Monday, May 18, 2009

Moms out there, I have a question!

So, I got to meet with my new OB last week (it was a week full of appointments). Anyways, she seems really great, and she's worked with moms with babies with heart defects before. But, while visiting her she brought up some things for Thomas and I to think about in regards to the delivery. So I thought I'd see what friends and family have experienced to help me in making these decisions...

First off, my doctor wants me to consider having a scheduled birth ie C-section, or being induced. Her reasoning is strictly convenience of having all doctors present and ready to go to surgery. Both sound way scary to me, but has anyone done either of these? What was the process, length & pain in labor? And what about recovery time?

The other part is pain medication, at first I was opposed to having an epidural, now a friend has pointed out it may be less stressful on the baby that way, but then there are other concerns about how the drug will effect her (and especially her heart!) Any info here on possible less scary pain management? I hear that labor is quite painful when induced, so I'll need a plan if that is what we decide to do.

So, our first concern, of course, is baby! She needs to be as healthy, strong, and able as possible to go into surgery. The next most important part is for my recovery. I also want to be as strong, healthy, and able as possible as SOON as possible after birth. I do not want to be confined to a bed while my baby is over in NICU and being prepped for surgery.

So there are my concerns. Any info I will gladly take. As of now I am considering being induced (C-section seems a little intense when it's not medically necessary) and trying to find some alternative pain relievers than the epidural. But like I said, if there is anything I can do to make it easier on the baby then we'll do it. And hopefully I'll be able to be by her side as much as possible in those few critical days. Thanks for your help!


The Mathews Family said...

Asking a woman for advice on delivery and to share their birth experiences? Two things women love to do! You're very brave Adrienne!!! :D

I'll just tell you briefly from my two experiences. #1... induction with no progress after a full day and a distressed baby ended up in a c-section. Emotionally and Physically it was a hard recovery. Physically because my body was so tired after all the drugs and stuff and then a major surgery. #2 was a scheduled c-section and a night and day difference. Hospital experience was wonderful. Recovery was awesome. With a c-section you're still up and walking (albeit very carefully) the same day. I know of lots of women who have had very successful vbac's as long as you can find an OB that will let you try it.

Good luck with your decision! I know that after all the advice and stories you'll hear that you and Thomas will definitely make the right decision between yourselves and the Lord. You're always in our thoughts and prayers.

Janae Walker said...

i had to be induced with reed because i was low on amniotic fluid. i would have chosen to go into labor naturally, but didn't really have a choice because low fluid = possible dangers for baby. the medicine was ok. i managed a couple hours with no epidurral, but then decided to get one because since my body did not go into labor naturally, the labor pains are forced on your body and so, it was a lot more intense right from the beginning, instead of building up to it. if you want to look up my whole story it's on our blog in march 2008. the whole thing lasted about 12 hours, but with the epidurral i didn't really feel a lot of it until i felt the urge to push.

i guess for me, c-section would always be a LAST resort. it is major surgery and definitely takes a toll on your body. i do know people who have done vbac's for the next children, but only when they have had a previous child vaginally. i think most doctors are very reluctant if your first was c-section to ever let you try the other way. i guess in your situation i would probably schedule to be induced for the baby's sake, i don't really know about natural labor because i did not experience it. i do have friends who have done birthing tubs and things like that. they have all loved it!

so, good luck with it all! i guess you are already getting ready for the unexpected! that's what i learned in a birthing class - expect the unexpected. good luck!

Adam & Ashley said...

Hey, I think that if you aren't going to do an epideral do the hypnobirthing. It helped me a TON and I know it has worked with Angela and Jennifer with their births too. I would also not go with the C-section but understand that it could be a hard decision. We will be praying for you and I hope all things go well.

Trinia said...

Sorry, I don't know you. I seen your blog on the most popular feedjit list. I think I can answer some of your questions. I have had a baby with a congenital heart defect. I chose not to due the C-Section, but I did have the epideral. The baby was fine, as long as he was still attached to me, my body was the one doing the work. I would suggest, that you do whatever you think will help you get back to your best. Be prepared! These babies are so much work. They are constantly tired, have a real tough tough time putting on weight, and just really hard babies, but it is so worth it. They have so much love to give. I am sure that Heavenly Father only gives these challenges to those that are strong to handle it. Good Luck, and if I can answer any more of your questions, just ask!

The Standrings said...

i had to be induced and after being in labor all day, had to end up getting a c-section. honestly, i loved the c-section. it was FAST, and the recovery was not bad for me. but everyone is different, so that is a hard decision! good luck!

Mikelle said...

Hey Adrienne! I was just blog stalking :) and had to make a comment since I see this kind of stuff in the hospital.

After seeing what I've seen, I would personally avoid having a c-section unless it was medically necessary or the baby wasn't doing well. I've seen them all the way from the OR to four days later when they're going home, and it's definitely not easy. At the hospital where I work, the moms aren't up (usually sitting on the side of the bed or in a chair) for at least 6 hours or walking until at least 8 hours after surgery (depending on how she feels and pain tolerance). I don't have any experience with inductions or labor yet (I'm not that far :) but just remember that you are in charge and you are paying them! Why wouldn't they be able to call the doctors to come in when delivery got close?First time moms always take a while and they'd have plenty of time to get there. Anyway, that's my two cents. You guys will do what's best for your family and there's no wrong answer. :) Good luck!

