Last night, even though I didn't really feel nervous, I couldn't sleep. I had packed all the bags, cleaned everything (okay, I didn't sweep...sue me), and felt as ready as I could. All night, I tossed and turned and checked the clock, and finally got up before the sun (or the cute alarm clock who usually draws me out of bed with her "mama!" cries). I took a long shower, prayed, and relaxed until Adelyn woke up, and then tried to make the morning normal for her. I cheated on my "no food or drink past midnight" order and had a small bowl of cereal, and then tried to nap, but never quite could. Got a phone call from my doctor around 9 checking to see if I was sure I wanted to proceed, and she rattled my nerves a bit by telling me she didn't have high hopes for success. I told her I was in 100% and wanted to give it a shot as long as she was willing, so she said okay and that she'd see me soon.
I dropped Adelyn off to a friend around 10, met my wonderful doula Jerri-Anne back at my house, and we headed to Raleigh. Stopped in at my chiropractor's office in hopes that being well aligned and loosened up would help my chances for success, and then we headed for the hospital. Thank goodness Jerri-Anne was paying attention and noticed we were going West on 540 instead of East, or else we'd have been all kinds of late and out of the way. She's apparently as directionally challenged as I am, so we were lucky to get it all sorted out and end up in the right place with plenty of time to spare.
I checked in at patient registration, and headed up to L&D triage. Got changed into a gown and settled in right around noon, and had the monitors placed for contractions and baby's heartrate. Went through tons of questions, signed papers, and got all set with my nurse, then had a member of the anesthesiology team come to draw four vials of blood and start an IV, just in case. She was super sweet and had a great southern accent, and got my vein on the first try--yay!
My doctor came in to say hi and tell me that there was a c-section going at 12:30, and once they were done, she'd be ready to get started. Jerri-Anne and I chatted and watched the monitor for the next hour or so, and I was contracting every 10ish minutes, but not painfully. Finally, my doctor, a nurse, the CRNA, and good old Dr. M came in. He was exactly who I'd hoped to see, since he is the head of the department and has been in practice a long time--I figured he's bound to have done this procedure many times and should be a good asset.
They used the ultrasound machine to verify that baby sweet T was still head up, and checked to see where everything was positioned so they could decide which direction to go. Based on that, my doctor told Dr. M that she'd take the head if he'd take the butt, and they got set to go. I expected discomfort, but was surprised by the amount of pain that started as they pushed and pulled with a LOT of force. They were each using all of their strength it seemed, and somehow baby did not budge. After 20-30 seconds of that, they stopped to check with the ultrasound again--verified that she hadn't moved an inch and that her heartrate looked fine still, and then asked me if I was ready to go again. I said yes, and braced myself for the next attempt. I fully intended to try to breathe and relax during the procedure, but found myself holding my breath and tensing my whole body to try not to yell out from the pain. Attempt #2 didn't move her either.
I could see my doctor starting to give up, but she decided to try one time to push the other direction, and they gave it one last try. I wanted to stop so badly, but I also hated to give up and accept defeat. Finally, they stopped and we all accepted that it wasn't working and it wasn't worth trying any further. I was out of breath and hurting pretty badly, but so disappointed to stop. They put me back on the monitor to make sure baby wasn't too stressed out from all the smashing and squishing, and told me I could go once they had a good picture of that. I was contracting about every 6 minutes then, and feeling a lot of discomfort, but my stubborn girl looked perfectly fine and seemed completely unaffected by it all, so I was free to leave.
My doctor told me we needed to go ahead and schedule my c-section since there wasn't a lot of availability on the books, so I got two choices of dates and doctors, and picked the one that is on my due date--December 7th. I'm still going to hope and pray that maybe she'll decide to turn on her own, or that this accupuncture appointment will do the trick, but I am also going to work on preparing my heart and mind for the plan of a c-section in 11 days.
Dr. M asked me before we started whether his c-section had been THAT BAD that I was trying hard to avoid it again, and I told him no, not really, but didn't even try to explain just why I wanted this to work so much. I know many people, women even, dread labor and delivery and think it is horrible and yucky and painful, but it is something I have longed to experience for many years. I know it isn't pretty and it hurts way more than anything else in the world, but I also think it is beautiful and natural and the way God created birth to happen. I wanted that. I still want that. My c-section with Adelyn really wasn't THAT BAD, and I know that going into it knowing what to expect will help it be easier to do again, so I am going to try to look at the bright side to it, and pray for a really good experience and recovery. I think it will take all of these 11 days to help my heart get over the disappointment of not having the birth I wanted...but I know God is good and is still completely in control of my sweet baby girl's life and how it will begin.
I'm home now, and sore and tired, but glad to see the end of this long day. I started it by singing along to the Matt Redman song "10,000 Reasons", and the line that I like the most from that song is "whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes." So, my heart is a little heavy and I'm not quite over the disappointment, but I'm still singing and so thankful for a healthy girl, even if she is stubborn and causing me all kinds of trouble.