Okay, so maybe I was jumping the gun a little, but I was curious. First, let me say that I am NOT pregnant at this time.
I booked an appointment with New Dawn, the main midwifery in town, just to see what our options were in the case that we were to get pregnant again. (We aren't trying, but we also aren't preventing. Nursing is a form of birth control in itself, called the lactational amnorrheic method if you are interested in more info.)
The appointment was yesterday, and I was really looking forward to chatting with someone in the field about my birth experience and my future possibilities. The midwife I met, Alicia, (I think I am remembering her name correctly), was really nice. She was compassionate as I related my story to her, and understanding when a couple of tears made their way down my cheeks.
She informed me of some shocking statistics, such as, when a woman is induced for her first labor, her chances of emergency C-section are 60%. 60%?! She also told me that Mission Hospital’s rate is more like 80%. WHAT??! (Also, the national average of C-section births, as I have mentioned before, as about 33%; Mission’s is more like 40%.*)
Can you imagine how angered I was by this?? I felt absolutely set up. Surely my OB knows these rates. I feel almost deceived. Like a lie of omission. I was very, very clear on my wishes for a natural birth and as little intervention as possible. I feel like, knowing these outrageous numbers, she should have informed me of them.
My hearing that I’d need an emergency delivery after 23 long hours of labor wouldn’t have come as such a shock. Who knows, I may have opted not to be induced at all. I can’t tell you what I would have done, but I can tell you that I am super upset. Should I confront her? I almost feel like switching doctors. The thing is, though, that I really like her and I don’t think she intentionally deceived me. I just feel like this is the kind of information every pregnant mother should know.
Also, I believe I had said in a previous blog that the delivering OB had told me that my pelvis was too narrow and I wasn’t a candidate for VBAC for our next child… The midwife looked at me in a way that told me she couldn’t believe what she had just heard. She said that unless there is an extreme case, like disease or a pelvis that has been broken and wired shut, any woman’s pelvis will open and relax enough to vaginally deliver her baby.
She also told me that it is best to wait at least 6 months, preferably a year, to try to conceive after having a C-section. There may be placental attachment issues if enough time has not been given to the incision to heal, and the chances of uterine rupture go way up as well. She said that their policy is that if a woman becomes pregnant before enough time has elapsed, the baby will automatically be delivered via Cesarean Section, that they don’t risk the “trial of labor”, as a VBAC is referred to in the medical field.
Huh. That gives me a lot to think about. I hope it gives you something to chew on, too. My next question is: what do we do to inform expectant mothers of this appalling information? How can we become advocates for those that wish to deliver naturally? I’m really fired up about this and want to reach out to others. Any ideas?
*A bit of good news, though: Mission’s VBAC success rate is somewhere between 60-80%, and New Dawn’s is around 90%.