Birth Day

Someone asked me today how much longer, and I said just about 11 weeks, and they said, WHOA three more months???

To which I answered, no. One more week, and then we're counting backwards. So. No. It's not three more months. 

Unless we're talking about the time I have left to get our apartment decluttered and ohIdon'tknow, a place to put baby boy's clothes, then BY ALL MEANS, I have three months left to get that shiz done. 

So it was just Tuesday I went to therapy and proclaimed that I was totally laid back about baby boy's arrival -- whenever it was going to be -- and we were just going to wait to see whenever he was going to come out and try for a VBAC. The hospital we're going to has one of the lowest C-section rates in the area, and prides itself on championing women and guiding them through a VBAC. At my 24 week checkup, I talked with the midwife about it, and she was super laid back about it; saying she could run this calculator thing to show me my chances, but overall it seemed like a good idea to try for it. They'd give me an epidural and if need be, wheel me into surgery for a C-section if things didn't work out. Sounds really simple, right?

I saw my actual doc yesterday and welllll, it's not really that simple. Given what happened last time, which here's the cliff notes: induced at 40w3d with misoprostol, then foley bulb to artificially open my cervix, then pitocin, then Lucia's heart rate started crashing in between contractions. Stalled at 7cm and emergency C-section. FOLLOWED BY infected incision that was open for three. months. Three months, of Pete packing the wound for me twice a day. Lucia was in the NICU as a result of inhaling meconium during the too-long crazy labor. Then for not eating; the girl came outta the gates stubborn. I let her have bottles reluctantly, and there went any and all preference for the breast. Plus, wound not healing meant my milk supply when I got stressed out was uh, decreasing.  You guys remember. It was a total shitshow, domino-effect of disastrous worst-case scenarios that people assured me were incredibly rare in the singular sense. I just got multiply lucky. And look, I know it could have been worse. Lucia is fine. I am fine. But man, it was rough.  

Now. You should know that I've carried -- and have worked really hard to let go of -- the guilt that somehow me wanting desperately to NOT BE PREGNANT ANYMORE  at the end of the pregnancy with Lucia (i.e. agreeing to be induced) did not equal that all of the above was not my fault. I've been over every single decision in my head over and over and over and over to try to process and let the guilt go. Would I have ever ever ever chosen the consequences that happened? Absolutely not. 

All I want for this baby's birth is a different experience. A simple one, that is drama-free. 

The doc said yesterday that given my case history, chances of having a successful VBAC are 50-50. 

Fucking A. Those are not good odds. I mined the Berkeley Parents Network for success stories last night and thought, maybe I'd be one of those. But here's the thing about Berkeley Parents Network: 1. It's Berkeley. Do I need to elaborate here? OF COURSE you're going to read more about people electing to do VBACs and how blissful it was and how empowering it was. 2. Not as many women, likely because of the stigma attached to it in these neck of the woods, are going to write in and be all I elected to have a C-section and yes recovery was increased but I'm happy I did it. (Well, some women have said just that but what I mean is disproportionately you'll find more of the VBAC empowerment story). 

I don't have a lot of energy around birthing the baby through my vagina. I wish it were not this way, but as I've mentioned, I've spent a fair amount of energy and hand-wringing over what could have been, what was, and getting to a place of peace with Lucia's birth. I do know for sure that Lucia was not ready; I don't think I was ready, and I know for a fact that being terrified was a huge factor. I don't want that again. I don't have a lot of concerns about a scar, as I already have one, and let's be honest, with my stretch marks/excess skin I'm already uh, disfigured? in that area. 

So I'm debating what to do. A friend, who had a repeat C-S, today said go with my gut, and frankly, I'm not sure what my gut is saying. I'm terrified of another experience where I labor for all that time and then end up with a C-S anyway. I talked a lot with my doc yesterday about recovery and how I couldn't drive for weeks and it was awful. She assured me that was rare and likely because I had labored for so long. That if it were her, and if drama-free, simple birth is what I want, she would recommend the repeat C-S. And she said, "and I never say that."

I'm going to kick it around for a while and try on what feels best; pretending to make up my mind and thinking, OK, this is how things are going to be, then seeing how that feels. Good thing I have nearly three months, one more week then we're counting backwards to decide. 

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