In a previous blog post I wrote about the process of accepting my first c-section and being okay with that being the birth story of our first daughter. Before having the c-section with my first, I was 99% sure I would want to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) next time. My doctor explained to me that I was a perfect candidate because my c-section wasn’t a result of my labor not progressing. Instead, it was a fluke thing – a low lying placenta. This gave me hope to try and experience a vaginal birth.
That all changed after I had my first c-section. I decided if we had any more children, I would have a repeat c-section. In a little over a week, I’ll go in and have my second planned c-section to deliver our second daughter.
My thoughts on no longer trying for a VBAC are for several different reasons:
I’m a huge planner. It probably was meant to be that I had a planned c-section with my first baby. I think going into labor spontaneously would throw me way off. Frantically trying to get things ready to go to the hospital, worried I would forget something, and mentally preparing to have a baby very soon would be enough to send me over the edge.
With a planned c-section, we are able to choose our child’s birthday. Both of our kids will have birthdates in the 20’s, which will be easy to remember. That’s good, since most of my brain cells have been stolen by them! By knowing when she’s coming, I’m able to make sure everything is ready for her arrival.
Obviously, many women who have planned c-sections scheduled, end up going into labor on their own before their scheduled date. This very well could be me, but I like to think I’ll make it to my date! With my job as a school counselor, it’s also really nice to know when exactly I will be gone. I can get everything done for my sub and tie up any loose ends. It makes the transition easy for the sub, my students, and myself.
2. You have an end date for pregnancy.
The last weeks of pregnancy are hard. With a planned c-section, it’s nice to know what the end date is going to be and count down the number of days left. It gives you a tiny bit of motivation that you can make it a few more days and then your baby will be in your arms. Also, you will never have to be pregnant longer than 39 weeks since most doctors will schedule a repeat planned c-section during this time.
3. Recovery wasn’t so bad.
From what I’ve heard about emergency c-sections and long labors that end in a c-section, they are completely different than planned c-sections. On the morning of my surgery, I walked into the hospital, not experiencing any contractions.
It felt like I was checking into a hotel, but this hotel would give me a baby at check out.
I didn’t feel anything during the surgery and I was up and walking (very slowly) that night. I was able to manage my pain relatively well with prescription pain medicine and ibuprofen. After the first week or so at home, I started to feel more like myself (minus the lack of sleep and constant breastfeeding). I forgot that I just had major surgery.
I know that the pain and recovery will be a bit different this time around with an almost two-year-old requiring my attention and care. However, I’m hoping I’ll be able to manage the pain as close as I did the first time. I don’t want people to think that my recovery from the c-section was easy, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had images of having to be in bed or on the couch all day, not able to move because I was so sore. That was far from the truth. I know that emergency c-section recovery can be different, but for my planned c-section, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined.
4. You are able to have your primary doctor deliver.
I visit a fairly large OB-GYN practice in town, but absolutely love my doctor. I’ve rarely had to see other doctors within the practice for my check ups and I’ve established a great relationship with my doctor through both of my pregnancies. She understands my fears, concerns, and wishes. It’s nice for her to be the one to see my pregnancy through and deliver my child, rather than someone I met for two seconds when pushing the baby out. It makes the delivery that much more personal for me.
5. You know what to expect.
Again, I’m a planner, and have a huge fear of the unknown. I know what to expect with a c-section. The nurse brings you back to the operating room to receive your spinal while your husband waits in the recovery room. Your husband comes back into the OR, where you are laying on an operating table. Surgery starts, you have a baby, you are stitched up, and wheeled back to recovery room where you stay for a little bit.
I have absolutely no idea what to expect with labor, how my body would handle things, or if I would even be able to give birth vaginally. My biggest fear is that I would labor for hours and hours and STILL end up in a c-section. Although this time, it would be an emergency situation and the recovery would be much harder. By choosing to have a repeat c-section, I avoid this fear and know what to expect, for the most part.
6. Quick Delivery
With labor, you often have to wait hours to meet your bundle of joy. From the moment you are brought back for your c-section, to when your baby is born is usually no more than 30 minutes. It’s quick! In our world of instant gratification, it’s nice to meet your baby right away!
7. You look your best for pictures.
No worrying about your hair being a mess, no make up, and glasses on. There’s no sweaty-hot-mess look after hours of contractions and pushing. With a planned c-section, you can have a pedicure on your pampered toes, hair done, and make up on. You look your best for the pictures that you will share with family, friends, or the world of social media should you choose. Now, I know this reason is superficial, but it’s definitely a perk!
If I hadn’t accepted my first c-section, I probably wouldn’t be able to see the perks of having a repeat c-section. I’m confident in my decision to have another c-section and know I won’t regret it.
Did you have a repeat c-section or try for a VBAC?
Why did you make your choice?