Ok folks here's the dealio.
It's HARD to be a vessel!!
The hardest thing for me during pregnancy is the fact that although everything depends upon me... I have no real control over anything that is happening in my body. I can eat well, and exercise(which I do). I can try not to get too stressed and get enough rest(which I also do to the best of my ability)... but really there's nothing that I can do about most of the things that my body just does as part of nature. I am a vessel. It can be a beautiful thing, I got to feel all those first little flutters. I have an intimate relationship with this new little person that no one else has had the opportunity to experience yet. And although I know that the things that I do and don't put in my body make a difference in how this new little life developed and grew, when push comes to shove, I can't really control what is going on in there.
I had no power over whether or not my placenta would attach properly in the very beginning of this journey. I could not save the little embryo that wasn't meant to become a fully formed little person, in my early months. I can not force this baby to be born any sooner than it is supposed to be born. I am but a vessel. I have a huge part in this miracle of bringing new life into the world, but no control over how it goes about happening. That is a very humbling thing to accept. I must admit that it is very difficult for me. I feel such responsibility, but have no control at all to change the way that things are going... and it is a struggle for me.
I went in for my weekly checkup yesterday. I had been planning on starting a serial sweeping of my membranes. Last week things were perfectly aligned for me to be swept, but it was too early. My cervix was not effaced(thinned out) yet, but I was dilated to a good roomy 1 and we figured with my daily contractions that I would have more progress by yesterday. Also although the baby's head wasn't engaged(that never happened with my last until I was actually pushing him out) the baby was easily moved into my pelvis to put the right pressure onto my cervix to do the sweep.... last week that is.
Yesterday when I went in I was feeling a good amount of anxiety. I feel pretty torn about messing with nature and trying to push my will upon it. I have been going back and forth about doing the sweep and how comfortable I am with it. Although it isn't a chemical induction it is a "medical procedure" that can have consequences. Things like accidentally breaking the amniotic sac, which could be a big problem if labor wasn't spontaneous after that... causing a hospital birth and possible chemical intervention to help get things started.... all of which is about as far from what I would "like" my experience to be as it could be! And honestly it's not just about what I want my birth experience to be like.... it also has a lot to do with the way that I feel about birth in general. I really do believe that the least amount of tinkering with this natural process is the best. BUT, I also have this hernia repair... which tweaks and stretches in a painful way everyday at this point... so I let my fear of rupture get the best of me and "planned" this procedure. The amount of internal struggle that I was feeling over getting it done was obvious. It was obvious enough to my midwife that she wasn't sure if she should even go through with it. We talked for a bit and she left it up to me, but said it would be fine for me to NOT get it done. I waffled and discussed it some more with her and my husband but in the end, I decided yes..... let's just do it.
So I bared my bits for her to examine, not the most comfortable thing in the world. My husband was there holding my hand( the sweeping is down right painful and I wanted his support)... and then nothing! Well, not really that quickly, but I could tell something was wrong from the beginning of the exam. The midwife was able to fit only one finger inside my cervix still, so I had no more dilation over the week, and my cervix didn't efface at all yet, still. The baby's position also made it impossible to move into the pelvis, so there wasn't the right pressure and she simply couldn't do the procedure.
I can not describe the amount of disappointment that I felt. I have been thinking about and anticipating this for two weeks. I have been having daily contractions for months. The night before I had gone to bed early, because I am getting so tired... only to be waken up with contractions, that although I knew were not "real" labor were strong enough that I couldn't sit still(or sleep) through them. I had to rock and walk and tone just a little to get through them. They lasted for 3 and a half hours, about every 5 minutes, sometimes every 2.
I know that this is the way that my body works. Every baby has come later than my due date, which is not until Friday. And all of my pregnancies have had weeks of contractions that even last time with my THIRD baby, I still convinced midwives and myself were"real"... went down to the center and had all my people ready and everything... to end up with them stopping after a few hours and not being "the real thing". It is immensely frustrating!
Yesterday after I left the office I was pretty grumpy. I was feeling disappointed... I want to hold and kiss this baby!! Plus, there is a part of me that was happy to have some kind of "time" that I would be having this baby. I knew the possibilities that I still wouldn't have the baby after the sweeping but I had honestly not considered not even getting it done. I cancelled my appointment for today because there is no point unless my cervix effaces a little bit more, and I wanted a day off of the stress. I DID NOT cancel my appointment with the midwife tomorrow, because I want to leave my options open, and that is my internal struggle right now. I have decide if I should set myself up for probable disappointment again by going in and not being able to get the sweep done. I also have to decide if it wasn't the universe helping me to see that I was going against my gut by scheduling this thing in the first place. I honestly don't know what I am going to do yet.
I am headed out to the zoo with the kids today. I will walk 2-3 miles today and I'm sure that I will have oodles of contractions because of it. It is possible that I will have effaced more by tomorrow and that even if I don't, the baby's position could be better for the sweep tomorrow... but is that what I really want to do?
I just don't know.
Blah! I will do my best not to be a ball of stress today. My goal is to not think about it at all today(ha ha) while I am out with the kids. I want to take advantage of this time with them before everything changes, but that will be a hard task for me! Not enjoying my kids... I love spending time with them... just the not being distracted part... BUT I am going to do my best. I have been spending a lot of time praying and meditating over the last amount of time, and will spend some time doing the same this evening, and hopefully I will be comfortable with my decision by tomorrow morning, which ever way I decide to go with this.
I just wanted to let everyone know what was happening in our crazy little world right now. I hope that everyone is doing well. I will let you all know if anything happens. If I have the baby I will at least put up a quick announcement... if I don't you can bet that I will back on here venting my frustration and impatience! :P
Today I am grateful that my baby is happy and healthy inside my womb.
I am grateful that I am worrying about when I will get to hold this new little person and not why this life was taken away. (I just found out that a friend who was pregnant in the beginning of my pregnancy and lost her baby, finally got pregnant again and just lost this one as well, and I DO realize how incredibly lucky and blessed we are!)
I am grateful that one way or the other I will be holding my baby very soon... no one stays pregnant forever!! : )