Wednesday, July 21, 2010

thirty three weeks

Yesterday we had our appointment with the surgeon who performed my emergency c-section which brought the not so little Poppy into our world.  I am under the care of the same midwives as with my last pregnancy primarily, but had a mandatory meeting with the surgeon.  He is an older man with a bad dye job and zero bedside manners.  It was impossible to get any real dialogue going with him.  We went in figuring he would be telling us the usual risks of VBAC we were already aware of and he didn't let us down.

What we were told:

Due to the reason for the last C-section (pushing for 2.5 hours without any progress) my chances for successful VBAC drops to about 50 percent.

Because we are in a small town the hospital does not have a surgeon or anesthesiologists on staff and would therefore have to be called in in case of an emergency (about an hour wait)

Chance of uterine rupture is 1 in 200.

Although I knew what we were going to hear, there were a few surprises like the points stated above.  It got a really honest dialogue going between Mike and I.  Mike is a cautious and logical man and is really great at breaking down problems to find answers.  I have felt uneasy with committing to a decision since the day we found out we were pregnant again.  He feels that a C-section is the safest route, but fully respects my feelings of being "robbed" of a natural experience.

After a lot of talking and a few tears, I realize that I don't feel brave enough or sure enough to try for a VBAC, but feel like I should.  I am greatly influenced and guided by the "crunchy" community, but also have respect for the medical interventions that save lives.  Ideally, I wouldn't have to make this decision, but the reality is that I do have to make the decision.  I have felt from the beginning that I should go with the scheduled section and felt a calm feeling come over me when I mentally commit to that.  I am not sure if it is fear or a gut feeling.  I don't want to make a decision based on fear nor do I wish to make a decision based on some false sense of bravery.

The best question Mike asked me was how I would feel if I tried for a VBAC and ended up with another emergency C-section.  Would I be happy that I had at least tried?  Would I feel bitter?
My answer was that I would feel sad and upset that I hadn't listened to my gut feeling.


Other factors:

I was not really happy with the support I received from my midwives at Poppy's birth.  I have a different midwife this time and have voiced my concerns and bitterness, but still don't know what to expect.

Midwives in Ontario are regulated and covered under OHIP.  This means that they will be doing everything by the book and if I am not progressing by the book medical interventions and transfer of care can happen quickly.  Which would mean I would then be under the care of whatever surgeon was on call.

The local hospitals have a 45 percent c-section rate.

My midwives have only done a couple of VBACs in the last year. or more.

Ultimately this is my decision, but this is also Mike's baby.  I am a mama and wife too.  This is not just my decision.  I have found myself wishing for the baby to be breech or too big just so that I wouldn't have to be the one to make the decision.  I could put the reasoning on something else.  A c-section goes against so much of what I believe and yet it sits right with me when I look at my two options.  I can't imagine going through the nightmare of labour and surgery and the long recovery that required again.

As of today, Mike and I have decided to go with a scheduled c-section at 39 to 40 weeks.  Though I feel at peace (aside from the nervousness of knowing I am going in for surgery) with that decision, I feel the need to defend my decision.  It is an easy choice until it is your baby, your body, and your choice.

I guess I just needed to put it in writing.

Thank you everyone who has shared their stories and experiences!

go gently & be wonderful



  1. It's a tough decision to make, that's for sure. But I think that you really have to go with your heart for this one, and it sounds like that just what you're doing!
    Lots of love!

  2. We had many issues in between our first + second children. After all of what we had been through, I actually ELECTED to have a Csection the secind time, even though my first was natural. I was just so afraid something would go wrong, I thought that the csection was more controlled?

    The Csec. was a tough recovery....I did not want that again. We did have a VBAC {Woo Hoo!} with baby #3, but I was still scared and only felt comfortable doing it bc my first was natural, we are friendly with our Dr., + the hospital was a VBAC friendly one.

    I think you are being smart. You've looked at all sides, discussed it...there isn't anything I wouldn't do to delivery a healthy baby + be there to raise them. There are certain things that I am just not willing to gamble with. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy now that you've made a decision... Can't wait to meet the acorn!

  3. I don't think that'd be an easy choice at all, and I'm glad that you're happy with your decision. What you and Mike want for yourselves and this baby are all that really matter. Enjoy the last few weeks of your pregnancy (as much as you can in this heat!) and planning the welcoming of your new baby into your family.


  4. It sounds like you are making the right choice. You can be confident in that and have a wonderful c-birth.

  5. Oh, Erin! You know how crunchy (read: radical!) I can be about conventional medicine but you and Mike are making an informed and rational decision based on the circumstances and I applaud you both! That's a tough one. Defend it to no one! But, if you do happen to need a defense, tell them that a c-section provided you with the beautiful, perfect, vital, amazing, curly-headed, perfectly healthy, cuteness that is Poppy Anne so they can stick that in their pipes and smoke it! :)

  6. My thoughts are with you - what a tough decision! I'm so happy that you have a good sounding board and partner in Mike. Regardless, you all with end up with the perfect addition to your lovely family :)

  7. You don't ever need to justify or defend a decision you are making for you, Mike or your children. People need to respect whatever decision you make for you and your family because you know best. :)

  8. You will always make the right decision for yourself and your child. Don't feel the need to justify it to anyone but yourself. As long as you and Mike are happy and comfortable with it everything else will follow. xo m.

  9. I read this while wishing that all mothers would simply support one another instead of leaving everyone feeling they aren't doing enough...or saying too much. I'm all about natural birth, but even more important is your intuition. You wrote, "My answer was that I would feel sad and upset that I hadn't listened to my gut feeling." and that right there is what makes you "crunchy" whatever that stinky label really means. The way you have written out your thoughts shows how much you and your family has thought about this. Much luck to you on the journey and beyond.

  10. acorn is so precious. i LOVE those ultrasound photos. you are the only one who knows yourself like you do. i am so SO happy for you to have some relief now. relief!! and you can just enjoy (as possible as that is) the rest of your second pregnancy. enjoy it!! your belly looks so beautiful. i'm super excited for you.

  11. I think that is a very hard decision. For me, making that decision really scares me for when I hopefully have my second child. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. I think that you are making what is the best decision for you and it is comforting for me to hear the thought process of the decision. Perhaps, it will help me out down the road as well. Thank you for being so candid.

  12. It sounds like you have looked at and felt all the options and are deciding on what is right for the three of you. You don't need to defend it to anyone else.


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