Monday, September 7, 2009

Childbirth and VBAC

Interesting theme happening today that is too coincidental to not write about.

First of all, I got up early this Labor Day to get my cat to the vet by 7am so she could be spayed. We are done with kittens. We let her have one litter and it was wonderful, but I don't wish to repeat it for a few years.. So while she is having her hysterectomy; I checked my facebook and first read about a friend's going to the hospital today to have her baby and someone else posted a link about forced C-sections. Interesting...

It grabbed my attention because I had 2 c-sections myself when I really wanted to have my children naturally, but it seemed so many of the interventions lead me to that fate.

  • First of all, I was born as a c-section. My mother's labor didn't progress fast enough, apparently, and there was some worry about me because I was holding onto my "cord" and they weren't able to hear my heart beat because of it. I grew up with doubt about my future child-bearing. My mother thought she was too small...and in turn I probably would be too in order to have children naturally.. Or so I thought. So, I already had "doubt" in my body's ability to do what it was supposed to.
  • Pregnancy with my son went well. But I was almost 2 weeks overdue. I did go into what I thought was active labor, but then it "stopped".. My doctor set a date for a planned induction before I hit the 2 week late point..The date was set for when she was already scheduled to work.
  • So, I was induced. My son wasn't positioned ideally..Labor progressed slowly.
  • I couldn't move around very much. I was attached to a monitor because of the pitocin..
  • They broke my water. I got to 9 1/2 cm. And then they had to lower the pitocin because the baby was showing some distress. The labor seemed to not progress anymore after the had to lower the pitocin...I felt the urge to push, but I had to hold back..This went on for hours. Then I got the c-section because it didn't seem it was going to happen on its own. He was born healthy and I recovered well. I was grateful and happy. The labor was 20ish hours..

Two years later,

  • I really wanted to try a VBAC. I thought that perhaps this time it might work if my daughter was in a better position.
  • My doctor convinced me that I had to have her early or certainly by 40 weeks if VBAC was going to be successful.
  • I tried acupunture for a couple of weeks to induce. progress.
  • By 40 weeks, I, again was induced. Slow going again.
  • This time at least I could walk around more. My monitor was on wheels.
  • Broke water. Opted for an epidural this time so I could cope with a long labor as before.. Big progress after that. Got to 9 1/2 cm. Same issue. Baby in distress. Had to lower the pitocin. Then I was becoming infected from breaking my water..It hit my 24 hour limit on the water break. I had to have a c-section at that point. This labor was about 30 ish hours? My daughter was born very healthy and I also recovered well again.

Sometimes I wonder if I had been allowed to go into labor naturally...perhaps it might have happened naturally. I do, however, I was set up for failure.. Not that it was really a "failure" Both my children were healthy and I recovered well..But, my own self-doubt..and then all the intervention..did not create a successful setting for having my children naturally. I wonder if I had tried a mid-wife, I might have had more of a "soothing, relaxing experience" and they might have helped me with my confidence in my body..Who knows.. ??

Something to think about...but the rate of c-sections right now is 1 in 4..which doesnt' seem right.

This is an interesting movie about having babies and how the US is behind other countries in infant mortality and natural birth rates. Something isn't being done "right" in our hospitals.. And I'm one of those statistics...But I can't complain too much...I'm glad my children were okay..and perhaps, I am one of those women who aren't designed right for childbirth?? Who knows? I may never know if that is really why I ended up under the knife.


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