Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Thank You Sir, May I Have Another!?" she said.

When J3 was just 2 1/2 years old, we had Mirena removed. We were ready for another baby. No, I was not looking forward to another c-section, but I'd accepted it by now. I'd do it for another baby. I didn't feel as if our family was complete yet and Michael agreed.

It took a grueling six months for us to conceive. For those of you who have actually tried to conceive, you know how that feels. I know we're blessed it didn't take longer, but it felt like an eternity and each time I got my period was more and more disappointing. I could not wait to tell my friend, Jessica, that I was pregnant! Jessica is a natural birth instructor and birth doula, you see. She has three boys and I had two; we had a play date scheduled for the day I found out I was pregnant.

Within two weeks of knowing I was pregnant, I was so sick! I had nausea all day long and could not leave the couch unless it was absolutely necessary. At night, between midnight and 1:00 A.M., I'd vomit. After six to eight weeks of it, I broke down and cried to Michael. I told him I didn't know how other women do this and that it doesn't seem worth having more children to go through this. I told him I read the sickness could go on for several more weeks. Finally, a few days later, the nausea symptoms seemed to abate. Relief at last.

Now that I could function, I was starting to think about the upcoming c-section. I was thinking about the previous two experiences with cesarean. I was beginning to panic. I'd suddenly think about the c-section randomly in the day and my chest would grow tight. Struggling to breathe, writhing, gasping for air. I prayed asking God for peace regarding the c-section, repeating over & over, "Your will, not mine." Weeks went by and I was still having panic attacks. I decided to pour my heart out to Jessica. She's a natural birth educator, mom and woman; surely she'd understand.

Upon pouring out my heart to her, Jessica told me she has another friend, Sarah, with a similar story to mine. She introduced us together and we bonded instantly. Our stories are shockingly similar. Sarah shared her research with me and led me to the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) for research and support. She also told me it's possible to have a VBAC after two cesareans and provided me with more of her research. A VBA2C. I immediately knew that is what I wanted. I began calling OBGYN offices to see if anyone would take me on. Every office I called turned me away. I got all the scare tactics you will ever hear about VBA2Cs. Sarah told me about a doctor she'd been negotiating with in a city an hour away. She was hopeful for a future VBA3C. I set up a consultation. Now, just to get Michael to agree to this....

Michael was less than receptive about a VBA2C. We'd previously been told there was a 50% chance of the baby and myself dying due to uterine rupture. I did research after that and had come to the realization that is a scare tactic, but Michael hadn't read much research yet. I had to convince him to read more research before meeting with the doctor. I was kind of afraid to confess to him that I was considering a home birth. I didn't trust doctors anymore, nor did I the medical system.

Michael reluctantly read the research. He was growing angry at me. I was growing angry at him. There was an unspoken tension growing between us. I can't believe he'd rather make me go under the knife again without at least considering other options! How dare he do that to me! He knows what I went through. He knows I'm terrified to do this again. Why is he being so reluctant?! I had to sit him down and talk to him about this. I must have his support in this or I can't do it, but I can't just go under the knife again either. I sat Michael down to talk to him about the research and how he felt about the VBA2C. He was shut down; he'd put up a wall. After quite a while, I finally got it out of him. He felt I'd already made my decision and that, whether he liked it or not, I was going to have a VBA2C. In a way, I had made my decision. My ongoing research made me realize it's riskier to have a repeat cesarean than to VBA2C. I was already no longer having panic attacks now that the VBA2C was an option. I still needed his support and I felt like he just wanted me to be cut to my innermost core again without a problem.

We met with Dr. M and he was...well...less than supportive and didn't really want to stick his neck out for me, but he knew a doctor who may be able and willing to help. He referred me to Dr. F and set up an appointment some six weeks out. On drive back home, Michael told me he's leaning toward a home birth at this point. He'd read the research as well and, after meeting with Dr. M, no longer feels doctors will help me. So, we met with a midwife too. She knew Dr. F and he'd backed up home births for many of her clients in his area. He came highly recommended. We went ahead and met with Dr. F as well. What a breath of fresh air! He told us that the risk of uterine rupture is highly inflated, said the scare tactics are garbage and pleaded with us to have a hospital birth since I'd had two cesareans. We didn't agree to the hospital birth, but we agreed to keep coming to appointments with him. With each appointment, we grilled him on different scenarios and how he'd handle them. I told him I fully intend upon a completely natural, drug free birth; all of which he was comfortable with.

We were undecided between a home birth or a hospital birth until the very last month of my pregnancy. It was only then that we'd decided to go to the hospital for our birth. We both had peace; we had Jessica as our doula and a team of prayer warriors. We had taken Brio (formerly Bradley) Natural Birth class and did all of the practicing we could and I did my exercises. I went to regular chiropractic care to make sure everything with aligned well for the birth. Now, we just wait for this baby to come!

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