Ok – so first of all, some updates after my previous post. I got some amazing feedback and advice, and I’ve made a few decisions. All of which I’ll talk about in a post probably later this week. But I really wanted to thank everyone who commented and emailed – you were a huge help in putting things in proportion and putting together a plan.
So… I’m 34 weeks. Which is totally crazy, right? I never EVER thought we’d make it this far. Granted, I’m still terrified (in fact I had a whole freaking out episode today which was fun), but holy crap you guys – 34 weeks.
My high-risk OB told me last week that he wants the cerclage out at 38 weeks. That’s in FOUR WEEKS. I think he suspects that removing it will jump start labor so he doesn’t want it out sooner. So I could be in labor in FOUR WEEKS. Some days it feels like that is FOREVER from now, but other days that’s like, really soon.
With that in mind, it’s time to make a plan and make some decisions, and I thought I’d share some of that with you guys.
A small disclaimer here – this is not a “birth plan” per se, but I know women can get kind of
bitchy touchy around birth plan talk, so let me just say that my opinions are what’s right FOR ME. Whatever you think is good for you – knock yourself out, I’m not one to judge. So don’t judge me either. Ok? Ok. So here we go.
We’ve kinda-sorta chosen a hospital. There are 3 in my city, and we toured all of them. I was hoping to come out with a clear-cut “feeling” about one of them, but that didn’t end up happening. Each of the hospitals has upsides and downsides. In the end, we went with logic and the process of elimination: of the three, there is only one hospital in which I HAVEN’T had a loss. Since I don’t know what my mental state will be during labor, it’s best to keep me away from triggers. So we chose the one “loss free” hospital, even though it’s far from perfect. Plus – it’s closest to our home and our doula knows it really well, so that will help.
Now for the birth plan.
There isn’t one.
I’ve got some thoughts, but nothing that really feels like one of those detailed “plan” type-things. I don’t think I’m the “birth plan” type – if there is a type for that. And even if I was, let’s be honest: I’ve been through too much shit to think that anything I plan out will actually happen in the way I want it to. So no “plan”.
So here are my thought type-things instead:
Here’s the truth of the matter – my big thing is that I’m kind of terrified of getting a C-Section. Here partners aren’t allowed in the room in the case of an emergency section and that only aggravates my fear of it. I know it’s irrational, I know it won’t be the end of the world if it happens, but it still for some reason really scares me.
Which I admit is weird, considering I’ve had surgeries up in my lady parts before. But that’s neither here nor there.
So I’m scared of that and I want to avoid it. But again – I don’t think I’ll feel like a failure if it happens. At the end of the day I will do anything to get B5 here safe and sound.
But yeah – I really don’t want a C-section. It scares the crap out of me.
So at first I wanted to go au naturale just to minimize the risk of an emergency section. But after talking it through with my doula, I’m totally not there anymore.
My doula is anything but the crunchy granola type. She specializes in high-risk, so she’s very practical about medical interventions. It’s good because I’m not really crunchy granola either, so we work well together.
She’s all for avoiding C-sections, but pointed out several stories to me where an epidural actually helped relax the mom enough to move things along, and helped avoid a section that may have happened otherwise.
Once I heard that, the idea of pain relief seemed like a darn good one.
Then again – I’ve been through labor before. Nadav was of course much smaller, but I did cope with that pain without an epidural, so I know I can. The question is – do I want to?
The answer is that I just don’t know.
Here’s the thing – GD means I’ll have an IV line no matter what happens, and that I’m going to be monitored whether I like it or not. So there’s no use fighting against that kind of stuff.
What I want is a healthy, screaming baby, hopefully with minimal cutting and stitching. How I get there is less important to me when it really comes down to it.
So in the moment – if I want an epidural, I’ll ask for one. I don’t think it’s any sort of failure on a woman’s part to have pain relief, so I’ll take it if I need it. If I see that I can cope without it, I’ll avoid it, just because that will cut down on recovery time, but not because I think an epidural is some evil thing. I really don’t have an opinion on it either way except that it’s probably kind of weird to have your legs numb like that.
The one thing I don’t want is Pethi.dine. It’s a drug that kind of gets you loopy and supposedly helps with pain relief that they sometimes give here. I was given it when I was in labor with Nadav (and it didn’t help with the pain at all, so that’s a crock) and I hated the way it made me feel. I’m also afraid it will cause flashbacks. So that is definitely out.
Everything else is fair game as long as it gets B5 here safely.
So the plan really is: No Pethi.dine, try to avoid stuff that involves stitching if I can, get through labor with minimal freaking out, and bring B5 here safely and hopefully without my head exploding from that outcome.
Honestly? I’m a bit worried about the freaking out thing. One of my biggest fears outside of a section is that I’ll start having flashbacks and panic attacks while in labor. Right now I’m counting on the fact that I have a tendency to get calm and collected during a crisis, and therefore I can keep my feelings in check. I’m hoping that in my psyche, labor with B5 will be one of those cases where I somehow miraculously keep my shit together.
I’d like skin to skin and all that bonding stuff afterwards. But again, no hospital will guarantee that because of the GD. If my sugar levels are good during labor, then chances are I’ll be able to have that at least for a bit before they whisk B5 off to get her sugar levels tested. But if my levels are too high or too low – she’ll be at risk, so screw skin to skin and immediate breastfeeding. Just do what you have to do to make sure she’s ok.
Ahhh breastfeeding. I’ll be posting about that this week. But I think I’ve rambled long enough and made my point.
High-risk pregnancy really brings out the Practical Polly in me. I just hope I’ll be able to roll with the punches and keep my sanity in the process. We shall see.