Sunday, April 17

The Journey to a Different Way.

My Birth.

My thought was to keep this to myself and not to share, but the Lord has done so much in my heart over this last week that I can't NOT share. I totally give Him the credit for moving in such a mighty way in my heart-It's been through prayer, research, & friends that I now feel like we're coming out of this cloud of confusion.

The last 6 months have been a very long, very emotionally exhausting and lonely journey to find a "different" way to birth my baby. Even before we conceived this baby, we were interviewing doctors who would agree to do a VBAC for us. This desire of mine has been SO strong & undeniable. The thing about VBAC births is that the doctor has to be at the hospital for the entire laboring process and most doctors don't have the time to sit at the hospital while you labor. Also, they're scared of uterine rupture. I'm not sure why they're so afraid, knowing that uterine rupture is only 1-2%. That percent goes down even lower when a mom does not have the medical intervention of pitocin to quicken her labor. VBAC labors are inconvenient for most Doctors (2 doctors have admitted this to me themselves.) We only have 3 in Vegas who will allow mom's who have had cesareans to have vaginal births with their future babies.

I've had 2 doc's say that my c-section was unnecessary but I know that Conrad came into the world the way the lord intended, whether it was my way or not. I am coming to peace with what happened to me, what I allowed to happen. I am healing from my birth with Conrad and putting that chapter behind me. I was very very uneducated the first time around. I went into my birth with him with my hands tied because I didn't know how to speak up for myself and say NO to all of the medical interventions that were done (because I wasn't laboring as quickly as the nurses wanted me to.) I felt as if the nurses were watching me with deer in the headlight kind of eyes, waiting for me to fail, waiting for me to give up and beg for my epidural so they could step in and take control. So they could DO something.

During my many meetings and discussions about my birth and what I wanted it to be like, the doctors nodded in agreeance but still didn't help give me the tools necessary for a natural birth. Actually, to be honest, looking back, I felt like they were laughing in my face. I had no power or voice when It came to my sons birth.

With Conrad I was trying to labor naturally (with pitocin) and didn't know much about pain management or how to deal with the really hard and fast contractions that you experience with pitocin. I trusted the nurses and doctors to take care of me because when you go into a hospital, that's what you expect. Care, compassion, & attention to the patients needs etc. I expected them to lead me in the direction of a successful natural birth but they took control and made the decisions and I was under their mercy. Shame on me for not having done the research for what a natural birth would take. It required training, education, focus & taking responsibility for my pregnancy by eating healthy. I did not do these things. The odds were already against me.

I won't bore you with yet another "I had to have an EMERGENCY c-section" story. You're heard your share of them, I'm sure. The truth is, I don't believe there was actually an emergency at all during Conrad's birth. His birth was an inconvenience for the doctor, but not an emergency. Looking back, I can see that waiting around for me to labor, or giving me the skills I needed for a natural labor were not within the realm of the service the doctors or nurses were willing to provide. It may have not been their job to cheer me on or teach me how to relax or tell me not to give up, or say they believed in me.... I was stuck in a bed, laying on my back, with pitocin dripping, watching the clock tick, & was not able to control the pain. My husband felt just as helpless as he watched the control slip from our hands.

When I look back at Conrad's birth, I realize how mismanaged it was and how uneducated and naive I was. During the first 2 weeks, I was unable to care for my new baby the way I wanted to because I was so out of it from the heavy duty pain meds. They market C-sections as these easy births but make no mistake, they are MAJOR surgeries. They put you on loads of pain meds so by the time you're healed up, most woman don't actually experience the pain at all. I couldn't nurse my son as effectively as I wanted to which lead me to pump instead of breast feed and I couldn't get out of bed. Lots of people have elective c-sections and medically necessary c-sections, and they turn out just fine and dandy, but I was not one of those people. It wrecked me emotionally for months.

I felt like my feelings of shame, pain, anger, & frustration were completely invalidated by those around me because I should have just been happy that my baby was here and safe. I felt guilty for not buying into the idea that this was supposed to be the norm when it came to childbirth.

