The CNN headline has now been changed, but it originally asked if mother Aneka of Maryland was a “hero or a danger?” for defying doctor’s orders and refusing to go in for a scheduled c-section after what she now realizes were three unnecessary previous c-sections, and choosing instead to birth with a midwife in her home.
… She saw Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born documentary that really questions birth in the United States, and it raised some questions in her mind. The more she researched, the more upset she got that her doctor refused to even consider the idea of a VBAC. Even then, it’s not like she just suddenly said, “Homebirth! Whoo hoo!” She tried three other hospitals, called around, and was told, “No, no, no, absolutely not!”
Despite all the facts out there that VBACs in most women are way, WAY safer than a repeat c-section, and even that they could just let her do a “trial of labor” first, everyone just flat out told her no and told her she had no choice but to schedule her surgery. The only place she found that would even let her try was over an hour and a half away, which she decided was just too far to be considered.
She got in contact with her local International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) leader and got a lot of information from her, including the name of a midwife who would do a VBAC with her in her own home.
Her VBAC was an amazing, emotional, healing success, and yet she’s still being called a poor example. A spokesperson for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) says not to look at Aneka’s story and come to conclusions because she took a great risk … and yet their own release earlier this year discussed how much safer VBACs actually are.
Aneka wasn’t a “hero” or a “danger.” She was a mom trying to figure out what was safest for her and her baby, according to all the science out there, without the intricacies of business and malpractice suits getting involved in her birth.
… If doctors really don’t want women doing what Aneka did, maybe one of those four hospitals she called in the first place should have actually followed the recommendations of the ACOG and allowed her to try. You can’t villainize a person who you’ve backed into a corner.
It’s a sad case when women are forced into homebirth because they cannot find a care provider and hospital to support them in their choices.