My TiVo Suggests Tylenol PM
Bringin' SexyVBAC

The Baddest Mommy on the Block

I had my first official prenatal visit this morning, during which I came about 30 seconds from getting a THIRD ultrasound, except that my doctor happened to flip back a page in my chart while the machine was warming up. "Oh!" he said, "We saw the heartbeat already, so we don't need another one just yet."

Dammit. I got a pap smear instead.

So, I really do like my doctor, although I also occasionally want to stab him in the ears with a fork, or maybe one of the handy Ortho-Tri-Cyclen pens he keeps in a cup on his desk. Like today, when he asked me how I was feeling. Which, you know, BAD. AWFUL. Like, I-have-only-told-the-Internet-half-of-it bad and awful. The migraines, the insomnia, the fact that I made my two-year-old cry yesterday (twice) simply through the power of my drained-of-patience angry-mommy voice.

(I'm not counting the time I simply screamed at him to STOP CRYING! STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW! because...come on. He was ALREADY crying. I'm sure I didn't help the situation but HE TOTALLY STARTED IT.)

(Don't let the sarcasm fool you, of course. I could totally die from the guilt right now, especially since I yelled at him AGAIN in public today when he wouldn't get on the elevator we'd been waiting 10 minutes for and I believe something along the lines of "you are going to GET IT" came out of my mouth and oh yes, I should just go ahead and have five more children. I'm the BEST AT THIS EVER.)

Anyway. Where was I? Oh. Right. The doctor's office. I was toddler-free and everybody was finally asking me how I was feeling, like I was a person who mattered, and I broke down and told my doctor how terrible I feel and how I can't get out of bed during the headaches and I'm throwing up in the shower and I can't sleep at night and...dear Lord in heaven, please tell me you can write a prescription for SOMETHING, ANYTHING, PLEASE DON'T TELL ME TO EAT SMALL MEALS AND TAKE SOME TYLENOL AND...

"Good! Feeling bad is good! That means everything is healthy and great! You might want to try eating more small meals during the day!"

Needless to say, I did not walk out of there with a prescription for anything. I did get an offer from a nurse to walk me back to my car, because I looked so very positively green.

And yes, I finally had the conversation with my doctor that so many people have been inordinately curious about: VBAC or scheduled c-section. (Seriously. The pee had barely dried on the test stick and suddenly everybody wanted to know whether I'd made my "decision" yet.) I hesitate to even bring this topic up, because yes, I've seen that website. Yes, that one too. And probably that other one as well. I find much of the information from both sides of the debate to be horribly biased, and both arguments tend to rely heavily on scare tactics instead of real data and OH YEAH, it's just not that big of a fucking deal to me either way.

Before I had Noah, I thought his manner of birth was terribly important. This led to a series of blog postings that I am now terribly embarrassed about, because I let people work me into such a STATE about it. Scheduled c-sections are awesome! Emergency c-sections are hell! All c-sections are unnecessary! And around and around my naive little head went.

A recap for anyone just joining us: My doctor suspected that Noah was on the big side, and knew for a fact that he was not in the ideal position. (He was facing forward, or sunny-side up.) He suspected that I might need a section, but he is overall very anti-intervention. So I wasn't induced or scheduled and went into labor on my own. And it was pretty awesome, actually, and I felt powerful and damn impressed with myself during it. And then the complications started piling up -- nothing particularly major, but enough. Meconium. Fetal distress. Irregular heartbeat. I pushed and pushed and Noah didn't budge past my pubic bone. His heart rate became more and more worrisome with each contraction. So I had an emergency c-section, which revealed that the umbilical cord had been wrapped tightly around the neck of my 9 pound, 15 ounce baby who had little marks on his head from pressing against my freaking bones.

I know that doctors in this country are awfully trigger-happy with pitocin and c-sections. I have no doubt that many sections could be avoided and I will never, ever understand celebrities who opt for completely unnecessary MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY because they're afraid of an episiotomy or whatever. (Ladies! Slicing open your gut really fucking hurts too! Imagine that!)

But in my case, I think the decision and the timing of that decision were appropriate. I have no regrets over my c-section. I was nursing within 10 minutes of delivery. My recovery was a breeze. I was up and about in no time and my scar is small and smooth and practically invisible. (Seriously. I tried to show a curious friend recently and it took me five minutes to FIND the stupid thing.)

I'm extremely happy that I got to experience labor and pushing and if I had managed to deliver vaginally, I would probably attempt an even lower intervention birth this time -- probably with a midwife and a birthing center and no epidural. I know I could do it.

But..I won't.

Of all of our (minor, run-of-the-mill) complications, the only one that's likely to repeat is the high birth weight. And even that isn't a sure thing. Then again, an ultrasound from just days before Noah was born put him in the eight-pound range, a full two pounds under his actual weight. And he never measured particularly "big" at any point in my pregnancy. So no matter how many measurements I get, I know there's no guarantee that I won't end up with another linebacker baby who is just not gonna come out that exit, sorry, at least not without a significant risk for us both.  So even if I do attempt a VBAC, I would choose to do it at a hospital, with an epidural (to avoid being put under in case of an emergency).

My doctor droned on and on about the benefits of a scheduled c-section. Benefits that frankly, I couldn't give two shits less about. Convenient for childcare! (Right, because it's not like we have two sets of grandparents so chomping at the bit for this baby they'd gladly move in now and stay through 2009.) You won't have to go through labor! (Right, except that I thought being in labor was kind of awesome, in a way, and am totally not scared of doing it again.) Your recovery will be faster! (Right, except that I am apparently half cyborg and recovered really damn fast last time.)

