In brief: all is well, mulling over the birth already
All is still well. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night for a toilet run. I still fit into my regular clothes, most of them at least. There's definitely something growing in my abdomen, but I don't think it really shows yet. At 16 weeks, I'm trying not to let that concern me. Let's just say there's plenty of fluff for the baby to hide under.
I'm still feeling remarkably relaxed. According to my book on PG, the hormones can cause a sense of euphoria. That might explain it.
That doesn't mean there isn't any anxiety left, oh no. A fear has nestled itself into my brain: what if something goes horribly wrong during delivery?
It's not entirely logical for all my anxiety to be pinned on delivery, rather than spread out evenly over the entire PG. But that's how it is and I'm looking for a way to deal with it.
(Warning: this post goes on and on about delivery options)
For one, I've been looking into available options for delivery in my area (put like that, sounds like I'm having goods delivered to the house). These are the possibilities:
- hospital birth with an ob/gyn
- hospital birth with a midwife
- labour at home with a midwife and then hospital birth
- home birth or at a birthing centre
The last option is most definitely out of the question for me. If something does go wrong, I want to be in hospital already. The three other options are under consideration.
I made an appointment with an independent midwife to discuss option #2.
There are clear advantages. When you work with an independent midwife, you have her undivided attention during delivery. She knows alternative pain relief techniques. She has time to wait while the delivery proceeds at your body's pace.
The thing is, if something goes awry, you have to trust the midwife will be able to recognize this in time and call in an ob/gyn. This is where I start to tremble.
There is an ob/gyn on call at all times, but often he/she is not in the hospital but at home. It can easily take half an hour for them to arrive at the hospital. A lot can happen in half an hour.
The midwife tried to reassure me, telling me signs of trouble generally show up early during labour, leaving the ob/gyn plenty of time to arrive. Unexpected trouble is rare. 'Rare' has lost it's soothing charm for me. Total fertilization failure is rare.
At our next ob/gyn appointment, I asked the doctor's opinion on option 2. She was less than enthusiastic, to put it mildly. Being an ob/gyn, the only times she would come in contact with deliveries led by a midwife is when complications occur. She is then expected to swoop in, take over a patient she knows little about, and fix whatever needs fixing. The stakes are high, the pressure is high, and I can imagine the doctor is less than keen on getting involved. She told me she has seen too many near tragedies over the years. After our difficulties conceiving, did we want to take the risk?
Now, some would say this is all about protecting her turf, but I believe there is more to it.
I explained to her that I was feeling anxious about the delivery and that probably I would panic because of it. What attracts me in option #2 is having a personal coach to talk me through. The idea is that I wouldn't need to panic, I'd have the professional by my side to push the emergency button if necessary.
The doctor didn't brush away my concerns, she suggested I talk to one of the midwives of the hospital's maternity ward.
Thus, I made an appointment with said hospital midwife. Turns out, she works at the hospital part time and with the rest of her time has her own practice. In her practice, she doesn't do home births or lead hospital births. She does monitor labour at home and then escort you to the maternity ward, where she hands you over to the hospital staff present. Apparently, my ob/gyn had consulted with her beforehand, because she said it might be possible to stay with me for the rest of the delivery, to coach me until the ob/gyn would take over.
I'm still wavering what to do, though I think I'll try to make the hospital birth with personal coach scenario happen (provided we get that far). If tragedy does strike, I don't want to be left wondering 'what if I had stuck to my ob/gyn?'. There are no guarantees, but then at least I'll have done everything in my power to make it to the other side safe and sound.