Posted in Blog, Featured, Rebecca, Recovering from childbirth

So you want to have a VBAC? Here is where to start.

I recently had a VBAC on September 11th, 2013 and part of this series of posts on VBACS will be sharing my story as I hopefully help others find their way to having an empowered birth of their own. Honestly I wish I didn’t even have to tell people I did have a successful VBAC. I mean, it is what I wanted but in so many ways, it doesn’t matter. It does matter, you say. Yes and No. Keep reading. Because ICAN

It all started with my first birth. It was traumatic and that’s an understatement. After I became pregnant the second (actually third) time around, I had my heart and mind dead set on a VBAC. After all, I wanted a vaginal birth the first time so dammit, I will get it this time. (You know, because I’m in control of it all, you see.) haha. That is the thinking that got me in trouble the first time. Expectations that I was in control. That it’s all up to me. I wish that were true for me and I wish it were true for you too. Unfortunately, there is so much that is not in our control.

Most importantly, I had an EMPOWERED birth. My prayer is that other women can have the same experience too. And you will find that whether you have a VBAC or end up with a repeat cesarean, that YOU can be in control. WHAT? Yup. YOU are in control of it being an empowering experience…or not. It’s a journey to get there, but you absolutely have the power to CREATE YOUR own experience. You may not believe it now, but boy am I gonna stack up the resources and evidence so that you are believing it by the time you get there!!

So…where do you start? That’s a great question and hopefully I can help.

1.) Find an ICAN group in your area

ICAN stands for International Cesarean Awareness Network. Their mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). ICAN also has a Facebook page. They share tons of inspirational birth stories, pictures, and resources.

The ICAN group in Seattle has a Yahoo group and also a Facebook group. They hold monthly meetings in Seattle. It’s a great resource to share your story, concerns, find referrals or just meet other women on the same journey as you. I attended my first local ICAN meeting 3 days after I miscarried. They let me cry and share my story and it ended with lots of hugs. I attended it faithfully after I got pregnant and they saw me all the way to the end. I actually still attend with my newborn now. It’s still a great resource for me and now I can encourage others there with what I have learned.

2.) Process your previous birth

UGH. I know. It sucks but I had to say it. And you have to do it. I ended up with PTSD after my first birth. It was awful. I was in denial for almost 2 years that I had issues. Finally I sought counseling after my friends (lovingly) wouldn’t leave me alone. Whew. It all blew up in counseling. Let me add that I had a counselor that specialized in traumatic births. I think this helped immensely.

I am surprised how many Moms I meet that still haven’t done much processing about their first birth experience. Hey, C-section or not, I think it’s pretty safe to say it hardly ever goes the way we expect it to. You can plan the perfect birthday party, but a birth? Not so much.

When I was in counseling, I remember the gal saying that I needed to deal with all of the emotion and pain of this birth before I got pregnant again, or at least before giving birth again. And I’m glad I did. You need to too.

Find a support group. Go see a counselor. Talk to your friends. Call your Mom. Journal it all out. But please hear me. Take some time and think about it. Cry about it. Get angry about it. It’s all ok. However you do it, get it out! You don’t need to carry that huge burden with you into the next birth. You will have plenty to handle as it is.

Here’s the last bit on your previous birth. Watch how you handle your expectations. If you had a traumatic experience, it is a wound. You can heal from a wound, but you may possibly always have a scar. I know I do. As much as I have let go, I will always still carry some of the pain with me from that day. IT. IS. OK. You hear me?

Do your best to let it go. You may need to forgive others. You may just need to forgive yourself. That was me. I had unrealistic expectations that I could have never lived up to.

I’m not saying you need to stop all that you are doing right now and process your birth before going any further. No. Just start doing something about it. While you are pregnant. Before you get pregnant again. Or whenever. It takes time so be patient.

Most importantly, please know that you are not alone in this journey. I am so happy that I found an ICAN group to support me through it all. And you can find support too.

Next up, we’ll be talking more about VBAC facts and evidence to support you having your best birth!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  1. Would love to hear more….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *