want to be able to be in my own space, no rush, no hassle. I want to be able to focus on what’s going on with my body and not what could happen if I don’t get my baby out in time.

I know that many women have come out after having a baby feeling empowered and proud that they have advocated for themselves and gotten what they want. To me it just seems exhausting and something I shouldn’t be having to worry about if I don’t have to.

I feel that the stress just from being in the hospital would interfere with my ability to relax and let my body just do what it will need to do. Thinking about postpartum, and the 2 different experiences I’ve had, I don’t want to have to fight to keep my baby with me all the time.

I realize that I’m saying “I” a lot. And that’s because this is an intensely personal decision. And as of yet, there is no baby, there are no health issues, no concerns, no one else to worry about.

Once I get pregnant and we continue down this path then there will be a lot more to consider. Making sure that the little one does not have a short umbilical cord like Aedyn did; that I’m healthy, and the pregnancy doesn’t have extra risk or raise concerns.

Something I had to reassure my mom when I told her about this decision (I decided after last week’s post I needed to break the news so she didn’t find out 3rd hand) was I will not put my baby or myself at risk just so I can have a birth at home. But if there are no risk or concerns, I don’t want to go anywhere near a hospital. I don’t trust our local hospital, and I can’t give myself to their care in good conscience feeling that way.

So, I’m choosing not to have another hospital birth if I can help it. I’m excited to see how things will go and getting to experience birth like the natural and amazing event that it is!

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Jul 262012
 

Last week I wrote about processing through some emotions that came with visiting the hospital where I had my C-Sec with Jaron. It also has some acronym definitions.

This week starts the process of how I got from that point to where I am now.

Aedyn, 20 minutes old and ready to eat!

I have always wanted to have my babies at home. It has very little to do with being “crunchy” and a lot to do with feeling like birth is a private, intimate time that shouldn’t be institutionalized. To be blunt, I want people to stay out of my business. My body, my baby, my birth.

That said, I’m very aware that sometimes things can go very wrong.

When I was pregnant with Aedyn we lived in St. Louis, Missouri. A homebirth was not an option because several years before a law had made midwifery illegal in that state. Although the law had been repealed, midwives had not returned to the city at that time. I wound up being a good thing since Aedyn’s umbilical cord was only about 1/3 of the normal length and we wound up with an emergency c-section that saved his life.

All hospitals are not bad. Many doctors are very good.

When I got pregnant with Jaron, I wanted very much to have a homebirth, but was told that it would be better if I could have a vaginal hospital birth first. There was a midwife who was willing to take me on, but the supporting dr would be 3-4 hours away. I was so scared that I’d have to be transferred and treated horribly, with no local supportive doctor that I decided to go the hospital route; feeling like I really had no choice and defeated before I even started.

And I had my unnecesarean.

This is where I wonder out loud if my mom reads my blog. Because I haven’t mentioned any of this to her yet. Mostly because I know that she will most likely not be comfortable with this decision, and it will stress her and probably her mom, my grandmother, out. And if there were ever any two people who don’t need anymore stress, they would be them. But also, because I’m not even pregnant yet and so having that conversation right now, isn’t exactly necessary, (read as: I don’t want to feel her disapproval, if that’s the case.)

But worse would be the 9 months of dread and stress (plus this time before I’m actually pregnant) that I would feel knowing that I was going completely against what feels right for me. That I was submitting to something that I didn’t trust and has failed me before.

I feel that if I go to the hospital next time, knowing that there are other options available, I’ll be setting myself up for failure. Planning for the worst to happen, and just holding on to a fragile hope that it won’t, but no hope at all for the best that I envision.

Why not plan for the best? Why not pray, and hope, and plan, and go with what my intuition is telling me?

More next Thursday on this…I got a bit long winded, but I feel it’s important not to cut it short. Thanks for hanging in here with me!

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Jul 212012
 

Just realized that Aedyn’s birth story was a note on my Facebook page and I never shared it here.

