NOTE: Daniel and Kelly speak to this question on Episode #14 of The Abel Speaks Podcast. You can listen on Apple, Spotify, or your app of choice.

How and when should we process the mode of delivery?

NOTE: Daniel and Kelly speak to this question on Episode #14 of The Abel Speaks Podcast. You can listen on Apple, Spotify, or your app of choice.

For today’s topic we’re talking about the modes of delivery. We say that there are four options:

  1. Letting the body go into labor naturally.
  2. Choosing to have an induction and setting an induction date.
  3. Choosing to have an induction, but being open to having a C-section if the baby’s health begins to decline during the induction process.
  4. Scheduling a C-section.

A good place to start is to know what the options are and to think through the pros and cons of every option for your specific situation. Parents land in different places and choose different routes that are right for their family. All we can do is share from our story and how we approached this decision in Abel’s journey. We really tried to hold the decision loosely and educate ourselves on what the options were for us along with the pros and cons of each option. Then we monitored Abel throughout the pregnancy and specifically as we got closer to his due date. We were monitoring how he was doing, what specific abnormalities or issues he was dealing with, and evaluated the best decision for him.

As we were processing all of those things and all of our options, it was around 36 weeks that we decided to schedule a C-section. Abel had a severe heart condition and we were concerned that he might not survive labor. Because of that, we felt it would be the best decision for him and for our family and it ended up being a great experience for us. We had a lot of peace with that decision around the 36 week mark. And for some families, they feel peace with their decisions a little earlier and some a little later. What we often say is to be prayerful about that decision, to seek wise counsel and to trust that the Lord will give you peace about those decisions at the right time.

If I’m a parent and I am reading this, I might be thinking, “At what point in the pregnancy do I really need to start processing?” Some people are planners and from the moment they get a diagnosis they’re thinking about all of this stuff. Other people may feel like it’s a lifetime away and want to wait until they get closer to delivery to decide the mode. We encourage families to start having conversations with one another around 28 weeks gestation. Discuss which ways each of you are leaning, how you are feeling based on how your child is doing, and how the abnormalities are presenting along with how you feel about the modes of delivery. Process that together and then choose to share that with your provider to make sure that you are all on the same page when it comes to delivery.

The reason we advise 28 weeks is because at that point the baby has a pretty good chance of survival outside of the womb. What we encourage parents to consider is how a decision would be made if you go into an appointment and you notice on a sonogram that your baby is not doing very well or their health has declined in utero. Would you choose to go home and wait, to go to the hospital immediately to be induced, or would you choose to have a C-section within the next 24 to 48 hours?

There are no right or wrong decisions and we have seen parents choose every route imaginable. But to have that on your radar and to have talked about that with your spouse, as well as with your provider, prior to a scenario like that popping up is something that we found to be very beneficial. For us, it ended up not being a need in our specific situation, but we’ve seen it be very beneficial for families to process that prior to finding themselves in that situation.

Similar recommendations apply from other blog posts we’ve done that you can go back and read. We did a post about processing medical interventions at large and how to tackle those decisions where we say clearly that we believe in an individualized, unbiased approach. There’s really no black/white, right/wrong in those decisions. There is another post that discusses how to handle if you’re not on the same page as your spouse — how to process decisions if you’re leaning in different directions and how to come to the middle. Check out those posts if you haven’t already.

This topic is obviously one that you can do a deep dive into and any one of those four buckets of delivery methods. For now we’ll keep it broad and know that at any given point, on any given topic, feel free to reach out to us at support@abelspeaks.org and we would love to serve you in any way that we can.