My dreams and plans about homebirth
– Part 1 –
As many things in life this one was one of those long processes, I have started for some years ago. This is the one that is not close to be finished and I don’t know how it is going to look like, where it is going to take me and I most certainly don’t know how it is going to end.
It is the process that is like an emotional rollercoaster. I am not in doubt that it will be hard, maybe at some points impossible but I am also sure it will give me long wanted peace after the storm has settled.
I am starting to write about it today, half way through my third and probably last pregnancy, but I don’t think I am going to be done before baby is here and I can write the epilogue to it.
This is also about facts about rights and lows in Denmark considering birth, the medical procedures and advice and on the other side listening to your gut and believing in power of nature.
My husband told me recently how if he knew how hippie I will turn out, he probably wouldn’t marry me back then for 10 years ago.
I understand that I changed many things about myself and my life and I am very much aware that I finally, after the whole life with listening to others, the system and not my own heart, became the one that can and dare to stand up for my own believes and dreams and by doing that I usually go against majority. I don’t say it is easy and I don’t say it always is fun, but at the end when I can look inside myself and recognize that I did follow my intuition I can also be in peace with me. It is not always that world recognise these efforts and battles but I know it. And I know if by not standing for myself I cant stand truly for my own children and teach them how to stand strong for their own life and decisions they make.
So I try.
It took me almost 6 years to admit that I did become a mother by putting my children in this world but I didn’t automatically become a strong and fully realised woman.
In Denmark there is a low that grants women right to decide about her own body. There is also a low that grants that woman can give birth in hospital or at home and it grants that woman freely can choose what she finds the right one. In both cases she will get needed help.
There where I come from homebirth is allowed but providing help with labour at home is prohibited by low and therefor there is not many that choses the option of doing it. By not making something a normal but on the opposite: wrong and risky, women can get a message about homebirth as something she shouldn’t even think about.
I also found the thought about giving birth at home very messy, dangerous and not my thing.
Being pregnant in Denmark for the first time I found out it is not more risky than giving a birth at hospital, it is not wrong and most certainly nothing about it here is illegal.
But it still wasn’t me.
So I let it be for the others.
I wish I knew more. But when you are not interested in something you don’t reach out for more information. I was also probably very ignorant about some things. And I am raised to believe in an authority and power of many. So when I in 2012 went 13 days over my due date, I gladly said yes to being induced. By that point I already was in birth process (not aware of it), I was to naive and to impatient to listen to my body and the nature way of making everything right. So at the end my body gave up, I gave up and I ended with one caesarean section. I still remember the words of the doctor 10 minutes before they took me to the operation: “If we wait a little longer so you can try to give a vaginal birth, it might happen and if you now get a caesarean, you might regret it the rest of your life”. I didn’t regret it back then and it went pretty long time before I remembered that moment. Now I remember.
Now I cant go back.
But by accepting my decisions back then, I am also accepting this process of healing.
Maybe it was wrong. Maybe it would happen anyway.
I don’t hate my body of not being with me all the way through and I don’t regret getting my baby out. But it wasn’t perfect and it did leave me with feelings of being incomplete, being kind of empty at the very end.
It took 3 more years, one more pregnancy and my very desired VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) in controlled, hospital setting that made me feel complete.
Back then I didn’t know if we are going to have more children and if I would be able to have an opportunity to make my own, 100% desired decision about the next birth scenario.
I read then if a woman has a vaginal birth after caesarean that there is almost no risk and boundaries of giving a birth at home next time.
I didn’t realize then that that wish will plant a very deep routs in my heart and that it will lead me to this: I am planning and dreaming of a HBAC (home birth after caesarean section).
And that leads me to the next thing: by doing that I am not obeying authorities general guidelines and I might be risking my own and my child life. That is how it looks like from others point of view but in its nature it is much more complex. Though there stays the fact that here is me and there is the world against this.
How to follow your heart when everyone else is yelling how selfish and irresponsible you are?
Lets look at the facts at the moment:
A worse case scenario after having a c-section is uterine rupture. Studies shows that risk factor is between 0,2 – 1% (which in statistic calculation means around every 1 out of 200 women) link. Some of most common risk factors for uterine rupture can be identified as:
- Previous infection of uterine scar site (weakens scar)
- Pregnancy less than 24 months after previous c-section. Other studies have shown <18 months.
- Induction of any kind creates a 50% (or higher) increase in uterine rupture risk depending upon type of induction.
- Placenta covering uterine scar.
- Being 42 weeks+ gestation.
- More than one previous caesarean (without previous vaginal birth) link.
Many would probably agree here that the odds are to risky and that general guidelines should be followed. But…
My brother recently said something very interesting when I was raising my question about other people doubt of having more than 2 children. He said that that is cause: “Every child is a risk”.
I don’t know if I ever looked at it like that or if I totally agree, but I see the point. Risk is everywhere around us, some are bigger than others, some of them we know and others we don’t want to find out. But by taking charge of my own body, my decisions and acts I believe I cant stay ignorant and need to try to research everything as much as possible. Only the power of information can give (the right) answers.
So here comes more risk factors just that to give everything another perspective:
General Cesarean Risks link
Short-term risks for mother:
- Maternal death
- Incidental surgical injuries
- Extended hospital stay
- Emergency hysterectomy
- Poor birth experience
Long-term risks for mother:
- Risk of future c-section
- Placenta accreta
- Placenta previa
- Uterine rupture
Risks for baby:
- Neonatal death
- Respiratory difficulties
- Iatrogenic prematurity
- Breastfeeding difficulties
- Dental disease. link
I still don’t know where I stand. I collected enormous amount of fact, studies and read both private blogs and general guidelines both in Denmark and outside in other countries. One of the most common conclusion is that there is missing a valid data and that it is hard to say what odds are the most precise one cause the general procedures don’t support having HBAC.
It has now been one week of this intense research, my personal agony, being torn apart from the feelings and almost no support out there. It is hard. I can feel that there is a watch ticking and my time is limited. And in the meanwhile the process is painful and long termed.
But I didn’t give up yet. Knowing more now than for 6 years ago I also know I cant go back in time. I know that hospital and their procedures makes me feel anxious and not controlling this birth means possibility of making the wrong decision (again). Either way I wont be able to forgive myself if I dont do everything possible on its way.
It is not fair.
And yet, there is more that one way.
No matter which one I choose, I want it to be 100% my way.