We all have our things that we care deeply about. Our secret little judgey list of The Way Things Should Be Done. I've got them too! Serving wine at the correct temperature, for example. Drives me batty, all this overwarm red wine. But birth plans? No. At least not anymore. I look at Noah, at all the little moments where I can either be a great mother or mess it up completely, at all the things that are worth worry and guilt and stress, and the manner in which he exited my body isn't anywhere on that list. It's like this old, weird worry from another dimension, or a past life.

I will probably schedule a c-section. I will probably schedule it on the later side, leaving the possibility of letting labor happen if it's meant to happen, provided we keep on top of the measurements and provided I give even the smallest slice of piping hot rat's ass about any of this by October.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think my emergency c-section child needs me to go wipe his butt. God, this is ALL THE EPIDURAL'S FAULT.

I'm leaving comments open (eyes the room suspiciously), but...let's all remain calm, okay? I have really and truly seen the websites you're itching to link to, I've done my homework and so help me, if anyone mentions anything about dead babies I will close comments, ban your ass and snatch you bald headed. Thank you. I love you. Mwa.

Comments

Dawn B

OH yeah about that above poop comment..totally true. My husband mentioned this to me months after I had my first..ya know, that I too looked like a play-doh machine, and I was pretty grossed out and shocked! because I have never heard of that happening (my mom had 7 vaginal births and not once mentioned this to me until after the fact). I didn't care that it was really happening I guess..I think it was the cleanliness issue/baby coming out close to there issue that worried me. LOL gross I know.

Amalah

98 comments in and look at all the calm! Am impressed with you, little Internet. Thanks.

(BTW - one clarification that no one will read but I feel the need to share -- my morning sickness is still not bad. NOTHING compared to last time. Totally manageable. I was actually hoping for something for the migraines. The migraines make me puke more than morning sickness. Awful. But my doc is reeeeeally anti-meds during pregnancy and wants me to try to get through a few more weeks, and if they continue past the first trimester, we'll talk pain meds.)

(Anyone volunteer to come rub my head and/or take on whiny toddler off my hands?)

Amalah

(AND re: poop. Yeah. Just because I had a c-section doesn't mean I missed out on THAT particular joy. I did push for awhile, remember. I had no idea, of course, until Jason decided to tell me about it two years later, on Valentine's Day.)

Marilyn

As you know, your decision is yours. I made the same decision for the same reasons (and my first was an emergency for the same reasons too, cept for the big baby part). (and believe it or not, recovery IS easier! and I had an easy first time recovery too) It's a tough decision and no one can make it for you. As long as you're happy with it, that's what matters. :)

Another Kate

Me? 2 vaginal births (including a 10 pounder) then twins by c-section. So, I've had the stitches in both places - gut and crotch. Both suck pretty bad and required lovely, lovely painkillers. But all the babies are beautiful...so what's the big deal? Why the debate? I'll never understand.

Heidi T

No assvice, just personal experience here.... we had very similar birth experiences with our firsts. They tried to scare me with my first that she was going to be big... day before I was induced, they told me that she was 9lbs 13oz. I was induced, 36 hours of labor, epidural, heartrate dropping, pushing not doing anything, emergency c-section, great recovery, great baby, nursed for two years, etc... I got pregnant with my second and I really wanted a VBAC. Even though my first turned out fine... I had a feeling there was better out there. I was late with my daughter and they were setting my son to be late too. I knew when I conceived (I am anal retentive) and they used ultrasound date and put me a week ahead of schedule. From about 36 weeks on, they tried to schedule a csection repeatedly. They kept trying to get me in for pre-op paperwork and testing. I just kept telling them.. you can schedule me, but I am not showing up. I was not AGAINST a section, so to speak.. I was just against not letting my body have a chance. Their due date for me was 7/11 and mine was 7/18. I woke up on 7/18 to contractions 10 minutes apart. I went to my normal appt where I got the dead baby talk even though I told them that I was having regular contractions and was going to see them at the hospital in the next 24 hours. They didn't believe me at all. They scheduled 3 NSTs for that week, plus a BPP. I just nodded and smiled and let them schedule whatever they wanted to. I went home and rested and then made dinner. My husband came home, ate dinner, my mom came over to watch my daughter and by that time I was 5 minutes apart and we went to the hospital (1 hour away) and walked right in. They didn't believe I was in labor (non-pitocin labor is great in the early stages) and put me into triage and sent me to pee in a cup and my water broke... this was about 9:30pm.. I was absolutely fine until 11:15pm and then I asked my husband to kill me... That was the worst hour of my life... at 12:15, I started pushing... It was tough to push... they kept threatening section because his heart rate would occasionally dip and at 1:10, the doctor said that if I didn't have him by 1:15 they were sectioning me. Ben was born at 1:15am 7/19. And as good as my csection recovery was... man, it was awesome to nurse him RIGHT away and then go take a shower when my husband took him to the nursery for the check up. Recovery was AMAZING!! If I had had a C-section, it would have been fine too, but the VBAC was really really empowering. I didn't have any drugs, but I am not anti-drug at all... I just know that with my first, having an epidural, I couldn't feel ANYTHING at all and I worried that it would lead to the section again.

Sorry that was long. Good luck with your decision. No matter what... a baby comes out at the end and that is the most awesome part.

Angella

My first was 9/15 as well. On his due date. He came out with forceps, but we were thisclose to having a C-section.

Because I make big babies, my next two were induced 10 days early, and we each 8/5. And came out with two pushes.

If you DO decide on a VBAC, induction (for me) was easy peasy, and over in no time.

