Monday, October 31, 2011


I know I haven't updated in awhile, and it's not because I don't have anything to add to the journey I'm on towards a VBAC, but it's because I have needed a break.  Sometimes these things can consume your mind, and when you're stressed to the MAX trying to figure out a move to another state that would still allow you to at least spend Christmas together as a family, it's hard to spend all your energy processing emotions you're feeling regarding your upcoming birth.  My 20 week appointment is Friday and I'm sad to say Daddy B can't make it.  We are both bummed because he really prefers to be at my appointments when possible, plus this is the big anatomy ultrasound (even though we aren't finding out the gender).  Luckily, Amiga C is available to come with me and her sweet husband is watching their toddler so it can just be the two of us. Amiga C is about 35 weeks pregnant with her little boy.  Here's the two of us at her shower yesterday:

Amiga C has had such a different pregnancy this time around.  With her daughter, she developed high blood pressure that progressively got worse, put her on bed rest and lead to induction at 36 weeks.  This time, the pregnancy has been pretty uneventful and she has been very healthy.  At her 20 week appointment, her placenta was close to the cervix and her and I started talking more and more about the possibility of a c-section.  She has been so supportive through this VBAC experience and I think I may have scared her of going to the OR. :(  Definitely not my intention, but it did lead to some good talks between the two of us and how we both feel about our previous births and the ones to come.  C-sections can be absolutely necessary and placenta previa is one instance where they are used as wonderful medical technology!  Thankfully, at 34 weeks they did an ultrasound and we found out that the placenta was now a safe distance from the cervix and that she can move forward with her original birth plan.

That leads me to the topic of this post.  A CBAC is a cesarean birth after a cesarean.  As a hopeful VBAC mom, I know that it could be meant for me to have another c-section.  I've come to terms with that and my main objective in this journey is to simply give my body a chance to give birth on its own.  If I labor and it is just God's plan for me to have a second c-section, then I think I'll be okay with it.

A friend through ICAN posted a link to CBAC Week on the ICAN website.  I ventured over to the site and read through some posts by CBAC moms and am so glad I did.  Here are their full stories.

This quote really stood out to me when trying to figure out how to explain to others why I feel traumatized from my birth with Baby C.

 "I think that most birth trauma stems from a loss of control of your birthing experience – so planning ahead of time ways you can remain “in the driver’s seat” even if your birth plan goes awry is a great idea."

I just want to feel in control this time.  Even though things are absolutely crazy in our life right now with the move, I still feel that no matter where I end up giving birth or how this baby meets the world for the first time, as long as I feel in control I will be able to move on from my birthing experience with confidence that it happened exactly how it was supposed to.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birth Options in LA

So remember that lead on an OB that I had in small area of Louisiana we are moving to?

Yeah, that wasn't a good phone call.  After talking with Dr. C, I thought I'd go ahead and schedule my 24 week appointment with a new doctor in Louisiana.  I called the one recommendation I got.

The receptionist answered and I told her I had heard that the doctors in their practice were VBAC supportive.  I should have known when she didn't act familiar with the term "VBAC" that things might not turn out well.  She told me that she would go ask.

A nurse returned on the phone after a few minutes and said "I talked to the doctors and they don't know why you heard they supported that kind of birth.  Our newest doctor out of medical school would be happy to sit down with you and explain why they don't do it since she is up to date on all the current information."

I told her I wasn't interested.

She said, "But we'd be happy to take you as a patient."

"For another c-section, right?" I responded.

"Yes," she answered.

"No thanks.  And tell that new doctor of yours if she had actually done her research and looked at facts she would know that it's safer for a mom to have a vaginal birth after a c-section than another major abdominal surgery."

And hung up.

I was so upset.  I guess I felt like maybe I had an option close to home there and since it was my only lead and there aren't even any birthing centers in the area, I felt it was the ONLY option.

We know we have Dr. C as back up, but I just am not sure with all the unknowns of having this natural birth I want after my experience with my son, that I'm comfortable with the possibility of me relying on Dr. C and then going in to labor before I had a chance to get back to Texas.  I'm also scared that Daddy B would not make it in time with the 5 hour drive.  I just have no idea what to expect since I've pretty much never been in labor before and definitely haven't gone in to it on my own.

So I contacted the wonderful ladies of ICAN in Baton Rouge (the only chapter in the state) and they are helping me expand my search.  We are about 1.5 hours from the nearest big city and Baton Rouge is 2 hours.  There are other options if we commit to a drive again and I have a good family friend in Baton Rouge that I could count on if I needed anything in that area.

We'll see what happens.  I felt really lost after that phone call.  I mean this whole process is scary and frustrating and I see now why some moms just go for another c-section, even though that is not an option AT ALL with me.  I have to try to have this baby naturally.  Daddy B told me he's proud of my determination and is behind me all the way.  I am so thankful to have a husband who supports me not only through his words of encouragement but in my knowledge that he is behind this vision for the birth of our next baby 100%.  I'm so appreciative he has listened and researched on his own to learn about VBAC.  I know I cannot do this without him by my side!

P.S.  Daddy B started in his new territory today.  It's a big day for him so keep him in your thoughts as he tackles a section of the railroad that is in pretty bad shape and almost four times the size of his territory in Texas!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

16 Week Appointment

We had our 16 week appointment with Dr. C last friday.  Everything went well and we found the baby's heartbeat quickly a few inches below my belly button.  It was in the high 150's.  I strained a muscle in my lower belly last week, but it's feeling better now.  It was from bending over to look under the car when I thought a cat was under there.  Who knew such a simple motion could pull a muscle!

