VBAC vs. Repeated C-Sec

So, we’re coming up on 36 weeks now and we have a decision to make.  Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or have a scheduled repeated c-section.  I have never been one of those women who were hell bent on having a baby come out of my hoo-haw.  I figure, whatever is safest for me and baby, that’s what I want to do.  And I always just sort of assumed that a VBAC carries more risk, just from knowing how careful doctors and hospitals are about it and talking to friends and family.  It always seemed like the stars had to align in order for a doctor to be OK with doing a VBAC.  While at this point in the game a VBAC is slightly riskier, repeat c-sections for multiple pregnancies carries even higher risk, and I want more babies!  Well, at least one more.  Or, at least that’s what I’m telling myself right now.  And the reason we have to decide what we want to do, or try to do, right now is because of the cerclage.  If we want to have a scheduled c-section, they keep the cerclage in place and just remove it when they do the c-sec.  Makes sense, extra support to keep the baby in until go-time.  If we want to do the VBAC, they remove the cerclage now, and wait and see what happens.  If we opt to have the cerclage removed, there is still a chance that my body just doesn’t want to have a vaginal birth, although I have this weird fear that the second they remove the stitch, this baby is going to fall out.

Anyway, doing my best Rory Gilmore, I’ve decided to create a pro/con list:

VBAC PROS:

  • Better option if we’re planning on having more kids.  The doc actually said we should consider this if we’re planning on having “several” more kids.  J just shook his head no when the word “several” came up.  Haha. (see C-SECTION CONS below)
  • Easier recovery, or so I hear.  And with an easier recovery  comes the better chance that I may be able to play volleyball right away and not have to miss any games! (My favorite adult rec league sport me and some friends play.  I usually captain when I can, but registrations are now and I feel I’m a little too pre-occupied to take care of it.  I had to miss it the year I was pregnant with Baby Groot.  It was a very sad time.  Season starts mid-end of March)

VBAC CONS:

  • Small risk of uterine rupture.  I guess there’s a chance that the scar from the previous cesarean can rip open.  I have this very horror movie-esque type scenario in my head of what it would be like, blood everywhere kind of thing.  I believe this is the reason why doctors are sometimes hesitant to do it, but I should add that some c-section incisions are more favorable than others to do a VBAC.  I happen to have the favorable one, which is assuring.
  • I may not even be able to push the baby out anyway.  According to the ultrasound, this baby is currently the same size Baby Groot was when he was born (and we’re only at 36 weeks!)  Baby Drogon is measuring “average” but turns out I’m not “average” size (I’m a bit smaller if you don’t know me) so, can a below average size person push an average size baby out of her??  Who knows.
  • Cerclage stays in.  The only reason this is a con is because I have this fear that I will go into labor and  baby will try its darnedest to come out and in turn, everything will be all ripped and torn because that stitch ain’t going anywhere.  I’m not sure what the chances of this actually happening are, but it’s still scary.
  • From what I’ve seen on other mommy blogs, this one is probably actually a deterrent for many parents, but with a vaginal delivery, you’re not in the hospital as long.  J and I loved being in the hospital.  We loved all the help and sending the baby to the nursery when we needed some sleep.  We’ve got that baby for the rest of it’s life, the nurses can watch him for a few hours.
  • Less coverage from Short Term Disability.
  • There’s still a chance things wouldn’t work out and we would just have another cesarean anyway, which in itself is not a bad thing, but something could go wrong causing a rushed emergency c-section (blood pressure issues, cord wrapped around baby, etc.)  Since our first c-section was pretty chill (not planned, but no rush either), I do not know what this would be like and I don’t I really want to find out.

C-SECTION PROS:

  •  If planned, there will be no rush making it less likely that something bad would happen.
  • Cerclage stays in, helping keep baby stay in place (I know this was a CON for my other list, but it makes sense.)
  • Longer hospital stay (yay!)
  • More coverage from Short Term Disability

C-SECTION CONS:

  • It is a major invasive surgery where they cut you open and rip out a human straight from your loins.
  • Longer recovery time (and likely would have to miss the first couple volleyball games)
  • Like I mentioned earlier, with each c-section you have, the higher the risks are.  Since this would only be our second, it’s not really an issue right now, but I guess with each c-section you have, the scar tissue builds up and there’s a chance that the placenta can attach to said scar tissue.  Doc mentioned a patient who apparently had to have a hysterectomy when the baby came out because this happened.  Yikes!

 

So, there you have it.  Decisions decisions.  I’ll keep y’all updated on what we do.  Or maybe this baby will decide to come before we’ve even decided what we want to do.  We’ll just have to wait and see…

decision-racoon

Please comment if you’ve been in the same situation and had to decide what to do!

