2:02 PM, Sunday, September 16th, 2012:
A day that Talya and I have waited for all year (the full-term 37 week mark) comes with some disappointing news: the baby is still breech, and she will most likely be having a C-Section in 2 weeks on October 1st. Ugggggh.
To those who have never been pregnant or don't pay too much attention to how that all works, clearly you want to avoid a c-section. It seems half the people I know end up getting them and there's much debate and discussion as to the "business" of making babies and how quick they are to "cut it out" as opposed to going natural. There is however one big caveat: breech. Around 32 weeks the baby usually starts headin' south preparin' for the great exit of their short lives. Sometimes it takes a bit longer, but only rarely do you hit full-term and still be breech. A slew of issues come up if that's the case, and all of them dangerous. So much so, you will be hard pressed to find any doctor or even mid-wife willing to deliver a baby breech. It's simply too risky when there is the safe alternative of a C-Section...
...of course what the parents lose is, well, the entire delivery. Your entire pregnancy is preparing for the delivery. Something very magical about nature's timing that you have no control over. It's the epitome of floating downstream and inducing labor or having a c-section is the opposite of that. No labor room, no pushing, no being a team and working it out... it's a surgery and you really can't even see it. You lay there and they cut the baby out. It's as unnatural as you can possibly go. To two people that want nothing more than to enjoy the "journey" of this chapter of our lives it is a huge letdown. For some newbies, I may need to explain the whole timing thing and why a C-section is so probable even though we haven't hit the due date...
40 weeks from the start of your last period is the date you are due to have the baby. For us that is October 7th. The baby is considered "full-term" at 37 weeks (today) because it's pretty well done cookin'. And if you went into labor right now the doctor would just let it be. Whereas earlier they may try to give you medication to stop the labor as the baby would be underdeveloped. Today is the day that "it could happen at any time" so be ready.
However, when your baby is breech after this point? You're in some murky territory. It is still possible, though highly unlikely, for the baby to turn - the problem is the baby is big, and there just isn't any more room for that to happen. The reason is happens naturally around 32 weeks is that there's room. Why is hasn't happened is anyone's guess. The chord could be wrapped around the baby in a strange way, it could be too short... Vienna could just be really comfortable and gives two shits about our "plan". Who knows. If Talya were to go into labor now, and there wasn't time for a C-Section, it could be incredibly dangerous to the health of baby AND mother. You're not designed to give birth foot or butt-first and you run the risk of the head getting stuck, oxygen deprivation and internal damaging from pushing on the baby's abdomen, etc. It's just not how humans are designed to have babies and hundreds of years ago, mother's died, babies died... Fact of life. It's even more of an issue for a first-time mother who doesn't have a "proven" pelvis that's big enough to pass a baby through to begin with.
Thanks to prenatal care we now know if a baby is breech and there is a far safer alternative: C-Section. It isn't natural, it's a major abdominal surgery, it's a total ego blow to the parents that had this wonderful fairy-tale scene in their heads... but both mother and baby are far safer. In this day and age, there really is no other option. There's a reason you can't find any doctors to forego a c-section when you're breech: it's not worth the risk. Once the sting of disappointment subsided? I found myself incredibly greatful that we live in the time we live. I mean if we're gonna go crazy trying to get a crib without formaldehyde in it, the last thing we want to do is risk injury or DEATH for our baby so we can "experience" the beauty of delivery. We'll have another shot at it later.
And although this seems all very logical to anyone who hasn't gone through a pregnancy? Believe me, it sucks. A lot. It's a major disappointment, there are tears, it's really shitty. However, it just temporary because in the end it really is just ego. This proceedure could very well be saving you and your baby's life.
The other ass-kicker is the goddamn internet. I get the "natural birth" movement and that it needs to express every possible way it's better to make their point but for those of us in the position of having no choice? Reading how much harder it is to "bond" with c-section babies, or breastfeed with c-section babies, etc. It's this laundry list of unproven things to shame you into natural childbirth. No one is denying that natural is the best way to go but the truth is? Many people naturally don't survive. That's where I stop floating downstream, get out of the boat and get some help. It's rare I do that (says the man who gave himself stitches in the bathroom), but I'm not a moron.
So we will now try a myriad of fun things to make the baby turn from burning herbs, shining lights and talking DOWN LOW on Talya so the baby runs to my voice. We will also try an external cephalic version on the day we schedule the C-Section where the doctor manually tries to move the baby to a head first position. If successful, we will obviously cancel the C-section and wait and see what happens. Most likely however by that point (39 weeks and 1 day) the baby is staying put. We toyed with the idea of trying the ECV early, but it can stress out the baby and lead to an emergency C-Section anyway, so we're trying to give as much time as possible for the baby to naturally turn. What that means is, gulp, two weeks from tomorrow we will most likely be parents. Strangely there is a bit of comfort in knowing that date.
A week ago we took some pictures and I made a little video...
Sexy bitches. LOL.
Alright, send good vibes for turnin' the kidd-o.