Thursday, December 17, 2015

VBAC Hopes and Dreams

If you don’t want to read about pregnancy or some of the details associated with it, this post probably isn’t the right post for you. This is something that I’ve been wanting to talk about for a little while.

My pregnancy with Patsy was “normal” without complications or problems. I didn’t have swollen feet or stretch marks. I didn’t have gestational diabetes or pre-clampsia. I did test positive for Strep B and that was about the only thing. My regular doctor visits were pretty uneventful. Chris and I took the child birth class and were prepared for a normal, vaginal birth. I was very against having a c-section and I was ready to defend myself and fight to not have one if necessary. Then, at 38 weeks exactly, I tripped and fell. I fell to my knees and then fell forward. Because I was so pregnant, my belly hit the ground. I was instructed by my doctor to go to the hospital to be monitored for the next 24 hours. Upon arrival, they performed an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay with the placenta because of the fall. “Oh, your baby is breech.” Errrrrr *screeching brakes noise*… This was like a punch to the gut. I had so many questions. How did we not already know this? What does this mean? What are my options? My due date was 2 weeks away and everything I was planning and prepping for was now completely out the window. My doctor instructed me that she did not do a versions (manually flipping the baby around) and that my c-section would be scheduled in 4 days. I didn’t really have time to process what was about to happen. I didn’t really have time to handle the emotions that went along with this change. I didn’t know I would have so emotions about the fact that I would now have a c-section.

Patsy was born (birth story here) and she was a beautiful, happy and healthy. As far as c-sections go, I was still able to hold Patsy immediately after birth for the “golden hour”. My husband and I were able to cherish those precious first moments together as a new family. My doctor was comforting and held my hand as she could tell I was nervous. The nurse during the surgery was fantastic. BUT, that was not my ideal birth situation. I knew when I wanted to get pregnant again, I wanted to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).

In the OR, our first photo as a new family of 3

Unfortunately, based on the area of Illinois in which I live, there are 3 practices that are specialists and have high VBAC success rates. (If you go to a state like Oregon or California, VBAC rates are very different than Illinois.) I chose a midwife practice and I’ve been very happy with my decision so far. All of the midwives I’ve met with continue to tell me the same thing. “You are a perfect VBAC candidate.” It just makes me that much more hopeful. We’re also working with a doula to help provide additional birth support. Having a VBAC is very important so I want to try and give myself all available tools for success. Because I’ve had a previous c-section, a medical induction (Pitocin, etc.) is off the table so my body needs to go into labor on its own. That hasn’t happened before so it’s back to playing the waiting game! I’m assuming I’ll go past my due date, like a first time laboring mom but we will see! The holidays have been a great distraction throughout December and we are running full speed through the rest of 2015. January will be her before we know it and the baby can come just about any time in January! (Actual due date is February 3.)

I’ve kind of been in denial about how much will change in being a parent of one child to a parent of two. Part of me doesn’t want to over think it because then I get emotional, etc. and I think I just need to take it as it comes. I have a few ideas and suggestions to make the difficult early days/weeks easier and I’m hoping to really utilize the support of our friends and family during that time. Well, this is what has been consuming my thoughts and time lately. Please wish me luck as I embark on a new and different type of challenge, that I feel hard training sessions, difficult half marathon and marathon races have mentally prepared me for.

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