What You’re not Told about your Birth Options

My first pregnancy was your average American pregnancy. Find out you are pregnant, find an OB and go have your baby at the hospital. Like many women, I passed my due date and was not in labor. I really did not want to be induced, so I “compromised” with my doctor and waited until I was 41 weeks and 6 days pregnant. She was no longer willing to work with me at that point. I asked if we could monitor the baby rather than going straight to induction. She told me that was not possible. I did not find out until many weeks later, that I had the right to not show up for that induction. I don’t know how I didn’t know that, but it never occurred to me. We take for granted that our doctors know best and that we MUST do what we are told. The truth is that you do not have to submit to any medical procedure that you do not consent to. My induction took the classic path – my body was not ready and my baby was not ready, she went into distress and a c-section was done. I came out of it with a healthy baby, but a long painful recovery.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter I was told that because I had a previous cesarean, I would have to have one this time as well. Having learned my lesson the first time, I kept looking, asking questions and finding out what my REAL options were. I found a Certified Professional Midwife who had delivered hundreds of babies at home. I did not need surgery, I just needed someone who believed in me! My second daughter was born at home after a long but safe labor. She and I were BOTH healthy this time. I could not believe the difference between caring for a baby after surgery and after a normal birth.

You as the patient have the right to question every decision and make the final call. Your doctor has gone to school for a long time and knows an awful lot, but it is your body and you are in charge of it. Their insurance may say that they can’t offer VBAC, but that doesn’t mean you have to have surgery. Maybe you have to go to a different doctor, birth at home, go to the hospital in labor and refuse surgery, but his/her insurance does not dictate YOUR birth unless you let it.