28 Weeks & No -Ish
July 24, 2008
Since my doctor and I have finally agreed on a concrete due date, or at least a decent compromise on one (four days later than my math suggests, four days before some of the more runty early ultrasounds), I figure it's time to stop with the fuzzy update titles and just commit to a week already.
So. 28 weeks. Solidly in the third trimester. Eleven weeks or so away from delivery via hacksaw.
I won't lie. I'm a tad defensive about the scheduled c-section. (It's hard not to be, out here on the Internet.) When people inquired about my due date at Blogher I was unable to give the simple answer: October 18th, but I will probably deliver sometime around the 10th. Instead I found myself rushing to provide all sorts of details that no one really asked for: Noah was 10 pounds! Occiput posterior! Meconium! Cord around the neck! A really narrow, weirdly turned-in pelvis that prevented him from ever getting anywhere near the exit! Fetal distress! Doooooooom!
(And that's usually when people would back away from me, possibly emitting high-frequency screams that only dogs could hear. I need a Saint Bernard, some hot cocoa and a shitload of Bailey's, I imagined them saying.)
I've spent a lot of time thinking about my options. To have a shot at a vaginal birth, I'd likely need to be induced ahead of time, before the baby gets past the 8-pound range. (My doctor believes, based on what we saw last time, that I'd probably only be able to safely deliver a baby who was UNDER 8 pounds. It's not that I'm ridiculously petite or anything -- I simply do not have the birthin' hips. I've got something more akin to a bear trap.)
I worry that an induction is (for me, anyway) just a long, drawn-out path to a repeat c-section, since I have no idea how I'd respond to pitocin or if we'd really be able pinpoint the sweet spot between "manageable baby size" and "oh, you know, LUNG MATURITY AND SHIT." Knowing that a c-section would remain on the table in case of trouble, I would again opt for an epidural to prevent having to go completely under in case of surgery, and...that's not what I really want either. If I were to attempt a VBAC, I'd want to go full balls-out natural -- if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna DO IT. The full monty of vaginal birth. With that more or less off the table, the VBAC looks less attractive and more...like a needlessly risky choice I'd be making for probably the wrong reasons.
(And yes. Yes! I get that a c-section is major abdominal surgery and not without its own risks. Which is why, if it's going to remain a likely possibility anyway, I'd prefer for it to happen in a calm, scheduled manner instead of the OH SHIT I LEFT MY SCALPEL IN MY OTHER PANTS emergency scenario we had last time.)
Sp provided my uterus doesn't get any fancy ideas in the next 10 weeks or so, I'm not gonna do it. Because of the mitigating factors -- pitocin, epidural, a baby who seems to flip between tranverse and breech but never head down, and this little needling suspicion that I'd end up exhausted and worn-down and sliced open anyway -- I've realized that I don't really want to go for a VBAC. And...I think I should really, really want the VBAC. I've tried to talk myself into wanting it, but...I don't.
I have no regrets about my section last time -- all in all, it was pretty great and easy and absolutely the right option at the time. I have nothing to prove in its wake; I have no empty space on my Major Life Accomplishments trophy shelf that I'm dying to fill with the PUSHED CHILD SUCCESSFULLY OUT OF NETHER REGIONS 2008 AWARD. I just want us both to get through this thing okay and onto the really important stuff. (Like breastfeeding! And co-sleeping! And infant Mandarin Chinese classes! Ohhhh, and now I'm just cranky.)