My first encounter with someone who wants to "Convince me to have my VBAC in a hospital"

Hey everyone!  I'm 8 weeks pregnant and very excited.  We've known we wanted a home birth from day one.  My daughter is 8 and her birth was via c-section.  There were so many elements of her birth that were upsetting and counter to what I envisioned and even what I requested.  We've all got stories, so I don't need to recount mine.

My feeling, based on all the research I've done, that that I am a good candidate for a VBAC.  My midwife agrees.  Having 8 years for my low incision to heal reduces the risk even further.  

Most of my friends and family are very supportive, but of course I finally ran into one who is not.  She's a 60 year old labor and delivery nurse, who had a difficult birth of her own at the age of 40.  She believes that she knows what can happen because of her profession, but she seems to forget that she works in a hospital where a great number of the clients are drug addicted and uninformed.  Those two factors contribute to very different birth outcomes.

It's just so frustrating because now I'm bombarded with the same stuff every time I see her and she claims that she wants to email me as well.  But her so called "facts" aren't really all that good.  She doesn't ever know numbers and she claims that I can go to this hospital or that hospital and my birth will go exactly how I want it to.  Funny, because all of the moms, midwives and doulas I know (and there are many) have told me about the hospitals in our area and it's never been great for natural births.  The largest and most high tech facility actually made it a point to start interventions on a woman early in her labor (ignoring her birth plan that was there in her chart) because they knew her doula was on the way and they didn't want her to interfere.  The husband actually overheard the nurses discussing it!  (he just didn't have the nerve to stand up for his wife)

At any rate, I'm armed with my information and the support of a fantastic husband and many friends.  I just get irritated at the fact that anyone would presume that they have the knowledge or authority to tell me how I should birth.  

Anyone have thoughts or suggestions???  Experiences to share??  Thanks!


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Replies to This Discussion

Thank her for her advice and say you will look into your options, but that it is a decision you will make with your husband and medical care providers. Be firm and kind.

The best advice my sister-in-law gave me leading up to my home birth was, "It's not your job to educate people about home birth. It's your job to build a healthy baby, both physically and emotionally." Hearing that really took the pressure off and helped me give less information out and end conversations that weren't supportive of my process.

With one particularly tough critic (another sister-in-law who was also a medical professional) who was constantly bombarding me with what is questions, my midwife had me ask her to write all her questions down so we could go through them. We had a good laugh over some, but she answered them all and I gave her the answers and that was that.

Big hugs to you!
I did tell her I'd take what she had to say into consideration but that Doug and I were happy with our choice. I can tell that wasn't really good enough for her, but it doesn't have to be. I don't want to spend all my time arguing with her. We aren't even really that close, so I'm baffled at how much she is trying to control the situation. Thanks for the advice!!
I would be frank with her - don't passively take her word. We know clearly what the research says on this, and what you may have to remind her is that as a labor and delivery nurse, her perspective is limited by HER OWN experiences. Whereas researchers take into account the whole picture and give us a sense of what is going on on a far larger scale.

If you decided to go for a hospital VBAC, and then it didn't work out, the last thing you'd want to deal with is this person saying "see, I told you it couldn't happen" - when we ALL know that a woman is more likely to be given time to labor by a midwife at home than a physician in a hospital. We also know that midwives are contained by a hospitals rules, making it difficult at times for the woman to have the time she needs in labor. At home, there's no pressure to take the drugs that may lead to interventions which are unnecessary, and you know it's less likely your midwife will pressure you to get a repeat C-section because "it's just been suchhh a long labor!"

I say you go for the birth you want - my mom didn't agree with home birth, and she too is a nurse. But when I started to explain the studies and research done in Canada, the USA, and Europe on this issue, she became more comfortable with the whole thing and respected my choice.

This labor and delivery nurse may have had her own negative experience with birth, and you don't want her birth trauma to become yours! People start with this 'if it happened to me it can happen to anyone' mentality, not realizing that it's so insulting to the person they're speaking to; in effect, when someone uses this reasoning, they're saying that there's no way you can do what they didn't do...that your experience isn't likely to supersede their own. And that's just wrong.
We are firm on our choice. She won't change my mind. My own mother is a nurse and very negative and her response was that I "couldn't do it if I have a big baby" but I'm not even concerned with her opinion. We have a plan that we intend to stick to. I'm not so militant that I will have a home birth at all costs. If at some point my midwife says we should move to a hospital, then I will. But it's a choice that we will make with her, not every random person in the community who wants to butt in.

Length of labor is huge for me. With my daughter I was progressing when I got to the hospital but they made me lay down, get a catheter and an IV and I never got back up. Then, after only 9 hours they decided that I had to have a c-section, scared the crap out of my ex-husband and there was no argument. It was ridiculous and nothing like I wanted, but I had no support. Things are different now and I intend to have my baby my way.

I get really irritated with people who had a bad birth experience attempting to scare you like that. She had a number of risk factors for her birth that I do not have and you would think that she would be wise enough to remember that.

Oh well, I'll be avoiding her a lot until December. ;o)
I think before the baby is born you need to avoid negativity. After the baby comes, it might be nice for her if you let her tell her stories and anecdotes just so she gets a chance to share, but I think your plan to avoid her in the meantime is probably wise.
One thing you could do is seek out a few good studies on homebirth and VBACs, and have those ready to show or email to anyone who shows true concern for you. If that doesn't change their minds or at least shut them up, then you know nothing will (since good hard medical evidence SHOULD be proof), and to just let it go. They're not doing this to be controlling, but out of probably genuine (if misguided and misinformed) concern.



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