I've been reading this board for awhile but I haven't posted. I'm a second time mom in Northern Ontario, Canada. It has been a cathartic couple of days. I'm 18 weeks pregnant and want to have a VBAC. Our small town has a midwife for the first time so I went there for my care. Although I like my GP, I didn't feel very respected by the hospital staff or some of the other doctors the last time so I would prefer to have better continuity of care.
I wanted a homebirth last time but we had no midwives. I wanted a homebirth this time but thought that it wasn't possible because of the VBAC.
I have been reading and reading about the risks of uterine rupture. I've tried to read not only the wonderful homebirth stories but the poor outcomes as well. I've read the actual studies on Homebirth. Yesterday, at my monthly appointment I went in with the list of questions. We got all of the scary information about uterine rupture and fatality. We got all the details on the availability of ambulances in our small town. Although we live less than two minute drive to the hospital (we would probably spend more time driving around the parking lot than actually driving from our house to the hospital)there is only one ambulance on after 7 p.m. We got the scary information about the lack of a NICU and the time to prep the OR (Level 1 hospital). We definitely didn't get the balanced view but at least I know the reality. We got the less scary but annoying information about our hospitals VBAC policies regarding monitoring and time limits.
I left the midwife's office and felt so conflicted. I wanted to choose the hospital but I just can't. I am sure that I will end up with another unnecessary c-section (we reviewed my charts and yes, it was unnecessary). I went home trying to figure out why this process of birth is so deeply important to me. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just wanting this to win the "Crunchy Mom of the Year Award." I went home asking myself if they were really so terrible to me in the hospital the last time and is there anything I can do to change that. My care was good although I was (by my chart) probably over-managed. What really bothered me was the lack of control I had over the process. Decisions were being made for me about my body. Even when we thought we were making decisions we know now that we were only ever given the option of the decision they wanted us to make and the dead baby.
I am a victim of childhood sexual abuse and losing that kind of control over my body has a pretty huge impact on me. Trusting my body is very difficult and is impossible when people in positions of authority are telling you your body can't be trusted. I know that I will struggle to be assertive enough in hospital to make any difference in my birth experience. I'm getting better at this but the birth of my child is not the time when I want to try to be assertive and fail.
My husband and I talked it over last night. We looked at the stats and videos of uterine rupture. What he said to me is that none of this takes into consideration your emotional feelings towards this and that has value too. It also needs to be weighed in this decision. Having a successful homebirth will have value to us. Having a failed hospital VBAC will have value to us for a long time. Those things also need to be weighed. It was pretty amazing to hear this from a guy who confesses he doesn't understand the emotional need to birth.
So, we have decided to try for an HBAC. We may end up with Plan B,C, or D but this is Plan A. Midwife will attend if that is what we decide. I'm sure I'm in for at least one more review of the risks with her and one with our local C-Section doc. I'm not looking forward to that one. He is also my neighbour so I could get more than one review of the risks.
I feel so much more settled now that my head and my heart are in the same place.