We’ve finally made it! We are in the home stretch! I have hit the “early term” pregnancy milestone. Hallelujah!
(Photographed by: Stephanie Webster Photography and Designs)
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that things have been all sunshine and rainbows over the past week because if anything it has been far from it.
On the night of February 7th, I got an excoriating stomach ache. It continued well through the night and into the next day – my birthday. Thankfully I happened to have a midwife appointment scheduled that day. My midwife took concern the pain being that I have a uterine fibroid and ordered that I head to the nearest clinic for an emergency ultrasound.
I was told the ultrasound would be no more than 5 minutes. It wound up taking upwards of 2 hours, and not only did one technician need to take part in the procedure, but several. Leaving that appointment was absolutely nerve racking, as I awaited the results.
On Thursday afternoon, I got the call that I needed to be at the hospital at 11AM sharp the next day for an external cephalic version. A procedure when an obstetrician will manually try to manipulate the baby’s position. Apparently since 34 weeks, despite my efforts to get the baby to turn, he decided to turn from oblique breech to complete.
Prior to my appointment, I made the mistake of watching a YouTube video of the procedure. If you happen to have an ECV coming up, don’t make the same mistake I did. It freaked me out more than it should have.
First of all I will say the procedure was awkward. There is no stranger feeling than someone trying to turn your baby with their bare hands. The baby was monitored through out via ultrasound that I was allowed to watch. My procedure took 10 minutes, and unfortunately it was unsuccessful. If the obstetrician had continued trying to turning the little guy, he would have gone into fetal distress. The little man has engaged his bum into my pelvis and has his head nicely nestled into my left rib cage. I may not be comfy, but he is.
That was when I heard the sentenced uttered…
You are going to need a c-section.
I cried. I burst into tears sitting in the ultrasound room right in front of the nurses and the obstetrician.
My midwives and I had planned out this beautiful birth plan that was supposed to be much like Everly’s. I was going to deliver this little man at home, and being that it was my last pregnancy, I was going to catch the little dude upon delivery and pull him upon my chest. We had this whole vision that was now being crumbled and thrown out the door.
I always knew that 1 in 3 pregnancies ended with c-section delivery, but I never anticipated that it would be one of my pregnancies. I mean odds are in my favour being that this is my fourth child, but I just didn’t think it would happen to me.
I left the hospital trying my hardest to hold it together and be strong, but as soon as I hit the car I crumbled. I spent a good portion of Friday crying. I almost feel silly for it, but at the same time I was feeling the emotions. Anger, disappointment and an overall upset.
You see, around 28 weeks, one of my midwives who left the practice when I was 32 weeks insisted that when I was 34 weeks I go for an ultrasound to follow-up on baby’s position and my fibroid in order to prepare for my birth plans. The midwife who took over my care at 34 weeks deemed that ultrasound unnecessary and insisted baby would eventually turn head down as time went on. I wish I had just advocated for that ultrasound. It may have helped, it may have not… But if I had just had it – things could be totally different right now.
I am currently at that stage of trying to process the changes. I’m finding it hard to be ok with it all.
C-sections scare the shit out of me. I have a huge fear of hospitals. A huge fear of surgeries. A huge fear of something happening to me. I don’t like the idea of being awake during a major surgery, but the idea of being put to sleep for the procedure scares me too. My epidural never took when I was in labour with my first child, and the idea of the same thing happening with the epidural or spinal for the c-section freaks me out too. What if I feel the whole damn procedure?
I want to be able to have the baby placed right upon my chest following birth. I don’t want him taken away from him while I lie in the cold OR waiting to be sutured before being rolled on into recovery.
The unknown is freaking the hell out of me, and I don’t like it.
I see the obstetrician at the hospital again next Tuesday first thing in the morning for another ultrasound, at which point he would like to book me in the next day for my c-section if scheduling allows. Gulp.
I have between now and then to try to come to terms with everything. I plan to ask a lot of questions. I plan to find a way to come to some sort of peace with the situation. The last thing I want is my delivery to be ruined by my fear or dread. I want the “birth” day to be a celebration. Something of beauty even if it may not be what I originally planned.
I plan to ask about a gentle c-section where the baby can be given to me once being seen by the doctor, and breastfeeding can be done while my incisions are sutured.
I plan to make this the best damn delivery, even if it isn’t the way I envisioned it.
Plus, I am sure a good chunk of my disappointment will melt away once my little man makes it here safely. Gosh, I just wish he could be here in my arms right now and all this unknown could be behind us.
If you have any stories of your experiences with c-sections definitely feel free to share them in the comments below. I would love to read them and hopefully they will continue to help ease my mind!
Oh and as for the after pains of an external cephalic version… Ya… They are awful. I have now experienced two days of infrequent contractions, increased rectal pressure and internal bruising and tenderness that only gets worse when the little guy moves around like a ninja. Thankfully, the pain should diminish after 4 days, so at least there is that! Phew.
Rather than continuing to sound like a whiny pregnant woman, I am just going to wrap up this post now and I’ll update more as things develop.
Until next time,