C-Section Birth Plan Suggestions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 01-05-2006, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a breech baby at 37 weeks and am trying to come to terms with the fact that it may be necessary to have a c-section. I am obviously trying all the methods for turning a breech baby, and am considering an ECV as well. I am heartbroken at the thought of not being allowed to experience labor and childbirth the way I thought I would.
But...if nothing works I want to be prepared so that I can still make the best of the situation and take the very best care of my baby that I can.
I'm looking for suggestions on things I should include in the c-section birth plan. I don't want my husband and I to be blindsided by something we accidentally said yes to in the midst of surgery. Can anyone who has been through a c-section help me with planning to make the best of it when I was planning a natural home birth?
Thank you!
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#2 of 29 Old 01-05-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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You can totally forget this messege if you want, as I have not experienced a C-section...but I wanted to reply

You didn't say what methods you were trying, so I wanted to offer up moxibustion (acupuncture) as I have heard amazing stories with it, but I think you want to start that straight away.

also, I would think it would be nice if you could wait for the c-section until you actually went into labor because that would give your baby every last second to turn (some do turn at the last minute).

I was just talking to my midwife about breech babies today and she said she will deliver breech, but not in all cases...she'll usually require an ultrasound to check if the legs are straight up or criss-crossed or whatever. So, perhaps looking for someone who would be willing to try a breech delivery?

OK, and finally, because I really don't know what I'm talking about I would appoint someone to be with you at all times and someone to be with the baby, in the event of a c-section. That way, you are supported, but you know that your wishes for your baby are being carried out until you are in recovery. Ihave heard stories of babies being circumcised when they weren't supposed to be or given shots or eye drops or a pacifier or whatever. But if you have someone there, who knows what is supposed tohappen and not happen to baby, they wouldn't let anything go awry.

much luck!
sarah

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#3 of 29 Old 01-05-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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Hi!
I know it sucks to possibly have to have a section, I am one of the rare moms who needed one and will probably have one again. I found a great site that helped me prepare. I was a former homebirther who ran into 2 high risk problems with my 3rd and had to have a section. I took all of the energy I had put into believing in natural birth and put it towards healing quickly and well from the section. It can be a beautiful birth and the recovery doesn`t have to be hard, but sections aren`t ideal of course.

Here`s the site:http://www.radmid.demon.co.uk/csgood.htm

I recommend getting the catheter after the spinal, take vit C and acidophilus with you to the hospital to help your healing, walk as soon as possible--it helps get everything back in place. Ask if you can have subcutaneous stitches and tape rather than staples, this can make a big difference. You may be able to bring your own music, baby may be able to go straight on your chest. Talk it over with the ob, good luck!

pm me any time if you have any questions

Married Catholic mami : to 5 boys, : 9 6 3 : 5 mo. 5/6/02-6/22/02 (HIE)
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#4 of 29 Old 01-05-2006, 08:12 PM
 
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I totally agree with all of what mamatoady had to say...

acupuncture worked wonders with ds2 who wasn't breech but was turned sideways.

and 1 idea for if you do have a c section is to have a doula also so after the baby is born dh can stay withthe babe, and doula with you so you don't feel abanded (like I did w/ my first ds which was a c-section birth) also a doula will be able to help with all those questions about precedures

I'm naking so I'll be back later with more
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#5 of 29 Old 01-05-2006, 08:22 PM
 
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I had one with my first csec and she was so comforting. Also she will advocate for you while dh is with the baby!
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#6 of 29 Old 01-05-2006, 09:35 PM
 
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I'm in the same situation and just starting to look into what options there are for a c-section (I'm 37 1/2 weeks).

Have you looked into chiropractic? I've gone 3x so far, so someone certified in the Webster technique. I'm sure hoping it will help- I have two weeks left before the C is scheduled.

So far I know DS is definitely not going to be out of DH's sight (we decided no circ and no hep B). I don't want any "misunderstandings".

Liseux, I'm going to read your link ASAP and thanks for the stitches info. I never would have known.

Here's praying both our babes turn in the next two weeks.

-Kelly
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#7 of 29 Old 01-05-2006, 11:08 PM
 
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I'm in the ame situation of having a c/s but I knew that was going to happen since 6 weeks. There is a thread on Birth & Beyond about c/s and that might help. The site liseux linked to is also good. From al lthe reading I've done the best things seem to be having someone with you so that dh can go with the babe and also to focus on any sensations you feel during the c/s so that you feel more connected to the birth.

