Sunday, October 14, 2007

International Cesarean Awareness Network

Last Wednesday, we went to the first International Cesarean Awareness Meeting (ICAN). It is the first chapter in Pennsylvania. Erie is rarely first, so this was neat. My friends were speaking about their experience so I went to support them. They were told the baby was over 9 lbs and "too big to wait until 40 weeks", so they underwent an induction. As the doctor was inducing she said,"The baby is still very high up", but she kept going. My friend ended up with a cesarean. Both my friend and her husband felt very badly about the cesarean because they had wanted a natural childbirth and feel that if they had let labor start naturally, they would have had a natural birth, or at least they would feel like they did all they could to achieve one. Oh, and by the way, the baby was 7lbs, 11 oz. Even if the baby had been big, they would feel better. Though, even a small woman can birth a large baby. Yet, doctors continue to perpetuate the myth that small women can't have large babies. Not to say that there is never a situation, but it is a lot more rare than we are lead to believe.

I was lucky with my cesarean because I knew he would be delivered by cesarean becausse he was breech. I did everything I could to turn him, inclluding Webster Technique, but he would not budge. I had to coordinate my husband coming in from overseas and had a history of placental hematoma earlier in the pregnancy, so I just decided to schedule a cesarean. I was able to go through my feelings about it before I had the cesarean, including failure, guilt, etc. I made them wait to take him until the early range of his due date (early gestational age set the due date about a week after the initial doctors calculation iso he was at least 39 weeks, maybe 40 weeks), though one doctor in the practice wanted to take him earlier. I spent the day before doing yoga, meeting with friends and going to dinner with my husband. The next day, we checked into the hospital. We were the first surgery of the day and though the anesthesia made me sweat and nauseated, it wasn't bad. I had a great recovery and hospital stay. Ian was born with his eyes open and was very alert. I had such a good experience, I'm wondering if I should just schedule a repeat cesarean or try for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). I am a breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping mother who is thinking about a scheduled repeat c-section. I wouldn't have expected this of myself. I feel a little guilty about it, but this is the state of the culture and I am a product of it.

The next ICAN meeting is about Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). I plan to attend to hear the success stories and get more information. I think a lot of it depends on where I am in the world when I have my next child. If I am somewhere that I know I have midwives or doctors who are committed to VBAC, I will be more likely to do it. Many doctors will let you try, but then if they are committed, they will rush you and you will end up with a cesarean anyway. I don't want a long failed labor and then a cesarean. I'd rather have a scheduled cesarean. I think I am also afraid of failure. I don;t want to try because I don't want to fail. Even though I didn't really fail, the last time because he was breech with no major movements for months, it still seems easier to do a scheduled cesarean. I'l report back next month to see if my feelings are changed.


Kimberly said...

Keep going to those ICAN meetings. They will really open your eyes to what is possible!
~ Kimberly

Cairo Mama said...

I actually had to stop going to ICAN meetings because it was having a negative affect on me. I did not have a traumatic c-section, so hearing others stories made me was to schedule a repeat c-section in order to avoid a trauma. I do want to VBAC, but ICAN was causing me more fear. I think if you really want to VBAC and had a bad cesarean experience you figure that "it can't be worse", but when you are like me and had a good experience you think,"I don't want to go through what they went through."

I think it is a valuable organization, but it is not for me. It is not going to get me where I need to be the next time. My friend who spoke at the first meeting felt the same way and she got pregnant soon after that meeting. She is planning a VBAC, but found that everyone's stories were making her depressed and scared so she is not going to the meetings. It is a new group so they are learning and growing.