Tomorrow I'm going to be 35 weeks pregnat with my second child and I feel there are issues I need to take off my chest before this baby is born. I know on this forum I can find good hears and likely some wise words.
There are two things concerning me.
1. My first child birth ended up in a C-section. I didn't have a birth trauma at the time, I thought that I had a fair chance and things just where ment to be like that. But this time I feel different. I'm in a new Country, with a language I don't speak and somewhat more medicalized environment. I cannot homebirth by law, so I will have to go to the hospital. Here the care is midwife led but more medicalized anyway. I'll be monitored constantly (although they use telemetry), they perform hourly vaginal examinations and since I've had a previous C-section they will not allow my having too strong contractions for too long (in pratical terms I don't know how much time they are going to give me to labor).
In the last months since my awareness over the birthing process increased I started to question many aspects of my previous birth and I've been full of "what ifs". It's just like this pregnancy is the opportunity for healing but I've been living it in the wrong way. It's like I need to shift responsability, if anything goes wrong, to the new Country, to the doctors, etc. I think I should think positively but being prepared to the unknown or unchangeable and to think this is a new pregnancy (which I didn't enjoy much). I feel I'm not very connected with my unborn child and I'm worrying more about the labor and the outcome of it, on how to fight the doctors at the hospital, and so on.
2. My husband has been supporting regarding the VBAC and he thinks nobody can push me to do what I don't want to do. It's up to me (and him) to stand up for myself. So he doesn't understand my fears.
I'm preparing with the pink kit but he is helping very little. Sometimes he will work with me for 10 minutes but I can feel ALL his pain doing this preparation. He just doesn't want to be bothered with it and he thinks I'm obsessing, taking away all the joy of this pregnancy.
I feel sad of his lack of ensthusiasm and a little lonely on my journey.
I hired a doula. She will not be allowed in the delivery room. Here the policy is strict. Only one person, her or my husband. So I plan to spend the most of the labor at home. I don't know how much I like her or feel comfortable/confident with her. I don't have another choice, she is the only doula around here.
So, in the back of my mind, I know I should be in charge of my own labor without relying on others. But don't know if I can do it.
Likely I'm scared of failing again and need someone else to blame. I've been having too many expectations on my husband and it's just making me more bitter.
How did you allow yourself to accept what it is and empower yourself to be fully in charge of the birthing process?
Thanks for listening.
First, you are not alone. It took me a long time to get over the "what-ifs" of my c-section, even though I felt at the time it probably saved my baby's life and perhaps mine as well. I was in labor for 43 hours, absolutely exhausted, stuck at 9 1/2 cm, his heart rate was having decels, and I simply had no strength to push. I wanted to blame myself, because "I should have tried harder", "I should have prepared better", "I should've been able to do it", "I should have tried longer", "I should have had some food", "I should have hired a different doula", "I should have tried a particular position", "I shouldn't have let them break my waters", etc etc etc. None of that matters though. You did your best at the time. You made the best decisions you could. What would you tell another woman in your position? Would you say to her (or even think), "yeah, you should have done X". No! You'd say something to the effect of, I understand, I empathize, you really did the best you could at the time, and can be proud of yourself for that.
It sounds like you have gotten a good deal of information about hospital policies in this new place, so you are preparing as best you can. Have you spoken to your midwife, and is she supportive to your choices? The midwife/doctor may make all the difference, but sometimes things are just going to happen the way they happen. (My doctor was very supportive of me and my decisions, but I still had a c-section. Thank God for medical intervention when necessary!) Maybe you could also have another conversation or meeting with your doula to try to get a little more comfortable with her. Perhaps you could speak to other women who have worked with her.
What do you mean you've been living in the wrong way? I absolutely agree that this pregnancy & birth is the opportunity for healing. It's also the opportunity for forgiving yourself if you've been holding any blame inside. Since you said, "I'm scared of failing again", even though you don't consider that you had a "birth trauma", some part of you is still hurting from it. It took me a long time to realize, with my c-section, it is not a failure. We still gave birth. There is no one to really blame. I blamed my doula for a while, but that didn't make me feel any better.
It sounds like your husband doesn't quite understand what you are going through, and it may be hard for any man or person who hasn't gone through it to understand. I know I didn't get the support I needed from my family after my birth. They just said things like "You should just be grateful he's healthy", and "you are so lucky." And they were right, to a certain extent, but that wasn't what I needed to hear then. I needed to hear, "it matters that you went through this. It matters that you didn't get what you had hoped for in your heart. But you and your child are going to be okay just the same."
Perhaps you can sit down with your husband sometime and explain your fears as best you can. Perhaps he has his own fears that he hasn't worked through yet, and so denying yours is his way of coping and keeping his inside. He may not even be aware of it. Maybe you can just work together on a birth plan, discuss what you will do if X happens. If he is not willing to do this, then perhaps just getting it down on paper for yourself would give you the internal support you desire.
"How did you allow yourself to accept what it is and empower yourself to be fully in charge of the birthing process?" You have to first accept where you are before moving forward. What you have gone through has prepared you for where you are now. What I did to accept what I went through was Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). You can learn it on your own, or use it with a professional very similar to counseling, but much quicker and more effective. My story of how I came to use EFT is on my blog, http://www.tappinginternational.com/Rachel/blogdetail/Taking_Care_of_Yourself_First/168, and with a quick search on it, you can find out how to do it for free. I was so amazed with it, now I'm a professional.
Above all, be kind with yourself. If that's hard, then pretend you are a very dear friend. What would you say to yourself? You don't have to be perfect, and the birth does not have to be perfect.
Best of luck & blessings to you,
Thank for your reply.
I'd like to know who is going to be my midwife on duty the day labor starts but there are 18 (!) midwives working at this hospital, so it will be impossible to know who I'll end up with. The OB I'm seeing also could be on duty or not. His attitude is kind of "ok, do you want to go for a vaginal birth, that's fine, you can try but I already tell you in advance that you have about 30% chances to end up in a C-section again".
About my doula, I'm going to see her again at least a couple times before labor starts. It's not that I don't like her but I just think we see things differently. I'm trying to prepare as much as I can, time allowing, with the pink kit and tons of readings. I feel that knowing more gives me security. She thinks in labor I should get my "wild side" took over. I think that is useful but you can have the power with knowledge to change some stuff. Of course, I fear also that everything could get out of control and all my knoledge go out of the window.
I know I had a birth trauma, just delayed though. I didn't realized at the moment, breastfeeding was such a major problem after birth that I was more concerned about that. Now I do worry to "fail again" because I know there are many things in my disadvantage: a previous C-section, the baby is going to be a tight fit, I know small woman can have big babies but it's like I'll have to make it happen.
My husband is trying to understand but he is a very logical person and he thinks some of my fears are just illogical: you don't want something to be done to you, just say no. You are preparing as much as you can, just let it be then. That's him.
It bothers me he is not being that helpful preparing for this birth. I know it's going to be my birth and I'll have to deal with it by myself. Not that he is not going to be there for me when time comes but he is not going to be putting my effort, it's not something we are sharing.
I'll look into the EFT.
Thanks for your kind words.