It is with a very disappointed heart that I can announce our daughter will be born on February 11th, 2010.

Despite all of my efforts to encourage her to turn, she is having none of it. The four times a week chiro appointments, the weekly acupuncture, the swimming, the moxabustion, the crawling around on the floor…none of it worked.

Even so, I felt confident that all of those things would have at least had made it easier for her to turn today with the assistance of a doctor during an external version. As it turns out, she did not budge an inch.

The version was not comfortable. In fact, it was a lot more uncomfortable than I ever imagined it would be. I knew going into it that it wouldn’t be comfortable, but I really felt that she was ready to turn and might do so with minimal pressure and discomfort. I was wrong.

I was hesitant to even have the version done in the first place. The success rates weren’t that impressive and I knew that with the way she way situated (frank breech, with her feet up by her ears) the chances of success were even lower than with a complete breech. The low success rates are why I tried all of the alternative options first, hoping that she would turn prior to this morning’s version. I weighed the pros and cons of the version and decided that if I didn’t try everything that I could to have a vaginal birth that I would definitely regret it in the long run, so we went ahead with the version.

Having been through it, I can say that no part of me regrets doing it. I know that our daughter was safe since they were monitoring her the whole time and she didn’t even seem to notice what was going on. For me the physical discomfort was entirely temporary. The long lasting pain comes from knowing that I will not have the birth that I had always envisioned.

It seems ridiculous to say, but I’ve had a vision of what I wanted my birth experience to be like since long before we started trying to get pregnant. I can assure you that it absolutely did not include a c-section. Of course there was always the chance that a c-section might be necessary in the long run, but I always envisioned my husband and I hunkered down at our house in the early hours of labor timing contractions. I imagined us driving to the hospital while I tried to cope with the pain of the contractions. I imagined laboring and giving birth in one of our hospital’s fantastic birthing suites. I never once imagined a scheduled c-section.

I am completely heartbroken that I will never get to experience these things that I was so looking forward to. After the initial discomfort of the pressure on my belly, I could feel the tears begin to fall down the side of my cheeks and into my ears. A small part of it was due to the pain of the procedure, but mostly it was because I could tell that she just wasn’t going to move. The tears continued to fall long after the doctor stopped trying to turn her. He kept asking if I was OK and I kept mumbling yes, which I don’t think he believed until I told him that I actually felt fine physically, I was just extremely disappointed.

My OB’s office likes to schedule breech births at 39 weeks, so that was the recommendation after it was apparent that the version was not successful. As much as I do not want to have a scheduled c-section, I didn’t have the emotional energy to fight the recommendation. We went ahead and scheduled it, and that was that. The nurse was very sweet telling me that they will definitely do an u/s before the c-section to make sure that she is still breech, and reminded me that some babies do turn prior to the c-section.

I don’t really believe that our daughter will turn, nor do I think I will spontaneously go into labor before 39 weeks and I feel like I’ve been robbed of something that I really looked forward to experiencing. I am not at all excited about having surgery in order to give birth to our baby. I am not looking forward to recovering from a c-section during a time that I want to be able to be there 100% for our daughter. I want to be able to hold and cuddle our daughter after she is born. I want to be able to pick her up when I want to and not have to ask someone to get her and hand her to me. I want to be able to drive soon after giving birth. I want my baby (and me) to benefit from the hormones released during the birthing process. I don’t want to spend weeks receovering from major abdominal surgery. I want to have the birth experience that I always expected to have.

I feel awful complaining about this as I feel I’ve already been exponentially blessed by even being able to experience pregnancy in the first place. For a long time I honestly thought that I would never find myself in this position. I feel greedy asking for and desiring a normal vaginal birth, but it’s what I want.

In the end, I know that I’ve got to keep my eyes on the prize, and that’s a healthy daughter at the end of all of this. She is the greatest reward and though I am definitely disappointed today, I have no doubt that her arrival will completely erase any of the sadness that I feel today.

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