Some disclaimers and notes.
The gender and hate note: Most of my writing refers to pregnant and birthing people as pregnant and birthing people or in some cases, particularly when citing research–she or her. I am committed to inclusivity and am adding an update that 2022 will bring a revision of the posts from earlier years to match my current thinking which has evolved over time. All are welcome here. Hateful and shaming remarks will be deleted because I believe that we can all find ways to communicate to teach, learn, and engage with each other without shaming, demeaning, or hateful speech.
The Cesarean Birth Note: Welcome. You had One. I did too. I hear from a lot of you that it is hard when you see my posts about birthing. About homebirthing. Many of you transferred from a homebirth to a cesarean and feel extra rough about it all. It’s okay to tune out blogs and posts that bring this up for you. You will be ready one day, but today might not be it and I highly honor that. My cesarean made a mom out of me and frankly, a midwife out of me too. I didn’t realize I did not want to birth that way again until I was pregnant with my second. I did not get into birth work until after the birth of my third. I got in, not from anger, but from understanding that we don’t know what we don’t know until we know it–and that usually comes along after the first cesarean just like mine did, and people need a welcoming landing spot to investigate all of it. You did not fail, you succeeded in making the best decisions you could along the way with the information and resources you had and you met your baby in an unexpected way. You do not relinquish the work and connection of those 40 big long weeks of pregnancy or the work and connection of the hours or days of laboring or your birth, or the work and connection of parenting now because of this mode of birthing. It is not what you wanted. It can be a time that you can easily make sense of and move forward from in good emotional and physical health. It can be a time of great doubt, shame, and turmoil. It can be both of those on alternating hours or days or months. You might want to understand and reflect further. There is no right way to do this work. But do join ICAN online (free on facebook), share your story, seek comfort from your peers and professional help if that is not enough to see you through. You are seen. You are loved. You are heard.
The VBAC note: Hello! I adore this journey you are on–it is extra extra in the best ways. You should find a lot of resources in your community and on ICAN. Surround yourself with a team who has proven they support this process and approach the use of interventions judiciously–timely, appropriate, not jumping the gun. Join ICAN (link above) if you haven’t, it’s free and there is nothing like peer support to get you there!
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