Friday, January 19, 2007

Birth Fears

As I'm getting further along in my pregnancy, and have made some key decisions to have this baby naturally, I am starting to have to deal with the reality of my fears. I'm not scared that anything awful is going to happen. I'm just scared of losing control. I'm scared about my decision to birth in a hospital again. I'm worried that doctors are going to give me the "dead baby card" as I progress in my pregnancy and I'm going to agree to interventions I know I don't need or want. But then I'm scared I'm going to feel a couple contractions and be in so much pain that I'll sabotage my dream birth and ask to be driven to the hospital immediately and voluntarily climb on to the operating table.

And I'm trying to let go of some anger I have from my previous birth experience. Why was I so stupid to let a busy OB persuade me into thinking I needed to be induced? I wasn't even a week past my due date. And then after I had laid there in bed, barely progressing, why didn't I just go home? Did I really think I could have a baby laying in bed all day? But I suppose there are women who do. But I feel robbed. This being my second baby, I wish I had some experience of labor, or even know what it truly feels like. Not just the bizarre cramps I had from the bags of pitocin I was given.

Now that I'm educating myself more and more and reading endless stories of natural births, I want one desperately, but feel like I should have gone with my instinct to have a home birth. There I wouldn't have nurses and OBs trying to bully me into doing something I don't want to do because I'm not progressing on their time table. But to please others I decided to to go to a hospital. The hospital I chose is supposedly very VBAC friendly, and is good about natural births, but it is still a hospital. And I don't want to be strapped to the bed. But I know they are going to want to do continuous fetal monitoring because I have VBAC stamped on my forehead like the scarlet letter.

So I'm trying to prepare myself to stand my ground. If I don't want to do something, I will say NO. I will be ornery if need be. The hospital staff may hate me. I need to be OK about being my own advocate and not falling into what my mom used to describe me as "going everywhere the wind blows". I'm also expecting a difficult labor. I think I thought having my first one was going to be a breeze, and that I'd just get the epidural and be like, totally awesome. OMG!

I'm praying for a safe and natural labor. If there is truly a problem, wheel me into the OR. But if not, I just want to be left alone, allowed to labor on my terms. Is wanting this realistic?

I haven't met with my new OB and midwife yet, and I thought I was going to be able to last week, but it's next week, and I'm nervous. How much do I tell them? Should I mention that in my perfect world, I'd spend the vast majority of my labor at home and show up to the hospital pushing. Lord knows I'd rather have my baby in the car than the hospital! Lord have mercy!


Blogger annie said...

I love how honest you are about all of it.
As set as my mind was on having a drug free birth, I was always afraid to be too vocal about it for fear of failure and hearing "I told you so" from the epidural fanclub.
My encouragement would be to find a good birth class. Like Bradley or Birthing from Within. Of course, that is not going to guarantee a perfect birth, but I think it's really important to prepare yourself and Jason. The best thing we took from our class was that it helped Evan understand his role. I think the person there with you at the birth can play a huge part in getting you through the times you feel like you want to give up and go numb. Maybe you already know this. Your fears are legitimate, but so is the possibility of you having the birth experience you so desire. It sounds like you are on the right track.
By the way, I was wondering where you were on my last post, too. I was hoping to hear from you on that one! ; )

2:00 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I know that the key for me was my hubby! He coached me through the whole thing. We practiced breathing every night before we went to sleep, so I knew I would at least be good at that part of the labor :)

I was induced (which I really don't want to go through again) but I progressed incredibly quickly, which definitely has its benefits, but also extreme pain. I have a lot of the same fears that you do because I have no idea what it will be like to actually go into labor. I was in the hospital where they induced me and broke my water. I am so afraid that with my high pain tolerance, I won't even know that I am in labor until I am in transition and we live at least 35 minutes from our new hospital.

So, I'll say a prayer for you if you'll say one for me :)

We both obviousy have a lot to think about in the coming weeks.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Mom said...

Lauren, your Dad and I will advocate for you as well. I feel somewhat responsible for your last c-section as well. I just didn't know how much to be involved. I hate seeing you uncomfortable. But if what you want is a VBAC. Your Dad and I will be there to advise you. Remember he has 25 years of neonatal experience. I have some OB experience too. Believe me neither of us will be still or quiet if you or Sprout is in danger.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Xenia Kathryn said...

Hey Lauren!
My prayers are with you, and they are close to my heart as my own sister is going through VERY similar struggles. She's due in May, and she's planning a VBAC.

In April, I'm planning a "support" shower for her, to invite all of her friends who are supportive of her going through with the VBAC, because it is so important to be surrounded by people who are praying for you and believe in you. We're just going to get together, eat, dote on Carrie (my sis) and maybe end it with reading the Akathist to the Theotokos. Carrie is really looking forward to her "party." :)

And wow! You are fortunate to have such experienced and supportive parents!

Again, you'll be in my prayers! You can do it.

2:40 PM  

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