I hate not being in control. It’s an issue I have, just ask my husband. He’ll be happy to tell you. I suppose that’s a normal feeling. Most people like feeling like they are in control. Some more than others. I fall into that some category.
Lately when I’ve been thinking about control it’s been in regards to having control over birth. If you’re a woman who has experienced birth, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You plan for months, spend the time writing out a detailed birth plan and do everything you can to advocate for your dream birth. You take Lamaze or Bradley classes preparing yourself to be in control over your pain. Everything you plan is so you can control the situation and help prepare yourself for even the unexpected.
What happens when you lose that control?
From personal experience I can tell you it’s horrible. I lost (ehh gave away) total control with my first birth. No one asked to see my birth plan, but it’s not like I went out of my way to make sure they had it. I took medicine I swore I wouldn’t. After an epidural that didn’t work, I lost control over the pain. My biggest fear was a c section and after hours upon hours of horrible pain I lost control and agreed to a c section just so the pain would stop and I could rest. Plus they were very insistent at that point since my water had been broken a long time and saline was being pushed into my uterus. I was tired. Everything I had thought I learned in Lamaze went out of the window. I had ZERO control.
I want it to be different this time. I feel like it’s not too much to ask for. Is it?
Now that’s I’ve been through birth I feel like I know a little bit more about what to expect. When I first got pregnant with our second child I started seeing a midwife. I felt like I had a chance to redeem myself. I felt like a totally and utter failure for not progressing past 8cm after 56 hours of induced labor. With a midwife my chances of having a natural ,vaginal birth were going to be MUCH higher than at a hospital where IV pain meds, epidurals and operating rooms were plentiful. Unfortunately my insurance doesn’t like midwives and I couldn’t justify spending $7,000 cash for the experience. It was important to me, but not $7,000 important. I went back to the OB I had with Brody. I like him. He’s honest, blunt and has a great sense of humor. He agreed to a VBAC without hesitation. He promised me he would make sure I had an experienced nurse when I went in and would help me. Despite his willingness to help me VBAC he also urged me to schedule a c section just in case. He asked what point I didn’t want to go past. I guess 40 weeks? I don’t know. I didn’t like feeling the pressure. I slowly felt the control slipping away. Sure I was given the option for a VBAC but I can sense he’s not betting on it. I asked for delayed cord clamping and he shut me down. He told me some bogus thing about gravity and too much blood causes jaundice…ect. I’m obviously not a doctor but that didn’t make sense. There went a little more control…..
The first several months of my pregnancy VBAC was my only option. Then I got thinking, I DO have more than one option. I CAN take control. If I have a scheduled c section that means I can totally take back control. As much as I don’t want another c section I have to admit there are many appealing things about it.
For one, I can choose my date. Anytime from 39 weeks and on I can decide the day our baby is born. I can control who is there, who is not there…. I can choose a Friday so my husband and parents will not have to take vacation time. I asked my OB about second cesarians and he said this one will go a bazillion times smoother. My husband can be in the room the whole surgery instead of 5 minutes after. We can get photos. I can have MY OB, not the on call OB incase mine is not working. If my favorite L&D nurse is working that day I can choose her. I asked at my last appointment why my epidural didn’t work when the spinal obviously did. He explained the epidural is like a crap shoot. They hope to hit the spot in your spine where the medicine will numb you. With a spinal, actual spinal fluid will leak out so the KNOW it’s at the right spot. That sounds good to me! CONTROL!!! FINALLY!!!!! To be honest, a scheduled c section pretty much sounds perfect.
But then I want to slap myself across the face to knock in some common sense. WTF am I thinking? I was DESPERATE for a VBAC! I really don’t want any more children. So this is it. If I have a second c section will I always feel like I missed out on what women were made to do? Will I feel shame, guilt? Yes, I know me, I absolutely would.
What scares me most about a VBAC is making a decision to go for it and it not happening. The midwife I originally saw asked me how I would feel if I planned the perfect VBAC that ended up being a cesarian. I replied I would be PISSED. She was a sweet lady so I really had to control my potty mouth. This is what I really wanted to say… I’d be so fucking pissed I would smash some shit. I’d be a total fucking nightmare. Everyone would have to clear the room because I would kill anyone in sight. That’s how I would feel.
Planning for a VBAC and it not happening is my BIGGEST nightmare come true. I would yet again, be at a total loss of control.
So here I am, at 32 weeks pregnant, still unsure of what I will choose. Last week at my OB’s office I asked if he had a certain date open. He did. I can choose to have our child Friday (Black Friday), November 29th at 39 weeks gestation. If I choose this option my reasons for doing so will be selfish, and I know it. I will be selfish for the fact that I would be choosing a c section based on fear of loosing control, not medical necessity.
I still have a few weeks to decide. What makes me feel better is that I actually can choose, and I will OWN that choice. I am going to get a little ranty here for a minute. Being involved in the natural parenting world I see scheduled c section shame allllll the damn time. It annoys me. I’m curious as to why those people think they have a right to judge someone else’s birth choice. How does it directly effect them? It doesn’t. In my case this is a gut-retching, almost heartbreaking decision. I am not the only one who has had this stress of choosing. It’s not easy or simple. I wish I was stronger, but I’m not. I’m still hoping I can set fear of losing control aside and go for the VBAC.
I have the honor of seeing January from Birth Without Fear in Kansas City later this month. I am hoping I will hear the words I need to hear to motivate and push me towards a VBAC. Not necessarily from her, but from someone, somewhere. If not from someone else, maybe I will find my own strength. I want to control my fear.