Monday, April 12, 2010

I would seriously prefer an elective c-section

I've read about 'normal birth', I've read about 'emergency c-sections', and I've read about 'elective c-sections'...after all that reading I've come to the conclusion that in the absence of riskless fetal teletransportation, I would personally prefer an elective c-section at about 39 weeks gestation (ie. in about 12 weeks time). I am part of a small minority (1%) of women who would like to request an elective caesarean section to deliver this child. This post is about the reasons why I feel it is a good choice for me in my personal circumstance (ie. healthy married woman, well-educated in early 30's, not planning on more than 2 kids, etc.)...

I want to start by saying that birth is an immensely personal experience between a mother, a father, a doctor, and a baby - and that what may be an appropriate choice for one may be an inappropriate for another. I think women should be empowered to make decisions regarding their birth plans that are best for them and their children.

First, I think I will go into why I really don't want a vaginal birth as much of my reasons for wanting an elective c-section have a lot to do with what I don't want my birth experience to be. I know women have amazing vaginal birth experiences in which their child is brought into the world and their abilities as women and mother are affirmed and they bounce back from their experience with amazing post birth recoveries. That they experience a delivery that while not free of the pain of labour and delivery, is relatively free of any other complications. After the birth, they instantly bond with their pink little bundles of joy and begin lactating within minutes. I know that this is a birth experience that some women experience - that what they plan for in terms of their birth experience is what they get. These are amazing women who really should go into the business of having babies as they do it remarkably well. So given this kind of fairy tale is possible - why in the world would I not be open to it?

REASON 1: Risk and Uncertainty - there is a substantial risk that what is planned for is not what is obtained in the world of planned vaginal childbirth. Many women plan uncomplicated deliveries and get labours that don't progress, umbilical cords that prolapse, fetuses in distress, 3rd or 4th degree tears, episotomies, pelvic floor injuries, emergency c-sections, exhausting labours, sexual dysfunction, etc. Yes the planned vaginal birth that goes off without a hitch is a beautiful thing but it is far from a certain thing and it is also far from reality for many women. I would never stand in the way of a woman who wishes to pursue this experience, despite the risk of being given an entirely different experience or other unwanted side effects of a vaginal delivery.

With an elective c-section I know what I'm getting into. Some risks that are higher than the fairy tale vaginal birth but some risks that are lower and eliminating the risk of an emergency c-section. I know that recuperation will take longer than with a vaginal birth...but I will be physically and mentally prepared for it. I know that the risk of sexual dysfunction is lower. I know the risk of urinary or fecal incontinance is lower. I know that the risk of pelvic organ prolapse is lower. I know that the risks of some birth traumas are lower. I know the risk of tearing is eliminated.

If I can choose to have a home birth, why can't I choose an elective caesarean? If I can choose to have any number of other elective surgeries with similar risk(all be it at a price) - why not c-section?

The 3-D Baby Bonus Ultrasound

This past weekend husband, stepson, myself and the bean went and had one of those 3D/4D ultrasounds done at the local 3D baby. Unlike a medical ultrasound, they can't give you any measurements or do anything diagnostic, but also unlike a medical ultrasound you can have more than your husband/adult other support person with you during the appointment *AND* you don't have to drink a gallon of water beforehand. The other difference is, you have to pay for the service - but given that we got a 20 minute ultrasound, 42 pictures on CD of our little bean, 2 printed pictures (a little on the small side, but with a photo printer at home its no biggie) and a DVD recording of the bean for $179 (plus tax) it really wasn't such a bad deal. My mom and my sister LOVE the in-utero pictures of their granddaughter/neice...

Our bean seems to be doing quite well at 26/27 weeks into the pregnancy...she's forming all those cute baby bits and appears to have all her fingers and toes.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Backstory

So about 10 months ago we decided to become parents and my wonderful husband got replumbed to enable us to have a child together. He already had two kids and was half-way done the whole parenting thing (kids aged 8 and 12 at that time) - so I was and am very happy that he was open to starting again at diapers as I did not have any kids of my own.

He was under the very competent and capable hands of Dr. MacAuley and Dr. Taylor and while the hit to the bank account ($4800) was less than welcomed, the end result (should it succeed) would be more than welcomed. Note to anybody out there considering surgical sterilization - bank some, it's likely cheaper and less painful than undoing the decision later because while the medical system covers the vasectomy, when it comes to undoing it you are SOL. I was hesitant that it would work, or at the very least that it would work anytime soon, meanwhile DH was more than confident that he'd be impregnating me with nothing more than knowing glances across the room, I mean the first two kids he had weren't exactly planned. I was anticipating a year of trying before getting 'knocked up'...I was thinking well maybe by March 2011 I'd be bringing home baby W. Baby W is expected be joining us this July.

So the purpose of this blog is mostly to provide a place for me to type out my thoughts on new motherhood, stepmotherhood, pregnancy, parenting, life in general, etc. It's so that I can look back and know why I did what I did when I did it, and answer that inevitable question: What was I thinking?