Heads up

For those of you not in the know, we were told last week that Baby H (a.k.a., Kid Vicious–’cause he seems to like to stick it to the man) is still head up and that, because he’s kind of a big baby running out of room, it’s unlikely that he’ll turn in the weeks leading up to my due date.  He’s also not totally breech, but rather of the “head at 2 o’clock and the rump at 8 o’clock” kind of position, which is most perplexing to me.  I have a big bulge most of the time at the bottom of my right rib cage and I get a big bulge in the lower left quadrant of my abdomen.  I also get pretty sharp jabs and kicks in my girly parts and major pressure on both sides of my pelvis and hip bones on a daily (hourly?) basis. This position doesn’t sound comfortable at all, but he looked pretty happy during the ultrasound last week, so who am I to judge?

Anyhow, since you can’t deliver a baby sideways, it’s likely this kid will come out via c-section.
At first, I have to admit that I was seemingly ok with this news.  I totally trust my doctor, who has known this entire time how important a vaginal birth is to me.  She is very down to earth, has lots of experience, and has known me for years.  So, while she isn’t an over-explainer and not a warm-fuzzy kind of gal, I know she has my best interests at heart.  She told me she was scheduling a c-section and I know she knew I’d need the time to process and get used to the idea.  
Then it started to hit me.  Major abdominal surgery = delivery dreams dashed. 
Like I suspect most women with childbearing aspirations, I had a very specific image of what my personal birthing experience would entail.  As soon as we found out we were pregnant, I started to think more specifically how my birth experience might be.  While the pain of labor and the mental image of an entire human being delivered out of my girly bits certainly created some anxiety, it was something that I have been looking forward to triumphing through.  I have images of Kevin coaching me on as I push. I have images of my baby, freshly delivered taking his first breaths on my chest.  I have images of Kevin being able to cut the cord, getting to experience his own sacred part of the birth experience. And I have images of being able to enjoy our time together in the hospital being a family.

Obviously, a c-section changes all of those images.  I don’t really get to labor or triumph over labor.  Kevin will be by my side, but instead of coaching, I have a feeling he’s just going to do his darnedest not to let me see the wild look in his eyes as the docs work their magic behind the blue sheet.  He probably won’t get to cut the cord, but he’ll get to hold our new little guy once they are finished doing the necessary once-over stuff.  I won’t get to hold him at all at first, and he’ll probably be whisked away shortly after delivery to the nursery for a more thorough inspection.  I’ll be sewn up and taken to a recovery room?  Postpartum room? Hopefully, I’ll be more formally introduced to my guy there and will get to take a stab at breastfeeding.  Everything will be more difficult for me in these first days.  Not at all how I was hoping it would be and certainly not the way I would have chosen it to be. Just when I thought I was preparing for a vaginal birth, I discover that I have to pack a little more, plan to stay a little longer, and will need a bit more rest and help.

I have to be careful what I pray for these days.  Every time someone says to me “You could go any day now!  C’mon Baby, give your mom a break and just come on out.” I freak out because unless baby flips, I don’t WANT go to into an unproductive, tiring, and uncomfortable labor–much less one that could be potentially dangerous because of his precarious position.  I find myself quietly saying “Only if you turn, Baby.  ONLY if you turn!”  So I find myself praying for the opposite of what I have dreamed about for months and months, years and years.  How very unexpected.

One thing I know is that I’ve been learning more about relationship with my self, my husband, my body, and my life these past nine months.  Little life lessons have been popping up all over the place, but one that is probably the most poignant at this stage, is that expectations take a backseat.  That it’s impossible to prepare for a given scenario, because that scenario can take the most unlikely of turns.

All I can say is that this girl feels pretty blessed to have a heads up.

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4 thoughts on “Heads up

  1. ugh. i kept thinking about this one line from the movie “kicking and screaming” (the one with eric stoltz, not the one with will ferrell) the whole time i read this:

    “how do you make god laugh? make a plan.”

    it's so irritating when things don't go the way you expect. i'm sending you good baby thoughts for the whole process.

    and if it's any consolation, i was born by c-section, and i turned out amazingly. 🙂 (sorry. couldn't resist that.)

  2. As a woman who had every dream of giving birth vaginally because I was STRONG! because I'm TOUGH, because I can HANDLE whatever this little person throws at me, let me tell you, I feel ya.
    Maddy was c-section after a long and not the least uncomfortable, fruitless labor.
    Once I had her in my arms, all my views of labor and what that said about me flew out the window.

    What I can tell you from a practical perspective: do a hospital tour, know what “perks” are available. If you're going to be there longer than overnight then you'll want to know about the meals and where Kevin sleeps. My second time around was WONDERFUL.

    Good luck Mama!

  3. I read this last night and related to it a lot, even if I haven't made it that far in a pregnancy yet. When I found out that we were having twins, all of these things I had been planning for regarding birth were thrown out the window. There was likely no doctor I'd be able to find to allow a high risk twin pregnancy to progress to natural birth. It was sad in many respects, but I also felt like at least now I didn't have to plan everything.

    Of course, now I'd do anything to be in that position again. The point isn't that, though. The point is that no matter what your birthing experience is, make the most of it. It's the life you share with your child that will count. I know once you see him, your dream first birth will be less of a yearning. Maybe the next one they can do a VBAC. Who knows.

    Good luck with everything.

  4. c-sections are more difficult to recover from, but it does get better exponentially each day. I had my oldest via c/s after 5 hours of pushing. My twins were born early at 36 weeks via c/s. They are 2.5 years old now and I never think that I missed out. My oldest is four and my strongest feeling about her birth is that I am so glad I got an epidural. It is rarely as you imagine it will be. I am not giving advice. Just sharing my experience that both c/s worked out great for me. good luck!

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