erin holy cow, we are in EXACTLY the same place. I want a home birth and my dp said to me "I just can't do that." To which I finally said that *I* am the one having the baby, not her, and it doesn't really matter what she can do or not. SHE is convinced that we were just darn lucky that we were actually at the hospital so that DS could be born by c-section. I think there are exactly 2 people out there (my doula and perhaps my best friend) who believe that if I had stayed home longer, relaxed, and not been in the hospital with midwives I didn't know or trust and a wife who was so completely freaked out that she was of no positive effect, there could have been a different outcome.
So I remain very skeptical of hospitals and hospital birth and feel very defensive going into my first midwife appointment, even!
I am very, very lucky though, because the woman who ended up being my doula for my son being born (my first doula was getting married the next day and had to go to her wedding rehearsal... as I said before, I was 16 days past my EDD and she figured I would have had a baby by then) has agreed to be our doula this time and I now completely feel I could have a healthy, safe birth in the middle of a train station with her at my side. She was not only good for me but she was a lifesaver for my partner. She is a labor and delivery nurse at a local hospital as well so I had complete faith in her.
She and I had a long talk the other night - I cannot birth at the hospital she works at, because they don't do VBACs unless you show up at the emergency entrance pushing - but she works in the same system as the hospital I suspect I will end up at and she had a lot of thoughts about both doctors and midwives she's worked with and, surprisingly (she's VERY into natural birth), her top rec's were family physicians. And I thought about it and said wow, hey, now THERE'S a concept: work with one person your whole pregnancy, and then when you're in labor, you call that person and they personally come to the hospital to help you deliver your baby. Because my greatest fear is working with a practice where there are people I don't know or don't like (I had never met the midwife who was there when I was laboring with my son because the practice had 12 midwives and 6 clinics, and you just get who's on call that night), I thought this might be just the thing for me.
It also would work in my favor because I went 42w2d with my son - with the blessing of the OB with whom the midwives consulted - but this time around my doula said that most midwives would find me going so "late" outside of the scope of midwifery care and they would want to induce. This to me seems like the exact opposite of what you should do with someone if you're worried about uterine rupture because the majority of uterine rupture cases come from induction with pitocin. If I were working with an MD, they wouldn't have to consult with anyone. They don't answer to anyone but themselves. My doula said, wisely, that no one can know now what things will look like 36 weeks from now (but hopefully I'll have a healthy, vaginally delivered baby nursing at my breasts producing lots and lots of wonderful milk), and not to get too far ahead of myself.
I'm sorry, this is turning into a yacky, self-centered post. I just had a day of arguing with my mom about my first birth experience, and it was rough.
Erin, I wanted to say that if you can sit down and watch "The Business of Being Born" with your husband, it might be very good. And then you can tell me how it is, because my wife has stalled out our netflix queue - coincidentally, the next movie up in the queue is "The Business of Being Born"...
The reason why your birth center probably can't do VBACs is because the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) set "guidelines" for hospitals' ability to do VBACs a few years ago that are ridiculous, and some hospitals don't have the funds to do things like keep a full anesthesia team on staff 24 hours a day - oddly enough they are able to do C-sections at any time, though.