My name is Laura, I'm 30 and expecting my 3rd child. My due date is at the end of November but I'm saying December especially because I have the same due date my mom had with me 31 years ago and my birthday is in December :)
I have a three and a half year old boy (Samuel) and a one and a half year old boy (Isaac). They are lots of fun!
The last 4 years have definitely been a journey toward natural birth and trusting birth for me. I always knew that natural birth was best and had it firmly in mind that interventions beget interventions. I knew I didn't want a c-section.
But pregnant with my older son, I picked a doctor who was known as "queen of c-sections" (found this out much later through my doula) and by the time I realized I needed to run away from her, it was too late. My son had a condition made the pregnancy high risk and required a perinatologist to check him at birth. This excluded me from switching to midwife care and made even less section happy doctors reluctant to take me as patient at 37 weeks. Add in that u/s measurement were estimating my son weighed over 11 lbs and the c-section talk was constant. I wasn't frightened about a big baby (all the babies in my mom's family are big and I have two maternal cousins that were over 11 lbs) but I became frightened by my obstetrician. Her constant themes of death and harm coming to my child and myself were horrible and I knew I wanted her no where near me during labor. Feeling stuck, I consented to a scheduled c-section at 39 1/2 weeks. My son was healthy but my c-section recovery was horrible. And deep down I knew I hadn't needed a c-section. My huge baby, by the way, weighed in at 9 lbs 9 oz.
Two years later, having moved to a small town, I was relieved to learn that our local hospital offered VBAC's. I then proceeded to visit the big OB mill in town (my only option as a VBAC) and scheduled to meet the two most VBAC friendly doctors in a practice of 6 OB's. If these two were VBAC friendly, I trembled at the idea I might have to deal with any of the other doctors. The first told me that if I was having a girl and she was looking small, I might be able to have a VBAC but if not, oh well, I could just have my tubes tied after my second c-section (since having more than 2 c-sections wasn't a good idea). I didn't say much but I quietly went into a rage at her presumption. The second doctor told me he didn't like doing VBAC's and nobody did. If I went past 41 weeks, I would have to have another c-section and if I didn't progress at 1 cm an hour I would also have to have a c-section. Even though their consent form said that their successful VBAC rate was 60-80%, this doctor admitted it was actually closer to 40 or 50%.
Thankfully, at this point, things changed. A fun acquaintance offered to be my doula and handed me Ina May's Guide to Childbirth to read. My doula also said that the birth grapevine in town was buzzing about the arrival of two new OB's who had a different style of practice and were extremely friendly to natural birth. Reading Ina May I realized that I had never dealt with any care provider who had any confidence in birth. As I sat there saddened by that loss and I turned the page and began to read the next birth story, written by an OB who had her first child on the Farm. With a shock, I recognized the names as those of the husband and wife OB team moving to town.
I switched my care as soon as I could and was so excited to be in an environment that actually trusted birth. My second son was born (10 days past his due date, with me dilating in labor at 1 cm every 2 hours) naturally in the hospital. The monitoring was intermittent, I moved around as I wanted, ate as I wanted, no one frightened or threatened or intimidated me. I have great memories from labor of my OB showing up occasionally to chat. He was there to check on me but he sat in the corner and stayed out of my space. He and everyone else there projected calm and confidence. The experience was very good and very empowering. I was literally on a high from that birth for months afterwards. My second son weighed 9 lb 12 oz and I pushed him out in just 45 minutes after an 18 hour peaceful labor. I now had proof that I had never needed a c-section (for size of baby!) but deep down I had always known that..
I think my husband and I would have been fine sticking with my wonderful team of OB's. Even though I felt drawn to the idea of a homebirth, inertia would have kept me with the "fully covered by insurance" path. However it was not to be, because of lack of back-up coverage, the two OB's are no longer delivering babies as of this month. I'm not silly enough to go back to the place that would have sectioned me three times over in my last pregnancy. There are no free-standing birth centers anywhere nearby (and finding one that would accept a VBAC mom isn't likely) So, I'm happily planning a homebirth with a fantastic midwife. It's cool to see how my husband has made this journey with me and is totally at peace with our decision.
I'm really enjoying the wisdom of my midwife and her familiarity and advice on many aspects of alternative health care. I admit to being a little terrified of the chance that I would place out of her care. So far, so good on that front. Due to two episodes of bleeding (at 13 and 16 weeks) I opted to have an u/s last week. (I had really wanted to avoid u/s with this pregnancy but I got kind of unnerved after the second episode of bleeding) The u/s showed an active baby and a normal placenta that wasn't low lying and was posterior. I'm planning that to be the only u/s I have and am looking forward to the surprise at birth of finding out the gender of this baby.
I feel strongly about cesarean prevention and natural birth. I was raised slightly crunchy and am now on my way to becoming very crunchy :) I'm helped along by living in a very crunchy town. I breastfeed and cloth diaper. I'm still breastfeeding my younger son. I make most of our food from scratch and try to eat as naturally as possible. I love to walk and am trying to walk a mile or more each day (I did this in my last pregnancy and really enjoyed the benefits of it) And I think having this community is a great idea!