Dr. Shannon got me a last minute consult with an OB, who we will call Dr. Z, this morning. I walked in ready to wage massive war to get what I wanted, and left having only used one Kleenex and with a Plan B that is about as good as they come when you are talking Cesarean birth.*
Dr. Z was kind and incredibly passionate when I explained the long road I traveled to get pregnant, and was understanding when I explained how all I wanted was a natural delivery after a very unnatural conception. When I said I had been reading up on Family Centered Cesarean’s his eyes lit up and he said he has also been watching the videos for about a year now and working on slowly bringing nursing and pediatrics around to the idea. Basically, he will work to meet as many of my demands as he deems safe. My current Plan B looks like this:
– Baby will be allowed to cook until I’m 40 weeks, 3 days to allow for as much lung development as possible. Cesarean is scheduled for July 1 – which happens to be my sweet Oma’s birthday. I can’t think of a better day in the year for my baby to be born!
– Dr. Z will insure that I receive minimal medication so I am completely lucid during the procedure. He will give me a play-by-play account of what he is doing so my very wild imagine does not run away and I’m able to stay calm.
– He will use a bikini cut and hand separate my abdominals.
– He will bring my baby out slowly, allowing him/her to acclimate.
– Baby will get toweled off and then go straight to my chest where Dr. Shannon will perform all pediatric care. Unless there is a medical emergency, baby will stay with me the entire time.
– My wishes re: eye ointment and some injections will be respected.
– The Professor will be allowed to “tag out” if he gets woozy (he is easily nauseated and looked horrified when I said I NEED a play-by-play of what they are doing) and my doula will be scrubbed and ready to tag in so I always have a support person with me.
– The team will consist of Dr. Z who is very excited about this new method, Nurse Emily who is also very pro family-centered cesarean and Dr. Shannon who, obviously, is on my side.
– If I am extra determined and recovering well, my stay in the hospital can be as short as two days.
I forgot to ask about delayed cord clamping, but Dr. Shannon and I just had a text message discussion and she said she will work on that detail. Dr. Z is not keen on dropping the drape so I can see my child “be born” due to a potential infection risk. I’m ok with this, actually. If I weren’t moving to NYC a few weeks postpartum I think I’d fight for it, too, but honestly an infection after cesarean sounds DREADFUL and like it could throw a major wrench into our moving plans.
He was very encouraging about breastfeeding, saying that the biggest thing is to keep at it. He reminded me that UK has great lactation support and that I will be in the hospital for several days where all I need to do is press a button and lactation help will be right at my side, day or night.
He also took a moment to check my diastasis recti, which I thought had gotten pretty bad but has only spread about a centimeter. He said it might spread more, but with diligent work I can still plan on returning to my yoga mat rather quickly.
I think what I am most excited about, though, is that Dr. Z would like to use the Professor, Chicken and I as a test case of why this is a better method and should become standard care. I don’t know if this makes a lot of sense, but I feel SUCH PEACE knowing that my journey through infertility and now breech birth can help improve care for other women. Some days the emails I get from readers telling me that my infertility story gives them hope and strength are truly the only things that keep me moving forward and not crawling into a corner and downing a pint of coconut ice cream, my current vice of choice now that Pinot Noir is not an option! Knowing that my cesarean birth will help other women have a better experience gives me validation and some purpose that I otherwise was struggling to find.
I told Dr. Z that he is welcome to allow residents to view, as long as it does not affect my and baby’s care. I am happy, I said, to help improve birth for women down the line.
Is this my ideal experience? No. Am I still scared of abdominal surgery and mourning the loss of my natural birth experience? Yeah. I am. This is going to be my only child, and the fact that I will never experience the joy of bringing forth life the “natural” way still makes me cry. I am finding my peace, though, and I’m tremendously thankful to have a good team of professionals on my side, all fighting for the same changes in birth and cesarean section.
* A while back a reader corrected me on calling it a c-section vs. a cesarean birth. Her words have haunted me since. I can walk into this experience with negative words and a foul attitude and expect about the same from my doctor in return. Or I can embrace it, open myself to gentler terms and come to peace. I’m choosing the second. It’s no longer “slice and dice” or “c-section. ” This is my cesarean birth and it is going to be as perfect as can be.