As some of you know, I wrote about how I begrudgingly had a C-section with my first. This caused me some trauma. Knowing what I know as a naturopathic doctor, I wanted to avoid that outcome at all costs. The benefits of a vaginal birth are quite substantial. There's a study that shows that c-section babies are at an increased risk of allergies, dermatitis and asthma. The benefits of the bacterial flora that the baby goes through as it is born is tremendous for the immune system and digestive system. Furthermore, the compression of spiraling through the birth canal is beneficial for the lungs/breathing.
Knowing all this I was adamant that I was going to try my best to have a vaginal birth for my second. I prepared by doing weekly acupuncture sessions with Anna Totzke at Touchstone Health, I had weekly pelvic floor treatments with Keri Martin Vrbanac at A Body In Motion, I saw Nate Enns at Aligned Health for osteopathy and I got some prenatal massages from Angela Gibson at Enhanced Wellness Studio. All of these practitioners are AMAZING at what they do.
I was extremely hopeful when I got to the hospital with my husband and doula, Sarah Connors. I was already 5cm dilated and my waters broke as soon as the nurse checked me. My contractions were strong and effective but every time the OB would check me, I wasn't dilating much further. Not knowing when the end was in sight my pain tolerance started to dwindle. Sarah did a great job at using homeopathy, acupressure and words of encouragement to help bear the pain, but ultimately things were taking much too long. That's when I opted for an epidural for some pain relief and the addition of pitocin to make sure the contractions were strong in order to push the baby down.
My son, just like with my daughter, got stuck and just wouldn't progress down into the birth canal. Ultimately, with a slightly swollen cervix, we had to make the call to have another C-section. I was quite sad and emotional. I knew it was the best thing for myself and for the baby at the time, but it's still a very difficult thing to do when I was so hopeful that this time I could have a vaginal birth.
Baby Dino was born 9lbs 5oz with an extremely large head! After helping him with sugar balancing in the NICU for 3 days we were finally able to go home. With my daughter I had extremely severe gas pains post surgery that made me vomit frequently. Luckily this time around the pain wasn't nearly as intense. I find myself enjoying my newborn much more the second time around. Probably because my confidence is higher. I also have an amazing locum, Dr. Danielle DeBlock who is taking over my practice and Melissa is holding down the fort at reception. I couldn't be luckier to have these 2 gals managing my business while I'm off until May. That definitely reduces a lot of stress.
I guess the lessen learned is that it's OK to prepare as much as possible but ultimately, what's most important is the health of baby and mom. I'm seeing a counselor, Lisa Aldworth, who is helping me see my self-worth despite the outcome.
Here's to all the parents that try their very best!