For the birth of our second child/second son, I was back and forth between a VBAC and a RCS. I just couldn't really make up mind, but I always, personally, leaned more towards the RCS because my first son was a natural labor that went great until he became stuck in my pelvis and I got a c-section. (I ended up with a suspected narrow pelvis.)
But, still, I didn't want to have to go through major surgery again, even though, I did apparently, heal well from the first birth surgery. But I really didn't envision being able to safely have a normal birth and I was never emotionally upset about having a c-section. So, it seemed best to schedule a c-section, but if I went into labor prior to it, then I would attempt a VBAC.
We also didn't like scheduling a c-section in the 39th week, though, so we choose to wait until the 40th week. I just didn't see the point in having it in the 39th week unless there was a real reason.
This ended up working out very well! The day of the c-section came and so did a day of labor! Granted I had been trying to encourage labor at the last minute and apparently it worked! I didn't necessarily do it to ensure a VBAC, but rather to at least give it a slim chance and to give the baby the benefit of labor and well...kind of let him choose his birthday! I felt he was ready this way.
I said good-bye to our three year old (tears in my eyes!) and we headed off to the hospital at 4:30am!
I was so nervous! We went to registration and filled out the paperwork. Then we were led to the room and I was given that adorable little hospital dress. Then two nurses came and started all my prep work. They were very nice and really distracted me during the IV and blood work (which were actually done simultaneously). The IV felt fine, but the tape did end up being nearly super glued to my arm! (I didn't know this until much later, though.) Let's see....they gave me more papers, hooked me up to a monitor and told me that I was indeed having contractions, put on my compression stockings, gave me a quick little drink of medicine that was supposed to counteract acidity during my surgery(I had to fast completely starting at midnight.)
And then it was time for all the doctors to start making their way in. The head anesthesiologist came in and then my own doctor came in. He checked me since I was in labor and had been interested in a VBAC. He said my cervix hadn't changed at all and the my pelvis was very narrow (internal exams, especially while pregnant, really hurt, too.). So, we decided to go ahead with the c-section. The doctor actually came over and touched my forehead and said a prayer and then we were on our way!
In the operating room, two nurses helped prepare me for the spinal-epidural. I wasn't terribly nervous about feeling it; I was nervous about moving during it. They held me tight and then the intern anesthesiologist came over and started and it went fine. (She was really good.)
Next, all the drapes went up and I did start to feel light-headed. I felt nauseous and I couldn't breathe well. The anesthesiologist quickly fixed that, though. I felt one of the nurses put the catheter in with lots of pressure since I wasn't completely numb yet. It took awhile for my husband to come in ( I think they forgot), but after awhile, he showed up.
Before I knew it, they were saying 'he's a big boy!' and then there he was! I saw them cleaning him up and then my husband brought him over and the head anesthesiologist untied one of my arms. He looked a little like his brother but he looked more serious and he had a little cleft chin. And then before I knew it, they were gone and I was there listening to the medical team sew me up and talk about the hospital.
They came and told me that he weighed 8 lbs and 5 oz and the doctor came over and told me congratulations. Then I was wheeled to recovery. What a strange place that was! It was different than my last time. (This was a new hospital- my first son was born in the old hospital 3 years earlier.)
There were people buzzing all around- doctors, nurses...and they kept wheeling more people in. I was so tired and so thirsty, but also, just like last time, I felt so good. I was still completely numb and it just makes me feel rather euphoric for awhile. Kind of like floating. And I always just keep thinking about the face of my new little one and I'm thankful that everything has gone well so far.
The recovery nurse kept coming over and checking me and pushing on my belly, but I wasn't really feeling or seeing anything that was happening down there.
After this, they wheeled me to my room and then I did start to feel nauseous. It must have been from the movement. Eventually, one of the nurses gave me a patch behind my ear and that cleared it all up.
I was still so very thirsty and now I was able to keep it all down, so I drank tons of ginger ale and water. I wasn't hungry at all.
Then they brought Nehem in and I got to really spend time with him. And then my other son was able to come visit.
The first day I was in the bed the whole day, with a catheter. The next day, they took it out and I was able to get up and start walking a bit.
The hardest parts for me are when they have to come in and smash my belly (thought it was better this time than last time), when they have to rip off the abdominal dressing, when they take blood post-partum( worse this time than last), and when they want put saline in my IV post and then rip off the tape! ( I was able to preemptively do this myself this time. It did take me an hour and a half, but it was worth it! That stuff was seriously stuck to me arm.)
I went in on a Wednesday and then decided to leave on Friday afternoon. All things considered, it really did go quite well.
It definitely is a little bit of a cold kind of birth, but it could be a lot worse. I was really thankful, even though, I do think there are ways that it could possibly be made more family oriented while still being surgically safe. (I actually read one of the papers that was left in the room and one of the notes said 'Mom and baby had a good bonding time'. That kind of mad me laugh...it had been so very quick!
When I went home, I started to heal quickly. Maybe because I was able to sleep in my recliner. That helped me so much. It did all of the abdominal muscle work for me. By day four I was feeling quite good, but day 5, I didn't even feel any more pain. I was still sensitive to touch, but that's all.
My main thorn was breastfeeding. It was last time, too. So much pain, low supply, fear, and even mastitis ...twice! I think I might know the underlying problem for this, though, so now, at almost 6 weeks post-partum, I've decided to stop this time. That is the only thing that makes me kind of sad. Not because I wills miss the experience at all, but because I do feel bad that he won't get any more breast milk.
Overall, my repeat c-section was great. It was a calculated risk. I would still recommend a VBAC for many people, but for me when I weighed the potentials and my past experience, it just seemed right to go for the c-section.
I know this was long, but maybe all the details will help someone! I hope I haven't forgotten anything. ( I may have to continually edit this and add things that I have forgotten!)
Oh, the doctor said I looked excellent in there. And my new scar looks so much better than my last....it looks like a little pencil line.