Do what you think is best for your family, and hopefully any lurking trolls stay under the bridges ;)

robin

Hey there - I have three kids. My oldest decided he liked lying sideways (transverse) or being breech but never got in the "right" position. We knew we were most likely going to have a csection. It was great - I had a healthy baby. Then we got pregnant the second time. Turns out #1 had "stretched" the accomodations so wonderfully that #2 hung out transverse too. He however fliped to sunny side up, head turned over his shoulder letting me try VBAC. It was great (I mean, it was still labor!), I was thrilled, and he was a healthy baby. #3 was the charm - only five hours from the first signs of onset to delivery and while it was also VBAC (one C and you can never go back) it was everything the "go natural, total woman power, never shave or do anything for that man you love and married" crowd ever said it could be. And she was a healthy baby. But at the end of the day - who cares? It's about what's good for you and having healthy babies. I'm glad you've thought it through and come to a decision - if it was me, I'd do it exactly the same way ... leave your options open with a strong back up just in case. Hope you feel better, or at least more human, soon. Don't listen to anyone's scare tactics. Best news of all? Looking ahead - #2 comes with the manual (your experience!) that you totally wished for with #1!

Heidi T

Oh, and my emergency c ended up being 6lbs 11oz and the VBAC was 7lbs 10oz. Ultrasound was 3lbs off with her.

margaret

Oh, Amy, you do what you think is best, and it will all work out. (Damn, ended that sentence with a preposition--oh, well).

I had one of each. 1st daughter, labor for 14 hrs, doctor said he wanted to use forceps. I saw said forceps (scared me silly), and DD#1 was born about 5 seconds later. Now, DD#2 was an emergency c-section. Turned out she was breech, and no one knew it until they broke my waters and said "Hmm, this feels like a butt!" Then they said things like "higher risk of brain damage, yada yada" I had the c-section about 10-15 min later--thank God I already had the epidural in place! Had I been blessed to have more babies, I probably would have scheduled c-sections, but alas, it was not to be.

OK, kind of a funny story here. My elder daughter was in her clinicals for nursing--doing L&D. She called me after she saw her first c-section. "Mom, get Anastasia (DD#2) over to the phone. OK, now slap her really hard! I just saw a c-section! OMG!" Seriously, she is now an NICU nurse, and loving it. (but I think she would prefer NOT to have any c-sections).I think she's just a wimp! Kidding, baby girl (yes, she's still my baby girl, all 24 yrs and 5'10" of her). It does kind of suck that she is taller, prettier and smarter than me, but I can live with it.

B2G

After reading only about half these comments, obviously the answer is do what is right for you, at the pertinent time.

And also, I may now be scared of out my mind to have a baby- either pushed out my Britney or pulled out of my tummy. So... thanks? :P

Marnie

My dear, sweet little girl was a week over due with no sign of contractions or any movement whatsoever when they discovered that my amniotic fluid was low, her head measured off the charts, and they were expecting a 10lb baby. I had a non-emergency, but quite urgent C that evening, and my barely 7lb little girl with the enormous head was born 20 minutes later. I thought before that that I cared about the whole birthing process. As I was staring into her gorgeous eyes, it didn't take long to figure out it didn't really matter HOW she got out, it just mattered that she did finally freaking leave my womb, thank god, because after 41 weeks, I just wanted her OUT.

Papa Bradstein

Dude, seriously? People rip on you for this shit? Well, of course they do, I suppose, but I'm so amazed by any birth, I don't think it matters how it transpires, so long as everybody makes it through and the baby has 10 fingers and 10 toes (or 12 of one, if you want to be a carnie mommy). I believe that these people need hobbies.

Also, FWIW, our birth instructor confirmed what Mom always said--and Mom had six of us, so she knew a little bit about the topic: it's the shape of the baby's head, not just the size. Our instructor had a c-section that was much like yours with her first, smaller baby, and a VBAC with her second, larger baby. So, along with counting fingers, maybe they could check for BFN--big flippin' noggin--in the next ultrasound.

But seriously, don't take all those comments seriously. You're going to do what's best.

Christine

I've had both - the C-section with the first, and the scheduled C-section that became a VBAC (1/2 hour after my contractions started I was fully dilated). Both hurt, just in different places.

Martha

Hey, Amy!
I was just told about your blog by my VERY dear friend. She and I were both pregnant with our first borns at the same time and now find we are pregnant at the same time....AGAIN! Now that is friendship! =)
She had a scheduled c section 2 weeks early cause her baby was breech...and turned out he was sideways, and huge too.
I had the induction that failed. I actually dilated full 10 and pushed for 2 hours...but no progress. My uterus was too pooped to push! So I had a c section, too.
I remember telling my doctor...."Whatever results in a Healthy Mom and Healthy Baby...I'm for that."
I had a second child 2 years ago...and had planned to have VBAC, actually. However, Placenta Previa cancelled that idea. Oh well. They were both beautiful babies and are now beautiful 7 and 2 year olds.
C sections are not the devils work. They are not done just to let the doctor go home. There is almost always legitimate reasons.

You do what is best for you.

And just for grins...you know...I had a sono yesterday and got to see that little heartbeat. I cried, it was so beautiful.
9 weeks 3 days. Wow!!

So, hoping you have a healthy little monkey in October!!

bethany actually

Seriously, your doctor wouldn't prescribe you anything? I am so sorry.

Dianna

Morning sickness (even though it pops up whenever the hell it wants to) sucks! I feel for you Hon...hope it gets better soon.

Healthy baby and healthy Mommy are the goal right?...Shouldn't matter how it happens.

Hey, here's an idea....make DADDY push your little critter out of HIS special place...
PROBLEM SOLVED*!*

Sarah

Hey whatever gets that baby out safely! oh and are you going to find out the sex?

elisa

Your birth story is almost exactly like mine. Except my son was average weight and I had a small pelvic channel. Never knew I had one until then started calling it small. Felt the need to buy a huge SUV to compensate. Got a c-section instead and we're all healthy here. Oh man, it was scary to hear his little heart beat fall during labor. Silly sunny side up, cord strangling, cute little boy. So when we try for the next one? Meh, my goal is for us all to come out healthy and safe. Whatever that means.
p.s. I love your blog! I just found it and I'm hooked!