Miriam , mom to jumpers.gif
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#8 of 29 Old 01-06-2006, 01:38 AM
 
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I had an emergency c with my first, and while I'm trying for a VBAC with my second, I will have some stuff in my birth plan for a section if I need a repeat.

Definately you can have your baby on your chest - just talk about it with your OB beforehand. I didn't know that - my MW told me about it this time around!

I'd vote for an epi instead of a spinal - you can have them keep the epi on after the surgery to help with pain meds (again, something I didn't know the first time though I did have an epi).

Sutures instead of staples - 100% agree. Also they can do absorbing stitches so you don't have to have them removed later.

Talk to your OB about pain meds afterward - can you stay on IV meds, what oral meds can you have, also when can you get the cath removed, when can you have food? Can you have semi-solid food to start or just clear liquids?

Don't forget about rooming in - some hospitals are reluctant with post-surgery moms but there's no reason to worry unless you are completely out of it. Make sure your OB okays it.

Lastly, a personal thing. When they were prepping me in the OR, I was left completely naked on the table while people were coming in and out. I couldn't move, I was terrified, and it was an awful experience. When I told my MW, she said this time around I can absolutely specify that I am to be covered by a sheet.

GL!
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#9 of 29 Old 01-06-2006, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I'm a little calmer today. I realized that the whole reason I wanted a home birth was because I trust my body and my baby to work together the way that they should; and if this little one doesn't turn in time there must be a very good reason for it. I'm still going to try everything I can between now and then, but at least I'm starting to get my head and heart more at peace with this.
Kelly-please keep me posted on what happens with you! My Bradley instructor had her 3rd baby turn just 4 days before her scheduled c, so I'm still optimistic for both of us.
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#10 of 29 Old 01-06-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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I agree that you should continue to trust your body and baby to do the right thing. I have a frank breech baby now and the last was footling breech. My MW is not willing to do a first time Vaginal birth breech but would be willing to refer me to another MW. I did not feel comfortable with a footling breech birth. I plan to do accupunture and do an external version if this baby doesn't turn. I also plan to wait until the labor this time. Last time we planned the c-sect for 39 weeks because the MW and I were worried the baby would slip out and have cord prolaspe.
I hope you don't need to use any of this information. I had a c-sect due a footling breech. I have to say the hospital I was at was really great. My student MW attended the birth as well as my DH. DH stayed with the baby throughout. I was able to nurse in recovery. I had a spinal and it worked great. I also have a high pain tolerance. The baby stayed in the room and attached to my breast a lot of the time. The room was a little a small. My Ob was willing to let me go early (2 days vs the usual 3) since I was up walking around and everything when very well.
Good Luck on Spinning your baby!!!
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#11 of 29 Old 01-06-2006, 03:33 PM
 
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Hi, I was in your exact same situation two and a half years ago. We had planned a Bradley birth and my daughter was breech and never turned despite us trying EVERYTHING - including chiropractic, acupuncture, a bunch of silly/interesting things at home, and finally TWO versions - to get her to turn. I was devastated at the time that we weren't going to get our natural birth. It turned out she had the cord around her neck and also tangled around her body, so I'm really glad I went with the c-section instead of trying a breech vag delivery.

The birth plan I used at the time is available at www.shellykang.com/BirthPlan.doc - I haven't looked at it lately, but I know we asked for and got
-our doula in the OR with us - she took some awesome pictures while my husband held my hand - and there's no way DH would have taken pictures of them pulling her out of the incision without fainting, but it made me feel better after the fact to be able to see the moment of her birth. There are a few pictures up at http://www.shellykang.com/Julie/2003September/index.htm, but I could make the more graphic ones available if you're interested - just PM me.
-my hands were unstrapped after the incisions were made, and I got to hold the baby right away - a wonderful thing!
-we specified that my husband or I was to stay with the baby the entire time we were in the hospital (this allowed us to make sure they didn't give the baby any shots, bottles, or other treatments that we didn't want)
-I put in there that I wanted to try for a VBAC if we had another child, so please use the best suturing methods possible - and the doc ended up giving me dissolving stitches inside and out, which worked out great.

