A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On deciding *how* to give birth

So, here's one of those "opening myself up to being vulnerable" posts. Ugh, I know, right? Obviously, I've got a lot going on. I mean, I'm now 30+ weeks pregnant and there's very little that I say/do/eat/feel that isn't driven by this overabundance of hormones. So, I'm trying to cut myself some slack. I've made it pretty far into this experience without letting my anxiety get to me too much. And let me just say: I don't have the kind of anxiety that I can just will away or that I can just yoga pose my way out of. I have the kind of anxiety that has been with me my whole life, required medication on and off, and cost a lot of dollars in therapy! I'm incredibly impressed with my lack of panic during this pregnancy, thought I admit that the lack of panic might be in direct correlation to some kind of denial-induced bliss (or is it bliss-induced denial?).

Well, here I am with less than ten weeks to go until "baby brother" arrives. I'm swollen, lumpy, achy, and scared. A couple weeks ago, Ben and I took a childbirth education class and I did that which I should never have done… I watched the videos. I tried to turn away, I did! But, I SAW IT ALL. I walked out of there certain of two things: 1) under no circumstances do I want a C-Section, and 2) perhaps I should opt for that C-Section that's been suggested to me.

I heard things this time around that I must've missed last time. Let me explain something that I have shared with some people, but I'm not too sure I've ever really put this out there. I believe my little bird suffered a traumatic birth and that's contributed to some of the challenges that she faces today. Like, for reals. Like, should've been taken out, but wasn't. Should've been born breathing, but wasn't. Should've been placed on my belly and in my arms, but had to be whisked away and resuscitated, then sent away for observation. Those decelerating beeps on the monitors alerted everyone that something wasn't right. I remember asking my mom "why isn't my baby crying?" I did swear that if she would just cry, I promise to never complain about her crying too much. I believe it took me about a week to go back on that promise, by the way.

They let her go home with me. They said she was fine. It was less than 7 months later that we visited the neurologist for the first time to figure out why her tone was so low, why she couldn't move well, why she had no head/neck control and wasn't hitting milestones. That was the beginning of this journey. Is there a connection there? I really don't know. Really. Countless non-conclusive tests later, I'd be lying if I said I have stopped wondering almost nine years later.

So, this time around, I have been thinking of opting for a planned cesarean section. This is something that is very definitely not my first choice. If I could have my way, this baby would be born in a beautiful field with people dancing around me strumming guitars, banjos, maybe a mandolin, and twirling while tapping tambourines. Kumbaya and everything. But, I know that there may be a need for the medical intervention that I wish I'd seen more of the last time around. So, not only will "baby brother" be born in a hospital, but I'm truly considering just scheduling the operation.

I have found myself trying to reason it out, trying to justify it by explaining that I just can't risk having an experience like last time, etc. I want to explain that I'm not a selfish dick who wants to be able to plan when to get the mani/pedi and the say of the week we'll have his bris (side note: ugh, I can't believe I have to do that). But I'm also evolved enough to admit that I'm struggling with the ego part. Will it be the same for me as delivering vaginally?- not that it was so great last time, but still… I do know that if, gd forbid, something happened that echoed last time around, I'd never ever ever forgive myself for trying to be a hero. I might blame myself for putting my own ego and my own shit ahead of my baby boy's needs. Of course, I worry about the recovery and all the ramifications of having a surgery like this. Will I be on pain meds that can pass through my breast milk? Will I be able to take good care of him and Little Bird while recovering? How long will I have to be in the hospital and away from the bird? Can I go up and down the stairs in the house? How long until I feel normal? I can go on and on and on- and I do in my head.

So, I'm working through some stuff. Not just the incredibly intense decision I have to make about how to bring this baby boy into the world, but also about all these feelings that have come back up regarding my little bird's delivery. Sigh. Heavy stuff, I guess.

Got any experience or encouraging words to share with me??

30 weeks

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