Fight for Your Right to Birth: A Quest for a VBAC

by Birth Without Fear on September 13, 2011

Corey emailed me her birth story to share with the BWF Community. I love how she wrote her story in 10 main pieces! It’s very real and inspiring. ~Mrs. BWF

You Got to Fight for Your Right to Birth:  My quest for a VBAC

From Conscience Parenting

I find that when people write about their birth stories they often get caught up in the details, and while these details are of exceptional importance to the person writing them, as they should be, they can often become a little mundane or drawn out for the reader.  I am going to attempt to tell my VBAC story in only 10 pieces; pieces, not chapters.

1. I had the worst birth known to mankind with my first child that involved having preeclampsia, Pitocin, an epidural, an emergency c-section, two blood transfusions and an infection.  All of those elements combined were more than enough to make me swear I would never give birth again because in my mind my body “sucked” at giving birth.  Someday, I will write about how naïve I was while being pregnant the first time around, but that is a story for another day.

2. I thought having one C-section meant that you definitely had to have another one because something terrible would happen to you if you did not.  It wasn’t until I went for my yearly check up that I was told by my fabulous doctor, after mustering up the courage to even consider birth again, that one section did not guarantee another.

3. I became pregnant with the Mush Man.  I felt both elated and terrified.  I was elated that my son would have a brother, but terrified that I might die in birth after coming very close to it once before.  I felt as though I was tempting fate.

4. My doctor told me that I was an EXCELLENT candidate for a VBAC.  I was ecstatic.  No knives and no staples for this girl!

5. My husband gets a new job in a new city, and I have to find a new doctor.  I picked one out of the yellow pages.  She had a beautiful office and very polite staff.  That was all she had.  Well, that and the opinion that if I was going to be one of those difficult women, who just had to have a natural birth, she might consider letting me VBAC.  She then proceeded to tell me how fabulous planned sections were, and in my head I thought, “Maybe for you.”  That was the last time I saw her.

6. I called a ton of doctor offices trying to find a VBACing doc.  I quickly learned that while that movie Knocked Up did have some accurate facts, being able to interview doctors was not one of them.  I continued going to my wonderful doctor in my hometown, but finally I found a doctor, cue heavenly hallelujahs, who did VBACs.  Things were looking up.

7. When I was one month away from my due date, my new doctor informed me that she would be doing an Iron Man race in Brazil during my due date.  Crap!  However, she gave me the inside scoop on when the doctors at the hospital that perform VBACs were on call.  This would have been fantastic news had my uterus had an ON and OFF switch for controlling labor.  Nonetheless, it was something.

8. I go into labor, or so I thought, on a night that a VBAC doctor is on call.  Cue the hallelujahs again!  I go into triage, which still seems odd, and I get to wait for three hours.  The doctor feels that while I am in active labor, it is not active enough for her.  I get sent home.

9. I go into labor on a day that the doctor who does not do VBACS is on call.  Shit!  I labor at home for as long as possible.  I call the doctor.  I tell her this, “I AM having a natural birth.  If you won’t do it, push me on through to somebody who will.”  Obviously, this doctor was not use to this sort of an attitude.  She tells me to come in and talk.  The talk consisted of her telling me this: “You have a 1 in 100 chance of having a catastrophic event.  This is very dangerous.  As a mother, I would never do such thing.  I don’t think you really understand what is happening.”  And in my head I said, “F*ck you and your high horse!”  One hour later and one very painful “mandatory epidural” later, I had a beautiful little boy.  The doctor was practically high fiving and patting herself on the back.  And in my head I thought, “Congratulations.  You watched me do all the work instead of carving into me like a freaking Thanksgiving turkey, but sure, you take the credit.”

10. I named my baby boy after my first doctor that helped me on my journey to having a successful VBAC.  We originally had picked out another name, but in the delivery room my husband said, “Name him whatever you want.  You deserve it.”  I told him that only one name would do because without that doctor, this experience would never have happened, and I, in fact may have never considered having another child.

hospital birth baby
When I discuss my VBAC, I often get various looks.  I get the looks of “you’re crazy” or “I can’t believe you are alive to tell about it, “and those I unfortunately understand.  We live in a society today where doctors don’t always value the natural ability of a woman’s body during the labor and delivery process, or due to decisions made by insurance companies, are unable to practice the best way they know how.  The looks, however, that I have a hard time explaining are the looks of “why does it matter.”  Well, it matters because giving birth is the most personal experience on the planet.  It is something that makes you look at your body in a completely different light.  For me, having a VBAC gave me my power back, and to me, that was well worth the fight.

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