For Some Of Us, It's The Best Choice

I am scheduled for a c-section in three days. It was first suggested as a possibility by my Obstetrician because my baby seems to be on the big side. According to the estimates, he will be nearly 11 lbs (so much for women over 40 tending to have low birth weight babies!) by my due date. At 11 lbs the risk of shoulder dystocia (the baby's shoulders getting stuck) is significantly increased. Because he will be just a few ounces shy of that, the decision was left up to me. I posted my concerns about what I should do on another site I belong to, and the anti c-section voices instantly said I shouldn't do it. Okay, I did invite opinion, but the vehemence of some of those voices stressed me out even more. I know size estimates can be off, but the size of my belly tells me they're not too off in my case.

In  addition, this past week, I found out my baby has turned transverse (sideways) again, and now it feels like he's staying put that way. That position makes vaginal birth more risky, and I found out I could not schedule an induction of labor, rather than a c-section, for that reason. The next time I could schedule a c-section after this Tues, I'd be more than a week past due (my regular doctor is out after Tues and the operating room is booked for the whole following week). By that time the baby would be above the estimated 11 lbs and then would need to come out by c-section anyway. I could have decided to let things go and see what happens if he comes on his own between now and then, but that would have left me with a higher chance of a needing an unplanned c-section, at any time of the day or night and possibly while the doctor who's been overseeing my care is away.  Those risks seemed too high, and outcomes are generally better with scheduled c-sections anyway (though of course if it's a unforeseen medical emergency, there isn't any question). So, weighing all those factors, I opted to schedule the c-section for Tuesday, five days before the actual due date.

I posted this update on the thread I had started on the other site, and still had people coming back at me suggesting I just wait and see. One person responded that she knew of a woman who vaginally birthed an 11.5 lb baby. Okay, it's been done before, but that doesn't change the higher rate of injury/complications for babies of that size. I actually saw another thread where one c-section critic basically argued it's no big deal if a baby brakes a bone in childbirth, babies heal. Are you kidding me? If you knew your baby was going to break a bone or dislocate a shoulder in trying to push him/her out, you'd go ahead and do it anyway, because it's the "natural" thing to do? These interventions were developed for a reason! I'm familiar with all the arguments against c-sections-- in particular people don't like them because they aren't the way babies traditionally have been born-- but women and babies also died in childbirth or suffered serious injury at much higher rates in the past.

For my situation and my baby, I feel this is the safest way to go. Recovering will take slightly longer, but I don't think I'd be doing myself or the baby any favors by insisting on undergoing a potentially difficult labor with an already higher than average chance of needing a c-section to get him out anyway.
takingabreak takingabreak
41-45, F
Aug 7, 2010