Monday, January 31, 2011

Opinions Are Subject to Change

I have very definite opinions about many topics, but I think you'll agree that very few things make me spout my viewpoint as readily as parenthood.  You all know that I'm a little bit of a hippy as it relates to pregnancy, childbirth, and child raising.  I think it's important to remain solid in your position, but I believe it's smart to change opinions as new information emerges.  Personal experiences and anecdotes also tend to help sway opinions.  After my recent miscarriage experience and the resulting hospital visit, I've had a 180 degree change of heart on two things: 

1.  I will never, never, never take the "wait & see" approach should I experience another miscarriage.
2.  Screw VBAC, I most definitely want a CBAC should I experience another full-term pregnancy.

What was so bad about taking the wait & see approach to this miscarriage?  I have found that the emotional cost was too high to ever choose expectant management (the technical term for wait & see) again.  Based on the physical experience itself, I'm not sure that it was possible for me to go the all-natural route.  It certainly was not happening this time around and I have been scared away from ever considering it again.  Yes, the D&C sucks, but I think it was lame to go through all the suffering beforehand only to have to have a D&C anyway.  I'm fairly certain that is why I've found this recovery to be a little more difficult than I expected. 

I do, however, feel that expectant management would have been perfectly fine had I not been as far along as I was because very early (like way the heck early) miscarriage is a lot like a heavy period.  A somewhat chunky and heavy period.  So it's both gross and sad.

I have written several blog posts on why a drug-free vaginal birth is my personal holy grail of childbirth so I'm sure it's surprising that I'm more than willing to voluntarily ask for a c-section if I ever give birth again.  Not just more than willing, I mean I will outright say that I will absolutely get sectioned and I'm not willing to have a trial of labor.  I just will not do it.

Why did this event cause me to change my mind about my next childbirth experience?  Because my cervix WOULD NOT DILATE even though I HAD TO PUSH.  This has me totally mystified.  I feel like my body somehow betrayed me because the urge to push was undeniable and totally unstoppable and the pushing was really for no purpose because my cervix wasn't anywhere near to being ready.

I didn't just want to push, it seriously was all that I could do at a certain point during this ordeal.  Pain and pushing, pushing and pain; that's what stands out in my head about last Wednesday.  I tried a few positions to get things moving on out and had no luck; I straddled the toilet, I did an odd kneel/squat beside the toilet (when I was still vomiting), I sat on the toilet with my feet on a step stool and my knees drawn up & spread wide.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  Nothing happened!

I was PUSHING with everything I had, but nothing happened because my cervix was still pointing in the wrong direction and still would not dilate!  I could have pushed for hours longer and would have most likely had absolutely zero progress to show for the agony.  I had thought for sure that the miscarriage must have been nearly over and found that it was not even close to completion.  I was crestfallen when the gynecologist gave me the information that I wasn't dilating.

This experience has filled me with concern for my next childbirth experience because I worry about the same damn thing happening.  Trying to push out a 10-week fetus without appropriate dilation isn't likely to injure a cervix, but trying the same thing with an 8-pound full-term baby could really cause serious problems.  Sure, screwing up your cervix when you're delivering your last child isn't all that big a deal (except that it is), but I still kinda hope that we might end up with a third child.  I know, I must be friggin' high, but there you go.  I'm  not willing to try vaginal birth and I'm totally okay with an OB getting wrist-deep in my insides.  Actually, for the first time in over 2 1/2-years, I'm totally okay with my son's Cesarean birth too.

I find it odd how quickly and completely I have changed my mind on these topics.  I guess the event was just that horrible. . .I don't know if I'll revert to my original opinions, but I just don't see it happening at this point.

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