Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Evolution of 3 C-Sections

I have had 3 Cesarean Section Births.

With my first child I was hoping to experience a vaginal (possibly un-medicated) delivery. I was very excited and nervous. I was also pretty naive... I was a week over due and my baby was showing up apx. 10 pounds on the ultra sound estimation. My doctor wanted to induce me, and was worried that I would have an 11+ pound baby. I didn't think or know to say "No"... and just went with my doctor's recommendations. I figured he knew best, he has delivered thousands of babies. After the induction, and 19 hours of labor, there was not enough progression, the beginnings of fetal distress, and meconium was detected once my water was broken. I had to have a C-Section, my doctor said. I cried, and begged him to let me labor for 2 more hours. He consented, but I heard him say, "Prep Her..." to the nurse as he walked out the door. My worst fear was coming true. (Waiting two more hours didn't do any good, even though I did everything I could to try to further the labor.) I was petrified of undergoing this surgery. I was absolutely terrified!!! When it was time immediately before the birth and the doctor said, "Are you ready for your baby?" I said "No! Please give me something..." I did not want to be crying out of sadness during the birth of my first child. I was given some sort of sedative which made everything kind of fuzzy. My daughter was healthy and beautiful but I felt like a failure and was consumed with guilt and fear over it all. It was rather traumatic. I suffered postpartum depression, and nursing did not go well, probably due in large part to the circumstances of the birth. The recovery was slow, although not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

With my second child, I wanted very much to try a VBAC. My doctor said there was a 70% chance I could do it and that he would be supportive of my choice and that I would not be induced due to chances of uterine rupture. He also mentioned that there was a risk, a very small risk, that I could experience a rupture. This scared the hell out of me. He said in a worst case scenario, (in the case of a rupture), I might need an emergency hysterectomy, or my baby could end up on a ventilator for the rest of her life. There were many positive stories of wonderful VBACs out there, and I spent hours reading the many positive stories, and a few not-so-happy stories. In the end, I knew my daughter was a big baby (~9 lbs) and I chickened out and opted for an elective c-section. I did not want a repeat of my first experience... the uncertainty, the hours of labor, the disappointment of another failed vaginal delivery. The 2nd time I was mentally prepared. I was calm during the experience, but I was still pretty scared of the operation. The recovery was much easier than I thought.

With my third child, I knew I would be choosing an elective c-section. My doctor would not support a VBA2C (Vaginal Birth after 2 Cesareans). I would probably have to go to a midwife/home birth situation to attempt this (or find a far-away doctor who would take me as a patient), and I was not comfortable with these options. I was very excited to be having this baby, and very ready for the delivery. I enjoyed all of it! The recovery was a breeze.

My husband caught this amazing moment on his camera phone. I wanted to share it with you.  (This is short, and not too graphic.)

If you find yourself in a similar situation, (facing an unplanned c-section, especially if it is the birth of your first child and you are scared out of your mind), please know that it's not the end of the world, or anything to feel guilt over. I am at the point now where I can say without shame that I really loved my Cesarean births (at least the last 2 of them)!

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