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It only took 45 hours…

Go figure my kid would be 2 days late.  We went in Monday morning at 6am to be induced and Baby Groot didn’t actually arrive till 3am Wednesday morning.  I told you all he was lazy and content.  And yes, you read that right, Baby Groot is a HE!  So, here’s how the 45 hours before our baby boy arrived went…

I guess with inductions, a lot of times the women come in the night before and have something applied to their cervix to help soften and prepare it for the baby to come through.  Since we had the cervical issues, my doc didn’t think I would need to do that.  We arrived at the hospital at 6am and they showed us straight to our room.  I had a hard time deciding what to wear for the shindig.  I googled “what to wear when giving birth” once, simply because the nurse at our childbirth class said that it might be more comfortable for you to wear your own clothes than the hospital gowns, which I thought was kind of brilliant and would never had thought of such a thing.  I found a message board in which a woman asked the same question and the responses were a bit judgmental and self-righteous – “How shallow do you have to be to dress up to have a baby?!” or “Are you too good for the hospital gown??”  Moms, Are. The. Worst.  Anyway, I decided on a sports bra, loose shorts that I normally wore as pajamas, and a jersey robe style shirt I bought at Walmart.  It worked out.  So, we get to our room and I try to get comfortable.  A little hard to do when you’re nervous about a giant baby popping out of your hooha.  I lay in bed and about 15 minutes later the nurses are in the room ready to put in my IV (which is always an adventure with me…this particular time hurt to the point I felt compelled to politely curse the nurse.)  They start the Pitocin at 7am and off we go.  I fell asleep for a bit and then watched some Jurassic Park.  This is basically how the entire morning went:

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I was also worried about not being able to eat the entire time, but the sweet nurse let me have a little juice and crackers, which doesn’t sound like much, but when you think you’re getting nothing to eat, it’s awesome.  Anyway, turns out the Pitocin did nothing the entire day.  I made it to 2cm and stopped.  My OB came in at noon and said I should walk around and try to get the baby moving.  So J and I walked up and down the hallway a few times, but nothing.  During this time, the woman next door was in labor.  I know because I heard her.  She was in labor with no epidural.  It was scary.  For me.  Luckily, J and I had walked to the other end of the hallway when the baby came.  Nobody needs to hear all that.  Anyway, with no progress the entire day, my doc decided to stop the Pitocin, use the cervix softening drug, and then try the Pitocin again the next morning.  So basically, our Monday was spent laying in bed, watching TV all day.

I wake up Tuesday morning, they start the Pitocin again, and I start contracting a couple hours later.  OOhhhhhh, so THAT’S what labor contractions feel like!  Yeah, they actually start hurting a little instead of being just the tightening of my abdomen kind.  At first it was like “oh, yeah, that kind of hurts a little, I think that’s a real contraction” and quickly became “oh good God, this is terrible!”  My doc came in around 11am to break the bag of waters (yes, it’s actually called “bag of waters,” like some sort of magical trinket you get while playing Dungeons and Dragons or any other RPG) and the pain definitely increased after that.  I requested some nitric oxide hoping it would take some edge off (I wasn’t ready to give up and go full on epidural just yet) but all it did was distract me slightly because I had this giant mask over my face now.  I unfortunately felt nothing and I was even kind of looking forward to the high :-/  Not long after that I opted for the epidural (#sorrynotsorry).  Yes, the numbing needle still hurt and it was scary, but J was there this time (unlike the cerclage) and I was ready for the pain to stop.  Part of me felt like a wuss because I knew I wasn’t that far along in labor and already needed it, but then I just tried to tell myself that maybe instead of being less tolerant to pain than others, I was actually experiencing worse pain than others.  Take that!

So, long story short, I progressed painlessly to 7cm and stopped again.  The later it got, the colder I got, and the chills set in.  I couldn’t stop shivering.  Like, if you had me hold a can of Coke for 10 seconds and then opened it, the can would have exploded.  My temperature slowly crept up through the night and at 2am I spiked a fever of 102.9.  It was then they finally decided to do a C-section.  By this point, I was ready for whatever.  I was tired, my catheter was bothering me, and the shivering sucked.  They wheeled me into the OR and about 20 minutes later, J came in and joined me.  I don’t remember details, I may have dozed off while they were operating.  And then I remember feeling that weird pull, hearing a faint cry, and then hearing the doctor say “It’s a boy!”  That was a pretty awesome moment.  I totally recommend waiting to find out your baby’s gender.  I didn’t get to see him right away.  It felt like 20 minutes or so went by before they brought him over to me.  During this time they were sowing me up (I felt all this tugging and honestly was afraid they were going to rip my skin) and I kept dozing off.  Even though I pretty much slept all day, I was so exhausted.  They finally let me see my perfect little man, they finished closing me up, then they wheeled me back into our room.

I remember seeing little guy across the room, in the plastic bin thing, being poked and prodded by a nurse.  J was with them.  I remember thinking “should I be more eager to spend time with my son?” but I was sooooo tired.  I figured he was in good hands.  I mean, these nurses know way more about babies than I do.  And I would have plenty of time with him later.  So, we slept for a few hours, and then they wheeled us into our recovery room, our home away from home for 4 more days…

My next post will be on those 4 more days.  If I have any advice to give to first time moms, it’s be prepared for ANYTHING!  When I tell my story to people, they look at me sympathetically sometimes, but it really wasn’t that bad.  And I think I feel that way because I was open to anything and everything.  We didn’t have a birth plan.  I would have rather not had gotten cut open, but I wasn’t opposed to it either.  My OB wasn’t even the one that delivered my baby.  She was there a lot when she could be, but she couldn’t be there during go time.  It would have been nice if she was, but she couldn’t and I was OK with that.  These doctors and nurses do this time after time after time and I trust they know what they’re doing.  Just because I have a baby growing inside me it means I have some sort of maternal instincts on what to do and how??  Ummm, no ma’am.  Just call me Jon Snow.

jonsnow