What a week! I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday with severe cramping and contractions that would not quit. I tried walking around our apartment, taking a hot shower, and drinking some water, but nothing seemed to work. Seeing as I've never been through this before, it crossed my mind that I could be in labor... but was in a bit of denial. Since the pain wasn't getting any better, I called my doctor's office at around 9 am. They told me to eat some protein, take a tylenol and stay hydrated, and they'd call me back in a couple hours to see if the situation had gotten any better. Of course, it didn't. I was asked to come in to make sure everything was ok and learned that I was experiencing false labor. I was sent home and told to rest because real labor was probably approaching. I felt like a ticking time bomb.
I had three more days of cramping and contractions before my next visit on Thursday. My doctor checked my cervix and found no progression, which was disappointing to say the least. I had done some research online and found that some women can go through false labor for up to 4 weeks before going into true labor. I realized that this could potentially really suck. Staying up half the night due to so much pain, only to find out it was all in vain, was not cool with me. She then started to press against my belly to feel the baby; a routine procedure. As she pressed on my lower abdomen, she announced that she was not feeling the head. Seeing as I'm hoping to have a baby with a head, this was not the kind of thing I wanted to hear. She brought in the ultrasound machine and she did end up finding the head, but shockingly, it was resting right below my left boob. My baby is still in a breech position. I was either mistaken when I thought the baby had turned, or it had in fact turned but then flipped right back up. I broke down in tears. This was the last thing I was expecting to find out. She also mentioned women who hold extra amniotic fluid have a tendency to carry breech babies because an upright position in more comfortable for them. She gave me two options... an EVC (no f*cking way) or scheduling a c-section.
I came home completely distraught. After doing more research online and contacting friends to see if they knew of anyone who had gone through something similar, I learned that acupuncture was a highly successful way of turning babies. Things were looking up and I was excited. I contacted a highly recommended acupuncturist in the area who specializes in all things pregnancy-related. However, after a long talk on the phone, it was clear that the odds of getting this baby in the right position were highly against me. She informed me that due to how late in the pregnancy I was trying to attempt this, I had a higher risk of inducing labor using this procedure (the optimal time is before 35 weeks). Therefore, she would have to use a "lighter" technique which was much less likely to be successful. She also mentioned that because of the extra amount of fluid I have in my belly, the chances of the baby flipping upwards again were much higher. She was willing to still do the procedure, but wanted to be very clear with me when it came to the risks and the odds. It wasn't the news I was hoping for, but I appreciated her honesty.
So, I slept on it and came to the conclusion that the best decision for me and my baby was to go ahead and schedule a c-section. Do I condone scheduling c-sections for convenience or selfish purposes? Absolutely not! That being said, I truly believe that there are circumstances where a c-section is definitely necessary. There are times when they save lives; if it wasn't for c-sections, neither I or my sister would be here today. Sadly, I feel many women are made to feel "less than" if they end up having to birth their babies via c-section. That's simply not the case. All of our pregnancies are different and all of our bodies are different and at the end of the day, isn't the goal to bring home a safe and healthy baby? That's my goal, at least. Am I sad that I won't be able to hold my baby immediately after birth? Honestly, I'm heartbroken. However, knowing that Joe will get that opportunity and knowing that this baby loves his/her papa SO MUCH (I get a little shimmy dance in my belly every time he comes home from work), makes this decision so much easier. After all, I didn't make this baby by myself. There is the slightest chance that this baby will find it's way down, in which case the c-section will be canceled, but I'm not going to hold my breath and I'm not going to be disappointed if it does not happen. Joe said it best when he told me that I need to focus on the fact that both the baby and I are very healthy. If anything, this whole ordeal has taught me an extremely valuable lesson... parenting will hit you with the most unexpected surprises and you just have to be ready for them.