Sunday, November 25, 2012

My family centered c-section

I just wanted to share with everyone that I had a wonderful "family centered" c-section with the birth of Henry.  A c-section was so not what I wanted, but given my prior myomectomy, all the physicians I met with felt that I was too great of a risk of uterine rupture to be able to have a natural birth.  So, to be able to get as much of that natural birth experience as I could, I lobbied for a "family centered" aka "natural" c-section.  Here is an article that explains what it is:
Armed with this article, I first approached my OB with it somewhere in our 2nd trimester.  At first, he refused to read the article, lectured me about how long he has been practicing and how many babies he has delivered, and claimed I couldn't change hospital policies.  In the end, he agreed to read the article, then arranged for me to meet with anesthesia, and helped me find out who the pediatrician would be on call the day of our birth.  I met with the head guy in anesthesia and showed him the article, and he was totally cool with it as long as the OB was fine with it.  I then met with the pediatrician who would be on call, and and he was ok with it, as long as baby was breathing fine.  

When the time came, I got everything I wanted: immediate skin to skin, arms unrestrained, saw the baby coming out of the incision (didn't think I wanted that, so didn't include it in my birth plan, but my Dr. in the middle of the procedure asked the nurse to lower the drape, and they did, and I saw baby being born), able to discover the sex on our own, baby stayed with me for three hours before being taken for his assessments, no grief over us not wanting the hep b vaccine or the eye drops. Anesthesiologist was also fantastic at what he did. I had no nausea, no headache, no arm heaviness. The whole process could not have gone better. I am pretty sure this was their first time doing any of this. It was a lot of work on the front end to get everyone on board, but it all came together in the end. 

And, miracles of all miracles, Henry came out pink and crying, which I think is unusual for c-section babies.  I chalk it up to the St. Gerard relic I had in the pocket of my hospital gown during surgery.  St. Gerard was with us this entire pregnancy and of course, that's where Henry's middle name comes from.  :)

I hope that if any of you have to go through a c-section, you will be able to experience the "natural" c-section.  And, if it helps, I can email anyone a copy of my birth plan if you are interested.

I was also so pleased to hear the doctor tell me that my insides looked fantastic.  No adhesions!  Thank you, Dr. Hilgers!  And, after quite a bit of argument from my OB, I was able to get him to agree to use Sep.rafilm on my uterus.  When I brought up the subject, he said it was not standard of care and did not make a difference.  I countered that in order to get FDA approval, they had to show it was safe and effective.  I also argued that if it could prevent even one adhesion, I wanted it used.  So, he said he would review the literature again and reconsider.  The morning of my procedure, he told me he would use it, and agreed that if even one adhesion was prevented, it was worth it.  

All in all, a wonderful experience, despite being a terrifying medical procedure.  Glory be to God!


  1. Wow! Great job doing your research and advocating again and again for your health as well as that of Henry's. Very impressive.

  2. I'm glad it went so well, and I'm glad the dr. was open to other ideas in the long run, even if he didn't like them in the short term!

  3. So very glad they were willing to work with you!

  4. So glad all went well. I admire you for sticking to your guns and getting everyone to coperate. My c-cection was terrifying with the straps and all that went with it. I wish I had done the research.

  5. That is WONDERFUL! I know how worried you were about it and I'm so glad it went so well. I have to have c sections from here on out b/c of C's brachial plexus injury (I'm at a high risk of it happening again) so if/when the time comes I'm going to come back to this post and try to do everything you did.

  6. Congratulations on your new baby and I'm so glad you had a positive experience.