During your second pregnancy, you might be deciding what your preferences are for the birth: How similar, or how different are they from your first? And if you had a caesarean the first time around, what do you hope for this time? ‘Proud momma of three’ and clinical psychologist Kear talks about making that decision, and finding what is right for you and your new arrival.
My twins were delivered by caesarean section (c-section) at 36+3 due to medical complications. I had a little over 24 hours to get my head around this turn of events. Fortunately, it didn’t come as too much of a shock. I’d always known this was a possibility with a twin pregnancy and had included detailed birth preferences for a ‘gentle’ c-section should the need arise.
When I became pregnant with my third baby, the Obstetricians were unanimously advocating that I try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean). While I understood intellectually that this statistically represented the lowest risk mode of delivery for both me and my baby, I found myself unable to fully commit to preparing in the way I would normally apply myself so dedicatedly to other areas of my life.
I am surprised and saddened by how harsh and unforgiving both I, and other mothers are with ourselves.
I gave myself the summer to ‘sit’ with the possibility of a VBAC, researching the benefits and risks, reading other VBAC birth stories online, interrogating myself; my fears and concerns, all the while waiting to see if my motivation to actively prepare both body and mind for a vaginal delivery would return.
Then one Sunday morning a few weeks before my due date, I realised that I hadn’t felt the baby moving as she normally would, which necessitated a panic-driven dash to our local maternity hospital to be checked out.
Fortunately, everything was fine. However, this experience bought home to me the reality of how far away we live from the hospital – which felt even further away when I was so worried about our baby. The experience left me shaken, but also really helped to clarify my decision to opt for a planned caesarean.
While knowing the date I would meet our baby, and the mode of delivery served to allay some of my anxieties, I continued to doubt myself and question my underlying motivation for choosing this option.
It wasn’t until after our baby was delivered that my choice was fully validated. Having finished putting me back together again, the Surgeon informed me that the scar from my previous C-Section was ‘paper-thin’, which would have placed me at increased risk of uterine rupture had I followed the advice to proceed with a VBAC.
In that moment, I finally understood why I’d been unable to commit to a VBAC. Clearly, the wisdom of my body knew something far greater than I could access with my rational thinking brain.
Every woman needs…
To learn to trust herself and her own intuitive sense of what is right for her; her body and her baby. I am surprised and saddened by how harsh and unforgiving both I, and other mothers are with ourselves; and sometimes each other when it comes to giving birth.
I feel proud of my body for growing, birthing and nourishing all my precious babies. That I never laboured or pushed them out of my nether regions is happily neither a source of shame, failure or regret for me.
Kear is a proud mamma to three gorgeous girls, including non-identical twins. She is a qualified Clinical Psychologist & Somatic Experiencing practitioner working in Adult Mental Health with the HSE, and private practice at www.psychology-ireland.ie, where she is known as Dr. Kear Brain.
You can view the ‘everymum’ article here.
For further information about this, or other areas of emotional and mental health, please contact Kear on: 086 3842616 or email@example.com
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