It’s raining lots and I’m too knackered to be bothered having my photo taken today, so instead here is a drawing of what a baby might look like at thirty-six weeks. I’m desperately hoping that my baby is in a similar position. For my two previous labours both my babies have been in the posterior position – which means the baby’s spine is against my spine and supposedly this makes labour more painful and more difficult for the baby to pass through the pelvis. On two occasions now I have been fully dilated heading into second stage labour having only sucked on a bit of gas to get me through only to find myself being rushed to theatre for emergency c-sections. In the first instance my son became stuck in my pelvis in a transverse position and second time round my daughter had passed meconium before my waters broke and then she experienced severe foetal distress.
As I’ve made it to second stage labour unassisted on two occasions previously the Kiwi doctor at the hospital and the midwives are all keen for me to have another go at a vaginal birth. I’ve been assured that even with a severe vaginal tear the physical recovery time will be quicker than that of a c-section (but I am left wondering how I would feel mentally?!?!). There would be less blood loss also. Two c-sections down so I know that it takes a long time for core muscle strength and overall fitness to return, not to mention the severe anaemia from significant blood loss that required iron infusions to resolve. The South African senior consulting doctor seemed to be more ambivalent, focusing on the one in two hundred chance of a uterine rupture at the point of the c-section scar.
So now with four weeks remaining I am wondering what I should do? Attempt another vaginal birth or just book myself in for a c-section? It’s not an easy choice. These days both prospects make me anxious. I found having c-sections pretty awful – although not painful the sensation of my son being ripped from my pelvis and the wish-washy-washing machine feeling as they dived in to retrieve my daughter still make me feel nauseous when I recall the experiences. All the machines and the people in the theatre dressed in weird outfits is also unnervingly surreal. The needles and cords that remaining in my body for the following day is also disgusting. I’m not a fan. But on the other hand the thought of going through another labour only to have it end in another code blue dash to the theatre … I’m not sure that I’m psychologically up for it?