Fear & loathing in my uterine wall

So the realization that I am actually going to have this baby hit me the other day.  Like that I have to HAVE the baby.  Deliver the baby.  BIRTH the baby.  Oh crap.

I haven’t thought much about my primary csection during this pregnancy, mostly because I haven’t had the time.  Strange because it was probably the second most traumatic thing to happen in my life.  I have two kids now and all the research I did to prepare for my first birth and then for my VBAC seems indulgent, almost.  No time for self pity anymore :-)

My pregnancies are uneventful for the most part.  The morning sickness has progressed in a downward spiral with each pregnancy.  Other than that and some serious hormonal mood swings, nothing that complicates my health or the baby’s.  My labor and deliveries, however, are an EVENT!

Here are the abridged fast talkin’ versions:

The first, with N, was 26 hours of natural labor induced with prostiglandin because he was two weeks late. The prostin worked immediately and I labored pretty heavily for all that time only getting to 7 cms.  My water hadn’t broken so they wanted to try that first.  Water broken back down to 5cms and…meconium.  My plan was for a natural birth in a birth center.  Meconium is a deal breaker in the Birth Center.  Then there was some heart rate issues and a mad rush across the street to the hospital.  So now I’m in a hospital, they are poking and prodding, tethering a monitor to his head.  Wouldn’t let me out of bed anymore, talk of an epidural and pitocin.  A doctor I had never met before wouldn’t look me in the eye.  I finally agreed to an epidural and pitocin. The anesthesiologist was outside the door and all of a sudden heart rates dropped, wires being removed, bed moved out of the room, flying down the hallway.  My husband was left in the dust.  In the OR things calm down.  They say the heart rate is better.  I say then why do we have to do this then?  They didn’t answer.  My cynical side says it was Friday nite at 6, but whatevs.

I spent a lot of time over the next two years sad, angry and determined.

I found a great doctor and a wonderful hospital fully supportive of VBACs for the birth of S.  Husband on board, family (not so sure, but they don’t get a vote) and a doula, check!  Six days past due and I’m getting a little worried.  My OB says I’m almost ready.  Does a semi-strip of my membranes.  A quick visit to my friend the acupuncturist for some moxa and needling induction. I am having contractions on and off, but I’m able to sleep through the night, but I tell my mom she should come up the next day.  Morning goes by with some contractions, we eat lunch and then something just changes.  All of a sudden contractions are coming pretty quickly.  We call the doula.  What?  She’s at another hospital with her son, back up is called.  I am terrified to leave my house and get to the hospital too soon.  Too soon for a VBAC can spell big trouble.  Getting closer so we decide to leave.  Actually my mother, who is a nurse yet is frantically pacing back and forth through my kitchen, decides we should leave.  Now I become a cliche.  I am the woman screaming in labor outside the house, in the car, outside the hospital, in the elevator, at the nurses station. I scared some food service guys in the elevator.  Surely the must have seen women gripping the side of an elevator in agony before.  They checked me and I was only 4cms.  I started crying.  This was the only moment that I doubted myself or my decision to VBAC.  And it was only a moment.  Four hours later my girl was born.  I stayed in the tub for most of the crazy fast labor.  I could feel her moving down, if I opened my eyes at all I bet I could’ve seen her getting in position.  Out of the tub and onto the bed for a half hour of pushing.  There she is! My successful VBAC with a gorgeous fat healthy baby.

Up until about a month before I delivered S, I was petrified.  Would my uterus rupture?  Would I die?  My baby, oh god, my baby?  I decided that, for me, the risk is far less than all of the rewards and benefits of a natural vaginal delivery for me and my baby.

I am no longer afraid of a repeat section. I do absolutely loathe the idea of it however.  Because I had a VBAC?  I’m not sure.  Because I love and trust my doctor?  That helps.  Because Doulas rock?  This I know for sure.

What else I do know for sure is that each of those experiences are mine, and I own them.  I would not be who I am today without them.  I learned that everything can go wrong and you can get nothing the way you wanted it and still be ok.  It can even inspire you!  Or it can go almost exactly the way you imagined and a sense of calm and order is restored to the world to a point that if a csection was needed this time around- ok.

So me and my uterine wall, we’ve got some issues.  Am I afraid this time?  Not as much as before.  Do I hate that I was ever put in this position?  You betcha!

Maybe I’ll leave for the hospital a little sooner this time.

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