Over the course of my pregnancy, I rarely thought about what the birth would be like or came up with a birth plan. I was just to darn nervous that I would jinx something. But starting around 28 weeks, my OBs would ask me how I planned to deliver and we would spend a little time discussing the merits of vaginal delivery vs cesarean section. Most of my pregnancy I assumed that even if I did go into labor or have an induction there would still be a 50% chance of having a c-section (that was what my doctors quoted me for a twin pregnancy). As the pregnancy progressed, I started to research vaginal delivery of twins especially since my daughter (Twin A) had been head down since like 24 weeks. I almost went into labor spontaneously at 37 weeks, but when I didn't progress past 4 cm after 2 hours, we went home where my contractions immediately stopped (despite my best work on the exercise ball!!) I pushed my doctors for an induction vs c-section at 38 weeks and so at 38 weeks, I arrived at the hospital for my induction. As I was checking in, they asked me if I just wanted a c-section or try an induction. An ultrasound revealed that my son (Twin B) had also turned head down, so we continued with my plan for induction. I was very, VERY adamant that if at any time either of the babies showed any, ANY signs of distress that we would just go back for an immediate c-section. My doctors were totally on-board with this plan. When my labor stalled after 24 hours on pitocin for induction and magnesium for pre-eclampsia, after talking it over with CJ and my nurses and doctors, and after many tears, I asked for a c-section and within an hour, we were heading to the OR and 30 minutes later, I met my daughter and son. I am beyond thankful to my OB for being very honest about that fact that I likely would not have progressed to fully dilated and even if I did my risk of tearing was incredibly high since I was so swollen. I was kinda in a daze due to the magnesium, but my overall experience with the c-section was very positive and best of all my twins were here safe and sound. The recovery was painful for the first week if I got behind on my pain medication and my milk didn't come in until postpartum day 5 (but that I might have been from the magnesium and it definitely wasn't from lack of nursing them!!), but after 2 weeks I was off all pain meds and I felt great!! Now, I have my c-section scar to remind me of how my twins entered the world and I think it is a beautiful reminder (which may sound weird, but I don't know exactly how best to explain it.) So there you have my personal experience with a failed induction and c-section for the birth of my twins.
I come from a family of women who have had c-sections. My mom had an emergency c-section with my twin sister and I with a classical incision and then had to have 2 repeat c-sections with my brother and sister. My twin sister had an urgent c-section with her first baby because on follow-up ultrasound her placenta looked awful at 36 weeks and her baby was breech. She has since had 2 elective c-sections with my nephew and niece. With each of her c-sections, her recovery time has gotten faster and pain less. Seriously, after my nephew was born, my sister was up and walking around with us in the hospital and even went home a day early. That about sums up my family's experience with c-sections.
As a doctor, I have experience with labor and delivery and have read some of the studies on c-section vs vaginal delivery. Based on my personal experiences and my professional ones, I do not understand why people are so anti-cesarean. I think we have cultivated this ideal of the natural childbirth has being the best and healthiest way to bring babies into the world and we have turned on cesarean deliveries as the evil twin with all these horrible side effects and dangers. The reality seems to be (and the data seems to show) that cesarean deliveries under controlled situations are safe for mom and baby. Vaginal deliveries also seem to be safe for mom and baby, but there are risks involved, serious risks, that I think we may forget about as we try to reach the ideal of a natural childbirth with a vaginal delivery.
I'm going to publish this post now for fear that I may not get back to it soon, but I'm going to do a literature search during my pumping breaks at work and try to come up with some data to support my ideas. I'm not sure what the real reason for my post it, but I know how hard it can be to not reach that ideal of a vaginal delivery and the feelings of failure that are associated with it, but maybe, just maybe a cesarean section should not be thought of as the mom failing, but instead as mother bringing her baby or babies into the world in the safest way possible.