Thank you so much for this thread. I think it is so important for us to be able to share our stories with others who understand where we're coming from. It is really healing, and I think we who have had such traumatic births (and face it, even if you PLANNED a C-section, it's still pretty traumatic) especially need this kind of support to process our birth experiences and to fully accept them for what they are- good or bad. So, here's my story.
My first son, Alex, was born C-section because of FTP after 40 hours of labor- 9 of it pitocin-induced & all of it other-drug free. He passed away at 17 hours old due to complications following an infection present before labor began and undetected until after his birth
. While I had major issues about the c-section & his birth/death (of course), I was able to deal with them pretty effectively & we planned for a VBAC with our second son.
I began reading about VBACs a few months after Alex was born, and by the time my husband & I decided it was time to try again, almost 7 years later, I had read and researched and written college papers about natural childbirth and VBACs. I found the only hospital in the area with midwives who would take a VBAC (DH was totally opposed to home-birth, and I was scared, too). I took Hypnobabies classes to prepare for natural childbirth, and had a totally supportive family system (well, mostly). I hardly even considered the possibility of a second C-section. To me, that was the second most aweful thing that could happen (obviously, I had experienced the worst). Then, at 40 weeks & 2 days I went into labor. It was unlike the first labor- I wasn't sick, and while it was difficult, it was definately bearable. After 19 hours laboring at home, with contractions still erratic, but coming every 3-6 minutes, my midwife wanted me to come in. After the initial assessment, she told us that she was concerned about rupture (which really didn't scare me too bad- I've read the studies), and then she started talking about the possibility of an infection, and a repeat of the first outcome. The options we had were: stay at the hospital & labor it out- see what happened & risk a rupture or an infection. If I did that she said the doc wanted me to have an epidural so that if I ruptured & they had to do an emergency C-section I wouldn't be under general anesthesia. The thought of an epidural made me sick to my stomach.
The other option was to go ahead and have the c-section, guaranteeing (well, upping the odds, anyway) of a healthy baby & mamma. Of course, signing myself out against doc's orders was also an option. I was ready to tell them to go to you-know-where, that I was going to have this baby without their stupid help. But DH, bless his heart, was extremely concerned. We talked about it alone for a while- and he told me that he was going home with both me and the baby this time no matter what it took. In the end, I guess they scared me/us into it. I don't know if the surgery was necessary or not- the doc said that everything looked great in there - so I probably would not have ruptured, and there was no infection, so that wasn't really a concern. I feel kinda duped. I guess I should have read more and had my resources on hand at the hospital to quote the stats or something. Even after all the planning I thought I'd done I still feel that I was kinda caught unprepared. What really did it, of course, was the threat of going home empty handed again. I know I could never have lived with myself if that had happened- especially when I could have prevented it. Oddly, they made me feel like wanting to avoid another c-section was the selfish thing to do, and not the safest thing for my baby. I don't know what I'll do next time. I'd still really like to know what it feels like to actually give birth
. But after two times- failure to progress both times, I don't know if I will have enough confidence in my body to do what it was supposed to do to have my babies.
Anyway, although the experience was really terrible, the outcome was much happier this time. Nathan Macalister was born 7lbs., 6oz. and 20" on Christmas Eve. Although I still feel like I did not really "birth" him, he's mine and he's absolutely perfect.
If anybody actually got through all that, thanks for reading. This was very helpful to me to be able to share this experience with others who know. Love and hugs to all