Today was 34 week growth scan then consultant appointment then meeting with head of delivery suite to discuss options. I have gone full circle and two more laps for good luck on my decision since 2pm. My head is spinning so I needed to write some stuff down.
So first was growth scan- sonographer lovely. Said Womble is bigger than average. Phew thinks I – ELCS all the way. Decision made. Jobs a good un. Sorted. Hey presto. Womble is looking good so thats all reassuring (but then Munchkin was fine til just before labour when she must have got the pneumonia)
Then was consultant appt. but my consultant was away so I had her SHO or registrar or something. She said baby wasn’t big was in normal ranges. We discussed the section a fair amount so H could get more of an idea (as he hasn’t done as much reading as me). And at that point I was still feeling like ELCS was best option for me as although I know is MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY with a much longer recovery time than a VB, I just don’t feel I can go confidently into a VB feeling like I can do it.
My line is (and always has been) – a positive VB would be the most healing experience for me, but since that can’t be guarenteed then an ELCS is the safest option for me as mentally that is going to be the least traumatic. Another bad birth will leave me at serious risk of permanent psychological harm. It has taken me so much to process Munchkin’s birth and while I do feel a lot better about what happened, something like that happening again will reopen old wounds and I don’t think they would heal this time. So still leaning towards section at this point but a bit wobblier.
Also what came out of this discussion was I have three levels of options in my head-
b) Trial of labour but with low intervention for CS (ie. emCS) if there is even a hint of panic about me or baby.
c) VB with no intention of ELCS.
See option A has been fave for a while. But option B also seems a fairly good one- but I had a strong feeling either 1) would end up in emCS as I would panic and would that be more traumatic? or 2) My promise of low intervention for CS would disappear in reality of situation and I end up in a VB potentially against my will. So is quite a risky option.
Option C has always been poor sibling of other two options. The thought laughable- I have 6weeks left to go, I have done fuck all prep for a VB, I am not confident I can do it, I am COMPLETELY FUCKING TERRIFIED OF GOING THROUGH IT AGAIN/IT ALL GOING WRONG AGAIN. So I had kinda probably written it off.
So H and I were talking while waiting to see the wonderful head of the delivery suite (who is amazing lovely and awesome). Turns out he is now more supportive of option A (hurrah) but for him option B is a VERY BAD IDEA as too much uncertainty and unknowns. But he is also okay with (and would probably prefer) Option C (tempted to make him squeeze a large honeydew melon (of same head circumference as Munchkin was)out of his arse before he is too gung ho about it but hey ho!
Anyhow then we had the delivery suite meeting. One of the labour ward co-ordinators was in with us too. Both lovely lovely women and we discussed what could be put in place if I did decide on a VB. Seriously these ladies were so so lovely and so empowering and allowing me to explore all my options without judgement and working out what might be the best strategy for me. I actually came away thinking I could do a VB and that it would be positive and that all would be fine. We decided on an early epidural with aim of keeping me feeling calm and in control and not panicking (because once second epi worked that bit of munchkin’s labour was great- until they let it wear off for pushing), and being supported to push in whatever position I felt I wanted too, and basically just making sure everyone was going to be kind and support me this time (where they weren’t really before). And you know what- that kind of birth I want. Calm. Relatively pain free, being able to heal what happened last time, healing faster from it and being with my baby and actually that really is my preferred option (if tickled out by fairies still remains a non option in next 6weeks that is- sigh.)
So then we went home. And then my head started spinning in circles. Going through my notes again- yes Womble is on the larger size but within normal range (and potentially Munchkin’s birthweight was inflated due to her illnesses- she seemed very oedemic) but her head circumference is on the 91st centile already. WOMBLE HAS A BIG HEAD. (so does munchkin- her head was the bit I couldn’t get out and um is kind of the crucial bit you need to get out!) so am I completely mad to think about a VB for another big headed baby regardless of weight? (I was incredibly lucky that I didn’t sustain permanent damage from Munchkin’s birth really apart from tiny minor things but would this be tempting fate? I’d quite like to keep my fanjo fairly intact this time!)
Then I started pondering about a VB and whether it would actually be a positive experience – I mean there are no guarantees, what if another baby gets stuck and needs intervention? Weirdly I think I would be okay with another forceps/episiostomy delivery (not the keillands ones though just the low down ones) if it had to happen. I absolutely know that HAD to happen with munchkin – I wasn’t able to get her out and she was in distress and forceps were fastest and safest way to do that (and I am glad it wasn’t an emCS for her as she was so nearly out and her 02 starvation would have been so much worse if we had rushed to theatre), but I am worried whether I am putting too much stock in having a healing VB experience and if I need assistance to get another baby out whether my feelings of failure around Munchkin’s birth (which I am working really hard to get over and am a lot better than I was) will then return/get worse. I don’t think I would be able to cope very well with notion of two “failed births” even if the second was a positive and much less traumatic than first- but then there is always more therapy to sort that one out. Sodding perfectionistist alphamummy tendencies. Sigh.
Hmmmm so where am I at the minute? Totally and utterly lost! Lots of tears this evening as I think I was kind of hoping for “Yep Big Baby- Yep ELCS best option” only it’s not that clear cut plus I KNOW 2nd births are so so so so so much better than first births so what happened before is so unlikely to happen again so I just have lots to think about and I don’t like thinking. MY HEAD HURTS. (is it too late to run away and hide and maybe find a surrogate to have my second child for me?).
I have another consultant appointment at 36weeks (2weeks away) to make final decision on this and book in for section if that’s what I want.
So I need a plan of action *organised face*
a) Ring doula tomorrow and discuss with her/find other Doula/consider a childbirth class/listen to my hypnotherapy CD. Even if I don’t end up going for VB I actually need to take my finger out of my arse and prepare for this option mentally and physically.
b) Write write and write some more- birth preferences/flowdiagrams/options/questions anything and everything about this needs to get out of my head and onto paper.
c) See if my CBT therapist can see me before my consultant appt. He had to move my appt. so now its after the consultants appt. but I could really do with seeing him beforehand to talk through some of this stuff with him.
d) be kind to myself- try not to get too stressed about this- try to focus on whatever decision I make being the right one for me (I know how a baby gets into the world is such a tiny tiny part of it- and a few weeks after Womble is born I will probably wonder why I was making such a fuss- but at the minute I genuinely don’t know what option is best for me so I need to muddle through and work it out somehow.
Or Um alternately I could just put this decision to a twitter vote!? (THAT WAS A JOKE!?) but yes ponderances/perspectives from my pals would help! Ta!