Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Preparing well in advance

In brief: This is a post about pregnancy, or rather childbirth, and
the shadow cast over it by IF baggage. I could use some input (if
you're comfortable giving it).

But first - I'm 27 weeks now and all is going well. Another 3 weeks to
go before my next appointment with the ob/gyn.

A while back, I was talking to a friend of mine, about parenting,
pregnancy and childbirth. Our conversation made me realize something I
had been trying not to think about.

Childbirth. I'm terrified of it.

It's not so much the pain (which I'm sure is awful), but is
essentially temporary. I'm terrified something might go horribly
wrong.

Let me rewind a bit. You may - or may not - remember that Linnea was
born by planned C-section. No way was I attempting a breech delivery.
Secretly, I was relieved at getting a C-section. Emotionally, it felt
like the least risky method of giving birth. Natural delivery seems so
... unpredictable.

So why don't I just get another planned C-section?
My doc informed me that a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) is more
or less the standard course of action. (I gather this is not so in the
U.S. and Canada?)

Perhaps I could switch ob/gyn again, because some doctors agree with a
C-section after a C-section more easily. But I don't see it as my best
and first move.
A VBAC has its charms. I wouldn't have to recover from abdominal
surgery. Perhaps, just perhaps, it might jolt my body into making
some milk this time (if I can do without the epidural, so I'm told).

Which brings me back to my terror of (natural) childbirth.

The word 'natural' in connection with anything to do with
'reproduction' puts me ill at ease. Nature hasn't been all that
cooperative, though admittedly the pregnancy phase has gone smoothly
so far.

Another sign of post-traumatic stress, I think, and not so surprising
either. Or am I clinging to my IF history unnecessarily?

I've made an appointment with a midwife to talk about my fears, and to
ask her how I might deal with it.
Lots of information is what I need, no? What to expect. Who will be
there, what will they do. Will I be allowed to walk around or stuck on
the bed ... What will they monitor? How fast can they get me into an
operating theater if needed?

If it does go wrong, will I ever forgive myself for not having
insisted on a c-section?

Any suggestions on how to face my fears?