Friday, September 14, 2012

Let's Talk C-Sections

As most of you know, I ended up having a c-section with Mason after a long labor. It was not ideal, nor the way I had planned his birth, but that is what happened. I felt crappy for it ending that way and have ever since come up with things I could have done differently. But you can't go back and do things over. Certain things happen so you can learn from them.

Totally not how I imagined our first family photo.

I have been thinking about and researching a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) pretty much since Mason turned 2 months old. When we found out we were expecting again, I was so excited to get a second chance to have a natural birth! However, when we found out we would be having not one, but two babies, I felt like all my dreams/research/expectations were slowly being flushed down the toilet. So many factors come in to play when it comes to delivering twins vaginally; add in the previous c-section and you get about 50% success rate.

Top 5 Reasons I Do Not Want a Repeat Cesarean:
1. Considering any medical reasons not to, a vaginal delivery is the safest way for baby to be born. The whole coming out of the birth canal, getting the fluid squeezed out of the lungs is important as is the microbe exposure.
2. It is also safest for me. Complications from cesarean delivery are very common, from infections to serious blood loss. I was lucky my last c-section went fine, but there is no guarantee the outcome would be the same again for me.
3. I want the babies to be born into a peaceful environment, in a gentle way. Imagine yourself all comfy in a dark place you've become very familiar with and feel safe in for the past 9 months. Suddenly, someone grabs you (by the legs, arm, head, whatever) and pulls you out into a cold room with extremely bright lights. Those are not the first moments I want our babies to have. I want to be able to touch and comfort my babies right after they are born, not have my arms tied down, listening to helpless wails.
4. The long hospital stay. We were in the hospital after Mason was born for 4 days. It wasn't so bad. Kind of like staying in a hotel, I guess. The liquid diet sucked, but I don't think I ever changed a diaper til I got home! This time around is different. Mason will not be staying at the hospital with me and it will be our first time separated over night. Things will be changing enough for the little guy, I don't want to add extended stay away from mom to the list.
5. The healing process. I know that no matter how you give birth, there is some healing involved. I'm going to go out on a limb and say having your abdomen sliced open is the less pleasant choice. The weight restrictions, no climbing stairs, taking it easy for the first 6 weeks is longer then I want to devote to my healing. I want to be able to pick Mason up, sleep in my own bedroom, and do regular everyday things I couldn't do if I was healing from a section.

Taking that suture tape off freaked me out, like I could just yank and my scar would burst open. I basically left it on until it started to peel off on it's own.

All that being said, I am still mentally preparing myself for such an outcome. It didn't even cross my mind while pregnant with Mason that a c-section was an option and I think that is why it has been so hard to accept. Now, I picture both scenarios, because it could totally happen.

  • If the presenting baby is not head down, automatic c-section. Luckily (so far) Baby A's head is locked and loaded. Baby B is still trying to make up his/her mind on what position to be in. My doctor will turn the second baby or preform a footling breech extraction if needed, so Baby B can be however he/she wishes. However, if Baby B gets his/her butt down far enough and can't be turned, we'd be looking at a double whammy (1 vaginal birth + 1 c-section), yikes!
  • Since I will be attemping a VBAC, the babies have to be constantly monitored. Should they show any sign of distress, my doctor will likely call a c-section due to the risk of uterine rupture.
  • The babies will need to be born by the 38th week gestation. They share a placenta and the risk of intrauterine death due to the faster aging of that placenta really starts to go up after week 36. If I do not go into labor by then, I will be choosing a c-section. This is only because my other option would be induction and since I have the c-section scar, my risk of uterine rupture would double in this Pitocin-induced scenario. That scares me. Uterine ruptures aren't usually (if ever) fatal for the mom, but if the scar comes completely open and a baby is forced into mom's abdominal cavity, they most likely will die. Although very rare, this is jut not a risk I am comfortable taking.
Our goal, obviously, is two healthy babies being born in the safest way possible. While it will not be the minimal intervention-natural birth I was dreaming of, it will be the best experience I make of it. I know in the end, those two babies will be worth whatever comes our way in the birth process.

8 comments:

Barb said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think many women who have had C-sections feel the same way you do. Yep - the goal is 2 healthy babies and a healthy mom at the end of the process!! That's the important thing :)

Adrienne said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for answering all of my questions that were in my comment on the guessing post! :) You are a wise mama to do all your research and prepare yourself ahead of time for all possible outcomes. So excited to "meet" your babies! You'll be great!

Melissa said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Adrienne
It took me a while, but I finally got around to my explanation :)

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Skye said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow very informative - and everyone has their own good reasons for choosing to do what they do. Yours included. You are going to do what you believe in and that is incredible! In the end, you will have 2 beautiful healthy babies no matter how it has to happen. That is the most important part! For a minute when I first read this, I thought you just had them b/c I saw the pic first LOL - then I realized -Oh Doohhhhh!" - I know everything is going to go perfect for you! Can't wait to see them! :)

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