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To try again, or not to try again…



Dr. Shannon suggested I try another ECV at another hospital next week. She thinks it is safe and could work, even though the other doctor did not think it was safe and would work. I slept terribly last night due to the anxiety of all of this. I want a natural birth so badly. I’m so scared of major abdominal surgery and the risks that come with it. BUT I also need to be able to turn my brain off and move forward with a hard and fast plan. Another week of “I might have a natural birth or I might have surgery” is like purgatory.

I’m also starting to feel that even if the Chicken could be turned, that I’d still end up on the operating table because that is just how this pregnancy has gone. You know? It seems most women in my family have had very traumatic first births, some ended up in surgery and others ended up with dreadful tearing and serious fear during birth. I have also learned that there is a pretty strong history of breech birth in both my family and the Professor’s family. I don’t know if it is worth fighting anymore. I mean, what is worse to recover from: a planned Cesarean or an emergency? A planned Cesarean or a third or fourth-degree tear?

Yesterday I got my GBS results and of course, it was positive. Just like everything else in my pregnancy and health history – always the complication. So even if I did get a natural birth, I would need IV antibiotics. The antibiotics they give you are penicillin which I’m allergic to so the doctor would give me a different class of drug from the same family and we would “hope” I don’t have a reaction.

Um, hope I don’t have  a reaction? I think having a drug reaction while in hard labor sounds like the absolute worst thing ever. It sounds like the kind of thing that would drive me out the 12th floor window, or at least to the surgery table with instructions to knock me the fuck out and not wake me up until my baby was 18.

I feel like I’m in Ground Hog Day this week. Every day I wake up in a panic. Every day I feel guilty because I’ve stopped all the ridiculous things I’d been doing to try and turn baby. Every morning I watch more cesarean birth videos trying to prepare myself and every time I feel this overwhelming sense of dread that I’m going to be that tiny percent that does not leave the operating room healthy and with all her parts intact or, even worse, alive.

Yesterday I felt so much better about the direction all of this was heading. Today, I’m a mess. For the first time since I started Prozac I had to go home after getting halfway to work because I realized I did not count the cats before I left (yes, I count the cats every single time I lave the house and come home. This means two things: 1. I need more mental help and 2. we have too many cats), nor did I check the doors and windows to make sure they were locked. Hello OCD, long time no see. Please go the fuck away.



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  1. June 14, 2013

    Oh belle that is not fair! Why this option now that you are finally making peace with the cesarean? I am so sorry. I hate to say it as I am also pro vaginal birth. But I think the chicken has got his (or her) own plans. I think you keep trucking with the cesarean as you have planned so that you can stop the fighting in your head – and if chicken feels up to turning for your dream birth he will. Good luck, I don’t envy you with these mind games! Limbo land is far and away the worst place to be.

    • June 14, 2013

      I thought it unfair, too. I just need to be able to move forward with a plan, make my spreadsheet of things to do and start preparing for life with a baby. Another week of no spreadsheet (an OCDers favorite way to organize stressful things) is just more than I can handle. I’m starting to feel like Chicken is where Chicken needs to be for a reason. Between the placenta, the cord insertion and now the breech position it all just seems like natural birth is not “meant to be.”

      • June 14, 2013

        I’m sorry you’re still dealing with this Belle and can’t lay back and enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy before your world is flipped upside down by a newborn. The limbo of it all is definitely the worst part as it keeps the hope for the natural birth alive. I’m definitely pro-natural birth normally but as you and several others have said over the last few weeks maybe this is Chicken’s way of ensuring both of your safety with the placenta, cord insertion etc etc. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  2. June 14, 2013

    Go with your gut instinct. Look at this way, nature intends that the baby turns. If the baby is breech, perhaps the baby is finding it hard to turn. All your fears are legitimate given your medical history. Don’t fight the inevitable. If you are going to have a natural delivery, nothing and absolutely nothing will take it away from you.The same holds for your family centered cesarean birth. Did you plan anything about chicken’s birth? And I am not saying this because of your IVF , but even if you had the absolute natural conception, can you plan which sperm and egg are going to meet and when it will implant or even when the baby would get born? In natural conception, you don’t even know exactly which “relation” got the fruit. Its all just an illusion of control. Don’t spend the last few nights sleepless and obsessing the chicken turns. The chicken will still turn only when she/he likes. Just be positive, enjoy yourself and relax!

    • jak #
      June 14, 2013

      i ❤ this post:) very wise!

  3. Anon for this #
    June 14, 2013

    Having had a 3rd into a 4th degree tear, I’d do a planned Caeserian birth like you described in a heartbeat. Yes, labor is inexplicable and all, but abdominal stitches must be so much better than 77 stitches in a place where you never expect scar tissue (not to mention a gasp that requires an explanation every time you see a new lady dr). My husband’s family has children with giant heads (98th percentile of full term at 36 weeks adjusted) and my OB thought I was “a nervous Nellie” about natural childbirth. Had my unmediated birth but my recovery was very slow and excruciating.

    I’ve heard from friends that a scheduled C is much better than an emergency C for recovery too. Just some food for thought.

  4. Mo #
    June 14, 2013

    oh hon I’m so sorry. Uncertainty is a bitch and a half. I’m going to be blunt with you: reading this, I think you know already that the best thing for you is to move forward with a planned section. You shouldn’t ignore your gut if this is what it’s telling you. I know you’re scared of the surgery part, but maybe just making peace and making the decision rather than letting it be made for you will help get rid of those fears a bit?
    I know this is hard – but maybe a hard and fast decision is what’s best here. Only you know what you can and can’t handle. Just make sure that you have as few regrets as possible on the flip side.
    Sending a huge hug!

  5. karaleen #
    June 14, 2013

    Oh Belle> I’m so sorry. I really was so happy to read your post about your family centered cesarean birth and I was so happy you found an OB to work with you. I wish Dr. Shannon would have just stayed quiet. I agree with millionbabysteps…I think the Chicken is where the Chicken wants to be and your chances of him/her turning now are very very small…AND….doing a version this late in the pregnancy….I just don’t feel good about it. You could end up in an emergency situation where the doctors are not aware of and won’t accomodate your birth plan and you will then get absolutely nothing you wanted but more stress and a truamatic birth experience. I really really feel you should stick with Dr. Z and go for the calm, peaceful planned c-birth. And I don’t just say this because I had c-sections….I say this because I honestly fear you not getting any of what you wanted. At least now, with Plan B…you are involved…it is a partnership with your doctor and you will be guaranteed certain measures. I really just want you to be able to enjoy these last couple weeks of pregnancy knowing you have a plan and not spending all your time wondering about the “what ifs”. And…there are other considerations….if you go for ECV next week and they turn him….will you then go home and risk he flips back? What if they want to turn him and induce to prevent that? Yikes…that would suck….OR…what if they try to turn and you need an emergency c-section….? in most cases…you deliver earlier than you desire and miss out on that extra week of pay you are counting on as well as losing the agreements you put in place with Dr. Z.

    Once again…I’m sooo sooo sorry for all the stress this has caused you. This should be such a wonderful and exciting time for you, not one filled with stress and anxiety.

    • Shinara #
      June 14, 2013

      I agree, Belle…with the family centered cesarean you are under the care of the doctor you really like. I think Dr. Shannon is really trying to help you get what you want in a birth, but in this case, inadvertently caused more stress for you. Follow your gut, it has helped me in the past with difficult decisions. Karaleen is right.

  6. June 14, 2013

    You can decline the antibiotics, tgey can’t force you!

    • karaleen #
      June 14, 2013

      And…I tested positive with my 2nd baby. I was doing a repeat c-section and the antibiotics were not required and I did not get any. All turned out just fine!

  7. SM #
    June 14, 2013

    Honestly, it seems like Chicken is the way he is for a reason. When you were describing how he was positioned in a previous post it just sounded like Chicken was firmly in place. I think you should go with the planned c-section. It sounds like your family-centered cesearean birth will be with an amazing doctor who will honor your wishes and requests. It sounds like that’s the way to go.

