Rob and I went to my 16 week check-up a couple of weeks back. If you will recall, at my 12 week visit (sans Rob), I talked to my OB about having a VBAC and he was on board with the idea. He said all the things I wanted to hear like, "I have done tons of successful VBACs," and "As long as you know the risks, I'm behind you 100%." I had been reading that a lot of women get resistance from their OBs when requesting a VBAC, and some just simply won't do them at all, so I was pleased that my doctor seemed to be behind me in my choice, and I felt pretty good about everything leaving his office.
When Rob and I went to my 16 week check-up, something seemed to have shifted in my doctor's attitude. We presented our birth plan to him, and while he said that he was in agreeance with pretty much everything on there, he didn't seem to be as "on board" with the VBAC as he claimed to be the month previous. He started using some pretty scary language, focusing on uterine rupture and how I and the baby could die during a VBAC. Let me say this, I completely understand and appreciate a physician's need to warn you of the potential risks you may be facing when making these kinds of decisions, however, I don't feel that they need to exaggerate the truth to do so. He told us that one in every 50 women who have VBACs experience a uterine rupture, when the studies and evidence just don't support that at all. He also told Rob, "As soon as she begins her labor, you'll need to get her to the hospital right away. If you are laboring at home and her uterus ruptures, you're going to have a dead wife and a dead baby on your hands." WHOA THERE, DOC! What happened to, "I've done tons of these and it's no problem at all"? Of course, hearing all of this was scary and disheartening. I have been reading A LOT of information about childbirth, c-sections and VBACs since this pregnancy began, and I've learned that VBACs aren't nearly as scary and risky as a lot of doctors would like to make you believe. Actually, there is even more risk to the baby if a repeat c-section is performed. So, I left there feeling uncomfortable and uneasy about the situation. Did I really want someone by my side during this labor who didn't really have that much confidence in the process? Did I want a doctor who I felt was trying to scare me into throwing my hands up and say, "Forget it, I'll have another c-section."? Did I want to show up to the hospital in fear that when it came down to it, my OB wasn't really as supportive as he claimed? Well, in one word, NO. That is not what I want or need in what will most likely to be one of the most vulnerable times in my life. I need someone who is going to be behind me 110%, and I just wasn't feeling it from him.
So today after a lot of thought and soul searching, we met with a new practice. This practice is made up of nurse midwives who are very supportive of the natural birthing process and VBACs. They have a high success rate with VBACs, and seem to be much more in line with what we want out of this labor and delivery. They didn't scare us at all, just talked to us frankly and honestly about their philosophies and practices. The midwife we met with expressed that they would not want us to show up at the hospital right away like my OB had requested, and suggested that we labor at home until I am in active labor. We were pleased to hear this, because we feel that showing up at the hospital too early was one of the things that lead to all of the unnecessary interventions I had in my last labor. Another thing that really attracted us to them is the constant support they provide during the labor process. Once I arrive at the hospital, they will be there, coaching and helping me through each and every contraction if that is what I want/need. My OB, on the other hand, would only be available to come in a few times during the course of my labor, and when I am ready to push. Since I want a natural birth this time, I really feel as though I am going to need a bit more support than that, so we officially decided to go with the midwife practice to deliver this child. I feel good about it. I feel comfortable, and as though I can have complete trust in them to do what is best for me and my baby, while still keeping in mind my wishes for a natural birth. It is going to be tough telling my OB that I've decided to go to someone else, but I have to make the best decision for me and my baby. This is it. I'm sure of that now.