C-sections seem to be on the rise these days. I know more women than not who’ve given birth via c-section. I had my first c-section in November of 2010. My son wasn’t due for six more weeks, but due to the sudden onset of preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, a team of doctors decided to deliver him early via emergency c-section. Fast forward 20 months later and I had my second c-section in July of 2012. I was having some early signs of preeclampsia, so my doctor made the decision to deliver my second baby boy at 38 weeks via c-section to avoid any complications like I had my first go around. My third son was born via c-section as well in 2016, but it was for a MUCH different reason called placenta percreta.
When I first got pregnant with my first son, a c-section never entered my mind as his method of delivery. Yes, I knew what they were, but I never imagined I would be in a situation where I would need one. Due to the complications I had with him, it was a very real life and death situation for me. When the high risk doctor came into my hospital room and said they were doing an emergency c-section in a couple of hours, we didn’t question her judgment at all. I’ve never once been upset about that decision; I believe it literally saved my life and got my son here in the safest situation possible.
When I got pregnant with my second son, I knew a v-bac wouldn’t likely be an option, and to be honest, I was completely fine with that. He was born via c-section at 38 weeks and my recovery was fine.
When I got pregnant with my third son, I knew with about 99% certainty that he would also be born via c-section, but I discussed my options with my doctor anyways. She said that since this was my third baby and due to the fact that my body had never been through labor, she felt like a repeat c-section would be the safest decision. She did stress that this should be my last c-section due to complications that can arise where the placenta can attach to/grow through the uterus, which I had never heard of even being a repeat c-section patient. This is called placenta percreta. She said that this issue was a rare occurrence, but the odds increase with each subsequent c-section. Little did I know that this rare complication would become my reality by the end of my pregnancy. Anyways, once again, I trusted her and was fine with the decision for a repeat c-section.
As each visit passed, my doctor grew more and more concerned about the likelihood of me having placenta percreta. The only way to end a pregnancy safely when this is present is an emergency hysterectomy immediately after delivery. You can’t remove the placenta once it’s attached without the risk of bleeding to death. I wasn’t ready for a hysterectomy at 29-years-old, but that was my only option. All of this was most likely caused by the fact that I had two previous c-sections.
I was absolutely clueless about this risk until my third pregnancy.
I wish I had known all of this before it happened. I will once again say that I have no regrets with the decisions my doctors made when I had my first son. I still feel like a c-section was the best case scenario for that situation, and I’m grateful they did it so quickly to keep me from getting worse. With my second, the decision was once again out of my hands, but I’ll never be upset at my doctor at the time for delivering him via c-section; it was a decision that needed to be made and I trusted him with that.
So, here is where my opinion has really changed; I used to be a supporter and advocate of c-sections.
I never understood the big deal when I would see women post things on Facebook about how c-sections were being overused and that something needed to be done about it. My c-sections were easy, the recovery was fine, and it wasn’t affecting my ability to get pregnant. What was the big deal? I even had some friends who told me that their doctor would let them choose whether or not they wanted a vaginal delivery or c-section. I thought that was a little odd, but I still didn’t understand the big uproar over it.
Well, now I do.
More than likely, if I hadn’t had c-sections, I wouldn’t have been forced to have an emergency hysterectomy and close the door completely on my childbearing years before I turned 30. Don’t get me wrong; I understand the need for c-sections in cases of emergency better than anyone, but now I don’t understand why a doctor would perform one if it isn’t really needed. Placenta percreta is on the rise due to the high number of c-sections being performed now. That’s a sad reality for women who want more children like I did.