As I write this, our 4th child, 4th boy, 4th blessing is 1 week and 1 day old.
He is absolute perfection.
Dark brown hair, blue eyes, and the same cowlick on the front-right side of his head that every child (and their daddy) has. I love him. We ALL love him. Jude, notably our most unaffectionate child, wakes every morning anticipating holding Henry while he’s in his few waking hours of the day. There’s just nothing like seeing siblings in awe of each other. <3
But I wanted to share about his delivery specifically in this post.
My 3 previous births have been c-sections. My first was emergent after being in labor for many hours and not progressing. For the next 2 pregnancies, VBAC’s weren’t really an option in my little city and they were definitely frowned upon. My OBGYN and staff regarded me as negligent and reckless for even considering the option. At least that’s how I felt… So I had routine c-sections for them as well. I don’t regret that decision in the least, as mine have all produced healthy babies and great recoveries! (I felt so good after #2 I was playing tennis 2 weeks post-partum. I wouldn’t suggest it. 🙂 I just felt so good!)
This time around however, I wanted something different. I have learned so much in the last 5 years that I just couldn’t dismiss the facts. Most of my friends now have home births, they are crunchy (or chewy at least!), and wonderfully natural-minded. I love it! But I also knew that trying for a VBAC after THREE c-sections was a uterine risk I didn’t need to take. I did some research on my options and heard about gentle c-sections, also called family-centered c-sections.
A gentle cesarean offers the mother otherwise UNHEARD of options like immediate skin-to-skin contact (something I never had with my others…it was sometimes hours before I ever held them), delayed cord clamping, immediate breastfeeding, unrestricted arms, lowering the drape to see the delivery if you want to, having others in the OR, a calm environment, and even assisting in the delivery! Another major benefit offered at the hospital I chose was that they never take the baby away from you. All testing, screening, weighing, measuring, sleeping, etc is done at your side or in your room at all times. This is of course, if all goes well and the baby is healthy. For my others, they would be taken away occasionally for hours at a time, given formula -without my consent- if they were fussy, and other unnecessary actions.
When I checked in to the labor and delivery floor last week to be prepped, I was immediately in the room I would stay in for the duration. I was surprised there was no prep-room where we would have to wait before my case, and no recovery room for afterward. I went straight into the OR with my husband and my friend who filmed the entire surgery (thank you SO much, Lindsie) and came back into a room full of family awaiting the first glance of their anticipated grandchild and nephew. Glorious.
The popularity of gentle c-sections is growing which I think is so awesome!
My advice is this: If this sounds like something you want to consider with your next delivery, really take some time to think about what you want to experience and vocalize that to your OB. Have a birth plan that is understood beforehand and make it clear. You have so many options you may not have even considered!
I won’t post the video here, but feel free to comment and I will send it to you! It’s truly beautiful.