I had a picture-perfect pregnancy with my first (my daughter). I never got sick or nauseous or moody, and I was rarely uncomfortable. So when it came time to talk to my doctor about my plans for the delivery, I figured that day would be just as effortless and uneventful. It was, but not for the reasons I had wanted.
Because my daughter had been measuring large (although not for serious concern), I was told I had to deliver her on her actual due date. After being induced the night prior, followed by 10 more hours of inducing and laboring the next day, my 8 lb. 15 ounce baby girl was born by C-section two hours shy of her due date “deadline.”
Since then, I was told that any subsequent births would have to be through scheduled c-sections only. At first I felt a little robbed knowing I will never get to experience the unexpected water breaking, mad rush to the hospital, and the quintessential “true” birth. Yet I have to admit, halfway through my second pregnancy, those thoughts quickly diminished.
My belly was growing larger, my energy levels were dissipating, my feet and ankles were swelling, and I was barely keeping step with my rambunctious two-year-old. In other words, I was ready to get the show on the road and have my second baby. And since I knew I was resigned to a C-section birth, I figured, “What the hey…let’s schedule this baby at a time that works with our family!”
So that’s exactly what I did. I ensured my second baby (my son) arrived on a Thursday so that Daddy could take a long weekend home from work. I coordinated his birthday on a day that Granny could fly in from Florida to take care of my daughter while we were all in the hospital. And I planned it so that the doctor I wanted would be on call to perform the C-section.
Voila! My 8 lb. 4 ounce baby boy entered the world 10 days early (yet on a perfectly safe date according to my OB/GYN) to a family who was more than ready for his arrival.
I never thought twice about scheduling my baby’s birthdays. My daughter’s birthday was determined by my doctor, and my son’s birthday was approved by my doctor. In both cases, I was assured the dates were completely safe for my baby’s health. Despite all that, I have recently learned that such decisions are considered quite controversial.
A friend of mine was in a similar situation with her two daughters. She was encouraged to have a C-section because of the size of her first baby, and like me, she wound up having a scheduled C-section with her second as well.
Yet she says she’s been judged by other moms who feel her actions were not good for her babies. She said in an email, “They told me the doctors were just trying to get ‘it over with’ or get more money. But I don’t feel any less of a woman because I didn’t have a vaginal delivery. I don’t feel left our or upset that I didn’t get that experience. The most important thing is that my children were delivered with care, and that they came out of the c-sections healthy and safe. Isn’t that what we all want?”
The news of that shocked me. I never would have thought it controversial – especially if a doctor is involved in the decision. What do you think? Do you think doctors and parents should get to choose a baby’s birthday if it’s not a medical emergency to deliver on a specific day? Do you think scheduling is OK or do you think it’s wrong, and why?