Decisions, decisions

It’s 10.31am on Thursday 24th January 2013 as I write this post and I’m sitting in the waiting room of Kingston Hospital’s antenatal clinic waiting to see the consultant (well not actually THE consultant, it’s always “one of his team”) to have a check-up and agree a plan. Tomorrow is my due date, the 25th January 2013, the long-awaited diary date that’s seemed constantly like an eternity away will be here in less than 24 hours. But, I fear that baby will not…

So I’m here, to formulate a plan, to agree how and when she will come into the world – if she doesn’t come of her own accord, which is looking increasingly unlikely.

Despite being overdue with Allegra and her birth not exactly being the one I’d “planned”, I had secretly thought that this time around would be different. I really thought this one might be early, she’s been such a jumping bean and so active I thought she might bust her way outta there sooner rather than later. But, less than 24 hours to go until due date and she’s firmly tucked up inside.

My plan to date has been to try for VBAC if I go into labour naturally. Apparently, because I had an (emergency) c-section first time around, they won’t induce me (no arguments there!) this time and they won’t let me go more than one week overdue (with Allegra I was a full two weeks overdue by the time she was born – not fun!). We agreed back when I was around 20 something weeks that if I was to sail past my due date then they’d see if they could break my waters and do so if they could, if not then I’d be booked in for a planned Caesarian a week later.

I’m ok with that essentially. I don’t feel compelled to experience a natural birth, although I was sort of hoping I would get to try it on for size (whilst keeping the drugs close at hand of course!), but I did only really want to try for VBAC if I was to go into labour naturally: sort of trusting my body would know what to do and would get on with it merrily. So now, as I wait to see the consultant (it’s now 10.54am and my appointment was scheduled for 10.10am…) I’m pondering what happens from hereon in.

I guess they’ll examine me – great joy – see if I’ve started to dilate at all and then we chat through options. Do I really want to have my waters broken if they say they can?! I don’t know – can’t help thinking I might end up forcing my body into labour like last time and it spends days resisting and then I have a c-section… Is there any point putting myself through that? Should I just rule out any thoughts of VBAC and elect for a c-section in a week’s time and cut (pardon the pun) straight to the chase? – I’m in two minds…

On the one hand I do sort of want to believe that every pregnancy is different, every birth too, and have faith in the stat that has been offered to me at every birth discussion – “75% of women who’ve had an emergency c-section go on to have a successful natural birth” – but, will I be one of that 75% or does my body just not “do” natural labour and birth…?!

12.54pm… I’m now home, cup of tea and two biscuits (well, eating for two still…) and Loose Women on the TV (argh, what’s happening to me?!) and reflecting on the discussions I’ve had at the hospital this morning. So, here’s where I’m at:

Blood pressure marginally raised, question “are you feeling anxious?” – umm a little…

We talk things through. I must say, the consultant (or whatever her title is) and midwife I saw were both very nice and willing to talk things through in detail, which was good. Then they examined me to see what we’re dealing with…

Deeeeeeep breathing
Deeeeeeep breathing

So, I’m about 0.5cm dilated, which is not very dilated at all BUT it is a bit dilated, which is progress vs last time: with Allegra my cervix stayed firmly shut throughout and even 24 hours after the pessary I had when I was induced I only got to 1cm! So, I’ll take 0.5cm for now, it’s progress in my book – although the consultant did tell me in no uncertain terms that “the cervix isn’t currently favourable towards natural birth” so I shouldn’t get ahead of myself I guess!

But, she was able to touch the baby’s head and give her a little poke, which set her heart racing a bit – poor little boo. Well, I imagine an unexpected poke to the head would give you a bit of a fright!

So things are starting to happen. Sort of. A bit. And they might continue to progress and I might go into labour and I might very well end up with a VBAC after all.

Or… I might not.

So here’s the plan:

Seeing midwife on Tuesday next week to be examined again and have a sweep if it’s possible.

If nothing happens before, then next Thursday, 31st January, I am booked in for an elective c-section. I’ll go into hospital that day, they’ll assess if it’s possible to break my waters and if so – if I’m still on for trying for VBAC – they will and we’ll see if it kick starts labour. But this time around they’ll only leave me for a maximum of 2 hours to see what happens and if labour gets underway then maybe, just MAYBE, I might have a VBAC. But if things progress slowly, or not at all, within those two hours, then it’ll be off to theatre.

A second Caesarian, but this time an “elective” one rather than an “emergency” one. So, probably similar but different, familiar but not, scary but “been there, done that” nothing to worry about really. Hmmm…

Overall I feel ok about things. What will be will be I guess. I’m going to focus on the exciting part of all this… by hook or by crook, our beautiful new baby girl will be with us (all being well, please god) in a week’s time. The end point is in sight.

18 thoughts on “Decisions, decisions

  1. Wow you seem incredibly focused on this and it’s the best way to be. I chose to have an elective section after my first emergency one. It was always a clear cut decision for me as I wasn’t keen on a VBAC. I was nervous too about having another section but I loved the planned part of it. I went 2 weeks over with my first, a sweep and then induction, aargh! I think baby beastie would have been destined to be late too. I hope she makes an appearance really soon but if not, as you said she’ll be in here a week’s time no matter what – exciting times! x

  2. Sounds like you are having a very similar experience with baby number 2 that I had! I too had an emergency c-section following a long and arduous labour with my first. After arming myself with all the necessary information to make an informed decision I opted to go for a VBAC with my second. He was going nowhere fast though and also had an ‘unfavourable ‘ cervix for natural birth at 41 weeks so was booked in for a c-section the following Monday. Low and behold on the Saturday I went into labour!! Laboured for only 7 hours this time but still ended up with another emergency cesaerean. Main thing was that my gorgeous little boy was delivered safe and sound! Good luck Bianca! Look forward to hearing the news soon!!! Xxxx

    • Gosh that sounds like very familiar territory yes! Well, I wonder if I will go into labour between now and the planned c-section date, hmmm? Ether way, you’re right – the important thing is that baby is delivered safe and sound whatever way she comes out! X

    • Thank you – yes, feel so much better after yesterday and having a firmer plan for the next few days. So exciting to think that whatever happens, we’ll be meeting our little lady in less than a week now! X

    • Thx F 🙂 yes, am so looking forward to meeting her now and welcoming her into the world, exciting times – just praying for it to all go well and that she’s healthy and well, however she comes out xx

  3. Sounds like some really tough choices to make when you have no idea how it’s going to go. She’ll soon be in your arms though, and then all that uncertainty will be a thing of the past. Good luck, I shall be stalking you on Twitter for news over the next week or so now! ; )

    • Thank you 🙂 I feel so much better after yesterday’s discussions and now feeling like I have a plan in place for the coming days. Trying to just accept what will be will be and focus on the exciting bit, which is baby girl number two arriving safe and sound and being with us very soon – exciting! Xx

    • Really interesting to hear how the two differed – my experience of the emergency c section was actually okay, so the planned section doesn’t worry me too much, I was hoping for VBAC but hey, what will be will be. Thx for stopping by 🙂 x

  4. I bet you feel a lot better just for having some sort of plan. I think sometimes that the unknown bit of child birth is the hardest bit. When will it happen? Will it happen by itself? How will I cope with it? Will it be natural or c-section?
    I think we are all so programmed to like to know what’s around the corner, that its a nightmare not knowing.
    But she’ll be here soon! Yay!!! X

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