24 Apr

I’m still trying to process the results of our appointments on Monday, hence the delay in my posting.

The good news is, Turtle is still growing right on track (even a little ahead). His dilations have not grown very much. His bowel is still moving, still appears to be alive. My amniotic fluid level is still good. He seems to be getting enough oxygen and he passed the non-stress test with flying colors. And my blood pressure is great. That’s the good stuff.

The less good is that he’s still in a breech position and we learned that with his condition, he cannot be delivered vaginally if he’s breech, nor should we attempt a version. We also learned, after a couple weeks of getting ourselves a little psyched up at the prospect of a natural birth, that Dr. Kind will want him to come out when we hit full term (37 weeks). His reasoning is, he’s full term, he’s big enough, let’s get him out and deal with the gastroschisis.

We were a bit surprised to hear this, as all along he had been saying that he wanted to get to “at least 36 weeks if not much more.” I’m not sure what changed, since he even said something along those lines at our last appointment two weeks prior. It could be the fact that he still has these bigger dilations that aren’t going down.

Either way, that means a scheduled cesarean if he remains breech, or a scheduled induction if he turns. Now lately I’ve been feeling very much like I don’t want a c-section at all. Like the very thought scared me, of lying on that table, belly sliced open, and not getting all the hormonal and emotional benefits of a natural birth. It seemed like it would make the journey that much harder, emotionally, when he is taken away.

However, I’m not thrilled at the idea of an induction either, as I’ve been reading so much about how the contractions are more painful, how you’re tied to your IV, how sometimes it fails, how it leads to more interventions and can end up leading to a c-section anyways. I don’t know why I was thinking I might be able to go into labor on my own but it’s pretty clear that unless my body magically kicks into labor fairly early, that won’t be the case.

At first this felt very devastating. Dr. Caring, while understanding that this is not the birth we wanted, went ahead and reserved OR space for us on May 28th (37w3d), which felt very scary and real indeed (that’s less than five weeks away!). The more I’ve thought about it though, the less sure I feel about anything.

I’m thinking maybe it is a good idea to take him out at that time, maybe he’s safer here in the outside world than risking fetal death (this is a fear of mine, though not directly related to anything in particular, other than once hearing that the risk of this is slightly increased – very slightly – with gastroschisis). I’m thinking maybe a scheduled c-section isn’t that bad. It definitely appeals to the planner in me. And I’ve heard that going in for a scheduled c-section can mean a better recovery, vs. being induced then ending up with a c-section anyways due to stress on the baby, not dilating quickly enough, etc. I’ve heard too that a c-section recovery isn’t necessarily that bad.

So now I’m really confused. I don’t know what to hope for anymore. I know whatever the experience ends up being is secondary to whatever is best for Turtle. I’m trying to focus on that. But do I want him to turn and then open up the possibility of an induction, which scares me? (Scared of the painful contractions, scared of maybe having to get an epidural, scared of being hooked up to all the machines, scared of ending up in the operating room anyways after all.) Or do I want him to stay breech and go with the scheduled c-section, which also scares me?

Do we stick with our doula, if it’s looking like we’ll be having a scheduled c-section? Knowing she will NOT be able to accompany me into the operating room? Is it worth the cost of her full fee if she’s not providing actual labor support or should we come up with some hybrid fee for prenatal (and perhaps postnatal as well) counseling? We are meeting with her this weekend to discuss these things.

So yeah, I’m confused. And I hate not knowing what’s coming. But in some ways it is nice to know that sometime during the last week of May is most likely when Turtle will be here. And then the healing can begin.

ps. New updates on the Turtle page, including (giant) belly shot from today!


9 Responses to “Processing”

  1. Jenny April 24, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Although we don’t have the worry of gastroschisis and surgery to contend with, we were given pretty much the same options as you at our last appointment. Baby is still breech, so if he hasn’t moved by 35 weeks I’ll be scheduled for a c-section. Even if he does move, my doctor doesn’t want me to go beyond 40 weeks (because of my age) and I may need to be induced. Like you, I’m not feeling too great about either option and find myself hoping that baby and my body do what comes naturally. But it’s kind of looking like that won’t happen. I actually had a mini panic attack about it the other night. Unfortunately I have no words of advice or comfort because I’m facing the same uncertainty and confusion with our little guy’s birth.

    I’m sorry that things aren’t more straight forward for you right now. I’ll be sending you good thoughts for a happy, non-traumatic outcome, no matter which way Turtle makes his arrival.

