My Choices About This Birth
I wanted to update you with some things today!
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I went into this second pregnancy with a lot of confusion about what my preferences might be for this baby’s birth.
Well, I’m 38-weeks pregnant and have now made some decisions about what this experience could look like! And, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it might be like if the experience doesn’t look any certain way.
A quick catch-up.
My almost 3-year old daughter’s birth was a planned homebirth, turned C-section. During the entire process, I felt like it was an extremely supported event, but experienced a period of PTSD symptoms afterwards.
Yesterday, I read this from one of my pelvic health physiotherapist colleagues out of Edmonton Alberta, Mandy Rempfer-Kuncio:
“Because that’s the thing about birth – it affects a woman profoundly. Your birth memories stay with you in a way that other memories slip away. Most women remember things about their births for as long as they live.”
The truest words for me.
Since that experience, my thoughts and mindset about birth have been challenged and changed significantly. In ways that I never thought I would think.
Here it is: a couple weeks ago I signed consent papers for a scheduled Cesarean section.
It felt like a combo of sweet relief, terror, sadness, joy, dread, and mostly peace.
There are a lot of factors that have gone into this decision. The main one?
I don’t truly, deeply care to have the experience of a vaginal birth. I’m not mentally or emotionally in it, and don’t want to physically prepare for it, in a way that I believe I would want to for best pelvic health results. This is knowing my own body.
Never, ever would I have imagined to think that, write that to the world, or say that, without shame, to multiple birth and health professionals.
Going into my daughter’s birth I really, really wanted to have the experience of a vaginal birth. I believed so deeply that it was what my body was designed to do. That it would happen because I did all the ‘right’ things, had the ‘right’ people on my birth team, it was the ‘right’ thing for the baby’s health, I went in with the ‘right’ mindset, etc.
And then it didn’t happen. And the fall-out began.
This time is so wildly different I don’t even know where to start.
I was really hopeful the OB who did my daughter’s C-section would be able to do this one. She won’t, as her schedule doesn’t allow for it.
We gave our two top choices for C-section dates. We were given a different, third date.
I won’t meet this surgeon until right before the procedure begins. I’ll go in with a few questions, but no real prep time to speak about my preferences.
My midwife will be present at the birth, in the operating room. I’m so grateful that our system works how it does here in Canada. I continue my care with midwives up until surgery and am back in their postpartum care for myself and baby afterwards.
So much of what I feel about this birth is different this time.
In my first pregnancy, I very much trusted that baby would come when they were ready. This time, it’s a big relief, mentally, to know that I won’t have to be pregnant until 42 weeks.
In thinking about my first birth, I wanted to be in an environment that was an intervention-free as possible. In my own space. Minimal people around.
This time, I’m willingly choosing a major surgery, that has a very involved recovery, and I’ll be surrounded by (hopefully, very kind) strangers.
Last time after the C-section, I wanted to go home as soon as possible. This time, I told my midwife to keep me there a while longer. 😉
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want this birth to be like and what I don’t need this birth to be.
I know there is much discussion around hoping that a subsequent birth is healing after a first birth that was traumatic. I can completely understand this.
I don’t think I need this birth to be healing.
I don’t know what I need this birth to be, honestly. I’m not sure I need it to be any specific kind of way, or kind of thing.
Also, I’m 100% expecting to go into labor before C-section date day because I’ve learned to trust in the plan changing. Ha!
Keep you updated, as always.
For a sample of the strength training workouts I’ve been doing in this pregnancy, can click the button below to be sent 2, FREE full-body sessions.