Jasmina

For what it's worth (and that's entirely up to you), I'm a veteran of one C-section, one VBAC. Felt a thousand times better after the VBAC--virtually jumped out of bed after delivery. While your first C-section experience was very positive, I only suggest that you keep in mind that you are now a little older, a little more burdened, and maybe doing less trauma to your body would be preferable. Also, while you have labored, you have not delivered--it is a unique experience that you may wish to elect. Whatever your choice, I wish you well.

Backpacking Dad

"stab him in the ears with a fork"

That's too funny. Sarah, from SarahandtheGoonsquad and I were just talking about stabbing forks today. She posted a picture of a telescoping fork and I told her about the "stabbing fork" my wife keeps in her purse.

Very topical :}

Cathy

Your blog address was just forwarded to me by a friend, and it is so amazing to read your speech delay posts! My son also has a speech delay, and I feel like you're inside my brain. I'm so tired of hearing advice like "oh, he'll grow out of it!" It's a relief to know that somebody else understands why I have a list of signs and phonemes on my fridge. It's amazing to know that somebody else out there thinks their child is perfect and wonderful and ends up in tears watching him struggle. THANK YOU!

baseballmom

2 c-sections also, my first one was an emergency because of deceleration of his heartbeat, and, JUST LIKE KELLIE above, my son has epilepsy and I wonder if it was from the tragic birth. Mommy guilt I guess. My second was a scheduled c, but four weeks earlier than planned, and he's perfect. I'd do it all over again, for sure.

Chantelle

Wow. I seriously thought I read every web sit when I was pregnancy and I have NO idea what you are talking about with the c-sections and the dead babies.

I do know this. I was born emergency C-section. And I am pretty cool.

Maria

The doctor was so helpful I think you should poke him in the groin with a fork. :-)

Heather

As I'm not yet a mom, I have no judgement to pass on the birthin' babies front (nor would I have judgement to pass if I was in fact a mom - it's not my style), but I would like to say thank you for speaking out against wine temperature abuse. Too many wines have been ruined by these careless acts of improper storage.

And how tired am I of being called a "wine snob" when I say something about it?

Best of luck with your pregnancy :)

ImpostorMom

I had a C-section, not an emergency one but it was after 14 hours of labor and it was clear that that baby wasn't going to budge.

I'll be scheduling for the next one and happy to do it. I did not care for that labor nonsense one bit and the thought of a VBAC scares the hell out of me. (Much like birth in the first place)

The interesting thing is that I know a person in real life who has a horrific story to tell about a VBAC but she is always encouraging other women to try it. Makes no sense to me but I suppose she would like to see someone else succeed where she did not. Who knows but I'm not that person.

aimee in VA

Tell 'em, A. Make the delivery choice that's right for you. If I hear one more mama-to-be (God bless 'em) tell me about how they're practicing transcendental upside-down pilates yoga kickboxing meditation in order to avoid the dreaded c-section, and request a pat on the head for it ... I don't know what I'll do. But it might not be nice. You get you a healthy baby. End of discussion.

Jezer

Rock on, man. And the part about making the toddler cry with your voice? Yeah, that's one of my favorite mommy moments, too. Hope you're feeling better soon.

amymvr

My good friend decided VBAC was the thing to do for her for her second baby. Clara weighed 11 pounds 9 ounces. 'Nuff said.

Michelle

I'm sorry, all these stories of poop are cracking me up. My sister pooped when I watched her have my nephew. Good times.

Don't worry so much, no parent is perfect and yelling happens. As long as you don't continuously try to make your children feel guilty for the "way they treat you," like my mother, you are golden.

Pam

Hi - you have a ton of comments, so I hate to add to the list. I had the same situation with my first - c-section after much pushing and drama. We scheduled a c-section for my secon (18 mos apart) for my 39th week. DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE. I went into labor at 38 weeks and made it to the hospital with 12 minutes to spare before my daughter was here. Plan? What plan? Good luck!

jessica

damn girl! you're strong! I'm envious!!!!

I've been through birth; started with out the epidural, went to 7cm, then was promising to name my child after anyone who injected my spine with numbing fluids. I'm not having any more kids, but if I did, HOLEEEEE HELL I think upon arriving at the hospital I'd be all "Epidural me please" Becuase seriously, knowing I could sleep until the doctor says "push" would be so much better than laying there wondering if I was gonna poop on the table :)

no matter how Babalah V-2.0 comes into this world, S/he'll be beautful, and loved and that's all that matters.

Hannah

The important thing is a healthy mommy and baby, not how that baby comes into the world. ("Through the door or the window" is how mothergoosemouse put it on her blog the other day).

And as for the flipping out at Noah? I hear you. And any mommy who says they have never, ever done that is delusional, or an out-and-out liar. Be gentle with yourself. And good luck.

Jennifer

Just have a healthy baby...he/she should come out however is best for YOU.

Shannon

Delurking to say you took the words right out of my mouth. And after an almost 11 pound baby I'd have to say that I'm pretty damn thankful for c-sections!

Jaidnoire

Bah. Whatever gets the little ones here healthy and ready to begin the process of breaking momma down with sleep deprivation (hahaha...ha?)

Mine was a scheduled c-section due to breech presentation. We were blessed in that it was smooth went exactly as it was supposed to and then I had a great, fast recovery too. I am curious about actual labor, but I have no disappointment about how my son got here. Good luck with which ever happens!

Oh and "I will close comments, ban your ass and snatch you bald headed. Thank you. I love you. Mwa." made me spit out a little bit of my morning tea, thanks!