I am not here to belittle a doctors ability or education but when I learn that the average c-section rate for hospitals in Las Vegas is 33-45%, I get a little uncomfortable. Were ALL of those surgeries a medical emergency? Why then if we're so advanced in our medicine in America do we have the highest infant and mommy fatality rate? Other countries c-section rate is 3-10%, and their fatality rate is lower.... it makes me wonder what's wrong with the system. It makes me feel like I was a statistic.

Lots of people would just say, "All that matters is that the mommy and baby are safe! It's not about your experience, it's about safety." But why didn't I feel safe and supported in the hospital? I should have felt like a rock star after his birth. I should have felt empowered and like I accomplished something huge, but I felt small & defeated.

In the months that followed Conrad's birth, i grieved my birth experience. Friends would share their birth stories with me and I would leave and weep because I felt so robbed. I am SO blessed to have Conrad and his birth has brought me to where I am now, but with it came a lot of pain emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Each woman should have the right to decide what is best for her. Knowing her options EVEN IF she's had a cesarean birth! (Thank god for our doctors who are trained to do these, sometimes life saving major surgeries. Without these, we would have babies and mom's who wouldn't have had a chance. They are ABSOLUTELY necessary, sometimes.) God has placed several woman around me the last few weeks as I've been on this painful and oftentimes lonely journey to find a better OR different way to birth. I've met woman at the park, on the Internet, & at VBAC education classes who have rallied around me and poured into me priceless knowledge and love when it came to their VBAC experiences & what mine could be also.

Finding a doctor who supports natural-vaginal birth after cesarean birth has been nearly impossible. We've interviewed 2 and left feeling fearful, defeated & misunderstood. After meeting with 2 amazing midwifes and Douala's, I left feeling empowered, educated, loved, secure and understood. Through prayer and laying my desires before the lord, laying down MY agenda and seeking what He would have for me, he is showing me that there is a different way. He has opened doors and given me much comfort & confidence that this birth is going to be different than my last.

If Knowledge is power, I feel pretty darn powerful right about now.


  1. Having had a emergency c-section with my first and then a is SO much better! Before we moved here, the Dr. in Vegas said NO WAY can you have a vbac. I was so saddened by this! When we moved up here I found a Dr. that would allow me to have a vbac. and I was so grateful for that! I understand where you are coming from. Most c-sections are not nessecary. It is just easier for the Dr. and they make more money! I heard one of my nurses for my first child tell my ob that she had NEVER seen him do a vaginal birth! I was shocked! This guy does numerous delivers and not one was a natural vaginal birth!?!? I felt very strong about having a vbac, and as mothers we need to stand up for what we want when it comes to our babies birth!!

  2. Chelsea, I loved reading this! I was induced with both my girls, just bc I was tired of being pregnant, and regretted it soooo much after kaija! This time I'm NOT being induced unless I have to for medical reasons. I'm so happy you guys have decided to do something you're so confident in! Delivering you're baby is such a precious time, and its so important that you do what you feel in your heart!

  3. good for you for taking a stand and pursuing this. i've never been pregnant but i can only hope i will be as passionate about birthing the way i feel is right when my time comes.

  4. LOVE this post!! I think ALL women should watch "The Business of Being Born" AND have a Doula or someone "clear headed" in the delivery room!! :)
    I am high risk and was w/ Maden are instantly over watched and at higher risk of a section. The more you are watched the more they find that is "wrong" w/ you or the baby! I did end up w/ a C/S as well. I feel that if I had, had a doula there I would have remembered to use all the tools that I had. I however forgot one that may have been very important...I'll never know!? I did have a lot of circumstances around my pregnancy and birth of Maden, so I was very much prepared for the possibility of a C/S. I do not have a confindence in my body as most women who birth naturally do!
    Not sure what classes you are taking, but the Bradley is VERY informative and great for natural birth preperation!!
    Good Luck!! :)

  5. thank you for sharing your feelings and experience. i agree with you 100%. :)


  6. Chelsea, I think this is awesome. I'm sooo passionate about childbirth. Aaaahhh! I just love it. Have you read "Adventures in Natural Childbirth"?? It's a book of birth stories... all natural... all different scenarios. I probably read the entire thing 5 times when I was pregnant with Faye. But yes! I'm all for you doing this. It's totally possible and totally do-able! Praying for you friend!

  7. I am reading the bradley method and on the brewer diet:

    I have noticed an insane difference in my energy level by eating a high protein diet...and i feel more empowered now that i'm taking responsibility for my pregnancy in that way!

