So Maggie's birthday just happened, and I have been working on a post about how wondrous it is that my sweet angel girl who was a baby like a WEEK ago is now three. With all that three entails (she agreed with me this morning that she is ready for her own job and own place, just for starters). It's sappy and horrible so I'll spare you, but suffice it to say the last three years have been more joy-filled, even with a lot of crap that's gone down, than I thought possible because of that delightful little girl. One of the amazing things about parenthood is that you get to bring your favorite person into the world. All my other favorite people I met because I lived with or near them, or stumbled into the right party, but this one? I have gotten to know since the minute she was born.
So, sappy over. I have a major life decision to make, peeps, and I cannot decide. So, I am consulting my friends inside the computer to see what you think.
Namely: VBAC or repeat C-section?
Here are the facts playing into my decision:
--I recovered very well and quickly from the c-section for Maggie. No complaints, no complications, I was able to breastfeed just fine. Same doc and same hospital this time, so I'm expecting the same outcome if I have a c-section again.
--I did not have a snuggly 36-pound child at the time.
--I would have to be away from said 36-pound child for a LONG time--the one mistake I made when in the hospital with her was going home after two days and I am NOT doing that again. It was too soon. I needed more rest. This time, while Paul is fully on board with making sure I take it easy, there is, again, the Maggie factor. She will need attention and care, and I feel like if I opt for a repeat C it's better for me to take the full hospital time so I don't do stupid things like attempt to play with her and carry her around like I usually would (I am a DAMN stubborn Polack). I'd be gone probably four nights, and I have never been away from her that long nor do I want to be -- but I don't want to risk my own health by attempting to recover at home where I know my usual obligations will be tempting me to overreach.
--This will be my last go-round, barring a spectacular reversal of PCOS and failure of birth control, and I might never get to experience a vaginal birth. I want to, want that "I did it!" feeling of triumph so many women seem to have. I want to smack the earthy-birthies who refer to c-sections as not giving birth, because hello, the baby was IN and now it's OUT, but I also want to experience what a normal one is like.
--I am fully aware that I could go in there with the best of intentions and end up laboring for hours and STILL have a c-section. I have no idea of what labor might be like for me. With Maggie, my water broke at 2 am and she was born just after 8 -- I tink we were in a room at the hospital for less than two hours. Her heart rate was dropping -- and twice almost stopped -- because her cord was wrapped around her neck and compressing against something. I was so miserable emotionally during that time, so full of horror and fear that after everything I could be losing this baby, that even the mild labor pain I was feeling receded into the background. I don't know at all what it would be like to go thrugh labor so I can't draw any conclusions from that.
--I am terrfied to my soul of the same thing happening if I try to labor again. Those few hours were without a doubt the worst thing I have experienced, and three years of a perectly healthy and energetic girl later I still get panicky and teary-eyed thinking about it (despite reassurances from my doctor and Karen the wonderful nurse practioner that we were being monitored all the time and if she went into serious distress they would have had her out so fast my head would have spun). A scheduled C would be free of all that fear -- just march in at 39 weeks, a brief surgery and hello baby! That's enormously reassuring to me --that the birth of at least one of my babies could be free from such wrenching fear. I feel terrible when I think of Maggie's birth, not because of how it happened (I was pretty close to asking for the scalpel myself just to GET HER OUT where she could be cared for if need be) but because of the awfulness that led up to it. I'd love to be in a good place emotionally to greet my baby, instead of numb from shock and fear.
--That being said, I hate to this day that I couldn't hold her immediately and that it was Paul who got to go off with her while I had to be stitched up and wait in recovery. With a vaginal birth I could greet him right away.
-- I would HATE laboring for God knows how long and STILL having to have a C-section, even if labor goes OK. And I do fall into several categories that put me at higher risk for a C-section even without having had one before --overweight and older being the two most significant.
-- I went a week overdue and damn near lost my shit. It seems, based on my friends's experiences, that if you go late once you always go late and same thing with going early.
--Paul would prefer I have a c-section because have had more discomfort with this pregnancy and he's afraid of something going really wrong (like uterine rupture--not a concern of mine bcause according to my doc it happens less than 1 percent of the time). He's leaving it up to me, though.
Now, if you are yourself a sanctimounious earthy-birthy and think c-sections are the worst thing to happen and women! are such victims! of a cruel and uncaring medical establishment! kindly keep your comments to yourself (regular old earthy-birthies can fire away, I just don't want to hear that c-sections are evil and women who have them are weak because having one saved the life of my baby thank you very much). I have a very trusting relationship with my OB. We've talked about this already and he refuses to push me one way or the other (despite my TRYING to get him to, DAMN YOU DR B). My main goals with this birth are 1) not to be fucking terrifed like I was with Maggie and 2) live me, live baby. That's it.
So, what do y'alls think?