One of the Amy's

After 22 hours of labor and 2 1/2 hours of pushing...having a c-section in no way made me feel like I had been cheated out of something special. Hell, it actually helped me get my daughter that much faster.

Nothing brings out the freaks like child birth and nursing talk. Don't listen to them....I don't think they're even listening to themselves.

Melizzard

You're so right. It just so doesn't matter which trap door they end up exiting.

Joanne

I just had a scheduled c-section with my second and it was totally the way to go, for us. It was so, so easy compared to the first time. I don't regret it a bit.

Eva

I have two kids and had two labors leading to C-sections- neither were emergencies but they weren't planned either. My recovery was great the first time and even better the second!

By the way, my older child (boy) is just a couple of months older than Noah... I love little boys!

Professor Art Nerd

Don't you hate that "Good, feeling bad means you're progressing well!" CRAP! I barfed all over the office at my first prenatal visit, and I was thinking to myself, please, zofran, something, please? na. da.

I agree with you, amalah- my birth plan is one bullet point, a) get the baby out. Not interested in carrying her till college, ya know?

Nancy

Do whatever gets the baby here healthy. I went in to be induced with our twins - they were in favorable (head down) positions and I was mentally ready!

Alas, about 2 hours after we started, BabyB started having heart decelerations. My dr recommended a semi-emergency c-section and we agreed. All we cared about was getting our two healthy girls out, and we did! Hooray!

Not experiencing labor doesn't make me any less of a mother. I did the hard work -- I carried them for 38 weeks. Sure, I'm curious about what labor feels like - but I had a great c-section recovery and am happy with our end result!

BaltimoreGal

As much as I always thought I wanted children, after reading your comments I don't think I want to birth any babies.

'K thanks bye.

psumommy

Hmmm...touchy subject for me, so I'll just say two things: you have every right to strangle your doctor, you'd totally get away with it. (for the TOTAL lack of sympathy.) Also- yelling at your existing child while pregnant is OK. I know it sucks and it isn't fair for them, but yeah, it's normal and they get over it. They really do. I promise. And they're all happy to have Non-spinning-head-mommy back after the baby's born. :)

ashley

No judgment here - just TONS of admiration for birthing such a GIANT baby.

I couldn't do it.


PS: Look at how many of us don't even have CHILDREN, and yet your writing still captivates us :)

mswas

My older daughter was about 5 when she started crying one day, and when I asked her why, she said "Mommy I don't want to have a baby!!"

Long story short - she had learned that a friend of hers was born by C-section, and she "didn't want them to cut her stomach to get the baby out". I explained that not every baby is born that way - many others come out their mother's vagina - just like she did.

After that explanation, she said, "Oh that's good. I guess I'll have one."

And there I stood, after having had both kids (8lb 13oz and 9lb 9oz) vaginally and thought about all of the things I could say. I settled for "ok honey" and left it at that.

Rebecca

Please tell me what they did (if you know) to make your scar so hard to find. Mine is big and bumpy and I HATE it.

And I have the same thoughts as you about C-Sections, and almost the same story. Labor, baby won't come out, C-Section, easy recovery. And will probably do the exact same thing as you for #2, when that time comes along.

cath kelly

I say, book yourself in. Set the date. Then relax and take it easy on yourself as you can always change your mind if you want. Options are the best way of relieving stress, until you really know what you want. And given what you have been through recently, I'd say organising your delivery beforehand may well alleviate some of the fears you may have about what could go wrong.

Roberta

You are woman! Hear you roar! Ditto everything in the above - your body, your baby, your choice. Plus 3rd hand possible assvice - gotten from pregnant friends. They recommend Zofran for nausea - safe to take b/c it works on the brain. Also, Sucralfate (Carafate™) liquid for bad heartburn - coats stomach, not absorbed into body. My best friend found that if she asked her OB generally for something for the nausea, etc. no Rx. But if she specifically asked for a specific drug, it was like a magic word and the Rx pad came right out. GOOD LUCK!

Catherine

I'm sorry you're feeling pukey. Here's hoping you feel better soon.

The only thing I've learned about pregnancy and birth is that you just never know. You can plan and plan and plan and it doesn't do one damn bit of good...so don't get too attached to any one idea (or to it being as bad/good as it was last time). I wish you luck...with everything.

Ramona

You have all my admiration in the world! You do what is best for you. Period.

On the red wine note, I received a Brookstone wine chiller for my birthday. BRILLIANT! Chuck a bottle of red (or white), select the type, and in 10 minutes perfectly chilled red wine. Maybe something to add to the baby registry? :)

Abbie

I had my kid 12 years ago so I'm a bit out of the loop with whatever debate is going on lol.
Just wanted to let you know your site is fantastic.
I'll give my sister (who is pregnant) the link.

Tressa

I had a scheduled c-section with my first due to a breech position. After much agonizing I ended up doing the same for my second. And third (they don't give you a choice in that situation). In my experience the recovery time really WAS easier with the subsequent sections.

You already know this, but you don't need to prove anything by going for the VBAC. Listen to your gut (no pun intended) and make the decision that you know is best for you.

catherino

"provided I give even the smallest slice of piping hot rat's ass about any of this by October" = literary genius. My emergency C and scheduled C boys concur.

Nicole

Your doctor deserves a swift kick for that comment! No judgements from me at all, it sounds like you've spent a ton of time already on the scheduled cesarean vs VBAC issue. One comment though, if you haven't already, you may want to look into the research on the benefits of going into labor prior to cesarean vs scheduling.

Jamie

I want to meet one of these mythical doctors that does a C section because it's easier and faster.

Seriously.

I'm the father, so I don't have to lay on the table, but the wife's OB was very clear that a ceasarian is major abdominal surgery and as with any surgery, comes with significant risks. Of course, the risks were far less than trying to deliver a breach baby sitting indian style in the womb, so that's how our boy came out.

j.

