Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I don't even know what to title this post...

I was trying to think of something clever and catchy to name this post, but I have a feeling it's going to be a muddle of mixed up rambling, so I figure I'll just be honest from the jump.

Last night, Jason and I were talking.  I have been after him to write something for the blog, and he says he is just waiting for an idea, so I thought I would just randomly throw something out there to see if it would fire up some inspiration.  So I asked him if he thought we should have our next birth in a hospital.  There now exists some disagreement as to how the rest of the conversation played out, but how I remember it is  him saying "maybe" because he has some concerns about the varicosities the doctor who delivered E mentioned.  And, to be honest, so do I.  This is going to sound terrible, but I sort of wish he had only mentioned it to my midwives and Jason and I could have been none the wiser.  Because, really, what is it going to affect?  They were there during my entire labor with E and presented no complications--and they supposedly wouldn't unless I ruptured, and the rupture risk is really so, so low.  And the truth of the matter is no one I have talked to besides this doctor has ever really heard of them.  That is not to say they don't exist, but it is just curious.  Maybe they aren't really mentioned because in women who have successful VBACs, they aren't discovered.  Or if a woman opts for a repeat c/s, they aren't disclosed because it isn't really a concern, since the woman isn't laboring.  I just don't know.  It is also curious to me that they didn't cause excessive bleeding when they were cut during E's cesarean.  I wonder if they aren't exactly on the scar line, but near?  Anyway, I think we are going to go for a second opinion about them at some point just to set our minds at ease--I think it's important that we handle this before our next delivery because I don't want any underlying fears coming into play in the heat of the moment.  I think, although I knew in my head that the risk of rupture was infinitesimally small, I hadn't addressed my fears around it before E's delivery and it really came into play when I panicked.  And I still have that fear--the truth of the matter is the most important thing to me is a healthy mom and baby.  And I don't mean that in the way people do when they say it to dismiss a woman's feelings around her birth or her experience.  Of course, obviously, my birth experience matters to me, and I want a vaginal birth more than almost anything else in the world--and I'm willing to do almost anything to get it.  But, in the end, I do want a healthy baby and I want to be healthy.

I also was thinking about it and I don't think I would be opposed to considering a hospital birth for our first VBA2C, especially if it would mean Jason were more comfortable.  But the thing about that is I absolutely would not be able to plan one in Austin.  So, I'm faced with traveling to see the doctor in Denton or one in San Antonio that someone on the ICAN list mentioned, but I know next to nothing about her, except that this person is going on her second VBA2C with this doctor.  And I wonder if I wouldn't be compromising my best chance at a vaginal birth if I did opt for a hospital.  There will be so many more restrictions placed on me--probably continuous fetal monitoring, an IV (or at least a heplock), stuck in bed, etc etc (all of which I would take for a vaginal birth, by the way) and at the first sign of anything unusual, what if they wanted to section me? (And clearly I don't mean something emergent, a clear sign that we had to get the baby out then and there....for that, I would hand them the scalpel myself and tell them to get that baby out as fast as they could)  And then there is the matter of needing K and B at my birth.  I am sure I could hire them as doulas (and maybe monitrices beforehand) for the hospital, but they would obviously be a lot more restricted in what they could tell me to do than they would be as midwives. Plus, they wouldn't catch the baby--and did I mention that I really, really want them to catch one of my babies?

Later in the night, Jason brought up that he thought I might be pressuring myself to have a certain type of birth.  I don't think I am at all, but he mentioned how I told K and B during transition that "I didn't want to do this" and "They made me do it."  Firstly, I don't think you can take anything a woman who has a 15 inch head trying to work its way out of her body says seriously.  But what if he's right? Am I pressuring myself to have this birth at home?  Certainly that would be the only source of pressure.  No one else, as far as I know, would care one way or the other what kind of birth I chose.  I know already that K and B would support whatever choice I made and be just as happy for me either way and Jason just wants his wife and baby to be healthy.  So maybe I need to do some reflecting and see if I am really putting too much pressure on myself--no matter what kind of birth we ended up having, I think this could really affect my experience in a negative way if I get too caught up in a specific manner of birth.

There is also the issue of facing the very real possibility that I may have another cesarean.  I know an empowering CBAC is a possibility....I can have a great cesarean birth for sure.  But, if I have another cesarean, I would want it to be just like E's as far as the anesthesia goes.  I know a lot of women wouldn't want it, but I actually preferred the general anesthesia to the spinal I had with A.  That may just be because a resident placed mine with A's in the wrong place and I felt like I wasn't breathing the entire time, which was extremely difficult.  With the GA, it was like going to sleep and waking up after a night's rest.  I would really prefer to do it that way again, but unless it was an emergency c/s, I am sure I couldn't request that.

And I am also going to need to get in a place where I can embrace the....physicality of birth.  I hesitate to say pain because I think it does a great disservice to women when people only focus on the pain that accompanies labor and delivery.  Sure, pain is a part of it, but labor is hard, full body work. I think describing it as "physical" is much more accurate. It takes so much out of you physically, mentally and emotionally.  Going into E's birth, I was kind of naive, expecting it to be a challenging experience, but the sensations I experienced are like nothing I ever have before or I'm sure I will after outside of another labor and delivery.  And to be honest, I am so scared that I will get to that place again--so close to pushing my baby out and just freak out and either ask to be transported or let my fear of rupture take over.  I am hoping that, having now experienced a labor and knowing what normal sensations are, I won't have that issue. And I'm really wanting to try to hand that over to K and B, let them do their jobs as midwives and keep me safe.  But I'm just not sure if I'm at that point yet--and I'm not sure how to get there.

OK, so apparently I have a crap ton more work to do than I thought. Awesome.  I guess it's good, then, that I'm starting now, 12 months + before we are going to be pregnant again.  This is pretty daunting, but I have a feeling going through this next pregnancy and delivery will bring more personal growth than I could even imagine.

But I'm still going to secretly hope that the baby just falls out of me around 38 weeks without me even noticing.....


  1. Have I mentioned this is all a normal part of the process? I think you're doing great, and I'd worry if you and J weren't having these thoughts/feelings/questions. Oh, and a couple comments. Of course, I would go to Denton with with if that's where you felt safest. I would never turn down a birth with Dr. C. Yes, you can choose general anesthesia versus spinal. And last, we need to make sure to talk about getting rid of those varicosities so you don't need to worry about them.

  2. This is why I love you so much <3 And why I am going to plan our next baby around YOUR schedule, not ours ;) Just kidding (kind of :)

  3. No matter how you choose to have your baby, the only thing that matters is that you know what you want and how to get it no matter which birth place you choose! I cannot wait to be following your birth tweets again! Jason is right, dont put too much pressure on yourself or you'll start to hate homebirth :) If you want a hospital birth, or even another csection we will all support you. I dont know K&B, but I do know, you being comfortable is so much more important to them then anything else! and we know you can have a baby at home if you want! you are a strong woman and your birth doesnt define you. I would love to discuss the difference between csection stitches and hoo-ha stitches with you ;) you know, to compare battle wounds. haha. but heads up, i would pick csection stitches over hoo-ha any day of the week!! hoo-ha hurts dangit!

  4. Lauren, You always know how to make me smile....seriously, thank you so much. I really enjoyed going through pregnancy with you last time. You were so amazingly supportive and I appreciate that more than you know.

    I really am so happy I started this blog because it's allowing me to explore things I might not have if I just dove into another pregnancy without any sort of journaling or reflection. And I am really enjoying all the feedback and loving, kind support I'm getting as well. I have such amazing people in my life! :)