Thursday, May 29, 2008

C-Section Vs VBAC - Birthing story

I am sure a lot of us mommies have gone through this dilemma of opting for C-sec or VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-sec). My dilemma about the same started as soon as my pregnancy with Junior was confirmed ... thanks to the print out handed to me at the doctor's office. I was instructed to read through the risks of VBAC and give in my consent in writing.... this during my first visit to the doctor. (Oct 26th 2007). I was very surprised at first, but didn't want to rush at things... so postponed the decision making by a couple of weeks.

All the while, my heart was set on the VBAC option. During pregnancy I came across some mommies for whom the VBAC option had gone severly wrong. They say the risk of uterus rupture during VBAC is 1% and 50% of the same could cause permanent brain damage to the new born. Though the percentage looks small, having seen first hand examples of the same always brought in some fear in my mind. No mommy would want to carry a healthy baby for 9 months only to risk the baby's health during delivery.

So while I postponed my decision (rather I postponed handing over the written consent to the doctor), my gyno always seem to scare me with the risks and hardly highlighted the benefits of the normal delivery. It came as a breadth of fresh air when my mid-wife examined me and suggested that the baby's head was down and that other things were going very normal during my 30th week check up. (why mid-wife examined me ... well my woe story with the doctor calls for another post). My mid-wife advised me to wait till the 35th week before I made any decision. But the doctor would not wait till such time. Even before I gave my written consent on my preference I got a call from doctor's office about scheduling my C-section for the 13th May. (my due date was 26th May). This irritated me to great levels. While one of the major benefits I was going to get by opting for C-section was a date of my choice, the doctor had deprived me of the same by just giving me one option. My mom was arriving at our place on the 11th and 13th seemed too close to schedule the delivery. Besides, I knew that I was making good progress and could go in for VBAC.

After a lot of discussion with BP and my family doctor, I opted for VBAC and gave in my written consent for the same. The doctor did not seem very pleased with the option though. The following exams went smooth with the doctor saying that the baby had started to descend. But my cervix remained closed till 37 weeks. During this time, I started developing ichy rashes all over my tummy. They were terribly irritating and kept me awake through the night. I was refered to a dermatologist who dismissed the rashes as an allergic reaction to the Cocoa butter cream I had applied. With the rashes reddening with each day, I was monitored for "Non Stress Test" for 2 weeks. During my 40th week appointment, the doctor examined me and said that I had made no progress at all since 37th week. The baby's position and the cervix measured the same. She also scared me that the baby was big and it could be a very hard delivery for me. (my built is rather small) I was just 6 days away from my due date and still there was no sign of labor and the baby was supposedly big ... thats when my fears got me and we decided to schedule a C-section. So the next day was chosen for the baby's arrival.

Mom got busy satisfying my last minute cravings and BP went and brought guavas (my favourite fruit) and zillion sweets to satisfy my taste buds. I was pampered a lot that evening :)

Anyways, we went to the hospital as per plan around 9:30am. I was hooked on to the monitor. As luck would have it, I started contracting within minutes. The contractions were regular and were about 3 mins apart. Yep ... I started having labor contractions. The nurses who were monitoring me repeatedly started asking me if I really wanted to go in for C-section which was scheduled at 11:30am. They felt I was making good progress in the short span I was hooked. My cervix was examined and turned out I had dilated to 2 cms. All these changes in less than 24 hrs of my check up with the doctor. The hospital nurse explained to me that I still had the option to change my mind to VBAC if I wanted. She said, that they could monitor me for a couple of more hours and see my progress. The idea suited me and BP (my mom was completely opposed to this idea) and we decided to wait for a few hours. I got a call from the doctor immediately ... I must say it almost sounded like a threatening call. She said if I didn't go for C-sec at the decided time, she was not going to be available for the entire week and that some random doctor from the hospital. We still continued to go with the VBAC option. When I asked the hospital nurse who my doctor would be, she said your gyno has asked to be informed about your progress. She will continue to be there for you. So all the phone talk that the doctor had with me was just to scare me ?????

A couple of minutes later, another hospital doctor came to examine me. She said though my contractions were regular, since this was going to be my first vaginal delivery, it could take hours before I delivered. She also confidently said that the baby's head was big and the baby would be aleast 8 lbs. She was sure it was going to be a very tough delivery. She also said, she was not a specialist in VBAC and that my regular doctor was the best doctor in town. (even better than her). Basically she scared us :( And there we gave in to the pressure and decided to go with C-section.

I was wheeled to the Operation theatre within minutes and my doctor arrived in less than 5 minutes. (don't ask me where she was all this while ....wasn't she supposed to be unavailable after 11:45am??? ) My surgery began at 12:38pm and 12:49pm Junior was born. I could hear the excitement in BP's voice when he screamed its a girl ... its a girl. Junior 's loud cries kept me awake the next few minutes.

