|My first pinterest image! PIN IT or else. Jk.|
*Warning - this post is devoid of baby pictures and just my rambling thoughts. Sorry! Edited to add - ok I had to do ONE.
With Dalton, I scoffed at birth plans, or, more accurately, the idea of planning a birth. And rightly so, because if I could have planned his birth, I sure as hell wouldn't have requested 30 hours of labor, getting sent home from the hospital, and an emergency c-section. But the birth is a means to an end and it isn't called labor because it's a good time. While Dalton's birth was scary in the moment, it resulted in a healthy baby boy so it isn't something that's concerned me now that it's over. Plus, it makes a good story to scare expectant moms.
|When he was BRAND NEW omg.|
Now, having had a c-section, I'm in the position to have a choice, to some extent, about how to deliver baby #2. Back in the day, once a woman had a c-section, that was the only way they were allowed to deliver subsequent babies. In this modern medical era, (some) women can now attempt to go through labor and deliver a baby naturally even if they've had a c-section previously.
At my 6 week postpartum appointment, I asked my doctor if I was a candidate for VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), mainly out of curiosity, since clearly I wasn't interested in conceiving again at that point. The reason for my c-section was Dalton's heart rate dropping suddenly, as opposed to him getting stuck due to the way my body is positioned, a health issue, or something that would be likely to happen again. That means that if I want to, I can try to get this baby out the old fashioned way.
I'm overwhelmed with the choice and have agonized over it for far too long, considering I essentially have very little control over it to begin with. Here's the breakdown.
C-Section - Pros
- NO LABOR, enough said. Right off the bat, I was all about the repeat c-section. Labor was nice and fresh in my mind and I was like F%$& THAT.
- Being able to plan ahead. Even if my mom jumped in the car the second my first contraction hit, it would be a good 6-7 hours before she could be at our house to watch Dalton. Getting him settled and not having to have 58 contingency plans for various times/days/scenarios of going in to labor is huge.
- Knowing what to expect. Eric is very pro c-section for this reason. Obviously he will support me whatever I decide but apparently the whole situation with Dalton was really terrifying for him. I never knew because in that situation, only one person is allowed to lose their shit, and that's the person on the operating table (me), so in the moment he was all calm and collected like it was no big deal. When I got pregnant again, it came out just how scared he was and he really doesn't want to risk that again.
- My sister, my running friend, my coworker, etc, etc have all had planned c-sections after emergency ones and had fantastic experiences. I love the idea of being positive that I can "enjoy" this kiddo's birth and focus on meeting him or her.
C-section - Cons
- It's major surgery. Obviously.
- The recovery time. I have a lot of friends with babies, and from my "research" of chatting with them, here's how I see it. With a vaginal birth, your recovery might suck. With a c-section, your recovery is pretty likely to suck. But, by all accounts, including my OB, recovery from a planned one is much easier than emergency. Still, that would leave Eric in charge of a newborn, toddler, and hormonal, incapacitated woman until I healed, and it breaks my heart to think of not being able to lift or do anything with Dalton for a few weeks. It's not like he would be old enough to understand.
- The hospital time. It's generally more with a c-section and I'm already having heart palpitations at the idea of spending our first night away from Dalton and barely (if at all) seeing him for a few days. I literally cry even time I think of it (including now) #hormones.
VBAC - Pros
- Possibly an easier recovery, fewer restrictions (I could climb stairs, lift Dalton, drive, etc).
- Less time in the hospital.
- The "experience". Ugh, it pains me to say this, but I want the experience of pushing a baby out and having him or her placed on my chest to snuggle right away. I never regretted not having that with Dalton, he was born how he was born and he was fine (and I wouldn't have had skin to skin time anyway since he needed a minor intervention right away). But a part of me is having trouble accepting that I would never get that experience (a second c-section means I can't try for a VBAC even if we did have a third child).
VBAC - Cons
- Labor. Obviously. The fact that I'm even considering it means that I've forgotten what contractions are truly like but I do remember they weren't pleasant.
- The risk of uterine rupture. This one scares me. My doctor said that once you are 18 months out from a c-section, there is a 1% chance for this. My due date is 19.5 months after Dalton was born, which is clearly more than 18 months, but not by a huge margin. 1% is a low risk, but it's still frightening.
- Scrambling for care for Dalton. I have wonderful friends and a ton have already offered to help, which is awesome. But they all have jobs and their own children and while I know they would make it work, it stresses me out that it can't be planned. It would all be complicated and I don't like the idea of leaving Dalton without him settled with someone he's comfortable with.
See, in our original plan, Dalton would be like, 4 when all this happened. He would no longer need to be lifted out of a crib, he would have a solid grasp of the English language (receptive and expressive), and we would have already spent a night away doing something fun and romantic, not giving birth and then likely cluster feeding an infant. But then we just couldn't wait and our little impulse baby is on the way, and he's still just a little guy. I know it will work out whatever happens, but, like every second time mom, I'm naturally going to be worried about my first baby.
I searched "VBAC" on pinterest and there were all sorts of hits. Most were blog posts written by people who wanted a VBAC so they could have a unmedicated labor and go on to have 5-7 children in all (repeat c-sections limit how many deliveries you can have). There were suggestions about eliminating gluten from your diet and doing planks to ensure a successful VBAC?! And the general overall feeling that OBs are evil monsters just plotting away to put pregnant women under the knife, not to be trusted. In short...not my people. (Don't get me wrong, I have friends that I love and respect that are devoted to unmedicated labor - but I've made it pretty clear it's nothing I'm personally interested in.) I actually don't know anyone in real life that has had a VBAC. So, I kind of feel like all this is pointing to a repeat c-section. I keep trying to get myself resolved to that outcome, but something about it just feels off.
Let's take a poll - which delivery option should I go with? The joke will probably be on me and the baby will be breech and then it won't even be an option.