Side Note: Just a quick little rant that has nothing to do with my following post..I can’t believe how lame my blog posting frequency has been over the course of the last 6-12 months has been. I remember a time (definitely pre-babies, but even since) when I used to make blogging a daily priority and now I can hardly scrounge up the time, energy, or thought to post on a monthly basis it seems. I will occasionally come up with a brilliant topic in my head and think to post later, then talk myself out of it for controversy sake, or I am just simply too tired to complete a coherent thought!
With all that said, I really would like to start posting with MUCH greater frequency as I have said many many other times here before, I just don’t know when I can promise that will be. I want boldness to be “controversal” in my posts and feel I don’t need to apologize for saying what I want to say. And I feel that I have grown a lot in the last 9 months in many areas..particularly in the arenas such as birth advocacy and spiritually as a Christian as well.
I can’t believe I am quite literally in the “home-stretch” as some call it! Our little baby boy is moving and growing like crazy. I can’t wait to meet him. I’ve mentioned it before but, since my first birth resulted in an unforseen cesarean, I will be attempting a VBAC this time around. After much prayer and talk, my husband and I together chose to use an OB who was VBAC-friendly and birth in a hospital. The truth of the matter is, I would be much more comfortable in the care of a midwife and I think I would be more relaxed and at peace laboring in my home. However, considering this was my first VBAC, I have never spontaneously labored before (they induced me at 41.2 wks. last preg. because my fluid levels were too low), and I was diagnosed with Epilepsy since my last pregnancy and have gone through med. changes during the pregnancy, we felt it would be best to have a hospital birth this go around just in case.
I chose my doctor after receiving a glorious recommendation from a friend who was a current patient of hers, who was to deliver her 4th baby with her (3rd VBAC). In the first several months I thought she was great! She was upbeat and seemed very positive and encouraging about going forward with the VBAC. Nearing the end of my 2nd trimester I realized I had forgot to ask some questions of her that I should have probably asked initially (such as, will I be required to have constant or intermittent monitoring, can I labor at home before coming in, and a few others I am forgetting right now). She then proceeded to act confused and asked if I was even doing a “trial of labor”? To which I gasped a resounding “YES!…I’m a VBAC.” She turned around to her screen to double-check her chart and said, “Oh, I guess you are marked down to do a Trial of Labor.”. I hate that phraseology by the way!!! I wanted to cry right then and there…I couldn’t believe I had been on this journey for so long with this care provider thinking she knew me, was pro-VBAC, and here she was wanting me to rush into the hospital at the slightest hint of labor, sit there on monitors and hope for the best! It was that day for the first time I felt she was no longer my partner and care provider in this, but yet another hurdle in this challenging pregnancy/birth that lies ahead.
Yesterday, things got much worse and I left her office in tears and I don’t believe I stopped crying for a good 4+ hours. Yesterday was my 36 week appointment. I woke up excited and encouraged! I woke up thinking, only 1-6 weeks left! I had a appointment with my doula the following day and was prepared with a few questions for the OB from that meeting. (Meeting with my doula had me excited about preparing for labor…considering the dream scenario for labor is fun! Even if you don’t get EVERYTHING you want, its fun to dream and begin to visualize the act of true natural labor. I am really hoping and praying for an experience more closely matched to what I expected last time and what we discussed this week! ) I knew she would be performing the Beta Strep test that morning so after the routine weight, B/P, fetal HR check, they had me get undressed for the test. When my OB performed the strep test she decided without warning OR CONSENT to also perform a vaginal exam to check progression and positioning!! Needless to say, I was NOT happy! Had she asked, I would have told her NO to performing an exam that early on. However I would have loved for her to check positioning but obviously that’s not the best way to do that! And, she has NEVER checked his positioning where as, my midwives last pregnancy were often checking Mirabelle’s positioning by poking and feeling around on my belly. They could tell me where her legs and butt and head were. The only check my OB seems to ever do is the dumb tape measurement test I believe to be grossly inaccurate (which has nothing to do with positioning) for determining baby’s size..especially since I am a heavier woman.
After she performs these tests on me, she then sits me up and says,
“I need to tell you I am having concerns that your baby might be pretty big.”
I don’t really respond at this point other than a casual nod and maybe a smirk because all I can think is..”ah, the typical line you guys feed women to scare them into C-sections and I’m not buying it..”.
She then says, “I’m not saying we’re looking at a 10 pounder here, but if your pregnancy were to go much further, we could be.” To which I responded, “You know, they told me a similar thing with Mirabelle. Well, they were saying she was going to be a healthy sized baby 8-9 pounds, and she wasn’t close!”.
Dr. “And how big was she?”
Me: “6 pounds 13 oz., and that was at 41.2 weeks.”
Dr. ” Oh well I can promise you, this baby has already well surpassed that and your only 36 weeks!”
At this point I am pretty sure I have not been shy about rolling my eyes! To which she tries to make a cutesy joke of saying that I am free to go home and start contracting like crazy and have this baby, the sooner the better for my sake! I then asked her, “uh, so how long are you going to allow this pregnancy to go?” She responds with, “Well, normally I let me VBAC patients go to the 41st week but in your case and given the size of your baby, I can’t in good conscious let you go past 40 weeks!”.
This is when I lost it (on the inside that is). One thing to know about me, I am entirely too quite when it comes to how I feel and when it comes to standing up for myself! I usually clam up in the moment when I feel attacked or when I should be expressing my feelings or defending my opinions, basically because I go into shock I believe and/or I don’t have the right words or questions to ask until the moment is gone.
This week I am going to write those feelings and questions down and hopefully drag my husband along to my next appointment so I can get all that out with her. I feel she made a bad assessment about the size of my baby based on a measurement that is going to be inaccurate on a person like myself, and I think she is trying to assert power over me because she doesn’t appreciate the fact that I have been managing my care as much as I have been. I have refused several tests that most women blindly submit to because they are simply offered to them and pitched as basic prenatal care and I think that bothers her. There was also an incident where she was listening to baby’s heartbeat on the doppler around 30 weeks and said she could hear hiccups. After a few minutes she changed her mind and decided it could be a heart murmur and wanted me to submit to an expensive ultrasound to decipher the murmur from hiccups! She said it wouldn’t change anything about the pregnancy, but I think she was looking for one more thing to write up on my chart to bully me into a planned c-section!
So, with all that hashed out….I now have to find a way to relax enough over the next 4 weeks to actually GO into labor. I am so tense right now I wouldn’t know how that could happen. Lots of walks for us and loving my daughter while its just the two of us! I love being pregnant and I love being a mom…but I will be glad when I am no longer a VBAC advocate from this side of the spectrum. And, if all goes well, I will definitely be HBAC’ing next time!!