My c-section (it still feels so weird to type that phrase!) was elective, at 37w3d, for a variety of reasons. There were some concerns about DD's growth at our 32wk appointment with the midwives, and they also thought she was breech, so we were referred out for an ultrasound. The perinatologist that I saw the next day recorded slightly-smaller-than-average size and low fluid (my AFI was 7). They also told us that the baby was definitely breech, and a girl.
I was told to take it easier, eat a high-protein diet, and drink lots and lots of fluid, and come back over the next two weeks for another ultrasound and then a biophysical profile, with NSTs at the midwives' office in between. I kept doing daily kick counts (DD was almost constantly active in utero; it never took me more than 9 minutes to register 10 separate movements). We commenced doing everything we could figure out to get her to turn--acupuncture, moxibustion, chiropractic work, pelvic inclines, deep water immersion and headstands. We used a flashlight, DH's voice, music. She stayed stubbornly breech throughout.
The fluid levels refused to come up, no matter what I did. At the end of my pregnancy I was drinking 1.5-2 gallons of water every day, and eating around 125g of protein every day (I kept a food diary and counted every gram). All I did was eat, drink and pee (and make various attempts to turn DD). The docs refused to entertain any options other than c-section for a breech baby, and no one was willing to attempt a version because of the low fluid levels. My midwives, who are wonderful and believe in breech homebirth, recommend that I not attempt a homebirth with THIS baby because of the other health concerns. We talked about fleeing to The Farm or finding a midwife in the area who would work with us, if I could make it past the 37-week mark. I was talked into steroid injections to mature DD's lungs "just in case". The weekly visits became twice-weekly, then every other day. At the very end, right at 37 weeks, one of the NSTs was less-than-spectacular, and the next day's ultrasound showed an AFI of 2. They scheduled surgery for the next morning, and I had a very frank discussion with the doctor who would be doing the surgery about double-layer suturing with dissolving stitches.
DD was born at 5.5lbs, 19". She had no breathing problems and never had to be separated from me throughout our hospital stay. She was (and still is) a healthy, skinny baby. Pathology on the placenta came back just fine; although DD was 6th percentile for weight, her placenta was 75th.
The doctors and midwives have no idea why we had the issues that we did.
HBAC next time, definitely. I am still reeling emotionally from DD's birth; not only the loss of the homebirth I had planned, but the experience of labor itself. I hope
that giving birth to my next child will help heal the wound left by DD's birth. Like Meg, I do not feel like I gave birth.