This is the unedited version that I wrote the day he was born.

~~~~~~~~~~

41 weeks overdue and counting…but…It’s A BOY!!!!!!

Don’t know if it was the trip to the top of the arch, a great foot rub from my hubby, or bananas foster frozen custard, but at 337am Feb 1st I awoke to the *wonderful* feeling of my water breaking. I woke up Jake and my mom, took a shower, ate breakfast and we go to the hospital around 6am.

I got all checked in and hooked up to monitors, I was a disappointing 1 cm, 50% effaced, so I prepared myself for a long day. The nurse decided to do a quick ultrasound to check the position since we’d had alot of flipping in recent weeks and it was a good thing she did. My perfectly head-down baby had scooted himself sideways, his head was towards my hipbone. I was prepared to have a C-section, but when Dr arrived he said that if I liked he would try and turn the baby before just doing a C-sec. So much to my great desire to avoid an epidural I was set up and got the epi (btw, that was the worst part of the whole thing! I cannot stand not to be able to move my own legs, plus unlike a “normal” epidural I was not allowed to sit up because of where they needed the medicine to get to for the version/C-sec). Well, trouble started then, I felt horrible, BP dropped and I couldn’t move from laying flat, then they couldn’t get a good read on the baby’s heartbeat.

Well, I was out of it, but eventually the Dr came and we found out that Aedyn had flipped full breech. The Dr decided to try and turn him anyway and miracle of miracles Aedyn promptly flipped to perfectly head down! Then they lost his heartbeat. All of the sudden in a flurry of activity and seeming chaos I heard “We’re doing a C-section now, not in 3 minutes, now!” in the hallway. I left my room at 10:12am and at 10:18am Aedyn came into the world using a very nice set of lungs :) He was warmed up and given to Jake and we waited for them to finish closing me up. We headed to recovery where I was able to feed him(the nurses were very impressed at how well he did and how good our “technique” was :) ) and he got his bath. After the obligatory hour we headed to our current room. He is a big, happy, and healthy little boy at 8lbs 9oz and 20 inches long, his head is 14 1/4 inches in circumference….so I’ thinking there were definite bonuses to me not having to push him out!

The Dr assured me that the incision he made would definitely allow me to try for a Vbac at any point in the future, so maybe we’ll be able to go all natural on the next baby :) I’m doing well, but I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow, I’ll have to stay in the hospital for 4 days, but we’ll manage.

So as much as Aedyn’s birth was the exact opposite of what i had in mind and planned out (with the exception of a very healthy baby at the end of it) it really turned out to be a blessing that he was transverse when we go to the hospital.

Turns out that the reason for him being sideways and breech all the time was that his umbilical cord was too short to allow him to drop. So I would have ended up with an emergency C-section no matter what. With everything happening the way it did I had some time to prepare mentally and emotionally for the change in plans. I was also able to be awake during surgery instead of having to be under the general anesthesia that would have come with truly emergency c-section. I also don’t have to deal with the extra pain that would have accompanied a long labor and pushing.

In short Aedyn was just destined to be a c-section baby but God still had/has it under control!

Jul 192012
 

In the social media/online world, we have our share of acronyms. Add in military, large organizations, and the medical field. Well, good luck trying to understand everything!

C-Sec – Cesarean Section                                                ICAN- International Cesarean Awareness Network

VBAC - Vaginal Birth After Cesarean                        HBA2C- Home Birth After 2 Cesareans

Recombine those letters and various numbers and you’ll be able to follow today’s post.

It’s time for another failed VBAC processing post. You can see the previous ones, including Jaron’s birth story, in my last VBAC post.

As precious as it was meeting our son, I would give almost anything not to repeat this scene.

 

Really, a lot of this happened over the past 2 months. With most things I can usually process as I write, but I think because of how deep everything goes, it takes me some personal processing time before I can do the words forming into sensible sentences thing.

About 6-8 weeks ago I visited a friend in the hospital (she had a pretty bad kidney infection and was 16 weeks pregnant), she was on the Labor & Delivery floor and I didn’t think anything of it or the fact that I hadn’t been there since I was released after I had Jaron as I headed off.  But as I got there I was hit by wave upon wave of emotion, and not the nice, fuzzy, nostalgia of “ooo, I haven’t been here since my baby was born.”My heart began to pound, I became super nauseated, I started to shake. It started gradually as I turned the corner as saw the Mother & Baby Wing. It got worse as I walked to the doors, and God Bless the Mother and newborn on the elevator with me for giving me something to focus on outside of what I was feeling.
I checked in with security and walked back.I stared right a Triage, and it was all I could do to keep moving. As soon as I saw my friend’s room number I focused totally on her and everything else seemed to fade. This was good, because I realized later that her room was right next to the door to my OR (operating room – told you that acronyms are everywhere!).

I didn’t stay long and managed to hold myself together long enough to get back to my car, where I completely dissolved.

I didn’t, and don’t, know if it was the unwanted C-sec or my horrible postpartum experience that triggered that response. I just knew that it wasn’t good. This is the only hospital that allows VBACs where my Dr has privileges (the other is an hour away anyway). How on earth and I supposed to have a baby in a place that I can’t even cope with entering?

Then, this past month I went to our new local ICAN chapter meeting. A friend and doula at the meeting told me that there is a CNM about an hour away who will attend HBA2Cs.

I was almost in shock. This is what I wanted so badly and thought impossible. It gave me a lot to think and pray about. And a lot of reading and research to do.

I’m going to make Thursdays my Road to a HBA2C day and try to be as consistent as I can each week; since I’m not pregnant yet, the next few weeks will be about how I arrived to this point and what resources I’m finding to help me get ready. Hopefully by the time I run out of things to say on that, then I’ll some exciting news to announce!

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