why we already know charlie’s birthday date

Let me add the disclaimer here that this post was hard to write not because I am unsure of my decision, but because I know it is not a popular one.  But by not saying anything, I feel like I am hiding something…which I am not.  And if there is anyone else out there who is feeling ashamed for her choice?  I want to squash that shame. 

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We already know what day Charlie will be born on because we have decided to schedule a c-section.

Let me tell you why…

When I went into labor with Eddie (the day before his due date), I knew there was a possibility of a C-Section because I had been measuring really big, my pelvic region is narrower than most, and my tilted uterus was…well…still tilted.

But my OB, Doc VH, was determined to let my body do what God made it to do…deliver a baby vaginally.

So when we packed up and headed for the ER at 5:00am on the morning of Eddie’s due date, and I was dilated to 4.5, 80% effaced, and things were looking textbook, I got my epidural and sat back and was a dilating/effacing machine.

My nurse was sure Eddie would be there by noon.

And then he wasn’t.

Oh, I was progressing nicely, but he wasn’t.

Just before 2pm, I asked if I could push since I was starting to feel uncomfortable (and I had secretly pushed against the pressure to see if it felt better that way.  It did).

My nurse was totally gung-ho.  “Heck yes, you can!”

So away we went!

For over 2 hours.

And in that 2 hours?  Eddie refused to cooperate.  At all.

He was nine and a half pounds of huge with a head the size of a cantaloupe.  Plus he was face up.  Plus he just refused to descend any further. The harder I pushed, the more he refused…until his heart rate plummeted and went wonky from being so stubborn all the strain.

Plus all this gave me a fever of close to 105.

So at 4:30pm Doc VH made the call that we needed to get Eddie out NOW.  It was becoming WAY too dangerous…for both of us.

And so, Eddie was born at 4:51pm on his due date via c-section.

For whatever reason, one of the questions everyone who came to visit asked was, “if you have another, will you do another c-section?”

This question sort of shocked me.

For one, I was sitting there with a wound that still had staples in it and was still bleeding every now and then.  I was also sitting there with a fresh from the oven infant.

I was NOT thinking about a repeat performance of either.  I was thinking about sleep and would I ever get any.

But low and behold two and a half years later, I found myself knocked up again.

And the questions started flowing in the millisecond after I announced the pregnancy…”are you going to have a repeat c/s or go for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section)?”

I sort of avoided the question because I really didn’t know and I didn’t really want anyone’s advice. I wanted it to be decided between me, Cort, and Dr. VH.  Oh, and I asked my therapist what she thought of the plan too since I struggle with anxiety and have a history of depression and postpartum depression.

We decided not to make any calls before we got a better idea of Charlie’s growth compared to Eddie’s.

Doc VH is almost notorious for his push for VBACs–even though our hospital doesn’t do “elective VBACs”.  He would rather have a woman’s body do what it is supposed to do and only intervene if there is a definite medical emergency.

It is why I chose to stay with him as my doc after my miscarriages.  He didn’t want me to come in and get things “taken care of” in the office because he felt that my body should be given the time to finish the miscarriage process itself.

And while it was painful, I felt most comfortable with that plan too.

I should also say that Dr. VH is extremely open and honest.  This guy is a no BS dude.  He tells it like it is and sugar-coats nothing.  He lays out all possibilities, lets you make your own choice, and then gives his opinion, but will respect what you choose.

Did I mention I love my OB?

So when he explained to me that he prefers to see a VBAC in 90% of his patients, he said he wasn’t sure it would work for me, but that we would wait and see.

And wait we did.

And people just kept asking, and I just kept dodging the question.

Cort didn’t come with me to my appointment this week, but we had discussed ad nauseum at length the options before us, and he told me that it was ultimately up to me and that he would be there to support me 100% no matter how Charlie came into the world.

So this week, at 29 weeks, I was measuring at 31 weeks.  The Good Doc and I looked back at Eddie’s charts and…BOOM…same thing.

We talked about all the issues I had with Eddie.

We discussed trying a VBAC in a different hospital, possibly with a different doctor, where I wasn’t familiar with things and how that would effect my anxiety.

We discussed trying the VBAC and then ending up on the table anyway.  In a different hospital.  With a different doctor.  With unfamiliarity.  With my anxiety.

I told him I was thinking even before this talk that I wanted another c-section, but I felt bad about it.

He told me that although most women really should try a VBAC in his opinion, maybe with my physical and mental history, I should do the csection.  “After all,” he told me, “Your comfort and ease goes a LONG way in the baby’s comfort and ease when he is first placed in your arms.”

And of course, being Dr. VH, he went on for a while (forever, actually) about all the medical facts about how “back in the day” without these options, babies and women died all the time when forced to do vaginal birth. And then he mentioned something about crushed baby heads and/or ripping from crotch to butt and how we don’t have those happen anymore due to more options.   Because that is how he rolls.  He is quite nerdy and excited about medical stuff.  It’s a good quality in a doctor, in my opinion.

So before I left on Friday, we scheduled my csection.

Before we did, however, he assured me we would watch Charlie’s growth carefully and if things look more favorable this time than with Eddie, we could always cancel the csection.  But at least this way I was scheduled on a day that was for sure his surgery day and he could be there with me in an environment I am comfortable with already.

I left feeling very good about our decision.

Because it was OUR decision based on OUR personal experience and history.

And I still do.

If we have number three will I automatically go for a c/section?  I have no idea.  It will all depend on the situation.  Just like this time.

And unless anything changes drastically, Charlie will be born on March 13, 2012.

Lucky 13.

Exactly two weeks before his Momma’s birthday.

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