Mom fights, gets the delivery she wantsSeven months into her pregnancy with her fourth child, Joy Szabo's obstetrician gave her some news she didn't want to hear: Because she'd had a previous Caesarean section, the hospital where she planned to deliver was insisting she have another one.
Szabo wanted a vaginal delivery, and argued with hospital executives, but they stood firm: They refused to do vaginal births after Caesareans (VBACs) because they have a slightly higher risk for complications.
After they lost that fight, Szabo and her husband, Jeff, made an unusual decision. About three weeks before her due date, Szabo moved nearly six hours away from their home in Page, Arizona, to Phoenix to give birth at a hospital that does permit women to have VBACs.
In the end, the Szabos got the birth they wanted. On December 5, their son Marcus Anthony was born in Phoenix via an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, weighing seven pounds and 13 ounces.
"It was such an easy birth," Szabo says. "I was in the pains of labor for about four or five hours, then I pushed once, and he popped out."
The Szabos' story has a happy ending, but it shows that with the rising C-section rate -- now one in three babies is born via Caesarean -- women who want vaginal births sometimes have to fight to get them.
That fight is especially difficult when the decision to perform a Caesarean is made in the delivery room when there's often not much time to talk and consider all the options.
"It's a tough situation," says Dr. Bruce Flamm, a spokesman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "Mom is tired. Dad is tired and nervous, and most people haven't spent their lives reading obstetrical textbooks and don't know all the details involved."
Dina Ste. Marie, from Whitby, Ontario, remembers a tense moment in the delivery room three years ago when she was in labor with her first child. She'd been eight centimeters dilated for six hours, and the baby wasn't budging.
"We were near the end, but it just wasn't ending," she remembers.
When her obstetrician suggested she might be headed for a C-section, her doula, Stefanie Antunes, remembered a maneuver she'd seen midwives use to get a reluctant baby to come through the birth canal.
"Stefanie said if I laid down flat on my back it might help the baby get in a new position," Ste. Marie says. "I distinctly remember the labor nurse looking at her like she had 10 heads, but she said, 'You can try it if you want.' "
Ste. Marie got on her back, and the baby started moving around. Twenty-five minutes later, her daughter, Isabella, was born.
"It was such a major relief," says Ste. Marie. "I really wanted to avoid a C-section if I could."
Tips on avoiding C-Sections at the Source.
So, what do you think, ONTD_P? Was this the right decision? Do you think that health risks should be weighed against the parent's decision or just keep to the 'YOU HAD ONE. THAT'S ALL WE DO NOW' procedure?