I had a c-section with my first son, so it was my first instinct to schedule a repeat c-section with my second son. But something changed. I felt stuck and unsure what to do for my birth plan. I had a strong desire to have a VBAC but that seemed risky. So, I applied my mindset and decision making tools and found my answer. My new plan was a win-win no matter what happened. Listen to this episode to hear what I decided and how it turned out.

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Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast, where it’s all about helping moms live their best lives. My hope with this podcast is you’re more inspired to become the mom you are made to be. I’m Natalie, your host, a wife, boy, mom, dog lover, Chicagoan, and former lawyer turned professionally certified coach. If you’re here to grow, I can help. Let’s go.

Hello my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so happy to be here with you today talking about my labor and delivery mindset. This is something I’ve been so looking forward to sharing with you as I, um, am now a few months postpartum. My second son is three months old and it’s going so fast. As you know, I was thinking about how helpful these tools were when I was making the decision about how to approach labor and delivery and the birth of my second son.

And I really just felt called to share this with you because I think it could be helpful regardless of whether you’re expecting or not. And if you aren’t expecting and you know someone who’s expecting, I would love if you sent them this podcast, I think it could be really helpful. So if you have any pregnant friends, send them this podcast so that they get a chance to learn some mindset tools that can help with making decisions for labor and delivery. That’s my hope with this podcast at least. So a little bit of background with my first son, Robert. I had an induction that resulted in a C-section due to his heart rate dropping and I labored for about 24 hours. Overall, I had a fantastic experience and I recovered really well. With my second son. I was at a new practice in Chicago because we had just moved up to Chicago after living in Charleston for a couple of years.

So I wasn’t gonna be delivering at the same hospital. And I was at a completely new practice that I joined at about 30 weeks pregnant. So my first thought was, okay, I’m definitely gonna have a repeat c-section. I have a lot of friends who have had C-sections. And just generally speaking, everyone who I personally know has had a repeat C-section. So if they had a C-section, then any kids after that, they continued to have C-sections for. So it seemed just like the obvious choice to me. And for whatever reason, I started to have the urge and just the desire was planted in me that maybe I wanted to try for a vaginal delivery and I didn’t know what that was about. And it sort of muddled things and added some complexities and I just sort of let it be there at first. And I was thinking about my first son’s delivery, and one thing that I didn’t love was that I didn’t get a chance to push.

And of course it worked out exactly how it was supposed to. But, um, just knowing that I was thinking about what I would like for my second and how that would be a really cool experience, you know, everything else being equal, if I’m sort of just choosing, of course there are things that, that happen or that could happen that would prevent that and that would be fine. I was, I was fine with that. I was sort of just doing this mental exercise of if anything was possible for me in the future with future deliveries, like what would be my best case scenario. Um, and while a repeat c-section seemed like the easiest and most obvious way, you know, on the other hand, I had this desire for something different this time and it was planted in my mind to do a vbac, a vaginal birth after cesarean is what that stands for.

And so I felt a little bit stuck. And I will say that this is a little bit unusual for me. I am not often in indecision. I make decisions pretty quickly. I coach myself. I, um, have my own back for my decisions. And so it’s pretty rare that I get an indecision. And that was one of the big reasons why I wanted to do this episode because I wanna share with you how I got to a place of really loving the decision I made all while knowing I can’t control the outcome regardless of the decision I make. You know, it’s just on paper, right? We all know you’ve had kids that, um, that things change. And, and being okay with that was something that I did a lot of work on. So what I noticed with weighing the pros and cons for the decision was I was thinking about the negatives of both.

And I was really not giving myself a win-win option. My thoughts were if I had a pre-scheduled C-section, I wouldn’t give my body the chance to try to do it vaginally, and I would regret that. And then for the vbac my thoughts were if I decided to go for a VBAC and it resulted in a C-section, it would just be a waste because it would’ve been much easier had I scheduled it ahead of time. It’s much harder to go for a VBAC and then have a C-section because you have to labor and do all of that, and it’s inconvenient for your family and all for what it was sort of a waste. Those were my default thoughts. One little sidebar here. Please do not judge me for my default primitive brain thoughts. I know that it is 100% a privilege to be thinking about, um, this decision as well.

And I just want to offer this to you because I’m hoping that the decision making part of it is helpful, um, for you, but it is not lost on me that any of these options are wonderful options just to be able to bring a child into this world. Okay, sidebar over. So my, my default brain was, was thinking that, um, pre-scheduling the C-section would be something I would regret. And it was also thinking that going for a VBAC and having it end in a C-section would be bad as well because that’s a much harder way to go and it’s inconvenient for our family. And so I felt really stuck and unsure of what to do. And at first I noticed I was asking other people, I was looking for the answer outside of me. I was seeing what they did, what they recommend, what their experience was, and it did not help me at all. It just kept me stuck and in confusion and in indecision.

And after a few weeks of this, which is a really long time for me, normally I make decisions within a day or a couple days, I decided that I needed to approach this differently because kind of going at this and getting the same result of being in confusion and a decision for weeks is just not useful. So I got really quiet by myself and I went inward and I asked myself what I thought I should do, what I thought was best for my body and what I thought I should do in this case with this pregnancy. And I just waited for the answer. And it took a couple of days to really really honor the decision.

And it took getting really quiet and it took being alone. I needed access to my heart and to my intuition, and I needed to be really connected to myself to hear myself. And then the answer came, it was clear to try for a vbac. I wasn’t supposed to plan everything ahead. I was supposed to let my body do its thing and just trust it. And I never had this type of knowing with my first son. It’s very interesting. With my first son, I always had a honcho to end in a C-section, which is really kind of fascinating, right? Um, but I really believe that with my second, I was supposed to have this, this knowing, and I decided that I needed to make peace with whatever the outcome was because of course, this is just my birth plan, you know, things happen, things change, um, once you’re in the delivery room.

So what I realized after coaching myself on this and making that decision was that I was really only thinking of worst case for both options and that this was optional. So I decided to rewrite the story, and here’s what I decided. I decided that if the VBAC resulted in a C-section anyway, instead of thinking of it as, you know, a failure or a waste, I decided I could view it as a success. An attempted vaginal delivery that resulted in a c-section was a success for me. That was, it. It like blew my mind. I didn’t have to view it as a waste. I didn’t have to view it as an inconvenience for my family. I didn’t have to view it as a failure at all. I didn’t view my first c-section as a failure. So why would I view this one?

And once I realized this, once I made peace with, you know, not trying to control what I can’t control, once I made peace with whatever outcome comes from that labor and delivery experience, I felt so much more confident in my decision because I knew that I could trust myself. I knew that I had confidence in myself no matter what happened. So I decided to completely change my birth plan and schedule a backup induction past my due date, which was just recommended due to my age. This way it gave my body time to do its thing naturally with the hope of going into spontaneous labor. And on the eve of 39 weeks, I started having contractions one week ahead of my due date, which interestingly, this was ahead of any pre-scheduled c-section date that I would’ve had. Isn’t that fascinating? So the, the scheduled C-section that I would’ve had was a few days later.

So I would have gone into labor no matter what. Isn’t that just so crazy how things work? It’s just so interesting, right? Okay. So anyways, 39 weeks, I have contractions. I end up going to the hospital that night, and I have Henry, my second son, vaginally with only 30 minutes of pushing. I had labored for about a day and um, within 24 hours and only 30 minutes of pushing, he was born. So incredible. What’s really amazing is that I’ve now had both experiences, and that’s what this really was about, for me to try something new and different, even if it resulted in the same outcome of a C-section. I wanted to try and I did that. And it wasn’t about one being better than the other. In fact, I’m not sure what I will choose if we ever have a third child. There are certainly pros and cons to both, and I will spare you my friends with the details of those.

But what I love is that I really did create the opportunity to experience both ways of giving birth. I know not everyone has this opportunity, and I do feel really privileged to be in good health, and it is not lost on me. Just what a privilege it is to even have this conversation. So my hope with this episode is to keep it short and sweet and just to inspire you to make decisions by going inward. Get quiet is step one. Step two is ask yourself what you should do. And step three is, wait for the answer, repeat this as needed. It’s not that getting other people’s opinions isn’t helpful from time to time, but there comes a point where it’s most useful to stop doing that and to start turning inward and make the decision for yourself. A decision is only a “bad one” if you decide it’s bad, you can decide that you wouldn’t remake a decision and you can still decide you learned from it.

You can always have your own back even if you wouldn’t remake the same decision. For example, I completely believe I was supposed to have my son, my first son the way I did. However, in the future, I wouldn’t necessarily redo labor and delivery the way that I did it. I wouldn’t pre-plan that induction at 39 weeks like I did with my first son. This doesn’t mean I regret doing it this way with Robert. I don’t. I learned so much from that experience and I’m so appreciative of it. And I know that he came into this world exactly how he was supposed to. And then with Henry, interestingly enough, he also came into the world, uh, at 39 weeks from spontaneous labor. I had a completely different experience. I had a successful vbac, and that was how it was supposed to be. So using these tools of mindset and decision making really created enormous self-trust and self-confidence for me.

That is the beauty of doing this work. It’s not about controlling the outcome. If I would’ve had a C-section, I would tell the story that way. This is why I’m so passionate about this work. It really touches every aspect of life and really helps make you feel better and more empowered in any circumstance. That’s what I have for you today, my friend. Good luck to all of you who are expecting and send this podcast along to anyone who you know who is pregnant. My hope is that it will help make the labor and delivery decision making process that much easier. Take care.

Thank you for being here and listening. Now, head on over to momonpurpose.com/coaching to learn more about Grow You. My membership for moms, where we take all this work to the next level.

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