I am a few weeks away from the birth of our first child – so I can’t share actual experiences yet, but I can completely relate to the emotions that you are feeling.
I was afraid to read up on natural labor or take a natural labor course because I knew that there would be a chance that I can’t have the labor that I want because of diabetes. So I resisted at first, but eventually I read a book about Bradley labor and we took a class that focused on natural labor. I was convinced that this was the type of labor that I wanted and that would be best for our son.
I was pleased to find an OB-GYN who was open-minded. She lets diabetic women carry to full term if there are no complications and prefers vaginal birth to c-section (and her past patients show that). So I felt like I had the best chance of a natural birth that I could hope for!
Fast forward a few months and despite great blood sugars throughout the pregnancy, our son has grown too big and even my OB-GYN is pretty sure that we will need to do a c-section. She is still taking it week by week at this point. I am in my 36th week now and during week 38, she will decide based on his measurements whether we will attempt induced labor or I will have a c-section. The c-section will be no earlier than week 38 and she may decide to wait, if he and my placenta appear to be doing fine. So I don’t have a date set yet and I will hope that we can leave him there, as long as he shows that he is thriving.
A doula is a good option no matter what type of birth experience you will have (even c-section).
I know that disappointment about how the birth happened is not going to help anyone (the baby or me) after the birth. So I am working now on celebrating the fact that my pregnancy has been free of complications and looking forward to the goal: the birth of our son!! Of course, I do wish that the labor would be different and I hate that diabetes had anything to do with the outcome. But my mother’s words have reassured me: she had a natural labor, an induced labor, and a c-section with her three children and she said that each birth felt equally special because of the end result
Given that our son has macrosomic measurements and his abdomen is measuring larger than his head, I accept that a vaginal birth could be risky for both him and me. So I’m going to trust my doctors opinion. But a large reason that I feel ready to trust her opinion is because I know that she is not just doing a c-section for ease or convenience, but because she has experience and reasons that tell her that it is the safest in our case.
I hope that you are able to find a team that is ready to try natural birth or the most gentle forms of induction first if there are no complications. I think that it is important that you find a team that you trust so that no matter what decisions you and your team face later in the pregnancy, you will have an easier time finding peace with them!
Even with a c-section, we will have our doula there as a lactation consultant.