Hi everyone ~ this is my first time here!
I had my first 3 kids vaginally, then my next 3 kids via c-section. I'm almost 21 weeks pg and this baby (my last) will be c-section #3.
My first c-section was necessary as I had twins who were both in a footling breech position. The surgery went fine (they were both out within one minute), but my recovery was a bit rough. The doctor stretched the outer-right edge of my incision, which resulted in a tearing/ripping/burning pain every time I stood up. The only way to alleviate the pain was to apply pressure against the edge of the incision. This was difficult to achieve when I was trying to hold 2 babies. I finally solved the problem by using an Ace bandage wrapped around my lower abdomen. The other complication I had from my first c-section was that I had zero urge to urinate. Ever. At my 6-week postpartum check-up, I asked my ob about it and she said that sometimes the bladder got damaged during the surgery (oh joy) and only time would tell if the nerve damage was permanent. In the meantime, she told me to make sure I emptied my bladder every 3 hours so it wouldn't get distended and lead to urinary incontinence down the road. Thankfully, around 6 months post-section, the sensation to urinate returned and I had no further concerns.
I had my second c-section 26.5 months after my first. My ob (same one who'd delivered my twins) had told me all along during my pregnancy that I could vbac, no problem. After all, the only reason I'd had a section the last time was due to positioning issues with twins. But then, 2 days before my son was born, my ob changed her mind and told me she wasn't comfortable letting me vbac due to my son's size (he was 9lb,12oz). I did not want a second c-section, but didn't feel I had any choice. I wasn't prepared to homebirth ~ had no supplies, no midwife, no herbs to address the issue of postpartum hemorrhage (I'd had severe bleeding with 2 of my vaginal births that required D&C's and blood transfusions), etc. I suppose I could have stayed at home, labored there and come to the hospital when I was ready to push, but honestly, it never even occurred to me at the time. I wasn't thrilled about having another section, but I acquiesed and had it done.
I had a scare with the anesthesia during my second c-section. You know how the spinal meds can make your blood pressure drop (which is what makes you feel nauseated/dizzy) and then the anesthesiologist gives you something to bring your pressure back up? Well, whatever was put in my IV caused my blood pressure to skyrocket and I had the *worst* pain in my head because of it! I sincerely thought I was going to have a stroke from a burst blood vessel. The pressure/pain was the worst thing I've experienced. The anesthesiologist was working at trying to get my pressure down and told the ob to "go ahead; get him out!" So I totally missed my son being born because I couldn't focus on anything other than the pain in my head. By the time I was sewn up, however, the new meds the anesthesiologist had given me had kicked in and my head felt completely fine again. It was a *very* scary experience, however, and one I'm a bit worried about being repeated this time around. I'll be giving the anesthesiologist the report so he knows what *not* to give me!
I am almost 21 weeks pregnant with baby #7 and had originally planned to have a homebirth vba2c. I'd located a midwife, met her, and everything was a 'go' and looked great. I had been seeing an ob prior to finding the midwife (it took me until I was almost 17 weeks to find a midwife who was comfortable taking me on as a client) and I found out at 18 weeks that there is a maternal-fetal blood incompatibility issue between the baby and me. The baby has antigen-c in its red blood cells and I have antibody-c in my blood, which means my immune system recognizes the antigen-c in the baby's blood as a foreign protein and sends antibodies to destroy the antigen-c, which, in turn, destroys the baby's red blood cells. This causes anemia and excess bilirubin (a by-product of broken-down red blood cells), which can result in brain damage, in-utero jaundice, heart failure and death to the baby. The only treatment is to monitor the baby's level of anemia through ultrasounds at the perinatologist's office and if/when it reaches a severe level, to administer in-utero blood transfusions (which have their own set of risks, including death) every 2-3 weeks until the baby reaches 32-35 weeks, at which point the baby is delivered and treated in NICU.
This baby also has a 2-vessel umbilical cord, which can be indicative of a chromosome problem (which the peri doesn't think the baby has, as there are no markers for a problem on the u/s) or it can be no big deal except that it often leads to IUGR and an earlier birth than expected.
SO! Once I learned about the challenges facing the baby, I realized a homebirth was impossible. The peri told me that a c-section was the safest method of delivery for this baby. It will need blood transfusions at birth to get rid of the bilirubin and antibody-c in its blood (it's called an exchange transfusion ~ the doctor removes a small amount of the baby's blood and replaces it with with an equal amount of donor blood, monitors the baby for signs of shock and when everything is okay, the neonatologist then repeats the procedure, doing this over and over until the baby's blood supply has been replaced). The baby will also need high-intensity bili lights to breakdown the bilirubin in its skin. And that's a "best case scenario"! There's a chance the baby could die in-utero or be stillborn, or that it will be born very prematurely and need to spend time in NICU. There is no midwife who could address my baby's needs at birth and it would be asinine for me to even consider an UC, so........c-section #3 it's going to be!
I am hoping for a good experience with this delivery. I was *really* disappointed for a few days about not getting to homebirth and avoid another c-section, but I'm over that now. My primary concern is the baby, and I will do whatever is necessary to get a good outcome for him/her. And since a c-section is the safest route for him/her to be delivered, that's what I'll do, kwim?
I do have some concerns about how much scar tissue the doctor will have to contend with from my prior sections, and I'm not looking forward to the pain and limited mobility (difficulty getting up, especially out of bed) that a c-section causes, but I know it'll be all right. I think having a high-risk pregnancy diminishes the worrying about the delivery, itself (for me, anyhow). I just want a baby who makes it and is okay when all is said & done.
I'm so happy to have found this thread. It will be nice to be able to talk to others who have had and/or are having c-sections and aren't going to flip me sh*t about how I'm "choosing" to have a repeat section versus trying to birth this baby vaginally. I would if I could, but I can't, so I'd like to just move past those who want to try to "convince" me otherwise and focus, instead, on how to make the birth of my 7th child as good/pleasant as possible.