Cesarean for 5th baby after 4 vaginal births

I have a dear friend who recently had her 5th baby.  She escaped a cesarean with her first with a patient OB who allowed her to push for 4 hours with a posterior baby. 

Then she narrowly escaped a cesarean with her 4th baby.  This story is incredible to me.  The baby was breech, they turned the baby using external version and scheduled an induction.  (She was on blood thinners and needed to be off them for a certain amount of time, hence the induction)  She goes in and they start pitocin.  The baby was head down, but then turned so she was breech again.  The OB does another version and decides to break the water, so baby will drop down and engage.  When the aniotomy (OB breaks her water) is done, the cord prolapses, a risk with breaking the water, especially with a baby that isn’t engaged. 

So they start scurring around for an emergency cesarean.  The Docor has his hand up inside my friend holding the baby’s head off the cord.  Then he says, “Wait a minute, I think the cord has gone back up.”  And indeed it had.  He stayed around in the room watching the monitor for about an hour.  Things look fine, so they restart the pitocin and she has a vaginal birth.   I have never heard of a situation like this, where a cord prolapse doesn’t end in cesarean.  It was a miracle. 

When she told me that story I was just so in awe that she escaped the cesarean.  Horray!

Well, I got an e-mail from her a few weeks ago, saying her 5th baby had arrived, but she needed a cesarean after a few hours of labor, because the baby was transverse (laying sideways, not head down, or butt down, but back down)  I started crying when I read her e-mail.  I was just so sad for her.  With 4 other little ones at home, I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy recovery.

I called her the other night to see how she was doing.  She is having a harder time this time and is amazed at how much harder the recovery is.  I got a few details.  The doctor broke her water and baby settled into this wrong position, the doctor tried to move her, but she wouldn’t budge.  So she had to have a cesarean.  I am so very sad this had to happen to her. 

We are separated by the whole country, but my heart and prayers go out to her and to all moms who have unexpected cesareans.

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3 thoughts on “Cesarean for 5th baby after 4 vaginal births”

  1. You know–she’s very lucky to have you as a friend. A lot of women who have experiences like that don’t know anyone who understands why it might be an incredible practical and emotional challenge. I’m sure it will help a little just to hear in your voice that you get it.

  2. I know somewhat of what she feels like, I had 4 totally natural births and my 5th ended up as a c-section. He turned toward my right hip and put his head on his shoulder and wouldn’t budge. I stayed focused on my beautiful baby boy (who will be 12 on Sunday). I will always miss feeling him come from my body, but was thankful he was fine. I had a VBAC at home 2 years later.

  3. Pingback: Types of Cesareans « Enjoy Birth Blog

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