This post is part of an editorial series, “The Stork Stories,” brought to you by the Fort Worth Moms Blog. We hope these pieces provide you with helpful information, encouragement, and answers as you prepare for baby’s arrival.
I believe that women have a natural gift to know what’s best for themselves and for their kids. No matter how you came to be a mom, this gift is bestowed on you long before you hold your babies in your arms. Some call it intuition; some call it a gut-feeling; some believe it’s a guidance from on high. It doesn’t matter where it comes from; what matters is that it exists. This is a story about the importance of listening to your gut. A story that will hopefully inspire other moms-to-be to not ignore the innate intuition you were given the moment you discovered you were going to be a mom.
When I got pregnant with our first kiddo, I was excited and scared . . . and everything in between. I didn’t have a regular gynecologist, so I browsed the list of approved providers in our health insurance plan and selected the one with the most impressive credentials at the hospital where I wanted to deliver.
About 20 weeks into pregnancy, I felt like I should change providers because this doctor didn’t seem like a good fit. However, I didn’t switch. In my third trimester, he talked more and more about C-sections. Yet, I still didn’t switch because I was scared I would offend him by going to another practice, or that he’d think I was a bad mom already. I didn’t know how to transfer my records. I didn’t know what providers might take me on mid-pregnancy. In short, I wasn’t confident. I think you can predict how this story goes . . . I ended up having a C-section after a failed, and premature, induction. I was saddened, and my heart was crushed. I felt like something sacred was taken from me . . . the option to birth my baby in my way. I kept repeating the C-section mama’s mantra “It doesn’t matter how the baby came: He’s here and he’s healthy.” But those words never sunk in, and it just wasn’t how I truly felt.
When I became pregnant with my second kiddo, I (thankfully) had a couple years of parenting under my belt. With that came experience in advocating for my son, myself, and building confidence. I visited several doctors in the area and they all told me I wasn’t a candidate for VBAC. I was overweight, sure, but I was healthy. I didn’t have diabetes or high blood pressure, and there was nothing out of the ordinary about how my C-section had healed. I was mad that I couldn’t birth my baby the way I wanted to. I finally found a well respected provider who would take me on. He had come recommended by many other VBAC mamas.
Sitting in his office on my first visit, I felt relief. When I met with him, I felt secure in my decision. He listened to me, provided me insight, and helped me feel in control. I never doubted having him as my doctor, and at almost every visit, I felt reassured that this was the provider for me.
At 42 weeks, I hadn’t gone into labor on my own, and my body, by all indications, had no interest in giving labor anytime soon. The doctor ran a few tests to determine if baby was safe and gave me the option to induce. I chose to wait just a little longer and spent the next couple days doing all the things people say will induce labor. When I returned to the doctor, we talked about the risks of waiting further, and my husband and I determined it was time to induce. (Note that the doctor made no such decisions for me. He merely presented the evidence, told us his professional opinion, and let us lead the way.)
I spent more than 24 hours laboring with absolutely no progress. They couldn’t get a clear heart rate on my kiddo, and after various experiences we opted for a C-section. Again, I cried. Of course, I was sad. But this time, I was proud. I had done everything in my power to have a VBAC. I had advocated for myself, I had researched, I had prepared my body in all the ways I knew I could. Even though my journey ended in a failed VBAC, another C-section, I felt emotionally healed from the trauma of my first C-section. I chose every step along the way, and wow, was that an empowering feeling! Healing takes time, and for me, it took my failed VBAC to help overcome the emotional value I had placed on my first C-section.
Mamas, your body is amazing. It was built to do amazing things. But even more important than that, by trusting your gut, you can ensure your own personal success story . . . even if the story doesn’t unfold the way you planned. And I believe that when we follow our own path, we can ensure we live our lives without regrets of the past.
The Fort Worth Moms Blog is hosting its next event just for you! Bloom, happening May 20, 2017 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Cook Children’s Medical Center, is an event for expectant moms and moms who are currently parenting children two years and under. (Foster and adoptive moms are welcome too!) The afternoon will focus on information, resources, products, and more that target the pregnancy and delivery stage of parenting through the first two years. This event, held in partnership with Cook Children’s Health Care System, will provide a few hours of pampering, light snacks, educational resources, giveaways and swag, shopping, and connecting moms and families with relevant local resources for this season of life. For information, tickets, and more click HERE!