Writing has (almost) always made me feel better in the past, so I decided to try it again tonight- from labor and delivery.
Turns out my membranes ruptured prematurely- sometime over the last day or so (24-30 hours probably) – and this puts me at increased risk for infection, especially because it’s not clear that labor is actually progressing. There was no burst of fluid followed immediately by active labor and the arrival of a chubby, relatively blood free baby- as is so often portrayed in the movies. It’s been more like a slow leek, and it’s difficult for me to pinpoint the moment it first happened. And this makes the medical profession nervous.
So I sit here, in the dimly lit L&D room, listening to the sounds of my little man’s heart rate, watching for each contraction, while Tim rests comfortably on the couch (preparing for the onslaught of sleepless nights), waiting for – what feels like – my fate to be determined. Will it be door #1 (Labor Augmentation) or door #2 (Natural Progression)?
My last birth was not at all what Tim and I imagined, and I can’t shake the feeling that we’re heading there again. The docs want to make sure that labor is progressing, but that requires pelvic exams and those increase the risk of infection. The docs want to get my contractions to 2 minutes apart, but my body doesn’t seem to headed there on it’s own- at least not fast enough. I don’t want to take unnecessary chances (of infection [for me] or sepsis [for him]) by prolonging labor but as I sit here, knowing that a dose of pitocin is just around the corner, what I fear more than infection is increased medical intervention.
And then I see these words written and they sound crazy: I am more afraid of medical intervention than having a serious complication or outcome. Really? That doesn’t feel right.
With Eleanor’s birth we had a very rosy picture of how things would proceed. My mother did not suffer complications during any of her (three) pregnancies or labors, and I conceived just as easily as she did, so surly delivery would be the same. Right? Wrong. But in the end, I had a healthy baby girl and that was all that mattered. Plus, I would have the chance to do it all over again; and, I told myself, the next time I would have the birth I imagined (which is to say more natural, less medicalized). Except now it sort of feels like that’s not going to be true either. And that is making me anxious; I feel out of control.And every time someone comes in – to cover the risks of TOLAC or talk about a possible course of action – I feel my whole body tense. I don’t want to be owned by those feelings.
These are my last hours with our little man kicking around inside. The last nine+ months have sped by, and I can hardly believe that the time has come (or that it draws near) to welcome him into our family. Regardless of how he gets here, I look forward to the moment that I can first hold him, when all this other nonsense has slipped away, and the thing that is most important – a safe and healthy baby – is realized.