Warning: this post is all pregnancy and birth related. I won’t hold it against you if you close your browser and come back next week.
When I was pregnant with Sydney, I researched birth options online and read books and watched documentaries and asked questions and then decided on a natural birth. I hired a doula and prepped and tried for that natural birth, but due to things beyond my control, I ended up with every intervention that I didn’t want – and ultimately had a c-section. Believe me – I’m so incredibly thankful that Sydney was born with no health problems and that we were able to take her home from the hospital as planned. I have friends who weren’t so lucky. They either had a baby in the NICU and worried for days or weeks months or didn’t get to take their baby home at all. So while I didn’t get the birth that I wanted, I got the baby that I wanted and that is really what mattered at the end of it all. We are blessed.
When I found out that I was pregnant this time, the first thing I did was start researching doctors and whether or not they would support my decisions for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I knew it was early and anything could happen, but I didn’t want to start with one doctor and find out later that everything I wanted would be ignored or just not allowed at their practice.
I quickly learned that the doctor who delivered Sydney was at a practice that would not even consider a VBAC. I was pretty sad about that because I really liked him and the other doctors he works with, but I did not want to put myself through another c-section just because I liked him. I found another practice who had “VBAC FRIENDLY” prominently displayed on their website. I had my initial appointment with a great female doctor and felt pretty comfortable, but was bothered by her statement that they’d only ‘let’ me go to 40 weeks. It only got worse when my two subsequent appointments with one of her colleagues were anything but comfortable. Based on his clinical approach to my ultrasounds and just a gut feeling that I got from my interactions with him, I decided to again look elsewhere for an OB.
I sent an SOS text to my doula, Becky, and asked for recommendations for an OB who was truly VBAC friendly. Beckly quickly sent me a referral to a midwife and doctor team practice. I immediately booked an appointment for last week.
I wish I could explain the difference in how I was treated. I met with the midwife and she told me that they make recommendations and that I make decisions. She told me that they’d be comfortable with me going 10 days past my due date and that I was a prime candidate for a successful VBAC. She told me that their VBAC success rate is 80%. I admitted my concerns about the previous practice to her and she confirmed my fear: they were VBAC friendly on paper but not at all supportive of their patients.
My whole point to this post is that it is so important to follow your gut to advocate for your health -whether it is your pregnancy and birth or a suspicious problem for your child. (Anyone watch Grey’s Anatomy a few weeks ago?!) Knowing that I’ll be supported by a team of professionals who have the same plan as me gives me more confidence in my decision. I know that a VBAC isn’t guaranteed but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to try.