James and Amy said...

Wow, so many words of advice. :)
I'll tell you what I think too, but really, you'll know the right thing to do and you probably don't need any of this.

So, I've heard (and know) many first time moms who have had a hard time with being induced and having their bodies/baby be ready. Some long labors in the end resulting in c-section.

I can see being induced being very helpful in your situation, for sure. And, you know, it really could be successful and just fine. If it were me, I would have it scheduled late as possible, as close to my due date as possible. I definitely see why your doctor would want to make sure all the proper Drs. would be there. BTW, all the girls i know that started out being induced and ended in c-section--their dates were scheduled too far before their due dates and weren't progressing yet.

As far as the epidural, I started progressing very well as soon as I got mine. I was having a hard time relaxing and as soon as I did, it all went smoothly. I had in my mind that I could probably handle the pain alone ... ha, ha. I'm not as strong as I thought. I agree about the hypnobirthing though. I've heard really good things about it if you think natural is the way you'll need to go for baby.

Last thing, so even though Caleb was born vaginally ... I still was pretty uncomfortable moving for awhile. I've heard of good recoveries from c-sections. So, I guess both just take some recovering.

okay, too much advice here. Have Thomas give baby hugs and kisses for us.

Angela said...

Wow girl! I have a strong strong opinion about birth and how it is best and would love to talk to you when we see each other the weekend of James' wedding.

Just to set one thing is less painful/easier for baby when you do things without drugs and without inducing. Girl, your baby knows exactly when she is ready and so does your body. Your baby will come, no doubt, when her body tells her there is no more reason physically to be inside. She will be at her peak healthiest when she comes out that way and it will make it a lot easier for surgery emotionally.

As for you, you are most important. If your calm, baby is calm. So do whatever will make you the least stress whatever direction that will be. Just relax and trust.

Jae said...

I was induced with Andrew and Thomas for the same reasons you listed; doctors all to be there, and then also because we obviously were'nt allowed to go any further than 34 weeks with them because of the weird situation. ANYWAYS, I amde it through epidural free until I got to about a 6 and then called for one. It's true, induction doesn't give your body that time that it needs to ease itself into labour, so in the end I was happy for an epi. However, you can get a "walking epi" which is great. The edge is taken off of the pain, but you can still feel everything, know when to push, etc. Not to mention, I had the babies and literally hopped off the bed and walked down to NICU about 30 mins after I gave birth.

My docs gave me the choice of a C or an induction, but they were all leaning towards the C. I really, really wanted to avoid it because I didn't want to be recovering from major surgery when my baby was down in NICU. I still gave birth in the OR because there was a high liklihood of going C, but in the end, it turned out to be awesome.

I hate inductions, but at the same time, they are very relaxing, which might be good for your stress level. You know exactly when it's going to happen, and how it's going to happen, and you're very much in control.

Good luck! We're rooting for you!

Traci said...

I was induced a few days early with my daughter because my insurance was up on her due date and my doctor said he would do it. I think he perferred it that way so he could schedule a delivery. Anyways, the way it went for me was that they started the pitocin at 1 am and for hours I actually didn't feel much and was hoping that it was working. I was hurting by, I don't know 5-7 am (sorry fuzzy part of the memory). But it was nothing like when the doctor broke my water around 8am. Ouch! The actual breaking of the water didn't hurt, but the contractions afterwards were very painful. That's when I got my epidural. I loved the epidural but I think mine was quite heavy. I didn't feel a thing and couldn't walk for hours afterwards. Besides that, my recovery from the whole experience was fairly easy. Everyone is so different though and childbirth is so variable.
You have so many prayers going your way though that things are bound to work out for the best. I'm sure that you will be in pain, but I'm sure that you will be able to handle it somehow! You'll find a way :).

Traci said...

Sorry, forgot to say that my baby was finally born at 10:47am. So I had the epidural for almost 3 hours of the whole thing. In case you wanted to know :).

Balaboosta Baby said...

Hi Adrienne,

Been thinking about you so came to check out the updates. Seeing a post about birth is something I can't resist! ;) Even though I don't know Angela, I have a feeling I might be in the same camp as her when it relates to birth.

My advice would be to avoid both the induction and the c-section as one often follows the other. As has been said already, an induction is not on baby's timetable and both baby and your body may not be ready yet. When this happens, it sets into play a cascade of interventions that lead to an emergecy c-section as a result of fetal distress triggered by medical intervention.

We also all know that when you go into labour, you will be surrounded by a team of competent health care professionals -- no matter what time of day it is when you deliver. Of course, while the preference to schedule inductions and c-sections is around the doctor's schedule, we all know this is really your baby girl's big day and she's the one calling the shots.

I'm also not a proponent of drugs in labour and have personally witnessed many women labour and deliver naturally. I truly believe that if you have the right support team, you can do anything! As wonderful as I imagine your husband to be, I believe that you need more than just hubby as labour support, especially if he needs to be with your little girl once she's born. If more birthing women were surrounded by women who truly supported them during birth, we'd see less babies have traumatic entries into this world.

I want to leave you with a favourite quote of mine by Laura Stavoe Harm and it is "There is a secret in our society and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong." Aren't you glad you found out the secret before it's too late? ;)

I would more than love to answer any other questions you may have! As mom of 4 I've done it all: vaginal birth, c-section (footling breech) and home birth and birth is one of my favourite topics!
:) Rebekah