A woman who had four cesareans, after planning VBACs and home births, recently contacted me. She didn’t know where she fit into the birth community. My heart went out to her because there have been periods in my life when I have felt isolated and alone. And it’s a crappy feeling. I replied to her, “A vaginal delivery is not required to participate in the birth community. There are many cesarean moms just like you who are seeking compassion, connection, and understanding. You could be a soft place for other women to land as they mourn (or celebrate!) their cesarean deliveries.”
I’m in an online group for labor & delivery nurses where the discussion of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) at home came up. While some understood the massive VBAC barriers many women face, others simply said, “Find a hospital that supports VBAC.” I left a late-night comment stating that “finding another hospital that supports VBAC” is just not a reality in many areas of the country. It’s literally not possible. Not even in the highly populated state of California. I also suggested rather than calling women stupid or debating the validity of the decision to have a home VBAC , we should consider why women make this decision.
My intention in attending this meeting was to amplify the voice of the consumer. I think sometimes it’s difficult for OBs who attend VBACs, or for those who live in communities where they have access to hospitals that allow VBAC, to understand that not everyone lives in that world.
I asked on Facebook for resources for women who are in the midst of the processing and grieving. Here is the list. If you know of more, whether they are on-line or in-person groups, for free or a fee, please leave a comment. None of these groups or individuals have been checked out or endorsed by VBAC Facts. This is simply a list of resources for you to check out.
Last week, I shared the eleven things that I love about ACOG’s latest VBAC guidelines. And with good reason. There’s some excellent new language as well as reiterations of positions that they presented back in 2010. But there are a few places where ACOG misses the mark and these are the three areas that gave me the most concern.