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Oh my Sarah - this was all too familiar for me; Isaac too had shoulder dystocia. (Crazy, eh?) It was awful, and painful (did you have back labour with Gray? Oh my - I thought I would die from the pain in my back) and LONG, but I didn't know how bad it really was til the very end. I pushed for four hours, mostly by myself (my husband was there) because the nurses and residents all just sat back on stools - arms crossed while I did all the work because they were afraid the baby would come before the OB arrived. (He was next door doing a c-section.) It was like taking a step back in time. It was barbaric. At one point I told the nurse to f-off because she was telling me to breathe through my contractions to push. (Seriously, right?) Oh man - I was pissed. And I don't get angry either.
Long story short; Isaac finally came out (body born 4 1/2 minutes after his head.) We were so lucky thought - he was breathing. I had no idea how lucky we were until the doctor told me (probably an hour later) that most babies born like this are "born flat." We were really fortunate - but I think Isaac's birth is one of the reasons I've stayed away from having more. (Just one reason...there are others.)

I'm so sorry you had to go through that with Gray. I can't imagine; after all that work - and to not hear him crying. Terrifying.

You weren't induced...were you? I was (because of the rare condition) and me (my midwife, doula and of course Fred and I) believe it was the induction that caused his positioning to shift. He had been perfectly positioned. But because of the hospital "forcing" him out, we think he resisted and this is how he got into the shoulder dystocia positioning. I remember after his head was out...and his body wasn't moving - the OB yelled for NICU and I was so out of my body by this point (the only way I could handle my utter exhaustion and all the pain) that I sensed something was up...but couldn't respond to it. Probably a good thing. Oh - there is more, but I'll "save" it for another time.

I've never heard of shoulder dystocia being something that can be common in subsequent births. I'm praying for ya! I'm with you on c-sections. I feel they are the last possible option - but if you and your baby could be better off...than maybe it's worth it. On the other hand, a c-section is surgery and that has it's own set of problems.
Oh Sarah, I wish there was an easy answer. I can't imagine having to go through Isaac's birth again...but I also can't imagine a c-section.

I guess it's time to ask the universe for guidance (if that's your thing.) Be open to whatever may be and as long as you've made peace with your decision...as long as you TRUST your doctor and your husband is on board - then go with the flow. I'm sure it'll all be fine. (But I imagine you don't feel like that at this moment.)

Again - anything I can do...I'm happy to lend an ear. I know (as best I can) what you might be up against if you don't do the c-section.

Sending lots of love,


Debbie its amazing how the universe works. It sounds like you had a real struggle with Issac's labor. I wasn't induced nor did I experience back labor. How awful. I fear inductions almost as much as c-sections. But you can see where I'm coming from. Its a hard choice. I'm trying to give it some time, see what the doctor says (she's wonderful and has not been pushing us towards surgery) and what I feel my body decides. Having had a labor with shoulder dystocia puts you in the high risk category. It does seem to reoccur-they don't know why. But all could go smoothly. Its gamble either way. Thanks so much for sharing your story, your support and warm wishes.-Sarah

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