My whole birth plan up to this point has been, "I would like my child to live, and if possible, I'd like to survive childbirth." Several nurses have complimented me on my simplicity. I pride myself on low expectations. Beyond that, I have no idea what else to expect.
But that was earlier in the pregnancy, when talking about labor was cute and esoteric and still too far in the future to seriously worry about. Now that I'm knocking on L&D's door, I'm starting worry that my casualness has not allowed for proper planning.
But again, I still don't know what to expect. Up until last week, we were just concerned about keeping this kid in utero for as long as possible. Prior to week 30, my perinatologist (Dick Cheney) had been telling me I'm a automatic c-section due to the fibroid sitting squarely on my cervix. My regular doctor (George Bush) seemed a little less concerned about it (at one point, he didn't even know where the fibroid was located...he thought it was on top of my uterus. That inspired all kinds of confidence). George's take was more, "Well, we'll let you labor naturally, but if you don't ever get beyond 5-6cm, we'll call it." Yes, he actually said "call it," as though the birth of my child was equivalent to that of a rain delay at a baseball game. I detest cliched analogies to begin with, and sports analogies are the worst.
After that harrowing appointment, I asked Dick Cheney if he would be present at the birth. He smiled kindly and said, "No. We're more like consultants, and only assist for the high HIGH risk deliveries." That did make me feel better, knowing I had not yet hit that next stratosphere of pregnancy problems. But then picturing George all alone in the delivery room, scalpel in hand, thinking my fibroid is next to my lungs...well, my relief was short-lived.
And then, at week 30, to everyone's surprise, the fibroid had moved. As my uterus grew, the fibroid went with it. It is now posterior (back), and causing all kinds of lovely back pain too graphic to describe in this blog or polite company. But the fact of the matter is that it is no longer blocking the exit, allowing for the possibility a natural birth. I have to say, as happy as I am that the grapefruit-sized tumor is no longer smashing my baby's head, it's a weird moment to think that you might actually have to labor naturally. My first thought was, "I wish I had paid better attention during our birth classes." Oh, well.
At my last appointment, I even suggested to George that maybe he, I, and Dick go out to dinner to discuss my labor. He smiled politely and then promptly changed the subject. The best I can gleam from both parties is that they want me to 1.) go into labor naturally (i.e water breaks and/or contractions start in earnest) and 2.) we'll figure out the natural v. c-section decision in the moment.
Now that we are coming up to (eek) 35 weeks, there is no clear plan. The current issue is the size of the baby; he might not actually fit through my pelvis. Babies that are too big run the risk of shoulder dislocia (their little shoulders get stuck) and c-sections are preferable. Obviously, a lot of this depends on WHEN I go into labor; tomorrow or the next week = smaller-sized baby. The longer he's in utero, the larger he will become, making a natural birth less likely.
And so, we're just taking it one day at a time. We're giving these last few weeks of pregnancy 110%. Brian and I are planning to work, and are prepared to work the plan. We're trying to remain as big picture as possible. Although the doctors keep moving the goal posts, we have our eyes on the prize and are prepared to take it to the next level...because folks, it's almost game time. ;-)