    I can't tell you guys how many woman have said to me, "I'm SO proud of you!" for pursuing natural birth or even home birth. It has been so neat to see that I'm not alone.

  8. I cannot wait to talk to you more about this. You know what the best decision is for you and love and support that the natural birthing community provides is amazing! My experience was beautiful...beyond wordss...and i know yours will be too!

  9. One. Good for you sister I think it is truly amazing you are standing up for what you believe in and what you want for YOUR labour

    two. I had an episiotomy (not entirely sure it was necessary and will NEVER get one again.. although im sure tearing is just as awful ugh - who asks a women whos been in labour and the baby is right about to come out if they want them to cut? JUST GET THE BABY OUT i thought)

    three. so glad you found a place that will support all that you want and NEED

    four. love love love that movie

  10. For my first son I was wishy-washy about what I wanted because I was scared and didn't know what was going to happen, I felt a lot like you did with your first! Thankfully I didn't need a c/s but because I didn't progress as fast as the doctor wanted they put me on pitocin and because of that I couldn't deal with the labor pains. I don't know what would have happened if I had been able to labor naturally but I know that after my second son who I was able to do it naturally, I felt cheated in my first sons birth. I felt like it wasn't a life changing experience, I felt like I was just another paycheck for the doctor. I still feel sad about it but just knowing now how to stand up for what I want makes a huge difference and I am glad for you that you have been able to figure out what you need and are able to get it!

  11. What an awesome post! My heart is saddened for you with Conrad's birth, but knowing that you ARE EDUCATED WITH THIS BIRTH....... INSPIRING!!!!!! :)

    With my son Tristan I had an all natural birth. No meds & not 1 doctor asked me for medicine.....or NURSE....... b/c of my BIRTHING PLAN! I had it all planned out... After I bought and Watched...The business of being born..." I was amazzzzzzzzzzzzed at how many women came forward to me about being CRAZY for wanting a NATURAL birth!

    There is something SOOO empowering about it! I can't wait to hear your successful story! I am RIGHT BEHIND YOU---CHEERING YOU ON!!! :)

    I did Lamaz. My mom birthed all 4 of us natural using this and she is my doula. :) My husband does pressure points(shown by our chiropractor) for getting rid of back labor! I had a GREAT support team!!! I can't wait to hear your STORY! :D

    Also: I'm due May 1st! When are you due? :)

  12. I love you. I'm so honored to be on this journey with you. I'm so glad you are sharing what God's doing in your life.

  13. Sister friend.... you know this already, but YOU HAVE BEEN MY BIGGEST cheerleader. Had it not been for you, I would have thrown my hands up and given up months ago.

    I know that it has been YOUR prayers that have interceded on my behalf. Your encouragement, love and advice have helped me when I've felt SO alone in these desires for natural birth/home birth.

    I can't wait to rejoice over your sweet baby!!!! <3

  14. AMEN. Thank you for this! I don't have kids yet, I'm not pregnant, but it's so important for me to see the truth of what is out there for delivery. Woman need to share their stories, their trials and difficulties... there is no "perfect" way to deliver your baby, but as you said, knowledge is power!!

  15. I'm proud of you! I watched the Business of Being Born last year and it totally changed the way I view natural childbirth. Though I'm nowhere near being pregnant yet (hopefully soon!) I feel a lot more educated than when I thought "oh epidurals are the only way to go" I think having a safe and healthy baby in the end IS what matters, but at the same time, being educated and having control of your birth experience is so important! Are midwives legal in your area? I wish they were in mine.

  16. thank god for c-sections ! I'm stunned.

    that is exactly what we are campaigning AGAINST!!!

    I think you posted on my blog a long time ago but I wanted to let you know a friend referred me to your blog and I LOVE YOU! Its great to know we're on this VBAC journey with other strong women (no, I'm not pregnant yet:) and I'll be watching you (stalking? hehe) as you work toward this VERY ATTAINABLE GOAL. WE have insanely similar birth stories (tragedy and all) and I was nodding the whole time I read this post. You are a doll.

    Don't forget we're in His hands along with our babies, no matter how they came into the world. But you can do it, I know you can!

    p.s. Could I interview you for my blog?