June 9, 2012

Being Unpregnant: The Exit Strategy

You know, every so often, you would hear other women – be it your cousin, that woman behind the reception, your ex-classmate, your neighbour or your friend’s friend, having their version of an “amazing birth story” to tell?

Well, you see, I am not one of those and I have absolutely none of those amazing crap to tell!
While I was somewhat hoping for a natural delivery this time round, I was also not very adamant about it. With my previous C-Sect history, I felt that the only thing I could do is be realistic about it. In fact, I was honestly not even sure if VBAC was the right option for me.

Given that I had no prior experience to having a natural birth before, I was also very aware of the potential risks and complications that could occur – in my case, natural birthing is the devil I never knew. 

On the other hand, I was also dreading having to go through another procedure of a Caesarean Section as I was only too aware of the aftermath of it. I was certainly not looking forward to another bad experience of being completely disorientated, drugged out and clamber out from a very painful and slow recovery process. 
I find it almost ridiculous and even stressful to impose Squirt’s exit strategy on me (I know, I know..bear with me on this one) If there is an option of having to vomit the baby out, I think I would rather do that.

While minor cramps and random contractions started when I was about 38 weeks, they were all just a tease. I was not showing any signs that real labour was imminent at all. My doctor, Ah-Chai, was kind enough to advise that I should wait up to 40 weeks (and not more than 41) to give it some more time.

In fact, at 40 weeks on my last check-up, my doctor revealed that my cervix was still tightly closed.

The baby was not engaged and I would have to give it at least another week to see if my cervix would have ripened by then.

With such a situation presented to me, we then thought that we’ll wait it out for a couple more days but still schedule in a date for a C-Sect to be done.

2 nights passed, and still nothing happened. Somehow,  deep in my heart, I felt that scheduling for a C-Sect was the right thing to do.

It was not a case of “I’m done being pregnant” like last time, rather, it was more that I did not want to have to go through days and days of passive labour, being induced and then only to arrive at the conclusion that I needed an emergency c-sect at the end of it all.

While I know that every pregnancy can be different, I was also not counting on my body co-operating very well. At 40 weeks, it was showing signs that history was likely to repeat itself.

One thing for sure, I did not want to end the pregnancy with a post-partum blues. I wanted to save my sanity. A natural birth is not a be all, end all. While I am an advocate of most things being natural, and as much as I would like to pursue all things natural, I think I am more respectful of the fact that sometimes, intervention is necessary to minimize potential complications.

So having been at the end of the line, I made a decision to go for an elective c-sect.

I have been told by a few women acquaintances this, “Every women needs to experience labour pain and child birth. Your body knows what it is doing, so don’t always believe what the doctor says!”.

Truly, I thought that was a rather unfair statement to make., especially the bit about experiencing labour pain and child birth. Maybe there is no need to have to go through such pain. Not all women are made equal; some are just lucky to have it naturally, and in my case, not so much especially so if my body decides not to co-operate.
Regardless of the “exit strategy” one undertakes for a child to be delivered into this world, what matter most is that both mother and child are both healthy. That in itself is already a call for celebration.

In a way, I also cannot imagine myself being pregnant for another week longer! And, for me, given the circumstances, going for C-Sect seemed like it was the right thing to do.

My not-so-amazing-birth story coming up in the next few days to come link here.

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