Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Why VBAC? Part 1

What's the big deal anyway? Right?

I know not everyone really knows why this is so important to us, and I've been wanting to post more about that. It's not that I feel like we have to "explain ourselves," but this is something we've been learning more about lately and want to share some of that info. As we learn more, we see things differently, which is impacting our decisions. It's like the Maya Angelou quote...When you know better you do better. And after learning so much about this topic, no way can I simply opt for a scheduled cesarean; I just can't do it. It's not what is better for either me or a child.

It's frustrating to feel we have to do so much research on our own in order to be able to tell doctors what kind of care we want and need. It's exhausting to have to do so much advocating for ourselves. I don't know that it's had such an affect on my husband, but I know I've had many nights where I've had a very difficult time getting to sleep, and once asleep, I've had many crazy but very realistic dreams about meeting with doctors and fighting for or working toward a VBAC. I've had physical responses to the stress and anxiety before appointments to discuss what I want because I'm worried a doctor won't respect it. Should it really have to be this challenging and stressful?? (There should be an easy answer to that: NO. Unfortunately it's not so easy...)

I'm going to put up a series of posts and try to keep it simple and sweet. There are many components to our decision...the risks/benefits of c-sections (and repeat c-sections) for mother and for baby, risks/benefits of vaginal birth for mother and for baby, and complications when it comes to finding a doctor who is truly supportive. There's more to it, but we're going to try to explain some of the risks/benefits of each delivery method. For us, seeing those listed out makes it a really simple answer, but the thing is, many people aren't aware of the risks/benefits of them both. Doctors don't always really go through all the information clearly. Not one single doctor has talked with me about how many c-sections are too many or even any real risks with having scheduled and repeated cesareans. Nobody has discussed a VBAC as even a possibility or has shared with us benefits of having a child vaginally. So, we had to seek out the information for ourselves. Fortunately, it does seem that there are wonderful VBAC-friendly (truly VBAC-friendly) providers out there; unfortunately it seems as though they are harder to come by and you have to do some work to find them.

I will say, our information will by no means be all inclusive. We've done research, sure, but we haven't spent years researching this, and we only have what we've read/heard/learned recently and our own personal experience. We won't have all the stats stating how often each thing/risk/etc occurs (and we often see different stats because it all relies on reporting and definitions that aren't always very specific). And with some things, it's hard to know how often they occur, as well as how much can be attributed to the delivery method, even while research shows something might be more likely to occur with certain delivery methods. So, realize that we're just a couple looking up information via different resources and sharing them on here. We feel like we know a lot about what we're getting into at this point, but we are aware we are not experts, and we're not offering any sort of medical advice. Anyone who knows something we should change with the information we post (I know we have some doctor/nurse friends out there), please share that with us. :)

First up... Cesarean sections and risks to mother and baby.


Megan said...

Looking forward to this series of posts! There is a really good documentary called "The Business of Being Born" or something like that-you should check it out if you haven't seen it already. I think you can get it for free on Netflix. I hope that you find a good VBAC-friendly provider or that the UNC practice works out for you :)

Holly said...

Wow are you reading my mind?? I have been having these very same thoughts!! I had a very traumatic birth with Mia, will tell you more on Tuesday, but I am really praying that God give me wisdom on who to choose next time around!!!