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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Being prepared matters

Just over a week ago I got a text message from a friend asking for prayers. His wife was being induced at 35 weeks due to low amniotic fluid.

My first thought?

Oh crap. She's gonna end up with a c-section. Yet another friend to "welcome" into the Sisterhood of the Scar.

Turns out, I was wrong. Even though she was induced at the hospital with the 3rd highest cesarean rate in the Twin Cities (30%), she escaped a surgical birth.

How did this happen?

I bumped into her at church this morning. She told me that she was freaked out when she knew she was headed for induction. She had the same thought I did, that she was probably going to end up with a cesarean. The chances were certainly good - a high risk situation, induction, a preemie on the way...

I think it was her preparation (and no doubt support of her husband and others) that made a huge difference. This was her second birth. Her first had been at the same hospital, but they were well-prepared the first time, too. They had taken Bradley classes and stayed home as long as possible during labor. She had a drug-free birth the first time around. That same mindset and preparation helped her avoid more interventions during her induction this time. She told me, "The only bummer was that I had to be in the bed the whole time [for monitoring, Pitocin, etc]. But I used having to go to the bathroom a lot as my excuse to get up often. So, I got the drug-free birth I wanted. Well, except for the Pitocin...."

My friend was prepared to meet the challenges of an unexpected, stressful birth because she knew from experience as well as from childbirth eduction that sometimes you have to work with what you've got. She knew that moving around is so important in labor. So, she used a little trick to work the system and get up as  much as she could. It wasn't a completely ideal situation, but she worked for the birth she wanted even despite the odds. 

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