I laid on a bed in a small room, and after being monitored for an hour, the doctor (who is awesome) arrived and jumped right in. After a failed IV attempt, where it popped out of my hand vein, and a re-insertion into my arm, we were under way. She was reconfirmed breech for the 47th time, and the doctor talked his resident through the procedure. They flipped the bed, so I was once again upside down (which I have been ALL weekend in the pool, doing handstands in hopes I could help her flip). Then they made a fluid pocket by pressing with enough pressure to make a diamond, directly above my pelvic bone and he began.
At first, we went right, She's been getting herself transverse this entire weekend so I thought it might be a good option. They pushed, the midwife and the hubs rubbed my legs and feet to distract me, and I felt immense pain and pressure in my abdomen. I tried to breathe through it. Closed my eyes and envisioned being on a warm Hawaiian beach with my baby. They told me to relax, and I really thought I was but apparently I was tensing up all my muscles, including the leg ones. I tried to stop, but it wasn't me doing it, it was my body.
Right didn't work. We took a break, they put something in my IV to relax my muscles. I began to feel like a jello version of my former self, and we tried to go left. Left wasn't working. One more shot to the right, because 3rd time is always the charm. Except, it wasn't.
I tried to stay calm. I tried to stay quiet. I tried not to let the tears welling up in my eyes stream down my cheeks, but I failed on all accounts. The doctor simply said "I don't think this is going to work, and I don't think we should keep trying". Fair enough, he is the expert. He is the man who has been called "the breech guru", he is the person I'm putting all my faith and trust into right now. And to be honest, the feeling that my stomach cavity was going to snap off in my body, or that they were going to break my poor sweet child's neck was far too much to bare. I conceded. I gave in. I gave up.
Up I went, back into a flat position, so I could lay for an hour while they monitored contractions and fetal heart rate to make sure they didn't do anything to either of us. Luckily, we are both fine. Her more so than I am. We talked to the midwives, we talked to the nurses, I laid there and waited and then it was time to go. My lovely nurse came back in to let me go, and gave me a rose she'd been given for International Women's Day. She said I was strong and that any decision I made would be the right one. She told me to listen to the baby, and not to feel guilty.
Now I'm at home. Resting. Sitting here pouring over statistics about cord compression and baby brain damage in vaginal breech delivery, and feeling an insane amount of guilt about potentially choosing the c-section route. I am also insanely petrified of the c-section.
I could rationalize being told I didn't have the option for vaginal breech, I could feel ok saying I had a 'medically required C-section', but having to CHOOSE to go this route is killing me.
I don't even know for sure what my hang up is entirely. I don't know WHY I am so adverse to the C/S but I can't feel good about choosing it. And it's making this all too hard.
I feel like I'm not going to be able to bond with her if she comes up via an incision. I feel like I am not going to be able to take care of her or my family after it's over, because I am going to be recovering from 'major abdominal surgery' and that makes me so angry. I take care of everyone here - the husband, the dog, the house and to have to let HIM do everything for my new baby will just drive me insane. Even now, they told me to rest following the version, and as I sit here, him taking care of everything, I want to cry. It's not at all that he's incapable, or disinterested in helping. Quite the opposite. He is keen to take it on (though I'm not sure he gets how much work it'll be, since I don't). But that's my job. I take care of people, I take care of my family and I am certainly the one who should be taking care of my new baby. Me, that's my job. I am the mama and I am supposed to be strong and fix it all.....and if I've been cut open, I really can't.
I'm afraid to be cut open. I am afraid to be awake, while they not only cut me open but remove a human from my body. I am afraid that my body will never be the same. I am a million times more afraid of a C-section than any form of vaginal birth.
But at the same time, there are some parts of this I cannot deny. There are risks of cord prolapse, which could result in my child suffering short-term brain damage, or worse, something permanent like cerebral palsy. And yes, the risks are low, but you know what? So were the chances she'd be breech at this stage, let alone TURN breech at 36 weeks. Odds are not in our favour apparently, and when your child's mental ability and quality of life is at stake, screwing around with probability is not acceptable.
I also need to think about my husband. He's willing and able to support me 100% in what I want to do. However, that's not to say he doesn't have a preference or fear. I know that for him, the pain and stress of watching me go through today was a lot. And that was a short couple of hours, and a relatively innocuous procedure. For him to participate in the birth of his child, when things are so uncertain and he's so nervous will eliminate any joy or gleeful anticipation. What was going to be a journey we took together to bring our daughter into the world, will now be fraught with fear, anxiety and probably terror.
At the end of the day, the birth I wanted, the birth we wanted, is no longer on the table. Of course no matter what, we always faced the chance that our plan would go sideways and things wouldn't end up the way we hoped in terms of our delivery. The difference there is the blissful ignorance going into the labour, which would have allowed us to believe it was possible. We know now that it's not. We cannot labour in the comfort of our home, with the support of the doula, until we're ready to go to the hospital. We cannot use the birth pool to tame the discomfort of the contractions, and I can not opt for minimal internal checks and limited or no monitoring. No, a vaginal breech delivery means heading to the hospital much earlier, and turning the birth into the medical intervention I was so heart set on avoiding. And if I'm going to do that, then perhaps I should just go all the way over to the other side, and consider this a procedure. A means to an end. And then, just maybe I won't feel so traumatized over the thought of what I'm losing, and finally be able to focus on the important part, what I'm gaining - a daughter.
I'm sitting on the fence, not knowing what to do, dying to simply fall off and have the decision made for me. But it's not going to happen. It's time I put on my big girl panties and did what is right, for me and for my family. At the end of the day, the only thing that's important here is the 3 of us. Everyone else's opinions and theory's about what we do to bring her into the world are irrelevant. We need to make a choice, we need to feel good about it, and we need to be prepared to face the consequences, good or bad.
I think when I settle on a decision, I am going to be in a much better head space. I don't tend to do well with uncertainty, and this is not the time to be so confused. The right choice is coming, I just need a little more time to process this all.