My sweet little fella is turning two!!! Every time I get a little glance at him I am overwhelmed by how quickly it all happens. And yes, that’s the same schmucky talk that every parent says about their little prince or princess. But it’s true, friends. He’s marvelously verbal, affectionate with his little brother, interested in all things construction and transportation, and still a die-hard believer in the Falcons, despite his parents lack of faith. What a cool little dude he’s turning out to be.
And, in true crunchy-mama fashion, I will not be commemorating his birthday in pic-o-grams or whatever the cool media-savvy thing is to do right now. I’ll share with you, sweet readers, our amazing journey to home birth- because I just know you’ve been dying to know the depths of my hysteria. (Yes, there will be pictures. Yes, they are a little intense. I’ll try and leave the worst ones out for private enjoyment, but since I forced my super-mainstream family to view them, I feel like you’ll probably survive, too.)
When I was pregnant with James, I was actually super-mainstream too. It took us six months to get pregnant, which was really discouraging for me, since the girls were basically conceived before I knew what was going on (kidding. sort of). We were geared up to do fertility treatments and all that jazz, and my doctor politely laughed in my face and explained that any of the women in the waiting room would likely smack me if they heard I was complaining about fertility. Fair enough.
But that got me thinking: how many women in the waiting room had struggled with fertility? How many of them were having complicated pregnancies? As I continued to see this doctor, I realized in talking with the women in the waiting room that the vast majority of them were high-risk, struggling with gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, were significantly overweight, or were pregnant by means of serious medical intervention. I knew I didn’t fit that mold. My appointments lasted 10 minutes at the most, after averaging more than an hour in the waiting room, only to hear that my pee was clear, my blood pressure was normal, and my weight gain was on the low end, but good. Awesome.
We had a series of issues, and I won’t bore you with all of them. The biggest though, was my desire to have a VBAC. See, I had a seriously traumatic delivery with Celia (imagine receiving 2 epidurals, three times the normal amount of pitocin, morphine (to which, it turns out, I’m highly allergic), epinephrine, benadryl, and demerol, all before having a vacuum extraction. Needless to say, my doctor convinced me that an elective C-section would be a wiser choice in birthing Cora, so as to bypass all those “unpleasantries” from Celia’s birth. And, being 21, I did as directed by my doctor. It was fine- I had no complications, went home after just 2 days in the hospital, and had a beautiful recovery. No complaints. But things changed after I remarried and started thinking about more babies.
After reading gobs and gobs of information, and considering the fact that we wanted to have more children in the future, once I was pregnant with James, the hubs and I decided that it would be better to go for a VBAC vs. multiple cesareans. Unfortunately, my doctor disagreed. Not on the safety of the VBAC vs. multiple C-sections- he happily agreed that multiple c-sections were very dangerous. His concerns were 1) I wouldn’t “want” a VBAC once I started one, and my attempt would “ultimately lead to c-section regardless” and 2) “you think you want more children now, but having another baby when you’re older will probably change your mind. I rarely see patients who want more than 3 children.” Beautiful.
Not sure if you’ve picked up on something about me: I know how I feel about everything, and I make my decisions based on the information available and what’s right for my family, not what everyone else does, or how it “feels” . So my response to Dear Doctor was less than pleasant. It was even more unpleasant when his office team informed me they would be scheduling me for a c-section because that was his recommendation, and that I wouldn’t be getting a say, since “he has to answer to a higher authority than just what his patients want.” Woof. Friends, I was 36 weeks pregnant, and I fired said doctor. As an HR executive, I have fired many, many people, and I have never felt better about firing anyone than I did in firing this doctor. I went home and watched The Business of Being Born, and set out on a mission to find a midwife willing to take me this late in the game.
I’ll add that this is not at all a knock on OB/GYNs, or on hospital births. I will say that I have made some pretty lousy choices in doctors, and it is my modus operandi to put up with foolishness for longer than the average person before snapping in a way-beyond-average way. In this particular instance, I probably should have left said doctor after my second appointment. Eh. Hindsight, right?
**Stay tuned for the real story, complete with pictures (although they’re not as wild as I’d like to think)**