  2. Courtney April 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Hey there! I think you got great news today!

    I had a scheduled c-section because Matthew was breech and I was so upset about it at the time when they said it was necessary, but I got used to the idea and started to be rather optimistic about it. And it was EASY. I mean – we went out for a 2 mile walk the day after coming home from the hospital. It was WAY easy! Do I wish I could have delivered naturally? At the time I did – but now? Nope. Not one bit. I had a wonderful experience and you can too!

    I know your situation is different since Turtle will be taken to the NICU rather quickly, but the c-section did not interfere with bonding at all for me. Not one bit – and I don’t care what anyone thinks who’s reading this thinking, “you don’t really know because you didn’t have the experience of a natural birth.” And I would counter any such argument with, “you don’t have any idea since you didn’t experience a SCHEDULED c-section.” Bonding was not an issue at all – not one bit. I believe that the bonding you’d do after a natural birth with Turtle is the same as what you’ll do if you have a c-section. Your situation is unique and would affect breast feeding, specifically, no matter how you deliver. As long as you go into it wanting to make the most of your efforts to bond, then it WILL happen.

    You’re going to do great! And I’m so glad they won’t let you try a version. My doc did not want me having one because, “he’s that way for a reason” and it turned out that Matthew had a very short cord and a version could have easily landed me in an emergency c-section. Leave ’em where they are, I say!

    5 Weeks! YAY!

    • Alicia April 25, 2013 at 5:30 am #

      I I like this comment – Shelly, I had zero trouble bonding with J, and as you know, she didn’t even come from my body. But I agree – perfect births come in all shapes and sizes… Turtle’s arrival will be amazing.

  3. sass April 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    This is a very personal decision, so I’ll only say that for me, having been through an emergency section, a scheduled c-section seems much less scary than a labor that I think may end up with a section. Of course, if the doctor told me that my chances of ending up in the operating room again were low, I’m not sure what I’d do. Maybe your doula will be able to provide the support and guidance you need. I hope so.

    Btw, I’m not working now, so if you ever want to grab lunch I’d be happy to listen to your worries. Take care!

  4. Alissa April 24, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    I know it’s scary, but you can do this. I think a C-Section will provide you with some peace in the long run (if you need it). You know Turtle will be in surgery and probably the Nicu so you won’t have to worry so much about pushing through the healing process in order to take him home soon. That part is out of your hands. I know lots of people who had to have a section and came out of if feeling pretty good. Whatever happens over the next couple of weeks, you will see Turtle soon.

  5. slese1014 April 25, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Oh honey. I’m so sorry you’re not going to get the birthing experience you hoped to have. I have heard so many differing opinions about c/s vs vag delivery. I have many friends who said they were so glad they had the c/s and some of them had done it both ways and preferred the c/s. I had a lot of women tell me I was crazy to want to do a vaginal delivery. I hope your experience is wonderful and Turtle gets here safe and sound. It is definitely a lot to process. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. nickeecoco April 25, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    Oh, boy. I’m bummed that your doctor gave you confusing news vs. your last visit, and know how overwhelming it can be at the office when you “should” be asking questions but can’t possibly think of them at the time. As a pregnant infertile, I imagine it is difficult to be at a crossroads with what to hope for. I don’t know personally, but I imagine it might help to think back on those TWW days and remember that things are, for the most part, out of your hands for now. I hope that helps some.

    Best wishes to you in your last few weeks of pregnancy, Shelley. I can’t tell you how absolutely thrilled I am that one of the Bitter Infertiles who helped me through some tough times is nearing full-term. Love and light.

  7. alloallo April 25, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    really understand this feeling. in some ways I felt like it was a relief to have a c-section scheduled because it took some of the responsibility out of my hands and for some reason induction and then emergency c-section scared me WAY more than just walking in for a routine surgery. having said that, I’ve now got preeclampsia so it looks like it’s probably going to be relatively emergent either way. I just wrote a post the other day about how hard I’m finding it to let go of things, infertility was a big lesson in that to begin with and now having to let go of any feeling of having any control or choice over the birth… but I guess it is what it is for both of us, and hopefully will be the best course of action whatever it is.

  8. nonsequiturchica May 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    You look great!

    Due to my fibroid surgery two years ago I have to have a C-section. While I am bummed because I really, really wanted a natural birth, as long as this pregnancy continues, the planner in me thinks that it is nice that i can schedule the date.

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