C-Section questions

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C-Section questions

Postby Starbound7 » Mon May 16, 2011 1:45 pm

I had to switch OBs at 36 weeks due to a move. Haven't been on TWW since first trimester b/c I haven't had internet until now. Anwyay.. at my 38 week this morning my doc told me that he's concerned that the baby has dropped some but not much. He proceeded to tell me that he thinks my pelvis is too small and I may need a C-Section. He won't know until my pelvis has been "tested" meaning until I go through labor. I have not even imagined that I would need a section b/c all my life I've been told I am "built for having babies". He explained that wide hips don't mean anything. I get that. But how do I know whether to trust that the C section is necessary? With all of the mixed information out there about unnecessary C Sections v. what my OB told me about the #1 concern of getting baby out safely, I am really confused and upset.

What questions should I be asking to be sure that a C-Section is necessary? Is there anything else I can do at this point?
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Postby Zephyr » Mon May 16, 2011 1:52 pm

Eeek. That's a very shaky reason to do a c-section, especially this early in the game. Unless you have GD or another condition that causes baby to be some off the charts size, your body generally won't grow a baby that's too big for you to vaginally deliver.

You probably don't want to go through the stress of finding yet another ob. But I think you will need a birth attendant who is very educated because your ob is already getting his/her surgical equipment ready. Consider looking for a doula or midwife to assist you during labor. They can be a voice of greater wisdom during what sounds like will be very heavy pressure from your ob to throw the towel and head to the OR.
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Postby Starbound7 » Mon May 16, 2011 2:18 pm

Thank you for the response! That is the feeling that I got! I know that C sections are necessary in some situations, but there have been red flags from the beginning with this guy. For example he only allows one week past due date until he induces. Shouldn't it be two? Also, when I started crying after he mentioned C section today, he said "it's only one day in your life and it's more about the joy of being a parent, not about how he comes out. My number one priority is your and the baby's safety." I don't want to put our health/lives at risk, but it's more than one day. It is major surgery that affects me, my baby, my family, bonding, breast feeding, recovery, the next delivery, etc. That really shook my trust in him.

I looked briefly into the midwife/doula option. I'm not sure my DH will go for the extra $400. Our budget is soooo tight with having to sell a house and rent one at the same time. That's part of the reason I'm very concerned about the breast feeding being affected by C-Section. But I guess if I spend the $400 on a doula, maybe it will increase my chances of not having to buy formula. But if it still doesn't work... yikes!
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Postby Starbound7 » Mon May 16, 2011 2:24 pm

Reread your response. Are you saying that usually babies are "made" to fit through your pelvis in a way? Because I feel like my baby is fairly small. Everyone comments on how my belly doesn't look 38 weeks. I am also not uncomfortable and he still has plenty of room to kick and move all over.

I just ask because my gut feeling is that my pelvis isn't too small, baby just isn't ready yet. Like I said, at this point I feel like I could last another 4 weeks when most woman are ready for it to be over by now.
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Postby Zephyr » Mon May 16, 2011 2:27 pm

Think of the expenses related to a c-section. If you're insured, make the call and ask how your out of pocked will compare between c-section and vaginal birth. I just about 100% guaranteed you that you'll be shelling out more if you go into the OR. Then there's all the recovery items you'll need for at home (gauze, pain meds Rx's, bandages, the time/energy/fuel to get yourself back and forth to the doctor for more frequent check ups), the extra recovery time that hinders your care of baby, sheesh just the extra expense in your food budget for all the eating out because there'll be times when you need to take care of you so Dh needs to take care of baby, so who's got time left to cook. $400 is a bargain to avoid all that, not to mention the easier recovery.

I'm very concerned for you with this ob. Of course you want a healthy baby. That's a big reason why moms don't want to rush into surgery. Did he forget that c-section babies are at greater risk for complications too?

Good luck to you hun!
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Postby rkegreen » Mon May 16, 2011 2:27 pm

I had to be induced because my BP was too high. I labored for 28 hrs! My dr decided that it was time for a C-Section.

I had the C-Section and was in a lot of pain. I started Bfing my DD. My milk didn't come in for about 5-6 days! She also lost over 10% of her body weight in the hospital. But we stuck to it. 30 months later we are still Bfing.

I will say that I think the C-section did effect my milk coming in late. I also pumped in the hospital and nothing came out. (not even colostrum)

But my whole point is, don't think that you won't be able to BF if you get a C-Section. Yes it can delay your milk, but stick with it.

On the flip side, I will never OPT for a Section again! The recovery time is your full 6 wks. I tried to do stuff sooner, but I couldn't.

But I agree with PP. This late in the game, it would be very stressfull to find a new OB. Just trust in your body. I think the induction and the epidural really slowed down the birthing process. Try and hold out if you can! You can do this!

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Postby Zephyr » Mon May 16, 2011 2:41 pm

Starbound7 wrote:Reread your response. Are you saying that usually babies are "made" to fit through your pelvis in a way?


It's very rare that a baby will grow bigger than your pelvis can vaginally deliver (excluding the medical conditions mentions). But being told this by an ob is, sadly, not very rare. Here are some links that I found on it.

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/laborn ... rtion.html

http://community.babycenter.com/journal ... _too_small

http://birthingwithguinever.com/2007/08 ... my-pelvis/

http://www.pregnancy-and-giving-birth.c ... rtion.html
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Re: C-Section questions

Postby specialkel » Tue May 17, 2011 2:04 pm

Starbound7 wrote: He won't know until my pelvis has been "tested" meaning until I go through labor.


Just to clarify, is he willing to let your pelvis be "tested"? Or is he pressuring a section right out the gates?

As Zephyr said, it is highly unlikely that your baby is too big to fit through your pelvis. (Full-disclosure: I am anti-OB when it comes to healthy, low-risk pregnancies.) OBs are surgeons and most of them are always looking for an excuse to put their skills to use (and therefore keep the situation more within their control). The "your baby is too big" excuse is classic.

I am concerned for you. From what you've said, it doesn't sound like your OB has any faith in the ability of your body to do what womens' bodies have done for millions of years. Even if he "allows" you to go into labor and try to deliver your baby vaginally, he'll probably be watching the clock. If you labor for a few hours with no progress, he'll claim it's because the baby is too big, ("like I said"), so he might as well do the section now before baby goes into distress. I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all, but I've read hundreds of birth stories and this kind of thing happens all. the. time. Most women in your position end up giving birth (via c-section) to a completely average-sized baby.

My biggest question would be your OBs c-section rate. If it is more than 15%, chances are he is doing a lot of unnecessary sections and you will be the next one. If it is 15 or less, I would be more inclined to trust what he is telling you. If you can't (or don't want to) switch to a midwife, I highly, HIGHLY suggest dropping the $400 on a midwife birth attendant... if for no other reason, to have an informed advocate with you in the hospital to combat/translate the OB's scare tactics.
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Postby specialkel » Tue May 17, 2011 2:25 pm

rkegreen wrote: I think the induction and the epidural really slowed down the birthing process. Try and hold out if you can! You can do this!


Yes! Inductions and epidurals both contribute immensely to "fetal distress" and "failure to progress", both reasons given for emergency c-sections (regardless of how big your baby is). If you are able to avoid scheduling a section, also avoid being induced and hold out as long as you possibly can before getting an epidural for the best odds of delivering your baby vaginally. Good luck!!!
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Postby Starbound7 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:34 pm

Thank you, everyone for your support!

First, let me clarify -- now that I've calmed down a bit -- he did say he would let me labor and try. He said we would do everything we can do have a vaginal birth - I know he mention vacuum suction, forceps, etc. I'm not crazy about those options either, but I'm thinking to prevent a c section it would be okay? My DH hear it completely differently than I did-- he felt the OB was merely mentioning it to prepare me of the possibility, not suggesting that he was ready to jump to a C-section right away. I'm still on high alert, however.


I talked to a Doula today and she basically said everything you all have said -- baby shouldn't be too big for my pelvis. She encouraged me to get a second opinion from the doc I was seeing before to see if my pelvis issue has ever been mentioned before. I called and left a msg, but they didn't return my call. Not sure if they will since I'm no longer a patient.

She also encouraged me to ask my current OB what the estimated weight of my baby is and what his policies are during delivery. She, too, cautioned me of the "failure to progress" diagnosis and that my particular OB/hospital is very likely to medically intervene.

I haven't talked to a midwife, but am very interested in hiring this Doula. I know she can't make medical decisions, but I'm hoping she would make me feel more comfortable in what options I have - such as different birthing positions, laboring at home as long as possible, and allow me to have the strength to labor longer than I would if it was just my husband and I. Does that make since?

The next thing I plan to do is contact my OB and find out how long I will be aloud to labor before it's determined that I need a c-section due to a "small pelvis", how much of the decision-making is in my hands, etc? Any other questions I should ask?
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Postby specialkel » Tue May 17, 2011 3:06 pm

What a fantastic update! :) I think it is GREAT that you are hiring a doula--she will definitely keep you informed of your options and will help give you the best shot at avoiding a c-section.

A word of caution about the weight estimate--the accuracy of those are terrible, so don't let a "big" estimate scare you unnecessarily.

It sounds like you are on the right track in taking control of your birth! Good for you and good luck! :)
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Postby monkeysauce » Wed May 18, 2011 6:07 am

I'd like to chime in here with a slightly different view of things... two months ago I went into natural labor, but my daughter was "stuck" (face up and face forward) and her heart tones weren't very good--plus I was simply in too much pain to do all the position changing that might have gotten her to turn and come out. Dilating in two hours will do that to you.

Even though I'd been so confident that I wouldn't need a c-section that I hadn't even read that chapter in any of my pregnancy books, when I was told I was getting one, all I could think was "awesome!". Then when I heard I was being put under general anesthesia, I felt even happier. Honestly, compared to my labor, the surgery recovery was a cake walk. It honestly wasn't that bad. And my gloriously un-stretched lady parts... can I sing the praises of those?

Whoever you hire to help you have this baby--OB, midwife, doula--make sure that they understand what your wishes are now, but that they will also heed your wishes in the delivery room, whether they stay the same or change. And even though abdominal surgery is, indeed, a thing to avoid if you can, don't dread a c-section as this big awful thing that will Ruin Everything. It won't if you don't let it.
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Postby Starbound7 » Thu May 19, 2011 1:04 pm

Thank you, monkeysauce, for sharing your view, too. I am glad that you mentioned making sure my doula will be open-minded to a change of heart. I am meeting with her soon and I will be sure to inquire about it. Being a first-timer, it is so hard to know what to expect!
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Postby ivycrystals » Thu May 19, 2011 2:39 pm

I just wanted to share my experience with you also. I had a breech baby and was pressured by my OB to schedule my c/s for 39 weeks. I did and while everything was ok and bfing was fine, I still wish I would have waited until I went into labor on my own.

I am going for a VBAC this time. I do not want another major abdominal surgery. I will have a doula and I'm seeing a midwife. Because even though my surgery was fine, bfing was fine, my recovery was fine, I still think my c/s could have been avoided.

Just make sure that if you do end up having a c/s for whatever reason that you tell your doula, husband, doctor, nurses, etc that you are going to be bfing and you want to delay all tests on baby until you've initiated breastfeeding. The same nurses that would be weighing and measuring baby can help you hold baby while you nurse and the doc can stitch you up at the same time. And if they balk at that, tell them you want baby waiting for you in the recovery room. There is no reason whatsoever to delay breastfeeding any longer than that.

Ok, sorry didn't mean to get up on my soapbox.
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Postby shermy » Sun May 22, 2011 10:04 pm

Starbound, you will know when a c-section is the right choice.

I never. NEVER thought I would have a c-section. I have nothing against them, in retrospect, I don't know why I never thought about it. I didn't even pack clothes that would work with an incision (Fold over yoga pants? AWFUL! ).

After 20 hours of labor, 5+ hours of pushing and a sunny side up baby who didn't move at all during those 5 hours, it was time. The hospital was awesome - I don't understand what the heck people talk about when they are "being timed" because I was on my clock, and my clock only. They encouraged me to keep going for as long as I wanted to.

After 5+ hours though, and no downward shift in movement. *I* honestly didn't feel like there would be any change - and not in a "I want this baby out of me, I am impatient" kind of way. I really didn't feel it. It wasn't going to be happening.

I don't know if they were just trying to make me feel good about the decision, but they said he was wedged in good and tight.
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