I have never heard anybody outside my family and friends use the phrase "Snatch you bald!"

The fact that it came from one of you high falootin citified gals is even more awesome!

Laura

You know, I was completely okay with my emergency c-section too.

Have you tried taking your tylenol before you actually need it? That helped keep my headaches in the manageable range when I was pregnant.

And your birth decision? Absolutely none o' my business.

Kimberly C

Chiming in to say- My doctor told me that the little one was going to be small too! Had me convinced after an ultrasound and all that she would be 4 pounds or so. The second thing that I said (after breathe, dammit breathe) after the 8 lb 10 oz kid came out was "there's your 'little' baby. Funny thing, my mom won the baby weight lottery, with a guess at 8 pounds and everyone said she was mean- hers were 8 lbs and 10 lbs.

Laura

Your baby, your body, your decision. The end.

Christina

To each his/her own is what my mother taught me. That definitely applies to how you birth your children.

I also believe now that how ever you deliver the baby SAFELY is most important. If that means a c-section (scheduled or not) that is what is best at that moment for you! No one can fault any one for that, can they???

Childbirth ITSELF is dangerous not just the choice between c-sections, VBAC, vaginal birth, etc...

I feel the same way you do - I am open to what happens (without the parameters of and how it turns out all I want is healthy baby!

moo

What irks me is how ultrasounds are used to determine how big the baby is when they are notoriously faulty and imprecise.

But moving beyond that ... you do what you have to do, you know? You know what's best for your body. All that matters is the healthy baby at the end.

Dana Whitaker

I am so completely in agreement with you. Red wine does need some chilling, since the 'room temperature' that is appropriate for a red is the temperature of the 55-ish degree wine cellar, not the 70-ish degree living room.

Oh, and I totally agree with the idea of not obsessing over how to ge the baby out. I've done vaginal birth, last minute c-section (not an emergency, but result of a failed ECV) and scheduled c-section. It's been exactly five years since my last birth, and how each of them came out has no bearing on anything else in life.

Ashley

Just wanted to say that you have no idea who I am, I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now ...

I think you are kinda awesome and I totally agree with you on this...babies that get her alive are the bestest. How they get here? PFFT!

Bethiclaus

Good for you. People who expect you to make that decision by now are batshit crazy anyway. If they know what they want the second they see the pink line, good for them. Most of us like to know some more of the variables before we make that kind of decision.

P.S. Big babies rule!

FishyGirl

4 csections, first emergency after 19 hours of labor, subsequent ones scheduled. Second section was far and away the easiest. Go in, have a baby through surgery, nurse in recovery, up on my feet walking around that afternoon, never took a drug stronger than tylenol. Piece of cake. My SIL's vaginal labors and recoveries were both a lot worse than my sections.

My oldest, who had been decided was "little" but was 8lb 9oz., had the marks from the bones on her head, too, complete with the cord wrapped twice around her neck. The first thing out of the OB's mouth when she came out was "She's a big one" and the first thing the PA said was "Cord wrapped twice, loose now." I decided on a repeat section (though at the time they pushed vbac) because I didn't want to labor first and just end up with a section.

All that said, to each her own. The way that gets the baby here with mom and baby safe is the best one, whichever that is.

Amalah

Rebecca -- Stitches, not staples. My doctor insists on stitching up c-sections instead of stapling and I adore him for it. (Even though I had no idea ahead of time, because I SURE WASN'T HAVING NO C-SECTION. Ha!)

I've compared scars (what? that's just how we roll) with people who had staples and I gotta say -- if you're planning a c-section, see if your doctor is willing to stitch you up. The scar ends up being very smooth and flat.

Colleen

I went into labor with Zoe. VERY QUICK LABOR. I won't say I enjoyed labor (that's ridiculous) but I am very happy that I experienced it. That said... Zoe ended up being breech and we went in for a c-section. Like you, I was fortunate to have a really easy recovery. I'm pregnant again and due in July. Last week we let the OB office know we'd be scheduling another c-section. Easy decision for us. Last time it was unplanned but went well... we'll go with what we know. I don't believe how you do it matters... just the outcome.

Julie

Good lord you are brave.

All of this makes me not want kids...

Amalah

Oh, and Moo -- seriously! That's my biggest quandary. If I were to have a small baby (like 7 pounds, or so), I think I could deliver it and would go for the VBAC in a second. But now that I've seen what my body is capable of (uh, not much!), I would want to really KNOW how big the baby is before trying. (Repeating the whole fetal distress thing? No thanks!)

But no matter how many ultrasounds I get, I know they aren't reliable. A friend's doctor was trying to get her to agree to an induction because the ultrasound was saying the baby was over 8 pounds -- she refused, went into labor on her own and delivered a 6 lb, 12 oz baby after two pushes.

I say, I clearly grow them pretty well, I can get my motherly sense of accomplishment out of that, and opt for the safest and quickest exit route possible without feeling like I missed out on anything.

(Watch this baby be itty bitty, though. JUST WATCH.)

Becca Parra

I think I love you. :) You are always so open and honest. Like others have said, you are not the first mother to have gotten short with a two-year old. Forgive yourself. And with the c-section, seriously? People asked you? Like it matters and is their business? But because I like to hear myself talk, I really wanted natural childbirth. Oh, not for the baby, but for me (see? am awesome mother myself.) I wanted to feel the power, and I wanted the recovery of a vaginal birth. Yeah, labor hurts, but not nearly as much as or as long as major abdominal surgery. I feel lucky that I was able to birth her vagnially (though with an epidural), but dude. C-sections save lives. My mom's and mine and my sisters' included. Thank god for c-sections and the mothers that realize that is the best choice for their babies and give up their own desires.

