Well, here I am with that second chance, albeit 10 years later, and still lamenting my first “failure”. I spoke with my OB at my very first prenatal visit about my delivery options following the c-section 10 years ago. “Once a section, always a section”, he stated without much further explanation. However, he was less than three months from retirement at the time, and I knew he would not be around to deliver my baby in the spring. I still had hope. The retiring doctor’s partner was a young doctor and would surely have better options for me.
It was two more months before I was able to meet with my new OB. During that time I spoke with pretty much any woman who was willing to discuss her labor and delivery with me. My just being pregnant seemed to cause the conversations around me to center constantly around babies and their arrivals. Up until now I haven’t known many women who have had c-sections. With the exception of my sister-in-law who delivered triplets, all of my sister-in-laws and close friends had vaginal deliveries, several of which I would even consider to be dream deliveries. But when women outside of my usual circle began telling me their stories, I realized there were more people out there whose labor and deliveries sounded more like mine. But I also realized that those ladies were missing something that I most definitely had – a bad attitude. While it was reassuring to know that other women had similar experiences as my own, it wasn’t until one woman said that it “didn’t matter how the baby got here, as long it was safe and healthy”. It hit me how selfish I was being. My yearning for a “normal” delivery wasn’t for the baby’s sake, it was for ME!
So when I was finally able to discuss the matter with my new OB, I had much more of an open mind during his explanation of the retired doctor’s “once a section, always a section” comment. The new doctor took the time to explain to me how some women can have a successful VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) due to the circumstances surrounding the initial c-section. If the first baby was breech, for instance, it is unlikely that the same circumstances would hold true for the second baby. However, if the first baby was too big for the mother’s birth canal and labor was not progressing (sound familiar?) it is possible, even probable that those circumstances would be repeated the second time around. This discussion also took place following an ultrasound where the technician said the baby looked to be a pretty big one. Being a diplomatic kind of guy, the OB suggested we schedule a c-section but cancel it if I felt strongly about attempting a VBAC as we got closer to the baby’s due date. I left his office feeling like I was almost certainly going to have a c-section, but not feeling all that badly about it.
A few days after my appointment, my sister-in-law delivered my new niece. Her delivery experience made mine look good. But her sweet baby girl was finally with her, and that’s what was important. It was yet another reason for me to feel OK with having the surgery. So when I had my OB appointment yesterday, I didn’t cry when they called the hospital to schedule my repeat c-section. I was actually kind of excited that I had a date to meet my baby. And when I got home and wrote it on the calendar, I promptly started freaking out about all the things I have to do in the next three months!!