Hello to everyone, especially those of you kind and patient enough to give me some REALLY great ideas without asking too many questions, in regards to my upcoming birth.
So here is the deal. Kneelingwoman is my midwife. She is a homebirth midwife who caught my homeborn baby, Casey, 4 years ago. She is my midwife again now, and I am now her apprentice. She comes to my house for prenatals and a few weeks ago we started discussing, in earnest, my situation. We both came to the conclusion that it was beyond our comfort levels to have this baby at home. There are many many people who will disagree, and there are probably many people who are thinking it is a good idea. she offered me time and time again to go see another midwife, no hard feelings and I have no interest, because I completely understand and agree with her, despite how much it "sucks". Here are the factors of my situation that determined us deciding to seek an out of home birth and then I will tell you about our own "Dr Wonderful" here in Michigan.
Casey was 11 pounds and was, if not a shoulder dystocia, a verrrrrry slow and sticky baby. He had one arm in front of him one arm behind him, and was wrapped up in cord, all around his entire body. I pushed and pushed and she had to do a corkscrew maneuver to help him out. Say whatever you want about hands off, etc, I have a 100% healthy non-brain damaged child and was glad for the assistance.
Charlie was a full pound bigger and completely failed to descend, as much as I hate those terminologies, they do apply to some babies. He never got past minus one station, and I pushed for almost 4 hours and ended up with a c section. Not a random stupid pointless c section like I had for baby #2, but a real honest to goodness the-giant-baby-is-seriously-not-coming-out one.
I have had 2 c sections.
For these reasons, Kneelingwoman felt really uncomfortable attending this birth at home. For these reasons, I was getting so nervous that I didn't want to think or talk or write about birth. I was really getting into a depression/funk and it took a long talk with her to get to the point where I came out with it. I tried to listen to Hypnobabies CDs and all I pictured was a dark purple head of my dead shoulder dystocia baby. I tried to begin studying some midwifery texts she gave me and felt only bitterness, fear, and a general disconnect with everything I read about birth. These weird and disturbing thoughts brought me to give her a teary phone call and that's when we started talking about this all. I must be honest, I was more expecting a "lets move past your fears" speech, and when she got really frank with me is when I got really frank with her and my whole "I don't think we want to do this anymore" met with her "I dont think I am comfortable attending you at home with this history" and the relief between the 2 of us was palpable, unexpected, enormous. There is no other midwife I want to see, Kneelingwoman is our treasured family gem. She cares about me, truly. She knows her stuff. She knows me. It was all good, despite how bad it all sounds.
On top of all of this, there have been these terrifying new witch-hunts , if you will, of midwives in our area, and, as Kneelingwoman said, it is not a matter of "IF", but a matter of "WHEN" the next person who transfers to a hospital with her midwife faces jail time, lawsuit, and worse. Neither one of us has any interest in any of that. We have families, responsibilities, livelihoods. As important as warriors and rebels and fighters and dissidents and revolutionaries are, I am not in a position to do that or be that or pursue that at this time, and feel really ok about it.
So, I asked her, what in the hell are we facing here, scheduled c-section???? (gulp) and she told me about one single solitary doctor that she knows who might give us a chance. A chance at some real protected space, a VBAC, in a hospital. I called for an appointment that day.
Although Kneelingwoman planned on coming with me to every appointment, she was stuck out of town in an ice storm when I had my first consultation with him, and it was very cool in retrospect to check him out on my own. He was SO different than any other OB I have ever had the (dis?) pleasure of dealing with, or for that matter any doctor. He had no ego, no patronizing, and really warmed up to my "us versus them" kind of speaking. He listened to my 4 birth stories, and wrote down alot of stuff. then he looked up and told me that there was no reason that we couldn't go for a VBAC and gave me a genuine warm smile. We discussed parameters, protocol and the limitations he has in his hospital. He seemed kind and impressed with the level of logic and common sense conclusions that we were both exchanging. He expressed a deep and genuine sorrow for my first c section and even did stuff like roll his eyes at all the right parts of the stories :) He was so so cool and I felt really good about it all. He isn't against homebirth at all, and has been the guy whom Kneelingwoman has transferred care to in the past and remembered her very favorably. All of this was done in his office, not in a paper gown on an examining table. I appreciated that greatly. We discussed gestational diabetes and he feels about the same way I do about it. I am going to do everything in my power to have a smaller baby as far as lowering my sugars and simple carbs, and I have no problem taking a glucose tolerance test. I want to do everything I can to have a VBAC. even though I have Kneelingwoman's word that she will not let me just rot alone postpartum this time, there is no way to describe how terrifying taking care of FIVE little kids will be if I get sliced again. Its a total nightmare, and not even anything about lamenting my perfect birth. The one thing that is so prominent in my mind about c section is how I couldn't lay on my side for many many weeks, and on my side is HOW I MOTHER A NEWBORN NURSLING BABY. All the pain and disappointment aside, all the disfigurement and scariness of it all, it is the lack of ability to mother my new baby, AGAIN, is what drives me on to try so hard for a VBAC.
Kneelingwoman is still my midwife, and in my opinion, my primary care provider for this pregnancy. She does my prenatals, spends time with me on all the psychological stuff of pregnancy and life and family...and in the hospital she will be my "doula", my partner, my advocate, and will never leave me. She has a wonderful rapport with the Doctor and like I said, he is completely cool and it isn't a trick. He admitted to being the only guy in our county who would "allow" or support such a thing, and as insane as that sounds, I know he is telling the truth and I am grateful for him and for Kneelingwoman for connecting me with him, I would never have found him, ever.
Yesterday I had my second appointment with Dr. T we will call him, and Kneelingwoman went with me, her teenage daughter even babysat my 4 kids so we could go alone! She is SUCH a cool girl, my kids were in awe of her. Dr T was happy to see her and we discussed what exactly we all should do. We came up with this: Stay home and labor with Kneelingwoman until about 5 cm. Call him at the start of labor with hearttones and stats and such, and then go in around then. Because of the protocol and the fear of Uterine Rupture or scar dehiscence, they will want me on the External Fetal Monitor the whole time, thus my last post. I got freaked out when I heard this. I had flashbacks to laboring in a little bed and felt like throwing in the towel right then and there. I cant do it, I can't bear it, its just not possible for me. I labor in my hands and knees ONLY, I can't do it.
but then all you awesome Mamas sent me in the ideas about the birth ball and telemetry and I ran them past Kneelingwoman and she agreed they were wonderful. We are going to ask about my hospital's telemetry unit next visit.
I am going to go back to the Hypnobabies in earnest now and feel good about things again. I feel like people that I trust are on board with me, and that is what I need right now. It might not sit right with many of you, and I understand. Maybe a few years back I wouldn't have understood, either, and thats ok with me.
Homebirthing is not a club that you get a membership card to, it is a belief and a calling, and I consider myself a homebirthing woman, advocate, supporter and future midwife. The experiences I have accrued will make me an even better support for women with all kinds of backgrounds and experiences, and most importantly, in about 3 1/2 months I will have five children to kiss and squish and love, and a real person to help me out after I have the baby this time. To me, that is my ideal birth, and for these things I am grateful and happy and proud.