The last few days I have been feeling a little down about this baby's birth; or should I say birth-to-be. Birth to be determined, birth to be who the fuck knows, birth to be hopefully not traumatic for all parties involved.
Hannah's 2nd birthday just passed. She is 2 (!?!) years old now. It's been two years since she's entered our lives, and this birthday was full of mixed emotions for me. Of course I was overjoyed that my beautiful little girl was turning 2, and amazed at the little person she is becoming. But at the same time I felt some sadness, and fear.
This time I remembered those scary moments during her birth more vividly than I did on her birthday last year. Maybe it's because I am pregnant now, and I am facing another birth -- with certainty. Maybe it's because everyday on facebook and various message boards and online groups I am bombarded with homebirths that went beautifully, and I ask, why couldn't that have been us? If Hannah's birth had went well, would I be planning another homebirth right now? Who knows. I guess we never will. I do know she is here, and thankfully healthy and alive. Now I just need to make sure this baby also makes it here healthy and alive, and I have to decide the best way to accomplish that.
I am seeing the midwives at the birth center - the same midwives I saw during some of the pregnany with Hannah. They are all supportive of another try at a vaginal birth, but at the hospital, which I am totally okay with. The obstetricians they work with also agree to try another vaginal birth - but we will monitor the baby's size. I will be getting an ultrasound at 34 or 36 weeks, and we will determine which route to take from there. Honestly, there are times I just want to go ahead and schedule the cesarean to avoid all of this not knowing and the stress that comes with it. I just want to enjoy my last pregnancy,and not knowing which way we are going is making that hard to do.
At my last appointment, I asked the midwife if she knew the weight range that they would feel comfortable with delievering vaginally. I told her that I hear comflicting answers; some say it probably won't happen again (and are very confident when saying so), some say once a shoulder dystocia-especially a moderate to severe one with an injury-means always a cesarean, some say size doesn't even matter - it's posistional. It just depends on who you talk to. She told me that since Hannah got stuck at 8 lbs 14 oz, and if this baby was measuring around there or higher, then they would be most comfortable with a c-section.
I was a little taken aback with her response. I had spoken with the other midwives at the same practice, and though I never asked that question directly, I was always given the impression that most likely this birth will go more smoothly, shoulder dystocia free, and only if the baby was thought to be very large (like 10+ lbs) then maybe a scheduled cesarean would be the best route. The thing is, I do think this baby will at least be as big as Hannah was - if not bigger. Mason was 8 lb 7 oz, Hannah was a girl and she was still larger than Mason at 8 lb 14 oz... so I am just guessing that since this is my third, and my other two were subsequently larger, then this one will be too. Not to mention the baby is already measuring a week ahead, and, well, I just have that feeling. You know, mommy's intuition or whatever you want to call it. I would love a baby smaller than Hannah. I know that size of the baby isn't the be all end all in regards to shoulder dystocia, but in all honesty, a large baby does make me nervous.
In the beginning on this pregnancy, the thought of a scheduled cesarean didn't bother me much. In fact, I was pretty close to just saying to hell with a vaginal birth and go for the c-section. But, after hearing the midwife tell me what they thought about the baby's size and mode of delivery, I guess the reality of it hit me. Especially when she told me the protocols at the hospital we are going to. She said they won't lower the curtain so patients can see the delivery, and baby routinely goes to the nursery - under the warmer - instead of daddy's or mommy's arms in the OR. The midwives know how important it is I get to see - and hold - my baby right after birth. I didn't get that with Mason, and I didn't even get that with Hannah during a damn homebirth, so if everything is okay with baby and me, I damn well better have that baby as soon as the umbilical cord is cut. That's my fucking baby. I told her I am going to be very anal about this. Hell, I'll be a fucking asshole. I don't care. This is my last birth, last baby, and if everyone is ok, there is NO REASON other than mindless protocol that I cannot hold my baby (or Jason if I can't for some reason). So, if it is going to be a cesarean, I want my baby brought to me in the OR. I want the closest thing to a natural cesarean as I can get.
I am so conficted. I would love another vaginal birth (probably with an epidural) to avoid another surgery, to have the baby let us know when he/she is ready to be born, to have that excitement of waiting for labor to start... but just the thought of another shoulder dystocia scares me to death. I couldn't forgive myself if the baby was injured, or worse. But I wouldn't mind another cesarean to assure no shoulder dystocia, to have a set date so I can set up child care and the rest of the family could make it for the birth, to feel like I have some sort of control in this (well, if the staff accomodates my wishes for a cesarean birth).
I have some time to think about it. Hopefully was the weeks go by, the answer will become more clear.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
...and another 25 weeker
I skipped week 26. I have been so busy with cleaning, house projects, and planning Hannah's birthday party and Easter dinner that we're hosting this year.
I am expecting my sister soon, so I will hopefully be back later to talk about the ever-changing birth plans.