Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cesarean Did Not Save My Children's Lives

I would be remiss if I did not begin this blog without mentioning the fact that cesarean sections have saved lives. Many lives. I am thankful for modern medicine. If many modern medical treatments weren't available, I wouldn't be alive. I have asthma, and have been rescued several times by my inhalers. So, yes modern medicine and cesarean sections have saved lives.

My children are not part of that group.

My first labor and delivery was full of unnecessary interventions. I blame a lot of the interventions on myself. Going into labor without enough education. Not accepting that 40 weeks is an "estimate", and being miserable and frustrated from 39 weeks until 41 weeks when I went into labor. Going to the hospital as soon as I started having contractions. Accepting an epidural at 5cm and being content to lay on my back for the next 16 hours not feeling anything from my belly button down. Buying into the doctor's statement at 4AM that I wasn't going to dilate any further than 9cm and since I didn't feel an urge to push, I needed a cesarean. My daughter was not in distress, my vitals were fine, there was no true medical true diagnosis yet for a cesarean. So many things could have been done to prevent an unnecessary cesarean (unnecesarean to those in the blogging world). My epidural could have been turned down. I could have been moved into a sitting position. However, no one with me was thinking of things like that at 4AM after being in the hospital for 24 hours. So, at 4:30AM on July 16, 2007 my little girl was pulled out of my body via "the sunroof".

Twelve months later, we were pleasantly surprised to find out we were blessed with another child. When I was 22 weeks pregnant, I suggested to my OB that I wanted a VBAC. His response was, "Sure. I don't see why not." At 37 weeks, during an internal exam, my doctor declared, "You are not dilated and his head is not engaged. You need a cesarean." I was heartbroken. It didn't make sense to me, but my husband and I decided we wouldn't fight the system and our son was delivered 19 months to the day after his sister via the same exit.

While the recovery from my son's birth was a lot easier than my daughter's, it was still difficult. I couldn't pick up my daughter. I couldn't do housework for 2 weeks. However, I did it without narcotics and was quite pleased to do so. We were a family of four and we were content. I was not emotionally healed from my daughter's delivery, but I had healed from my son's delivery easily. When my son was 18 months, my husband and I felt like there was something missing from our family. We decided we wanted another baby. I told him I could only do this if we had a VBA2C. We went into TTC (trying to conceive) knowing if we succeeded, we may have to fight "the system" to get the birth that I so desperately desired. Surprisingly, we were blessed in the first month of TTC with a pregnancy.

So, here we are. On the road to a VBA2C. I have been blessed with encouragement online and in person. My husband is about as determined to see me through this as I am to get it done. We found a very sweet and encouraging doula, I am seeing a midwife for my current prenatal care and intend to switch to an OB that supports VBA2C later during my pregnancy. I am also going to a chiropractor who is helping keep me in good health during this pregnancy. 

This pregnancy and birth will be so different and life-changing, I decided to keep a record of it online. I don't know how many people will read it, but I want to keep the record so I can see where I go from here and how I get there. I hope that whoever reads it will be encouraged to take charge of their own birth choices and make informed decisions as my husband and I have.

I will attempt to post as regularly as possible. Definitely after every development in pregnancy: Milestones, midwife appointments, etc. However we have a lot going on between now and when our new little blessing is due in May. Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, possible travel, birthday parties, moving, my parents moving, and then spending that wonderful nesting energy on unpacking our home and getting it ready for baby. So, I'm sure you will hear about all of that too! It's all on our road to our VBA2C!

1 comment:

  1. I saw your note on the North Florida ICAN page and came to read. Good for you! I understand a lot of what you wrote. The statement I hate from doctors and friends is, "all the matters is a healthy baby and mom." There are a LOT Of ways that can happen! Good luck on your journey - I will be following!