When I became pregnant less than a year later, I started researching. I assumed it would be easy to achieve a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) because I had had a vaginal birth with my first child. I quickly became aware of the fact that fewer Obstetricians are "allowing" a trial of labor after a cesarean, especially someone with my size babies. I was introduced to ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and the women of the support group encouraged me to look into Midwives instead. Unfortunately, I was turned down by many in my state due to licensure restrictions - I was pregnant less than 1 year after a cesarean, I was closed with a single layer of suturing instead of double, and I have a history of larger babies. I continued to look for a Midwife who would take me, as I was turned down repeatedly by Obstetricians, or given very narrow guidelines for a TOL (trial of labor) in the hospital. Finally, at 33 weeks I found a Traditional (non-licensed) Midwife who would attend me. I gave birth to my 10lb 10ozs daughter at home at 41 weeks 4 days with no more than a first degree tear.
Through my experiences I learned that often in the Medical world, evidence-based medicine is not practiced. I also learned that studies repeatedly show that home birth is just as safe - if not safer when you include the rate of complications - than the hospital. I also learned that my body was never broken, I had just been told it was. I made a commitment to help women avoid the experience I had suffered with my son, as well as to become a strong advocate for more choices in birth.
I began training with the Midwife who attended my HBAC when my daughter was a year old. I also overlapped apprenticing under another Midwife in a birth center for several months. Throughout my years as an apprentice, I had the honor of attending a wide variety of births - VBACs, Twins, and even several Breech births. I attended births occurring at 36 weeks gestation, as well as 43 weeks. I learned that there are so many variations of normal in childbirth, and that birth proceeds best when unhindered and respected. Birth belongs in the hands of families - not the state.
I also spent several weeks in the Philippines, volunteering at a Maternity Clinic in order to obtain more experience with more severe complications than we see here in the United States, on average. My time there was amazing, and I came home with deeper understanding of the roles of good nutrition and health in pregnancy in relation to the safety of birth. It also gave me a new-found respect and gratefulness for the medical field that we have here when we need it.
I am a "Birth Keeper" - a keeper of birth. I hold birth as sacred and not to be interfered with under normal circumstances. I am a strong believer in giving birth in water, and have a wonderful tub that is available for use by clients.
I also believe that women are amazing, powerful creatures that are capable of so much more in birth than what the media and most of the medical community gives us credit for.