Thursday, 17 January 2013

Don't Worry, Baby

A number of weeks ago a friend of mine gave birth to her first child, a beautiful baby girl.  She was kind enough to share with me the story of her home birth and it got me thunking my thoughts.  Once you're in the land of parenting it's easy to forget how freaking scary being pregnant can be because of all of the unknown.  My grandmother (non-twin grandmother Alice) once told me that the most terrifying moment of pregnancy is when you realize, "That little bugger's gotta come out somehow."*  For a month before my scheduled Cesarean birth I would sit up in the middle of the night** and madly research everything there was to know about C-sections. 

I had never been in the hospital over night before, let alone scheduled for (gulp) surgery.  I madly researched mortality rates of women undertaking this major surgery and emailed friends and facebook acquaintances about their C-section experiences, trying to convince myself that everything was going to be okay.  What I found was a range of experiences, mostly positive, but those aren't the ones I was reading about in the middle of the night.  In the final weeks of pregnancy a handful of friends unknowingly mentioned news stories surrounding an outbreak of c-difficile at local hospitals sending me into another nightly tailspin/Google-searchathon.***

Jack's Ultrasound Photo

Below is the beginning of my C-section story and why we chose to go that route (and it's not because I think I'm too posh to push).

Why I Chose to Have A C-Section
There was no love lost for me in opting out of the home birth scenario even though I understand the appeal - especially after the baby arrives and you can be at home together rather than under strict hospital regulation.  I never day-dreamed of a natural birth experience in my living room.  A few years ago a family member told me that they had to lock up their cats during their home birth so they wouldn't attack them during labour.   Anything that's going to turn my house into an episode of Animal Kingdom - When Cat's Attack, isn't going to sell me on the beauty of the experience.

I have never felt like a failure for not being able to experience labour.****  My woman warrior experience was carrying two babies to full term on a 5 foot 1 frame.  Given the high risk of my pregnancy, complete with Jack being breech for most of my pregnancy, most midwives wouldn't touch us with a ten foot pole anyway. So, Chris and I evaluated our options, through extensive discussions with our doctor and the instructor of the online prenatal class we took.

At about 32 weeks into my pregnancy we booked the C section.  Based on the positioning of Molly and Jack, odds were at around one in three that if I went into natural labour with Molly that I'd have to get an emergency C-section anyway.  Even if I didn't have a C-section they may have to use the vacuum or forceps for the removal of Jack.  The spinal freezing was also going to be mandatory just in case of the need for emergency surgery.  There was also a chance that Jack could lose oxygen and have some brain damage in the time between Molly's birth and his own.  We decided that #1 we didn't want to chance any brain damage for Jack, #2 I didn't like the idea of having to recover from labour and giving birth AND surgery while taking care of newborn twins.  Another bonus of the C-section, provided that I didn't go into labour early, was that I was ensured delivery with the doctor who had taken care of us through my entire pregnancy.*****  So we booked the surgery and sent the eviction notice to the minions at 38 weeks.

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*She'd also yell, "Shoot him now, he'll never be happier!" whenever she saw anyone win anything on reality tv.
**2AM was Molly's scheduled in utero dance session.  Jack preferred kick aerobics at 4AM.
***Talking about infections that you can get in a hospital in front of someone who is weeks away from major surgery is not a good idea, especially when they're jacked up on pregnancy hormones.
****It's called labour, people!  How good does that sound?  I swear rampantly when I stub my toe.
*****The average length of gestation for twins is 36 weeks and a lot of people go into labour early, thankfully I didn't, however I was given two steroid shots at around 32 weeks to help develop the minions lungs should they arrive early.


  1. Thanks for this post! I have 8 month old b/g twins and my experience is almost exactly like yours. For the same reasons (breech baby B, etc.) we decided to have a C-Section- though it wasn't an easy decision. I would fantasize about just waking up one morning and the babies were "magically" out of my body. I too had such a difficult pregnancy I wanted one part of it to be somewhat expected and in control. Thankfully all went well and I swap stories with my sister who gave birth 5 days before my kiddos- at home!

    1. In the next week or so I am posting an entire entry about the day of the surgery, so any comments you can give about your experience would be greatly appreciated by me and other readers. It's nice to know that we aren't alone!

  2. I was induced for 2 of my 3, and I'd totally take that over going into labour naturally, hahaha...

    1. Actually all of them were early, so it wasn't that..
      Thomas I was induced because I was preeclamptic, Liam I was induced for fun ( on my due date.. god I love my OB ) and then Jack came on his own 5 days early ( which was nice because it was before Christmas. )... I'd totally do a Thomas and Liam delivery over a Jack one any day! lol