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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Childbirth: Induction, C-sec, or natural timed labor????

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Touchy Topic Tuesday: Child birth. To induce, c-sec or just let it happen?

At the beginning of 2005, when I was in my first birthing class while pregnant with my first child, Lilly, we were taught about all aspects of labor, including pre-labor, which can go on for hours, or even days. The mother of 7 instructor told us to drink some juice to give you energy, have your hubby rub your feet, massage your back, and enjoy a movie during contractions, but try to sleep in between. When it was 'time', you could calmly drive to the hospital, where you would have your baby, and all would be well.

I remember her very clearly stating several times that "No one really has a 'movie' birth." In otherwords, when a woman goes into labor, she isn't laughing happily about things one moment, and then suddenly she screams "It's TIME!!!" Even when the water breaks, she should spend the first several hours of her labor at home so she can progress without wasting the nurses' time. Babies, especially FIRST babies, certainly aren't born in the car on the way to the hospital- and when it DOES happen, it's a fluke.

THAT is what I was prepared for. Unfortunately for her lecture (but not so bad for me, I thought) my labor with Lilly WAS a typical 'movie' birth. From my first contraction to my last, only 5 hours later, they were long and hard. There was ZERO pre labor. I pushed twice, and my girl was born.

(Lilly Saber)

15 months later, I gave birth to my son, Mahone. I was induced with Mahone because [one of] my doctors thought that he was measuring too small and they were worried that he wasn't being nourished inside me.

Again, from the first contraction to the last, they were long, and hard without let up. It was just over two hours, and one push later that I had my son in my arms.

(Mahone Raphael)

With my third child, I asked to be induced.

The thing is, my first labor was 5 hours. My second was just over 2. And now I had two small children at home, and I was terrified out of my mind that I would be forced to give birth on the floor of my home while on the line with 911 and my two babies watching in horror.

Of course my doctor was happy to oblige, and said that he shared my fear of a very quick birth outside the hospital. (Ha! And my mother in law wants me to have my next baby at the hospital she works at- an hour away from me! I love you Christine- and I know you read this blog- but I will have a bloody mess and a huge cleaning bill in the back of my mini-van if I were to try that.)

Scarlet decided to push her way out of me three days before my scheduled induction. She was the only child I had any pre labor with.

For about 8 hours, once an hour, I would have a huge contraction that made me feel as though I had to bear down and push. It lasted for over two minutes each time, but then it would always go away. It never progressed, it never got worse, there was just one and it went away. So I would go about my day, taking care of my children, and reach for my cell phone each time it happened.

When my husband returned home from work at 4:30, he took me to the hospital, where, though I was 5 1/2 centimeters dialted and 90% effaced, they tried to send me home because I didn't progress in an hour, and my contractions were regular, but I couldn't feel them anymore.

I was like "WHAT!? You're going to send me home when I'm already more than half way!? Are you CRAZY!?"

Brandon used his charisma to charm them into admitting me. Scarlet very easily could have been born an hour earlier than she was, because even through my epidural, I felt the urges to push. But there was no doctor available. (It seems that every pregnant woman in Alabama went into labor at the same time I did.) They told me to hold on. SERIOUSLY? Anyway, I made it just long enough for the doc to catch, and I had my scarlet in a little under 6 hours from the time they admitted me.

(Scarlet Serafina Estelle)

So my labor time went up. I'm still terrified that my next will just slip out when I laugh or lean over too far. And I will be asking for another induction. (Hey- keep crossing your fingers for a blue line soon!)

So here's the 'touchy' part:

What do you think about inductions or c-sections that are scheduled without medical necessity? Do you feel that it is dangerous for the mother? The baby? Do you think that they are done too often?

Personally, I think women who schedule a c-section without medical reasons are CRAZY!!! It's a SURGERY! I understand that there are ABSOLUTELY the occasions where you would need a c-section for the safety of the mother and/or baby. But just because you don't want to stretch out your hoo-ha? ~tsk tsk, shake head.~ Silly. A lot of work for nothing.

As far as inductions go, obviously I don't have much problem with those. I do not feel comfortable with women who just want to induce because they feel like they are 'done' with their pregnancy and just want to not be pregnant anymore. Babies know when they are done. We don't. We may THINK they're okay, but some doctors induce so early (as early as 36 weeks) that the baby's lungs are not fully developed and there can be problems. In my case of extremely fast labor, I feel that a woman is justified in her fears. It's terrifying to not know what to do, especially when there might be little eyes watching! (Heaven knows my children have all witnessed enough emergency situations in their short little lives.)

