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The Baby Catcher: 06/12/06
Near the middle of The Baby Catcher, Peggy Vincent describes two births that ended in C-section; one where the mother waited too long and one where the mother didn't. For the one that ended poorly (in extreme brain damage including blindess and deafness), the mother ignored all the advice she had been given even though she had a history of fetal distress deliveries resulting in C-section.
One detail that stood out for me in both births was the activity of the baby prior to birth. The children had the tendency to flip around or move their heads up from the head down position. Vincent says that late positional activity like that dramatically increases the changes of cord wrap or prolapsed cord. Sean went into fetal distress with an erratic heart beat shortly after getting to the hospital and after only a couple hours of labor I was raced off for a C-section. He had all the signs of things going horribly wrong: the heart beat problem and the meconium. I've wondered if Sean's distress was a fluke or something that had been on-going. Now it seems that it was an on going problem. I'm glad I was such a worry wart and didn't labor for long at home.
Instead of either having a still birth or a brain damaged baby, I have a healthy son who is at the head of his preschool class. The only trade off was a bit of adominal surgery which I will gladly repeat for Harriet. Speaking of baby number two, she so far is not following in her brother's foot steps. While she does respond to the world around her, she does it now mostly with her feet and sometimes her hands. She seems to have figured out that she should be head down and should stay head down. I could probably VBAC with her but given other issues like being over weight and being monitored for PIH (although my blood pressure is lower with her than it was with Sean), I am opting for a C-section. At least this time I will be awake for the experience and will be able to hear her first cry.