the big stops here
For all my friends who read my blog, just wanted to post a shot of me in my final days of being preggers (as the Brits say). While babies are said to come “when they want,” mine is coming according to the best laid plans of a team of doctors at St Joesph’s Regional Hospital. I go in on September 19th for a c-section. Baby is breech; her (his??) head has been lovingly smooshed against the top of my uterus now for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, my doctor assured me that this was the bottom, so I didn’t worry until a week ago, when she realized that the baby was indeed head-up, not head-down. By this time, the baby is pretty much too big to do a flip downwards, even though I’ve tried things. I saw a chiropractor who did the Webster Technique, which involves trying to loosen up the ligaments around the uterus and align the pelvis bones so that baby has more room to stretch its arms and move. I propped an ironing board onto the sofa, laid down with my feet elevated, and then put an ice pack on the babies head and a light directly on the bottom of my abdomen (no, I did not make this one up myself). I also went swimming. Baby still didn’t move. A few times the little champion has tried to scramble around; I could feel it. It just never made it! My motherly instincts tell me that this baby is budged tightly.
I’ve gotten some pressure (from a source that will remain un-named, but NOT my doula, as one might expect) to fight the medical establishment and have the c-section postponed to give the baby more time to move. I considered it, and even though it would look good on paper, I just don’t feel right about it. In these final days, I’d rather be preparing for the life of my child rather than launching a crusade for vaginal birth. Yes, that’s the birth I wanted, but life comes at you unpredictably, and I’ve made the decision to let the chips fall where they’ve now fallen. It’s paradoxically out of my control, and yet very much my choice. I don’t feel like I’ve been had by the doctors, or pulled along in ignorance, like many women (I’m realizing) feel coming out of their childbirth experience. I was somewhat ignorant going into my prenatal care, and if I’d been more educated at an earlier stage in the pregnancy, the baby might not have been breech by week thirty-eight. But I’ve learned a lot now, and I won’t hold it against myself, or look back and obsess over how things could have gone differently.
I could write so much more about the past week– finding all of this out and working through the surprise of a c-section ending to such an uneventful, “normal” pregnancy. Who knew that women seem to have a primal, biological desire to give bith naturally? I did not know this about myself until it was suddenly taken away from me. Then, I cried.
Now I’m just prepared to do this and have the baby out. My doula has been a life saving investment; she’s already met with us three times, joined me for three doctor’s appointments and a day at the hospital, and kindly read and promptly responded to a plethora of wordy e-mails authored by my disturbed brain. I think I’m going to paint an icon of her. She has had four c-sections herself and has made all of this a lot less scary for both Jeff and me. Like I said, there’s a lot more detail I could go into, but for now, I’m tired, and have a baby on the way. I’ll have to write more some other day.