Let us know what YOU think, leave a comment, grab the Touch Topic Tuesday button on my left sidebar, and post your OWN touchy topic (Or even your opinion on THIS touchy topic), and link your blog to the mck linky below so we can all discuss these issues! Thanks for participating!!!


Lindsey said...

I am definitely with you on the unnecessary C-section. With inductions I think there is a little more wiggle room. I was induced two days after my due date because my doctor was on call and we made the decision together that it would give us some peace of mind to know that I would be giving birth under the watchful eye of someone I knew and trusted. In my case, everything I saw around me indicated that the hospital is very carful and very much aware of what is happening with both Mother and baby during an induction. Personally I would never want a c-section unless absolutely necessary. There are so many things that can go wrong when giving birth anyway, why make it any more complicated if you don't have to?

Angelia Sims said...

I loved all the birth pictures. Your babies were born beautiful!

I only have one birth story. I was induced took ALL day. She was two weeks late. I guess she just did NOT want to come out.

The medicine alone on a c-section is bad enough. I think they should only been done in emergencies. The baby needs to be birthed through the canal, in the same way the butterfly has to emerge from the cocoon. It's how God made it.

Great topic and birth stories. You are a natural!

Casey said...

Your babies are all just precious! I agree with you on c-sections if they are medically unnecessary. I do think there is more wiggle room for inductions if it is after the baby is full developed. Now I have been induced with all my kids but they were each for medical reasons. with my first I was induced 1 week early, my second was 2 weeks early, 3 weeks early with my third, and 4 weeks with my fourth. It seems with each pregnancy my body tolerated being pregnant less. My last pregnancy I was on bedrest and then in the hospital for 2 weeks before giving birth

I feel like I have been cheated of the real birth experience and if we are able to have more children I hope that I can go naturally just so I can experience that.

gadget said...

i had two c/s.

billy, my oldest was an "emergency" c-section. i was in labor for 21 hours. i was induced on top of it. (with no drugs for 15 hours, which i am very proud of) my nurse that been with me all night said i was doing great. about 8am on saturday august 21,2004 my mid-wife & the ob came into my room. they both checked me, mid-wife first. she said, youre a 9. then the ob checked, no she isnt... she is a 7. they argued in front of me where i was a 9 or 7. then the ob said, if she isnt WHERE i think she is in an hour she is going to c/s. as this is happening, i look at my mid-wife and say "i have to poop" she said that is perfect the baby is coming into position. the ob ignored that. in an hour the nurses came in, prepping me for a c/s. not once did the ob come back into my room to check me. my new nurse even said i was a 9. (see, i am going to trust the nurse that has been with me all night and been checking me, she knows) i had billy at 12 via c-section. at 8lbs 13.8oz 20"

finn, i wanted to have a VBAC. but since i switched doctors and the ob that deliveried billy would NOT send my chart over. i couldnt. i had to have a repeat c-section. i was crushed bc i wanted to know what it was like to give birth. but it turns out, i would havent know. (get into that in a minute) finn was born january 28,2008 at 10:38a!! a healthy 8lbs 7.4oz 19"

now... the reason it turns out that i couldnt have a VBAC is. when the first ob cut me open. he cut me vertically on my skin (bikini cut). when he cut my uterus, he cut horizontally. which now, from what my new & awesome ob told me, is a no-no. bc if i had VBAC, there was a good chance that my uterus would "explode". bc the uterus is divided into three sections. the top two do not contract. and since mine were weakened due to be cut, i had a huge chance of ending up in surgery to remove my uterus. needless to say, i was crushed & very upset.

gadget said...

ok, there is my birth story.

i dont agree with c/s unless there is a risk to the mother or the baby. it is a easy "fix". the ob that deliveried billy is known to do c/s bc he doesnt like to "wait" for the baby to be born naturally. i had a friend that went to him, same thing happened to her.

recovery is awful. if hurts to sit up, it hurts to move, it just hurts. you cant do anything for two weeks after having the baby. the only thing you can pick up is the baby. you can not do stairs. you can not drive. you just sit around and do nothing... you stay in the hospital for 5 days after the baby is born (or at least i did with both). you can not lay on your side or stomach. (it took me three months before i could lay on my stomach and about 7 weeks to lay on my side)

with billy i had 7 staples. with finn i had 27 staples. and with finn, my staples started to pull on the right side. i didnt want to move. i cried every time i had to get up to go to the bathroom. then you had to go back in a week to get either the staples or stitches removed and then strips are put on for the rest of the 6 weeks.

i would not wish a c/s on anyone.

