Guts

So this isn’t a happy-mushy thing to talk about, but it’s kind of all-consuming for me right now. Baby is breech.

When the ultrasound tech told us that at 32 weeks, I thought eh, so what. We have time. But the OBGYNs said weeeell, you might want to think about trying to get him to flip because otherwise it’s a C-section. So I tried stuff.

  • Acupuncture.
  • Inversions (standing on my head, both forward-facing/bum-up and with pillows under my hips).
  • Hypnosis.
  • Moxibustion.
  • Writing to baby.
  • Deep relaxation and breathing.
  • Music and light at the bottom of my belly.
  • Ice packs on his head.

When he was still breech at 36 weeks, we decided to try more stuff. All of the above, plus:

  • The chiropractic Webster Technique.
  • A different acupuncturist (one recommended by a client of mine for women’s health issues specifically).
  • Crawling around on the floor.
  • Bouncing and rocking on the exercise ball.
  • Rebozo sifting.

I talked to one of the OBGYN doctors yesterday about a procedure called external cephalic version, which basically means you push the baby around from the outside. She says in most cases it’s got a 50% chance of working, but in my case because I’m a first time mom and because he’s been breech this whole time it’s more like a 30% chance of working. She says the risks are pretty rare and that she hardly ever sees anything go wrong. Worst case, it just doesn’t work. The internet says otherwise… some message boards even have posts from people who said it was painful, sent them into labor, they had an emergency C-section and their baby died. Of course, there are also posts saying it took 5 minutes and didn’t hurt and the baby turned and they had a happy natural birth.

I hate the idea of going against what’s natural and muscling the kid around. It’s supposed to be a nice safe place in there. Once when I tried to scootch him over with my hand, I felt him make frantic wiggling like a cat being put into a cat carrier. And if the cord is around him and that’s why he’s breech, that’s no good. But this doc said they can pretty much tell if it’s going to work or not, and that it doesn’t hurt or bug the baby. And as much as I hate the idea of messing with him, I hate the idea of a C-section even more.

So five minutes ago I called to schedule the external version for next Friday, August 10. The office said I can always back out, and if at any time I say stop, they’ll stop.

While I had the doc on the phone last night, I asked her about C-sections. And this is probably an area where it’s better not to know. But I asked all the questions and I got all the answers. And I. Am. Horrified. I ought to keep this to myself, maybe? Lots of people have had them and are fine. My running around flailing about it isn’t going to make anyone else feel awesome about their C-section.

And I asked for happy C-section stories on Facebook and have heard plenty of them. This is probably the only thing that makes me feel better.

I don’t mean to be ungrateful for folks trying to remind me to look on the bright side, but while I’m making lists, here are some things that don’t make me feel better:

  • Being reminded that I get a baby at the end of it (BUT I HAVE TO GET GUTTED!!!)
  • Being told this is routine and happens all the time (BUT I HAVE TO GET GUTTED!!!)
  • Being told at least I don’t have to go through labor and a vaginal delivery (BUT I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO IT! I PAID FOR A HYPNOBIRTHING CLASS TO MAKE ME EXCITED ABOUT IT! I’VE BEEN PRACTICING!)
  • In the olden days I might have died (AWESOME, I’M GETTING SLICED UP BUT AT LEAST I’M NOT DEAD)
  • It’s no big deal (IT IS TO ME! I LIKE MY GUTS INSIDE)

Images that flash through my head when I think of a C-section include:

  • The scene in Scream where Drew Barrymore’s boyfriend is tied to a lawn chair and disemboweled.
  • Magicians’ assistants being cut in half.
  • The end of Braveheart where Mel Gibson is publicly disemboweled.
  • The end of the Bjork movie Dancer in the Dark where she is on death row and walking down the hallway to be hanged (the song 107 Steps). There’s no way out.
  • This artwork, that I came across a good 7-8 years ago.

Things I do not like about a C-section:

  • Being cut open.
  • That if it’s an emergency (if I go into labor before the planned C-section which would likely be August 22) I am not guaranteed a doctor I have met before.
  • That they take your uterus OUT. OUT!!! OUT OF YOUR BODY! To stitch it up and put it back. OH MY GOOOODDDD I can’t believe they really do this. Want to barf.
  • That sometimes your bowels pop out and they put them back inside because it’s not really good for them to come out. AAAAGGHHHH
  • It’s not the natural way our bodies are built to have babies.
  • Missing out on labor and childbirth. Seriously. I’ve been looking forward to it. I saw a movie that said your body releases this awesome cocktail of bonding hormones during the birthing for both you and the baby. Like a crazy babygasm. With confetti and cheering.
  • That I’ve been listening to birth affirmations (“I trust my body. My body was made for this and knows exactly what to do. I am looking forward to a calm, easy labor.”) and this is totally not in line.
  • This is huge: That you can’t hold your baby and breastfeed right away. While you’re getting stitched up and put back together for 45 minutes to an hour, baby goes on a warmer. Though they do let Daddy hold the baby. But I insisted on a moment with Cory alone right away after the wedding, and a honeymoon right away to seal the deal because of the psychology stuff I read about babies being taken from their mommies and how that bonding process right after something major is sooo important.
  • Medicine going INTO MY SPINE. I was aiming for a natural childbirth and labor. This is gross.
  • Catheter. Yuck.
  • THEY TIE YOU DOWN! Wrist restraints. NO! Not good when I’m already feeling powerless.
  • Recovery time. Cory has enough to do anyway. And I am a super whiner. (As you may have noticed.)
  • I don’t get to see baby be born. And he’s not technically born anyway.
  • There are health risks to babies born via C-section.
  • They might nick your guts.
  • Not having a choice in the matter.

Soooo… yeah. At least it’s out of my head now. This stuff is all I’ve been able to think about and I think I needed to write it all out. I apologize to folks who have been through a C-section. I just need to get this all out of my head and into words so I can cope.

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