Monday, January 24, 2011

Spending time on the mood swing

Whew. We had our 39-week appointment today and I am having so many feelings on the back end of it. First, we saw a great doctor in the practice who is both seasoned and very frank. I was so happy to be seeing her at this juncture. I looked her in the eye and asked her what she thought about VBACs and whether it was a good idea for me. She said she would examine me first and then answer that question. She did what felt like a very thorough examination to me, and then gave it to me straight. She put my odds at a VBAC success at 50%. I was hoping for more like 60 or 70% (or higher), but she explained that there is some narrowing of my pelvis that may spell difficulty for vaginal birth. In almost every other corporeal circumstance, I think being described as narrow would thrill me, but in childbirth, it seems like being narrow is not exactly the first ingredient of success. She assured me that the doctors in the practice would not let me do anything stupid; they are in charge at all times. I was a little afraid that I was pushing a procedure that isn't a good idea, but doctors don't let patients run the show. And for that I am grateful. I hear lots of stories about women refusing to have a C-section or demanding the change to push for "one more hour," but that's not me. I don't want to call the shots until I graduate from medical school and know what I am talking about. Which is to say, NEVER. I am happy to surrender to doctors.

So, here at 38 weeks and 6 days, I am 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. It's not bad and yet I feel disappointed at the prospect of a C-section. What runs through my head is that I will have so much on my plate: a deliciously lively toddler and a newborn, but I will still have to spend so much energy recovery from Major Abdominal Surgery. As working mom, my time to be at home and focus on my kids is limited; at this point, limited to 16 weeks. I want to spend that time nursing and playing and catching fleeting moments of sleep and watching spring unfold. With a C-section, I have to contend with drugs and scars and tenderness of the abdomen for weeks. I really need to accept that it's a possibility and that having surgery for the health of the baby and me is the greatest reason ever. I have this somewhat irrational idea that having more surgery will shorten my life overall. I read it on some checklist (probably from Dr. Oz) once while in a dentist's waiting room. Good lord, if they are going to cut these children out of me, then I want to live a LONG LONG time to enjoy them (and maybe remind them of what I went through to give them life).

I am glad that for as violent and scary as a C-section is, that it is an option. If I really do have a narrow pelvis then it's a good thing there are other options.

I will note that the nurse mentioned that I was "doing great" with my weight; she said something about me barely gaining a pound here and there. Let's get real: That's cause for a happy dance. I certainly feel great and haven't deprived myself of anything (though yesterday I didn't eat any carmel corn from Garrett's because it's too damn addictive) so it's great to hear some confirmation that surrender is a very nice path to follow.

And, I've got some options on being proactive about labor, including accupuncture and staying active. You know what, I just don't want to. I want to spend time with my family and friends and relax and not run all over the city chasing dilation. I can't imagine that would help me relax. I reserve the right to change my mind on this, but for now, I am holding off on accupuncture treatments. I did see what another suggestion was to have a big old cry: rent a tearjerker and just get some release going.

Please. I don't need to rent a tearjerker. I can cry at the drop of a hat. Last night, Jeff and I were finishing up a Scrabble game and I got very emotional thinking about my relationship with Sadie and how much I love her. I started wondering if she'll ever have any idea how much I love her. Jeff says she'll never know or understand until she's a parent. That may be true. When I think of pain coming to her for any reason at all, I practically come undone with sorrow. The other day she fell out of a chair trying to get at the computer, and I can still see her falling in my mind's eye. She wasn't terribly hurt; she was mostly scared and upset about gravity. When she scrunches up her face and those tears start to fall it takes my breath away and squeezes my heart.

Man, this is going to be a very eventful 2 weeks.

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