Today, my Facebook status update said that VBACs always make me a little excited and a little heartsick. I was asked why it made me feel both ways, and had some e-mails inquiries as well.

VBAC is so important to me, first of all. Anytime a mother desires something that may not be “the norm” or what is expected out of the majority, I already root for her for so many reasons. For one, it’s her right to choose. When we feel something is fundamentally right for us, it can be a challenge to continue that pursuit when everyone else around you is telling you that you are wrong. For another thing, if no one went against the grain, we would never learn. That new OB who just finished his residency would never get a chance to see what is possible from a mother, her body, and her baby is no one attempted a VBAC. What a sad skill set to lose to time…

VBAC is important to me because it’s important to mothers and families.

Usually there is some work to do to “process” the previous birth (the cesarean). This isn’t always the case, but I would say the majority of the time, it’s true. Even if a client comes thinking they are okay with their prior experience, once they get down to educating themselces and gathering the information they need to make an informed decision and attempt a VBAC, they start second-guessing, orthey realize they are NOT okay with thier cesarean. That’s a hard line to tow alone, and it gives me, the mother, and her partner(s) a chance to work together to help them find a place of peace and acceptance with that birth.

There is no way to tell who will have a vaginal birth and who will have a repeate cesarean. There are certainly things we can do to help improve the odds of a vaginal birth, but care provider and environment go a long way in that, and there is only so much I/we can do about that. I feel a great(er) responsibility to help them achieve their desired outcome, so that’s a bit scary, too.

VBAC is super, super important to me. Not only because it’s been shown over and over that for healthy, low-risk moms, a trial of labor is so much better for her and her baby, but because moms seeking a VBAC obviously do so for a reason. I don’t want to be another person telling them they can’t or shouldn’t do it, but someone, and sometimes the only (sadly) one who is saying they can!

On the flip side, it’s so exciting because it’s a challenge. It challenges me to learn new things about birth, about pain management, about calming techniques, just learning in general and that’s always good for me. It’s exciting because I get to see a woman embrace her inner strength, cast out her greatest fears, and welcome all her awesomeness regardless of how her baby is born. It’s exciting because, as with any other client, I get to see a new life emerge, watch the changes on the face of that new mother and father, and I get to observe it all… And then help them remember and cherish it later on. How wicked cool is THAT?!

I ♥ my job!