I’m feeling very lucky and rather relieved this week. On Wednesday I had an appointment with the Obstetric consultant at Kings. I had been dreading it and went in expecting an argument, what I actually got was a kind and considerate registrar and an equally nice, if somewhat rushed consultant.
The last time I’d met an Obstetrician, it was at the hospital where E was born, and it was a very different experience. I had gone there to go over my notes from E’s birth and to try to get a better understanding of what had happened. I did learn a few things that I’d been too exhausted/overwhelmed/off my face on entonox to understand at the time, but I also got a lecture on all the things I should have done to prevent E’s bad position (I’d done them all BTW). I was also told that I’d be expected to have a VBAC* for any future babies. An elective C-section was only available if you could argue your case for one with the team’s pet psychiatrist.
I’ve not yet decided if I actually do want an elective Cesarean, but I do know that I really really don’t want to have to recover from a long labour and an emergency C-section again. An elective is the only way to guarantee this so it’s not an option I want closed off to me so sternly.
Basically the message was – it’s your own fault, don’t expect us to make it any easier next time.
At Kings however, the registrar started by asking me about E’s birth, then asked me what I wanted to do this time. I took a deep breath and “confessed” (it feels like something you shouldn’t say) that I was thinking about an elective Cesarean. I braced myself for the lecture and he said “well I’ve seen your notes, if that’s what you want, that’s fine with us. Just decide when you’re ready”
Wow, so that’s actual maternal choice then? This is a new experience for me!
He went on to tell me apologetically that he had to say a VBAC would be safe, but he wrote up in my notes that they’d consented to an C-section and then called in the consultant, who just agreed.
The difference from last time is pretty startling, I feel very lucky indeed to be so well looked after and I know that where I happen to live probably plays a big part in this. I’ll be seeing the Obstetricians every 4-6 weeks to keep an eye on my thyroid problems and will see a member of my small team of midwives just as often. To be honest it seems excessive but knowing that Smidge2 and me are being looked after by a team of actually really nice people makes a few extra trips to hospital well worth it.
Last time I felt like I was a burden on the system, this time I feel like people want to look after me. It’s as lovely as it is unexpected.
* VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean