It was the middle of the summer in 2008, hot and humid, and I was overdue with my son Jacob. I was done being pregnant and rather than wait for my body to do its job on its own, we opted to induce labor. I went into the hospital on a Wednesday evening and anticipated having a baby sometime within the next 24 hours. Afterall, I knew of no one who experienced a problem with an induction; it was just supposed to speed up the process. Forty hours later, I had dilated to a two. Even worse, my baby was not reacting well to the pitocin and, ultimately, he was born via cesarean section that afternoon. It was Friday, July 11, 2008.
For me, recovering from surgery was a long and difficult process. I started out with many hours of painful labor and no sleep working against me; and I'm sure having a demanding, nursing newborn was a big factor, too. But it still took me a long time to feel like myself again. When we found out I was pregnant last summer, I made sure that my OB/GYN was onboard with the idea of a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean). Not only did I not want to be cut open again, I really wanted the opportunity to experience the birthing process, pain and all.
Though I've definitely been more fatigued with this pregnancy (I'm sure Jake has a lot to do with that one), it's been relatively normal and uneventful. I have had no reason to believe that anything would prevent me from going into labor on my own. As my due date neared, my doctor began talking more and more about the statistics involved with a vbac, making sure that I understood that the longer labor progressed, the higher likelihood there would be for uterine rupture, and ultimately another c-section. And because the baby's environment begins to deteriorate the longer she's in there, he wouldn't let me go past 41 weeks. If I was at all dilated, he could induce me (strip membranes or break my water); if not, it would need to be a scheduled c-section.
Today is Thursday, May 5th. I am 40 weeks and 5 days. Five days overdue. Every Monday for the last month when I've gone in for my scheduled appointment, the response has been the same: no dilation, no effacement. Essentially, no progress. And since 41 weeks is this Saturday, I am scheduled to have another cesarean section tomorrow morning. On the one hand, I'm glad to know when the end date to this pregnancy is. I'll no longer have to wonder if today might be the day, if I'll have to call my neighbor in the middle of the night to come over and be with Jacob while we go to the hospital. My baby will be here tomorrow morning, and then life can move on. On the other hand, I have to recover from major surgery, all the while taking care of a newborn and an almost 3 year old (which is a daunting thought, no matter how she gets here!). And, again, I miss out on the experience of giving birth.
Am I disappointed? Yes A little saddened? That too. In the end, though, I know what is most important--that Makenna arrives safely, that she's healthy. Tomorrow morning I begin what may be another long road to recovery; but tomorrow morning I also meet my daughter. And for that I am very grateful.
3 days ago