Friday, January 11, 2008

Our new baby, installment #7

This post is for Vanessa, who commented in response to installment #6, saying she is not telling her family about her home VBAC (HBAC) for her third child...Vanessa, I don't blame you. Although I told my side of the family -- before we stopped talking about it -- I was initially selective about whom we told of our plans. My mother-in-law is a Freudian analyst. I did not mention this to her, as you might imagine. (Remind me later to elaborate on her at the end of the installment series.) Also, I was reluctant to mention the decision to colleagues and neighbors and anyone else who asked what hospital I was going to. Eventually, however, as I became more resolute in the plan, I was straightforward even with strangers. "The baby is being born at home," I would say, as if it were an affirmation.

In early fall, I attended a Birth on Labor Day Event in Cambridge and shared the Q&A session with a very nice OB I knew from my research. An OB who might be a midwife in another life. She noticed I was pregnant and after the program we chatted on the sidewalk.

"Where will the baby be born?" she asked.

"Not where my last child was born," I said coyly. (She knew where my last child was born.)

"Come on," she begged. "Where?"

"Oh, at home," I 'fessed.

She then lectured me on a VBAC uterine rupture that she had to section in emergency fashion just weeks before.

"Really?" I asked? "Did the woman have Pitocin?"

"Yes," she said.

"Well why would you give a VBAC Pitocin?" I pressed. Pitocin, of course, can hyperstimulate the uterus, causing it rupture - and much of the VBAC studies include rupture cases caused by Pitocin, thereby skewing the actual safety of a VBAC with no intervention, part of the reason why many hospitals are now not even allowing women to attempt a VBAC.

"I guess we were impatient," she conceded.

She wished me luck before we parted ways.

I remember thinking that I don't need luck. I just need a midwife who is patient. I just need to be in a place where there is no Pitocin.


N said...

Ah yes- a place where there is no pitocin...

Asha said...

In New York, at least, there is pitocin even at home--it is given routinely as a prophylactic shot to prevent postpartum hemmorhage.

Still, at least at home you can be pretty certain you're not going to be pressured to induce, especially not as a VBAC, especially not in the absence of any medical indication.

That is one reason I felt grateful, along with a million other reasons that ran through my head as I sat in my own bed drinking a glass of champagne an hour after my VBAC baby was born in a birth tub in my kitchen. :-)

Amanda said...

Going back to my great midwife: She flat out refuses to give pitocin to a VBAC. (as should anyone with half a brain- let alone an OB) And, I didn't progress as quickly as the Dr. she practices under would have liked for a VBAC. I labored 12 hours with #4, who shifted up out of the pelvis, and I had to use gravity- walking, and the labor ball to get her back down. I do wish they would have let me labor & deliver in a birthing tub. The hospital was stuck on that 2% chance of uterine rupture and says it's too much of a liability. I think the water would have sped things up, and I know it would have helped with the pain.

Her cooperating Dr. also said I wouldn't have hemorrhaged had I done a repeat scheduled section. She replied, "Oh, no cause no one ever hemorrhages in SURGERY!"

mom said...

At this point in Tina's journey we knew she and her husband were going to commit to a VBAC home birth. We also knew that we could choose to be supportive and be part of this event - or continue to question her judgement and miss the birth of our new grandchild. We chose to be outwardly supportive and secretly horrified. She and her husband were not at all fooled by our false admission of support.

Kelley said...

Not surprisingly. Pregnant women are pretty intuitive about what is going on around them.

Sheridan said...

I love what your mom said. I think it is great they at least chose to support you outwardly. Good for you Mom!

I also love the all you need is a midwife with patience. :)

Judit said...

Dear Tina,
best wishes on your HBAC! Looking forward to the book ;-)
Dear Tina's mom -- my mom was also guardedly (ha!) horrified about my plans to birth her first grandchild at home. Six years later, she is a most fervent advocate for gentle, mother-led birth and is very proud to tell all her doctor friends about her two home-birthed grandkids.

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