Making peace with my c-section

My baby turned six months old on November 6th. He is a beautiful, healthy baby.  He has two teeth, and can sit up by himself, roll over,  and crawl. He eats solid foods (we are doing baby-led solids), and smiles and laughs. He’s perfect. He was perfect from the moment he was conceived. But, it took me until his six month birthday, to come to terms with the circumstances surrounding his birth.

I believe that my c-section was medically un-necessary. I know that because I allowed my mid-wife to break my water, that I was then on the hospitals time clock in terms of delivery. I don’t think she would have suggested a c-section at the end of those 12 hours, if I had been further along, but I don’t believe I should have been induced when I was. There was no medical reason for it, other than my belly measuring large. But, that is neither here nor there. It just gives me an idea of how much stronger I need to be in my next pregnancy, (if we decided to have a second) if I go post-dates again.

But, because of how things worked out….I was able to say goodbye to my dad. When my dad had his stroke three days before Anderson was born, I didn’t really think about what might happen if he died. It wasn’t intentional, but i’m sure it was sub-concious self preservation. My dad slipped into a coma in the early hours of Sunday (like 2am) I was induced at 5am on Sunday. My mom and brother decided not to tell me that my dad wasn’t going to make it, as I was laboring with Anderson. I will forever feel greatful, that they made that decision, and that it wasn’t me in their shoes. When I ended up with a c-section, it was 3 hours before my dad died. What if I hadn’t? What if I had been progessed to a 9, and still had 3 hours ahead of me? What would my mom and brother have done then?

As it was, Anderson was born, and my brother was able to hold the phone up to my dad’s ear, and I was able to say good bye. Holding my hours old baby is what saved me through this experience. Having a c-section, when I did, is what allowed me to do that. Call it God, or fate, or conicidence, whatever you believe, but as for me, I’m thankful.

My c-section was not medically necessary, but I believe, it was emotionally and spirtually.

Pregnancy Update: 40 Weeks

My nephew Ben, born by emergency c-section, 4 weeks early

Today is my due date, according to my LMP. According to my charting, I think that Friday or Saturday should be my due date, but when we are only talking a matter of days, I suppose that is neither here nor there.

Yesterday was my 40 week appointment, and I have to admit, I was once again hopefull that my body had progressed. I’d has an increased amount of contracts in the last week, including low back pain. I thought for sure that I would be 2cm’s dilated. At my appointment, everything looked good, baby’s heart rate was good, and my belly measured 42 weeks. UGH. 42?!?! I swear, this baby better not weight 11 pounds.

And then it was time for my internal check. I don’t find these as painful as some people have described them to be, mostly just uncomfortable, still better than going to the dentist in my opinion. And the midwife announced…..1 centimeter. Still. Damn.

She asked me what I wanted to do. I told her that I wanted to wait on induction as long as she would let me. She said, that based on my belly measurement, she is sure that the baby is large. Duh. She suggested that if nothing happened (ie going into labor naturally) we induce this weekend. And I was crushed. Tears welled in my eyes, as I asked question, but I was able to keep them in, at least until she left the room.

The plan is to check in to the hospital on Saturday night at 5pm, insert cervadil, and then in the morning start pitocin.

Here is the thing, I’m sort of a situational hypochondriac. Have I written about that before? Even though we only made the plan for induction, in my mind, I was already in the Operating Room getting a C-section due to failure to progress. Even though we still had 4 days for me to go into labor naturally, all I could think about was, what was in my opionion, the worst case scenario.

After the midwife left the room, my husband hugged me and I burst into tears. Damn. I hate crying in public. I pulled it together, and went to the check out window and made an appointment for this Friday for a non stress test, and one final cervical check. I also made my 6 week post-partum appoint, which sort of tripped me out. 🙂

Ever since everyone around me started having babies, and I started reading pregnancy and birth blogs, I knew that my ultimate hope was for a natural, non-medicated birth. Yesterday, I felt like I had already failed, like my body had failed, and what I so firmly believe it was made to do. I let my self have a pity party, and call and cry to my mommy, and then I started talking some sense into my self.

A) there was (is!) still time for me to go into labor naturally.

B) even if I don’t go into active labor, my cervix could dilate and efface more, and by Sunday, an induction might be easier.

C) having an induction, doesn’t necessarily mean my hopes for a natural birth are off the table. It might be harder, and I might chose to have an epidural, but the option has not totally dissappeared.

D) having a c-section is not the end of the world. People survive them all the time, babies survive them all the time.

E) and at the end of the day, and most importantly, the only thing that matters is that the baby (and I) come through this alive and healthy.

There are only three “givens” in pregnancy: an egg was fertilized, you are pregnant for 37-42 weeks, and then there is a baby. Everything else is a guessing game, and while births usually follow a typical pattern, there is no way of knowing how YOURS will go.

So, today, I am working on letting go. What ever will be, will be. I am not trying too many crazy “natural” induction techniques, just bouncing/ hip swivels on an exercise ball. Not having the birth I dreamed of, does not make me a failure, nor negate how easy and healthy my pregnancy has been.