  8. Romy #
    June 14, 2013

    I’m sorry they gave you another option right when you had made peace with the family centered cesarean. I’m biased after having just had a c-section, but I think the family centered version sounds wonderful and I would much prefer that option to the risk of an emergency c-section where you wouldn’t get all those benefits you negotiated. I cried while watching that YouTube video because it’s how I wanted my cesarean to be but there wasn’t time to plan it properly and I couldn’t have my baby on my chest for almost 2 days because of his early birth. I had just started researching the eye drops and the vitamin K shot and with everything happening so early, they just did all the routine stuff. I love my son but now that we’ve settled in at home and I’ve had more time to process things, I find myself feeling very upset about the feeling of being out of control on Sawyer’s birthday. Knowing how that feels, I would choose a planned c-section the way you’ve negotiated it. But that is just me and I hope I’m not scaring you – just my honest opinion after my own birthing experience.
    It’s not fair they gave you this option because now you’ll be left wondering how things would have turned out if you had gone with whichever option you don’t choose. I hope you’ll be able to make a decision and be at peace with it.

  9. June 14, 2013

    You may already know how I feel about this 😉 but let me say it again. I truly believe that babies end up where they are for a reason. In our case, there was a very real reason, despite what some (without any professional and medical knowledge of our particular situation) like to believe. You never know what’s REALLY going on in there and with the placenta issue and cord insertion, I would just leave it alone. You are SO LUCKY to have found a doctor who is not only willing to do a family centered cesarean for you, but is also EXCITED about it. You are so fortunate and this doctor is going to give you the best, and safest, birth possible for the situation you’re both in. The chicken would flip if he wanted to flip – I truly believe that. I have to hand it to the gals who happily go into a version and it works for them, but that, to me, is just messing too much with nature. Depending on the research you FIND, ECV’s work between 50-70% of the time, and many of them end up in emergency c-sections. That is just a fact and you can’t really find definitive stats on the success rates. Ultrasound can only see so much in regards to cord, insertions, etc. My friend who has had both an emergency cesarean and a planned one just recently would tell you that the planned one is MUCH easier to recover from than an emergency one.

    You have a doc excited about doing the cesarean birth in as natural way as possible – and if you do the ECV and things go wrong, leading to an emergency C-section (yes – I called it a C-section) – you will lose all control and peace in the process.

    I would stick with the most peaceful, safest option you have in front of you right now, which is the family centered cesarean birth that your doctor is excited about sharing with you!

    PS – and I agree with the one commenter who wishes Dr. Shannon wouldn’t have mentioned this again. She is doubting the professional opinion of a very experienced doctor – which is fine – but at this point in the “game,” was not the most professional thing to do. The ECV doc tried very hard to make it work for you (from what you wrote) and didn’t take the decision to cancel lightly.

    I wish you peace as you work through this. But I do agree with Mo – in that you already know what you think is best for you and Chicken.

  10. June 14, 2013

    Oh my god I hadn’t even heard of having to have anti-biotics in labour! surely they can find a better time to administer them. I am so sorry to hear about the complications. This time in a few weeks baby pictures and it will all be over. Good luck!

  11. jak #
    June 14, 2013

    the risks from gbs are very low. you can decline and likely nothing will happen to chicken. and you’ve got more reason to decline than most of us since youre allergic. you should consider it.

    i’m sorry you have to think through another option this late in the game. it sounds like you were at peace with your family centered c and the new option is a bit of a mindf*ck.

    not sure dr. shannon said this to you, but i really think they botched your last attempt at ecv. they told you no food/drink b/c they have to keep the remote chance that you’ll go into labor in their minds at the hospital. by doing so, they dehydrated you and caused you to have contractions and caused enough loss of amniotic fluid that they werent comfortable by that time doing the ecv anyway. none of this is your fault. it’s the snowballing of dipshit interventions to produce a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    this will sound strange, but ask yourself this – are you really, truly, in the face of all this back and forth and drama, ready for a natural birth in a hospital setting? a natural birth, that, if anything goes wrong, could snowball into something that is not natural, that you didnt necessarily prepare for? i know you’re thinking it through on this level because your post effectively says so. do you feel better with a planned family centered c, or with the unknown? how will you handle the unknown in the face of the panic and unrest that all this drama has brought on you? if chicken is in fact turned, will you be mentally ready for natural birth after these most recent shake-ups or will you doubt your body? will you be ready to move past the drama in order to birth without fear?

    all that said, you may try the ecv and nothing at all may happen. and that’s your answer.

    hugs and best wishes.

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