Edit: PLEASE read how I actually gave birth here: http://talesoftheclementsfamily.blogspot.com/2009/12/birth-summary.html I listened to my body and had a homebirth instead!!
Since I was 14, it’s been a planned c-section being what I’d have to have. I don’t have a large intestine anymore, thanks to an extremely severe case, as in it couldn’t have been worse, of ulcerative colitis (yes, it’s the Wiki, but the articles on this topic are very good), and my small intestine has a j-pouch held together by stables. The pushing COULD cause rupturing or other damage. My IDEAL birth would be a water birth at home. That’s not happening.
However some more recent studies are showing that having a j-pouch and a vaginal delivery might not carry as high of risks as previously thought. Some specialists still prefer a c-section to protect the j-pouch. There is certainly a bit of increased risk for a vaginal delivery over a c-section.
I can’t decide just now whether I’d attempt a vaginal. I would contact my original surgeon, the absolutely amazing Dr. Karen Deveney. That woman is concentrated brilliance and kindness, and when she’d check on me each and every day after surgery, she’d come into my room and sit down and it felt more like a visit, like she was concerned about my mental well-being with what I was going through rather than just was I going to live. A doctor’s bedside manner is incredibly important, and I can’t rave enough about hers and how caring and concerned she was, and she never showed any frustration with me when I was scared or would cry. Just thinking about how wonderful she is brings tears to my eyes. A year or so after she finished treating me, my dad went to her with a problem with extreme pain every now and then that he’d had for over a decade and no other doctor could figure out. One ex-ray was all she needed to spot the problem, and she got my dad in for surgery right away and he was fine until he died (not from anything intestinal.
I know I went off on a tangent with this, but truly, Dr. Deveney is just incredibly amazing, and if anyone ever has to go through this, believe me, she is worth traveling for. Go to Portland, Oregon, and see her. Move if you have to. I swear, SHE IS WORTH IT.
Back on topic.
I would need more information on how it can affect short-term and long-term pouch-function, the input of my doctors here (excellent doctors at Stanford), as well as information from Dr. Deveney.
I hope a vaginal delivery will end up safe for me, but if I have to have a c-section, I will. Hell if I know why ANYONE would have an ELECTIVE c-section. Sure, the pain of delivery is less, but it’s several weeks of painful recovery afterward.
This is really something I won’t be able to decide just now, but you can bet I’m thinking about it and agonizing about it.