As soon as Jude was born, the question lingered in my mind. Despite my very best efforts, I had needed a c-section. It wasn't what I planned for, or wanted. But it was what was best. And right away, knowing that I wanted more children, I wondered - how would this story play out next time? Would I get another c-section? Or no?
That is a good question.
I told myself at the time that it was far off and I didn't need to think about it. Hah. Well - I needed to think about it much sooner than I anticipated. And the "much sooner" part does play a role in my decision this time around.
In planning Jude's birth, my goal was to have a natural, medication-free, birth. We took birthing classes, practiced relaxation, and hired a doula to hopefully a achieve this goal. My main motivation was to avoid a c-section, since I come from a history of women who needed surgery to have their children. I naively thought that if I did everything right, I could avoid it. That maybe they just didn't try hard enough to avoid it. And I would try harder.
Well... I tried... and I tried hard. 80 hours of med-free labor hard. But God and Jude had other plans for his birth. And I had previously spent a lot of time praying that I would be emotionally okay with whatever the outcome was of his birth. And I truly truly was. I never felt that I had been robbed of the birth experience I desired. I never felt regret over any of my decisions. His birth was perfect.
But here we are, 15 months later. I have a scheduled c-section a week from tomorrow. And I have had many people ask me about this decision, knowing how adamantly I tried to avoid it the first time. So, I thought I'd talk about it a bit.
One of the major differences this time around is Jude. I have more than just one baby to worry about. And at this point in his life, anything that affects me also affects him. One of the biggest risks of trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) is uterine rupture. I know this is a small risk. But I do know that the closer your kids are together (ahem - 15 months) the more real this risk is. I also personally know people that this has happened to. I personally know one person specifically who had an emergency hysterectomy due to this happening. If my kids were two or more years apart, I might be more adamant about trying this and push off the scheduled c-section. But, in all honesty, it makes me nervous to have kids so close.
I am also thinking about after the birth. I am going to have two babies to take care of. And I had a very long and painful recovery after Jude. I was told not to lift anything heavier than my 7-8lb baby and my body regularly reminded me to take it easy. Well, now I have a nearly 26lb baby along with a probably 7lb baby to take care of. In an ideal world, this would be a reason to fight for a VBAC (since I've heard most people have a much easier recovery, especially if they avoid medication). But I also know that labor + c-section = a much harder recovery, as opposed to no labor + scheduled c-section. I've heard many c-section Mama's tell me their second scheduled c-section made a world of difference when it came to recovery. I'm trying my hardest to make the best choice for both my boys.
All that to say, I still don't know how this is going to play out. My Dr. tried to convince me to schedule my c-section or Friday, since he knows how miserable I am being pregnant. But I pushed it off as far as I could. I want little brother to bake as long as he needs and still feel guilty for potentially taking him before he's ready. I also kind of hope that by pushing it off, it gives my body the chance to see if it wants to try for round two - a VBAC. I admit I feel a bit doomed for a repeat experience. If I had my c-section simply because Jude was breech I think that I would feel a lot more hopeful.
I still don't know how this story is going to end. Basically, I have decided that if I go into labor in the next week, I'm going to ride it out and see what happens. If I am in active labor for 12 or so hours and it is clear that it is going the same direction as Jude's labor and birth, I'm not going to wait for another 68 hours to say I'm done. I'll just have a c-section. I am praying that I don't have to make that decision. I am praying that either I labor and have a VBAC or I just have the scheduled c-section. I will honestly be fine with either story.
I don't know if I am making the right decision. I don't know if there is a right decision. I just had to make the decision I felt most at peace with after a lot of prayer. I have an entire family to consider. Funny how that changes things.
So, I will keep all of you updated. This story... to be continued... in 8 (or fewer) days...