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It's like this, and like that....

I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!

This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...

She didn't flip over, so I'm flipping out...

Monday, March 8, 2010
So the version was horrible, painful and didn't work. They laid me out on a bed, after having me to the hospital 1.5 hours earlier than I needed. The nurse was fantastic, and I was really happy with my care. Too bad that didn't eliminate the pain of the procedure. I knew it wasn't going to be good, and to be honest, it was no worse than I thought. But at the end of the day, it was awful.

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. 

18 comments to She didn't flip over, so I'm flipping out...:

The818 said...

Whichever choice you make will be the right one. And one way or another, you are going to be holding that sweet little baby in your arms so soon. Keep your eye on the prize, Mama. Thinking of you...

Momma Vicious said...

Found you on 'The Wifey Blogs'. With my daughter, I went through the exact same situation you are going through. My baby girl was breech and there was -no- fixing it. I'm not trying to sway your decision in anyway, because it took me a long time to accept the fact that a c-section was what was safest for myself and for my daughter. However, I will let you know that not all c-section recoveries are as horrible as people say. I was up and walking the next day and taking care of my family the immediate day after. I'm not going to say it was a walk in the park, because there was some general discomfort, but I was not confined to a bed from pain.

I'll admit, I am a little envious that my husband was the first to hold our daughter, but I still had time to bond with her, and she is my angel.

I hope the best for you in these pressing weeks and I know that you'll make the best choice for you and your baby girl, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Always trust your heart and listen to what that baby girl is telling you.

Good luck, Mama.

jss said...

There's this girl Sydney who has a blog that I read on tumblr. She gave birth to her daughter Vera about 6 months ago and wound up needing a c-section. She wrote about the procedure on her baby blog (she also has a regular blog that is fabulous) and reading it might help ease your mind a little bit. http://hebertbabies.tumblr.com/post/314932020/veras-birth-story-finally

I also encourage you to email her to talk about it a little bit. That's what I've done (she even sent me a picture of her scar so I'd know what to expect) and she made me feel about 1,000 times better about the possibility of needing a c-section.

You've spent a long time researching natural birth and learning not to be scared of labor, maybe now it's time to do the same with a c-section delivery.

Anonymous said...

I completely understand your fear of a c-section and the dramatic change in your birth plan. I had planned to have a natural drug-free birth and ended up in so much pain from being induced that I had to have an epidural. The contractions left me breathless, nauseous, and that was when they were 5 minutes apart! I just had my baby girl last week and thought I would feel remorse for "caving" to the pain but you know what? I have a precious little one now and THAT outweighs any disappointment over the birth experience not going as I had pictured. Head over to my blog if you want to read my story. Hang in there, girl! You can do this and the end result is that she will be here!

Kt said...

Ohhh my heart goes out to you right now as you're making this tough decision. I know I would be devastated if I had to change my birth plan. But at the same time, the birth plan is just one route that was chosen based on being low-risk all along. Now that things have changed, I think it's understandable that your birth plan is changing because it's probably what's best for you and baby. I know it's so hard to let go of a vision - but you might have to alter that vision. My mother-in-law had her first through c-section and 2nd through vaginal birth. She said at the end of the day, they both came out and are her sons and happy and healthy. That helps me in knowing that if something changes, we're still getting to the end result, a beautiful baby in our arms.

Hang in there and listen to your mothering instinct!

i Care Village said...

So sorry you are going through so much. Keep that vision of your sweet little girl in your arms while you and your hubby sit on the beach in Hawaii...watch the waves and breathe.

Linda said...

Oh sweetie I could write you book about this. I was a Child Birth educator and had 4 babies in 4 great vaginal deliveries when I found out my 5th was breech. No! Not me! I am natural birthing queen! I saw a chiroprator, an accupucturist, and did every kind of exercise there was. When I found out that no one within a million miles would deliver a breech, and after they tried an external version (yes a new sensation in uncomfortable) I opted for the c-section. With my hubby by my side it was still beautiful and awesome. The cord was around his neck. He could not have been delivered vaginally.

Everything will be fine. Once that baby is in your arms, how she came out will not matter. And you still won't need to do Kegels for awhile! Keep us informed. Glad I found you.

Blair said...

Eyes on the prize, sweet girl. You will do the right things. & I am STILL keeping prayers that she'll turn.

I remember reading that labor can turn them - I'll have Harrison give your girl a stern talking-to about late flipping.

Amber Page Writes said...

What you're feeling is normal - I felt the exact same way when forced to make the choice of whether or not to have a c-section (she was transverse).

Just so you know, if you do decide to have a C-section, it isn't as bad as you're thinking it is. They put something in your IV, so you're not freaked out at all by being cut open.

And the recovery? Honestly, I didn't think it was that bad. After the first few days, I was up and down the stairs, taking walks around the block and getting around pretty normally.

You'll be exhausted, of course, but that's to be expected. And I don't know if it's the hormones or what, but you just do what you have to do. It doesn't matter how much your body hurts, or how tired you are, you'll be taking care of that baby.

I wrote about the whole thing on my blog a while back...I'll include the links in case you want to read 'em.



Rebekah said...

Just found your blog after hearing references from Blair and LawMomma on Twitter. Love your style. I'm another one who had a c-section (though mine was decided after 2 hours of trying to push out my big, posterior, son) and did not have a bad recovery at all. The first couple of days really do hurt and moving is hard but that faded much faster than I thought it would. (Also? You still bleed for month after a c/s which just seems unfair). The most important thing is a safe birth and a healthy mommy and baby going home. Keep your eyes on that prize and you will have the best birth ever. A c-section isn't a joke but it's also not the end of the world, especially if it helps your baby come into the world safely.

Good luck making this choice!

Crystal said...

I haven't read your other posts, but have you considered the Webster Technique? You might have tried it, but it turned my baby. I'm about 35 weeks and she just turned head down. Also, www.spinningbabies.com gives some ideas, and there are some acupuncture techniques, but you might have tried all of this. Good luck with your decision, I had already decided to have a c-section if she didn't turn.

Kassie said...

I had a c-section, and I don't think the recovery was that much different than a bad vaginal birth (not that I personally know what that is like, but from what my friends have said about their recovery).

I think the very worse situation would be to be in labor in hours and then decide you need a c-section.

Anonymous said...

Everything will be okay. You can still have a vaginal birth but it is completely up to you.

Anonymous said...

I am sure you will make the right decision. The uncertainty is difficult and accepting the fact that you have no control over your baby moving around is also tough, but you have to let go of all your fears and just do whats best for you and your baby. The house can collapse from the mess and your husband might have to take care of things for a while, but those things are nothing compared to delivering a healthy and happy baby no matter how. If it makes you feel better, I had a natural birth and had a TERRIBLE recovery. I had an episiotomy and could not sit properly for days. It was really really tough taking care of my son because I felt like sh*t. My boyfriend had to take care of everything. Absolutely everything. And you know what? I think it was the best way for him to learn how to be a dad. He was taking care of both of us and by the time I recovered, he was on the ball and was taking care of everything around the house. He has remained pretty invovled to this day, and I don't think it would be like this if he hadn't been forced (by the circumstances) to get his act together and become a super dad (not that he wouldn't have otherwise, but he would have probably been less invovled in the cleaning aspect of parentghood).
Try to enjoy your last days of being pregnant. I miss being pregnant so much, and maybe you will too, so try to enjoy every second of it!
P.S. I am twitter-stupid and only read your reply about the shoes about a week ago. Thanks so much for replying and I am so sorry I never said thanks until now! I hope you don't think I was being rude. I am just trying to figure twitter out. Apparently it's rocket science for some people ;)

Anonymous said...

Good luck, hun! Im sure you'll make the best decision for you and your baby <3 xx

Anonymous said...

When did you find out your baby was breech? Has she been in this position for a while? Just curious and good luck making your decision!

Theresa said...

Deep breath! I had a c-section 3 years ago. I actually knew I had to have one for month before the birth. I honestly wasn't that bad. I was up and walk (and shopping at the mall) 3 days later.

Cindy said...

Awww, so sorry your birth plan is out the window. That's disappointing. If it makes you feel better my birth plan went to crap too. At least if you choose a c-section you won't be peeing your pants every time you sneeze. Am excited to see pics of your sweet little baby and am sure you are excited to meet her too.

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