Pregnancy Week: Birth Plan

Welcome to Pregnancy Week here at Our Dream Foreclosure! This week, I’ll mark my 36th week of pregnancy #2. I.CANNOT.BELIEVE.IT. This pregnancy is flying by so fast compared to pregnancy #1 (which seemed to drag on and on).

Today’s topic: The Birth Plan

This is a funny topic to me because my goal last time – and this time – is to plan as little as possible so I don’t end up disappointed. Last time, that turned out to be a wise choice. As I wrote about in Kenton’s Birth Story – I wound up with an emergency c-section due to cord occult, a possibly serious situation where his life and mine would have been at risk if we proceeded with a vaginal birth.

So happy listening to angry/healthy baby screams after my c-section.

This time, I had a choice. I could schedule a repeat c-section or try again for vaginal birth in what’s called a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC).

No one would question me if I did a repeat c-section. I don’t know the stats, but I guess that’s what most women do. At first, it’s what I thought I would do. I had a good c-section experience the first time. Recovery was painful, but you don’t bring a child into this world without some form of uncomfortable recovery time. My scar healed quickly and thanks to some assistance is already fading away. Last time, I politely turned down prescription pain meds only to greatly regret that a few days later and sent Jason running to the drug store to fill the prescription. For two weeks, I was in a constant state of zombiness. But, that was a c-section/first time momma combo, I believe. One of the greatest benefits to the c-section is that my OB cleaned me out really well – so I had basically no bleeding afterward. Awesome, right?! (Hey, I’ve only had one period in the last two years – true story! – I’m not exactly jumping at the chance to experience that again.)

So, if I did the c-section again, there are several pro’s in my book.

  • As a planner, I liked the idea of knowing the baby’s birthdate ahead of time.
  • I liked the idea I could get a good night’s rest the night before and go into this next chapter of two under two with at least one night’s sleep under my belt.
  • I liked the bleeding thing – seriously.
  • I would plan on happily filling my pain med prescription immediately.
  • It’s something I have already experienced and therefore know what to expect.

But… there are some con’s too.

  • The most important con, for me – was the recovery “rule” that you not lift anything heavier than the newborn for six weeks post-surgery. That would mean no lifting my 16-month old for almost two months. That is nearly an unbearable thought to me. Kenton’s world is about to get seriously rocked. If I can’t pick him up when he cries for me – it’s going to be really hard, on both of us.
  • The other major con is breastfeeding. Last time, my milk took six days to come in and even after it did, I constantly struggled with having enough. The c-section may be partly to blame for that. This time, I am hell bent on having a better breastfeeding experience. In fact, I’ve already contact local lactation experts and warned them I’ll be calling. A lot.

So, after thinking over these things, talking to Jason and my OB, I’ve decided on a VBAC.

I’m a bit nervous. VBAC’s are best when there’s been at least 18 months between deliveries – not my case. However, I’m mentally prepared to do it. I want to do it. I’ve been trying to get my body into shape to do it. So, hopefully, I can do it!

My OB has warned me, however, that if I go to 41 weeks, we’re scheduling a c-section. She said that the success rate of VBAC drops dramatically after that point – and I cannot be induced – so we’ll have to go the surgical route again. Kenton was eight days late, so that is still a very real possibility. I cannot be induced because (watch out for amateur terms here)… if my body is not ready on its own for labor and we start that process artificially, baby’s head could start banging up against my previous c-section scar, putting me at risk of uterine rupture. We all know that’s a bad idea! Also, the hospital where I’ll be delivering does not permit inducing a VBAC patient. So, that’s that.

If you’re a praying person, I would sure appreciate you praying that this baby comes on its own, perhaps a few days early, and I am able to have a successful VBAC.

Either way, this is what’s most important…

A healthy baby in mommy’s arms!

So, the other aspects of my VBAC birth plan include:

  • Epidural! I don’t need to be a hero, but I would like to get to 6cm on my own first.
  • Delayed cord cutting. We are not collecting cord blood – so I want the good stuff pumped into the baby before it’s cut.
  • Immediate breastfeeding – I’m serious about it!

Obviously, I’ll keep you posted!

About Michelle Fortin

Michelle Fortin is a follower of Jesus, a wife and a mom. She's also an award winning broadcast journalist and public relations professional. Michelle spent nearly a decade working in television newsrooms across the country, both behind and in front of the camera. Training future broadcast journalists in her faculty associate roles at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and at Arizona Christian University was a cherished focus of her post-TV career. Today, she maintains a roster of public relations clients focused on empowering fellow “momprenuers.” She also serves as a speaker for various women's and mom's events. Michelle received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University and Master of Mass Communication (MMC) from Arizona State University. She and her husband, two young kids and English bulldog call Scottsdale, Arizona, home.

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