Jenny said...

I would let the baby come in it's own time. Never schedule an unnecessary C-section, the risks are too high! The problem with induction is that it tends to lead to an epidural which in turn increases your risk for a c-section (by quite a bit, depending on when you get it). The epidural alone comes with too many risks to mother and baby to even list here. If you want a list e-mail me and I'll send you my notes from a natural childbirth workshop I have done.

Each labor is different and completely unpredictable. Enjoy this one for what it is. Everything will be just fine!

Violetstone said...

I am against unnescesary C-sections. I had an emergency C-section with my second baby because she was breech even though I argued and argued with the hospital saying that it is possible to give birth naturally to a breech baby. I even tried to change hospitals because a nearby hospital had one doctor who favoured natural births for breech's. But she was on a years sabaticle and all the other doctors at that hospital felt the same as the staff at mine. In the event I went into labour but then they said that the baby was in distress. Obviously I couldnt argue with that. When she was born there was nothing wrong with her and to this day I don't know whether they made that up because they wanted to give me a C-section.

With my third I had to fight tooth and nail to be allowed a VBAC in the end my third child was born eight minuets after I got to the hospital. (Another long birth story) and was in some ways the easiest of my three children.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Wow! What an awesome post. I thought the way that you wrote about all your births was beautiful and I loved the photos of your darling babes. Birth is so mysterious. Like you said, no matter how much you plan, you just never know how things are going to happen. I really wanted a natural childbirth at a birthing center, but I ended up with c-sections on both my boys. My friend Julie just had her 4th baby. She had all the rest of her kids with very difficult natural labor. They were all posterior and extremely hard to push out. She even broke her tailbone a couple of times. Her last birth was so easy, she described it as "orgasmic." She said she just breathed the baby out. My friend ***** (doesn't want to share her name) had already had 2 delightful natural births and just had her 3rd. She was determined to have "orgasmic birth." She had a posterior baby who broke her tailbone. And then the hospital she delivered at stole her placenta that she wanted to eat. Gross, but true. Anyway, it's all to say that no matter how much you plan, birth has a mind of it's own. Thanks for starting such an interesting conversation!!! I love your blog. You are such an interesting person and a wonderful writer too.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Jenny, I've had epidurals with all 3 of my labors. They didn't slow me down a bit. If anything, they helped me relax so that my body could do it's job (because my body was so tense with Lilly and Scarlet, I had tension headaches until I got the epidural, which calmed me down.), and I wasn't nearly as stressed and tense. I knew better what was going on, and if I were in crazy amounts of pain, I don't think I'd be in a right mind to make decisions for myself. I might agree to the c-sec just to get myself out of the pain. I don't have a high tolerance.

I'm not sure that I, personally, really believe that it increases risk of c-sec. (And yes, I have read article after article on it. I have done my research, but I personally feel that the risks are like anything else- they're 'risks' and they're really minimal when compared to the amount that are given daily. I also vaccinate my children, and there are 'risks' invovled with that too- but I'd rather them have the extra measure of safety and a fever for a day or two than die of something as preventable as pertussis or meningitis, and yeah, the epi isn't really a life-or-death risk, but the concept is the same...but that's not the topic here.) I think mainly that the docs could give a little more pitocin, and not jump on the c-sec band wagon so quickly. I had one doc (There were several who watched me with Mahone) who told me if I didn't have him within 3 hours he was going to cut me open. (Really? 3 hours? A NORMAL birth, without drugs, goes longer than THAT!) I told him absolutely not, and essentially, he told me it wasn't up to me, which is bull, but DH wouldn't have let him do it. Luckily, I had him in about two, so we didn't have to have the confrontation.