Kate

You and me should chat since it seems we have similar stories. My first was 10 lb., 1 oz (and I am not a big person) and delivered (eventually) by C-section...after 3 hours of pushing and him going nowhere. Now I am 14 weeks pregnant with my second and fully planning to have a scheduled C-section. I think that what some people forget is that when you deliver a huge baby vaginally, you can have just as much "recovery" as with a C-section. My doctor told me that had I delivered him, I would have had "lifelong complications". I don't even want to know what that means. That being said, everyone should get to make their own choices (with their doctor, duh) without any flak from others. My favorite is a story my friend told me: someone actually said to her after her C-section that "you're not really a mom if you have a C-section". Hmmmm...I still came home with a baby to care for. Gotta love meddling strangers!

Becca Parra

Oh, one more story (just because it is FUNNY and sort of relates). My cousin's sister was pregnant with her second, and was about ready to give birth. Her son, about 3, I think, asked how the baby was going to come out. To give herself time, she asked him what he thought. "Through your mouth?" "Good idea, but no." She told him that mommies have a special place down low that babies come out of (he was born vaginally), and the litle boy said "Oh, mama. That's going to hurt your peter."

Fogspinner

See this is one of those times when I just don't think anyones opinion matters. I had a planned C-section, recovered quick, and mentioned to the DR he should have just installed a zipper, I kinda dug this whole M.O.M thing. (I'm currently rethinking the MOM thing...KIDDING!)
However, how you deliver is totally a person choice based on your body, baby, and situation. Whatever you choose will be the right choice, for you, and that's what matters.

Robyn

Do whatever the heck you think you need to for your family. I had my daughter emergency C-section after I failed to progress, and then couldn't breastfeed due to a hormonal imbalance. I felt like a complete failure as a woman and a mother. She's now a beautiful, popular 16-yr-old who is at the top of her class.

I had my son VBAC, which was great except for getting slit up to my anus. Couldn't breastfeed him either. He's now a beautiful 14-yr-old who does a fabulous job in school and has lots of friends. Whatever you choose, it will all work out.

Jessica

I'm 7 months pregnant and exhausted. I put my 1.5 year old daughter in her crib early last night. She was surprised and upset. I told her she needs to be in her crib because "I'm going to go be crabby now." It made sense to me at the time. Poor kid.

Rachel

Talk about yelling at your child....I went into a store to buy a sled for my son, and he wanted to continue to look at the toys. I let him for a few munutes and when I wouldn't buy him a truck, he screamed. He fell on the floor and screamed bloody murder that he wanted the truck. My pregnant ass then picked him up by the breast of his jacket, threw him over my shoulder, grabbed the $5 and walked to the cash register. I then had to hang on to him by the hood of his coat while everyone in the store stared at me because they have never seen a screaming child before.

clickmom

I had an emergency c-section and 2 vbacs, so I am de-lurking here to say birth plans are totally bogus, since you can really never plan a birth or labor (minus the scheduled section), and if you want to talk to someone who did a vbac email me. I do intend on posting birth stories for my three kids in the next 2 months or so if you are interested, you can read the long grisly version on my web site eventually.

P.S. My second was the smallest of my three kids, so go figure. They never really know how big until the kid is out anyway.

ann

Tell it, sister! One of the biggest things I've learned having a kid is that there is no one right way to do things - birth, feeding, sleeping - you name it, somebody has an opinion of THE RIGHT WAY to do it. Hello?! This is not school and there are no grades given for how you birth/raise your kid. Just style points. And tons and tons of homework. :)

(because everybody else is telling birth stories - me too! me too!) I had my 9 lb 3 oz firstborn son vaginally after 3 hours of pushing. If it weren't for an experienced and patient midwife, I'm convinced I would have had a c-section. Didn't want an epidural until the 8th hour of labor and 7 cm dilation, then I said, "Why am I doing this this way? Give me drugs!" Didn't want a c-section, but it wouldn't have mattered much to me if I had needed one. )

Amy H

I had a c-section with Avery due to her large size. It was a week past my due date and I never went into labor. Because they knew (through ultrasounds) that she was big, they just sent me over to the hospital and did the surgery. I didn't really know what I was in for but I was ok with it all. I definitely wish that I could have experienced labor, but it just wasn't in the cards. She was 10 pounds, 14 ounces, so they were absolutely right to go for the c-section.
Now with baby number 2 just 5 days away, I am secretly hoping to go into labor on my own. My c-section is scheduled for the 18th and I will be fine if it happens that way, but part of me would really love to experience childbirth the "normal" way.
Overall, though, I feel the same way you do. I don't really care how this baby is born as long as everything is healthy and safe. I've seen the websites, too, and they just don't make me feel any better one way or another.

Heather B.

It's gotten to the point that I'm actually terrified of you. So I will NOT be giving assvice (because of all of my previous experience with childbirth) or pissing you off.

Lisa M

Really, it all works out in the end. And you'll have a beautiful baby to snuggle with at home next fall.

tuesday

I really want a VBAC this time but I know the risks of going past 40 weeks and of intervention, so I scheduled a C section at 40 weeks (5 days OMG!)
If I have a csection then I have to have one, what can I do, but lets hope I go into labor in the next 4 days. amen.

Yvonne

I had planned a drug-free (as possible, not a martyr!) birth for my first, but pre-eclampsia decided that I would have her 3 months early. Now with #2, all I am "planning" for is to actually make it to 8 months pregnant; we'll take it a day at a time after that and see what happens!

Gina

Love this website, love this post. I thought you really summed up the experience of having a second child - you realize what is important because you have been there before!

