Thursday, 29 August 2013

Spontaneous vs. Scheduled

Every birth is different. Unique and filled with a myriad of emotion. No matter how you plan to have your baby. And while every woman generally knows what to expect in labor and delivery, you never really know what to expect. Things can change in a heartbeat and your birth plan goes out the window.

I've been very blessed to have three deliveries that were low risk and without complications. On one end of the spontaneous vs scheduled spectrum I've had one completely natural birth, and on the other end, a scheduled c-section. My middle child, fittingly, was in the middle - a scheduled induction.

I loved not knowing exactly when Lucas would be born, waiting the last few days, anxiously anticipating my first birthing experience. You can read his full birth story here; it was definitely an interesting one!

It is so amazing to me how a woman's body works; throughout the pregnancy growing that small, tiny collection of cells into a whole person, and at the right time creating the perfect conditions for giving birth. It is something so natural, beautiful, painful and messy.

Now, my kids have all loved being in the womb, the first two almost overstayed their welcome - which is why I had an induced birth with Elena. In many ways it was the easiest of my pregnancies and deliveries. We sauntered in to the hospital on the day of her birth, got some drugs and relaxed until the contractions started. Nine hours later Elena arrived and I got to spend the first hour of her life nursing her in the labor and delivery room while I was under observation. It was time I never got with my other kids.

After having two vaginal deliveries, I thought the third one would be easy as pie. Then we found out it was twins! I had high hopes for the first few months that I'd still be able to have a natural delivery, but by about 32 weeks both girls were heads up and I was getting anxious to get them out! Since the birth I've basically been told that doctors here rarely allow a natural twin delivery. It was quite a different feeling to know almost exactly when they would be born (barring complications, of course). Despite a little scare a week before their "due date" they were pretty happy in the womb. I'm not sure how much longer I could have gone though!
36 Weeks and 1 day - in the hospital just about to be prepped for surgery.
So at 36 weeks we checked in to the hospital and got prepped. Honestly I kind of felt like I was cheating by skipping the whole painful labor part. (Of course I knew I would probably make up for it with a painful recovery). It was my first ever surgery. The weird thing is they remove the babies and they get whisked away to be cleaned and checked. Ours went to the ICU for observation seeing as they were technically "preemies". Then you spend about 45 minutes getting sewn up from the surgery and taken to an observation wing to wait for hours as the anesthesia wears off. It is this bizarre time, feeling frozen and "alone", sensing that something is just missing. I spent many minutes wondering about where all four of my kids were, what they were doing, and when I'd be able to see and hold my new babies.

If I were to do it again (which I am not) - I would try again for a natural delivery, probably with an epidural. The recovery just seemed so much harder and prolonged with a c-section. This could also be because it was twins, or because it is the most recent of my birthing experiences. I am, however, so thankful to have had a c-section in a time and place where it is safe, routine and relatively "low risk". If I'd had minimal medical resources, I probably would've died trying to deliver two babies who were in breech and transverse positions!

Beyond all that, of course, is the fact that I have four healthy, thriving kids and I'll be glad to share with them the amazing ways they entered the world.


  1. Beautiful babies! I found you through the mommy brain mixer. I am currently 10 weeks, 6 days pregnant with my second. I had to rush to the hospital to be induced with my daughter due to Pre-eclampsia. More than anything, I want a healthy baby, but I would love to know what it is like to go in to labor on my own. Thank you for sharing your story!

  2. Diana, I was induced due to preeclampsia with our oldest (ended up needing an emergency csection) and have since had 3 natural vbacs. If all goes well, you will do just fine. I remember celebrating each week of my second pregnancy when no signs of preeclampsia were present. Praying for health for you!!

  3. You write beautifully as always, Taara. It's a blessing to be your mother-in-law!


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