Sometimes being involved with ICAN can be a touch depressing and frustrating. Those of us who are leaders and co-leaders are so invested in knowing the research and continually studying cesareans, VBACs, and being up-to-date on the latest about birth and cesarean and VBAC; it is really hard to watch the trends around us and the doctors around us making horrific decisions for women that don’t seem to feel they have options. So many just go into it convinced that they have no other choice but repeat c-section and are also convinced (in their own minds or by their doctors or a combination?) that attempting labor again would be some awful barbaric experience, yet repeat cesarean will be lovely and risk-free. (!?) I seriously see this so many times and it makes me so sick because this is what we are trying so hard to combat and reverse.
But then we have meetings and things like this happen…
At our meeting last night we had a new young lady join us. She told the story of her first birth, a cesarean, which she now understands was almost certainly unnecessary and was primarily because she didn’t realize she had options and she didn’t realize that her doctor wasn’t advising her to do what was best for herself and her baby. She was induced early and had a nightmarish, long, failed-induction-turned-cesarean. As she is expecting her second baby now, she is determined not to have that same experience again. She told us she didn’t think her current OB is being very supportive but has no idea where to turn or what to do. We asked who her OB is and as the name was uttered there was an audible gasp in the room. Yes. We know that name quite well. And we know that practice with the 1-in-8 chance of ever even having YOUR doctor on call when you go into labor (if you get so lucky as to not be induced by their ridiculous induction standards). There were midwives and doulas in the room who have had extremely negative experiences with this particular doctor (and practice) so his name is on our short list of doctors to avoid. Probably at the top of that list, actually.
She was visibly relieved to have validation of her feelings about her doctor and was anxious to know…. “Well, where do I go next!?” So we gave her our best recommendations and she made a choice and left with that name written down with plans to call the very next day! She’s actually planning to see who I saw with Ephraim, which is a very good choice! She also was very interested in hiring a doula and also took down names/numbers and said she would definitely stay in touch with us and will probably be back next month. :) I sure hope so!
Having women come to our meetings who are truly in need of good information and needing to know that she has options is so rewarding and wonderful. To see how worried she was at the beginning of the meeting and how utterly relieved she felt by the end, and she was confidant that she knew what to do next! It was just a perfect end to my day. This is why I love ICAN. :)