let me start by saying that i'm fine. i'm healthy and baby is doing well. i'm fortunate to have a wonderful family and i'm committed to starting the new year with a positive frame of mind.
that said, i learned something a few days ago that has me a bit stressed.
for those who don't know, i'm planning a vbac. i had a c-section with dd (in april 2007) due to fetal distress after 28 hours of labor and several attempts at pushing. i've been told i'm a good candidate for vbac (whatever that means) and that there's no reason i won't be able to have the natural, drug-free and intervention-free birth i so desired with dd.
i first got pregnant in august of 2009 and decided to have a homebirth with a midwife because i thought a midwife would be the most supportive of my choice to vbac. i lost that baby in november of 2009. when i got pregnant again this past august, of course, i decided to go with a midwife again. however, my lay off in october made it impossible to go the homebirth route with the $4500 midwife cost.
so, i had to find a hospital and an OB. there are two nearby hospitals. one that "bans" vbacs and one that "allows" them. obviously, i went with the one that "allows" them (assuming that was enough). next, i chose an OB (who came highly recommended) who has privileges at that hospital. he says that he supports my choice to vbac (although i've never felt 100% certain of that) -- obviously we'll be having a serious heart to heart at my next appointment.
honestly, i've come to terms with the fact that i'll be birthing in a hospital and that i'm not getting the birth i originally had wanted. i was confident in the fact that i will get the birth i want if i'm at the right place in my mind and if i'm surrounded by supportive people.
here comes the discouraging part...i decided to research the c-section and vbac rates at my chosen hospital. turns out the overall (for ALL women delivering) c-section rate is 34% (YIKES -- that's 1 in 3 women). the primary (for women who have not had a previous c-section) c-section rate is 18%. the vbac rate is 4%.
needless to say, i'm not feeling as confident as i was. no matter how prepared i am, how am i to birth naturally in an environment where that just isn't the norm.
dh told me to stop reading things online. i insisted i'm merely educating myself. dh has been so supportive and positive and is trying to keep me positive as well, insisting that i focus on what i do have control over and not the things i don't (the numbers). he's been helping me a lot to focus and stay relaxed. he says that if i prepare my body and my mind (and have supportive people around me -- mainly, him) that i CAN DO THIS -- that i can be one of the 4%.
honestly, it was dh's support and techniques that helped me the most during labor with dd. dh is a coach and sport psychologist (his focus is on pain management in distance runners) and he has shared lots of useful techniques for focusing and coping with pain (he even recently said i could "borrow" his mantra which he's been using since he was a kid). we took a lamaze class with dd (at that time, i didn't really know what else was available). i found it completely useless to me during labor and used what dh had taught me instead.
which brings me to another issue. i'm trying to decide how to prepare for this baby. i spent the first half of my pregnancy worrying about the baby (and nervous about losing another) and very little time preparing. i've got about 17 weeks to go and really need to get going. i've found a local bradley class which i'm considering (starts next friday). the instructor seems good (we've been chatting over e-mail). also thought about the hypnobabies home study. can't do too much because funds are limited right now. does anyone recommend one of these over the other? would both be overkill?
after learning the c-section/vbac rates of my hospital, i thought a doula might be a good idea as well (someone else in my corner). although, like i said, money is an issue. although, she wouldn't help me prepare for the birth, just be there with me through it, right?
any ideas, suggestions, insights, past experiences to share?
i'm currently reading natural childbirth the bradley way and birthing from within. am enjoying and getting lots out of both.
i did consider switching hospitals. found the hospital with the best vbac rate (16%) that's in our general vicinity, but none of the doctors there accept the insurance we have.
for those who have gotten this far, thanks so much for listening. i appreciate all of you.