Wednesday, September 28, 2011

VBAC Journey...Continues

I haven't been wanting to think too much on every thing. I haven't made a decision about an OB... The one I met with was great. But ...waiting for peace to take the plunge. I'm 24 weeks, time is flying. And yet, I wait.

I've been thinking a lot about what this pregnancy has brought me. I don't think all the questions I'm asking myself are because a friend lost her baby. The Mama that it happened to isn't even a close friend. I am closer to mutual friend who walked through the whole thing with her. A lot of this year has been us asking ourselves and each other, what and whys.  Processing what it means to have a scar on your uterus (as we both do) in this area of the country. What it means just for birthing our babies in general. Having had a cesarean increases your risks, having had multiple (as our mutual friend had) can cause even more problems, even (in some cases) in future surgical births...Having had a VBAC (as we both have) reduces our risks. And yet...

In the end, I don't think this is really about a fear of some thing happening to Newby. A lot of it is the attitude towards any VBAC Mama (in the area. We are a pain in the OB's necks, a liability on many levels. While research backs us up. While research says: yes VBAC is (generally) safer than repeat surgery (and each successful VBAC = decreased risk). While research SAYS: VBAC is really almost as safe as any other vaginal birth.

We are still marked.

Some times we are shamed for considering a VBAC.  Many feel coerced into surgery and choose a repeat with much regret.  Because the OB's feel they can control surgery more (they can't). The mainstream medical community has pushed VBAC mamas into regulations and restrictions in how and when we birth. They don't understand what surgery (especially if we had a traumatic first surgical birth) means to us. Add to all those frustrating factors,  we are complicated Mama to care for. We have hang ups, questions, our labors tend to be weird and charged with emotions, especially with the first VBAC.

I don't really think HBMW's in the area really get it either. While I think many understand more of why VBAC is a safe and an IMPORTANT option...And many support and fight to support mothers. I don't think they get (unless they have a scar themselves) how "marked" Mom's with scars feel. Especially if we have been interviewing OB's and shamed for even wanting to attempt a VBAC. Or told horror stories before we make a decision. Or told we can VBAC and then have "reasons" why we can't at term...Leaving us scrambling to find the birth we know is right for us.

It's not just this nice process of choosing a care provider. It's about feeling fully supported. Feeling safe. And feeling like we  are doing what's best.

I think what I've struggled with the most is the "IF some thing happens...Can I live with the choices I'm making?" As a VBAC (even as a 2VBAC!) I feel an extra burden to be sure that if some thing goes wrong I made choices that protected my family. It's an ugly climate where I live...I can make rational responsible birth choices...But I also have to protect my family...I have to be sure I'm not putting the liability on their heads.

And at the same time, if I feel some thing is RIGHT for me, I have to do it and I have to live with it. I can't worry about whether people would "blame me" if I made certain birth choices and things went wrong. I have to cover my bases and embrace the fact that life is life.  LIFE HAS RISKS.

But this birth, I am feeling the need to be careful...To walk cautiously...To make different choices. I feel like we're just one or two really bad births away from some thing nasty happening in my area. Whether it's fair or not, rational on the part of the medical community... Doesn't matter, Newby can't be that baby. That I am convinced of, so I keep processing.

What will end up happening as far as my birth choices go? I don't know.

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