I am now pregnant with number two and so scared. I don't want to go anywhere near a hospital. All I want is a vbac at home. I am so scared that I won't be able to do that due to money and that apparently I make big babies and that my son was posterior. I am so nervous about this birth.
How far along are you? If you haven't already, you should start calling midwives in your area and see if they do vbacs. Also see how much your insurance will cover or if you can do a payment plan that makes the fee easier to handle. If you find a midwife you like and will take you, let her know how hard your first birth was, she will probably be more than happy to help you work through your fears. It definitely sounds like being forced to stay on your back was a big reason why he stayed posterior and labor was so painful. He also couldn't engage properly because of that. Also, having your water broken so early made the contractions ten times worse. All of that can be easily prevented at home. There are also several different things you can do to help rotate a posterior baby, midwives know these techniques and spinningbabies.com is also a great resource. You CAN have a wonderful birth, its just a matter of having the right support and the best environment.
Talk to them anyway. You might be able to work something out. Some midwives cost less than you'd think or are flexible in fees, some will work out a longer term payment plan, some take barter for work or trade. There is no telling how last time would have gone if things were different, but for your own peace of mind going into birth again, research what would be best for a birth like last time if it happened again. Read "The Labor Progress Handbook" and the whole spinningbabies website. If you go with the hospital again, learn to refuse what you need to refuse, such as an early AROM and anything that keeps you from changing positions. You can discuss benefits and risks and ask for more time or flat out say no, it's your right.
oh my gosh! i am so sorry for you. reading about your experience sent me on a trip down memory lane. seems like our first births were so similar (really, it is quite amazing how much in parallel we seem to have been)...right down to the lack of sensitivity to the complete insensitivity to the epidural! i had an awfully traumatic first birth - very much like your's and i didn't recover from that trauma - both physically and emotionally until i had my vbac when my first born was 2.5 years old.
honey, it will happen for you too. this time around, you are more informed and will be more savvy.
in the hope that this might be of some help let me recount my second birth:
i was so worried about how i would manage two under five that for my second birth i knew that i had to get my vbac. like you, i think my first birth didn't end in a C because of some structural issue - it had to do with rapid interventions in the hospital that do nothing but stall the natural process of birth.
i joined ICAN...helped me locate and interview doulas. speaking with doulas and other natural birth advocates got me in a space of support and understanding. and i think you know that you will need tons of that.
i joined a hypnobirthing class - which further illuminated me with regards to understanding more about birth and how medical interventions these days that stack the odds against it. bolstered with the information and the support from other like-minded families, i was more demanding of my OB. my OB conned me into thinking that he was supportive of the VBAC but when he started hemming and hawing about the kind of stitches i had from my previous C (BTW it makes no damn difference) and not considering my birth plan, i found a doctor that was known to support VBACs (the most amazing and wonderful dr robert biter, san diego) and changed providers. i ditched my OB at 39 weeks and interestingly enough his office never even followed up to see what had happened to me when i stopped going.
i went into labour the day after my "due" date. i laboured for 10 hours and almost got to pushing at home but then stalled and everything stopped at about 6am. my doula was with me.
for the next 5 days, baby's vitals were fine and there was no sign nor sight of labour. everything was completely quiet. i did some visualization with my doula - and very strangely got the distinct impression that my unborn second baby "said" something like, are you really ready to have me? lol!
i went into labour 5 days after that first one and stayed home until i was at the final stage of pushing. hypnobirthing techniques and sitting in a tub of water helped me deal with the pain. when i felt like the baby was engaged - this, like you, was my first vaginal birth and so i was going through these phases for the first time - i told my husband to drive me to the hospital.
as soon as we got there, they hooked me up (because we are vbac moms, they have to monitor) and it immediately caused a shift in balance for me. i was previously calm and ready to push out the baby, but i immediately tensed up and landed up pushing for 4 hours. i think my baby had shoulder dystocia so it was really hard to get her out. her head kept popping out and then going back in....
i birthed without any medications and without a single tear (and no, i did not do anything like perineal massage, etc, in the months leading up to the birth).
the pain was intense, i felt like i was going to die, but my OB kept me focused (every one else was freaking out). i had my vbac, and they handed me my darling immediately and she did not leave my side until the next day when they came in to release us from the hospital and bathed her prior to the release.
no formula, no shots, no separation.
recovery was insane - like i mentioned, we were out of the hospital in less than 24 hours. i was at the park with both of them (2.5years and younger one) in 2 days, by myself. i am a lightweight when it comes to recovery and general hard labour, and i have to say that if i was up for taking the kids to the park two days after birth, it is a testimony to what vaginal birth can do for you.
i honestly felt invincible.
but also, it felt like my body finally got the closure it needed after that butchering of a C section that i got with my first born.
my first born made me a mother, my second one, in a way, re-birthed me.
i am rooting for you. you will get your VBAC! best.
