Monday, August 8, 2011

Less Than Perfect (an epic, long post)

Today's appointment was disappointing. I'm still stuck at 1 cm dilated (that's 3 weeks in a row in case you were wondering), and only progressed to 70% effaced. It's not looking good for my much hoped for VBAC.

My Dr. said that he has seen things change very quickly, yet the pessimist in me has already convinced me that this isn't going to work. At this point, if I don't dilate at least to a 3 on my own, the VBAC is doomed. He told me today that he simply didn't see the point in trying if I can't get that far on my own. If I don't get to a 3 by 41 weeks, c-section it is.

Here's the other part that sucks.

My due date is 9 days away, with my 30th birthday only 5 days behind that. Remember my original goal? I was going to be done having kids by my 30th birthday. (Granted, when I made this plan, I was naive enough to think that plans actually came to fruition and that I'd have my 4 babies by then! The nerve!!) Now, I know that the original plan went out the window, oh say... 8 years ago... but this was just one thing that I was looking forward to. "At least I'll have 2" I thought. Well, it's not looking so promising. I know it's silly, but it bugs me.

Another part that sucks? LJ goes back to school on my birthday, too. If I go to 41 weeks, it will be the middle of the first week of school. I had this vision of us being able to just spend some time at home - just the 4 of us - getting to know each other, and bonding as a family before LJ got thrown into her school routine. I know it will be difficult enough to adjust to having a baby in the house, but that and school at the exact same time? It may be a bit rough on her.

I know I'm totally missing the big picture. Either way, when this is over I will (hopefully) have a real-live baby coming home. That's the whole point, right? The method of delivery really doesn't matter. And yet, it does to me. A lot.

I need this. I need my body to prove to me that I was meant to have children, that I can at least give birth ON MY OWN and that my body isn't completely faulty. I know to some that sounds so crazy, but it is truly how I feel. Personally, it is a huge deal to me. I need to do this. I actually need it. I think it's the final piece of the puzzle that I lost, something to help me feel whole again.

Besides, with LJ, I missed out on SO MUCH! Granted it only takes a few minutes to get the baby out during a c-section, but what they don't tell you is that it takes around 40 minutes to sew you back up, and the operating room is kept cooler than a normal delivery room to prevent the growth of bacteria. This isn't the optimal place for a newborn, so frequently (as in my case with LJ's birth) the baby is quickly whisked away to be checked out and given their apgar scores. The hard part is that you don't go with them. I heard my daughter's first cries coming from another room. I found out what she weighed by her crib card. I missed her first bath. I had no idea what her apgar scores were until I got my medical records when I found out I was pregnant this time. My mom and my MIL saw her sweet face before I did. (The topic of a whole other post.) When I finally was moved back to my room after surgery and they brought her to me, I was so numb that I didn't feel strong enough to even hold her. They placed her in my arms, but I was so weak that I felt like I was going to drop her. I passed her to DH just to be safe, assuming I'd get to hold her when the epidural wore off. Well, by that time I was being moved to my post-partum room. Once we got settled, I sent DH to get LJ. He returned without her, explaining that they wouldn't let him have her and that a nurse would be in to talk to us soon. When she came in, she told us that LJ had "transient tachypnea." Basically, due to the c-section, the fluid wasn't properly squeezed out of her lungs, and she couldn't breathe.

This was followed by 4 days in the NICU (I know it could be worse), without being able to hold my baby. She was allowed to grip my finger, but I couldn't even stroke her fingers because her respiration rate would increase too much. Oh, and did I mention that the nurse was a troll? She was. Bad teeth and all. It was a truly horrible experience. (At one point she yelled at me until I was in tears because I changed LJ's diaper.)

Do you see why this VBAC is such a big deal to me? It's not the pain. It's not the recovery time. It's not even the increased cost. IT'S THE EXPERIENCE! For me, my c-section was like being absent for my child's birth. Can you tell I have issues?

I want this more than I can ever express. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to help my body along. I am stuck in limbo. I don't know how to process this. I mean, I knew a c-section has always been a possibility, but I thought my chances were much higher of a vaginal birth so I didn't really let myself worry too much about the surgery. If it came down to a c-section after laboring for an amount of time I was comfortable with - then so be it. But now, it feels much further out of reach.

Hopefully I will be one of those women whose cervix change quickly, and we'll all be pleasantly and unusually happy to know that I will get to endure (what I'm told is) the horrifying pain that is natural child birth. (meaning vaginally, still haven't decided on meds)

Please, let that be me!


Unknown said...

keeping fingers crossed for you sweetie

shel xx

One Day said...

I'm hoping for you. Have you talked to your doctor about the c-section experience and how they could possibly change that part if it comes down to it? I'm hoping that it doesn't, but maybe if you talked to doc about ensuring the baby isn't taken out of the room (they've told me the babies will stay in the operating room until I'm wheeled out to recovery with them unless there is an emergency immediately...). I know that there's no guarantees, but maybe just talking about that might help you feel a little better in case it comes down to it.

I'm thinking about you!!!!

Annie said...

Sorry to hear the horrible details of what you went through with LJ. Even though we're both insanely lucky just to be pregnant and make it to term, having a good birth experience this time would mean SO much. So, I hope you're having horrible labor pains right now! If so, I am jealous of you, because nothing is happening here!