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We were scheduled for a 10 am c-section and needed to be at the hospital by 7:45 to get checked in and up to our room by 8 am. I was given strict instructions to not eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight the night before. We arrived at the hospital a few minutes early and my husband dropped me and the luggage off at the front door and I waited in the lobby on the couch while he went to park the car. The woman working the info desk saw me come in and no more than a minute later she came over to me and asked if I was OK. I wonder if I looked so awful that she was honestly concerned about me or if it’s just standard procedure to check in with pregnant women hanging out in the lobby.

Anyway, we checked in and were told to go up to our floor where we were shown to our room. Our nurse came in and told us what was going to happen between then and when we actually went down for the birth and gave me a gown to change into. Then she left us to get everything ready to take my vitals and do our intake paperwork. While she was gone, we tried to get as unpacked as possible so that everything was ready when we came back to the room.

Waiting...

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before she arrived back in our room with machines to take my vitals and a computer to do all of our intake paperwork. She went through a list of questions with me, nearly all of which I had already answered on the phone with a different nurse a few days before. The nurse was surprised that I had already answered all of the questions and commented how that would save a lot of time before the surgery. She came back in and brought some scrubs for my husband for surgery.

Ready to become a dad!

Then she shaved me, ahem, “down there” and got my IV going. After that point she told us that things with the first c-section of the morning were going well and I may be able to get in early, maybe around 9:30 instead of 10. I was excited, but nervous all at the same time. 9:30 came and went and eventually she returned to tell us that they had gotten behind and my surgery was actually going to be delayed now. Time was creeping by and I was getting antsy, so I played solitaire games on the Ninetendo DS which helped to take my mind off of things.

Eventually the nurse came back in to tell us that they were getting ready for us and we’d be going down shortly. Around 10:30 we left our room and went down a floor to the operating suite.

The walk down to the OR

We initially went into the recovery room where we got our hair covers and my husband got a pair of booties to wear.

Waiting to go into the OR

I was happy to see that one of the nurses, Dee, who was going to be taking care of me during surgery was the one who was with me during and after our attempted external version. She had told me at the version that she is a surgical nurse and she’d probably be there for my c-section, and it was definitely nice to see a familiar face. After a few minutes, I was taken into the OR to get my spinal, while my husband had to wait in the recovery room until I was prepped for surgery. The surgical suite seemed like organized chaos to me. There were many more people in the room than I ever expected. There was Dee, at least three other nurses, an anesthesiologist, someone else who was with the anesthesiologist (a supervisor perhaps?), and my OB who would perform the actually surgery.

They had me crawl up on the table and face the wall so they could do the spinal. Dee stood in front of me and rubbed my legs and hands while they prepped my back for the spinal. As I sat there amongst all of the chaos around me, I was completely overwhelmed by emotion. Before I knew it, I was in tears. Tears for the anxiety and fear of the impending surgery and recovery. Tears for my lost dream of a vaginal delivery and being an active participant in our daughter’s birth. Tears because for as nice and caring as nurse Dee was, I wanted nothing more than for my husband to be the one rubbing my hands and legs. Tears for the realization that within a few minutes we would finally meet the baby that we had been so eagerly anticipating for more than three years.

I could hear one of the nurses taking inventory of all of the supplies included in the c-section surgery kit and the rest of the people in the room were discussing Shaun White’s performance in the Olympics the night before. I started sniffling as the tears continued to fall and Dee asked if I wanted a tissue. As first I declined, then as my nose started running I reconsidered and took the tissue. I wiped my eyes and nose, all while trying not to move as the spinal was being administered. I didn’t really notice the pinch or sting of the numbing medicine and I tried to focus on the sound of the blood pressure machine as it clicked on and off, constantly monitoring me. Before I knew it, my feet began to feel warm and tingly and the sensation moved up my legs, which were all of the sudden like tree trunks and completely immoveable. They helped me to roll over onto my back and tested the effectiveness of the spinal. I could feel the pressure of them touching my stomach, but not the cold temperature of whatever it was they were using to test the spinal. Satisfied that the spinal was effective, they inserted the catheter and began prepping my belly for the surgery. While they were prepping me, small waves of nausea began to wash over me. Not “I’m going to puke” nausea, but just “I feel slightly sick and lightheaded and really weird.” I started breathing deeply in through my nose and out through my mouth in an effort to calm myself down, which I think must have worried the anesthesiologist because she kept asking if I was OK.

After what seemed like an eternity, they finally brought my husband in to the OR. I was so happy to see him and told him how upset I was that he wasn’t there with me. He told me that it was awful for him to be sitting out in the recovery room all by himself while I was being prepped. Happily reunited, we sat there together waiting for the surgery to begin. They taped the drape to my stomach, put some warm linens on my arms and then they began. There was a lot of chatter back and forth between the people in the room, most of which I paid no attention to. The anesthesiologist would tell us what they were doing and how things were going. Contrary to what I’d always heard about c-sections (you’ll feel lots of pressure, but not pain), I really felt nothing at all. The thing I remember most was that my body seemed to always be in motion, rocking back and forth slightly on the table as the doctor did her work. The entire situation was extremely overwhelming for me so I continued to breathe deeply trying to stay as relaxed and happy as possible. At one point I remember hearing my doctor said to someone “Wow, she’s got great abs” and then she yelled over to me to tell me the same thing. It struck me as such an odd comment and then it hit me that she was actually talking about my muscles. My insides. I have nice abs. What a strange comment to hear during your baby’s birth.

Eventually the doctor said that she was going to break my sac of fluids and the anesthesiologist told us that we would hear a gush, which intrigued me. I never did hear the gush, but then the doctor said that she would have our daughter out soon and I became completely focused on identifying the moment when she came out. Of course I was completely numb and there was no hope that I could actually know when she was pulled out of the home she’d spent 40 weeks inside. The only indication of when she was actually born was the sound of her cries as she came out.

I immediately started crying. As I struggled with infertility, the one thing that I focused on was getting that positive pregnancy test. That was my one and only goal. I knew that once I finally got pregnant, life wouldn’t be all rainbows and sunshine, but I never anticipated the stress of the first trimester with all of the bleeding and constant worry that something would go wrong. I was much more relaxed for the rest of the pregnancy, but back in a teeny, tiny corner of my mind there was always the worry that something could go wrong. I was always focused on the moment when I could hold her in my arms to know that she had arrived safely. Obviously that moment of holding our daughter for the first time would be delayed with a c-section, so instead I focused on those first cries. When she came out crying, it was the happiest moment of my life. She had a good strong cry, which was all I had hoped for and those little baby cries had both me and my husband in tears. This was a moment we’d waited a long three plus years for. We looked at each other and smiled, knowing that our daughter was finally here.

All of the sudden there was chatter everywhere: “Wow, she’s a big one!” “She looks great!” “Listen to those cries…we love it when they come out crying!” “She’s a big baby!” All of the comments on how big she was had me wondering what kind of giant baby I had carried inside of me. They did what they needed to do to get her ready to show to us and finally they said “look at the top of the curtain to meet your daughter.” I looked up and there was a tiny little head floating over the top of the curtain. In all honesty, I didn’t really process what she looked like at all. She was very swollen and still pretty gunky, plus they didn’t really have her held quite high enough to see her whole face. It didn’t matter to me though. She was our daughter. Our long awaited baby was finally here. That in itself was perfection. They told Mark to come around the curtain to be with her as she was weighed and measured. He turned to me and asked if I was OK and I told him I was fine and to go be with our daughter.

She's just brand new

I was left there alone as they stitched me up. In front of me, high on the curtain, was a small round blood stain where they must have accidentally touched Nina’s head while they were lifting her up to show her to us. I focused on that little red spot, knowing that it came from our baby girl. It was the closest thing that I had to her for that moment.

I could hear my husband on the other side of the room with Nina where he was fawning over her and giggling. It made me so happy to hear the joy in his voice, knowing that his adult dream of being a dad had finally come true. Eventually he returned to me with our little daughter all bundled up and introduced me to her.