She was weighed to be 7.2 lbs and measured 19.5in (not a very big baby you said ... well I thought the same too ... so I was tricked to believe it was a very big baby). Anyways she was healthy and that mattered most to BP and I.

And there ... the long debate of VBAC and C-section concluded dramatically in being a C-section.
Here is wishing other expecting mommies a very healthy delivery !!!!

16 comments:

~nm said...

Congratulations once again!!

What a tough time you had there deciding for what way to go. It can be so mentally stressful. But good that all ended well :)

So how are you and the little one doing? And hows the big sister feeling and what were her reactions on seeing such a little baby at home? Tell..tell..tell.. :)

B o o said...

As if the labor trauma was nt enough, you had to go through all these confusions too! Thats one head strong doctor you got yourself there! But then, alls well that ends well, dont they say? :)

utbtkids said...

Talk about being unsupportive!!! I have had my share of bad doctors both peds and gyns. It is either God complex or scare you in to submission. Anyways, as you said, a healthy baby is what matters at the end.

Poppins said...

Oh ok so that's what happened ! because based on our convo, I was so positive that you'd decided to try for a VBAC. Strange that just today me and Maggie (Moppet's Mom) were having this conversation about how some Doctors merely pretend to support VBAC but will use the very first opportunity to turn you to C-Sec.

I am so asking her to read this post, she's in the same stage as you were, confused between a VBAC and a C-Sec.

ddmom said...

That should have been one strong headed doc. She's a VBAC expert? And forced you into a c for personal reasons. Very sad.
Teaching and medicine are 2 professions one should not attempt if you don't have the patience, passion and commitment, just my 2 cents.
With Dlittle, I was hell bent on having a c-sec, and my doctor was trying to convince me up until few minutes before the surgery. I wasn't comfortable for various reasons.
But, alls well that ends well, you have a cuddly little one in your hands and that's all that matters now :)

Orchid said...

congratulations!!
yup like boo says all's well that ends well...enjoy your baby!

noon said...

Congratulations CA!! I am so happy for you! Two girls! They will be a source of joy always and will be a total delight...And they will sing together - wow - how nice that is going to be! :)
Am so happy to hear this news...
About the doc - I am amazed you stood strong even to that point - with such a pushy doc - I was not happy with my OB for only one reason - that she is not very personable - pleasant but very impersonal - but I stuck with her even for my second because she is really good as a doc - didn't push things on me until the very end when baby was in distress and that's the only time she mentioned C-sec possibility...I didn't realize that docs can be so pushy about a C-sec...
How are you feeling now? Able to sleep on the bed? Feel bad for you - but glad your mom is around to help...and man, the day dad goes back to work is not fun - I was so scared - esp with my first child - when B went back to work, I was really nervous...just that moral support...

Collection Of Stars said...

wOw! That's one one pushy doc that you had!
And, congrats again. Having 2 girls is the best gift you could ever get :)

Preeti said...

Wow, that's some story. But you're right - all's well that ends well.

I'm due for my 37 week scan this wed and I've got some hard questions for my doc - she's always struck me as being a bit lukewarm about VBAC. Can see how important it is to have a doc who truly believes in it.

Preethi said...

Congrats.. and hugs poor you having to go for C-Sec after all the preparation.. still all is well that ends well!!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@nm: Big sister is super excited !! Only problem is she doesn't know how to handle the little one!!

@boo: I plan to launch a campaign against this doctor ... grrrrr ... she was hard as a rock.

@utbtkids: It was indeed giving in submission ... she literally scared us. And you know at that moment all you are thinking is a healthy baby. You just don't want any risks.

@poppins : Yep ... I was so confident things would work out this time. Infact it had started to work out just our way ... but doctor basically scared us :(

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@ddmom: Completely agree Teachers and doctors require patience in abundance and unfortunately my doctor lacked it quite a bit. I just stuck to her because of her experience though I had sensed her impatience earlier. Wish I had switched doctors at that time.

@Orchid: Thanks ... you have a great India trip as well !

@Noon: My gyno the first time was super cool as well. We shifted cities and so I had to change the doctor. BP started work from today and I was nervous as well this morning :)

@COS / preethi: Thanks for the wishes :)

mnamma said...

Congratulations CA and to BP and dear Cantaloupe. I bet she is having a wonderful time bonding with Junior! It really must have been a tough time for you with these confusions and what a bully of a doctor. Looking at Junior's face all your other worries would have seemed trivial though!! I am so glad for you and your family. Hugs!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!
Just curious, was NP your gynec?

M

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

YES YES YES !!
Wouldn't recommend her to any one

Pinklunamoon said...

Hugs to you, you got a very bad ob, that was unlucky, I got a bad one too and I still hate her, mine was a first time, all good until they put their hands on me. From natural labor to C-section because of their F. rush. I still have to modify the story of my birth as when I wrote it my memory was somehow off, maybe due to all the stress, I even had PTSD, luckyly no Post natal depression, but a lot of anger that still lives in me...sigh

 

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