>Okay. Normally I try (or will try) to write upbeat posts about my son’s milestones, cloth diapering, breastfeeding and other parenting adventures but I have got to get this off of my chest. If you can be of any help, please please PLEASEcomment!
V was due July 21, 2009. With no signs of him coming out (even after stripping my membranes twice) and an estimate of him weighing 10 pounds on his due date, we agreed to an induction set for July 23, 2009. I am not too confident about anything, but I just knew I had the perfect birth plan and mindset for a peaceful, non-medicated, non-eventful birth but I should have known better. I had the perfect outfit for labor and about 4 more for after delivery. Of course I also had more than enough outfits for my bundle of joy. Labor was fine even with the Pitocin, the nurse kept asking me “you don’t feel that?” and “how are you smiling through that one?”. I didn’t even know I was having contractions, I just felt some uncomfortable tightening in my belly and a weird achy feeling in my back. I’ve seen my share of “Baby Story”, “Birth Story”, “16 & Pregnant”, etc. to know I should be screaming, cursing, sweating, etc. despite my efforts to stay calm. I was wondering if something in my life was actually going to be t h i s e a s y… I should have known.
After several hours of “productive contractions” I was a whopping 2 centimeters.
The doctors were already talking about a c-section and as a result, I got the dreaded epidural. Although I had clearly stated in my birth plan that I only wanted nurses and doctors –no students– I had a resident attempt the epidural… 4 times. You see, from 7th grade until 2nd year of college, I tried to maintain a strict diet of 500 calories a day (done through binging, purging, exercising or not eating) and as a result have a funky heart. My threshold for the pain of the contractions was very high, but my heart was having trouble keeping up so I had to have oxygen a few times. The baby’s heart rate fluctuated when I was having trouble breathing but usually switching positions, walking around, etc. helped with that. The doctors pushed the epidural because they said if I had to have an emergency c-section and DIDN’T have the epidural, they’d have to put me to sleep. After the epidural, they broke my water and that’s when things got kinda crazy. I kept having contractions throughout the night and in the morning when they checked, I was 3 centimeters. THREE. TRES. TROIS. Apparently I have a small cervix and there was a band of scar tissue that would not budge.
I went through day 2 (July 24) kinda in and out of the place. I’d be fine, then need oxygen and I am not sure what caused it but I was just very out of it. I remember my parents, sister and husband staying with me and they seemed like they were having so much fun playing computer games. After over 24 hours of waiting for my precious little boy, my parents and sister decided to go home and told me to call them if there was any change (they only live about 25 – 30 minutes away). Around 9:00 PM on July 24, I was 4 centimeters so the doctors decided that once they delivered the other 2 women who were at 10 cm, I would have a c-section. I had Warner (my husband) text everyone to tell them the baby would be here by tomorrow… V had different plans. A little after 11:00 PM I could not breathe… at all. My heart rate went above 120 bpm and the baby’s quickly went from 150 to 70 bpm! I was rushed to the operating room and the baby was cut out in what seemed like seconds. They pulled him out (he was sunny-side up) at 11:33 PM on July 24. I stared into his beautiful big grey/green eyes and was more in love than I had ever been before. He didn’t cry at first but they assured me he was fine. Once they put him on the scale, boy, did he cry. He was the most perfect thing I had ever seen and all I wanted to do was hold and kiss him but I had to watch him from a distance while praying that I didn’t die as they were sopping what seemed like gallons upon gallons of blood from me. It was absolutely the worst feeling in the world. I felt guilty enough that my stupid heart had almost killed this precious gift from God and then I couldn’t even hold him and let him know I would always protect and love him no matter what. Things got better, it became easier for me to breathe and as soon as they wheeled me into triage, I was able to hold my baby boy. As soon as I regained feeling in my legs, I walked around (I didn’t want anyone changing his diaper except me) and by the next morning when all of my friends came (I’ll post pictures in a different post), I was showered, walking around and a proud mommy. I love my son so much that I can’t even find words to describe it. I have never ever ever felt this way about anyone or anything.
Now that I have bored you with the gory details, if you’re still reading… I’m pregnant again! My due date is July 10 but the doctors have scheduled a c-section for July 3. At first I was fine with it but as time progressed, I began thinking about all the feelings of guilt I have for:
1) not being the first to hold my son
2) not following my birth plan
3) having another baby so close to my son which means after not even a year, he will stop getting my undivided attention
4) etc., etc., etc.
and am liking the idea of my original plan… a natural birth. I really do not want an epidural. I think the epidural hurt as bad as the 2 weeks after the c-section. I also know how much pain I was in after the delivery. My mommy powers stepped up and I was able to walk up stairs, hold my son, etc. but I had to sleep sitting up and many normal, every day movements brought me to tears. My son was 9 pounds 2 ounces at birth. He is 19 pounds 6.1 ounces now. If I were to have another c-section, I don’t know if I will be able to hold him for a while, and that will just kill me. On the other hand, I’ve heard that depending on the severity of your tear, you may be in pain for as long as 9 months. I’ve tried to make a pros and cons list but still have come to no conclusions. If you have had a VBAC or repeat c-section can you please please please please please give me your insight? Thank you so much for reading this. I have never told anyone my feelings about my son’s birth until now!!
Here’s the list of pros and cons I’ve come up with. If you’ve experienced either, feel free to leave a comment with your own pros and cons of either delivery method.
Pros of VBAC
- Potentially faster/easier recovery
- Able to be the first to hold baby #2
- Able to hold, run around, play with V very soon after delivery
- Easier delivery for #3 if we have 3 children
- Will have pictures of the birth or at least very soon after it
Cons of VBAC
- Tearing could be worse than the C-section recovery
- Uterine Rupture
- May have to end up with another c-section anyway and that may be more disappointing