June 19, 2012

Another c-section?

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...


  1. really good to hear from you. i think you made a really wise choice and considered all the angles. you made a choice out of love rather than fear, and that matters. a lot. i'm excited for your baby #2, however he ends up making his entrance. :)

    1. Thanks Brooke! Definitely, my decision is made out of what would be best for my boys. :-) Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. Lindsy- what a selfless decision! I am also considering a scheduled c section because of my awful recovery. Once your little guy is here and I'd you have a c section I would love to know how your recovery goes. Praying for the perfect entrance for baby number two!!

  3. Girl, I just want to say good for you for making this a matter of prayer. I think God really does give us peace for these kinds of decisions/potential outcomes. I can't wait to see baby #2 and hear his name!! :) :)

    ps--sorry if this comment shows up a thousand times...my internet is being stupid and i've had to click publish more times than i can count. :) :)

  4. After I read your paragraph on uterine rupture, I thought you'd changed your mind about being willing to try it again. There's obviously still confusion there for you. But God will make it clear when the time comes! Rest in that. I'm so sorry that you're in the line of now 5 generations of women with wacko labor/deliveries. I praise God that I lived in a time that they could rescue you (and therefore me) from my womb, unlike my grandmother and great-grandmother. You are a prized jewel to me. Who cares how you got out.:-) CAN NOT WAIT to meet your precious G2!!:-D

    1. It's just realizing that it IS a risk... and I am unsure how willing I am to try again. Given that the kids are so close. That's the main reason I'm not willing to go through 80 hours again. But if I do go into labor, they will have people on stand-by in case something were to happen. Even though uterine rupture happens (rarely) if people act quickly, baby and mom are often still just fine.

      I'm definitely still unsure of what I WANT to happen. Luckily it isn't up to me how this plays out.

  5. I agree with Amy. Good for you, being able to allow it to be in God's hands. So many wouldn't.

    I, personally, am opting for another c-section for the next baby. Though we both had c-sections, we had different reasons. For me, I was fine with my c-section...actually borderline loved it...and so, I want to go that route again. But I think it's great that you are weighing out your options and letting God show you what's best!

  6. What a beautifully written post. I really respect your decision and the fact that you weighed all the risks. As much as I'd like to try a VBAC with the next one, ALL of the women in my family have needed pitocin to keep labor going and that's not an option with a VBAC... So, as much as I'd love to give it a try, I may end up going with a scheduled c-section as well and that's okay :). Thanks for reaffirming that for me :).

    I hope your delivery goes well and baby G #2 gets here safe and sound and your recovery is easy.