Here's the brief answer - I had an unplanned c/s with my son, and I am electing to have a c/s with my daughter.
So this is my story.
My husband and I weren't really trying (nor were we not trying) to have my son - we had been stationed at Fort Lewis, WA and married for a little over a year when we found out we were having my son. Being pregnant with him was a surprise and quite a scary trip. I had bleeding in my first trimester, a bout of shingles early in my second trimester along with the start of my severe preeclampsia. We also found out both my husband and I were carriers for the Cystic Fibrosis gene mutation, and our son had a 25 percent chance of having CF, or a 50 percent chance of having my mutation and being sterile. More great news.
By the third trimester, I was off of inspections, relegated to sitting-only desk work and off my feet at my job as a health inspector. I was on the maximum amount of blood pressure medication and being monitored twice a week at my OB's office, had weekly ultrasounds to see how my son was progressing, and steroids at 23 weeks to hasten his lung maturity in case. I bought my absolutely fabulous Ameda Purely Yours pump a day after I got the shot in my butt.
After flirting with bp's as high as 155/110 through weeks 27 to 34, and hoping to any available deity that my baby viking would hod on "just one more week, just one more week" week after week, my pressure shot up to 160/115, and my OB admitted me to the hospital for monitoring. She knew I had been to CB classes, and I was prepared - yet nervous as hell - to do a VB. After back-to-back ultrasounds revealed that my son of 34w4d wasn't growing any more, I had no cervical dilation, my pressure was not dropping, my OB gave me a choice. She told me that my cervix was anywhere near ready for labor, and although she could try to induce me and let me experience about "30 or so hours of labor" to try to get my son out naturally, that in the end, she'd most likely have to give me a C/S anyway, and she would be worried about both the health of my son and I.
After thinking about 30 hours of labor for which I was massively unprepared - both mentally and physically - as well as being worried about both my health and my son's, I decided to skip the induction and go for a C/S. Despite having a miss on the epidural and having to have a second one (I was the first epi that the anesthesiologist had to do with hibaclens because I have a severe iodine allergy), the C/S went smoothly and thanks to my OB's awesome surturing work (all of the surturing is done on the inside, the outer most skin layer was closed with steri-strips), my scar is barely visible and I have no adhesions. My son was born at 8PM that Thursday night, I saw him for about 3 minutes before he was transferred to a NICU in a different hospital 20 miles away.
My family lives in the Midwest and the c/s was so sudden that nobody was able to really visit me. I spent the first night after my son was born by myself, and the following day, a family friend spent the day with me. My husband spent the next 2 days by my son's side. There were no happy family photos, no parade of well-wishers coming by with the typical post-birth schwag of fuzzy animals and fruit baskets.
The nursing staff that took care of me in my recovery were wonderful - they helped get me up and moving so I could recover faster, they made sure I was comfortable and my pain was well-managed, and they visited with me as often as I could because both my son and my husband weren't there. I also credit them with making sure I kept with my goal of breastfeeding - even though my son wasn't there to take it off the taps. They helped to start me pumping so that even though I wasn't near my son, I could still give him the best chow on the planet and establish a good milk supply early on.
After getting myself sufficiently recovered enough to get out of the hospital on Saturday afternoon, I went to see my son. He was so tiny, and was on a CPAP mask because he was having trouble breathing. It was another 3 days before I got to hold him for the first time. Two weeks later, he finally came home with us, and my mom came to visit and help out, thankfully.
Almost 2 years later, he has some small issues from being a preemie, but he's a happy and healthy kid.
Eirik at 3 days
Eirik today (He loooooovvvess Hello Kitty and cats)
This time around, my blood pressure isn't sky-high, so I am hopeful that my daughter will get to cook for the full amount of time. I am in NC, and although I have a civilian doctor, I can honestly say that I really dislike the guy. I don't have the same awesome relationship I had with him that I had with my previous OB and her staff, and the care that I have been getting hasn't been to the same standards. Besides, when a woman tells you she had severe pre-eclampsia and had to have an unplanned, last minute C/S due to a dangerous BP spike and asks to be high risk, the right thing to say is OK. It's not "A lot of women ask to be high risk and ask for a lot of unnecessary tests that end up costing a lot of money. I just don't think you need to be high risk at this point."
My husband is looking to reenlist and get station choice, so we are hoping to PCS back to Washington - not just because we really liked it there, but also for the more progressive obstetrical care and outstanding NICU facilities in the Tacoma and Seattle areas. He really loved my OB and the amount of care she gave us, as well as the great job she did making sure our son was given the best shot at being healthy and the great job she did putting me back together again.
Would I have another C/S? That depends. If I am here in NC, I might go VBAC, just because I don't want to have a half-assed job done on my C/S and end up with a whopper scar and adhesions. There is also a very small part (like the size of a peanut) that would like to have a natural birth. If I could find an OB that uses the same surturing methods and actually gave me the same quality of care, I would go C/S. As it stands, if we do PCS to Washington, I would go back to my original OB and have a C/S without a moment's hesitation. As I have told every one of my female friends at Lewis who is pregnant, my OB totally rocked, she provides excellent care and I would love to have her deliver my daughter. :)