Four doctors told me I absolutely had to have a C-section when I was pregnant with my daughter, Juliana - my 2nd child.
I was 40 (geriatric 🙄 and high-risk). I was pressured into a C-section with my first. And had a myomectomy (fibroids removed so extra incisions = higher risk for rupture) prior to getting pregnant again.
My birth experience with my first child, Danny was very traumatic and had a lot of complications.
I wanted a different birth experience for my daughter. And suspected that I was with the wrong OB/GYN practice.
I found ONE doctor (on earth, it seems) that looked at my records and said that my body could stand the trial of labor if I wanted. And that his practice had a central tenant of shared-decision making between the doctor and the mama.
WHUT? Was this doc a quack?
But a seed was planted. I wanted to take my own power back.
I spent Juju's pregnancy with a lot of stress and anxiety whereas my first pregnancy, i was blissfully positive and fairly carefree.
Was I going to hurt my baby? Was it too dangerous? What was I even thinking going against the grain like this? What if my doc was wrong? What if I was wrong?
I searched on the internet and found exactly ONE person on earth that had the same conditions as me and had a successful VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). ONLY ONE! And she was in the UK.
No doulas had experience with it. Nothing. No midwives. Not my new doctor.
Am I effing NUTS??!?!?
But I started training. Not intentionally. I just knew I needed more strength from everywhere I could.
went to kickboxing classes up to 31 weeks pregnant, Flywheel spin (RIP, FW) classes up to 38 weeks, prenatal yoga, and took my last barre class at 40 weeks!
I was truly fueled by pure anger at the care and mishandled guidance from my first doctor.
I hired a birthing doula and a postpartum doula. I made sure that the people around me were strong and supportive.
I tried to prepare for the best and the worst.
I had the same exact conditions with my daughter as I did with my son. Too much amniotic fluid towards the end.
Not only that, Juliana had turned breech and my new doctor was able to manually rotate her. Her head was finally down. Holy sh*t!
Every moment felt like a N-A-I-L B-I-T-E-R! Oh, and did I mention, we did IVF to get pregnant with her? Sheesh!
And I remember towards the end, I was SO afraid that I would have to get another C-section. I was ALL IN.
I was mentally and physically ready.
And wouldn't you know, I had a med-free vaginal birth with her.
it was the most pain I've ever felt. I remember towards the end, the primal screams begging to cut me open or get a vacuum and suck her out! I couldn't do it anymore.
But we did it.
What a dream. I could never adequately explain how magnificent this felt on every level.
I got my voice back.
And I also witnessed firsthand the difference between the broken maternal healthcare system and one where mothers had proper education, support, and full choice. 😡
It's one of the reasons why I started Culture Changers podcast, because I wanted to create a bigger platform for change.
But I also feel this strength building again for my next chapter.
Some may know that I tore my ACL almost 2 years ago and have been VERY ginger with my knee since - to the point that the muscle has really fell to sh*t around that leg.
So I have been going to PT-led clinical strength training, thanks to the referral of my friend, Renee.
I'm spending more intentional time in nature and working with a therapist to help me get my head right.
I've been SO intentional with WHOM I surround myself and feel like there are some glimmers of possibilities starting to surface.
And also, YOU! Hearing your feedback on this blog and from Culture Changers Podcast gives me so much life.
Anyway, August is going to be a crazy-ass month. I can't wait to tell you about the TRIP I'm taking in next week's blog post. And not the trip you might be thinking...✨
And for today's episode, we are revisiting this life-changing book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder. by Dr. Valerie Rein.
DROP EVERYTHING YOU'RE DOING AND LISTEN!
It changed every perspective I had on our society and as a woman and is SO groundbreaking.
P.S. Do you want to make a big changes in your community AND you want to support the creation of this podcast? For as little as a few bucks a month, you can help me offset the costs, join the community of folks looking to make a bigger impact, and get many, many perks. Support me here.
P.P.S. Hey, are you in my head rn?
P.P.P.S. A slight change of perspective. The beauty will move you to tears.