Wednesday, August 3, 2011

counting down – 36 weeks


image via

It’s raining lots and I’m too knackered to be bothered having my photo taken today, so instead here is a drawing of what a baby might look like at thirty-six weeks. I’m desperately hoping that my baby is in a similar position. For my two previous labours both my babies have been in the posterior position – which means the baby’s spine is against my spine and supposedly this makes labour more painful and more difficult for the baby to pass through the pelvis. On two occasions now I have been fully dilated heading into second stage labour having only sucked on a bit of gas to get me through only to find myself being rushed to theatre for emergency c-sections. In the first instance my son became stuck in my pelvis in a transverse position and second time round my daughter had passed meconium before my waters broke and then she experienced severe foetal distress.

As I’ve made it to second stage labour unassisted on two occasions previously the Kiwi doctor at the hospital and the midwives are all keen for me to have another go at a vaginal birth. I’ve been assured that even with a severe vaginal tear the physical recovery time will be quicker than that of a c-section (but I am left wondering how I would feel mentally?!?!).  There would be less blood loss also. Two c-sections down so I know that it takes a long time for core muscle strength and overall fitness to return, not to mention the severe anaemia from significant blood loss that required iron infusions to resolve.  The South African senior consulting doctor seemed to be more ambivalent, focusing on the one in two hundred chance of a uterine rupture at the point of the c-section scar.

So now with four weeks remaining I am wondering what I should do? Attempt another vaginal birth or just book myself in for a c-section? It’s not an easy choice. These days both prospects make me anxious.  I found having c-sections pretty awful – although not painful the sensation of my son being ripped from my pelvis and the wish-washy-washing machine feeling as they dived in to retrieve my daughter still make me feel nauseous when I recall the experiences. All the machines and the people in the theatre dressed in weird outfits is also unnervingly surreal. The needles and cords that remaining in my body for the following day is also disgusting. I’m not a fan. But on the other hand the thought of going through another labour only to have it end in another  code blue dash to the theatre … I’m not sure that I’m psychologically up for it?


  1. Oh Sal - I don't envy you this decision. I too had two emergency C-sections (premature labour with twins and very large baby the reasons), and while i had the opportunity to experience labour the second time around - I still feel a little cheated of the full experience - be it 'better' or 'worse' than a C-section.
    At the expense of sound like it's a pun (which it is not) go with your gut.
    If, deep inside, a part of you is worried about the prospect of another emergency then be the one incontrol and book a date so yo have a safe and controlled experience.
    I wish you luck, whichever way you go. xx

  2. I should start by saying I have had 2 'planned' csect due to medical reasons but I think the best advice I have is to be solidly behind whatever decision you make and focus on it. I know when I had the csect I didn't focus on the doc I just looked at Glen at my head and talked about what was about who this person was going to be and laughed at him in those horrid doc outfits. And at that squish moment I shut my eyes to imagine who I was about to see and once I opened them to see how close I was.
    When I was in recovery after Poppy I faired much better than the other 2 on the same day and I think it was because I had mentally preped myself (as weird as that sounded) instead of fighting I went with it , put faith in it and the next morning I was left to my own devices.
    Whatever you choose it is the first day of years of love - thinking of you. xx

  3. Hmmm... a ruptured uterus doesn't sound very nice, although the elation of having birthed your own baby would have to be pretty awesome.

    It's a difficult decision, isn't it? I've had planned c-sections for all three of mine, and never laboured at all. I have a bi-cornuate uterus and thus my babies are breech.

    Whilst disappointed that I will most likely never have a natural birth (even if I do decide to have another), I am grateful that we all managed to get out of there intact.

    My compromise with Amelie was to delay it as long as I could so that I was sure she would be ready.

    I was still really apprehensive and had a massive freak-out on the table when my blood pressure dropped, but it was all worthwhile when I met my little girl.

    I am occasionally disappointed that I have never birthed naturally, but I know c-sections were the right choice for me and my babies.

  4. Sally I am not saying this to scare you OK.
    Are you planning on more children? If so go the caesar as I ruptured during labour and ended up having a c-section anyway and then was told I couldn't have any more kids as I may rupture during pregnancy. I wish I had not gone for the natural birth in hindsight. My mum had a caesar with me and then 2 natural births so I thought I could. Hope I don't upset you but just felt I wanted to tell you how I now feel in hindsight xx Jen

  5. Oh Sally, what a huge decision to make. I'm not much assistance on the c-section front I'm afraid as I have not experienced that, but I can say that my experiences of birthing naturally x3 were the absolute highlights of my entire life.
    I'd say do whatever it is you need to do to feel empowered and safe, and (like Cindy said above) trust that whatever decision you make will be the right one. All will be perfect Sally.

    So excited for you! Another sweet baby soon! Take care. xoxo

  6. OH sally I'm no help to as well I have not been through either. It's a hard decsion, and I don't feel comfortable giving you advice, but just wanted to say I'll be thinking of you and know that you will make the decision that is right for you xoxo

  7. Oh gosh, what a hard decision. Hope it all goes well whatever way you decide to go.

  8. I've only had one c-section & I have no idea whether to go for a vbac or have another c-section.
    I'd say maybe go for the vba2c but if you then needed the c-section it might not be nice mentally for you. I have no idea what I would do.
    Lots of luck & happy 36 weeks xx

  9. Hi Sally, I've had a vaginal birth , c-section and then a vbac. Hands down I'll have a vbac over a c-section any day. Recovery wise there is no comparison. I went to king edward, I don't know where you are booked in. I felt safe in the fact they could get the baby out very quickly if needed, less then 5 mins. Have you checked out birthrites site or been to one of their meetings.
    Yes vbac's have risks, but so do repeat c-sections. Arm yourself with knowledge and then make a decision. Best of luck Alisa

  10. poor Sally- what would you say to a friend if she told you that?

    whatever you decide I wish you so much wellness and love. xx

  11. Oh, it's such a difficult decision, isn't it? I'm really pleased to hear you have hospital support for a VBAC though, I think that helps immensely.

    My babies were all posterior too. I had one c-section and 2 VBACs. I would take the vaginal births over surgery any day. I cannot imagine how much more difficult recovery from surgery would have been with subsequent babies - having more than just that one little soul to look after. There are other physical-recovery issues involved, of course, but I was much much better off after babies #2 and 3.

    Size and sex of the babies makes a difference, and I really think you just can't tell what will happen in labour. My second was a smaller (girl) baby, and she was able to turn into the correct position during labour.

    Whichever you decide, I wish you the very best for the coming weeks :)

  12. Tough decision Sally. I think the end result is whats most important . I had an emergency cesarean with my first and ended up making the decision to have a cesarean with my second . Definitely not ideal but i found it much easier the second time because i was (mentally ) prepared for it, and recovered quickly.

    Whatever you decide , i wish you all the best


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