In short, I never went into labor and was induced at 41 weeks with Ford. I am a very small woman who was measuring very large and my doctor didn't want me going much past 41 weeks with the chance of losing amniotic fluids and the baby getting too big for a vaginal delivery. Oh and it is illegal in Texas to go past 42 weeks under medical care. So induction day... I was barely dilated and experienced no signs of labor so Pitocin was given and my waters were broken. They don't call it labor for nothing, holy crap contractions are intense, especially unmedicated on Pitocin. I found out I had Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count, happens to 1% of women) which meant I couldn't get an epidural. That sucked. I labored for 8 hours on the highest dose of Pitocin, sans medication, and did not dilate ONE CENTIMETER. You heard that right. It was in that moment we decided a C section was the safest route for me and baby, and frankly I didn't care how he got here, I wanted to be out of pain. I had general surgery fully under, Jon wasn't allowed in the room, and I met Ford a few hours later. I get very sad when I hear about women feeling disappointed with having to have a C section because I feel like I had pretty much everything go wrong and my birth was the complete opposite than I could have ever imagined and I think I was sad for about 5 minutes. My son was alive and healthy, I was alive and healthy. Enough to make my heart swell with gratitude and love.
Jon meeting Ford for the first time, he was just a few minutes old
Me meeting Ford a few hours later (even though I am awake, I don't remember any of this)
I realize I am getting way off topic here. Back to a repeat C section. Even after experiencing a 1 in 100 occurring birth story and one hell of a recovery, it was etched in stone that I did not want to experience labor ever again. Before I even became pregnant with baby #2, I knew I would be a repeat C section mama. Labor was traumatic and painful and I experienced enough in those 8 hours of trying to satisfy me for the rest of my life. Do I feel like I missed out on something because I didn't push a baby out my lady bits? Absolutely not. I feel victorious and powerful because I gave birth! Period! I don't feel like less of a woman or less of a mother but I feel grateful that I live in a time period in which I survived my son's birth. It's sad that birth has become a competitive sport. Why does it matter if someone got an epidural or chose a repeat C section or had the antibiotic goop put on their newly born baby's eyes. I can say without a doubt that my choice to have a repeat C section (and use the eye goop and vaccinate right after birth and circumcise at 2 days old) will not effect anyone but me and my baby.
At my very first prenatal appointment with baby #2, my doctor asked what my plan was. I am so thankful to go to a doctor who never tried to sway me one way or another but is 100% on board with my decision. I did not want to be talked into a VBAC nor if I wanted a VBAC did I want to be talked into a C section. I told her I was 100% positive I wanted another C section (as is Jon) but wanted to know why VBACs are so risky. Some doctors don't perform them and they cost more insurance-wise but I had no idea why. She informed me that when you have a contraction, there is a chance that the incision on your uterus from your C section would burst causing you to bleed and need an emergency hysterectomy (meaning no more children). In all her years of practice she has only had that happen to 1 of her patients and said the chances are 1%. Sure those are very low stats but having low blood platelets during labor only happens to 1% of people and it happened to me. I have stopped thinking of myself as "Oh it would never happen to me" because it did. I don't want to take the risk. Also, you cannot be induced for a VBAC and my track record of never even dilating or having a contraction for 41 weeks with Ford isn't great. If you've had a successful VBAC then I am so happy for you! Just as happy as I am for mamas who have 5 sections or 5 vaginal deliveries. The only birth that effects me is my own. Oh and I should mention that I only have a 1% chance of having Thrombo again and will get my blood tested a few days before my surgery so if the platelet count is low, I can have steroids to strengthen them so I can have a "normal C section". It kind of feels like the first time since Jon wasn't with me and I was out cold. We are so excited! Oh and I have mentioned this before but I have a hernia on my belly that developed after I gave birth to Ford and I need to get it surgically repaired. So even if I decided on a VBAC, I would need hernia surgery after Lucy is born which is often VERY painful and a tough recovery. Might as well piggy back it on with my C section and take advantage of dual recovery.
Choosing to have a scheduled C section has helped remove a lot of fears I have about giving birth again and I am grateful for that peace. I won't be lying awake at night wondering if tonight will be the night or worrying about what to do with Ford if I went into labor at 3am. I am not worried about those intense contractions and consumed my entire body and just the thought takes me back to a very haunted place in my mind. I know the recovery is going to be hard. It is going to plain suck, especially because I won't be able to pickup my toddler, but I am not scared. What is so incredibly freeing for me is knowing that The Lord knows the tiny details of this baby's birth day and has had it written on the palm of His hand since before creation. I can sit here all day weighing the pros and cons of choosing a C section or worrying that I will go into labor before my scheduled surgery but that is precious time wasted. He knows and whether it is a repeat C section, emergency C section, epidural labor, or home birth....it is perfect.
One more thing I want to add is just how beautiful God's providence has been throughout my pregnancy, labor, and delivery experiences. Pregnancy is not exactly easy on me (being sick for 8 months kind of takes a toll on you) and I have a less than ideal birth story which has further solidified our prayers for adoption in the future. C sections are rough on your body and for safety reasons, doctors don't recommend you have many more than 3-4 of them which stinks for someone who wants a larger family. God continues to show us, through hard pregnancies and rough deliveries, that adoption is in our future and we are able to find joy in the pain because of that reason!
Every family is different- large, small, blended, mixed race, stay at home mom, stay at home dad- but we don't have to be defined (and ridiculed) by the birth plans we choose. My scare reminds me of the months I spent growing my sweet babies, the strength it took to give birth to them, and the absolute gift that children are in our lives.