Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Elective" Cesarean

My heart has been aching the last couple of days for my blogfriend, Sarah. She recently shared the intimate details leading up to, during, and following her daughter's birth. It is a heart-breaking story. After educating herself, working hard to find the right provider, and hoping and praying, Sarah ultimately ended up losing her dream of a VBAC with an "elective" cesarean. I put elective in quotation marks because, like so many other women reaching for VBAC, the odds were stacked against her. And Sarah's heartbreak only intensified when her daughter suffered life-threatening complications as a result of her cesarean. Though her story is painful, I encourage you to read it. The truth needs to be shared so that the future of birth can be brighter. Thank you for being willing and courageous enough to put it out there, Sarah.

It was sadly fitting that I read a news report about the risks of repeat cesareans the same day I read Sarah's birth story. US News and World Report explains:
"Babies delivered by elective, repeat cesarean section delivery are nearly twice as likely to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) than those born vaginally after the mother has previously had a c-section, a new study finds.

"These c-section babies are also more likely to have breathing problems requiring supplemental oxygen, the researchers say" (source).
Sarah's story is a sad testament to these facts. I ache for her and all women like her.

It makes me wonder... why did I get to have such good experiences? It's not fair, really. I didn't do anything to deserve smooth births. Sarah couldn't have prevented her first cesarean--twins in transverse position. Why was she dealt such difficult circumstances and I such uncomplicated ones? I suppose none of us avoids difficulty in this life. We'll all encounter struggles in some aspect of our lives. But today I'm feeling especially grateful for my wonderful births... because I realize today, more than ever, what a blessing they were. Oh how grateful I am!


Diana J. said...

Wow, that is a heart-wrenching story! I read both parts of it and was amazed by what your poor friend went through. What a pro-VBAC witness she is, though!

Sarah H said...

Thanks so much for your encouraging words on my blog! They mean so much to me. I do hope that my story can help others to fight for a VBAC or at least raise awareness about cesarean issues.
Take care!

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