I have to say, we had the best c-section experience possible in my opinion. We had a great hospital staff and it was not as horrible as I thought it was going to be at all. I am super-excited about having a vaginal delivery this time around, of course, but I really think I made the right decision with the scheduled c-section for my daughter.

For your nursing relationship, it is important to minimize the baby's time away from you immediately after the surgery. I would ask to keep the baby with me in recovery if at all possible and delay the newborn checkup for an hour or two if they'll let you. Otherwise, what happened in our case was my husband went with her to the nursery for the quick check-up and did his best to rush things along. We did not allow them to bathe her immediately - partly because we wanted to do it ourselves and partly because if the baby gets cold while taking its bath (very likely) they'll keep it there under warming lamps for-freakin'-ever.

Newborn breech babies often do this thing where for the first day or so, they sort of startle every once in a while - and a nurse explained to me that it's because they are used to being so cramped in the uterus with their feet up by their ears that their muscles have to adjust to the new relaxed position. The nurses in the nursery immediately after my DD was born took those startles to mean that she was shaky and that her blood sugar might be low. The best solution to that problem is to get the baby nursing right away, and my husband simply asked if they could hurry me into a room so I could feed her myself - and it worked! They called the recovery room, had me wheeled down, and the baby followed. The alternative would have been to poke DD to get a blood sample for a blood sugar test, and then probably feed her a bottle of glucose-water - which would have potentially kept her from being so interested in nursing and gotten us off on the wrong foot! Long story, but I just thought you might want to know what we experienced. And keep that baby in the room with you - usually they'll require that another adult be in the room to help care for the baby till you are up and out of bed. Even if you are tired, having that baby right there and offering her your breast the moment she's hungry will help you recover (by encouraging your uterus to contract) and will help establish your milk supply. If she goes to the nursery, they may be tempted to give her a bottle to keep her happy "so mom can rest" even though you asked them not to. I spent the nights in the hospital with the baby in bed with me and it worked out great even though one of the nurses disapproved. I just let her give me her lecture about possibly killing my baby and continued doing what I was doing.

Oh, and one last thing! If you're scheduling a c-section, pick up some treats to take to the hospital with you for the staff. We brought a couple dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and the nurses loved us. It really helps to set a cheerful mood and make everyone more "on your side" and want to bend over backward to get you what you want even if it's not their normal procedure. No, you shouldn't have to bribe the staff to get the birth experience you want, but it can't hurt!

And I'm editing to add one more thing about the pain medications...certainly you DO want to take whatever you need to in order to be comfortable after the surgery. But as little as possible is a good thing. Narcotics can make you less able to think clearly and enjoy your new baby, and they can also affect your baby through your milk (even if the staff assures you it won't, they are WRONG!) You want an alert baby so you can establish that nursing relationship right away. Also, the sooner you get off the IV, the sooner you can get up and go take a shower, which will make you feel a lot better. In my case, for the afternoon after the morning surgery, the epidural wore off and I was given some options. They attached one of those pump things to my IV that allows you to push a button and get some morphine if you need more pain relief. That was great, and I was glad to know that I could start feeling better at any time if I just pressed the button. They also gave me extra-strength Motrin, and that ended up being enough - I never had to push the button. By the time for my next dose of Motrin, I was ready for it, and I didn't move around much till it kicked in, but it was worth it to me to get my body back to functioning normally ASAP. I think I have a fairly high pain threshold, too.

And talking about this reminded me of some other c-section advice that I got - as soon as the epidural wears off, start wiggling your feet and moving your legs around - it will improve your circulation and help you heal/recover faster, plus lower your chances of getting a blood clot. When you do get out of bed, and until your incision heals, do your best to stand up as straight as possible. I forget exactly what this is supposed to do, but it had something to do with feeling better/healing faster, and I think it made me feel better to not be all hunched over, which was what my instinct told me to do.

Sorry for the marathon post!
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#12 of 29 Old 01-07-2006, 01:35 PM
 
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You might try posting on the cesarean support thread in the birth and beyond subforum... there are some women there who have excellent birth plans for c-sections. Good luck! I hope you won't be needing it!
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#13 of 29 Old 01-07-2006, 02:12 PM
 
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In my birth plan I had that I wanted a spinal, duramorph for the pain and to be sewn up instead of stapled. That is what was recommended by the people I new who had c-sections. Good luck and hopefully you won't need one.

