So obviously being a full-time working mother to a toddler severely impacts the frequency with which I update this blog. But this most recent radio silence was purposeful. I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 on Saturday, June 8th, two days before I started my new job on Monday, June 10th!! Woohoo! We were certainly planning for baby #2, just not at that exact moment. :)
If you've read my posts from Levi's first year about my struggles with breastfeeding, or one of several reflective posts about his birth and the trauma we all sustained, it's not hard to figure out that I had PPD (postpartum depression). Although, I never really addressed it or admitted it until it was practically gone a year later. I did enter therapy to address my residual trauma surrounding Levi's birth and all that came with it in the fall of 2012. I also started attending ICAN meetings, a support network of women recovering from C-sections. These 2 steps had a profound impact on my healing, how I viewed myself, and how I viewed birth.
You see, growing up I always had a very healthy view of birth and women's ability to give birth. My awesome mom is a former Lamaze instructor and had a natural birth with me. My view of birth was always, "Women have been giving birth for thousands of years without drugs and interventions. I can do it too." I've never been afraid of birth, EVER. I viewed it as a totally natural process, not a medical situation. And honestly, MOST births aren't a medical situation. If left alone, most births will progress normally and naturally with a positive outcome.
In a therapy session about 1 year ago, I was discussing my first labor and birth and how I felt at each stage. I reflected that while I was at home, I was totally relaxed and comfortable, not scared at all. As soon as we left home for the hospital, I was scared. And every decision I made after that was made in fear. Every intervention that I didn't want but agreed to, was because I was scared. I was on the other side of Levi's birth feeling like a victim, and scared to face birth again, scared I would be a victim of our birth system feeling bullied again. Then I looked at my therapist and said, "I don't want to go to the hospital next time. I want to stay at home. I want to have a home birth. I was comfortable at home. I feel safer at home than I do in the hospital." I couldn't believe I said it out loud. It was such a relief, like a weight was lifted off of me.
When I found out we were expecting baby #2, I already had a relationship with the midwife I would hire from attending ICAN meetings. I personally knew at least 5 people that had HBACs (Home Birth After Cesarean) with her. I trusted her and knew that she had the knowledge and experience to deliver my baby safely. I felt that my best chance at the healing birth I wanted was to surround myself with care providers who wanted me to have it as much as I did. I knew that by hiring Michelle, if I ended up on an operating table with another C-section that I really needed to be there.
Matt and I discussed home birth at length. We decided that it would be best to not tell anyone our plans except for the people that would attend the birth. We knew that home birth is a bit taboo for some people, and HBAC is something that many people are not comfortable with and feel is not safe. We wanted our decisions about the next birth to be ours and ours alone. We did not want anyone else's voice or criticisms rattling around in our heads influencing us. And we certainly didn't want to spend 9 months defending our decisions or hear negative comments from people who had never researched the safety of home birth like we had. So, we decided that it was nobody's business and we would keep it to ourselves. We did feel bad about having to tell boldface lies when anyone asked us directly which hospital we would be at, but as time passed we knew we made the right decision.
That is also why I refrained from blogging during my pregnancy. I knew it would be disingenuous to blog about the pregnancy and say nothing about our plans about the birth, because I've been so open discussing our last birth experience. Thus, the radio silence.
But that's not why you're here. You're probably here to read about how it went...