Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Decisions, decisions... (birth-related)

I have two days left to finalize my thoughts about how I want Rice to be born. The big discussion appointment is Friday.

You'd think this would be a no-brainer.. when the doc asks, I should just say "healthy" and leave it at that, huh?

Only, they want ME to decide if I want a planned c-section or if I want to attempt the famed V*BAC. Before Friday. At the end of this appiointment, I will either have committed to attempting the V*B, or I will have scheduled a repeat cesarean.

Most people I know have really strong feelings one way or another, and knew from the moment of conception (if not before) exactly what typs of birth they wanted.

Me, I'm still walkin' to the beat of that different drummer. OK, fine, if you want to get technical, I'm wafflin' to the beat of that different drummer.

Before Rice was conceived, I was all kinds of gung-ho about the idea of a vag birth. I didn't ever-ever-ever want to be cut open again. The very idea of a repeat section was enough to make me wrinkle my nose.

Pretty easy to be an idealist when it's all theoretical, eh?

Now, I'm not so sure.

I'll be honest. I'm afraid of the V*B. I'm not afraid of the pain (seriously - I went through a hellish section recovery with no drugs after the first 36 hours. I think I can handle the pain. even without the epidural*.. there are plenty of other drugs out there).

I'm afraid of failure. Again.

I'll spare you the details, but G was birthed by my doc in an emergency cesarean, after a failed induction.

Oh yes, I failed at birthing. After, you know, I'd spent a couple years failing at conceiving. I gave my girly bits a mental high-five for coming through for me yet again.

I don't really want to go through that again... and in my wonky logic, choosing a repeat section means I'm in control - it's not a failure of my body, it's a decision of my mind. And I trust my mind ever-so-much more than my body.

See, that makes sense, right? Somehow in my mind, it's better to choose the worse option than to attempt the better one and have the decision forced on me if my bits are uncooperative again.. and choosing a section would make it oodles easier to plan. Given our timing, and B's deployment, and the need to make arrangements for the kids, it makes sense to me. I could guarantee that I'd have a minimum of two weeks' recovery before B leaves, and both G & my stepson would be prepared in advance, knowing exactly which day they'd be spending with the g'parents... not to mention the g'parents would know exactly when to take off work.

.. and yet... I remember the recovery from G's birth**.

I want to remember Rice's first few weeks, not have them obscured in a fog of pain and tears. I want to be able to pick up my child without wincing. I want to be able to walk across the room to gaze at my sleeping babe without having to decide if it's really worth the effort. I won't have the luxury of having B here to pick up the slack if my recovery takes weeks again, and I will have to be able to keep up with G.

Therein lies the problem. If I decide to try labor and a vag birth, I have the chance of escaping the section, but I risk feeling like I've failed again. If I choose the cesarean, then I guarantee the more difficult physical recovery, but it comes with an easier mental recovery.

Tough decision.

.. and through it all, the little voice in my head reminds me that my body might not fail again. That I'll regret not taking the chance. That I am not the same person I was four years ago, and HOW Rice is birthed will not be as important to me as it was then. That I can accept whatever method is used because the end result is more important.

That little voice has the ring of truth to it... and I suppose that's all I need to know to make this decision.

*long story short, that whole uterine rupture thing has me freaked.I mean, if i have an epidural and can't feel a thing, it's theoretically possible that I'd be able to rupture and not notice, right? I'm pretty sure I don't want that. I know it's super-rare, but I am so not one to tempt fate with my girly bits... so if I go the vag route, I'd want to do it epi-free.

**standard disclaimer: my section recovery was not typical.. instead of the usual up and walking around within hours or days, I was hobbling like my g'ma for weeks. I wasn't allowed to leave the house for over two weeks, except for doctors' appointments (which were three-times-a-week for the first month), and I wasn't allowed to drive a car for six weeks... it was months before I could lift anything heavier than my little G without pain, and those are months I don't have NOW...


O Mama Mia said...

So its recovery from va-joo-joo pain or recovery from Cpain. That's a tough one.
We must be kindred souls because my C recovery was horrid, as well. If I ever get to be pregz again, that's a really tough decision to make. I'll be praying for you.

Erin said...

It is a really tough decision to make. Will you definitely be induced, or will they let you go into labor naturally? That makes a big difference--over 1/3 of inductions end in c-sections. Picture yourself in a year and think how you'll feel in three situations: after a scheduled c-sec, after a "failed induction" (which is a horrible term that does nothing positive for women, and isn't true anyway--it can't fail if it doesn't work because your body and baby weren't ready yet, it was just ill-advised. That's not your fault--it's the doctor's fault.) and repeat c-sec, or after a successful VBAC. Those are the three possible outcomes, right? Try to envision how you'll feel both with the birth and with the first months of your baby's life.

Good luck with your decision--it's a really tough one!