One Small Wish granted...one happy family

She was perfect. Even with all of the swelling, you could tell she was just adorable. She looked to be in such peace, all swaddled up with her little hat on. I wanted nothing more than to hold her, but there really wasn’t any way to do so since the drape prevented my arms from going any lower than my armpits. Instead Mark brought her down to my face so I could give her a big kiss. We were finally the family we had dreamed of becoming. My One Small Wish has finally been granted.

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Thank you, lovely ladies, for all of your kind words and suggestions on our current situation. I continue to do everything thing that I can to encourage our little one to move, though it doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot. She does seem to have a bigger range of motion now than she did before, so I suppose it’s possible that she could still turn, but I can tell that she is getting even more cramped in there than before. Even so, I continue on with the chiropractic, acupuncture, reiki, swimming, crawling, inversions, etc, while at the same time bringing myself to terms with the fact that she will likely be born via c-section.

And speaking of c-sections, at my appointment last week, we discussed with one of the doctors exactly why they schedule breech sections for 39 weeks. He gave me some pretty weak answers, answers that definitely did not convince me of any medical need for her to be born early. I tried to push for a later date, but he wasn’t really interested in talking about it with me. He suggested that I go ahead and schedule my pre-op with the doctor who would be delivering her (if we went with the scheduled Feb 11th section), and we could talk it out with her.

So that’s what we did yesterday. We met with her and I asked her what the harm in waiting to go into labor naturally would be. She provided the same list of reasons as the previous doctor, again, reasons that I don’t feel carry a whole lot of weight. So I (tearfully) explained to her that this is likely going to be the only baby that I carry and have an opportunity to birth myself and I wanted to experience as much of a vaginal birthing process as I could. She flat out asked me why, as if I was a crazy woman for wanting to experience labor and contractions. I explained that for all we’d been through to get to this point, I wanted as much of the whole package as possible. I may seem like a lunatic for wanting to experience the pain of labor, but it’s still something that I looked forward to long before we even tried to get pregnant. And I know that she will probably never understand my position, but that’s how I feel and I’m entitled to my opinion.

My waterworks did little to change her mind. So I asked her that what happens if we agree to disagree on this point? Her response was that we should probably talk about transfer of care. My jaw dropped in disbelief. I questioned her, asking that just because I didn’t want to be sectioned at 39 weeks they were going to drop me just like that? She said “well, I don’t know of any OB’s in the area that will even let you attempt a vaginal breech birth.”

Whoa. Hold up. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in a vaginal breech birth. None. I know it can be done perfectly safely, and is done routinely in countries all over the world with better success rates than one would ever imagine, but that’s just not something that I personally am interested in. Not at all. And I told her as much. I told her that all I want to do is be able to experience a tiny bit of labor.

She questioned me as to where we would draw the line as to how much labor was enough? She didn’t want me showing up at the hospital at 8cm dilated and have me “crash and need an emergency c-section.” I told her that I’m not at all interested in laboring with this baby for any sustained period of time, I just want to experience a little bit of it. In my mind, I was thinking that we’d wait until I knew that I was in labor, and then head to the hospital. I have absolutely no intentions of trying “cheat the system” by showing up dilated with a breech baby. I just want a taste.

So we compromised. She agreed to schedule the section for 40 weeks and I agreed that I would not eat or drink anything if I were to spontaneously go into labor before that point. I am to call them after contractions are established at 5/1/1 and then we would go in for the section. I will also be checked at each appointment to make sure that I’m not dilating to an unreasonable level, which would put me at an increased risk for a cord prolapsed. Neither the baby’s head nor butt is anywhere near my pelvis, so my cervix is still long and closed and I don’t really see that changing at all since she seems pretty comfortable right where she is.

To be honest, I really don’t have much faith that I will go into labor on my own prior to 40 weeks, so the scheduled section seems to be the most likely scenario. I just wasn’t comfortable with the idea of my daughter being born early with very little medical indication for her to be so. Obviously we are quite certain of the date that she was conceived, so we know that even if she were born at 39 weeks she should be in good health, but a huge part of me still wants to give her as much time to choose her own birth date as possible. Even one more week was a major victory for me. Plus, I’m just not ready to be done being pregnant yet.

So that’s where we’re at. Our daughter will be born no later than February 18th, her exact due date. We are so excited to meet her!

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.

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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