Well, I've got mostly good news. The meeting with the obstetrician went much better yesterday than I anticipated. We reviewed a few more statistics, took another look at the baby and the internal ultrasound revealed that his/her little bum is nestled right against my cervix with no umbilical cord in between. Little one is still in a Frank Breech and measuring within the 35th percentile. So a smaller baby.... this is ideal!
The obstetrician looked me in the eyes and said, "If we were to choose the most ideal candidate for a natural breech delivery, you would be it." Which offered me a huge sense of relief. My labours have been around eight hours long with Sivana being the exception at three hours... and I push for fifteen minutes or less. But I only start "counting" the start of my labours from the moment the contractions are difficult to manage (which I find are around the 4 cm dilation mark). The days that I "labour" before don't count to me. Sure enough, the obstetrician confirmed this same "starting point" and said that once my labour "starts" (at 4 cms dilation), he doesn't want to see me going more than eight hours. If labour has exceeded the eight hours with little to no improvement on dilation, we are heading to the Operating Room for a C-section.
If labour progresses well and I have reached 8 cms dilation, we will then be moved to the Operating Room for the remaining transition. Once ready to push, if the baby is not out within thirty minutes, given my history with relatively easy deliveries, they will again assume something isn't quite right and do a C-section.
My next concern was that Ethan, even at ten days early, had a head that measured 97th percentile. Even with gravity working for him and contractions pushing down on him... and my midwife trying to push my cervix over his head, we had a great deal of difficulty delivering him. What if this baby has a bigger head and it gets stuck??
Well, apparently what happens in that moment (which must be acted upon very quickly) is that I am put to sleep. Within two minutes, they will have cut to my pelvic bone and severed the cartilage between the adjoining points to free the baby. It means a month of pain and difficulty walking... but it means saving the baby's life.
I'm okay with that.
The OR was booked for 1:00 pm today for a Version but we turned it down. There is only a 50% success rate (meaning the baby actually goes head down) and a 3% chance of complication occurring requiring an immediate C-section. We decided we would give the baby a chance to turn of his/her own accord (last week the odds were 25%, this week they are at 17%, etc...) with the sincerest hope that God will guide this Little One into the right birthing position.
The chances of something going wrong birthing this baby naturally breech is 3-4% so we were facing the same risk percentile and opted to let nature try to do its thing.
We were also given the statistic that it takes 3,000 C-sections to save the one baby that would have died during a breech delivery. So 2,999 C-section are done as a precautionary measure. For every ten babies that would have been saved, one mother has been killed from the C-section.
I looked this doctor in the eyes and asked him flat out "If this was YOUR baby, YOUR body, YOUR decision, what would it be?"
He hesitated, hummed and hawed... and said "Depends on the week you ask me... for instance, we just about lost a mom this week. She needed four quarts of blood to be saved. This week, I look at your chart and see that you are as ideal a candidate as possible to deliver naturally... I say do it naturally. But next week, if we have a close call with a breech delivery... I'd tell you to go with the C-section."
So as it stands, this baby and I are in the best possible position to do this well naturally and that's what we're going to aim for. We understand fully that something could go wrong and we could end up with a C-section or the cutting of my pelvic bone... but we feel pretty good about bringing our Precious Little One into this world and are just anxious to get moving with the next stage in our lives.
We no longer need to panic about the possibility of a prolapsed cord should my water break. We are still advised to come into Emerg immediately but not via EMS. This is a HUGE relief to me.
Tonight, I've had some pretty good contractions. Went on the treadmill and they were roaring every two minutes! But once I got off the treadmill, they pretty much stopped completely.
The "waiting" game is the worst part and the surrender comes and goes. I have prayed for steadfast faith. As I was washing the kitchen floor, God reminded me of something very important... I love Him more than this Baby, that I love Him more than my husband, and that I love Him more than my life. Whatever the outcome, it belongs to Him... willingly.
That is a peace in my heart I thank you all for. I have no doubt your gracious prayers helped to soothe my thoughts and to remember the "bigger picture". I am envisioning holding my baby in my arms and looking into those little blinky eyes right after birth... touching those little fingers and hearing the precious sound of his/her breath of life. I cannot wait to see that little face and commit my heart and soul to this little one as his/her mother. A commitment made eye to eye and blessed with a kiss on the top of the head. It is a sacred moment I anticipate more than words can say!
God almighty, may this next phase belong to You and You alone. I surrender, I accept, I am yours. In Jesus' precious name... Amen.