When our family moved to Florida, I was pregnant. Perhaps the scariest thing about moving across the country away from our friends and family, was that it meant leaving behind a trusted physician. I was nervous about leaving his practice because he gave me what I thought I did not have: hope for a family.
He listened to my concerns. He gave me bible verses and expressed genuine sorrow when I had a miscarriage. He stayed at the hospital long after my son was born and came by to express his regret that we ended more than a day's worth of labor in a c-section. He was kind and always had time for his patients.
When we moved, I did my due diligence to find a pro life physician, hoping that a doctor who cared enough about respecting human life would also treat his patients the same. I found a really wonderful practice that is a husband and wife team. It was a little outside of town, but they took me mid-pregnancy and again, listened to my concerns. Unfortunately, the hospital would not allow for a VBAC opportunity, but I delivered my daughter safely and had doctors that listened to me and that I trusted.
Before I became pregnant this time, I began to research my options in regards to a VBA2C. Not because I felt I was robbed of dignity or an opportunity with my previous birth experiences, but because I wanted to give myself and my body the chance to work the way it was made to work. I located the best facility for such an experience, and before long I was pregnant. I stayed with my physician through the first trimester as I have progesterone deficiencies while the placenta develops. Once I made it safely through the first trimester, I arranged to transfer to another group of physicians.
This practice was much larger, to say the least. While transferring was easy enough, I began to see that things were going to be quite different. To start, I never saw the same physician twice so every appointment was like starting over. Every doctor had a different "sticking" point: one appointment was focused on my VBA2C goal. The next would be focused on PCOS and how I should be high risk. Then my previous records were in and I was green lighted for a VBA2C attempt. Then I wasn't gaining weight slow enough. I needed more iron. I shouldn't be on metformin. Then I was gaining weight too slowly. I passed the glucose testing, but high levels of amniotic fluid meant I needed to be treated as though I had GD. My blood sugars were on the high end of normal, so my metformin should double now. I needed ten ultrasounds. I was checked in as the wrong patient and marked as a no show. I went two weeks without a doctor ordering follow up appointments and was told it was my fault. Then I was told at 34 weeks that a VBA2C was never in the cards because my reports did not reflect the ideal situation they needed to, meaning no one had actually reviewed them when they were received and I was green lighted nearly four months prior. They performed studies during the ultrasounds but never gave me the results. I was ignored and treated like a standard operating procedure.
After a particularly horrid appointment, I had enough. I went to lobby and called my regular physician and begged his staff to have him call me. By the time I pulled into my driveway, he had returned my call. I unloaded the awfulness of the previous five months: every sordid detail. He told me to send him my records and that he would schedule a repeat c-section for me. I cannot describe the relief I felt! I still had a month or so of issues to deal with, but there was happiness at the end of it all, at last!
I am writing this out, because I am on the cusp of being a week away from my delivery date, and I do not want to have to remember or recall the last six months of this pregnancy. I do not mean to discredit the concerns of any of the physicians, but the constant run around and dishonesty caused many sleepless nights and stress-filled days that simply were not healthy for my pregnancy. I come across posts or stories of women that feel incomplete or as though a piece of their womanhood is missing because of c-sections. I read this piece this morning even. While I teared up when the author wrote about how her husband thanked her for the sacrifice, I will be going through this for the third time and I just can't say that I have any regrets besides transferring to the bigger, "VBAC-friendly" facility. My health and safety matters with my current physician, and so does the health and safety of every life that will potentially grow in my womb.
I am writing this now so that, in a little over a week, I can be free to experience the beginning of my child's life and put all of the turmoil behind me.
I am reminded once more at how incredibly grateful I am to have discovered the kind of care that pro life physicians have to offer. Maybe one has nothing to do with the other, but in my experience a doctor that cares about the life of the tiniest human, cares about the health and safety of the mother as well.