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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hard to say

So, here we are at 18 weeks. WOO HOO!

Miss D had a wonderful Easter holiday, as this picture will attest to:

I want to do something today I have been meaning to do for weeks. I want to share my reasoning for choosing a scheduled repeat c-section for our September baby.

As I shared in my entries back in January when we got our Big Fat Positive, I was extremely interested in exploring a VBAC delivery this time. I am thankful that at the time I had the chance to do a LOT of reading and a lot of research. I felt very strongly at the time that this was something I could do, that I wanted to do, and in many ways - that I needed to do.

Then I found out our (small-town) hospital doesn't allow VBAC deliveries. I was so crushed. So my husband and I began a series of discussions about what path to take with this birth.

Bear with me, because this is literally our pro and con list:

* Statistically safest for me and the baby
* Greatly improves chances for future VBAC deliveries
* No limit on number of future births
* No significant help needed for extended post-partum recover time

* Have to switch OB practices (DH is not open to a midwife delivery)
* Must find OB in Austin
* Must deliver in Austin hospital (30-45 minutes away, depending on traffic)
* DH (football coach) *could* be out of town when I go into labor
* Best chances for "sucessful" VBAC delivery seem to come with little or no pain management through medication. I asked for, and got, an epidural at 4 cm with D's delivery. I don't know if I could labor all the way to the end with no pain medication. Just being honest.

PROS for ERCS (elective repeat c-section)
* Scheduled delivery - DH will definitely be there for birth
* Can stay with my (beloved) OB practice
* Can deliver at hospital here in town
* Can plan MIL's visit for post-recovery time (SIL is having a baby around the same time we are due. My own mother is not able to help me, so MIL is my main resource)

*Chance/risk of infections/complications for me or the baby
* Can't lift D for 6 weeks
* May be limited in number of children we can have (not that I can envision having more than three . . . still, I just don't like the idea of being told I really shouldn't have more than three).
* Vastly reduces chance of VBAC (VBA2C) delivery in the future
* Need significant help to recover

So there it is, all on the table. After lots of prayer and LOTS of discussion, we both feel at peace with choosing a ERCS. For now. We are also both open to the possibility that we may have a change of heart or a change of circumstance between now and September that takes us down another path. One thing that has been so helpful to me is to do some reading of women who have had scheduled c-sections who were able to create birth plans that were very personal and very respectful of this being a birth, not a surgery. I look forward to creating that kind of experience this time around, because at least I know what to expect.