Yesterday, we shared the second part of Rose Homme’s HBA2C story. In this five-part series, she shares her journey to home birth: the emotional ups and downs, the pain of her first births, and how believing in herself and her body guided her through. Here, you can read about how she worked through the trauma of two emergency cesareans. Check back tomorrow to read the goals and intentions she set for herself during labour.
“This third pregnancy there was no IF in my mind. It helped that Sue wanted a home birth for me just as much as I did. Of course I had doubts and fears that came up throughout the pregnancy, and most I acknowledged, thanked and sent on their way. Some I just told to go away, and some I knew would be joining me through the birth. Other things I chose to avoid, or not read. Months before I became pregnant Sue told me she had a dream I achieved my VBAC and I was laboring in the swimming pool. Once I became pregnant she told me constantly, “We’re just going to ignore your labor, I’m going to get there and you’ll be ready to push, have a pool party!” I loved hearing those things from Sue. I’m not sure if I really believed I was going to be able to ignore my labor and have a pool party, but everything she told me was positive and felt right.
Like anything, normalizing is a HUGE step! I am so incredibly thankful to all the women who helped me heal and get to this point of truly believing birth is normal and my body is not flawed. My research had already given me the facts on the safety of a VBAC, the statistics on cascading interventions, the benefits of natural childbirth, risks of cesarean, etc. Now I had to work on believing in myself and my body’s capabilities. I had to work on calming my doubts and fears and coping with my defeat and sadness from my previous births. I had to not only trust birth, but trust nature on a deeper level. I miscarried in April of 2011, and though it was a deeply painful experience, it actually reenforced my trust in my body and healed some of my previous experiences. It gave me faith that this pregnancy was perfect, and absolutely meant to be.
Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth as well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.
― Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
When people would ask about our birth plans, I could see the doubt in their eyes. Whether it was real or imagined, it felt like a weird pressure, so I tried my best to avoid those conversations. I couldn’t explain myself to anyone since I was still working through some of those emotions myself. I carried my own self doubt – I couldn’t deal with anyone else’s on top of that. I actually went into a bit of hibernation in the few weeks before the birth, which was a safe place for me and I’m thankful I honored what I needed.
In keeping my “bubble of peace” by not discussing the birth publicly, I added two weeks onto my due date of June 22 and gave that to anyone who asked. Even though I had a strong feeling baby would come on June 19th, I tried not to get my hopes up and reminded myself that 42 weeks was perfectly normal and possible.
I chose not to take any classes or have a doula this time, but both are great tools in expanding your community as well as preparing for childbirth. I was fortunate enough to cultivate relationships with my birth team from Oliver’s birth and through the store. If you do not have a community I highly recommend building one – take classes, come to the store and hang with us, find a doula! Talk to someone about your true feelings, find someone with whom you are comfortable sharing any doubts or fears. Maybe, a doula, midwife, or friend.
I’m a super private person, so I found it easier to work with a stranger. Amy St. Hilaire offered a holistic approach to finding the issues and resolving them effectively. This private approach worked for me and I never really shared I was going to therapy with anyone besides my midwife and chiropractor. I really appreciate the growth and knowledge I gained.
I kept the option of having a doula open, and knew I would figure out what kind of support I needed. It wasn’t until late in the second trimester that I knew I would better acknowledge my feelings on my own. I knew I had a lot to work through and being somewhat guarded, I needed to be alone so I could express myself freely. You’ll read all the wacky things I told myself in the next installment!”
Thank you so much for sharing! My birth with my son (my first) was similar to your birth experience with your second child. I planned a home birth, labored at home for over 20 hours, but at 9cm (where I had been stuck for about 5 hours), my contractions started to dwindle and I was transferred to the hospital for assistance. I was put on pitocin and also consented to an epidural. Eventually with no further progression (around 6 hours later) I consented to a cesarean delivery. I felt completely defeated. It was the worst feeling ever! I will definitely be having a HBAC for my next baby.