tpase, What a beautiful and inspiring birth story! Thanks for sharing that.
lifesaturtle, Do you have a supportive OB whom you feel comfortable talking about a VBAC with? If so, that is a good place to start. If not, quiz your friends and interview their OB's to find someone who can support you and help you get the birth you want. Also, check out doulas in your area. Doulas can be a great birthing advocate (period, but also...) when you feel overwhelmed or are in the thick of labor-land. I am hoping for a VBAC next month and realized that we couldn't afford a doula, but were then given the number of a local woman who does all of the doula training in the area. Where we are there are lots of ladies who go through the training and charge less until they are fully certified. So, instead of $300-1000, we are paying $75 for the services of a trained (but not super experienced) doula. I feel like her lack of experience is balanced by her eagerness, support, and openness. If you know any midwives in your area that you 'click' with, you could ask them about birth assistants/doulas.
Good luck Mama! BTW how far along are you?
i concur with mama. source and select your OB carefully - make sure that he or she will be at your birth and understands, respects and whole heartedly supports your wishes to have a vbac.
things get so stressful and chaotic around birth that it is easy to be maneuvered into doing things that you don't want to. you need someone on your side for support. your husband can be that person if your OB is willing to let you birth naturally.
please don't be stressed. easy enough to say it, tough to follow.
you may want to explain your financial situation to the people you interview. someone out there will be willing to help you for free or for within your budget. (I know i would! but i am unfortunately not a doula). and, you may find someone really, really great.
you and your family should try to be as relaxed as you can possibly be. start the careful planning now, and keep us informed. good luck.
Wow, where do you live, California? My first midwife in Ky charged $2k and my second, rural PA asked for $800 to $1000, my choice. Do you have relatives somewhere with a lower cost you could stay with for a cheaper midwife's assistance?
I completely understand where you are coming from, and your fear about your second birth! Trust your body and your baby to do what they know how to do! Hire a doula if possible, make sure your hubby knows your wishes and can advocate for you when you are concentrating in labor. Make sure everyone involved has read your birth plan. Be strong and say no to any interventions (like breaking your water, giving Pitocin) unless it's an emergency. You are a strong woman, and you and your baby together are invincible! I know you can do it!!
PS I strongly recommend the books A Thinking Woman's Guide to Childbirth by Henci Goer, and The Business of Baby by Jennifer Margulis. So much great information to take with you into birth.
Now I'm pregnant with my second child, and I'm trying to set myself up for success: got a midwife this time that delivers at a VBAC-supportive hospital. Unfortunately, we just found out my husbands company will be relocating us to an area with few CNMs and VBAC-friendly hospitals, so I have to start all over again...I'm more stressed about that than having to move in 3 weeks! I'm not willing to try for a home birth because 1) we don't have the money to pay for one and insurance won't cover it 2) hubby would be petrified. I hate that having a VBAC has to be such a battle!
I wish you strength and success...I know it can be done!
Look into Emotional Freedom Technique EFT It is a form of accupressure tapping that works on the bodies energietic blockages. It sounds all new agey but it works! Take grief for example you see something that reminds you of the lost person and you feel grief, cause & effect right? nope what they found is there is a change in your electrical circuitry like a kink in the garden house and the EFT corrects that and energy flows smoothly. SO you can see that reminder and remmber them and not feel pain. It is a great way to relieve trauma, anxiety and fear. Even physical pain during labour. It is easy to learn for free off various internet pages. Google EFT for birth trauma and I'm sure you'll find a youtube video to walk you through. my page www.jyyoga.ca has some info too specially for birth that I teach in our workshops here.
lifesaturtle, I was just wondering if there are any widwifes that are affiliated with hospitals that would be covered with insurance where you are? I live here in Albuquerque and all of the hospitals offer midwife support instead of MD's if the patient wants that type of support. Unfortunately for me, I have a good sized fibroid that doesn't allow me to have a midwife.
Doulas really know their stuff too, so you should see if there are any where you live. You can look online to see where you might find one.
I just had my third and for this baby I had an epidural and was induced as I went into the hospital bleeding and from what I could gather, they were concerned about placental abruption. Also, my fibroid was blocking the baby's head at one point and instead of having a C-section, they wanted to just let my body relax with an epidural. I can say that it was great as I slept for 5 hours before having my baby girl at +3 with only 3 pushes. Unfortunately, I had a D&C, though, as I had a postpartum hemorrhage. I had to get a transfusion before I was discharged. Not fun at all.
For my first, a boy, he was 9 lbs and big head. He was posterior and I had back labor from HELL! All natural too no epidural, thank you. He did finally turn before I pushed him out as I was on my hands and knees. That labor was 14 hours, 2.5 of which were spent pushing. My second, a girl, birth was great as she came out after pushing for 13 mins, but sadly she had meconium (of which the stupid doctor didn't tell me) and she was off to the NICU for 4 hours. Luckily, they believe heavily in allowing breastfeeding here in NM and she didn't have anything but my milk.
