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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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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Apr 102012
 
Cesarean Awareness Month - April 2012

It came to my attention yesterday that April, on top of containing Real Diaper Week (woohoo!), is National Cesarean Awareness Month.

It seems like every month is the National month of something, but this one is particularly meaningful to me.

I’ve had 2 C-sections.

The first was much needed and sensitively done, and was all in all a wonderful birth experience and most likely saved my child who would have otherwise been stillborn. (Aedyn’s story)

The second one still causes me to wake up crying in the middle of the night. It is still the subject of every fear and doubt. It still affects how I view myself as a woman and a mother. (How I was treated postpartum has a lot to do with that as well.)

I’ll list all my posts about Jaron’s birth and my failed VBAC at the end of this one.

For awhile I told myself that I was more upset about the postpartum treatment than the C-section itself. Maybe that’s true, maybe not.

In any case I find myself envisioning different scenarios for our 3rd child that we are hoping for sometime in the next year. They range from an intentional unassisted home birth to birthing in the car on the way to hospital to going to the wrong hospital (that doesn’t have a Labor & Delivery unit) to giving birth in the park next to the hospital. None of them have me actually giving birth in the hospital.

However, I’m sure none of them will happen; mainly because I don’t want to deal with the “baby born in non-sterile environment” protocol and having to be separated until who knows when, not cool.

However, this time around I do plan on hiring a Doula. I couldn’t with my first VBAC attempt because I didn’t think I could afford it. We couldn’t, we were barely making bills and $500 (+/-) was nowhere in our realm of doable. I had no idea that there were multiple doulas in my area and some of them are willing to work on the pricing. This time I’m making it a priority, we’re in a better place financially and will be saving from this month on…and if it comes to it, I won’t hesitate to ask.

I thought I was educated enough, I did have the head knowledge, but I was so distracted with everything going on I didn’t have enough brain power to separate from the situation and remember what I knew. That’s what I need someone to do for me, help me remember what I already know.

In between all my different birth scenarios I’ve also thought about not having anymore children. Jake and I have both wanted 4 (and then adopt another 2) for, well, forever. But I don’t think I can handle another C-section. Physically, yes, I can do it. Emotionally? I don’t know. I see how much this one has messed me up. How, for the past 17 months, I’ve worked through it and the accompanying emotions over and over and think I’ve dealt and moved on; only to have the memories and doubt and guilt and sense of failure well up over and over again.

I’m scared that if I do have another C-section I’ll fall apart into a depression that is more than just the baby blues. I’m scared of what that will mean for my children if I’m an emotional wreck.

Fear. Doubt. Guilt. Frustration. Anger. Hurt. Sadness. Regret.

As you can see I obviously haven’t dealt with it.

I’ve tried talking about it, not talking about it, rationalizing, praying, giving it up…I just can’t shake it.

The only thing I can hope is that going ahead and having another baby will give me the chance to know that I’m doing absolutely everything I can to increase my chances of success. People tell me I have nothing to prove, but I do. At least to myself I have something to prove.

I love and appreciate all comments, however, please be sensitive. I know that the end goal is a “healthy baby”, but it is also a “healthy mama” and that means both physically and emotionally. I haven’t written this post as a pity party, but to let other moms like me know that this is ok. It’s ok to still be not ok 17 months later. I’m not alone, they aren’t alone. Please remember that and be supportive, Thanks!

Processing Jaron’s Birth:
Original Birth Story

2 Months After

8 Months After

10 Months After

 

Sep 202011
 
Yes, he got here, but that’s NOT all that matters.

A few weeks ago I got knocked sideways with some pretty heavy emotions. A friend of mine had a beautiful baby boy and a completely natural birth. Now I haven’t heard the whole birth story, I hope I will hear it one day, but as of yet I don’t think she’s put it up anywhere. So maybe it wasn’t the perfect birth, but from what I do know it certainly sounded perfect.

My first reaction.

Jealousy.

Complete on the spot bawling my eyes out jealousy and grief.

I’m not proud of it, and after I had a few minutes I was excited and thrilled and proud for her. He really is an adorable little boy and she did an amazing job growing him and getting him here.

But how long? How many of my friends and how many births? Until I have a successful VBAC? What if I never do? (Heaven forbid.)

It’s been 10 months and 17 days. Each day I’m one step closer. It takes time. Time. More time.

It’s a healing process. A process that takes a step forward with every birth. Each one causes me to work through everything that went on that day a little bit more, to go a little bit deeper. I’m realizing more and more that a lot of my hurt and anger has more to do with my treatment postpartum rather than the C-section itself. So now I’m trying to figure out how to process and deal with that.

10 months and 17 days.

I almost feel as if I’m rehashing this yet again, even though it seems as if I always come back to it every few months. But hey, it’s my blog, you don’t have to read it… and maybe someone else needs to hear that they’re not alone either, that it’s normal to be going through this. Still.

10 months and 17 days. Maybe tomorrow it won’t feel so fresh.

 

Jun 282011
 

I picked up my OB records on Friday. We’re moving fairly soon and not only did I want to see them for myself, but I would rather have them in hand in case of emergency, not waiting for offices to get their faxes together.

It was hard enough going through them, first, getting misty-eyed over seeing sonogram reports throughout Aedyn’s pregnancy and reading the Op report of his birth. Actually seeing the numbers for his cord length. Did you know a normal average umbilical cord for a full term baby is 20 – 24 inches? Aedyn’s was less than 6 inches. What a blessing that C-section was!


And apparently I was noted to have a “very prominent sacrum” while they had my uterus outside my body. That first part might have been nice to know before I got pregnant with Jaron since it could have possibly played a big role in why I ended up with a repeat C-sec…the second part I could have gone a lifetime without knowing…yeah.


Then I got to the records of my pregnancy with Jaron and his birth. Very few positive emotions there. Actually none. More like the emotional feeling of a sewer backing up and throwing sludge all over my day. Yup, just like that.


It started with my glucose screening. What they said they told me was not even close to what they actually told me. I know I tend to be more on the hypoglycemic side of things so I knew I would more than pass the test, which I did. But still frustrating to recall that whole mess.

Then I got to the Repeat C-sec. The way it reads is the way it went. No lies, which I was happy about. But no absolution either. I didn’t realize that that was what I was looking for until today. I’ve been engrossed with the records of both pregnancies all day. Trying to find something that even remotely made me stop regretting my decision. Something that was to Jaron what the 6″cord was to Aedyn. Something.


I didn’t find it. Reasons like the way my back is naturally arched in a slightly different spot than most people might have been an issue, but that in and of itself might have been able to be overcome; or that I was sitting in triage for nearly 9 hours with no other sign of labor than a high leak and a baby who was very high, high enough that a cord prolapse possibility was mentioned.


I found facts, I found reasons, I found truth…but I did not find absolution.


And here I am rehashing it once again. I just wish I could erase all those notes and call “DO OVER!”

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