*This is a sensitive topic for me just because of how incredibly personal it is. However, I feel the desire to document each step of this pregnancy journey. So, I proceed to describe my feelings on this subject as tenderly and honestly as possible.*
As some of you know, who have been long time readers of this blog, I really struggled with the way things progressed with my birthing process with Evaleigh. I had always desired a natural birthing experience and when I was faced with a c-section, due to her breech presentation, I was devastated. A big part of me felt like I was missing out on an earthly physical experience that I knew my body was capable of. I felt confused and frustrated with the pressure of making the decision about what to do with Evie's birth but ultimately decided to have the c-section after countless attempts to turn her.
Looking back on my c-section experience I have very little complaint. It was truly a sweet experience, my recovery was really a breeze, and after all Evaleigh Joy was born healthy. Its hard to have regrets about how the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you came about. So for that, I will confidently say that I would change nothing about how Evaleigh came in to this world.
But that didn't mean that I haven't been incredibly desirous to change this birthing experience with Avett. I recently had a friend tell me this, "I think every woman needs something different to make her birth experience special, I feel every mother deserves to look back on the birth of her child and say the entire experience was a blessing and a miracle, not just "at least my baby was healthy." It is for this reason that the idea of trying for a VBAC has not left my mind for a single day since I found out I was pregnant on February 8th.
For the most part of this pregnancy John and I planned on a repeat c-section. I did this reluctantly but mostly ill-informed. First let me say that I adore my OB. I mean, I want to have her over to my house and cook her dinner and talk for hours and be her best friend. But I knew something wasn't right when she first began telling me that she would not do a VBAC and described the risks involved. They seemed dramatic and somewhat like a scare tactic. I trusted her and have for over 2 years. But there was a little voice in my head telling me to look further and do some research on my own. At the end of one of my first appointments with this pregnancy she gave me the number for a doctor in Atlanta who does VBAC's and said that I would have her blessing if in my heart I did feel like a VBAC was something I needed to do.
It took me 5 months to summon the courage to contact that doctor. When I finally did she informed me that she no longer practiced privately in ATL but gave me 3 other referrals. After that it took another 2 weeks to get the courage to contact them. I set up one appointment for this past Monday and with a blessing from my husband combined with many prayers I hoped I would know what to do.
When Monday arrived I felt like it was the first day of school and I was the new kid. Part of me felt like I was cheating on my OB but the stronger part of me knew that if I didn't do this I would really be cheating myself.
When I walked in to that doctors office a feeling of peace immediately washed over my body. I looked through a book on the table full of pictures patients had sent of their newborn babies and notes they had written to the doctor about how amazing he was and how much he inspired them and changed their lives. Tears filled my eyes. When I finally met with the doctor it was an instant click. He treated me like I was the only pregnant woman in the world and spent time answering every single one of my questions. There were so many things he told me that were reassuring. He said that with VBACS he does not induce, he will not use pitocin, he wants me to labor moving around and standing or walking for as long as I can. He wants me to try to get to a 6 or 7 with no drug intervention. He suggested Bradley and Hypnobirthing. Then he had me stand up and he put his hands on my hips and said, "Well from where I'm sitting, these are just about the most perfect birthing hips I've ever seen." I was in love.
He owns a practice with a staff of 24 midwives that deliver for uninsured immigrant woman as well as his private practice. And to top it all off it turns out that my other OB had delivered all of his grandchildren. I felt such a kinship to him and by the time I left he popped up to shake my hand and said, "Alright kiddo, peace." I just about bear hugged him right there. I knew immediately that doing a VBAC and delivering with him was the right decision for me.
This new decision has put a fire back in me about this birthing experience. I went to the library yesterday and checked out two books on VBACS and Ina May's guide to childbirth. I am already soaking it all in and trying to learn as much as I can. I have started some online training with Hypnobrthing. My goal is to go natural and to be open to what this experience has to offer. I couldn't be more excited about this and I can't wait to bring our Avett in to this world.
I am open to learning as much as I can in these last few weeks and would love to hear what worked for you mothers who delivered naturally. Thank you so much already for those who have been supportive and encouraging to me through this journey. I am excited to experience the, "empowering beauty of childbirth that is woman's amazing gift for people-ing the earth." -Alice Walker