My Journey to Healing Through a VBAC

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It’s been almost a year… January 12, 2011

Filed under: Birth Stories,Blog Therapy — Heather @ 10:29 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

since I posted last. *warning* this may turn into a novel!

I’m pretty sure most of you are my friends on facebook and know a bit of Henry’s birth story, but for those of you who don’t here it is!

I had a million ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy. We knew he was a he right at 20 weeks.  We knew how much he weighed and how long he was getting every two weeks. Henry was growing at a decent rate all along. He was on the bigger side, but not HUGE. I had an ultrasound at week 37 and a half weeks and Henry was 8lbs 3oz. So how much could he gain in a week or two? Too much, let me tell you!

*interjection* My Ob/Gyn’s were amazing! They were very hopeful that I would be able to VBAC they were supportive and wonderful! They were, however, bound by the rules of The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ACOG. Which states that any baby measuring over 9lbs 4oz on an ultrasound cannot be considered for VBAC as the risks of uterine rupture are too great.*

These women (My docs) were strict followers of the ACOG, so when I was a day shy of 39 weeks I went in for my last  Ultrasound. The baby weighed in at an astounding 9lbs. wait for it….. 13oz! My heart sank, I started bawling immediately my hopes for a VBAC were just dashed against the ultrasound screen! Baby! How could you grow so much in a week and a half!!!??? After I wiped that blue goop off of my entire abdomen(I swear she used the whole tube on me!) My Mom and I went to the Docs office. There I was given the news that I would need to either have the baby at home with just me and Trevor (DH) or schedule another C-section.  Now, let me make it very clear that if I were not diabetic I would so do home births! My only concern is that the baby is okay. What can happen (which is very scary) is once the baby is not relying on the placenta for food and the like the baby’s blood sugar level can drop to very unsafe numbers. Therefore, I made the decision to schedule a c-section.

My Doula, C, was wonderful. I texted her, because speaking wasn’t working well at the moment. I told her what had happened and she reassured me that births are beautiful no matter what! A homebirth, a hospital birth, a c-section, all births are beautiful because that’s how baby’s come into the world! She sent a bunch of documents to me including two birth plans for c-sections. I made my own birthplan in a hurry. I wanted a spinal block, I wanted the curtain thing to be lowered so I could see the baby being born, I wanted to let the cord stop pulsing before it was cut, my placenta was to be given to my doula for encapsulation, I wanted to play music, namely “here comes the sun” by the beatles, so on and so forth. I wanted both Trevor and C (doula) in the room with me. This was quickly denied, however both DH and C were able to get in the scrub things and Trevor was there for the birth and C was able to switch with him when they brought the baby out to do all the stuff they do. I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

I barely slept at all that night. I had failed. I grew too big a baby and that was that. I will have another uterine scar and the chances of a baby ever being born from my body and God intended were decreasing again. I made peace with the c-section. I had a great attitude, it was a coping mechanism. I really was very disappointed. But, a very wise woman told me. “If God wanted you to deliver vaginally He would have kept that baby small enough.” I didn’t like those words when they were spoken to me, but they make sense now.

C and I drove the 45 minutes to the hospital. Trevor stayed home with my 14 month old Daughter until just before the surgery. I filled out paperwork and C asked question. She was a wonderful advocate! *side note- Doulas are AWESOME! Highly recommended! If you would like the name of mine email me or facebook me.  They tried 5 times before they got an IV started.  Then it was off to the operating room. The whole staff of nurses and Docs in there were great for 6pm on a friday! I got my spine stuck with the numbing stuff and laid down, also very important, I wanted my hands free (they tie them down you know!) they were okay with that! They started my music and everyone went to work. The Docs and I chatted while they started cutting, I asked them what they were doing each step of the way. These ladies were great and answered everything without getting annoyed or frustrated. As soon as they broke my bag they lowered the curtain and there was my huge baby boy! He peed everywhere!!! He screamed! He was perfect and chubby and beautiful! I got to see him right away! That didn’t happen with Fiona. Both Docs are holding him!They weighed him and… 10 lbs 6.6 oz!!! I say 10lbs 7oz now, btw. 21.5 inches long! Ginormo baby! Trevor went with Henry(who was still just “baby boy” at that point) and C stepped in with me for the sewing back up.

