(Wo)man plans, God laughs. And boy did I get laughed at.
With my first baby, I had planned on a vaginal delivery. Sure, I wanted the epidural to be started in the parking lot, but I actually did wait about 4 hours into contractions before asking the anesthesiologist for relief. But alas, my daughter wasn’t coming, even with Pitocin. The uterine contractions ended up making her heart rate drop to a dangerous low and I was wheeled into the operating room for emergency surgery.
So for child No. 2, I was conflicted, at first. Do I have a repeat c section or do I try for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?
My first inclination was to opt for a c section. “It will be easier,” I told myself. “I know what to expect and this way my lady parts will remain intact.”
Then I thought, “Why don’t I try to have a vaginal delivery? The recovery time is faster and who wants major surgery if they don’t have to have it?”
So I walked into my OB’s office with a plan. I was going to try for a VBAC. But then I asked her what my odds were. She said given all the factors, I had a 50 to 70 percent chance of delivering naturally.
I walked out of that appointment even more confused. Those aren’t very good odds at all. So at best, I go into labor for hours and push out a baby. At worst, I go into labor for hours, the baby gets stuck, I don’t dilate and I end up having surgery anyway.
After hours of deliberating back and forth in my head, I came up with a solution that I thought would fit best. I would, in the end, have a planned c section. My doctor assured me that recovery would be faster since I wouldn’t be in any distress going into the surgery.
Since all my family is out of town and I have a 2-and-a-half-year-old, this way I could have round-the-clock child care in place before even being admitted. No labor pains, no epidural necessary. It would be a cake walk.
I chose to schedule the surgery for 39 weeks on the dot. This way, I could also plan the Bris (the ritual circumcision for Jewish boys at 8 days old) ahead of time and not be scrambling post delivery.
So I say again, (wo)man plans and God laughs.
At 37 weeks and 5 days, I started to feel a strange pain in my uterus. “Are you in labor?” My husband asked me innocently. “No,” I replied stubbornly, “I think it’s just one of those weird pains you experience when the baby is low down.”
The truth is, the weird pain didn’t stop. By 2am, having failed to find a comfortable position to sleep in, I woke up my husband. I soon admitted that I thought I might be in labor. We went to the hospital. The nurses hydrated me, gave me something to lessen the frequency and severity of the contractions and sent me home. But I had a feeling the baby was coming.
Sure enough, when I went to see my OB that day, she confirmed I was in labor and that a c section would happen just a couple hours later.
In the end, I was in labor longer before my planned c section than I was before the emergency one.
But however he got here, I’m extremely pleased to welcome the newest member of the Udderly Hot Mama family: my son Nicholas. He's already nursing like a champ!