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#14 of 29 Old 01-07-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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I'm planning an HBAC, but I'm making an "emergency" birth plan for c/s just in case I have to transfer (our local hosp. won't allow vbacs). Here's the points that I have thought about including when I make mine:

* If you would like to wear your own gown—they let me during my first c-sec
* Type of anaesthesia preferred (I chose spinal the first time and will the second as well)
* When you want the catheter inserted (I'd vote after the anaesthetic--yowtch!)
* Who you want to have present (at my hospital, they allowed only one person with me at a time, so my husband was with me for the birth, then went with the baby while my doula stayed with me during the sewup--I would highly recommend a doula if you don't have family or friends who can be with you at this point.)
* Do you want one of your hands to be free/unrestrained (maybe both, if they will allow it)
* Do you want a mirror, or the screen to be dropped (they set the screen exactly where I wanted it, which was nice)
* Do you want music played/your own choice of music
* Do you want the staff to be quiet, or is normal chatter okay
* Do you want to touch/hold the baby immediately (they wouldn't let me hold her, and they insisted on cleaning and weighing her before they let me touch her--I will make sure this is different if there’s a second time.)
* Who will stay with the baby during your post-op procedures (partner, etc.)
* If you plan to breastfeed, let them know as soon as possible so the nurses can help you get started (my hospital staff was great with this)

Those are what I have so far--there are more, and in fact I do think there was a c/sec birth plan thread in Birth & Beyond not long ago--haven't been able to find it, though! Best of luck to you.
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#15 of 29 Old 01-11-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone- I'm taking notes for my 38 1/2 week checkup tomorrow where we do one more ultrasound to see if the little guy has turned.

ShellyK, thanks so much for your detailed notes- I'm going to read your birth plan right now.

Mimi, how are you doing?
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#16 of 29 Old 01-12-2006, 12:14 PM
 
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I had a C-section for a breech baby in Jan 05. There were several things I wanted, but didn't get:

- lowered drape or mirror to view birth.
- catheter inserted AFTER spinal.
- nursing in recovery (he was grunting, and had to go under an Oxihood).
- delayed cutting of cord (forgot to ask).
- view placenta (forgot to ask).

The things I wanted and got were more important:

- no scheduled C/S, go into labor first.
- no bottles, pacifiers, or formula.
- no circumcision or retraction of foreskin.
- as little medication as possible.
- dissolvable stitches. No staples or stitches that have to be removed.

A C-section doesn't have to be a traumatic thing. Ask the doc if you can play music in the operating room, ask them to describe what they're doing as they do it (if you can stomach that), nurse the baby in recovery, and make sure to get up and get moving as soon as possible. I had a spinal and wasn't allowed to walk until the next morning. I've heard that epi's wear off sooner and you can walk better.

For recovery, there are two important things to remember. 1, TAKE IT EASY! Relax, lay in bed for at least a week. Don't push yourself too hard. 2, scar mobilization. My physical therapist told me about this. Ask the docs about it and they'll show you how to do it. You can start 6 weeks postpartum. It really helps with adhesions and pulling and can help your scar heal faster. It's only been a year since my C/S and you can hardly see my scar.

*hugs* I know this is all just-in-case planning. Sending vertex vibes your way, mama!

Mandy, )O(  Proud mommy of Taylor (1/6/05) jammin.gifand Abigail (4/21/11) slinggirl.gif
Loving wife of my gamer boy Michael. modifiedartist.gifBlog link in my profile! ribboncesarean.gif
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#17 of 29 Old 01-12-2006, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As a new motheringdotcommune person, I am so overwhelmed by all of the caring and supportive responses! This is wonderful.
My stubborn child is still breech. I'm continuing to try everything under the sun to get her to turn while making plan B for the c-section. DH and I did decide to stand our ground and go to at least 40 weeks. (Backup dr. wanted to schedule at 39 weeks.)
Thank you to all again for sharing your experiences and thoughts with me!
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#18 of 29 Old 01-12-2006, 10:38 PM
 
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My first birth was an emergency c-section. One (of the many) things that bothered me was that I was absolutely exhausted (18 hours of hard labor first) and traumatized by the experience. When the doctors were performing the surgery they were chit chatting about their weekend, etc. This really bothered me. Here I was, feeling terrified, and there they were casually talking about parties they attended, as if I were not even there. What I would have felt better with is if one of them would have spoken to me & dh quietly and calmly throughout the surgery, explaining what was happening and reassuring us that everything was OK. If I ever need a c- again, I would rquest this.