Pitocin starts contractions. An epi can slow your progression down because it relaxes the muscles so they don't contract as much. It doesn't make your baby breech, or anything like that, and as long as the baby isn't in distress, there's no reason to do a c-sec. That's just my opinion, but I agree- as long as you don't have risks, let the baby come on his own, but I still feel like giving birth in front of my very young and small children is not really the most wholesome activity ever, and it's an enlightenment I would prefer that they not have to deal with for some time. (My kids, do, btw, already know where babies come from- not the sex part, but where they come out of the vagina and all. And I know some people bring their children-even young ones- into the room with them when they deliver. However, I think it's just not a place for a child where he can be in the way and touch things and be psychologically freaked out by it because all he sees is his mother in pain and that scares kids, even if the parent thinks the child knows what is going on.)

I really love my epidurals. It gave me the chance to be aware of everything that was going on without the pain involved, and some might call that selfish, but it didn't hurt me or my babies- they were all perfectly alert and the right color and even scored 9s on the apgar tests.

I would love to see your workshop, but I have no intentions of doing it naturally, though I won't swear it. ANything can happen! ~Wink~ Oh- and don't think I'm totally promoting epis either- I think it's just great if someone wants to try to make it without one. I know a lot of women acutally do. They're tough, strong, determined women. But I don't think women who get epis are any less strong or determined. I just have a real problem with anyone being made to feel bad (And Jenny, this is NOT what I think you're trying to do! Just so you know! I LOVED your input! THank you! I'm just making a point here.) or guilty for the parenting choices they make. Everyone is different, and every mother does what she feels is BEST for her babies. WE all want them to have the best.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

BTW, I'm not preggo. AF showed up FOR REAL this morning. BOO! So here's to next month.~Pout~

esianoyam3 said...

I'm definitely not a fan of elective C-sections.

Induction? Well, I can't say I'm against it, since I was induced with my second. My doctor was completely unwilling to do the induction (I was almost 38 weeks) b/c she was worried about getting sued if her lungs weren't fully developed. DH was moving across the country in 4 days, and I did NOT want to have the baby without him. She checked me at my appointment, and I was already 5cm dilated. She figured at that point the amnio (which she wanted to do to check the lungs and I DIDN'T want to do b/c I'm afraid of needles) would just break my water anyway, so she agreed to induce. They induced me around 3:30, I had my epidural a couple hours later, and my baby was born a little after 8:30. So for me, at least, the epidural doesn't seem to slow things down too much. :)

If we're lucky enough to have more children, I think I'll have to take a wait and see approach. My biggest fear is that I didn't feel my contractions with my second birth (I didn't even feel them even though they were practically constant after the Pictocin) - I had the epidural b/c I was a chicken, and I didn't want to be in pain too late for an epidural - I think THAT would have slowed my progression more than anything.

The only reason I knew I was in labor with my first was because my water broke.

The other reason I would consider induction is b/c I'm tiny, and I have BIG babies with huge heads. EDD was 8 lbs 14 oz, and she was 3 weeks early. YDD was 9 lbs 4 oz, and 2 weeks early. I don't know if I could deliver a baby any bigger than that, and since she was over 10 lbs at her 2 week checkup (her due date), I think going to my due date would increase the need for a c-section.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Shallyse- I agree with you. Your girls are beautiful! But they are HUGE- and for good reason! Your husband is OVER 6 feet tall, and you're teeny like me! In my opinion, for you to get an induction is a preventative measure for c-sections.

ALI said...

I had a scheduled c-section & I am very proud of it. I'm thrilled because it enabled my son to arrive her safely & there to be no concerns regarding my health at the same time. My OB was awesome and took measures to help my recovery (like stitching each layer cut), and I recovered much more easily than my friends who gave birth vaginally.

I don't feel like I missed anything AND if I am to get pregnant again, plan on a repeat c-section.

After delivery, my OB said due to the position of my son I probably would have failed induction & ended up with the emergency c/s - which I wanted to avoid at all costs.

So while I think it is all well & good people have such strong opinions, I have to say - Thank God I'm a mom & I have a healthy baby boy (who turned 2 today) regardless of "how" he entered the world.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

My first was induced. Not for any medical reason. More for convenience. it was my first baby and my mom was in town for a couple of days and my doctor was going out of town.
But at 36 weeks I was already dilated to a 3 and effaced 80%. So really, it was no big deal. From start to finish was 6 hours.

My other three came before their due dates. From start to finish was about 3 hours, minimal pushing.

My two boys were both posterier. (err... spelling?)

My first three I had epidurals and my last I had natural. (OUCH!!)

