So you’ve read about both of my birth experiences. To know those will help you understand where I’m at when people ask me my opinions on childbirth, which is what you get to read now.
There is such a stigma surrounding C-sections now in the naturally minded community that when I failed at a VBAC, through no fault of my own other than genetics, I couldn’t help but feel some shame. This is so wrong. I understand that there needs to be a push for women embracing labor because there are many C-sections that could be avoided, but I also think we need to embrace these women that were cut open to bring their babies in to the world, because that experience can be scarring on more than one level. I believe every birth should be talked about and celebrated because birth (medicated, natural, cesarean, etc) is such a big moment in a woman’s life, even if you don’t realize it at the time. Now I get that it is hard to celebrate a traumatic birth. My son’s birth doesn’t rate very high on the trauma scale in my opinion, I have many friends who went through much worse, but talking about it was so healing, and learning to embrace and celebrate coming through all that played a big part in preparing for my daughter’s birth.
Childbirth is beautiful, messy, and natural. I believe it is something to be embraced. So, whether you pushed out a 10 lb baby unmedicated, or ended up with a 30-wk. high risk c-section embrace your experience and celebrate what your body went through for the last 9 months and culminated in!
Now quick we will talk about VBAC prep. After my first post, I received several messages on advice for what all I did to prepare for a VBAC. First off, I am not a healthcare professional, so take everything with a grain of salt. 😉
– My frist piece of advice is to make sure you see a healthcare professional who is 100% supportive of your desire to VBAC. If you have a midwifery practice near you that you like I would recommend that route.
-Hire a doula! This is just as important as step 1. We were strapped on cash from all my other out of pocket expenses this pregnancy, but we made some other sacrifices and this was hands down the best money we spent this pregnancy. I’ll probably write more about Doula’s later because our deserves an entire post dedicated to her awesomeness.
– Do your research. A doula can help with this… I read a million blog posts, books, talked to fellow VBAC friends. Because of this I ended up in weekly chiropractor visits to make sure my pelvis was properly aligned to give baby lots of room. Multiple acupuncture appointments each week to help labor come naturally without induction. Massage to help keep me relaxed. Diet changes and more. Natural child birthing classes (ok we didn’t do this one, but we had a plan for pain management thanks to our doula).
– Accept and prepare for the fact that things miiight not go your way. This was big for me. I knew I wanted a VBAC, but I knew if I didn’t prep myself for the possibility of a repeat cesarean then I would be in for some major heartbreak when the time came.
Finally, the question I’m sure you are all dying to know that’s just entirely to personal for you to ask… Will I go through it again? Do I want to birth more children? Well that’s a tricky question. (and totally not anyone’s business, but I put myself out there with the rest of our story and I feel like this goes hand in hand with that, so I’ll humor you). Growing up I dreamed of having that big stereotypical catholic family. Then my son’s birth happened. Then 5 years of infertility and loss happened. Do I still see that family in the cards for me? Not necessarily. Do I want more children? Yes. Do I want another C-section? Not really. Now my thoughts on that might change as time goes by, but the risks of subsequent surgeries are just not something I am overly fond of. Now, with that being said, we do practice natural family planning, so its ultimately God who will decide. Plus, there’s always adoption. So, one day we may be more than a party of 4, but for now I’m embracing my 2 beautiful blessings.