Double X Science: Childbirth and C-sections in pre-modern times

There is a timely post over on Double X Science today- Childbirth and C-sections in pre-modern times.  I found it particularly interesting for several reasons:

1.  Almost 6 weeks ago I had my second C-section.

2.  Yesterday I finished reading The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths a mystery novel about a female forensic bioarcheologist who studies bones.

So when I saw the Double X Science post, I was intrigued.

I’ve written before about my birth experiences (with Mabel, and with Nemo) and my desire to avoid a repeat C-section.  However,  with both of their births, the thought crossed my mind that without modern medicine childbirth very well may have killed me and my child, at the very least jeopardized one or both of us.  It’s a scary thought.

Mabel was born at 42 weeks and 1 day gestation.  It is known that going past 42 weeks of gestation can increase the risk of fetal death (source) and at 41 weeks and 5 days, I showed no signs of going into labor on my own.  I was induced and 36 hours later had been stuck at 7cm for hours and hours.  With my midwives, we made the decision to have a C-section.  Turns out, Mabel was acynclitic, meaning her head was crooked and tilted to the side preventing her from descending into the birth canal.  When she was born, she had the crooked cone head to prove it and the OB, upon seeing her, exclaimed, “This was never going to come out on her own!”

With Nemo, I was in labor for 24 hours, including 7 hours of active labor in the hospital, and was only 1 cm dilated.  He also didn’t descend and enter the birth canal.  After all of that time, and with me in excruciating pain at the site of my scar from the previous C-section which was very distinct from labor pains, the decision was made to proceed with a repeat C-section.  When my OB performed the surgery he said that, unlike most of his patients that need a C-section, Nemo hadn’t descended at all.

It would seem that I am a true case of cephalopelvic disproportion– meaning my pelvis just can’t fit the enormous heads of babies.

I’m grateful for the modern medicine that helped me safely deliver my two little ones.

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1 Comment

Filed under #scimom, Mabel, Nemo, pregnancy, Scientist

One response to “Double X Science: Childbirth and C-sections in pre-modern times

  1. Pingback: A day in the life of a Sci-Mom | mommacommaphd

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