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the mommyhood memos: my unplanned c-section

Monday, May 10, 2010

my unplanned c-section

Birth is such a personal ordeal - a huge milestone in a woman's life.

I had an unplanned C-Section. My little monkey was an undetected breech baby! The procedure itself went smoothly and I ended up with a beautiful baby boy in my arms so I couldn't complain. It wasn't the natural water birth in the Birthing Centre with my midwife that I was gunning for, but it was wonderful and happy nonetheless.

When I was told (12 hours into labour) that I'd need to be transfered upstairs to the hospital to be prepped for surgery, I was feeling let down but not devastated. Although I had a few tears of disappointment, I had been prepared for the unexpected and was just so thankful that I would be meeting our boy soon.

The delivery went well and soon I was enjoying my baby on the outside. It took a few days to process the fact that I'd have more limited mobility during my recovery than I expected (a set-back for this on-the-go woman!) and that was a bummer. BUT... I thought to myself,  "there's always next time." I'd fallen in love with our Birthing Centre and my midwife so much, the idea of going through the hospital was not appealing and I still wanted to try and have the natural birth experience I'd hoped for.

Let me explain a little. In Australia we have a wonderful health care system, which takes care of our babies (and mommies). Generally you get this care through the public hospitals (or if you are lucky, like me, you could get accepted into the local Birthing Centre). Although the hospitals provide very good care, it does mean that you see whoever is on call the day you go in for your pre-natal visits, and the same goes for whoever delivers your baby. (There is also a much higher rate of interventions.) 

When you go through the Birthing Centre, however, you are assigned a midwife who looks after you during your prenatal visits, delivers the baby for you, and then does six weeks of post-natal home visits to check on both you and bubs. It's such a fantastic model of care! After having experienced that I would never want to turn back!

So like I said, though I was disappointed at being wheeled out of the Birthing Centre and upstairs to the operating theatre, I also had hopes of trying again next time to have the birth I'd imagined. That is, until I found out that our local hospital policy states that any woman with a previous C-Section is now considered "high risk" and is therefore disqualified from the Birthing Centre.

To say I was disappointed to discover this is an vast understatement! I think I was more upset hearing this news than I was at the original news of needing to be transferred on the day of Levi's birth. (At least on his birthday I had a baby to look forward to meeting!)

Anyhow, I know the dust will settle and this will just seem like a minor glitch in the road, but for now I'm still processing my emotions related to future births. I'm glad for the doctors and nurses and midwives that are committed to me and that they have my best interest in mind. But still, it's hard.

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At May 13, 2010 at 11:59 AM , Blogger Sara at Miller Moments: said...

You are so eloquent in your writing, Adriel! I don't know about AU, but in the USA, yes - VBAC is considered a big risk - but with the right doctors, and proper preparation, it can be done. I had two waterbirths and two "on my master bedroom bed" births...and I know that ALL of my midwives have done multiple VBACs. I'm so sorry about your disappointment - but don't accept "their reality" - go out and make your own, perhaps, with your next precious little one.

What a great blog you've got here! You're such a fantastic momma!


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