Saturday, March 19, 2011


I had my first nightmare about labor and delivery. It featured a slew of friends who will have nothing to do with my delivery, which is odd.

Interestingly, in the dream I was attempting to deliver vaginally.

If I'm being candid, the issue of vaginal delivery versus c-section has been on my mind a lot lately. If you know me at all, you know that the mere thought of a vaginal delivery gives me hives. No joke. My heart rate goes up, I sweat and get all-around flustered.

I know this is a polarizing issue for many women. Even women who have never given birth have strong opinions. I'm not trying to discount the first-timers but I will admit that I sometimes take the opinions of women who have already done it, more seriously.

The only strong opinion I have, more or less, is that I want my baby delivered safely. I will not feel like any less of a woman or as if I didn't get to have a "true" birthing experience if I don't deliver vaginally. I also acknowledge that the thought of major abdominal surgery sounds deplorable to some women, as though it should be avoided at all costs. I get it, I really do.

Part of me longs to share the intimacy of a vaginal birth with my husband. I am positive he would rise to the occasion as a great support to me. I know a vaginal delivery has tremendous benefits for babies. And I certainly know that women have been doing it since, well, ever. It all looks very beautiful and empowering in my head, but it doesn't feel like "me."

On our first doctor's visit, I expressed my intense trepidation over a vaginal delivery with my doctor. She shared with me that her first one was simply awful, and I felt good that she could relate to my fears. Further, she told me that so long as I acknowledged the risks involved, and so long as I promised I would not be birthing more than three children, she would allow me to forgo trying to vaginally deliver.

This was an immense relief to me! However, I am still not sold either way 100%. In my dream, I convincingly felt as though vaginal was the way to go. I even woke up feeling like it was feasible.

The good news is, I have plenty of time to contemplate my decision. The bad news is, my personality is as such that it isn't necessarily a good thing for me to marinate on something too long.

Lastly, there is this issue at play: I will be delivering at 38 weeks (no later!) due to my blood clotting disorder. That in itself is appalling to some but in comparison to the potential alternative (i.e. not getting to take a baby home at all) I am willing to bring baby home earlier than s/he might be ready. The best judge of when you are ready to give birth is your own body, and there's no way around that. My body might not willingly give my baby up at 38 weeks. It might be a fight. And to be honest, I am not interested in the Pitocin drip. Like, not even a little. Of course, I would do what I had to, but the fact is, the situation could very likely to turn to one in which I need a c-section. The way I see it, when major surgery is involved, I would like for it to be organized, planned and anticipated rather than an urgent and emergent situation. Basically, I'd like the c-section to be on my terms, and not because it is dire.

Obviously I have a lot to think about...

1 comment:

  1. I know that c-sections are a major surgery, but I am of the opinion that I would prefer c-section to vaginal delivery. Granted, that opinion must be taken with a grain of salt because I've never had a child, and who knows what my opinion could potentially be when I get pregnant.

    And also, I'm very selfish in my reasoning - I feel like my lady bits are MINE (and the bf's), if that makes any sense. I don't like the idea of getting pregnant meaning everything is about the kid, which is why I don't have kids.

    But then again, I recognize that it's natural, and that women have been doing it forever (literally), so yeah. Who knows. But I'm really glad you found a doctor who listens to you and lets you be involved with the decisions. And I'm sure that everything with your delivery will end up how it should. You're right - the health of the baby is paramount, everything else is just details.