Need a little VBAC encouragement - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry I have been offline for a while, things have been a bit hectic, and I am just starting to come back around on the forums again. 
 
Some of you know my story, but here is the quick run down:
 
I live in Phoenix, AZ with my husband and three year old, but my husband is from Peru and we decided to travel to Peru to give birth here. (I am currently here) We found a Birthing Center here that allows a home experience Waterbirth VBAC and his family has maids and nannies to help out with DD while I am in the last stages of pregnancy and postpartum. 
 
Right now, I am having a little bit of a hard time because here the C-section rate is very high, 85% or so, and was very happy to find a midwife/ObGyn that believed in natural birth and has had 3 HBAC herself and has delivered two of her three grandchildren in HBAC's as well. 
 
However, I have met with her a few times, and sadly, don't have a connection at all to her. She is not really as nice as my midwife in Phoenix was, and I have been meeting with Doulas, but am not connecting with any here either....while in Phoenix I connected with my Midwife very well, her apprentice and a doula on her team...This midwife is not mean really, she is just very doctor like in a lot of ways, and comments a lot on my being overweight, because here in Peru, no one is plus sized...it is extremely rare here and just being very overweight gives you an automatic c-section. And she also comments a lot about my daughter being huge (She was 9lbs even on her due date) which I think is also a little ridiculous as I have watched women give birth at home in their bathtub to babies weighing 11 lbs +.
 
Now I feel as though I don't have any other options and don't really know what to do. 
 
I found a doctor who is considered to be the most open minded when it comes to natural birth, in all of Lima. I went to one appointment, where he told me that If I happened to be one of the lucky 2% of people who's babies were able to get into the right postition for birth, then I might be able to try for a VBAC, but he really didn't understand why I just didn't want to get another C-section and make things easy on myself. 
 
My husbands family is in the same place, they can't understand why I don't just take "The Easy Way" we did rent "The business of being Born" but they have not watched it yet. The good thing is that my husband is with me all the way! He explains things to them and supports me and our choice to have a VBAC wholeheartedly!
 
So, traditional doctors and hospitals here are not the way to go for me, and this midwife really is my only option. I even considered an unassisted HBAC, but I live with my inlaws, so it would be very uncomfortable to labor among them and give birth in my mother-in-laws bathtub. 
 
So my question is, has anyone ever not bonded very well with their midwife, and not had a doula to help them either, and still there birth went great? 
 
Sorry this is so long...but I am really looking for some hope amid all the discouragement here. 
 
Thanks!
 
Cerise

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Old 03-17-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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I would go with the first one you don't connect to.  What's more important, a midwife/OB who's going to be a good emotional support while you're having surgery or someone you don't care for but is going to help you push out a baby from your vagina?  I mean it's as simple as that, doesn't sound like you have any chance of a VBAC unless you go with the first one (the one you're with now seems to be saying because you're overweight you can't VBAC??), as sucky as your situation is and ideally you'd have someone you'd connect with.  But if she's good at her job, and believes and supports your VBAC decision, I think that's probably more important?  I would go ahead and get a doula to, again, get a good one that's good at what she does, she doesn't need to be an emotional support for you, sounds like you didn't find that connection with any of them, but they are going to be able to help you practically through the pain, and you may even find that you connect with them on the day of labor even if you haven't prior.  My two cents.  Good luck!


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Old 03-17-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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Compared to my last two birth experiences, that doesn't sound all that bad there honestly - with the midwife. Sucks, but it's hard to find anyone good to give birth with. Which is why I'm going to UC. 

 

I'd stick with the midwife if she's still supporting you in your decision to have a VBAC. And get a doula who will support your decision as well. Hopefully your hubby can be your emotional support or you may have to be strong yourself. I know it isn't great fun but there are worse situations. Trust me.

 

If you consider UC (UBAC) to be an option, that'd be the only other way I might consider going in your situation. But, you'd have to figure out the details on how to get the birth certificate in that case. And of course you'd need your husband's support.


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Old 03-17-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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So how far along are you currently? I would be quite concerned about trying to give birth in a country that is not plus sized friendly. Been there, done that, came back to the US from South Korea last May at 30 weeks to have my little darling (firstborn was a cesarean, older daughter was 9 lbs, 7 oz). The concerns with being in a country like that are rather numerous including lack of a blood pressure cuff that is large enough (therefore causing your blood pressure to read high when its really not high), lack of epidural needles long enough (which is not a big deal if you're planning to have a natural birth but can be a big deal if you end up with a cesarean because it pretty much means you'll have to be knocked out). That was what had me deciding to leave my husband and daughter in South Korea and return to the US at 30 weeks. South Korea has a higher cesarean rate than the US but not as high as Peru and I can't help but feel that you could be facing a repeat cesarean if you stay there. I know I felt that way about staying in Korea. That said, you could also look into a traveling midwife if you don't want to return to the US but I can't help but think (from my own experience) that that returning to the US may be your best option if you don't want a repeat cesarean especially since it's looking like you really don't have much support where you are at. Yes, it sucks to not have your husband and little one with you (I was separated from mine for five months) but I can tell you it was worth it to have that VBAC and to have a birth that was empowering. I still had to find my birth team when I got home too and was scrambling for close to a month before I found a situation I could live with which was not a homebirth but a hospital birth but I was monitored by a midwife at home for most of the labor until it was time for me to go to the hospital which meant I went to the hospital much later than I normally would have. So if you can go back home and go back to the midwife you had before, that would probably be the best bet for your situation otherwise, I would join the online ICAN group and really prepare yourself for one heck of a battle. I would also check out the website: http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/ for lots of great information because you'll need it. I joined the forum when I read your post because your situation reminded me of mine a year ago (though my husband is not Korean but American, just teaching over there). It was quite a journey (especially since it was an unplanned pregnancy in a foreign country, something we absolutely did not at all plan on lol) but it was worth it. You can do it. People will tell you you can't because of the weight, will try to throw stupid statistics at you and stuff (they tried it with me) but if I can do it and women heavier than me can do it (you can read birth stories of moms who weigh over 300 lbs), you can too!

