I had a cesarean the first time around (unplanned, emergency, slightly scary scenario). I never ever ever ever ever ever (did I mention never ever?) want to do that again. In the end, everyone was fine, but I really think I have a little post-traumatic stress from the whole thing. So, I either want a planned c-section with theoretical baby #2 or I want the labor and delivery I didn't get the first time. I want the "no pitocin, no interventions, push 3 times, no tearing, baby fine, please nurse right now" delivery I deserve, dammit. I'm torn because I really do think we do too many cesareans in the US. I think there are a lot of reasons we do too many. And in fact, I think I could have avoided the cesarean myself had a lot of things been different (things like the entire medical model of childbirth). When you try to deliver vaginally after a c-section, it is known as VBAC.
I'm sort of a crunchy granola person. Sort of natural about a lot of things. Childbirth and nursing are two of them. I just believe so much that the mother and baby are designed to work together for so much of childbirth and nursing. They are just such a perfect pair. Chuckles and I are like peas and carrots.
I have a lot of thoughts about this topic, but I can't make anything coherent about it right now because I don't even know what kind of health insurance I will have in a few months, I don't know the rules regarding VBACs of the hospital in our new town (some hospitals won't let you try VBAC), I just don't know. In fact, I don't even know when or if I will try to have another baby. Just sitting here thinking about it makes me start to tear up. I guess I'm still not completely over the trauma of Chuckles's birth (and like I said, everyone is fine, so I must be really messed up about this).
So, since I can't make coherent thoughts, I'm going to give some bullet points. Let's start with PROS of a Planned Repeat Cesarean:
- I know what to expect
- Date is scheduled months in advance, so I can get childcare for Chuckles lined up
- I hear through the grapevine that a planned c-section is much less stressful for everyone than an urgent, unplanned one
- 8 weeks short-term disability off of work (instead of standard 6 weeks)
CONS of a Planned Repeat Cesarean:
- Major abdominal surgery
- Women who have c-sections have poorer breastfeeding success (and breastfeeding is very important to me)
- Not being able to laugh, cough, sneeze, or walk upright for at least 2 weeks
- Risks of anesthesia
- I am actually scared of surgery
PROS of VBAC
- Nature's Way
- Shorter recovery
- Greater likelihood of breastfeeding success
- Heal some of the psychological wounds of the first birth
- prove to myself I can do it
CONS of VBAC
- Uterine rupture
- Possible need for a c-section anyway (the worst possible choice of all of this)
- The possible need to fight with medical providers every step of the way over doing this...in fact, I won't have the mind about me to do this, and I am pretty sure my husband won't either, so I would need to bring someone with me to the labor (maybe a doula or a trusted, informed friend....not my mother....under no circumstances can it be my mother)
So, there are pros and cons to each side, and some hospitals don't even let you try to VBAC, so I could possibly end up needing to hospital shop or look around for a specific new OB (I'll need to find a specific OB no matter what, because I want someone who is familiar with treating PCOS anyway, so I need a good PCOS treater who loves VBAC and breastfeeding and is a little humorous to boot).
All this to say we have no idea if we want another baby, no idea if I can even get pregnant (what with no periods since July 2004 here), no idea if I can stay pregnant (as I have a pretty significant progesterone shortage here and bled like a stuck pig while pregnant with Chuckles), and no idea what to do if I do get and stay pregnant. So, huh.
A big post about nothing.