Friday, January 16, 2015

Why I am having a repeat C section.

If you've read my birth story with Ford, then that should be enough of an explanation as to why I am choosing to have a repeat C section, but I wanted to share more in detail. I hate that in today's times, I feel like I need to defend my choice because it really effects no one but me and my family but I want to share my story and hopefully encourage other mamas who feel defeated or judged for their birth plans. If you haven't read Ford's birth story, you can read it here.

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)

Recovery was rough and if I am being honest, there were times when I thought I could never do this again because it was that painful. But I healed. I am definitely guilty of assuming life will always be a certain way, especially when I am in a particularly tough season. Painful C section recovery, 4 month sleep regression, sick babies....you feel like the movie Groundhog Day will never end. But it does!

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.

30 comments:

Emily said...

I love this post Ruthie! You are so right, it doesn't matter how women give birth-the point is, we bring a baby into the world no matter how we get there! It's amazing and such a miracle!!!! I had a scheduled c/s with Lilly and again with Liam. I will do it again if we are blessed with a 3rd too. No doubt! I pray that you get a "normal" c/s this time. It's amazing!!! Though...there are part I don't remember too, even though I was awake there were a lot of drugs, ha!

Rebekah @ Living && Learning said...

My birth story & plan are very different from yours & that is fine! I think it's great that there are so many options available to women these days! I think what is most important in birth is that women make informed decisions about what is best for them & their families and birth in the way that they feel safest!

Melissa Bridges said...

Great post, I am a csection mommy too (breech baby) and will have repeats hopefully in the future. I am a nurse anesthetist and do the spinals/anesthesia for lots of csections. It really can be a great experience! Don't forget to have a back up plan for your little boy just incase you go in to labor before the csection is scheduled. It seems like that happens about 50% of the time. I hope your nausea eases up!

EJ said...

What happens if you do go into labor on your own? It sounds very risky with the whole bleed out/hysterectomy possibility! I think you are a great momma and how babies come into the world is a very personal decision. Like our birth instructor told us "all birth is natural! Some are just medicated or surgical." Good luck to you!

Kirsten Lee said...

You are doing what is the best and safest option for you and Lucy! Wishing you a wonderful rest of pregnancy and delivery!

Britt said...

Amen! I hate hearing women talk poorly about another woman's birth experience, pediatric choices, breastfeeding/formula feeding, etc. I nursed Finley for 3 months through extreme reflux until we found out that she most likely has a lactose allergy. She wasn't steadily gaining weight and our doctor was concerned so we ended up switching to a special formula which helped tremendously. She was a new baby. I felt immense guilt for months (still do some days). I wanted to nurse till she was a year but it wasn't our story and it wasn't what was best for our sweet girl. I love that your totally own your experience (as you should). :) Birth is beautiful and so special no matter how it happens!

Sarah said...

Awww what a beautiful story, Ruthie!! I will be praying for a safe and wonderful C section with baby #2!! I got some crap from people because I got an epidural with both my labors. My response - who cares?!? Just like you said, how you birth your baby affects no one except you and your family! It makes me sad that moms are so judgmental of each other. We need to support each other!!! Being a mom is so hard in itself, much less being ridiculed because of what you do or don't do.

Also - that's wonderful that you and Jon want to adopt!!! I can't wait to hear more about what God does for you and your family! Do you read the Shull family blog? (shullfamily.blogspot.com). They just adopted a little girl from China!! Such an inspiring story :)

Wishing you the best, Ruthie, and happy to be following along!!

-Sarah www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

Jenn said...

I don't think you have to defend your decision. I had 2 c-sections, and it was the right choice for us. The peace of mind you'll have in your own decision is reason enough.

Stephanie Wilson said...

I cannot even imagine what you went through during that labor !! Labor with no progression is not a fun thing in any way.
I have always heard it is best to have a c section for following babies once you have had one as it could be unsafe to go through labor, as you explained. I think it is a safer and much wiser way to deliver for you. Being such a small person, I know sometimes it is the way you have to do it and I honestly feel what is best for Moms health, is ultimately best for babies health as well .
I am glad you have that option and a doctor who supports you !!!
No one should be made to feel bad for how they chose to deliver thier child, I am sorry you have had to go through that. You are doing the right thing, no doubt and it is your choice in the end and no one but you and your husband have the right to say what you should do !!

Bailee said...

Love this Ruthie! Thank you for sharing your heart! Just wanted to add my 2 cents as an aunt who has been there for 3 scheduled c sections and 3 not planned... so much easier to tell the family to be there at 12 and the baby is there at 12:05! No waiting around for 24 hours and everyone is happy happy happy! either way a baby is coming and everyone is happy!

Laura and Corey said...

