I’ve been on the verge of tears or in tears for a week now.
I write, and then you write back, and that’s when I burst.
Maybe it’s the hormone concoction that gets pumped into your system at 30ish weeks. Maybe it’s all the ‘light’ reading I’ve been doing lately (grief stories, brochures on preparing for funerals etc.). But reality is definitely hitting.
On Monday I had an appointment at the hospital with a counsellor to see how I was getting on. I went in not really knowing what we’d talk about and thinking I was doing pretty ok. An hour and a bit later, half a litre of tears and a box of tissues down, I walked out knowing exactly my trigger for turning into a bawling mess.
Why? Well, there’s the obvious. You’re likely to be giving birth to a baby who’s already passed away, so probably no cute snuggly reward at the end for all your effort. But the real reason I was getting so upset over this was that the obstetrician had informed me that if your baby has a high likelihood of being stillborn or dying in birth, they don’t let you have Caesar unless your health depends on it. The reason? Well #1, they don’t think it’s a good idea for you to have to recover on the ward with a bunch of crying newborns, and #2, it’s pretty major surgery so recovery is harder.
Instead you have to be induced and then go through full labour. Now I’ve been induced before with #1, Brooklyn, (at 38 weeks because of my Type 1 diabetes) and it was as far from pretty as labour gets. 36 hours with any and every intervention possible, only to then have a Caesar... and quite a Caesar it was. There was a verbal fight between the anaesthetist and obstetrician in front of us, because I wasn’t responding to the anaesthetic and they couldn’t hear the baby’s heart any more. So they rushed Russell out of the room, knocked me out and delivered her under general… all while Russell was quaking in his boots up the corridor wondering if his baby was alive or not.
(The obstetrician came and apologised later for the operating theatre stoush and said, ‘go Caesar every time from now on as it’ll likely be the same scenario’). And I did exactly that with #2, Jake.
Understandably, the idea of labour was definitely hanging over me. And because it was such an arduous process last time, it kind of seems a pretty tough gig to put a poorly baby through. Our real hope is that we get to meet our bub, even only for a moment, and a labour process like that seems too much to make that possible.
So, cross back to my appointment with the counselor… After my outpouring of tears she could see this birth gig was a trigger for me and said she’d speak to my midwife about it and see what could happen. Now it was in no way a tantrum I had… but teary 2-year old tactics seemed to work their magic and made an impact on her, the midwife and obstetrician.
The counselor called me this week to tell me that if I get to 36 weeks and the baby is still alive, they’ll look at booking me for a Caesar so I could maybe get a chance to meet the baby. So good to get some solid news in an otherwise totally unpredictable time of life.
Just 4 weeks till 36.