2011 01/03

On being cut

FYI — I wrote this post a few weeks ago when the news was fresh and the emotions raw but I wanted to wait to post it for obvious reasons.

Last night I received a surprising phone call from my OB.  Surprising in the fact that it was after 7pm and their offices had been closed today due to the blizzard (and my appointment rescheduled).  Huh, how nice of her to call and check in on me. But there were other things she wanted to discuss.

She had received the results of my ultrasound, done just two days before, and the news was not looking so good.  The purpose of this 37-week ultrasound was to check on the size and positioning of the baby in hopes that having another VBAC (opposed to having a repeat C-section) would be possible.  She was not hopeful.

Turns out that the baby is weighing in at approximately 8 pounds 11 ounces.  “A bigger baby by today’s standards.” Sorry, that makes me laugh a bit because most babies I know being born are anywhere between 8 and 11 pounds! Both of my girls were around the 7 pound range.  Because the medically coded reason for my C-section with Abbi was “baby was too large to fit through mother’s birth canal”, baby size becomes a factor.  But that wasn’t the biggest part that concerned my OB.

Apparently they do a measurement ratio of the head and stomach of the baby.  As baby approaches their due date, the stomach becomes a little larger than the head because baby is putting on some of that adorable baby fat.  In my case that ratio is a bit too high.  Meaning baby’s head is already smaller than the stomach.

What does this mean? In the simplest of terms, it means that if I were to try to naturally deliver the baby there is a higher chance that baby could get stuck after the head is out.  Putting me and baby at serious risk.  To save you from too much detail, baby could end up with broken bones and I could bleed, a lot…too much.

This has all caused a lot of red flags to go up for my OB.  She knows how badly I want to have a natural delivery.  How I would do anything and everything to avoid another C-section.  But she’s also trying to find the safest possible delivery for me and the baby.  Apparently that delivery is a repeat C-section.

I’m angry.  I’m so angry.  Not at my OB, just in general.  That’s probably the worst part.  I don’t know who to be angry at.  Myself?  Did I do something wrong?  Did I screw up somewhere along the way on this pregnancy?  Didn’t eat the right foods?  The infuriating thing is that everything here is dependent upon some stupid medical test by some stupid medical machine operated by a person.  A person who could have measured wrong.  A machine that may have been off in it’s measurements.  How I deliver this baby could all be f-ed up by human error. It happens all the time.  Babies are estimated at one size during a late-term ultrasound and then they end up being pounds lighter or heavier at birth.  It happens.  But this is what my OB has to go on.

I know my OB cringed as she dialed the phone last night.  She did not want to tell me this news.  And I appreciate her calling me herself and calling me as soon as she got the results.  It says a lot about her and that made hearing the news a little better.  I know she wouldn’t suggest a C-section if she were even in the least bit comfortable with me delivering naturally.  But still, I’m angry.

I’ve been through the C-section before.  I know the recovery.  The pain.  The pain that I still experience five years later, both physically and emotionally.  I know the potential complications it will cause in breastfeeding.  I know how difficult it will be for me to snuggle with my girls, even weeks after the surgery.  I know the toll it will take on me, my girls, and my husband who will have to deal with a wife who is falling apart.  I know.  I know and I have to sit here for the next week or so playing it over and over in my head.

I’m scared.  I’m scared of the depression I will sink into after the surgery.  I remember it from five years ago.  But this time I have two little girls and a new baby to look after.  I’m scared.  I’m scared that as certain people read this that it will become the “elephant” in the room when they visit after the baby is born.  But screw it, this is real.  This is how much this sucks right now.

And now I sit.  And wait.  Wait for the day that I schedule to go into the hospital, lie on some cold operating table, and have some doctors remove my baby from my body.

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10 Comments

  • I don’t know if this will help at all… because I, too, know this feeling of defeat…. but my 2nd was a c-section. As much as I wanted to go natural with my 3rd, I had similar problems and had to have another c-section.

    I was surprised that my recovery the second time was so SO SO much easier. I don’t know if that’s normal, really… but I guess I’m just trying to say that they’re all different and you’re not guaranteed to have that hellish recovery again.

    Wishing the best for you.

  • Thanks for being so honest. I had a natural birth and ended up with complications and soon after, my baby got very sick. I want more children, but I’m scared of the complications.

  • Okay, so yeah… I should have read more. You’re already in the recovery stage so you probably already are well acquainted with how you’re recovering from this one. :)

  • Thanks Beth! Yes, I already had the C-section now and am recovering. I’ll be writing about this experience soon! But, the recovery is much different this time around, like you said…thankfully!

  • Oh Mandi, I’m so sorry to hear you had complications with your baby! I hope he/she is doing well now! After three births, all very different, I’ve learned that you just can’t predict what will happen. Every birth, even for just one woman, is so different. I wish I could predict what your next birth experience will be like to help ease your worries!

  • I’m so sorry and I love you <3

  • Stacey, I think you’re an incredibly brave and awesome woman. Thank you for being gutsy enough to share your story and your fears. I am praying for you, and for your family. May His peace surround you and strengthen you.

  • Thanks for being so honest Stacey. It is refreshing to be reminded that we aren’t supposed to just slap a smile on our face and love the hand of cards that life deals us. We have to go through a process to come to terms with the crazy that happens in life.

  • Having first read that you feel like this recovery is going much better than before I was glad to see thehonesty in your initial response to this news in this post. I get it – although of course I don’t know “exactly how you feel” I had very similar thoughts with Gabe. I was so stinkin’ MAD at everyone about the c-section. Yes, I was terribly upset about his diagnosis and his long term funciton, but mostly furious that because some Dr. deemed it safest for him to be surgically removed from my body that was my only option. Not to say I didn’t consider jumping out of the country and pretending I didn’t now anything about needing a c-section and waiting to see what happened when he fell out of my body on his own… I also have to admit that it was much more difficult for me to bond with Gabe as he was cut out and whisked away while I was being stitched up. I hope in your experience this hasn’t been the case. But, all this to say – I get it and I am glad you could write about it honestly.

  • Thanks Katie. I think I had a harder time bonding with Abbi at first due to the C-section. With Talon I kind of knew what to expect and was able to focus more on really bonding with him as soon as I could. And I totally know what you mean….I kept wondering if I could just give birth at home (to avoid the C-section) but then realized that Tim would not be too excited about that! :)

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