Good luck to you mama. Wishing you a safe, peaceful birth whatever happens.

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#19 of 29 Old 01-12-2006, 11:00 PM
 
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I have a cesarean birth plan on my blog under Cesarean Goddess posts. Its also on here many many times on the Cesarean Support Thread.

A litte a--vice from a BTDT girl. Please do not do the ECV. If you do all of the things suggested here and your baby still remains breech, please listen to your baby and believe that he or she is in the position they are supposed to be in.

ECVs are dangerous, often fail, and often traumatize mother and baby. I know from experience. We are always saying "trust our bodies", well I say "trust your baby" -- often if your baby is breech there is a reason for it.

I also want to say you can have a wonderful cesarean birth experience. I have twice with thoughtful planning and supportive people around me. Other women have too.

Take care,
Kim
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#20 of 29 Old 01-13-2006, 11:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minkajane
I had a spinal and wasn't allowed to walk until the next morning. I've heard that epi's wear off sooner and you can walk better.
That's interesting--I think it's probably true, but my spinal wore off about 2 or 3 hours after surgery (which happened at 8 p.m.), and I could have walked if I had wanted to (had no desire to, however). There was a nurse in charge of my post-surgery recovery, though, and she came in like gangbusters at 6:00 the next morning and made me stand up and walk to the bathroom. I felt like I was being bullied, but it was the best thing for me to do. She was a great nurse.

Mimi, have you looked into acupuncture to turn the baby? I believe the term is moxibustion (is that right?) and it may work if nothing else does. Best of luck!
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#21 of 29 Old 01-13-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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My OB told me yesterday that I can have Duramorph in my spinal (if the baby hasn't turned from breech) and it will last for 10-15 hours, or I can just have enough to last for the surgery and a few hours later (which I said I would prefer, in case the meds make me feel yucky). She said I can discuss the options with my anethesiologist.

Perhaps that is what you are talking about, the Duramorph?
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#22 of 29 Old 01-14-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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I too had a wonderful c-section experience. Things that I got:

1) Dh and baby never left my side (not even for a moment)
2) baby went to my chest after a VERY brief check over (she was a month early so there were concerns)
3) Drape was lowered so I could see everything
4) My music in the OR
5) Recovered in my private room (with baby and dh)
6) OB gave a play by play of everything they were doing
7) Catheter after spinal (but my spinal never actually took)

Some things you may not have considered, have a robe with you that doesn't tie up in front. Bring some snacky type foods with you to hospital. Bring your camera into the OR so your dh can take pics right away.
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#23 of 29 Old 01-14-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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If you do end up with a c/s, I would suggest asking the doctor to get double layer suturing and to also look up a local ICAN chapter at http://www.ican-online.org
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#24 of 29 Old 01-15-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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I had a c-section for breech twins. It was scheduled for 38 weeks, but we never thought I'd make it that far before going into labor since I'd been on bedrest since 29 weeks for preterm labor. When I DID make it that far, I felt somewhat conflicted about doing the c-section w/out labor first, but I was sooooo done with being pregnant (was measuring 53 cm at that point), that I decided to go ahead with it. I was having contrax. every three minutes at the time of c-section, so I like to think that maybe I was in labor afterall. My babies never had any problems.

The one thing that we did without realizing what the outcome would be was that we insisted that the babies NOT be given a bath (I wanted to do it myself after a few hours). I wanted to smell them when they still smelled all birthy. The nurses looked at me like I had three heads, and told me that the babies would be "gross," but went along with my plans. The unexpected outcome of this was that the babies didn't have to leave the operating room! This was what I dreaded most about the c-section, and I wish I had known ahead of time that the only reason they'd take them away was to bathe them. Dw held the babies right next to my head while I got stitched up (I was in no state to hold them myself at that point), and then they got put on my bed with me and we were wheeled into recovery together.

