At anytime in my life, if someone told me I couldn’t do something, I wanted to do it even more. When my doctor told me I couldn’t have a VBAC (with baby #2), I wanted to prove him wrong as well. I wanted to prove that getting a second opinion was the best thing that I could do for myself and for my child.
I did end up having a successful VBAC, once I switched doctors and chose San Diego County’s first World Health Organization-designated Baby-Friendly birth pavilion to deliver at.
One of the first things they did when I checked-in at the hospital was ask if I had a Birth Plan. They read it over and confirmed everything with me and made sure it was followed precisely as I had outlined. My labor and delivery could not have gone smoother.
Now, I realize that I have a high tolerance for pain but having a drug-free, natural VBAC would still not have happened if it wasn’t for the fact that my husband supported me 100% as well as my doctor, the entire hospital staff and my support system of friends and family. Every time I doubted my ability to birth naturally, my people stepped in and reminded me that I could. I believed them because they believed in me.
My son is almost three months old now and I still can’t believe that my original doctor would have insisted that I have a c-section with him. I’d still be in recovery mode and I’d still be doubting the choice I made regarding his birth. I do believe that it should be our choice to birth the way we want to. After all, it’s our bodies and our babies that we’re ultimately responsible for.
I understand that having a c-section may be medically necessary for some women. I know that there are times when there is really no other alternative, but when the pregnancy has gone smoothly and there’s been ample time between pregnancies (my first son was just days away from turning 7 when baby #2 was born), I also know that birthing naturally is much safer than many would have us believe.
I did my research. I spent many hours reading reports, stories, medical journals and pages from the CDC regarding both repeat C-sections and VBACs. After drowning in thoughts of the health risks associated with both options, I decided that – for me – having a VBAC would be the best choice. I wish it were easier to come to that decision. I felt so alone in having to search for information and finding a doctor that would support me.
I also felt guilt in either choice since there were many people telling me (society in general) that it was selfish of me to want to birth naturally (against what my doctor told me) and that it was selfish of me to have another c-section. I juggled both alternatives up until I finally switched doctors late in my third trimester.
As moms, we’re led to guilty feelings over many of the choices we make in raising our children. I don’t think the guilt needs to begin before our children are even born.
I’m not sure what the point of this post really is, after all, it started out with a discussion about rebellion and how I tend to want things more when they’re forbidden but I don’t believe that anything should be forbidden about the way we bring our children into the world. After all, we are able to choose whether or not we want to become parents in the first place and I believe this pro-choice mentality should carry over into other aspects of our life as well.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you go against your doctor’s orders in any situation, but I do suggest that you do your research and then do what’s best for you. Use the resources that are out there and use your friends to help make the best choice but don’t let others tell you what to do, or what not to do. We’re all different and what works for some, might not work for others. I did what was best for me and what was best for my baby and I have no regrets.
Happy Healthy Hip Parenting
Peace Begins in the Home