I give up.
I'm 41 weeks, 1 day pregnant. So eight days “overdue.” (I put that in quotes because everyone knows your due date is a guess unless you had IVF or something.) And nothing is happening. I'm not dilating. I'm not effacing. The baby isn't at the right station. None of this has changed for at least 3 weeks by anything but the most minimal of progressions.
My OB has been amazing. She knows how much I wanted to have a VBAC, and she's been amazingly supportive. She's done every non-chemical induction technique she can think of (save breaking my water, because she literally can't, due to the aforementioned non-progression.) She's been supportive of the non-chemical things I've done to try to help things along. She's let me continue past my due date, although most of the group that she practices with has a pretty stern policy of “as a VBAC, you go into labor by your due date or you schedule another c-section.”
But nothing's working. And I'm beginning to feel like I'm putting principles over everything else.
It was fine for awhile. But I found myself today, with a less than wonderful non-stress test, and higher than normal blood pressure, and everything still not looking favorable for labor, and I really can't deny anymore that this just ain't doing it.
If you know me, you know I'm pretty pro-intervention free labors. I didn't even want an epidural, much less another c-section. I started this pregnancy in optimal health, and although I gained more weight than I wanted to, I stayed pretty active and ate pretty healthy foods for the most part. I did a lot of things right. But something is just wrong.
My OB said today that every time she does something – a c-section, an induction, any intervention – she thinks, “Is this a necessary thing for the baby, or am I doing it for some other reason?” If it's necessary, then she goes ahead. Otherwise, she looks at other options or holds off. Well, for weeks now, I've been looking at other options, so to speak. I've been doing all in my power to make this happen. But I've been doing it for me. I've been doing it because *I* didn't want a c-section, because *I* was scared, because *I* felt like less of a woman, because *I* didn't want to give up.
I remember, at the start of this pregnancy, bargaining with my body after reading the risks vs. rewards of VBAC. I remember thinking, “Ok, body. I'm gonna trust you. I'm gonna let you do your thing. Because I believe that you'll inherently know if something isn't right, and you won't go into labor..”
Well, labor hasn't happened. And it's time for me to go, “Maybe this isn't meant to be, and since it's possible that I could be endangering my kid by keeping this up, it's time to throw in the towel.”
And so I scheduled my c-section today. For tomorrow, at noon. And I cried. I cried in the OB office, I cried in my car, and I'm crying now. I've always been an amazingly determined person, and I honestly have a hard time believing or admitting that I can't do anything. It's served me pretty well so far, too. Usually, what I set my mind to hard enough, I get. This is one of those rare times that I'm not going to. And it hurts my pride.
It's not like that's the total reason I'm upset, of course. I also feel defective, like a failure. How can I not birth a child normally? Really? That's what my body's design is for, but I can't manage it? And I'm terrified of the surgery itself. If you remember, in a previous blog, I talked about it being a pretty traumatic experience. And I almost felt like this successful delivery would cause some of those wounds to heal. And I'm still scared of things like “getting a blood clot” or “dying on the table” or a multitude of other things.
But I'd be scared if I had a vaginal delivery, too. I need to try to remember that, I guess.
Anyways. Tomorrow I will be a mother for the second time. And it won't be the way I had hoped or intended or wanted. But that's life, I suppose. And it's just dumb to let my upset about the way I'm delivering my daughter cloud the momentous and wonderful occasion of her birth.