Week 39; Day 1 - 275 down; 6 to go
In the past couple of weeks, I have spent most of the time on the baby’s room, my son’s room as he got a major upgrade (Canadiens Fan?), and just making sure I am organized for when the baby arrives.
I have had more time to myself in the last couple of weeks, to rest if I needed, and I am also working on another certification to keep my mind fresh when I return to my clients. I will update for my online clients in another post – but not to worry.
The pregnancy itself has not been that bad. I don’t mind being pregnant, as I don’t have any major issue with it other than feeling out of control of my body. I had very little morning sickness, or nausea. Physically, I trained until around 32 weeks, and then I was just too tired, to work all day, and train myself. Sleeping for the majority of the pregnancy has been good. The minor issues I have had was on-going heartburn since 20 weeks, sleeping at night near the last 8 weeks have been hard as I have to get up and pee so much, and not really being able to eat as much as I would like – since my stomach is compressed.
There have been a few “blips” along the way. Around 30 weeks, I had the ‘possibility’ of having gestational diabetes – which in the end it turned out I did not. Pre labour contractions, and being dilated around 2-3 cms in the 30-32 week range, forcing me to take time off from work, and my clients. This was not what I would have preferred, but it nonetheless, overall the pregnancy has been wonderful.
There are some women out there who ‘love’ being pregnant, and everything about it. I have enjoyed my second pregnancy, with a long gap in between ~10 years. I will look back on it positively, but cannot say that I am one of those women who are absolutely in love with the process. I like my body pregnant; I enjoy the changes, but will also enjoy the hitting the gym once I return to training.
Since I am nearing the end of the pregnancy, the time has come to make a decision on how I am going to have this baby. It is a lot of fun to put them in there, but when it comes time to take them out, you know there is going to be a little bit of pain involved. And I would have to say, by the end of the journey, and the 9 months (or 40 weeks) you do welcome the end, as you are excited to meet you new little bundle of joy.
My first birth experience ended up with going into labour naturally/spontaneously in the early afternoon, doing the whole labour without meds, overnight and starting to push around 2am. Five hours later of pushing and no further progress of my son descending into my pelvis, bring in the forceps and him being stuck and not moving, feeling as though my hips were going to break apart, I ended up with an emergency c section. So in essence I had a 2 for 1. I did not get to see my son till about 3 hours after the c section as I was in recovery, (my husband when with our son), and did not even realize I was on a different floor – not in the maternity ward which is on the 5th floor. I was pretty much in a daze and don’t remember much from the 4 days I was in the hospital post surgery. Which, looking back is probably a good thing, as I don’t remember if I was in much pain or not.
I do remember being completely exhausted the next day, as I did not sleep all night. The nurses would say, “you should get some rest”, while they are bothering me every 10 minutes, to take my blood pressure, or temperature, or time to feed the baby, or clean the floor etc. It was just a constant flow of people in and out of my room. I don’t remember much of the recovery the first day, as I was in bed, I was on pain meds, for a few days. I do remember how emotionally felt during this time. Coming to terms with how my birth went, not birthing my own child the way I expected him to come out, and then have to deal with the surgery, the recovery, and all that goes with having a new-born to someone who has never really even held a baby. I was very disappointed, in how things turned out, but you have little time to think about that when you are trying to figure out how to care for a new born. It was hard for months to process, and I realize now I never really mourned the whole experience. My personal doctor who followed me during the pregnancy even apologized to me the next day after my C section. You know something is up when you doctor is apologizing to you about the experience.
So this time when, I got pregnant (finally) it was to have a child and also experience pregnancy and birth once again. This time I was really hoping for a VBAC.
So nearing the end of this pregnancy, it was time to discuss my options.
Around 37 weeks I had an ultrasound to determine what size is the baby, and if a VBAC was the right choice for me. Based on the gynaecologist’s recommendations, she suggested a planned C-section, as my previous birth story was not ‘agreeable’ and now I would be able to have a calm, and well rested experience. She thought it would be a much better option considering what happened last time. This particularly doctor is known for encouraging VBACs, yet, somehow I did not want to accept that this [a planned C-section] was to be the choice for me. I really wanted to birth my own child. So I sought a second opinion.
I had another appointment with a different gynaecologist, but ended seeing an intern (as this is a teaching hospital), and she read my birth story and after much discussion, she basically pulled out her phone, and said here, ‘choose a date’. My due date was March 27th and this year, this is Easter, so it would have to be the week before somewhere between March 21 and March 24th.
It was just such a shock to me, when she pulled out her phone, ultimately the calendar, that you could plan your child’s birthday. I know of other individuals who have done this but when it is happening to you, it did strike me as odd. It takes all the spontaneity out of having a child and to me seemed very mechanical, and structured. This, coming from me who thrives, on structure, and being organized, this particular option seemed very abnormal. I guess this option just seems very ‘anti-climatic’ to me. The intern also said it has to be around 39 weeks the c section, which I thought was weird, and left no further explanation of why 39 weeks was the cut off for a planned a C-section.
