Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tomorrow at high noon...

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.


Summer said...

Look sweets, I *am* the woman who can't. My spine is fused into my hip bone, and my pelvis is not capable of dilating. I never dilated a centimeter with Lola despite some epic labor. I talked with my doc about this in great length today as I do every time I go see him. "You are the woman that would have died in the old days." his partner told me once. I was pissed but I can't fight the reality, that even though I had nothing to do with it, no say in the matter, I was born with a partially open spinal column and an overgrowth of bone, not only causing me considerable daily pain, and is rumored to have me set for a wheelchair by the time I am forty, but also leaves me in capable to popping out kids the "proper" way.

You can say that well, I have these serious reasons, you don't know the cause of yours, well that doesn't matter. Maybe someday you will discover the reasoning, something in an xray you haven't seen before, as I had no clue about my spine until a year before I was pregnant with Lola and the docs stumbled on it and informed me I would not be able to carry children because of it. I won that battle by growing a nine pounder, but I lost the birth process fight, and will all but certainly lose it again.

I feel defective. The super pro-vag women make me feel like shit. Makes me feel like I am full of deformed excuses. Even hearing it is a less than 1% chance I could ever do it vaginally, I am stubborn and don't want to fail, be less than a woman, lose out on the incredible experience for *myself*.

But just as I did with Lola, and i will do with the Captain here, and as I recited to myself this afternoon... I block all that out. Even the voice in my head that screams for what I "WANT". I will do what is best because no matter how, vag or slice, I get the same awesome kid. It doesn't change their personality, their looks, their minds, their love. They will be the same precious child no matter how they get here. And you and I will be the same awesome Mommies.

All that said, you go ahead and cry. Scream and bitch and piss and moan and throw things and CRY. I will. Because it is unfair to have done everything right and be denied something that is all but our birthright. And don't ever let anyone or anything make you feel guilty for those emotions. Nor should you feel guilty about making a hard ass decision to do the best for your kid as you can do.

This is the first self-sacrificing decision you will make for this precious little girl, one of thousands in her lifetime. And be proud as all hell, ferociously so, that you were brave enough to do it.

And I can't wait to see pictures of the little scampers. You get some sleep and have an incredibly peaceful morning, because now that this uncertainty of "Will I" or "Won't I?" is behind you, you can focus on the fact that you are about to welcome one of the two most awesome little chickies in the entire universe into reality tomorrow.

Loves, and serious hugs my darling!

claire said...

you are an amazing mom. you have done a great job at carrying this wonderful baby girl for 10 months. not pushing her out does not make you less of a woman or less of a mom. you are the embodiment of motherhood because you are putting your daughters needs above your wants. **hugs** you will have a great csection everything will be safe and neat and you will have that little baby put on your chest and in that moment it wont matter how she got there. it will only matter that you are safe happy and together atlast. give her kisses for me when you meet her please.

Susie said...

Boo, I can't see the other comments ...
Anyway, I am SUPER proud of you for knowing when to go ahead with the c section. I did the same thing with breastfeeding, and when I realized I was doing it more for me than Faith, I gave up. And I cried for days about it. But she's perfectly fine now, just like your gorgeous little Keira is going to be :) just like you told me when I stopped breastfeeding - "Way to be a good Mom"