I broke the news to Dr. C about our move.  Of course he was encouraging, as always.  He told me to stop worrying because he wasn't going anywhere and if can't find a care provider in Louisiana that we feel is the right fit, we can just come back and birth with him.  It's something we will seriously consider as we start our search for a VBAC care provider.  It's only about a 5 hour drive back to Texas and I've already been told I can stay with my brother and Aunt K.  If we do decide to go that route, I'd head to Texas close to my due date (if I haven't gone in to labor) and just stay until things got going.  I'd probably need to stay a week or so after the baby was born to get Aunt K's help with breastfeeding and then drive home.  Daddy B said he would just start driving the minute I called him to say I knew I was in labor.  Of course, we would prefer to NOT have to make a 5 hour drive with a newborn, but if it comes to it, we will do it.  I don't want to regret my birth decisions again.  I'll do everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen.

The ICAN group in Louisiana has been amazing and I just got an e-mail this morning from one of the co-leaders saying she's been making calls and found a small birth group in the area we are moving to that has at least one VBAC mom.  I'll be contacting them to see what doctor they used.

So here's what you really want to see.  My growing belly! :)

Daddy B is leaving for Louisiana on Saturday.  This whole journey is really about to begin.  Our goal is to be moved by Thanksgiving, but we'll see what happens!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Raw Emotions

I wanted to blog about this while the emotions are still fresh on my mind.

It's a little thing, really, but for some reason it seems so big.

Since this whole thing started, you know... recovering emotionally from the c-section and researching, preparing and praying over a VBAC, it has felt so far away.  When you're this mom who just loves her babies and wants to have that instant bonding moment with them you feel is your right as a woman but never even had the option to have, the idea of a second chance at it pulls at your heartstrings.

I've been researching VBAC for nearly two years now and dreamed of the day I would get pregnant again to work towards that goal.  Well here I sit, pregnant and creeping closer to halfway through this pregnancy every day.  I felt some peace after deciding on Dr. C and then started looking in to a doula.  I emailed two different individuals before the news of the move and both were unavailable.  At the time, I didn't realize how much it bothered me.  Not that it is the doula's fault, but it's just a lot of thought went behind sending out that e-mail to them asking if they thought they fit what I wanted for my birth.  When they said they wish they could, but for one reason or another couldn't, I guess I felt like it wasn't real yet.

So this moving news came and I started looking in to the area in Louisiana that we are moving to.  It has a population of 47,000 or so.  Did you read that right?  The suburb I live in has 153,000 and we were driving an hour north to see Dr. C!  It has been daunting to do searches online for doulas and come up with one name and nothing comes up for VBAC friendly doctors or midwives.

So I contacted DONA International and asked them to send me a list of doulas in the area.  They sent 3 names within a 50 mile radius of the city.  I e-mailed all three this morning.  I didn't know what to expect.  But tonight, I got a reply.  It's nothing elaborate, but it literally made me cry these tears of relief.  Someone out there is interested in my birth!  This may not make much sense... but I guess it doesn't have to.  And if you know these emotions yourself or have talked with me about them, I suppose you probably know where they are coming from.

Just for grins, here is the (edited) reply:

I love your story!! I would love to consider working with you. :-) I had an amazing waterbirth a month ago today, with a midwife. I would definitely recommend her and the center. It is in a hospital, and is a team of midwives with two normal birth supportive doctors.

So this will be short because I have a three-year-old and a one-month-old, lol, but I would like to talk further with you soon. I think by your EDD I would be able to doula for you, and if not, there are some great doulas I think you would fit well with in Lafayette as well. I think you are in a really great place with your decisions and reflection on your  first birth. I have heard some incredible stories about the midwife about very successful, empowering VBACS.

Good for you!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Twist of Circumstances

About a week ago, Daddy B heard a rumor that he was up for a promotion.  He works for the railroad, which is pretty much a "good ol' boy" company and when you hear rumors, there's usually some truth behind them.  We found out yesterday that it was true and that he received the position.  I'm so proud of him and his advancement within his company!

But there is one problem.  We currently live in Texas (and were both raised here and went to college here).  The new job is in Louisiana.  In my husband's company, you don't turn down a promotion and we knew when he accepted the job offer 4 years ago that moving was a part of the job.  We just hoped that our next move would happen AFTER this baby was born!

So now, Daddy B and I are back to square one in finding a good care provider.  I'm pretty overwhelmed! I've started putting out feelers out there through ICAN and through the online community I'm part of.  So far I've gotten one recommendation of an OB who is VBAC supportive in the area.  Daddy B and I are prepared to birth out of the hospital if that's what it takes for us to feel comfortable with our provider choice.  I've only found one doula listed online for the area, but will probably contact DONA International (the doula organization) to see if they have any registered for the area.  The city we are moving to is only about 55,000 people, so that's why we are having a hard time finding sources.

Daddy B starts the job in just two weeks!  We will probably move in 4-6 weeks.

Our next appointment with Dr. C is next friday and I'm hoping since he is from Georgia, he may know some other VBAC-supportive OB's between here and there!

I told you guys this blog was going to follow my journey to a VBAC.  Who knew I would be speaking literally!