I wasn’t in pain emotionally speaking like I was with my daughter. The whole ambiance of the room was happy and peaceful.  I feel like whatever emotional wound that was there from my daughters’ unnecesarean section was healed. I was hurt deeply by my daughters birth and through my sons birth I found the healing that I needed. If and when I get pregnant again (hopefully not for another two years *fingers crossed*!!) I will be giving birth vaginally.  I know that God knows the desires of my heart, and one day I will give birth through the birth canal. As for now I’m lucky I had the half an hour of peace and quiet to type this all out!

I am done posting on this blog for now, we’ll see what happens. I will start posting again when I get pregnant again! Look for a new blog about my own brand of motherhood. Coming soon! Thanks to all those who read my words. I’m sorry it took almost a year to write this and post it.

Heather

Giant mushy baby face!

 

Appoiments on top of appointments! March 15, 2010

Filed under: Blog Therapy — Heather @ 2:51 pm

I went to the new OB last Thursday. I really like these OBs, very nice, into letting the body do what it does and all that. However, because I am diabetic they have strict guidelines for me! I found out at this appointment that I need to have two NST (Non-stress tests) a week. For those of you who don’t know, a NST is when the mother is belted to the monitor in bed and has to push a button for every kick or big movement. I also need to see the OB once a week and have an U/S once a week. So, needless to say, I am going to be a busy Momma till this kid comes!

I will be driving about 40 minutes one way twice a week for these tests until this baby comes!

I had an U/S done on Thursday also and found out that this baby is HUGE! He is weighing in at 6lbs. 2oz.  That’s over the 100th percentile! Let us hope that I go into labor at 36 weeks! I’m not sure I can birth an 11 pound baby! With these new OBs they won’t let me even try to birth a baby that big, so here’s hoping for 36 weeks! So, the restrictions that the Drs have put on me birthing via VBAC are as follows:

1. That my blood sugar and all other tests are practically perfect.

2. The baby can’t exceed 9lbs 6oz. on the U/S.

3. I have to go into labor before 39 weeks, or if at 39 weeks I have a favorable cervix they will use small amounts of pitocin to help me along.

So if those things work out this baby will come VBAC! Here’s hoping that all works out! I will keep this pretty updated as I find things out. I will be hoping for labor between 36-38 weeks. That’s as early as three weeks away! I have been doing some baby spinning yoga and the like to make sure this kid isn’t face up like Fiona(which led to the c-section, among other things). Here’s a website written by a Midwife. Very Interesting!

http://spinningbabies.com/

Right now I am just trying to be good with my diet,  stretch a lot, a little mild yoga, some birthing ball exercising… nothing too crazy.  Hopefully I will be having a baby in a month or so!

 

New Ob/Gyn! March 10, 2010

Filed under: Blog Therapy — Heather @ 9:59 pm

A friend from High School randomly IMed me on Facebook not too long ago and made a suggestion that I hadn’t thought of! I always forget that this town near me exists. This HS friend suggested I go to the Hospital where her Mom works. It’s about the same distance as my original hospital choice. She also suggested a group of Ob/Gyns that’s a lot smaller than the one I’ve been seeing. There are only two Drs at this practice, vs the 15 or so at the other. I met with both Drs last week, and this practice seems like a much better option for me and this birth.

These Drs still have a lot of particulars about doing the VBAC, BUT they seem to be trustworthy enough. I do not trust the Ob/Gyns I was seeing this whole time. These new Drs, Dr Jean-Louis to be particular, is much more into letting nature take its course.  They are not going to put any time restrictions on labor, no unnecessary interventions. No breaking my water, or anything, I can labor how I want! I’m very happy with these Drs right now.

I have been having a hard time with my blood sugar levels. Pretty soon I will be eating lettuce and chicken breast only…plain! I really hope not though! I am taking steps to remedy the issue. If only fries weren’t so dang tasty!

I have an appointment for a growth check ultrasound tomorrow, then a follow-up appointment with Dr Jean-Louis. I’m hoping it goes well. My Mom will be with me. I’m hoping to hire a doula, but if I can’t my Mom will be my advocate in the hospital. She will have my back and help me stick to my birth plan!

Here’s hoping all goes well with these new Drs!!!

This is me at 30 weeks I think, could be 31, not entirely sure!

 

Doors are slamming left and right… February 20, 2010

Filed under: Blog Therapy — Heather @ 1:02 pm

I spent all day yesterday trying to find a midwifery practice that would take me as a patient. I, so far, have had no success. It was a very discouraging day for me. I thought I had found the way to go. I guess I will just have to go with the ob/gyns that I’ve been seeing.

