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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

ttc | pregnancy | birth after loss > Vaginal birth or c-section after loss. How did you decide?

Hi all,

As some of you know, my son died in May the same day I went into labor, but before we got to the hospital. The doctors are not sure of the cause or the exact timing of death, and have suggested the possibility of either a bacterial infection or cord accident (or possibly blood clot). I am having a lot of trouble deciding if I should have a c-section or vaginal birth, and was wondering how each of you decided. My living son's birth ended in emergency c-section, and with Sidney, I delivered him vaginally. My OB said that I can do either, but that she will only induce me if I am showing some dilation already, with the plan for either a c-section or induction somewhere around 37 or 38 weeks. Eli came at 37.5 weeks, and with Sidney, I was just under 37 weeks, so waiting until then will also be stressful for me so I am pretty sure if I am not at all dilated, I will go with a c-section. But if I am dilated, maybe I want to be induced? Pros? Cons? How did you decide? I am only just past 25 weeks now so I have a bit of time.
March 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDA
Dena I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my daughter in may as well and have been wanting to post just what you did as to what others choose. Which was easier. I'll be reading your post often to hear what others have to say. I'm not due till October so have lots of time to go. Hope you have a healthy uneventful pregnancy and you have a beautiful birth no matter how the birth happens. Just know it is your choice.
March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterStill0517
Ladies I'm sorry for both your losses.

I had a vaginal birth after Shelby's loss (in hindsight a C-section would have been much better!). Shelby's death was not caused by any birthing factors or placenta issues. So for me there was no reason to think a C-section was needed for my first rainbow.

I did however have a C-section for my second rainbow and out of all my births it is my favourite (by a mile). Best experience ever. So calm, so peaceful, so controlled and I recovered by the book with no complications.

My suggestion is absolutely go with your gut. I was told I could have either for my 2nd rainbow and I knew in my heart that C-section was right for me. I have never regretted it. Have confidence in your instincts and own your choice. All the best x
March 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
Dena, I struggle with the same questions...I am 30 weeks currently and will deliver my rainbow between 37-38 weeks. I lost my son at 38 weeks for no known cause. His heart just stopped. I delivered him last April vaginally and also had a vaginal birth for my living son in 2013. My current ob recommends induction but said she would support a c section if that is what I want. I truly have no idea.....I fear making the wrong decision. I would much rather be induced then have a c section but I fear something happening in labour. I am seeing a different OB in the same office next week (my regular one is away) and I am going to ask his opinion as I want a second medical opinion. It's so hard because everyone has such different experiences. Wishing you peace in your decision and a healthy pregnancy/baby.
March 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Thanks for all of your responses. Yes, Michelle, I too fear making the 'wrong' decision. Since we don't know why or exactly when Sidney died, it is hard for me to know if something related to labor caused his death. When I was pregnant with Sidney, it felt important to have a vaginal birth, but now, I just want whatever will increase my likelihood of having a healthy living baby. And of course, no one can tell me that.....Good luck to you too. Keep me updated.

March 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDA
Hi DA, pregnancy after loss is so stressful...I'm thinking of you. In my case, I think it was a little bit of luck, the decision was made for me. I lost my daughter to placental abruption at 28 weeks almost 3 years ago and because I also have a bicoronuate uterus, in my pregnancy with my son (who is now 15 months), I knew very early that it was very likely I'd have a csection. Then he decided to hang out transverse for the entire pregnancy so MFM and OB decided, c-section at 37 weeks (I think MFM would have liked 38 weeks but for me that was December 24th and there were no slots that day for scheduled ones so they did 37 weeks). In any case, my scheduled c-section, after the induction with my daughter, was a lovely birth. It was so relaxed and chill. Everyone was joking around, calmly going through their lists. My husband held my hand throughout and then went to help with everything once baby was out. The anasthesiologist held my other hand until they were done and the OB talked to me throughout. And then before I knew it, my son was on me and he stayed there for hours. And I got to try to nurse and everything. It makes me smile to think of it. I know you've already had a csection but I imagine emergency ones and scheduled ones are pretty different. Anyway, I've been sharing my lovely section with other loss moms and hoping it brings some comfort. Sending you some calm and peace and love.
March 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Oh and just to add to what Shelby's mum said about recovery--super easy for me too. I think the worst part for me was constipation after the procedure (TMI!) but, as I look at my disappearing scar from it, I have to agree with what OB said on examining it at my 6 week checkup: "damn I do good work!" (that made me laugh, which two days out would have hurt but didn't at 6 six weeks). But I agree with Shelby's mum, peaceful and controlled and as I said, chill. It was healing for me.
March 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Update from my post above - I asked the other ob I saw today and don't feel any closer to making a decision. Both obs I spoke to would go with a regular induction but will support a scheduled c section if that's what I want. It isn't what I want.....but I want my daughter here, I am so fearful I will choose induction and I will lose her, how am I supposed to live with that? They would like to schedule a section soon if that's what I want....I have no idea how I am supposed to decide....
April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle