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…
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.