Saturday, March 03, 2007

c-section vs. al' natur-al

So Bethany posted about having fears on her upcoming c-section. She has no choice in the matter this time around,and after two natural births she has her reservations about the whole thing. Who can blame her!
I have had the privilege to experience both ways. Now usually, women have their children via naturally first and then usually a c-section but I was the other way around. I had a c-section with Maxwell and a natural birth with Evan. A lot of Doctors will not work with you ( at least where we lived) to have a natural delivery after a c-section, but my doctor in a word was- Amazing. He was my Doctor for both my boys births and simply the best, in my opinion.

I was induced with Maxwell, I was nearing 41 weeks and as big as a house. Normally you begin to drop a pound or two near the end, but not me, I kept on getting bigger. So, we scheduled an induction on a Weds. morning. Most the morning was pretty chill, I did not feel that many contractions, but that afternoon my water broke, and then the pain began. I got an epidural the next morning after a horrific night of labor and by 9PM that evening I was finally fully dilated. ( Reminder- this is after being in labor for about 32 hours) I pushed for about an hour and nothing was happening, and I had a fever, Maxwell had a fever, and his heart rate was dropping. I remember our Dr. came in and some nurses and they told me I would be going in for a c-section. I could hardly make out their faces through my tears; tears of exhaustion, a little bit of feeling like a failure, and relief.
I remembered being wheeled in to the operation room, and Justin coming in all cute in his blue scrubs. ( Bethany make sure you get a pic of Aaron in scrubs!) I remember the anesthesiologist making some funny jokes...but I cannot tell you what they were, but I laughed. Justin had the video camera in hand ( what was I thinking?) and they began. I felt cold on my belly, and the Doctors performing the operation were talking to each other about what they did last weekend or something. I found it comforting that it was so lighthearted in the room. They kept me posted the whole time as to what was going on and Justin kept saying things like, "whoa" and I was so out of it I just cried. The Anesthesiologist wiped my tears for me (as my hands were tied to the table...still not sure why they do that perhaps so you don't try to grab at your belly). Next, it basically like the surgeons had both hands on each side of my belly and were pushing it back and forth like a see-saw. It did not hurt at all, and I could not feel them in my body but I could feel them pulling Maxwell out. It was a strange sensation but not a bad one. I think the best part was that I did not feel a thing. I was SO fast, and soon I had my son in my arms. They brought him over to me and Justin and I got to enjoy our son while the surgeons delivered the placenta and sewed me up. It was SO fast.
Recovery was interesting. The worst part was not being able to walk for a few days. It was hard to move, but then again I did just have a major surgery, I mean they cut me open and pulled a 10lb. baby out of my belly through a 6 inch slit. Amazing.
With Evan my water broke around midnight at home. A few hours later we headed into the hospital to be monitored. Like my labor with Max it took awhile for contractions to get going. I got pitocin around 1Pm and wham- they came. Hard and Strong they came. Around 4Pm I began pushing. It was really hard for me to know how to push, but in some ways easier than with Maxwell because my epidural did not work so I felt it all! I finally was getting somewhere. He was beginning to come down and a 6:40 he was born. Later I was told they were very close to putting me under the knife again but somehow I got the strength to give those last few pushes and Evan entered the world at a whopping 8lbs. 8oz. Still a big boy but smaller than Maxwell! phew.
Recovering from the natural birth was hard too. I was really really sore in more than one place, but overall I think it was easier recovery.
I did everything backwards. I had a big baby first, usually your second baby is bigger, and I had a c-section first and a natural birth second. But I would not have it any other way. I am so thankful for both my experiences. My Doctor told me later that someone at the hospital had heard my success story of a v-bac after a Cesarean and called him to have him be her doctor because her doctor was not willing to try that route with her.
Which was better? I can't say. Both ways have their pros and cons. I felt a little like a failure when I did not have Maxwell naturally the first time around, but after I did have Evan naturally I realized how stupid that was. What does it matter? I felt proud that I had Evan naturally but I think mostly because I did it after having a c-section. I have two beautiful, healthy baby boys and I could not be more thankful for that.
So to you Bethany I say this. I am sure you will be nervous...but who isn't when they are about to meet their baby? It goes so fast, you will be like; "what it's over already?" You can go in looking all pretty and afterwards look just as good because you did not go through all that labor. You can have people serve you for a week or so. You will need your rest and recovery time! I did overexert myself a little but Justin made me stop because we had heard a story about a girl who did too much and ended up with problems all over because of it!
Soon your baby GIRL will be in your arms ! I cannot wait to see her!


Beth Young said...

What a great post! So sweet to do that for Bethany...and us! I say we all post our labor and delivery stories...once we have the time :-)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about your experience too, Anne. Read my comment at Bethany's for the full story about why I'm nervous about a c-section. Anyway, I enjoyed reading about what you thought about both labor and deliveries!

Danielle said...

That was me, by the way! Didn't mean to post annonymously!

Ashleigh said...

Great stories, Anne! I enjoyed hearing your birth experiences.

Katie said...

Can you think that after Evan you were at ladies bible study that next week and I got to hold him! It seems like ages since I have seen you and you happy little boys! Did you know Jessica is expecting again? I am sure yourmom told you, but if she didn't there you go. I am hoping for another girl because I could see Jeff being a great dad of all girls!

Bethany said...

THANK YOU ANNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was so sweet of you to do that. I feel much better just knowing sort of what to expect. Thanks for taking the time to post about this. BIG HUGS.

Toni said...

I came by your post via a random google but am so glad I did. I enjoyed reading your birth stories very much. They are well written and grasps the essence of each type of birth. I hope you don't mind but I've referred to it in a series I am doing on birth.

Toni S.