The other thing that I was glad about was that we asked to keep the placentas (I actually forgot to ask until I was already on the operating table), and I'm really glad we did. We still have them in the freezer, but we are planning to plant them under a tree as soon as we get our own place.

One thing that I wish I had known beforehand was that they were going to shave my pubic hair for the surgery. This is because they put a really sticky "shield" over that area, and it would hurt a lot to take it off if there was hair under it. Having someone shave my pubic hair was a horrible experience. If I had known that was going to happen, I would have shaved it myself (or, more likely had dw shave it) at home.

I had an epidural and it made me feel really sick after the c-section. I was throwing up and just felt awful. I resisted anti-nausea drugs for along time because I just didn't want any more drugs in my system and I was worried it would make me feel dopey. But after about 12 hours, when I was still puking and couldn't walk due to the nausea, I finally agreed to some anti-nausea drugs. They worked wonderfully and I felt great after. So, if you feel sick from the epi, don't hesitate to take something!

Be prepared that it may take a while for your milk to come in, especially if the c-section is scheduled before you go into labor. Mine took five days. Nurse as frequently as you possibly can, and don't feel pressured to supplement while you wait for your milk. It WILL come in!

I hope your baby turns for you, but if not, I hope the c-section goes well!

Good Luck!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#25 of 29 Old 01-17-2006, 01:39 AM
 
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I had an emergency c-section because of a footling breech with my first DS. I have a bicornuate uterus, which causes frequent breech presentation, so I might have the same problem with this one. I would also recommend against ECV. If there is a slight chance you could have a bicornuate uterus (it doesn't always show up on ultrasounds) it could be very dangerous.

My story is really wierd -- DS was breech at 5 months, breech at 35 weeks, vertex at 37 weeks, then turned footling breech again at 39 weeks!! I went into labor, had a quick and relatively painless labor, and went to the birth center at 8 cm dialated. They did a cervical exam, felt feet, and freaked out, and called an ambulance. DS was born 45 minutes later by c-section.

One thing I can say, a "planned" c-section would have been MUCH preferable to an emergency one. I was rushed, tugged, wheeled around, etc. I didn't know what was going on most of the time. A few things that I can tell you:

--I could slightly "feel" the cesarean. I had a spinal, but you can still feel tugging and it is a very very odd sensation. It really scared me at first. It happens so quickly, though!!

--I totally wish that I could have watched what was going on. I had no idea when he came out until my mom said, "Ashley, he's out!" And I saw him laid on my belly, and pee.

--Bring a camera and have someone take pictures!! I so wish I had pictures.

--I had no birth plan, but my DS was never taken away from us. He was weighed in the surgery room, then bundled for DH to carry behind me as we went to recovery. I then nursed him and snuggled him and then watched the nurse give him a little sponge bath. That part was all great. My milk came in only 2 days later, and I had lots of colostrum.

--Recovery was very painful and they made me get up and walk about 3 hours after the surgery. It was 50x more painful than labor!! Take the pain medication they give you! Be prepared for the recovery to be difficult. For me it was difficult emotionally. I couldn't get up and rock my son when he cried. I couldn't walk around the room and bounce him. For 2-3 days I really couldn't get up much at all! That is very hard, but it did mean that DH got to bond with DS.

Good luck!!

Mama to 3 kids. We live in a yurt!
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#26 of 29 Old 01-17-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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Congratulations on your upcoming birth. I had two cesarean births, and the first one was a hellacious ordeal and the second one was pretty nice.

The recovery for the second one was much shorter and easier, I was not separated from my dd except for about twenty minutes immediately after the birth (very annoying, but she was on my dh's bare chest during that time except when they weighed her).

I hired a doula for the second cesarean, even though I knew it would be a cesarean. She is a massage doula. She showed up while I was a nervous wreck in pre-op and gave me a massage to relax me. She stayed with me during the cesarean delivery.

That helped. But the biggest thing we did was to get the hospital to commit to my birth plan in writing -- months before the birth. I got the director of nurses, the director of the nursery where the babies are kept, the director of L&D and the director of Mother and Baby all to sign the letter. I had my OB write a letter to the hospital and advocate on my behalf, since my requests were a large deviation from the hospital's usual policies.