Amanda

Yay for your post today! I have had two c-sections myself. For many of the same reasons you had your first. I debated (a little) over what to do the second time (I chose a c-section again). But I felt so bombarded with opinions either way. And damn, other women can be so judgmental over this issue. I wanted to run and hide. You have a fabulous attitude and it is so heart warming to hear a women out there on the internets to put it the way you did. I complained to my husband about all this business one day. He said "You did awesome! Do you feel like you have to give birth out back in the barn, chomping down on a leather strap to earn some street cred?!" I laughed heartily and haven't cared the least about it since.

Lori

RIGHT. ON. GIRL!

Missie

(Um, yeah, no way did I read all these comments)

I have never understood why people get all worked up over how another woman chooses to deliver her baby. As long as you and the baby are both healthy, you are not asking me to deliver it, and there aren't 99 circus clowns involved, I don't think it's anyone else's business.

You go with your Make Up My Own Mind About My Own Second Baby Gettin' Here Self!

Peggy

Amy, thank you for just saying it like it is for you. I, too, had an emergency c with my first, and poor 9 pound Katie had a red ring on the top of her head for three months from all of that pushing onto my bones! And of course, my childbirth instructor expressed her disappointment in me and told me (3 days post-partum)that I should do a VBAC next time. Hmm...wonder if that had anything to do with my PPD? Anyhow, we are now expecting baby #2 in September (yay!), and I'm scheduling my c. Thank you for making me realize that we're not alone!

Helen

I never did get all the furore of how to birth a child and THIS is the best and NO NO to THAT...just get it out is all I say, it just so happens that I am such a slack Alice I cough and they shoot out in about 3 minutes without a need for a stitch, never got a medal though and my babies weren't anymore splendid than the lovely round headed C-sect babies ( well of course they were to me but on the whole is what I mean) Your baby will be divine however s/he gets out, I forgot how big Noah was.....wow!

Diane

Well since you know this already, I'll say that everything I've heard puts the risk of complication of the two at about equal, so I'm glad you're not super freaking out about it. There are so many more important things. Like remembering that breastfeeding is best. (Kidding! Was a joke! I'm a riot. Ahem.)

I admit, one of my biggest fears about having another child is the fear of a C-section. This isn't because I think they're of the devil, but because I fear surgery (of any kind! even when I got my WISDOM TEETH REMOVED!) so damn much. The fact that you can be this relaxed about it does help me a lot. If faced with the emergency, I know I could get through it!

So, even if you feel like "UR DOING IT WRONG" or whatever, I think you're getting this 100% right. But I don't envy your collection of assvice, that much is for sure. I'd have smacked people by now!

Katie

your are hilarious and awesome and hilariously awesome. love you! (and i really should feel weird about telling a perfect stranger i love them, but i don't. thanks)

Procrastamom

I'm sorry Amy, but I just can't remain quiet about this. It's something I have very strong opinions about. As a mother who's given birth to three babies vaginally, I just can't support your decision to drink red wine over white. What's next, are you going to opine that wine is better out of a bottle than a box? What about store-bought vs. the stuff I make myself in our old Diaper Genie?

Steph

My doctor warned me at 36 weeks that my son had a big head and I may have to have a C-section. I pushed for 3 hours and had to have one anyway. You need to do what works best for you, you are the one giving birth. If I am ever blessed to get pregnant again, I will have a scheduled C-section. I never had any issues with healing and was up and around 3 days later feeling sore, but good.

kathrynaz

Okay... you are so not going to read down this far, but as a woman who has given birth to a mere 6 lb 14 oz shrimp and had it rip her vagina WIDE OPEN to the point where I have so much scar tissue down there, I am frankencooch thankyouverymuch....

I think a planned C-section is a rock the house idea!

BTW- I am 27 weeks pregnant, and seriously considering asking my doctor for one. But I am too much of a wimp and am afraid of reaping the judgment that you speak of.

I say hold strong with your decision... you know what is BEST for you and your baby.

Teresa

Two girls in the 7-lb. range -- one induced and one came on her own (a few hours before the scheduled induction!). My labors were easy (of course I had an epidural -- I asked my Dr. for one at 33 weeks but she said "no") but what I liked most was the "scheduled" part. I don't like surprises. So, a scheduled C-section especially a Dr.-recommended one seems like a no-brainer to me! Though there is nothing like pushing a baby out -- I'll remember that for the rest of my life but if you've never done it, you won't know what you're missing anyway! So, schedule that C-section -- and schedule a mani-pedi for the day before.

Nic

I forgot to add yesterday that I am INSANELY jealous of your invisible incision. I have a vertical scar from an ovarian cyst removal, which the doctor proudly told me could be used for a c-section in the future (same incision as a vertical section) and oh my god, it is pink and wider than my thumb in some parts.

JEALOUS.

Princess Laila

I was induced. Ended up having a pedicure the day before. Went through the labour part. Ended up with a c-section (Not emergency) and I was completely happy that way :)
Scheduled all the way. The nurses kept commenting on my "perty feet". Puts a nice smile on your face especially when your feet are so swollen. Cankles are in ya know ;)

Carly

I've been reading your horrors with nausea with much interest, as they are mirroring my own (we are almost exactly the same pregnant: I am due Oct. 27 with our second).

Do you not have access to Diclectin (http://diclectin.com/) in the U.S. THEY ARE MIRACLE PILLS. Seriously. I was on the floor dying one day, took two pills before bed that night, and *poof* woke up like a new woman the next day.

The meds are harmless to baby -- just vitamin B12 and an antihistamine -- and have been studied/in use here for decades. I can't see any reason to suffer through the first trimester nausea with them available.

With the nausea abated, gone went the accompanying headaches etc.

Seriously: Miracle.

But I don't know if it is maybe not approved in the U.S.? I've no clue why they wouldn't be...

Anyway, perhaps something to ask your doc about.

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