This entire pregnancy has been a strange one. Physically, I would place myself on a 7 out of 10. That is where I usually sit. Not entirely comfortable, not entirely uncomfortable. Mostly fine, unless I push too hard. I have been in good spirits for the duration of the pregnancy, aside from regular stress from life, and really thought I was on track for a healthy delivery. Friday, we found out that Mina will be coming sooner than we hoped. In fact, the doctor initially thought we were going to induce that night.
If I don't go into labor by the end of this week, they are inducing me over the weekend. Friday was incredibly stressful, because my visit with the doctor started out fine, until he viewed the sonograms. Mina's abdomen keeps falling behind in the growth progress, so he feels that she needs to come out no later than thirty-nine weeks. Since the likelihood I will go into labor on my own before then is slim, it means induction. I don't want to be induced.
As he explained, since I am not dilated, induction doesn't always work. In fact, my chances are higher than fifty percent that I will end up needing a c-section. That is another thing that I don't want. Inductions are artificially charged. They hurt. Instead of your body just warming up to labor, you go from zero to sixty very fast. My doctor actually dislikes inductions and has made it clear that those medicines can be very dangerous to both me and the baby. He doesn't beat around the bush or sugarcoat anything; he also doesn't make me afraid of things when it's unnecessary. He is simply confirming everything I already know and believe: forcing labor is dangerous and scary. It isn't always successful. If I have to go through that hell, only to get a c-section, life sucks even more. C-sections suck and take nearly two months to recover from. I hate the idea of being paralyzed from the waist down; it's one of the biggest reasons I do not want an epidural.
I worked hard my whole pregnancy to be healthy, combining eating well and staying active. My total weight gain is twelve pounds, which is approved by my doctor, based on where I was in my exercise and weight loss progress when I got pregnant. We did it safely and wisely, with plenty of nourishment for the baby. I do everything right, but I can't be one of the lucky women who get to go into labor naturally. My purist-self has to go through dangerous medication and maybe even an operation. It came out of nowhere.
Pregnancy can't be planned the way women always want it. Often times, a woman does have to go through an emergency procedure or steps she otherwise wouldn't, because things just happen. I know that. Women have had many c-sections before me and have done well. Many women have been robbed of their birth plan and it's unfortunate. I am hardly a special case.
None of that comforts me. In fact, it angers me to hear. I told myself it was fine, that I would go in when we schedule it and in the end, I will get a beautiful girl out of it. I am struggling hard to be comforted by that anymore. I find myself working hard not to just cry. I spent the past nine months working hard to get my body in shape, taking the steps I needed to keep Mina healthy and strong, but it doesn't matter. I'm grieving for a labor I can't have. I'm focusing on cleaning, making lists, or doing anything I can to just make it all easier to handle. If I don't focus on something else, I fall apart. I mourn the loss of a successful, natural labor. I fear the pain from an intense fake one. Or one where I need to be cut open, stitched up, and in pain for two months.
And then I'm angry. Angry because although my doctor feels the same as I do, he is medically, ethically bound to bring about an unnatural birth. He must put Mina first and practice with caution, rather than logic, which I understand. She comes first to me, too. Her belly is growing. It just isn't quite caught up with the rest of her. Her overall weight, vitals, and fluid are perfect. She's a strong baby with a strong personality. I feel her every day. There is a strong chance she will be born just fine, but the risk of something being wrong is one that my doctor does not want to take. "When it's another child's life," he puts it, "I have to do what needs to be done." Even though I am at risk, she comes first. A choice I don't really disagree with.
Maybe if they had just stopped giving me ultrasounds after twenty weeks, like the norm for everyone else, we wouldn't be in this mess. I honestly can't tell you why they continued the ultrasounds, because I had no idea there were any problems until thirty-two weeks into the pregnancy. Since they continued past the three that everyone else normally gets, I can only surmise that they withheld information from me. After all, why would they have continued, when they kept telling me she was looking great? I feel duped. Because the sonogram shows that she has a small belly, our natural labor that we were going to push through together is now not an option. Unless I go into it on my own, by some miracle, I will waltz into the hospital and force her out with disgusting drugs. I can only wonder: if we didn't have some of the technology today, and a lawsuit-happy country, how many inductions/c-sections could have resulted in a normal, healthy labor if they just let it? That is always the double-edged sword of modern medicine.
If you have had elective inductions, I do not look down on you. That is your belief and your right. But my beliefs that I have felt for a very long time are to do things naturally. That is how I am. That is my right. I dreaded the pain of labor, but spent nine months preparing for it. It is what I wanted. Ironic that I am a city girl, but nature is something I feel passionately connected to. I can't explain how awful the idea of not being able to bring my child into the world naturally feels to me. It goes against who I am, who I strive to be. It depresses me that this whole induction feels casual, like it's just a precaution. The fact that it isn't an emergency, but is being subjected to emergency methods is frustrating. Doctors have gotten so used to doing unnatural interventions that they forget what those interventions do to a mother.
I don't want to be depressed over this. I want to move on and be happy for my upcoming foray into parenthood. I can only hope that, at the very least, I can avoid a c-section. I won't need a spinal block or epidural if I don't need a c-section. The cruel irony of being a purist is that I will have gone into every unnatural step of labor if the induction doesn't work. I feel like I spent nine months of healthy preparations for nothing, and it is hard to get over that. I am scared that I will be depressed after labor - something that I truly do not want. Fred starts his new job Monday, and I will be alone with the baby for much of the day. It's a sharp adjustment, especially after what may end up being a traumatic labor and delivery. I have to draw strength from somewhere, or else I will just get worse. I don't want that, but I just feel tired. Very, very tired.
You can do everything right, but things still won't go the way you want them to. I just need to accept the inevitable and hope that it goes well.