Thursday, April 7, 2011

Up On the Soapbox

Yup... it is that time again. April is Cesarean Awareness Month! While a lot of people don't care... I do. Anyone who has ever talked to me about my birth experience or how I now view birth, knows how important this is to me. What it partly comes down to is... I want my next baby to come out the way that it is supposed to! I have dreamed about it since I was a little girl! I used to shove a baby doll up my shirt and have a pretend delivery. I've always been obsessed with babies and birth. And now that I look back, I don't know why I was so stupid and trusting of the doctors I had. Why the heck did I even go to the hospital that night... it wasn't really quite time yet (oh yeah... first time mom excited to meet her baby...) and why did I let them admit me when I was 5 cm dilated, but my contractions had COMPLETELY stopped?! (oh yeah... I just wanted to meet my baby...) And why... oh WHY did I let them break my water?! And talk me into going ahead and getting my epidural... even though I was in NO. PAIN. AT. ALL. Let's not even talk about them starting me on pitocin like it was something natural to do...*sigh* I hadn't really been prepared. I didn't even get to take a childbirth class because they were all full. I didn't know anything about the Bradley Method, or that you don't have to be a crazy tree hugger to give birth without meds! ;) I really honestly had no clue. And now, I wish I had known.

If you ever plan on having kids... educate yourself! It isn't just a simple thing where you get pregnant, you go to the hospital, pop your baby out and live happily ever after. (ok, maybe there are a few...) but so much can go wrong! ESPECIALLY if things don't go naturally. DO watch The Business of Being Born. Read birth books, talk to other people, hire a doula, use a midwife if you can, make sure your doctor is REALLY on board (ask for their cesarean rate if you want!), and take a good birthing class (like the Bradley Method). Oh yeah, and make sure you have a support system--family and friends. Make sure your hubby feels the same way you do, because I'm pretty sure it would be really hard to do alone...

When I get pregnant again I will re-watch The Business of Being Born, talk to my friends who have had a VBAC and/or a non medicated birth, take the Bradley Class, and hire a Doula. No options for a midwife down here! :( AND... you better believe I will fight the OB's rules for VBAC. I'm sorry, but being about 5'0 should NOT exclude me from giving birth to a child. What a load of bull.

Besides just wanting my baby to come out the "right" and natural way, I want that whole experience. Remember me and the doll story? Well... I've always wanted to have my baby and then have the baby put on my chest. Then we would get a family picture. And you know, if all I get next time is the baby coming out of the right place, that is more than good enough for me! Because I want to give birth the safer way. And more often than not, a VBAC is much more safe. And I want a lot of kids. I want at least 4. That is a lot of slicing open if you ask me... And I want to be able to take care of a newborn baby AND Abby after I have another baby. I don't want to be recovering from a MAJOR SURGERY. I want to be able to move and I really, really, really want that experience. Yes... I am one of those csection mommas who feels like I really did miss out on something when I had Abby. No, I do not love Abby any less, never have, but I hated my birth experience. Yes, they are completely different. I nursed Abby like I planned and I loved it. In fact, it was the ONLY thing (besides getting a baby) that I got my way.

Anyways, I could go on for DAYS about this, but I won't. :) But I will leave you with this little fact:
In 2009, 32.9% of Births Resulted In Major Abdominal Surgery; 13th Consecutive Year to Show Increase. I read that on ICAN's website. Sad. Sad. Sad.

So here's to my VBAC journey... whenever I get to begin it... (yes, I'm whining now...) Here's to giving birth to a child, the natural way... And here's to trying to have patience to begin this journey... And being patient at the end so I can get what I want.


  1. I'm sorry things didn't go the way you wanted. I do want to caution you though. My husband has a friend who decided ahead of time exactly how she wanted to have her 3rd child (laboring naturally mostly at home, having a vaginal birth, etc.) and things didn't go exactly the way she wanted. She had the baby naturally and vaginally but labored mostly in the hospital and the doctors were kind of pushing for a c-section because the baby seemed to be in distress. It all worked out fine, but to her it wasn't exactly how she wanted it to happen. She ended up getting depressed because she was so disappointed with the birth (even though it went just fine and I'm sure is a labor you would love). It took her a long time to get over the depression and ended up distancing herself from her children and husband because of it. Everything is fine now, but it was a tough few months for her.

    Just wanted to let you know because I don't want the same thing to happen to you. On the other hand, I totally agree with you about doctors doing way too many c-sections and they should definitely let you try and have your next child naturally. I would definitely work toward that like you are, but make sure you're okay with things if they end up not going the way you want. The most important thing is that the baby comes out healthy.

  2. Hey there momma! Hope you don't mind me following =) I am LOVING this post. Our c-section birth stories are VERY similar and while it makes me feel better that I'm not alone, it breaks my heart that there are lots of us out there. I wish I could print this out and hand it out to every pregnant woman I know, but unfortunately, the "warnings" I've given have fallen on deaf ears =( Good for you for being prepared and knowing better. YOU WILL GET YOUR VBAC MOMMA! You can do it! It took me two months, four OBs and one midwife, many doctors appointments, lots of phone calls and much frustration before I finally met the midwives who took care of me during my pregnancy and delivery. Many hospitals are "vbac friendly" but some of the OBs who deliver there are not, I found this out during my research of L&D units and birthing centers in my area. My midwife was an hour's drive from my home, but she was worth every single mile and minute in the car because her philosophies were right in line with mine. I'm so excited for you and have my fingers and toes crossed for your next pregnancy!!!

  3. you can do it!!! and i will be right there ready to break you out of the hospital if they tell you you can't! i've had a couple babies and a big bathtub, you can just come over here. ;)