A homebirth is totally out of the question in my mind. The risks are far too great for me. I am diabetic, attempting a VBAC, and the only hospital nearby is Bon Secours.  Now, I am not saying anything negative about Bon Secours. However, they do have a VBAC ban. The only way I would deliver there is if, when the time comes, I don’t think I can hold the baby in to make it to Middletown.

I am, surprisingly enough, not too disappointed about the midwifery thing. Now, when I go in for my ob/gyn appt on Tuesday armed with my birth plan and I’m shot down. Then I may  be disappointed. As much as I think these Doctors are “yessing” me, the tables can turn, because I can “yes” them the same way. They cannot force me to do anything. That being said, I have no intention of harming myself or my baby! If there is medical cause for a c-section, so be it. I just want the opportunity to have a God led birth.

I have to say that I am not too thrilled with the Doctors trying to move my due date. In doing so, they are limiting my options. By giving me a due date 9 days sooner, if I go to my original due date of May 1st, to them I will be 9 days overdue! Doctors want to induce, or section diabetic women by 39 weeks at the latest. So, it will be a really big deal if I go to my original due date.

*sigh*

What will be, will be. This pregnancy and birth are in God’s hands. I would appreciate it if you people reading this would please keep praying for the most favorable outcome. I would really love to feel the accomplishment of a vaginal birth.

 

Midwife anyone? February 18, 2010

Filed under: Blog Therapy — Heather @ 11:17 pm
Tags: ,

As I think on how I’ve been feeling about these new Ob/Gyns I’ve been seeing for this pregnancy, something just doesn’t feel quite right…

I am not a paranoid person. I’m not a conspiracy theorist like my darling husband. He’s practically Fox Moulder. That said, I get the feeling that these Doctors are simply “going along” with my request for a VBAC. They give me all the reasons I shouldn’t try for one. Namely silly things like “your pelvis is too small”. This I don’t understand… There are very tiny pelviced women out there who give birth naturally all the time.  I got the results of my latest ultrasound today, and according to the report the baby is 3lbs 8oz. and going by size alone my due date has changed from May 1st, to April 22nd. 4-22 is a great day for a b-day, my amazing friend Matt was born that day. However, that date is 9 days earlier than my menstrual cycle due date(which is more accurate). By changing my due date they are trying to scare me into another section! Also, I have found another reason to not believe these Drs. I called the hospital where I would deliver, and this hospital almost never does VBACs. Hmmm…. right…  It’s little things like that which lead me to believe that I will not be able to see these Doctors anymore.

So, yesterday I began the search for a midwifery practice. I found one that takes my insurance, and they deliver in a really nice birthing center that also takes my insurance! What a deal, right!!! I talked with the head of the practice. (At 10pm! she promised to call me back that night and, by golly, she did!) She told me that she has to confer with the other midwives and I should hear back soon. They are VERY VBAC friendly. The birthing center has like a 90% vbac success rate. So, please pray with me that if I am supposed to see these women that everything falls into place! I’m just waiting on a phone call so I can schedule an appointment! I could really use medical professionals who are encouraging!

I started doing prenatal yoga yesterday, and I am feeling it today. I really hope to keep it up though. It’s good for baby positioning.

A very Happy Birthday to my darling Fiona!!! She turned One today!!!

"How old are you Fiona?"

 

Pregnancy Insomnia February 13, 2010

Filed under: Blog Therapy — Heather @ 2:54 am

I must say it’s odd to be so vulnerable. I have never really been one to share my feelings. I think some of my first post was surprising to even Trevor. I have to say though that typing, (actually I prefer pen to paper)things out is a lot easier than actually expressing with spoken words. It’s very tough for me to say what I really mean… you ever have a really good jab intended for an argument hit you three hours or so after the argument, and you wish you could go back just to win it? Yeah, that’s me, almost all the time.

My poor Trevor, here I am typing away in bed at almost 3 am as he’s softly snoring next to me. I don’t know what I would do without him. He’s so understanding of what I went through a year ago, and he is with me all the way to my VBAC. With valentine’s day approaching, I’m reminded how in love with him I am. We’re supposed to have our annual sushi night sometime near valentines day, but I’m not supposed to eat sushi. Hmmm… What a conundrum. Maybe I’ll just do vegetarian rolls. Okay… rambling a little. (what do you expect? It’s three in the morning)

As I think about how I am 29 weeks along tomorrow, and I have less than three months to go I question myself constantly. Can I actually go through with a VBAC? Will I be too scared to labor well… Will I be thinking uterine rupture, uterine rupture, uterine rupture…? This voice in my head telling me what I want isn’t safe for me or my baby. Is this voice one I should listen to, or one that I should ignore? Is this the voice of the Holy Spirit, or something much less holy?