I know that you can do this and it IS hard trying to put negative birth thoughts behind you when in the same position. Just try to put those aside and remember that this is a DIFFERENT baby and you CAN control what happens with this birth. Definitely have your birth plan and talk it over with your doctor. Make sure that it is in your file for access by all doctors who might help you when you go into labor. You do have a right to know what is going on at all times. Ask questions and talk to your doctor about ALL of this before you have the baby.
One other thought is seeing if there are any Bradley Method practicioners in your area. The method is very natural and uses the dad as the one who helps the mom focus and stay calm. It encourages breastfeeding and all things natural. Someone who does the training might have some info for you regarding where to find a hospital, doctor, midwife who supports VBAC moms.
best of luck!!!
No advice, just support! My first birth was 42 hours long and was everything short of a c-section. I'll spare you the details, but it was long and totally now what I'd planned/wanted. My second childbirth was totally different!! It was super fast and perfect in every way! Births are as individual as babies themselves! I hope you get everything you want with baby number 2!!
I want to applaud you! First, you were brave enough to write down what happened and ask for help. Second, you are being proactive in seeking solutions. I am not sure where you are, so I can only make general suggestions. My understanding from midwives in WA state, and from reading Medicare/Medicaid guidelines: If you live in a state where midwives are legally recognized, then Medicaid should cover a homebirth (anyone have some more concrete data on this?) This is because the Federal government can't restrict a woman's right to choose her provider and where/how she chooses to birth. So my susggestions would be:
- Find out if midwives for homebirths are legally recognized in your state
- Find out if you are eligilbe for Medicaid (most states cover almost all pregnant women)
- Locate a good doula
- Enroll in HypnoBirthing
My first child was born in the hospital with a midwife. She was awesome, but I was left alone a lot and wish I had had a doula. Second birth, 3 1/2 years later. Awesome and supportive husband, great doula, great midwife. Unfortunately, the lady in the room next door had a horrible OB, and my midwife delivered her twins. Her OB walked into my room, turned off our camera, and proceeded to be an a.... Totally dismissive and hostile. There is a lot more, including my husband almost punching the OB, but we will end it with I decided I would *never* deliver in a hospital setting again. Fastforward 5 years, and I am pregnant with my 3rd. I am barely 5 feet, and not pregnant I have a ballerina's body...if ballerinas were 5 feet tall (I danced in company, they are not.) In other words I have tiny little narrow hips, narrow and thin bones. I look like a doll, and prepregnant for my first my average weight was 85 pounds. (My first, at 7 pounds, 11 ounces felt *huge*!) My homebirth midwife for my 3rd child was phenomenal. She walked me through the process of getting Medicaid, and due to left over hostilities and trauma from birth #2, she referred me to a great HypnoBirthing Instructor, who also agreed to be my doula. My midwife also had several student doulas who did work with her.
Because of my fear, labor started and stopped 3x. One last ditch appointment with the HypnoBirthing Instructor at 42w3days allowed me to work through the last of the fear. I spent a wonderful week-end playing with my kids, and took the kids to the fair on Monday. By 6pm I was definitely in labor, but worried it would stop again so I told no-one in the family, just a phone call to the midwife. We stopped at her clinic on the way home from the fair, and I was 4+cm. She told me to go home, eat dinner and go to bed... call her when I woke up. At 4am I called her and she came right away, along with our HBI/doula. At 7am (as the sun came over the mountain) my son's head was delivered, and all my kids looked like they were wearing halos. Luckily, I was in laborland and completely unaware of how "stuck" my son was (until I saw the video a month later)...and I had a phenomenal midwife.
His being stuck triggered some of the issues from birth #2, and I flashbacked. My HBI took me through some guided imagery, my midwife and S.O. flipped me over in the horsetrough/birthing tub, and 45 minutes after delivering his head his shoulders (and the rest of his body) finally joined us. He was 10 pounds, 4 ounces with the largest chest and head my midwife had ever delivered (she didn't admit that until a year later when I cornered her about his size). Remember, until I saw the video I had no idea there could have been a problem! And because of my midwife's constant monitoring of his heartbeat (non-dopler) there never was a problem. His vitals stayed excellent because I stayed calm and my midwife kept adjusting my position in the tub for optimal health for me and my baby.
My bottom line is listen to your gut and keep exploring your options. Your body is amazing, and can deliver any baby it can conceive. If you are to have a hospital birth, find out about other hospitals...maybe even in surrounding towns. And make sure your husband and your doula have strong communication skills to protect you while you are in labor (see if they can come to prenatal appointments with you to help you identify your best labor support personnel at the hospital). Buy a copy of Sarah J. Buckley's "Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering" to take with you...so you have sources for your data that medical professionals can recognize and understand. (Hard to argue with JAMA or ACOG as an OB).
Good luck in your journey, and I hope the Medicaid option works for you!