 

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Old 03-18-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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I would be ok with delivering with a midwife/OB that I didn't "click" with, as long as she understood my choices and agreed to my birth plan. Honestly, the overweight thing isn't changing in the next 2 months, so constantly talking about it isn't going to do anything. I would work with DH to get him ready to stand up for you/support you physically, verbally, and emotionally. Good luck! I know it's difficult doing the "weird" "different" thing. I've stopped calling my mother for updates after OB appointments because of her negativity. At one point, when I met with my OB's rude partner, she said, "You know what's gonna end up happening." I told her, "I'm going to get my VBA2C. That's what's gonna end up happening." She didn't say much after that.

 

Good luck!


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Old 03-18-2011, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Janeen - I am 31 weeks right now, and actually traveled here from the US a month ago. First, because I didn't have health insurance there. Second, because my midwife there could not help me deliver by law. I did see a doctor there who said that because I am overweight and had GD with my first pregnancy, even though I don't have it with this one...I would probably need another C-section. So really I don't the option of going back to the states. 

 

I have been dealing with the blood pressure cuff problem here, and my midwife here knows the problem and adjusts the numbers accordingly, but if I did transfer for a c-section with a problem, the hospital may not understand that, so I should go there and discuss that with the hospital if possible. Thanks for that info, I never even considered the needles would be a problem either. 

 

I am actually about 275 lbs...and have only gained 5 lbs this pregnancy, so I think I will just tell the midwife not to bring it up anymore...she does it in a joking way, and not a medical way, which makes me feel even more uncomfortable. 

 

After reading a lot of the comments here and another forum I am a part of, I think that for me to have found a women who is respected in this community, and is supportive of me having a VBAC and that I can do it out of a hospital in a birthing center, and that she is also an ObGyn with 30 years of experience, is very lucky and that I have been taking that for granted. I am working on finding a Doula and have really been working with my husband to make sure that he knows how to help support me. 

 

Thank you for all the input and I will be researching as much as I can. 

 

Cerise


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Old 03-18-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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Ah, I see what you're saying. Yeah, the insurance thing was an issue for me too which was why I hired the midwife as a monatrice and not for a homebirth (that and the fact that due to the situation, I would have had to travel from WI to IA for the birth and rent a hotel room which I did not feel comfortable with).

 

Definitely make sure that the hospital is aware of the blood pressure thing and see if you can talk to an anesthesiologist about the needle thing (I found out about this when I was in Korea because there were moms there who ended up finding out and then I read on the plus sized pregnancy website more about it). I would do as much reading as you can on the plus sized pregnancy website too and even, if possible, print some things off and share it with your midwife. And, I can attest to this personally, just because you had a nine pounder the last time, it does not necessarily mean you'll have one this time around. My cesarean baby was 9 lbs, 7 oz and my VBAC baby was 8 lbs even (she took after Daddy). I started both pregnancies at 299 and gained 25 lbs with my older daughter and 0 lbs with my younger daughter. I didn't have GD with either but that doesn't seem to matter to the doctors unfortunately. They just freak out over big babies period (and forget 11 lb babies, I know of a mom recently who had a 13 lb and 8 oz baby and it was a homebirth!). South Korea is the same way but then their average baby is under 7 lbs so yeah, not surprising. They were also pushing moms with big husbands into cesareans (especially Korean women who married American men since American men tend to be larger).

 

Still recommend joining the ICAN online group on Yahoo groups. There's some great information there. It's an overwhelming group so join with an email you're okay with getting a lot of emails and that you can avoid (or even make a new email for it). I don't read many of the emails but did get a lot of help and support on there when I needed it.

 

Good luck! Fight for it, don't let people get you down, and ONLY have people who will support you there when you have the baby. I didn't even call anyone in my family until after the baby was born. They all thought I was going to fail. When I got to the hospital, it was only me and my friend who I was living with and who was my doula. My husband knew I was going to the hospital but I didn't even have time to set up the webcam until after the birth so that's my big advice there. You don't want people there who are not going to be supportive and I would talk to the midwife about what kind of support you need because that is essential. I had two days of early labor before I finally went into active labor and having that support was crucial.

 

Janeen

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Old 03-18-2011, 11:44 PM
 
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:52 PM
 
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you MommyKrista! Some great advice.

I actually have just had some amazing things happen in the last couple of days. Two days ago, I started having really bad lower back pain. I have had knots in my hips and could barely walk. I called the birthing center for a recommendation of a massage therapist for pregnancy, and they gave me the name of a woman to come to my house and give me a massage.

We set up the appointment and she came over this morning. I was surprised and happy to find out that she speaks english fluently! so we started talking while she was giving me the massage and she was telling me that she also had a VBAC with this midwife at the birthing center and that she also felt the same way...but she had a great Doula and that helped. I told her that I would love to find a really good Doula, but felt like it would be better if she spoke english. Turns out that this women is a Doula for the birthing center and I just didn't know. We clicked immediately and she helped me with some affirmations and did a reiki session with me as well!

Now I am feeling so much more confident that if I can have a Doula there that I really connect with, I will be so ready for my VBAC!!


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Old 03-20-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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I am glad you found a doula! Good for you for sticking to your plans to VBAC.. It is hard when others don't understand!


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