Tuesday, November 29, 2005

almost home

november 28

Yesterday I faced the fear I've quietly lived with these past several months. Having dealt with irrational anxiety in the past though, I've dealt with this latest in much the same way. I don't act upon fears I'm able to rationalise have no tangible reason, and I don't ask anyone for reassurance, for that would be asking them to participate in my delusion. Why? Because no one can rid me of my fears, when my fears lie in my lack of faith in myself, and not in anyone else's knowledge.

I know that, when my doctor says 'everything looks perfect', he means it, that his assessment is based on the facts he's accumulated and his experience of my baby at that time. Knowing that and trusting him as I do (and I do, which is a credit to him because doctors are, in general and in my experience, full of shit) doesn't mean I'm not terrified everyday of losing what now feels like my only reason for being - so what good would it do to keep calling, hounding, seeking reassurance when it's not him I need to trust more, but my own judgment I need to trust at all? So I keep to myself and get through each day, allowing my fears to filter through without giving them value, and taking solace in whatever tiny movement the weebee may grace me with.

After yesterday though, I'm finding it so very hard to hold onto my shit, because yesterday feels like all the fears I thought were irrational, aren't.

The weebs is still breech, and after an ultrasound to determine the viabilty of performing an external cephalic version , we saw that it also has its umbilical cord wrapped around its neck, and while isn't considered a red alert issue, it does preclude me from the baby turning action, and also, I have a really, really bad feeling about this.

I go back in a week, and if the cord hasn't moved, I'll be scheduled for an elective cesarean the following week, and fyi: I'm not tossing rose petals while skipping through fields in anticipation of that event.

With a baby wearing its cord as a stylish cravat, mothers can assess their babies' health by monitoring fetal movement. A nuchal cord isn't generally a medical emergency, and one in four babies present this way, and the chances of a cord mishap are like, one in a bazillion, but still, this actualises all my fears. This is something that could be the reason I don't bring my baby home at all. Taking note of and acting upon less or different movement can mean the difference between life and death in that one in a bazillion event, but my baby barely moves anyway, so I have no way of knowing if my baby is strangling itself on the very thing that keeps it alive. If anything is wrong, I need to rely on instinct telling me so - and as I explained earlier on in the piece, I rationalise my way out of feelings that appear irrational because that's how I stay (relatively) sane, and instinct is often not a rational thing. What if I miss somethng important because I'm too busy being rational? But if I act on instinct, with the way I feel today, I'd be moving into the unit and demanding a monitor be strapped to my belly and left there for the next two weeks.

To clarify though, the breech isn't the problem. The nuchal cord isn't a problem. The nuchal cord with a breech presentation is. It doesn't matter a whit if it's a cephalic presentation, nor is a breech presentation an issue when the cord isn't wrapped around the babies neck. Go me for getting it arse upwards. Or downwards, as the case may be. Furthermore, Chris is one of the handful of OBs who has the skills to regularly deliver breech babies. He enjoys them even, as the more successful deliveries he achieves (ie all of them), the less unneccessary cesareans are performed, ergo the statistical data will eventually show that breech presentation is a variation of normal, and more OBs will hopefully reconsider their penchant for slicing and dicing. A randomised study in 2000 comparing vaginal versus caesarian breech deliveries was never concluded as early evidence suggested caesarian deliveries have a four times higher infant mortality rate than vaginal. This was followed by a 2002 paper that questioned the reliability of the evidence, as the randomness of the study also meant that the OBs performing the breech deliveries had random amounts of experience performing them. Summing it up politely, any old codger could have been (and was) given a breech presentation to deliver, and so could fuck it up and lose the child. Additionally, an OB was only present for 12.5% of the planned vaginal deliveries, while only 0.1% of the elective caesareans was performed without an OB. Breech deliveries are harder than cesareans, so it's little wonder the numbers came back in favor of the ol' scalpel action. Moreover, in countries where vaginal breech deliveries are the norm, meaning the OBs know what in hell they're doing, the infant mortality rate is not notably different from that of cesarean deliveries.

My, aren't I the mine of information this morning?

That was all an aside, by the way, and not really relevant to this feeling of impending doom that shrouds me today. It was interestng though, eh?

Anyhoo, regardless of the perfect pregnancy I've had, and regardless of the miracle of me even getting pregnant in the first place, I feel ripped off because I probably can't follow this through til the end the with blood, sweat and swearing in a non medicalised environment, culminating in the feeling that one is pooping a watermelon. I don't want to give birth in a sterile environment. I don't feel like a cesarean is even giving birth. I don't want my lower half so numb that it no longer exists. I don't want to be surrounded by machines and monitors and anonymous people in facemasks. I'm not scared of labour and delivery. I'm terrified of having a cesarean. Terrified, and in the meantime, I'm even more terrified of losing this baby. I have been all along, only now it feels like a rational fear.

And more than being informative, am I also not the most cheerful cupcake you've come across today?

Now, while my last call for good thoughts kind of died in the arse (Thankyou though, to Naddy, for always being here. You have no idea how much that means to me *wipes tear from eye*) , I hope I can still to appeal to whoever is reading to ask if there's a spare good thought you wouldn't mind tossing our way. Also, if anyone is into psychokinesis, would it be too much to ask for a 'move that cord away from the baby's neck' wish too? I promise to make an announcement if it works.

2005-2007© aibee