A small defeat to my spirit...

I keep staring posts and not finishing them.

Monday I started to write a post about preparation for childbirth and preparation for our second child.  We had met with our doula and had a session of our birth class with our friend and birth educator Adele (who blogs here).

I was starting to feel centered, capable, and able.

Then yesterday we had a consult with an OB from my healthcare practice.  In order to attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) you have to talk to an OB about the risks.

 In the moment, it went fine.

But she said things like this:

"When you factor in all of the statistics... using blah blah blah calculator...you only have a 25% chance of having a vaginal delivery."

"So how does this impact my care?"

"It doesn't."

Then why are you telling me this?

and then Dr Whoever said this:

"We will only let you go for 41 weeks. Which is better than most places and then we will schedule a c-section."

Sure that rate isn't so bad. But it's pretty infantalizing and paternalistic to tell me how long you will let MY body which is not separate from my personhood- do something.

And, if I don't comply- should I just stay home and have an unassisted birth or wait until it's too much and go to an ER?

"You have less than a 1% chance of having a uterine rupture."

Which is good news I suppose.  But she didn't mention any of the complications associated with a cesarean birth.    As though their are none.

Then we met with our midwife to process the interaction with the OB and to do our visit.

It was fine but the pacing was fast and left us feeling a bit frantic.  Then she asked,

"what do you think of another ultrasound at 36 weeks?"


"To check on the size of the baby. To make sure you aren't growing a giant baby or a tiny baby."

It was a passive aggressive way of saying, "large women have large babies and I want to check on the size of the baby."

"Tell me how that would impact my care."

"It wouldn't if you have a 9 or 10 pound baby. I won't tell you what size baby you can and cannot deliver. But if you have a 15 lb baby then that would change things."

How likely is it that I have a 15 lb baby really?

Other than my body weight, I have no other risk factors for a giant baby.

Beyond that, I am simply baffled that my previous midwife was so good.  With my first birth our midwife Jen was feeling around and made a pretty good guess of the size.

I guess I just thought it was more of a midwife skill than maybe it is.

She also never made me feel like my pannus (the tissue that hangs off of my belly under my belly button) was a problem or that it hindered the ability to measure my uterus correctly.

Probably because it doesn't matter as much as lots of healthcare providers like to believe.

So now we are deciding if we should bother with the other ultrasound.

And, I'm trying to regroup my energy for this labor. birth. and child.


  1. I've been hearing a number of stories about really paternalistic medical professionals recently, all from women who are fat. And I continue to be angry at the doctor who keeps trying to prescribe me unnecessary off-label medications with intense and problematic side effects because weight loss is one of the side effects (and at the health care system that means that he is my only option...). I think I am getting to the point where my sense of justice is more at work than my feeling of shame... and I'm also pretty annoyed at how long it has taken me to get to that point and how hard it is to sustain.

    All of this is just to say, I am sorry, friend. This sucks, and is such a reflection of so many of the injustices and prejudices in our society. I am thinking of you, and I have full faith in your body's ability to do your thing.

  2. I'm feeling sad (don't confuse sad for pity ;) and I have had a drink tonight) for you that preparing for your second delivery is so wrought with negativity. My friend Kristin has successfully had 2 VBACs and she was faced with a lot of "you'll never be able to do this, blah blah blah" from the MDs. Is it possible to change midwife? You have got to feel the support from her--I have seen the difference that can make. Okay, now I'm starting to preach...I want to see you feel totally comfortable with the person you're entrusting this very intimate journey with and how dare she make you feel uncomfortable. Rant over. Know you've got someone with you in the journey. Please let me know if I can be of support/help in any way--really, truly.


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