I knew I would be meeting with my regular doctor the following week, so I agreed to a date, a doctor (gynaecologist), and left. I knew I could always change my mind. It did bring tears to my eyes, knowing that I might not be able to birth my own child the way I had wanted, but wanted to wait before letting my emotions get the best of me. I realize the end is near, as I am more emotional in the last two weeks, than throughout the whole pregnancy.
Much of what I knew about my birth story the first time was very vague, as I only knew my experience. I was not sent home with a detailed account of the event, and at the time could really care less about details, as I just wanted to bed in my own bed. I had them dig it out the notes, to see what exactly happened, and why some son got stuck, and did not come out. Luckily, there was never a sign of danger to my son, during the whole process. I learned it was classified as dystocia, not of the shoulders as we never got that far into the birth. Another doctor referred to it as a ‘failure to progress’, as he did not descend further into my pelvis. As of recent they mentioned my pelvis, its odd shape, and my tailbone, so we can chalk the whole situation up to various factors that need to be considered for this birth. Not just for me but for the baby as well.
So the following week I saw my doctor, and told her my story.
My major concerns/questions were:
Why a planned C-section at 39 weeks? As I wanted to make sure the baby was ready to come out that is why the option of spontaneously labour appealed to me (as the first time I went into labour and dilated to 10 cm no problem), and they moved my due date from April 8 to March 27th. So to me the baby would be early.
VBAC was always the goal, now what are my options?
Not to be exhausted after the birth so that I could care, and bond with my child.
She let me know all my options for birthing my child. I must say she was very sympathetic to what happened the first time. She also re-assured me that I would not have a repeat experience of what happened 10 years ago.
Option 1: Wait for spontaneously pregnancy, go for the VBAC, hope they come out, however, this baby is measuring larger than the last one, and due to what transpired, I am not hopeful about the success of this option. My myself or for the baby.
Option 2: Spontaneously go into labour, try to birth the baby, and if they do not come out like last time, have an emergency C section. An emergency C-section, are done on the 3rd floor of the hospital, I would have to go to recovery, and it could be hours before I see or hold my baby. I would not have my choice of doctors, and would get whoever was on call. This option would put me in a situation where I might be completely exhausted again, like last time, and I found bonding with my child to be very difficult under these circumstances. Plus I had to consider what the baby is going to go through – was this a good option for them?
Option 3: Have a planned C section, be well rested (the night before), have the baby with me immediately on me while they are sewing me up and after, be in the maternity ward immediately on the 5th floor for recovery, and have my own nurse assigned to me, and my choice of doctor.
So either I go for the VBAC and see what happens, and accept the possible outcome post recovery, or just go for the C-section and have a much better post birth recovery experience.
I have to admit that recovery from the C Section the first time was not that bad (from what I remember), and within 2 or 3 weeks I was back in the gym, and was walking everyday (I do remember that, and confirmed with family members)
I stopped taking the heavy medications probably day 2 or 3, and just used Tylenol as I found it made Zach (my son) very sleepy. But honestly his journey was probably pretty tough as well, and that is another reason I just don’t want to go through that again. It is hard on the baby as well. He was exhausted as well, and came out pretty beat up.
After having discussed all options, I knew I had to mourn the idea of having a child the “natural” way. I wanted to experience labour again, at least a little bit, but the possibility of re-living my first birth or the post recovery is not how I want to remember this experience.
After much thought, tears, lots of reading, and discussion, I will be going with the planned C- Section. I requested to change doctors, as I wanted the doctor I had 10 years ago. Luckily, he was available was still in the area, and has been for the last 10 years. When we met during my pre-operative consultations, he remembered my situation very clearly.
So this week I will be giving birth to my child. It is such an odd way (in my mind) to welcome my child into the world. There remains a small part of me that has a hard time accepting this, but I know I will be able to come to terms with this outcome, once the baby arrives. I know it is the best option for my baby, my husband, and myself. (it was quite traumatic for him as well to see me go through all that).
At this point in the journey, I am often asked, ‘Are you ready to be done yet’? Yes, and no. I mean the pregnancy has not been a difficult one. I do right now have hip pain, pelvic pain, major rib pain, and walk like a duck, sleep very little, pee a lot but these small inconveniences are all perfectly manageable if my baby comes out healthy. I could handle it, even for another two weeks, or a month, as I know the end is very near, and won’t be feeling those kicks, and rolls, and hiccups in my belly anymore.
I know that I ‘could’ go into labour spontaneously anytime, between now and then, but my son, was 4 days late, so I don’t expect for this child to go early.
For now I will be enjoying my last couple of days pregnant, try to rest as much as I can, spend time with my son, and wait.
Even though this ending will be slightly ‘anti-climatic’, I am very excited to meet my new addition.