January 4, 2015

The Beginning of a New Birth Journey

If you are reading this, I am happy you found me. I am a woman, struggling to have a natural birth in a medically crazed society. A place where an intimate event that used to take place in the safety and quiet of our own homes has turned into an impersonal, fearful…and almost mechanistic act. As birth has moved out of the home and into the hospital, we have lost some of our rights to our own bodies. While one can argue that we can always have the "right to refuse any procedure", in reality women are coerced, lied to, acted upon without consent, threatened, and scared into accepting procedures that they otherwise would have, and arguably could have, done without. How do I know? It happened to me, and countless other women I have read about.

That being said, my two darlings, X-Man and Lollipop, wouldn't be alive today without cesareans. I developed cholestasis with X-man, a liver disfunction that can cause stillbirth in otherwise healthy fetuses. My doctor let me labor for 40 hours before he became distressed and was taken. He spent 4 hours in the NICU with respiratory distress before being returned to me. Lollipop's water broke and after 48 hours of trying to jump start labor with Pitocin, I would not dilate and she went into distress. My VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) had failed.

I'm not here to be a martyr for natural birth. If you had a cesarean, loved it, and would schedule another one for every future baby, that is your prerogative. This blog is not intended to shame, defile, or otherwise persecute c-section mothers. C-sections have and do save many, many lives. What bothers me is that c-section rates around the country have been on the rise for decades. In Texas, we are at 35% of births being via c-sections (according to ICAN network). Some hospitals have a 100% cesarean rate.

What are we telling women in this country when one third or more of us don't have a normal, uncomplicated vaginal delivery? We are telling women that their bodies don't work and not to trust their instincts. We are telling women that they need expensive, invasive procedures to insure that they do not kill their infants by entertaining the idea that they know what is best for their bodies and babies.

This is where I am…

Even though my c-sections were medically justifiable, I cry every time I think about them. I can't look at my scar. I can't touch it. My husband can't touch it. I get nauseous when I put the slightest pressure on it.

I feel broken. Lost. Physically in pain. My body is not my own…

This is what brought me here.

In one year, I would like to start trying to conceive (TTC) our next baby. I have a huge, what feels like insurmountable, obstacle in front of me. I started writing to help process my feelings about what has happened, and to hold myself accountable for the changes I feel need to happen to get me to my goal of a successful VBA2C (Vaginal Birth After 2 Cesareans).

If you are reading this, you are reading a part of my journey. You may be a mother or mother-to-be yourself, looking for answers. I don't have all of them. All I know is that I am in a vulnerable place, as are many other women in similar situations. I may write about things that trigger uncomfortable emotions. You may feel anger or sadness, shame or frustration. Do not take those feelings out on me. Trolling the wounded does nothing. I welcome your comments and questions. They may serve as inspiration for me to open, learn, and share more. To relax more, to trust myself more. However, under no circumstances will I tolerate shaming, cruelty, rudeness, or fear mongering. Perspectives are different, we are allowed to disagree, respectfully.

So…I guess let's get started with the backstory: X-man's birth.

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