Thursday, July 1, 2010

How to achieve YOUR VBAC.

*as I write this, I'm going on the assumption that you have had transverse (horizontal) incisions, and that the reasons for the c/sections were not anything that means you really, truly, medically, need to have a c/s to get the baby out of your body*

My quick background: uncomplicated pregnancies, 1 c/s due to Frank breech, 1 VBAC (forced pitocin=epidural) and a civilian VBAC completely natural. 

Here's the deal with avoiding a c/s. (of course, my opinion, based on months of research and fighting for the right in two different systems)

1. You have to sign a consent form in order for them to do a c/s. If you don't sign the form, they can't cut into you, and well, there's only 1 other way for the baby to get out (vaginally).

2. They cannot refuse to care for you once you are in labor. It's a law called EMTALA.

So, with those 2 things in mind, you stay home (or in the hospital parking lot) as LONG as possible. You don't want to get into one of their L&D rooms any earlier than absolutely necessary, because when you get into their room, a clock starts. The docs are busy, they have hockey games and kids' birthday parties and other stuff to do and they really don't feel like waiting around for you to labor naturally, so they will scare you into every intervention possible.

Refuse an IV. Have a birth plan. Refuse to get into the bed until YOU CAN'T stay on your feet any longer. Refuse constant external monitoring. Refuse internal monitoring at all costs. Have hubby and/or a doula more scared of YOU than of the doc's scare tactics, so that they will fight for your right to labor/deliver despite the docs scare tactics. Don't get on your back.

Labor in YOUR clothes, don't accept a hospital robe. It makes the docs/nurses remember you have your own brain, and not see you so much as a patient. A stretchy skirt and sports bra or tube top are perfect, or just go naked. You aren't the first naked laboring woman they've seen. Realize that those clothes are going to get covered in all kinds of labor goo and fluid and all that, so don't plan on wearing "good" stuff.

Do enough research to know when to say when and give in to the c/s.

I can email you my birth plan and 2nd birth story if you want. just send me your email addie.

I told hubby that I wasn't staying at the hospital unless i was at least 7 cm, and I was 7 when they checked me. I think that was key. Getting there too early in labor gives them too much time to start worrying about you!

ICAN and the unnecessarean blog are great resources for links to research and all that to back you up.

Learn about the drug they gave women in the 90's to speed up labor (a predecessor to Pitocin) which caused a TON of ruptured uteruses and is what has the world so scared of VBACs. That drug wasn't even approved for use on laboring women, but the docs liked it because it sped things up. Now they don't use it, but the fear is still there.

As you find research you like, print it, and put it in a binder for later. book marks and a favorites list on your computer are not any help when you go to fight with the docs.

Wait for labor to start on its own. Don't let them strip your membranes. Don't let them break your water even once you are in labor. It will either break or it won't. Either way, baby will come out. If you don't know what "in the caul" means, google it. Amniotic sac does not have to break, sometimes it doesn't!!

Convince yourself that they have your due date wrong, so that once your due date gets there, YOU aren't stressed.

If I do it again, I'll have some cookies in my labor bag, like a bag of Chips Ahoy or something that everyone likes, so that no matter when I go into labor, whether I have time to bake or not, I can give the nurse some cookies. She'll have to put them at the nurse's station and probably will want to go out there to snack on them (leaving you alone to labor in peace). My first VBAC, the nurse never left my side that I remember (annoying!!). The 2nd VBAC, it was only my hubby in the room 99.6% of the time and I was really able to relax!

I didn't let them "check" me internally in my final weeks of labor. It's just a curiousity thing and it plays games with your head. People can be 2cm or 4 cm for weeks, so who cares if you're 2cm or not? Who cares if you're 50% effaced or not? If you aren't having contractions that stop you from talking and make you lean against a wall, you don't need to worry about how far along you are. The first time I was "checked" after that first trimester "check" was when I was 7cm and in active labor. Again, you have a right to refuse anything!! Once you are in active labor they cannot kick you out of the hospital (as the resident Dr at tripler threatened me with if I didn't take pitocin). In those final weeks, when you go for your checkup and the nurse hands you a gown, just say "no thanks, I'm not curious" and when she looks at you like you have 2 heads, repeat "no thanks." She'll run to the doctor and the doc will come in and say "blah blah blah" and you just explain it's only a curiosity thing and you aren't curious. If you don't open your legs, they can't stick a finger in!!!

Don't give them any indication that you plan to defy them before you are there, in labor. They CAN get a court order to FORCE you to accept a c/s, but it takes time to do that, so just don't give them time to do it.

They will want to schedule your c/s in advance. Oops, keep getting distracted and fail to schedule it. oops. so distracted, pregnancy brain, blah blah blah.

If you've read this far, then you either think I'm crazy, or understand how determined I was to have a VBAC.

No matter how the baby comes out, you have a new baby to love. Good luck with your fight and your delivery. You can do it!!

I highly recommend reading Dr. Sears' Birth Book and the Bradley method book. 


Anonymous said...

Hey Peggy....that was a GREAT post! I am due around the end of the year and would love to see your birth plans!

Speidels said...

AWESOME post!!! Your strength shows through in your writing, you will be an inspiration to others who don't have the courage :-)

PegHead said...

need some backup on why you don't want an induction? So many reasons, but I came across this and thought someone might be able to use it!

Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama said...

I'm reading lots of VBAC posts to get ready for my natural VBAC - which will be any day now. Thank you for this!

PegHead said...

Thank you for the comment Charise. Good luck with your VBAC and new baby!!


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