I feel like you are very defensive in your post. It's interesting because you are saying how you shouldn't have to defend your choices and this is the most defensive explanation of a csection and not having a vbac I have ever read! It doesn't come across as this is your choice and good luck to everyone in their choices. It comes across as you are right for wanting a csection because you were the 1% and you don't want to take a risk- as if women who want a vbac or make a different choice are being overly risky when that is not the case at all. Be confident in your choice but don't think that it is the only "right" way. Maybe it is right for you but that doesn't make it right for everyone. And even though you are saying that this right for you, it comes across as being written by someone who absolutely thinks they're right and other women are wrong. It doesn't seem like you are completely convinced - rather you're trying to convince someone.... Anyways, I hope your birth is beautiful and everything you want but most of all I wish you peace in your decision.

jessi bridges said...

I am so excited for you to meet your little lady! And thank you for reiterating over and over again how your birth only affects you! It bothers me to no end when you tell someone what your plan is and you hear, "well, good luck with that because THIS happened to me!" Ok, so what? Your birth doesn't affect my birth AT ALL.

I will be praying for you and that sweet little girl as it gets closer to deliver.

Molly said...

You are SO right, Ruthie! No woman should have to defend her birth choices. It is YOUR body. YOUR baby. I hope your platelet counts are up enough so that Jon can be in the room with you and you can experience that first cry. Because, I'll admit, that part is pretty darn cool ;)

Allena said...

What upsets me when I look back on Trent's birth as compared to Drew's is that I was uneducated when Trent was born. I trusted my doctor to make the best decision for me and my baby, and I don't think she did. But I am only upset at myself because it is MY JOB to look out for my children, not anyone else's. So for Drew's birth I did a ton of research and made a completely different decision (even changing doctors at 28 weeks). I always encourage parents to make a decision grounded in information - don't trust a doctor/friend/family member - whether we're talking about csections, vaccines, circumcision (I almost typed castration - ummmm oops). I feel like I did a lot for/to Trent without doing my own homework, and that's where I judge my own self as a parent. As long as any mother is confident with the choice they have made, no one else's negativity can bring them down. So excited to meet Lucy!

MONICA'S NOTEBOOK said...

I think it's so silly when women judge each other about these things! You GO girl for doing what is right for you and your family! I haven't had a child [yet] but really hoping and praying that I find a great dr that won't try to push me one way or another.

http://getssweeterwithtime.blogspot.com

fromcubicletohome.com said...

I love this! All that matters is that you and the baby are happy and healthy. We shouldn't get so caught up in our choices as much as making sure we do it safely. Not everyone can do home birth, no epidural, or are scared for a c-section. Love following your blog Ruthie!

Eileen said...

Beautifully written Ruthie!

My bio son was born ((24 years ago!) via unmedicated vaginal birth. We couldn't conceive again after him and we eventually adopted 2 beautiful daughters from China. Both experiences were wonderful and I'm excited to see what God has in store for you regarding adoption!

Wishing you all the best with Lucy's birth!

Eileen

Ashley Page said...

I'm curious about something. You said it your post that "you hate that in today's times,you feel like you need to defend my choice because it really affects no one but you and your family" - but you're anti-choice when it comes to abortion, aren't you? How can you judge someone who isn't ready to be a mother, and maybe isn't financially or emotionally prepared, and support legislation that would take the right to choose away from a woman, when that decision affects no one but her and her family, and is between her and God?

You may want to think about the hypocrisy there. You don't want to be judged for your choice to have a C-section because you feel that it's your business? Fine. Then don't judge other women for things that don't affect you and are none of your business.

jen said...

I am sure other people have told you this but I didn't have time to read all the comments. I have had 3 sections, the 1st unplanned and the last 2 repeats. The 2nd and 3rd were SO much easier to recover from. So much. I think not going labor first makes a big difference and knowing what to expect does help. It still sucked but by the time I got home it was so much more manageable. I was even gething up and down off the floor the change my toddler's diaper 3 days post delivery .

Elizabeth @ mygladheart.blogspot.com said...

I definitely don't think people have to defend their choices! Birth, as with breastfeeding, vaccines, and pretty much anything, I just can't stress how important it is to do your research.

My first pregnancy was twins and baby A was breech and refused to flip. So I ended up with a c-section. I hated it and I hated recovery. So when it came time to try for baby #3 I researched the crap out of VBAC's, I found a support group, and picked a doctor who truly wanted me to have a vbac, and wasn't just going to pay me lip service. And I had my VBAC 3 weeks ago! It was amazing and I'm so glad I did my research and picked the choice that was best for me and my family.

I really appreciate that your doctor told you true statistics for vbac rupture and didn't just throw out Rupture! Death! Hysterectomy! There are dangerous variables no matter what you choose. Can't wait to hear more about your pregnancy and her birth!

