Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Same Time, Last Year

Psalm 17:1
Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry.
Give ear to my prayer— it does not rise from deceitful lips.

     "[Mrs. Mocha] has officially become an internet/bookstore Doctor. I gotta do MY own research on EVERYTHING, just to feel adequately informed. ~ Why is it normal for MAJOR surgery to be passed out like Halloween candy to women? ~ Self-preservation is a full-time job!"
That was my Face.Book status on Tuesday, September 14, 2010. It was after I had seen that documentary that Rikki Lake made on the over-reliance of C-Sections in this country, the night before. I remember it so clearly.

     My OB/GYN's office had repeatedly informed me since week 19 that under NO circumstances would I be able to have a VBAC. When I was initially told this, I was devastated. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, the delivery of my daughter into this world was a NIGHTMARE!!! Those people (and I use the term lightly) were doing whatever they wanted to me, with no explanation or compassion for the fact that was a terrified 24 year old, with no idea as to what to expect from a labor experience. My (then) OB/GYN was a no-show, so I was "handled" by various rotations of hospital staff...each one, doing their own thing, with (apparently) no conversation or input from the person before them.
I won't go into the entire story, I don't want to relive it anyway. Let's suffice it to say that I was given MASSIVE dosages of pit.ocin, that caused me to have UNBEARABLE contractions, while simultaneously stopping my dilation and progression. The situation ended in a C-section, with the causes given as "failure to progress/fetal distress."

      Fast-forward 15 and half years to pregnancy #2. I was determined to have a VBAC, as I have always come to feel that if things had been done differently, I could have avoided the original C-Section. So, it was a bit of a let-down when I learned that they wanted me to do a repeat C-Section (especially since I was led to believe that VBACs were commonly and routinely offered after C-Section births).  The nurse (whom I grew to DESPISE, then cordially tolerate) at my current OB/GYN suggested that I find a new Dr's office pronto, if I was really determined to have my VBAC. So, I began the task of trying to find a new Dr, who would do a VBAC, accept the hubby's insurance, and would take me on at 19 weeks & "advanced maternal age."

      I hit road block after road block. I was told repeatedly that the main Mal-practice insurance company that carried the doctors in my state, didn't cover VBACs, so most doctors wouldn't perform them. I was finally, at around 29 weeks, given information about the "holy grail" of hospitals. It is connected with a large, and prestigious university here, and they stay on the cutting edge, so VBACs are small potatoes to them. I called the hospital with fingers crossed. The woman who helped me was so nice, pleasant and sweet, but it was basically for naught. In order to deliver at that hospital, you had to have a Primary Care Physician w/that hospital, who would then refer you to an OB/GYN at that hospital. Unfortunately, all of the PCPs were full, and weren't taking any new patients. I was back to square one.

      Then, a friend of the hubby's told him how she went about getting her VBAC. She works in the medical field, so she was a trusted source. She suggested that upon the beginning stages of labor, I just hold tight. She advised me to remain at home until either my water broke, or the pain became so unbearable that I couldn't see straight. That way, when I got to the hospital, I would already be so far along that they would have to just deliver me. I ran this idea passed my aunt (who is a practicing nurse practitioner and mid-wife (who works and delivers at a hospital in another state)), and while she didn't give it a ringing endorsement, she certainly didn't shoot it down. Her only advice was to make sure I gave myself enough time to get to the hospital, in the slim event that there was a problem.

      That's what I did. When labor started that Saturday morning, I went about my day as usual. At around 1pm, I decided to go grocery shopping, so that the hubby and K would have food while I was in the hospital. The grocery stores that I shop at are about 20 and 35 miles from my house respectively. I ignored the contractions in Super Target, and prayed that my water didn't break in the store, resulting in an all-out pandemonium. It didn't. I made it home, put my groceries away, and endured labor for another 6 to 7 hours in the comfort of my own home. I breathed slowly through contractions, and basically functioned as my own doula. I was home alone with my 15 year old daughter, and didn't want to scare the living daylights out of her, so I forced convinced myself to stay as calm as possible. I think it helped both of us, actually. She was confident that I was handling things "okay", and (I think) remaining calm and keeping a cool head kept the contractions at a level where the pain was totally tolerable (I should insert that I have an extremely high tolerance for pain, in normal situations, anyway).
By the time the hubby got home from work, and we made it to hospital, the water bag was still intact, and I was 6cm and 70% effaced. Less than two hours and four pushes later, we welcomed our son. Via VBAC!

     Wow. Looking back it's funny to me how determined and militant I was about having that VBAC. Nobody told me that my lady parts would be on fire for three weeks following delivery. How it would hurt to sit down and potty. In the end, I have to say that there are pros and cons with both methods of delivery. If I had to have a C-Section with #3, I think I would be fine with it. I don't think I would mind giving my pelvic floor a break, at all. (smile)

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing story! I love that you were so determined to have a VBAC! I saw The Business of Being Born, too, and it definitely changed my views on birth. Once we're able to get pregnant, I would love to be able to birth naturally in a birth center nearby!