We saw our sweet Newby today at the "20 week" ultrasound. Newby's perfect, measuring right on. And, it's just ONE baby! Phew. I would have loved twins, but glad that's not my cross to bear this time around.
Aaaaand we don't know what Newby is. I'm guessing GIRL because Newb was being such a modest thing. Sitting breech with bum super low, Legs and feet all tucked up protecting that area. That's how Roo and Friendly always were... All the boy u/s's I've ever heard of they're always flashing the goods.
Time will tell.
So the ultrasound was weird. I couldn't enjoy it. The tech was maybe in a bad mood? And I couldn't see very well. And Friendly kept throwing tantrums. The whole afternoon felt kinda weird and off. Maybe it's the INFJ in me.
Or maybe my instincts knew the other shoe was about to drop.
We met with the OB I was told was very pro-homebirth and has acted as transfer back up for my MW before. This OB ispro-home birth. She is NOT pro-VBAC, I don't care what she says.
The whole visit was awful. The words "you die", dead baby, prosecution and a whole lot more were brought up. I can't even tell you how angry and blindsided I felt. It's an hour drive home, I cried most of it. And I'm not one to cry easily.
I was expecting her to say, "I can't be official back up. But you can have your MW act as doula if you have a hospital birth" (which is more or less what she eventually said, kind of). I was not expecting the dead baby card to be drawn so vehemently. The "you are such a selfish person, putting all 'normal' women at risk because you want to VBAC at home... When you or your baby die (it was literally phrased with that annotation], your MW will go to jail and then a lot of good women will lose the awesome opportunity to home birth and have great prenatal care, because of YOUR SELFISH CHOICE."
And that's not just the gist, that was almost literally what she said...
She also went on and on about how the more births you have, the weaker your uterus gets, and the more likely it is for you to rupture. Ummm...That goes against EVERY (well documented) VBAC study out there that says that with each VBAC you have your risk of uterine rupture go DOWN (and with every cesarean you have, your risks rise dramatically...And a cesarean is just a mostly controlled uterine rupture, come on!!!!!).
She also talked about "stretched out uterus'" and how they cause mal-positioned babies. And then looked down at my ultrasound report and said "ooh and look here, baby's BREECH!"
At 20 weeks you are really trying to pull the breech card??? Seriously? baby was just kicking me in the ribs a few minutes ago...A foot was just rubbing on my hip bone 5 minutes ago: the baby's is only 10inches long! COME ON!!!!
The OB said she would ABSOLUTELY "VBAC you" in the hospital. But she couldn't condone HBAC, no and if or buts. I asked her what her policy is on VBAC: what would I have to deal with. "Constant fetal monitoring, that's it. Other than that I make the calls."
Literally said, "I [she the almighty OB] make the calls."
NO. *I* make the calls. I am the Mama. I have the instinct. I have to live with the consequences for the rest of my life. *I* MAKE THE CALLS!!!!! I don't need a freaking savior in an ugly white coat...I already have One, and He dresses way cooler.
And you know what? I'm not naive, maybe I was with Friendly (okay, I know I was...but I needed to be). I have worked closely with ICAN for 2 years. One of my best friends heads up the Mid-East region. I've heard horrible things happen. We've had, in our local chapter, babies die. Some of the deaths at the hand of horrific surgeons (cut the cord before baby was out: brain dead baby), some because of placenta issues(increased risk after having just one cesarean) causing full-term still birth, inept MW ignoring obvious signs of placental abruption: baby gone.
I've seen it. I know it happens. My heart breaks for those Mamas. And honestly, those scenarios: my worst nightmare.
But that's not going to stop me from doing what I feel is right for *THIS* baby. And if that's a hospital birth, I'm THERE. Heck, if it's even another cesarean I'd do it in a heart beat. But I don't think it is. I think it's a home birth. I think it's the safest place for *me* to give birth.
It's 4a.m. and I'm awake. I'm awake because I was remembering. I was crying remembering the moments before and after I became a Mother.
I always felt like those who compare their birth experiences to rape to be a bit dramatic (no judgement meant, just how I felt). I don't any more. I was thinking back to Roo's enterance in the world. I feel raped.
I have flash backs to that moment lying on the table and my throat closes up. I can still see the clock on the wall so clearly. It's what I think of when I remember her birth. The clock ticking. Me waiting. Trying to pray. Trying to breath. Praying it would be over NOW. Praying for my husband to come to me. To be able to breath. HORRIBLE pain in my neck, shaking.
I think back to how bruised and battered I felt. How robbed I feel. How scared I was with my arms strapped down and the weight of my baby being pressed downward on my lungs. Of having my lower half exposed to a bunch of strangers, people I didn't know. I couldn't see what they were doing to me. I couldn't see or touch my baby. i didn't get to hold her until she was hours old. She was so scared when they pulled her out. And I couldn't go to her.
That was a defining moment in my life: I had become a Mother.
And I'll never get it back.
We were watching Orgasmic Birth last night. I needed some good birth mojo after the horrible OB meeting. The last Mama they interviewed had been sexually abused as a child and raped in college. She shared her story of going from a victim full of fear: to realizing in labor, that she was a POWERFUL woman who knew how to give birth. I have never experienced that extent of abuse, I can't imagine the things she faced in birth. But her story resonated with me more than any of the other profiles.
Friendly's birth really was healing. It was realizing "I am a WOMAN. I have a voice! I have power. I am freaking incredible! I am STRONG." It was transforming. It has transformed me as a person.
But it didn't erase my fears.
And the meeting with the OB yesterday only confirmed how strongly they are still rattling around in there. Skeletons in my closet. It was only confirmed to me yesterday that the medical community, no matter how many VBAC's I have (and stuides show, the more VBAC's you have the lower your chances of complications are), I will always be seen a a leper.
But laying in bed tonight, crying at how unfair this all is. I was thinking over what I'm learning in this journey with Newby. I'm learning WHO I AM. Not what outside people label me as. But Who I am at the CORE. Who Jesus made me to be, WHO He is perfecting me as. Him.
I'm NOT a leper. My scar does NOT define me. My body works. It's made perfectly. My baby knows what it's doing, it was made to be BORN.
Yesterday was horrible. I had to relive some very unpleasant memories. I had to face some fears I thought I had put behind me. I can live as a victim, I can feel afraid and sorry for myself. Or I can stand up and be who I know I *am*. A woman who can give birth. Who has given birth. Who believes that I am called to do this thing, and God wouldn't lay a call on me that I couldn't answer.
Friendly's birth killed the lie that I was broken. I think Newby is going to be the story of my learning who I really am...It's not about where I birth, how I birth, it's about following Him. It's about glorifying Him. It's about me knowing who I am...Not what my fears have made me, not what my past experiences have brought me...But who I am.
And with that. I close. I need to get some more sleep before the day starts.