August, one year ago, my life changed forever. I was about 32-33 weeks pregnant at the beginning of August. After much tears, regret and foreboding, I had a repeat c-section scheduled for September 20th. I was due September 23rd, my Dr. was going out of town and needed to schedule it before he left, just in case I went into labor while he was gone. I knew at the time that VBAC was the healthiest option for a women with a normal pregnancy. But I was being refused one. I was mourning the day that my son would be born. I felt robbed, I felt sick and I felt guilty. You're suppose to look forward to the birth of your children but all I could do was think of another c-section, where I wouldn't get to hold my child, he would be ripped from me, taken away and sometime later I would get him. It's no secret that babies are more awake and alert their first hour of life, it's the time they're suppose to attach to their mother's; I was going to miss out on that, again. I had prayed the whole pregnancy that I wouldn't have to go through that again, while I thought God had said no to this prayer, H had in fact said, no yet.
It was about this time that I happen to come across, Business of Being Born, a film that will forever change my life. For a quick sidebar, Business of Being Born is a documentary about midwifery and homebirths. As Scott and I sat and watched the film, all I could do was cry, because I knew that I would never get to do that. Scott was so sweet, he held me while I cried and told me that he wished I could get to do that too. I remember praying and weeping to God, "Please, if this is possible, you are the only one who could make this possible!!" I had in fact given up completely on have a VBAC and was just starting to face the fact that I would have another c-section. (VBAC stands for vaginal birth after cesarean.)
Then God sent me an angel, Brandy, whom I had seen in the park at least once a week all summer long, we both liked to go early in the morning with our dogs and our 2 year olds before it got too hot. We had matching pregnancy bellies. I had visited with her before, I knew her dog's name, her daughter's name and her due date. I didn't even know her name!! I'm not generally a shy person but you put me one-on-one and I don't do to good, I guess I was being a little stuck up. Our due dates were in the same week, and for some reason, a few days after watching the film, I asked her where she was having her baby- meaning what hospital. Here I had spent all summer seeing her multiple times and I had never asked!! GRRR, I was kind of mad at myself after I got her answer. She shocked me when she said, I'm having a homebirth. At first I could tell she was really apprehensive about telling me this. How was I going to react? Would I think she's crazy? What thrilled me even more was when she said it was a VBAC homebirth (HBAC). I immediately starting harping her with questions, I wanted to know more!! Where did she hear about this? How does one go about doing a homebirth? How do you get in touch with a midwife? Would it be too late for me? I'm sure she felt like she was on 20 questions or something. First thing I learned, it's never to late until you start pushing, or until they make the first incision. I will be forever gratiful to Brandy for how much she did for me! I could have talked all day about it but the day was heating up and so we had to go. But she did tell me to google, ICAN, International Cesarean Awareness Network.
I tried for a week to get ahold of someone in the local ICAN chapter, everyone was on summer vacation. My giant belly was like a ticking time bomb, I had a doctor's appointment in a week and I did not want to go! Finally, after emailing everyone I could find online, I was eventually connected to Anita, one of the most, compassionate, caring and amazing people I know. She was a Certified Professional Midwife, who miraculously had an opening in September. She was willing to meet me and learn more about what I want in a birth. (That's right, what I WANTED!!)
More to come in future posts.