I went to the weekly “Ring Ding Sing-A-Long” program for children at the library today with Anna (the light of my life, almost 16 months). There was a woman there with a stroller that held three little ones, approximately six months each. She promptly put them on the floor on blankets and it did appear as if all of them enjoyed the thirty minutes of music and stories. I was standing right next to the woman when I heard her tell the librarian that she was from a city about twenty minutes away, but that she was the nanny for these three and that they all lived near the library.
I was taught by my mentor midwife to say the words “home birth” once a day every day. I figured this was my chance.
I said to the woman that I expected to be in her home town very soon as I was a home birth midwife and that one of my very pregnant woman lived there. She said to me, “I would have loved a home birth, but I had two sections.” I told her that almost everyone had sections.” “But my first was an emergency,” she said.
Well, we talked for quite some time. The “emergency” could most certainly have been avoided, another iatrogenic situation. More than once, she said that she wished she had known that, wished someone had told her what I was telling her, and that she wished she had met me before she had given birth.
I told her that I, myself, wish that I had met me before I had my cesarean, too…
And her second, well, that was a repeat cesarean.
“Didn’t they tell you that since it wasn’t a recurring situation, you could have had a vaginal birth that time?” I asked.
“Well, we talked about a VBAC – you are a midwife, you must know what that means, right?” she asked. I told her yes, and that in fact, I had coined the acronym.
She heaved a big sigh and apologized for the tears welling up in her eyes. I told her that I was going to be leading an online group on “Grieving and Healing After A Disappointing, Upsetting or Traumatic Birth.” “Do you have a card?” she asked. I didn’t, but we found a pen and a piece of paper and so she is all set.
One of the things she mentioned was that when she talked about a VBAC with her midwife, the midwife said they could attempt one, but that there were risks. I asked if her mEdwife had also discussed the risks with another cesarean – the risks of anesthesia, the risks of major abdominal surgery, and the risks to the baby as well.
Of course not.
And so, the fun little program at the library this morning was another opportunity to bump into another woman who has been grieving her births for eleven years. “I love my kids so much,” women tell me, “but I so hate how they were born.”
If only you hospital birth people knew the lasting lifelong sorrow women endure every time you book a cesarean and do yet another one of your daily Cutathons.