I've been going through this pregnancy thinking that I would have a VBAC, but after a conversation with my MFM yesterday, I'm joining you!
Logistically, a VBAC would mean uprooting from our small PA town and living in Pittsburgh for four weeks, possibly using up all of DH's paternity leave. That's assuming that we could even find a supportive physician who'd let me transfer care since neither set of midwives who practice there will take me. I'm already concerned about helping my son to transition into being an older brother, and I can't imagine that living away from home (while it'd be fun!) would reduce our stress level. If I lived in Pittsburgh, or anyplace with a more supportive VBAC environment, there's no doubt as to whether I'd be having a natural birth - but that's not the case. I'm sure it'll be different in five or ten years, but I'm living here and now, and so some of it is just "wrong place, wrong time."
When I talk to my doctors, especially my lovely MFM (who has an 8% c-section rate and says that if we were supposed to have so many babies via c-section, women would have been designed with zippers), I know that this is the best choice for us and our family. After the way my last pregnancy went, just having my son be able to breathe when he comes out is going to be beyond amazing. As he said, "You can be so proud of just being here at 33 weeks. This is the right choice for you, and it's okay to be at peace with it, and anyone who disagrees just doesn't understand what you've been through."
But it's hard to explain that to people who feel that VBAC is the most important, empowering thing to strive for, who just don't understand what we went through the first time and that just being here and having my body remain a safe haven for my child has been amazing and beyond empowering. Unfortunately, my best friend and doula, while she's trying to be supportive, is very much in the VBAC camp, and says things like, "Well, what do you expect him to say?" when I tell her about my MFM being supportive of a repeat cesarean. It's hard to explain how much I trust him after he worked so hard and literally saved my life last time, how he isn't even involved in the birth and just wants to have a healthy me and healthy baby at the end, how supportive he is of natural birth and how that shows me that I can trust him when he says that a cesarean birth is a good idea for me. It's especially hard, because with all of my other choices, I'm very much a crunchy, hippie mama, and so it's awful to not find a lot of support for this choice among my friends, who are doulas and midwives and homebirthers and feel that no doctor can be trusted, especially if he would recommend a repeat cesarean to anyone. Really, the adamant disapproval of my friends is the one thing standing in my way of being completely at peace with this. I know it's not their birth, and it's not their baby, but it just makes me so sad.
So, anyway, there's a few questions I have for all of you! What week are your births scheduled for? My MFM says that he recommends 39 weeks, and when I asked if we can push it to 40, he said that we could, but he probably wouldn't. Also, what do your plans for the birth look like? Are you playing music, having immediate skin-to-skin, taking photos? I found this article from a medical journal and am printing it to share with my OB's as examples of the choices I'd like to make for our birth and how they can be done: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2613254/.
Also, how do you mark the appointment on your calendars? It seems like writing, "Birth - 9 am" seems a little weird (well, choosing our birth day seems pretty weird to begin with!). I think this is an occasion and special appointment that calls for being marked at least with sparkly pens and stickers (...on my entirely black-and-white Edward Gorey calendar. It'll be so out of place!).