By 37 weeks I am all about trying to get the baby to come. But I would never schedule anything for vanity reasons, or even just to get the baby out early!
However, I would be more than eager to plan on induction for my due date. =)

If your body is not ready (no dilation or anything) than inducing is very hard on the baby. Of course if you are late, that's another situation.
And scheduling a c-section just to get the baby out early for no necessary reasons, is stupid. The baby may need more time for lung development. And that is especially true for boys.

And this is coming from someone who HATES to be pregnant. =)

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Ali- see, i have no problems with a c section where your doctor was worried for you and your baby because of a position problem.

Serene- I HATE being pregnant too! But I love babies, so it's soooo worth it! LOL! I start breaking out the spicy foods and all those things that are supposed to 'start' you by 36 weeks- but those thing only work anyway if the baby is ready to come.

I spent 5 weeks dialated to a 3 and 80% effaced with both Lilly (Who was born 4 days before her due date) and Mahone (Induced at 38 weeks, exactly 2 weeks before his due date.) I think that's one of the places were increased risk for c-section comes in. No one should ever try to induce a baby when you're less than 3 cm dialated for SURE. If you're locked up tight, that probably means baby isn't done cookin'.

Annette Piper said...

Having had twins and a singleton by natural childbirth, that's what I think should happen. Providing there is no medical reason and medical staff are close by/in attendance should something go wrong. Let it happen as Mother Nature intended!

Brittanie said...

I was induced 3 times with baby #1.. he just WASNT coming.. I was in labor for 24 hours for nuthing.. and then had a C section.. He was kind of big 9lb 4 oz.. NOT my biggest :) I then had 2 more C sections without trying anything else.. I was never really tempted to try having a baby through the door when my window worked just fine and I recovered AMAZING from them.. I think it should be up to the mom either way, induction, non induction ( of course we all hope they are smart enough to listen to the drs advice!) C section or not.. I really just think as women we know our bodies and our instincts are usually right.

Anonymous said...

If we have a baby, the chances that it will get here by C section are HUGE... Mother Nature aparently wanted me to be Type 1 Diabetic with such a huge chance of baby death AND mommy death that VBAC is more risky than it's worth. I was also a scheduled C section and turned out just fine... The reasons for that were 6 YEARS before I was born, my mom had a stroke giving birth to my sister. Frankly, my choice to have a C section are my own, whether or not the medical necessity is immediately aparent or not. It's not a vanity or an "easy fix."

Melinda said...

I've had 4 babies, 2 inductions. I am against c/s if it's not medically necessary. My 2 inductions were medical for BP issues, one at 38 weeks and one at 39. I love the excitement of spontaneous labor, but it was nice to know when the baby was coming too. I think these are all choices that need to be made with the baby's health and safety (and moms!) being the highest priority.

Messy Mommy said...

I was a week late with my first and he was almost 9 lbs. I was induced with my 2nd when I was 5 days late. It was a very good experience. 4 hours from start to finish. My doctor said he's induce me from 39 weeks on with my 3rd, so I was induced 4 days early. 2 hours from start to finish.

Mary said...

I had a planned (medically necessary) c-section, which was miles away from my desired home birth. Nearly a year later I still feel a bit of grief that this was necessary, although I actually had a really really good birth experience.

My top advice for pregnant ladies is to get mentally prepared for a c-section because if you don't expect it the experience can be emotionally devastating.

I'm not a big fan of medical interventions in the first place though. Anecdotally it seems to me that many of the emergency c-sections I've heard about have come after interventions.

Natasha and Ethan said...

I had a natural birth with my son, and a c-section with my daughter. My son was 4 weeks early and weighed 8 lbs 5 oz. My dr tried to tell me that I had his due date wrong, but I knew I was right. Because I had my son so early, and a few other reasons, they had me see a high risk dr throughout my pregnancy with my daughter. When I was 36 weeks the dr measured her. He ate his words when she was measuring bigger than my son. They told me I had a week to deliver. If I didn't go on my own, they were going to measure her again. If she was bigger than 10 lbs, they would do an amnio and, if her lungs were okay, they were going to do a c-section. I was really scared. I didn't want to have a c-section. I wish that I would have been able to tell the dr no. I felt like I really missed out on the whole birthing experience. I wanted my husband to experience that with me this time. Anyway, she ended up being born 10 lbs 1 oz at 2 and a half weeks early. Having gone through both a c-section and a natural birth. I say do it the natural way. It is WAY easier.

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