I have four children. They were all born by cesarean section.
I’ve been blogging for a little over two months now. I have a ‘to do’ list on the side of my computer screen. On it are a handful of blog ideas, most of them half written posts in my head. They will all end up here eventually. One thing on that list is a blog post about the births of my children. I’ve tried to write this post a few times now, but it never seems to come out quite right. As April wraps up I keep reminding myself that April is Cesarean Awareness Month. If I’m ever going to write something, now would be an appropriate time. I sat down bound and determined to get this off my chest.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into all the gory details of my births. For now, suffice to say that it was not the way I wanted to bring my children into the world. My first birth was a planned homebirth with a midwife. My second was a planned HBAC with a midwife. My third was originally a planned HBA2C, but in the end we went to the hospital for a plain ol’ VBA2C, again with a midwife. My fourth and last pregnancy was a planned CBAC with an OB but also with my midwife providing supportive care and after birth care. Although all of them were cesareans, all of them were difficult in different ways.
I feel like I need to say this: yes, I tried everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I read all the books and visited all the websites. I had a “dream team” as we called it: a midwife and doula who were both totally committed to VBAC and who had both had c-sections and VBACs themselves; a Chiropractor trained in the Webster technique who was at my house for more than 12 hours during one of my labours; a Naturopathic Doctor who was completely on-board and also attended my birth giving me homeopathic remedies and acupuncture; and last but certainly not least, my husband, who was totally committed, willing to advocate on my behalf if/when I was not able and who was my rock – by my side every single step of the way. I did everything right. I wanted it so badly. It still didn’t happen.
I have done my best to accept that this is the way things had to be. I honestly and truly believe that now. But as I visited ICAN’s homepage today and read about the meaning of The Cesarean Awareness Ribbon I had to fight back tears. It makes me wonder if I will every really get over this.
Sometimes I think about a time during my third pregnancy when I was sitting in the OB’s office. My husband always came to my appointments with me but for some reason that I can’t remember now, he had not been able to come that day. Although my midwife was my main care provider during the pregnancy I consulted with an OB. I had wanted to establish a relationship with an OB so that if I did end up going to the hospital, I’d have a better chance of having my wishes respected (in the end this really did turn out to be very helpful). It was very close to the end of my pregnancy and the OB wanted me to schedule a c-section for my due date. Both of my previous labours had been early so the OB and I both knew that I’d never make it to my due date, but it was easier for her to answer to her superiors if I had a c-section booked. I finally agreed to it. I knew that I would never have showed up for that appointment. Still I sat there, alone with the OB, and I was crying; shaking and sobbing so uncontrollably that I couldn’t speak. I felt completely defeated and broken. I can only think of one other time in my life that I cried like that. That memory of that day in the OB’s office comes to me from time to time and I remember it as a very difficult day.
I want SO badly to be the kind of person who doesn’t care. I wish that a VBAC hadn’t mattered to me so much. But it did. I wish it still didn’t bother me. It does. I accept how my children were born, but I don’t like it.