Until now I have been completely at peace with attempting a VBAC.  Should I now be concerned or just keep going like I have been?

These are the questions of an insomniac pregnant woman.

 

The Reason This Blog Exists: February 11, 2010

Filed under: Birth Stories,Blog Therapy — Heather @ 10:44 pm
Tags: , ,

So, this is a way for me to self therapize.

First Photo Together

I will start this blog by telling my daughters birth story. SHE is not the reason for needing therapy, but the doctors who did not have me as the main interest at the end of my pregnancy, but themselves. This blog is my way of moving on from the pain in my past and looking forward to a new and exciting chapter in my birthing life.

I am a type 2 diabetic and with that comes a lot of medical whatnot when you try to have a baby. Basically it means as long as your blood glucose level is good the whole time, and the million tests, (8 u/s, NSTs, 2 fetal echos…etc) your best option is an induction at 39 weeks at the very latest. My tests were all fine, everything that can potentially go wrong with blood sugar issues was not even slightly present. That said, my Doctor still wanted to induce me early. 37weeks 5days to be exact.

Trevor (DH) and I were very excited, but pretty nervous about the whole thing. At my last OB visit the Dr. said I was 1 cm dilated and three days before my scheduled induction I lost the mucus plug. I was really hoping for labor to start on its own…. oh well.

We got to the hospital at 7 am February 17th. This day was supposed to be my daughters birthday! After all of the paperwork, and nonsense that goes into having a baby, it was 10:00 am. They managed to get an IV going, after three tries, I think.  Started me on Pitocin right away. I can’t remember all the details from the next 26 hours that I was in labor. I know my water was broken at 3cm dilated and it was the strangest feeling! A huge rush of fluid… After which the contractions were immense. I recall the pain getting to be really intense so I asked for pain relief. I have no clue what they gave me, but it made me pass out in minutes.

I slept fitfully through the night. I was not allowed anything to eat or drink, nor was I allowed to get up and move around… I was in a bed with contractions for 26 hours. At about 4am I asked for the epidural. After that I got some real sleep. My mother never left my side. My poor husband was trying so hard to be there for me, but he just annoyed me so badly. I feel really awful about that now, but at the time it seemed really reasonable. My contractions were not getting me anywhere… the nurses all seemed annoyed, the Dr I wanted to deliver me was off shift, so she left. The next person on shift I did not want to deal with whatsoever… he was a terrible man.

The Midwife who was with the practice I saw most of the day, and she gave me one vaginal exam after another. I was exhausted, in pain, (even with the epidural) hungry, thirsty, and so disappointed. It was noon and I hadn’t dilated more then 4cm. It was decided that I wasn’t going to progress anymore and that I needed a C-section. They told me the baby’s heart-rate wasn’t good. (probably not the case, but a good way to persuade mama) They told me that I couldn’t do it. That a C-section was my only choice. To this day, (only about a year later) I can’t think about that day in the hospital without bawling my eyes out.  I was heart-broken. My body didn’t work. I had failed.

They got the OR ready, and Trevor got into the hospital required uniform. I was scared to death and they didn’t allow him in the OR for at least half an hour. It was an hour and a half after they made the decision to section me that my little Fiona Lucille was born. (If her heart-rate was such a concern, why such a long time?) All I remember was Trevor saying “here she comes”. I heard her cry, which made me cry. At least I have a healthy baby right? I felt empty. I felt like I had failed as a mom… doomed to fail as a mom from then on… if I can’t give birth what makes me so sure I can handle raising a baby?

I wasn’t allowed to touch her or hold her until I was out of the recovery room. Nearly two hours. I was only able to see the photos that Trevor had taken.  Everyone had seen her and even held her before me. I didn’t even get a chance to nurse her until much much later. Fiona was amazing, beautiful, and perfect. I was in love right away. But that did not change how I felt inside.

I spent the next two weeks crying constantly, I barely left my room. I wouldn’t let anyone but my mom or Trevor hold her. I couldn’t shake how I felt. I was so emotional… It took  forever for me to heal outwardly, but I think I’m just starting to heal inwardly.

The date is February 11th. Today is the fifth anniversary of my fathers’ death, and the third anniversary of my first date with Trevor. There is a lot on my heart today. However, most important for me is the healing that has started. I have faith the healing will be complete the day I give birth to the son I am pregnant with now the way that God intended for women to give birth.