Thought it would be good to have a place for the ladies planning a vbac or hbac to share the ups and downs of our journeys.
DS was born by c-sec five years ago for cord around the neck and going post dates (yes, hugely unnecessary!) basically because we caved to the doctor's threat that we'd end up with a "blue baby" if we went ahead with a normal delivery. DS was healthy and strong, and I swore I'd never make a decision from fear again. I consciously made decisions not based on fear in deciding not to vaccinate him, send him to an alternative kind of school, etc.
Now I'm 35 weeks with this little one, and strongly drawn to a homebirth. There are no practicing midwives in my city, but I've located a midwife working in a birth center in another city who's willing to travel to attend our birth at home.
We asked my doc if she would be my backup doc in case of transfer if I should choose a homebirth. She readily agreed with a smile that totally stunned me - it seemed too good to be true. Then I reminded her it would be a vbac birth (she had forgotten I had a prior c-sec) and then she totally backed off. She said she would absolutely not recommend a homebirth for a vbac - that a rupture would mean a dead baby and a mother who could die too without immediate medical intervention, that the time it would take to reach the hospital and get the OR ready might be too late. Plus the hospital nearby (7 mins away) where I plan to transfer does not have a blood bank and is thus not really equipped to handle a major emergency. She said, though, that if we still wanted to take the risk, she's there to help in whatever way she can.
She scared me good and proper - I know the risk of rupture in a natural labour is 1 in 200, but for that one woman in 200, the rarity of it is meaningless because it happened to her and is very real and tragic for her. And in a crazy way, I don't care about the risk to baby or myself, but what I care about most is that my 5 yr old son not face the possibility of anything happening to his mother just because of a choice I made. That's the only thing that holds me back.
I have a huge hankering for a homebirth, though, it just feels right, and intuitively I feel like the birth will be beautiful and straightforward. At the same time I have these misgivings about the what-ifs and also the fear of blame - like Buko said, we women tend to make choices that will not get us blamed, especially with childbirth.
So I'm in that place once more - will we make a decision based on fear again?
The resources that are helping me stay centered are these two, and interestingly they have nothing to do with vbac, and everything to do with attitude and perspective:
A story so deep and liberating, it gets down right to the crux of the matter: http://thegiftofgivinglife.blogspot.in/2010/02/rebecca-oversons-story.html
An article on Buddhism and childbirth - rather profound - making a great case for liberation from fear and learning to trust implicitly in the goodness of life:
What are you ladies planning? What are your challenges and how are you working past them?
Good luck to all of us!