Part Two- Grace
After all that happened with my first two births I began researching before we even got pregnant. I talked to everyone who had any information. We happened upon a birthing center who after a phone call sent me a mound of information, statistics and websites galore to glean from whatever I could. I read and re-read vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) stories. When we actually became pregnant I called every doctor on my insurance list to find a doctor who would allow vba2c's. I honestly called around thirty and found only a handful. I narrowed from there according to location, hospital etc. I was still not seriously considering a midwife falling into the notion that they were outdated and unsafe. I found a doctor that did vbacs and made an appointment.
On my first appt I only saw the nurse who told me that the doctor in fact would not do a vbac because I had had two previous c-sections and my children would not be far enough apart according to ACOG which is the group doctors love to blame for not allowing women to vbac but in actuality she was wrong. According to current recommendations women who have had one or two previous c-sections with lower transverse incisions ( think bikini line) with children spaced at least 18 months apart (which mine were) should be allowed a TOL (trial of labor). She told me however that I should discuss it with the doctor and make another appt. I expressed that I was not interested in a repeat cesarean and that I was disappointed that the receptionist had assured me that the doctor did perform vba2c's. She said I should come again after getting all the initial papers and blood work done so that I could discuss my options with her and in the meantime she would see if she could get the name of a doctor she'd heard about that would do a vbac for anyone...... just anyone.
So my next appointment came and I am waiting with my son and daughter. When the doctor comes in she automatically takes a defensive stance. She behaved as if I was calling her whole education into question, rather than trying to make informed decisions. I wanted to bring the research I'd done to a human being and ask why? Why did my previous doctor act as if I was trying to kill myself and my child. Why did so many women have success in vbacing after repeat cesarean outside hospitals but were not being aloud to in a "safe" setting? When I started to ask questions she cut me off, when she spoke about vbacs she spoke in very general terms and had no idea about rates of success, and the major fear which is the scar from surgery basically tearing back open during labor she talked so much about..... she didn't even know the facts on that either.
I brought up the fact that with each "elective" repeat cesarean the risk of complications for me and baby met or exceeded the risk of my scar rupturing. She did not address that she instead had the nerve to tell me I needed to consider permanent birth control after this birth. That I needed to consider if we could provide for all these children after all what was I wanting 10 kids. Beside the fact that that is NONE of her business it was obvious what she was saying. I am the professional you are an idiot. I explained that my husband and I were trusting God with our family (that's another post) and could possibly have more children. In that event I wanted to make the best decision I could for our family now which is why I was coming to her for answers.
With that she explained that I would either need to agree to a repeat "elective" cesarean (the elective is in quotes because I wasn't electing to do anything!) or she would discontinue care. Needless to say I took care of that on my own. As I was leaving her nurse who parroted everything she said and basically tried to strong arm me into agreeing to a section said, Oh I got the name of the doctor who does vbacs for anyone who goes to see him, If you want to go to someone like that I mean........Seriously?!
I felt so alone and scared. I went home and prayed I told God that this child came from Him and that I wanted His will. That He had put this desire in my heart to have a baby the way He designed. This was the beginning of a new faith and reliance on God. I was totally out of my element. I had a life in my hands and I wasn't about to put it in that doctor's hands without hearing the audible voice of God. I knew He had brought me to this place for His good purpose. If He wanted this He would have to make a way. And make a way He did.
As I was pouring over all the research I'd done I came back across the email from the midwife who sent me all the links to vbac research. I called and made an appointment to just see if nothing else I could have an intelligent conversation. By this time I was far enough along to find out the sex of the baby and we set up an appointment for that as well at a local diagnostic center. When I met my midwife I instantly knew in my heart that this is where I was supposed to be. They were Christians so my faith and beliefs had a place in the conversation. They spoke of the dangers of vbac'ing in a real and understandable way. Both for and against. They were fully equipped and hospital supported in case of emergency.They encouraged my right to take charge of my body, my child and my birth. But I wasn't out of the woods yet.
Several things would have to be cleared up before they'd take me as a patient. God made a way at every turn. My previous scars had to be sutured a certain way, they were. We had to make sure the placenta had not attached near my scar as it would increase the chance the scar could rupture. Not only was it not near the scar but it was completely opposite the scar. And for safety the difference between the children should preferably be 18 months. My children are each almost to the day 18 months apart :). God made a way and assured me I was in His will. Oh and did I mention that to do this I could not have any pain medication during birth? :)
My midwife required that I see a chiropractor as often as I had appointments with them. For optimal postioning throughout pregnancy. And that I take a birthing class (hoping to have a guest post from my instructor soon in the meantime if your searching for a birth instructor check her out at Birth Boot Camp ) to be prepared for the birth and at every appointment worked through any fear and emotion I was holding on to.
My family was unsure and being that the only understanding of midwives they had was from some FICTIONAL Amish books they happened to be reading lets just say it didn't go over to well when they found out. It was a constant struggle to hold on to the dream my God had put in my heart. I stayed in scripture ( I will post the scripture I stood on in a later post), prayer and hope. My husband and I began our birthing classes and as we learned all the statistics to interventions leading to cesarean it became clear how my perfect birth spiraled out of control with my first child. I became empowered, I realized how I really had no idea what was happening to my body when I went into labor and that my fear of pain was eased by really understanding the process. So now we would just hurry up and wait.