It seems that I sometimes get comfortable and lately I have to be honest I was thinking that I am really in a comfortable place. I don't know about all of you, but that makes me nervous. When I am content and think there is a plan in place I find myself wondering when the next trial is coming... and how am I going to handle it. I have been calmly wondering what is up. Not to say that I had all of life figured out, but some things regarding our birth plan were just "falling into place" and I resigned myself to just waiting quietly and patiently for all the final details to "fall into place" as well. My thinking is that there is no point in worry about things that we have plenty of time to think about. I mean, I am only at 20 weeks now, so there is time. Anyhow, I am not saying I "expect" things to fall apart.... not at all. I just tend to think that life is a series of necessary trials and times of growth. Well, I like growth... even if I don't always enjoy the trial, so when I am not "feeling" the trial I am not "feeling" the growth and I want growth. I have been having growth, but it has not felt as intense. Does that make sense? I have totally had to step out on faith with the birth plans for this pregnancy and that has been a huge period of growth, but at the same time it has been almost too easy up to this point. And I like easy, also, so I was not at all complaining. I was just choosing to handle it in a "quiet and still" sort of way and go with the flow and trust that God would work it all out. Well, He is... but it seems He might have a different plan. The uncertainty for me is the trial that I did not see coming. I like a PLAN! I like knowing somewhat what is going to take place even if there are certain aspects oout of my control. I am okay with that. So the plan was to use a midwife and when labor began I would call her and she along with the other midwife that would assist would come to my house for a homebirth. And in all honesty that was the one detail that I was not completely decided on or comfortable with and was still considering another option of some sort. I was still considering a different location for the birth that was close to a hospital. With my history (4 previous c-sections) I would feel more comfortable really close to a hospital. Part of that birth plan was careful, constant observation and immediate transfer to a hospital, if we felt there was any danger. That was Plan "A".
So, last Thursday I went for and ultrasound and all went well (I'll get back to the u/s in a later post), but that evening I got a Facebook message from my midwife that said she had had a bad experience with a VBAC delivery the day before and she was reconsidering my case. Can you imagine my shock? I am at 20 weeks! On the one hand I have plenty of time to finalize small details, but on the other hand 20 weeks is pretty far into the pregnancy to be just starting to develop a plan... a new plan. The thing is not only did my midwife have this really traumatizing delivery experience she also had a meeting with her midwife group the next day and they came down really hard on her about taking on VBAC patients. And let me say that I find that apalling. I thought that midwives were our (VBAC patients) were our advocates. I thought they were there to offer us a way and a choice that doctors don't want to offer for fear of lawsuits. I would think that her midwives friends would be proud of her for supporting mother's choices. I am confused by that. But that is okay... I don't have to understand everything. I do realize that her license and everything she has worked for would be at risk, but that is the case with any VBAC case that a midwife might take on. There is always a risk of rupture and it increases with with the more c-sections that have been done; however, a VABC after one c-section could rupture. A VBAC after four c-sections might be the one that goes perfect.
So, I waited a few days and called her and said I really need to know, if she is going to drop my case so that I can start searching out my options. I got a call back Wednesday and I could hear by the tone in her voice that it was not good. She basically told me if I needed an answer now that she does not feel at peace with continuing my case. In a month or two she might feel differently and that God might be trying to teach us both something here that we have to wait out to learn. My problem is... I am already 20 weeks! How long can I really wait it out. In two months she may still be saying that she has no peace about it and I would be 28 weeks. So, I told her that I would let her know about my appointment next week... That is another complicated part of the story. She is out of town to deliver her grandbaby and visit for a few weeks, so I was scheduled to see the other midwife that will be present at the birth. This lady has advised my midwife not to take me on as a patient. I am having a hard time with that because she would be the assisting midwife at the birth and I think she needs to be on board with the birth plan, also. So, I am just thinking I should not go to that appointment in light of the entire situation. I have to drive an hour and a half away for this appointment when I may be dropped as a patient, anyway. I would rather stay home and get school done with my kids and accomplish things than have a depressing day. There is nothing about my health that is in question, so I don't feel I "need" to be seen. I also have a fetal heart monitor, so I am able to check everything but my urine sample and fundal measurement... and the fundal measurement is going up at the right rate I am certain. My belly proves it well. ;) And I have been pregnant enough times (7) to know that all is well.
Yesterday, I made a call to doctor's office that takes VBAC patients. Again, this place is one and half hours away. I am okay with that. The hospitals and doctors in my area (within 30 minutes) do not allow VBAC deliveries. Now I might point out that a patient has rights that say that if they come into a hospital in labor they can not be refused care. The patient can refuse a repeat c-section, also and the hospital must provide them with care. BUT that does not seem like a fun situation to be in. It is an option for me.... wait until labor and just go in for a hospital delivery, but I don't want to be stressed out in labor fighting for my rights to choose my own birth style. Doesn't sound fun or likely to go well. So, at this office I called (and I am purposefully leaving out all locations, names of docs, names of midwives, etc.) that will take on VBAC patients is supposed to be calling me back sometime today to let me know if one of the doctors is willing to take on my case. If not, my next option is to start searching out options in Houston and that could add up to an ADDITIONAL hour drive into the plan. Laboring on the road for a lengthy time does not seem fun, either. ;)
So, I pray for clarity as I sit hear typing. I pray that all the people involved in the decision making for this birth will get direction from God. I pray that the safety of this baby and me or the first priority. My case is not an easy one.... there is no 100% safe way to go. If I have a repeat c-section, it is not safe. People want to believe that it is, but I assure you that I have four and their have been problems. At the end I have lived and had a healthy baby, but that does not mean it was safe. If I have a natural birth, their are risks there, also. I believe through my own research and educating myself that this is the safer of the two options. I believe I should have a Trial of Labor after Caesarean (TOLAC). I believe that a TOLAC should be the first route to go with a back-up plan for a repeat c-section, IF NECESSARY. And there are signs. There are indicators when you are in trouble and need to change the plan. A trained midwife or doctor should be able to recognize the signs in enough time to take action. You don't wait until it is a bad situation to change the plan. That has been my feeling all along. I have never been set on "just getting my way". This is about SAFETY for me and the baby. That is all I want. I can't tell you how many times I have heard the ridiculous comment about whether I just want to be able to say I had a natural birth. If that were the case I would never have had the first c-section. It was about SAFETY. And I was being told that my baby might die if I kept trying to have her natural... I later found out this was not so, but that is not part of this story, so I will spare you. ;) Truth is had I not had all the hospital/doctor intervention I probably could have had her and my other three natural just like God designed my body to do. We live in a culture that trusts Science over God. I want my trust to be in God. Having had four c-sections I realize that I might be at the mercy of Science for intervention because my body has already been damaged by Science. If that is the case I will trust God to get me through that as well.
But I say all this as a message, also. It's not just that I want to share my current dilemna about this time in my life... this trial. There is a message here to all. If you have a plan and it is not God's plan be ready for change, because he is going to give us what we need. It might not always be in our comfort zone, but have FAITH! God's plan is always greater than our plan!