Random Thought for the Day
I was talking on the phone with my cousin today. She just had her second child by repeat c-section. She had her first by c-section as well. So that got me thinking.
As my loyal readers know, I had a c-section back in December with my first (and possibly only... the happy amnesia hormones haven't kicked in yet!) kidlet. My indications for section were listed on the OR report as 'left occiput transverse causing arrested second stage". In English, that means that the Bean's head was turned to the side and wedged behind my left hip. I pushed for 3 hours in a variety of interesting positions, but he just wouldn't turn into a birth-able position. My midwife was wonderful, but after 18 hours of labour to have to have a c-section felt frustrating and disappointing.
And then I thought about everyone else I know who has had a baby in the past year. Doing the math in my head, my rough estimate is that about 90% of my friends who had a first baby this year had a section. And only two of those (out of about 15 or so) were scheduled (one was breech, one had pre-existing medical conditions)... the rest were 'failed' attempts at vaginal delivery. All the reasons seemed legitimate-- fetal distress, not dilating past 6 cms, that kind of thing. But the c-section rates in my circles seem abnormally high. So my first thought would be to wonder what is biasing my sample.
My friends are all relatively young (between 25 and 35) although perhaps a little older than biologically ideal for a first-time mom. They are all professional and well-educated, healthy and fit, and all work full-time. But that's where the similarities end. They have a variety of body types (short to tall, tiny to less tiny), have a variety of careers (pilot, teacher, sales, medicine)... none used reproductive technologies to get pregnant. The time it took them to conceive range from "oops, we're pregnant" to nearly a year. None of them were "too posh to push", and all but one had intended to birth vaginally. Every reason they were given certainly sounded more legitimate than "let's move this along so that I can get home".
Is there something fundamentally wrong with us that so few women are able to birth vaginally these days?
I find this odd.