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Friday, August 20, 2010

Sometimes I think I regret the birth methods I chose...

I have been fighting some regret lately about both my girls births. While J and I have been working on baby #3, I have been researching everything I can about VBACs. I know in my heart that is what I want at the end of our next pregnancy (whenever that may be). I have gone through labor, been dilated to 10cm and even pushed but never had the chance to complete a vaginal birth. I feel like it is all my fault for the way BooBoo's birth turned out and while most days it does not bother me, others I feel like a failure.
With BooBoo, I was young and uneducated in the labor and delivery department. I had wanted to take birth classes but J felt that we did not need them and we did not have the money. As two college students this was slightly understandable. When I went into labor with BooBoo I had no idea what to expect. My water broke on it's own (with meconium present) and I remeber being given Pitocin when I got to the hospital. I vaguely remember the painful contractions (which I now know was the transition phase) and agreeing to the epidural; which I had wanted under no circumstances. When I started pushing, I had no clue what to do. The nurses were of no help, they offered no words of advice or encouragement. After 15 hours of labor and three hours of pushing, I was told I would be having an emergency cesarean for "failure to progress". The experience of the cesarean was awful. I remembering telling the anesthesiologist that I was going to throw up and her arguing with me until I had her running for a bowl. After BooBoo was pulled from me I got to see her for about two seconds after they cleaned her up. Then I was given drugs to knock me out and J said it seriously looked like I was dead. Back in the recovery room I did not want to wake up. It was so hard to come out of the fog of the drugs I was given. I don't even remember my family coming in to see me because I was so out of it. BooBoo was brought in about an hour after the birth to eat but I could not feed her. I just wanted to sleep. So I agreed to let the nurses give her a bottle. About two hours of rest and I was ready for my baby. We tried to breastfeed and after a couple of beginner's latch problems we were off and running. I know that J gave her a bottle at one point but she threw everything back up immediately so we stuck with breastfeeding only. I had a rough recovery and wish things had been different. I regret not taking birth classes or doing more research. But you cannot change the past.
When I first pregnant with Bug I was told by my OB that she would be a repeat cesarean. Which I was fine with except for the voice at the very dark corner of my mind telling me to ask about a VBAC. After my labor with BooBoo I did not think I could go through all of labor only to have to have a cesarean anyways. I set the date for Bug's birth (too early now that I reflect) and started preparing for my repeat c-section. When the day came I was prepped for surgery and given a spinal. When I felt like I would throw up the anesthesiologist explained to me why I felt like that, putting me a little at ease. I loved being able to see Bug's little face lifted over the dressings right after she was born. I was wide awake for recovery and able to nurse Bug almost immediately. I was up and walking the next day. I was constantly told by the nurses how amazed they were at my progress. One even asked "Are you sure you just had a c-section?" After we came home from the hospital I started to think about VBACs again. I thought about how perfect my pregnancy with Bug had been and how well I was recovering from the cesarean. I think that I could have had her vaginally if I had been allowed. Again, you cannot change the past.
I decided that if J and I had anymore children I would want VBACs. So before we even began trying to conceive I started researching. Because I will have my VBAC and not because of regrets or missed opportunities but because it is what I want. I want to be able to say that I did it, I succeeded. And now that I am even more into the trying to get pregnant and doing research area, I am slowly becoming more open to another birth option, homebirth.
I never thought I would say that homebirth is something I might want to try. I remeber wanting a water birth with BooBoo but it was not an option with my OB. The thought of using a midwife and giving birth in my own home freaked me out. I know that I watched an episode of TLC's A Baby Story where the homebirth had problems and 911 had to be called. It scared me that I would not have emergency services while delivering. But now I am researching homebirths and midwives in addition to VBACs. I still am deciding what I want but I know that when I finally am pregnant again I will be interviewing OB/GYNs and midwives and exploring all options. Because I don't want to regret a decision just to please a doctor. I love my girls and am so glad that they are here, no matter what birth method we used. I just wish things had started out differently is all.
J knows that I want a VBAC and I know that he will agree to it because he knows it is what I want. He will read whatever research I give him and he will educate himself. But I have NO idea how to bring up the possiblity of a homebirth to him. Maybe I will wait until we are actually pregant and are interviewing midwives. I don't know but I do know that we are taking a break from babymaking until at least December so I have plenty of time to talk.


Anonymous said...

Good Luck with your VBAC! You can do it! Let me know if you have any questions. Mine was a fight but so worth it!!

Melissa G. said...

Thanks for sharing your birth stories.
An option might be a midwife who delivers at a hospital. That's what happened with my first baby in Pennsylvania.
For my second my sister (a midwife) delivered him at her birth center in Florida. I'd say both were really hard but good experiances over all. Don't be afraid to look into all the options. That way you'll be able to make the desision that is best for you.
Congratulations again! =)