“Thanks! Have a great weekend!” I chirped to the surgical scheduler for my OB/GYN practice. She doesn’t remember me, most likely, but she’s helped me book several procedures over the years and I’ve always found her pleasant, helpful, and responsive. She was especially comforting to me when I was scheduling the D&C for the miscarriage I had last summer and the memory of her sweet demeanor makes me feel like she’s my BFF.
But this conversation wasn’t for anything as sad as that. Instead, I was putting a hold on the date, time, and doctor I wanted for my c-section in a few months. The OB I saw last week tipped me off that the calendar for June was posted and I should get scheduled now so I get the pick of my options. The scheduler booked me in for the first procedure of the day with the doctor who delivered my son four years ago. And she didn’t laugh at me when I rejected one day in particular because it’s an ex-boyfriend’s birthday. I got off the phone feeling happy and excited for my upcoming surgical delivery.
Yes. That’s right. The prospect of a scheduled repeat c-section suits me just fine.
I’m generally pretty unsentimental about things. I like to think of myself as practical and pragmatic, though I may just be cold and emotionless. After all, I’m one of those people who thought Twilight was a story about a wimpy chick who needed a some backbone, not a love story for the ages. But my sightly detached attitude and willingness to accept things as they come is probably why I walked into my first labor with no hard and fast expectations and no preferred outcome except a healthy baby.
Good thing too, because after 13 hours of labor and two hours of pushing, my sunny-side up son wasn’t gonna come out vaginally. His heart rate rose, I spiked a fever, and they rolled me into the c-section room to finish the process. I hadn’t really thought I’d need a c-section but getting one didn’t upset me because I got what I wanted at the end: a healthy baby. And I don’t feel like they rushed me into a c-section for questionable reasons. They let me try, and try hard, to birth vaginally and only moved into Plan B when there were clear signs of distress to both me and my son. I feel that they made the right call and I’m totally at peace with how that delivery went.
I knew from the outset that with this pregnancy I would opt for a repeat c-section. My practice would give me the option of a VBAC is if I so desired but I don’t desire it. For one thing, I feel like a c-section is a known quantity and I don’t fear it. I know how my body will recover from that and actually think my recovery will be easier without having labored first. For another thing, I have a slightly irrational anxiety about what would happen to my scarred uterus if I tried to labor. The answer is probably nothing but it’s still something I would obsess about given the chance.
And finally, yes, I like knowing in advance the day I’ll have the baby. I like that my mom can book her flight to come down and help watch my son without wondering if she’s guessing right on dates. I like that my husband can prepare in advance and not potentially leave his coworkers scrambling. I like that I’ll be able to tell my son that he’ll be a big brother on a particular Tuesday in June and he can meet his new sibling after lunch that day.
Shallow? Maybe. Do I care? Nope.
This is the right set of choices for me and my family and I am totally at peace with the situation. I know that there are a million circumstances that could change the plan between now and the end of June but, for now, I have my ducks in a row and I’m excited to welcome my new child in the way I’m choosing.
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