During this past month, I've made some huge strides in my inner well being and have come to peace with my decision to home birth. Surprised? I am too! I thought I was resolved and at peace with having a home birth. It's amazing how much you don't know about yourself until you've been put to the test! I started this pregnancy and this journey really, believing that I'd be most comfortable with a home birth if I had a hospital that followed my pregnancy and had a completely history in case I needed to transfer. That was a guise I told myself and the world to hide the fear I felt inside. Deep inside I was using that as my safety net for my fear of not being able to handle a home birth. I was terrified I would freak out, give up and give in to a hospital birth and probably ultimately another cesarean. This fear was so ugly that I kept it from the world. I didn't tell my midwife, my husband or even myself. I couldn't face it. Then the small little tidbit comments started from my doctor at Tripler. If my surgical records weren't there in time, she felt as though my only option was a repeat cesarean. That scared the shit out of me. I came home a complete wreck. With all my knowledge, with all the facts and all the support, it wasn't enough. My confidence wasn't there. I didn't believe *I* could do it. So I let those words shatter my whole world for that day. My midwife tried to reason with me but her truth wasn't my truth, yet. That day I found my confidence and I didn't know it yet. I met a doula on facebook through mutual friends on accident when I was looking at a Hawaii Military Wives group. The day the friend request was accepted was the day I let my doctor shake me to the core. She calmed me, chatted with me and reassured me. She didn't even KNOW me! Even if she didn't, I feel as though she saw how broken I was in that moment and knew I needed the support of someone only like herself. I could be raw and open with her without her questioning why I'm doing this if I'm not sure of it. Jay and I met her soon after and decided immediately that we needed her for this birth. She's already taught us so much. But the biggest thing she's done for us, for me really, is just be there and support my every decision.
Shortly after meeting and hiring my doula (Lea), Madeleine started opening up to me more. Our meetings went from patient/doctor to friends and confidants. She started telling me stories of her births and reassuring my fears in a way a friend would. A very medically knowledgeable and brilliant friend but with the kindness and love a friend would show. I attribute this to Lea's presence in my life.
Then during my most recent visit with my doctor, my fear took a tight hold of me and elevated my blood pressure. It wasn't "high" but it was higher. Enough for the doctor to comment on it, remind herself that I had pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy and make a note to watch my BP for further hints of complications. I broke down. Madeleine and Lea have become my go-to people in my crisis mode after speaking with the doctor at Tripler. They're my safe haven. They're my anchor. They're why this birth is going to be the most epic thing in my life. I know things might not go the way I envision them but if Madeleine and Lea are by my side, this birth will be amazing compared to any other I've experienced.
Of course not everyone can have Lea specifically but now I understand the very strong push from the natural birthing community for moms-to-be to hire a doula. If you find the doula that meshes and syncs with you so beautifully they are down right essential. It's such a spiritual bond that it's almost difficult to put into words. Maybe I'm just lucky and Lea was literally sent to me for a reason but I urge everyone to find that person who you bond with instantly over tears and sorrow. Those are the people that will be the most supportive and raw people in your life. It's life changing. My doula won't necessarily be that for you but there is a doula out there like this for you. It was honestly terrifying to think of meeting and getting to know doulas because it such an intimate relationship that finding one is almost like dating. That's scary! But believe me when I say the reward is so worth the heartache of searching.
Of course I had the knowledge, I had the reasons and the right ideas, I just need the right frame of mind. No research can give you that. I'm as bull headed as they come but deep down I still have insecurities and fears. I let those chip away at me until the doctor found that chip and starting chiseling away too. Lea has helped me seal up those cracks in my resolve and I'm feeling more confident than ever about this birth.
So much so that I'm considering not seeing the hospital anymore after 35 weeks. I've come so far, I don't need or want the negative energy in my pregnancy, in my head or sneaking into my birth.
Last night during our most recent meeting with Lea, I remembered how much I've been through to get to this place in my pregnancy, in my life and in this birth. This month marks two years since Jay and I decided to get the vasectomy reversal and to try to expand our family. It took us until June to get the reversal, then another year of tears and heartache to get pregnant. I did NOT go through all of that to give up now. If anything those months of emotional roller coaster rides gave me the strength to push through, I just needed to figure out how to access it. Everything has been building up to this birth and I can't let myself down now.
The support from my friends has been absolutely amazing and I have to say thank you for not doubting me. Those that doubt me, it's alright. I feel like you've never experienced the trauma that I have and I pray you never do. Just know that each birth is yours and you alone have the power to decide how that baby is coming into the world, be it naturally, induction, c-section or any other method. Become educated about your options, decide what is best for you and your family and don't let a doctor or anyone else try to coerce you into something you aren't comfortable with.
I honestly want nothing but the best for each and every one of you. So if you have any questions about my research, my findings and my informed decisions, feel free to ask!
Until next time!