Skye said...

Thank you for sharing! I had a c section with my first daughter and more recently with my twin daughters. It drives me crazy how people act like I committed a crime because I had c sections. None of us should judge each other for our personal decisions. You are a fantastic mom!

Brent and Lauren said...

So beautiful. I love that we live in a time with modern medicine so that Mom's and babies can survive those crazy delivery stories! Thanks for sharing and helping all of us Mamas to focus on the real goal on Mom and baby being healthy and alive however that comes about.

Erin said...

Good for you, Ruthie! I am commenting to say that I hope you can explain to Ashley Paige that what she is referring to is a decision to END A LIFE - not a decision regarding the details of how you bring one into the world. Oh man, I could not blog because I would get too heated at the narrow-minded people who think things are apples to apples comparisons. You are not a hypocrite.

Landy said...

Totally agree with you, Ruthie! Praying for your baby Lucy's safe delivery and a quick recovery for momma!! :)

Megan C said...

Great post! I feel the same way about my c-section, I would never chance having to do an emergency C again. Though I was sad at first about never being able to push, I know God had a plan and that plan will not allow for me to push. Praying for Lucy's safe delivery and quick recovery for you this time. I know how hard it can be to recover, I am praying this second won't as difficult because I won't be caught off guard! Its a good day to deliver too, my husband's birthday!!

Megan C said...

Oh but I had a question, what happens if Lucy wants to come before the scheduled date? I just am wondering for future reference for when we have to do this with our next. I love getting as much information as possible!
http://awifeslifeblog.blogspot.com/

Michelle said...

This is one of the best posts I've ever read. I'm 8 months pregnant with my first baby and I've been sick the whole time as well. I've already gotten ridiculed a bit for admitting that I will most likely get an epidural. If I wind up having a c-section, that's fine with me. Not my first choice, but as long as the baby is healthy, I don't care how she gets here, which seems to shock every one I tell. Birth really has turned into a competitive sport and I refuse to participate in that mindset. Your decision is so wise, and it's such a comfort to know God has already planned every details of our babies' births.

Wendi said...

Oh, honey, I labored with my Lucy at 42 weeks and 2 days on Pitocin for 8 hours, also with no pain meds (until I had almost reached transition, that is). I had planned a water birth with no medication, but she was already almost ten pounds and they were afraid of how much meconium would be in the sac with her. My midwife said it was entirely up to me to keep waiting instead of induce, but I chose to induce because I didn't want to risk having a C-section or having Lucy get an infection from meconium. And, guess what? Meconium everywhere when she came out. So it was a good decision for us. And it was still a beautiful birth and incredible experience. I love your story and your faith. And I think it's important for us mamas to read what other women go through so we can have some more empathy and respect for their choices. You made informed, educated, prayerful decisions. And that's all anyone can ask for. I hope your C-section goes wonderfully and your sweet baby Lucy (best name!) is healthy! Congrats on baby #2!

Marielle Petkoff said...

First, the photos of you and your husband seeing your son for the first time are so sweet! What a great memory to have. And second, thank you for sharing your story and standing up for mamas who have been unfairly judged for their birth plans! -Marielle | www.theResplendent.com

Wendy Lucas said...

Thank you thank you thank you for writing this!! I also had low platelets during my first pregnancy, but we caught that early enough to take the steroid to raise them. I also went in for an induction, and after all the medicines didn't dialate at all! I had a c-section, which wasn't what I wanted, but I knew it was what was necessary, and I trusted my doctor (more so, trusted God that everything would work out!). This time around, I did want to try for a VBAC, solely to keep the number of uterine scars down so that the number of children in our future wasn't limited. My doctor, like yours, said she would support me 100% either way as long as everything looked good during the pregnancy. We kept an eye on my platelets, which weren't low this time (yay!) and actually increased in the last few weeks of this pregnancy....my doctor said she learned this week that blueberries might help raise platelet levels....and wouldn't you know it, the blueberry bushes at my grandparents' house ripened this week and guess who ate a lot of them!). Also during this pregnancy, I felt contractions for several weeks (never felt them in my first), but still never dialated. My doctor performed a repeat c-section on me yesterday morning and I have a healthy baby boy. I was worried about the repeat c-section, and shed many tears the last two weeks or so thinking about it. I actually opened this blog post a few days ago on my phone, but kept putting off reading it. I couldn't have read it at a better time. :) While I was still nervous about the repeat during all the surgery prep, as soon as I saw my doctor walk into the OR, I felt completely at peace. I haven't been upset about t since, and reading your story makes me feel connected with someone else who had low platelets, didn't dialate, and desires to raise multiple children to love God. Thank you so much again for sharing!! :D

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...