I called the chief neonatologist and told him my plans, and got him to agree that my dd would remain in the OR with me on my husband's bare chest instead of warmers, that she could nurse during any heel sticks (we expected a very large baby and my first baby was hypoglycemic), that there would be absolutely no separation from me while I was in recovery or at any other time, that my toddler could stay in the hospital with me after the birth, and numerous other special requests.

I handpicked my anesthesiologist weeks in advance to minimize the risk of spinal headache and scheduled the birth for his convenience. I chose a rude, obnoxious anesthesiologist (I was forewarned) who blabbed on about football and snapped at me. I chose him because he was famous with local doctors for getting the right place in the spine every time and the local doctors picked him for their own procedures. This is really important, the last thing you want is spinal headache, so get someone who is really good at this (it's an art, not a science, imho). I had no complications from the spinal anesthesia, which was great, because my sister and my next door neighbor both had horrible complications from their spinal anesthesia at their babies' cesarean births. Personally, I had a spinal tap once that had complications requiring five days of hospitalization, so I would prefer a rude anesthesiologist with a gift for getting it right the first time than a sweet, respectful, spiritually centered, warm, delightful anesthesiolgist who missed. So ask your OB about the best spinal doc, and don't let them put you off with assurances that they are all the same. They aren't all about the same. Hopefully, you can find someone who is respectful, spiritually centered, warm and delightful who is locally famous for getting the spinal anesthesia right the first time.

I really pushed the issue and asked for the hospital to commit to my requests in writing, and started early, because the first time I had an unexpected cesarean the hospital staff totally ignored my birth plan in almost every way possible. If there is something you really don't want to have happen, put "I DO NOT CONSENT" and then follow it with whatever it is you do not consent to.

In my case, I did not consent to anyone who was not licensed with full privileges observing, assisting, or in any way participating or learning on my daughter or me.

I also brought my own purple knit sheets from Target and a pillow from home so that the bed would be soft and cozy instead of scratchy and horrible and I brought my own good clear fluids and broth so I would not have jello for my first meal.

PS: I made extra copies of the letter from the staff confirming they would honor my wishes, etc., and stapled that letter to my birth plan and passed them out generously. I mailed a copy of that letter from staff to the pediatrics team at the hospital to make sure everyone knew. I also lined up an appointment with the lactation consultants the morning of my dd's birth and I went and met with them a few times while I was pregnant so they would already know me. They got a copy of the birth plan, too.

You can have a good cesarean birth experience.
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#27 of 29 Old 01-17-2006, 02:15 AM
 
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I have to add one more thought. The spinal anesthesia is really important. The selection of spinal anesthesiologist, board certified of course, is really important. Ask anyone who has had the SA messed up. So in my case, I decided to schedule the cesarean to make sure the guy who got it right every time would be available, instead of taking my chances with anyone who happened to show up. I don't know about the advantages of waiting to go into labor, though, my OB downplayed those advantages.
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#28 of 29 Old 01-12-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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I was glad to see your reply. I havea spinal deformation and cannot get babied into my birth canal. I am having a TON of denial with this, but I am trying to cope by getting info on the most natural way to have a c-section. My heart was set on a birth tub for my first...needless to say I had a different ending. Did I mention that with the non-preparation, it took 6 weeks of pumping before she latched? C-sections are just the worst. They are a means to an end, but what a terrible means.
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#29 of 29 Old 01-12-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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It really makes me sad to hear so many of you so certain ahead of time that a c-section has to be a horrible way to give birth to a baby. Only because I felt the same way a few weeks before the birth of my first daughter, who was a planned c-section due to breech. The great thing about a planned c-section is that you can come to terms with it and make it into a beautiful thing despite the limitations.

I just posted a copy of my daughter's birth story on my web site, it's in Word doc format, so if you can't read it let me know and I'll get it into a better one. http://www.shellykang.com/JulieBirthStory.doc I hope this helps give someone hope for a happy birth of their own.

I was very lucky, my second baby was not breech and I had an unmedicated hospital birth with her - also a wonderful experience, but due to extensive tearing and hemmoraging (unrelated to the previous c-section) I had to have surgery a couple hours later. Recovery from that was probably worse than from the c-section! Still, both were beautiful experiences in their own very difficult ways.

Happy Births to all of you,

Shelly
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