Big changes are coming for this little heart-centered business of mine. You know that feeling when there’s one thing in your life that just keeps pulling you back in? You have plenty of interests and passions, but every time you put your energy elsewhere, that thing comes knocking at your door? That’s me when it comes to all things VBAC.
8 years ago I became a cesarean mama. 6 years ago I became a VBAC mama. And 2.5 years ago I became a HBAC (home birth after cesarean) mama. And over the course of the years since I’ve been mom-ing, I’ve become a birth doula, childbirth educator, doula trainer with Doula Trainings International, ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) leader & chapter founder, and passionate birth rights advocate. And in the past year, we’ve seen Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover officially begin to support VBACs. Yet there’s still so much work to be done. The particular challenges associated with giving birth by cesarean and with planning for a VBAC are deeply personal to me. These families face challenges finding supportive providers, especially if their birth history or current pregnancy fall anywhere outside the “healthy pregnancy and one previous cesarean with a transverse scar” designation. People birthing after cesarean have to fight so very hard to simply birth on their own terms. And they often have to work through fear and uncertainty stemming from previous birth experiences. They have to shoulder the weight of incorrect assumptions and perceptions of their choice to attempt to VBAC. Recently I’ve found myself working almost exclusively with VBAC families and I’ve embraced a profound truth that I’m meant to accompany them on their journeys. I’m more resolute than ever to use my time, energy, knowledge, experience, and skills to support VBAC families. I have some very exciting projects in the works to help more VBAC families and plans to keep pushing for change in the VBAC climate as a whole.
To the VBAC families I’ve worked with, I am in awe of you. I’m in awe of those who’ve gone on to have VBACs. I’m in awe of those who’ve gone one to have repeat cesareans. I’m awe of those of you who’ve been dealt the hand of multiple birth experiences that you wished were different. You are among the bravest and strongest people I know. I am honored to have walked the path with you.
To all the VBAC families I’ll work with in the future, I believe from the very bottom of my heart that you should be at the center of your birth experience. No matter how you ultimately give birth, you deserve options, evidence-based information, a full support team cheering you on and loving you through the process, and an empowered birth experience. I’d be honored to be one of those team members, cheering you on and walking this path with you.
I’m working hard behind the scenes to finalize a few details about my new direction and I’ll officially launch what I have in the works next Monday, November 26. And if you’re local to the Seacoast and looking for birth doula support or childbirth educatin, VBAC or not, I’m still your woman. I’ll be continuing to serve Seacoast families as they embark on their birth and parenting journeys. Stay tuned for more next week!