The last walk, plus crankiness re c-sections

Today was my last day of walking in to work. I have a short walk, only about 10 minutes (when not pregnant at least), but it is up a fairly steep hill. Today I had to stop 5 times on my way up to catch my breath. One time I actually thought I was going to throw up. I had a meeting about a 15 minute walk away at the end of the day. On the way there I had 5 contractions. I knew walking was bad, but what was I gonna do? No car there… No contractions during the meeting, but on leaving the building immediate contractions again. Had to call Mr. Nishkanu (who was home with a cold) to come pick me up, there was no way I was going to make it home.

Fortunately we have three reserved parking spots for our building and my very kind office manager promised me one as soon as I need it. I guess I need it now. But as an inveterate walker, this is a bit of a bummer. Well, only a few short weeks until the little one is here, so the bummer won’t last too long…

In other news I got some bad news at the midwife the other day. OK, I got the bad news two weeks ago, but I have been sitting and chewing on it instead of posting. Now I am ready to go public. I have a low-lying placenta. This is not so unusual earlier in the pregnancy but at this point in the pregnancy it starts to be bad news. The basic idea is that the placenta is cuddling up pretty close to the cervix. And that means that when the cervix dilates, the placenta can detach and start hemorrhaging. And that is a life-threatening emergency. Even if it doesn’t do that, you are in danger of the placenta detaching before the baby comes out. Since the placenta is the baby’s source of oxygen you can imagine that that is not a great thing either.

So the long and short of it is… if the placenta does not move up soon I will have a scheduled c-section. And in the 4 weeks prior to my last ultrasound, it didn’t budge a millimeter. So things are not looking so rosy for a vaginal delivery around here.

To put this in context I have a doula and I am also taking a childbirth education course. In both contexts I was asked what my idea of an ideal birth is. My answer (aside from the obvious, live and healthy baby) was simple: “no c-section.” My sister-in-law had a c-section and I saw how difficult it was for her afterwards. My personal idea of hell is to try to recover from major abdominal surgery while taking care of a tiny infant and having basically no sleep.

Once the midwife told me things weren’t looking so good I realized that my “no c-section” preference was about more than the very real problem of convalescence. My c-section would take place in the same hospital where I had my previous traumatic d&c. On top of that, ladies, you are awake during a c-section. Yick! Not something I am crazy about experiencing. So part of the problem is… I am scared sh*tless of the operation itself.

But it also feels like such a gyp. 5 years of infertility, 5 IVF cycles, 3 DE cycles, finally something works and… guess what, lady? no vaginal birth for you! When something goes bad in pregnancy inevitably some dear friend of yours says “everyone has something go wrong.” Yep, apparently that is one of the common sense things about pregnancy. And I helpfully reply “I already had plenty of things go wrong before I got pregnant. And I spent 3 months lying on the sofa doing nothing but barfing. I think I had enough things go wrong already.” But as we all know, infertility is no ticket out of the bad things that can happen to people in pregnancy. It doesn’t buy you diddley squat. No karma to be seen around here.

In any case, maybe all the worrying is for nothing. I have another ultrasound coming up to check for a miracle move-up, and if that is still negative for miracles they will check again at 37 weeks to see if a miracle has happened by then. So maybe there is still a last minute hail mary… we’ll see!



  1. Oh boy… seems like it’s always something sometimes!

    I have been fretting over labor, and I also would really rather not have a C-section. No idea what my fate is yet.

    I will be wishing and hoping for some UPWARD movement for you. It does happen, I’ve read women’s stories about that.

    Fingers crossed for you!

  2. chicklet said

    I totally get where you’re coming from re the c-section. While I am willing to do whatever the hell it takes to get this kid out alive and healthy, if I was given a choice, I want to do this naturally. Like you I feel like after all I went through to get here, I want that reward at the end of doing this myself. I’m not stuck on it, and I’m sure I won’t find it a “reward” during the hours and hours of pain, but if I was given a choice, it’s what I’d choose. So him being breech was frustrating.

    However, with the placenta issue, it’s much bigger issues than just breech. I get that it sucks when it’s not your preference, but think of the end goal – alive and healthy. It’s what I keep going back to even now.

  3. Ana said

    Oh, I feel your pain, quite literally because I was recently told the same thing….except mine was not “low lying” but completely covering the cervix and the chance for that to move is basically, as you say, diddly squat. So yes, I feel gypped. I am terrified. I thought I wouldn’t mind, seriously, I don’t have a birth plan or a doula, I am all set for my hospital birth—you’d think I’d be one that didn’t mind a c-section. But as soon as it became a possibility (no…THE possibility), I realized that in my heart I wanted a vaginal birth. I have to keep reminding myself…yes, the convalescence is longer, the idea of “scheduling” the delivery is not as exciting as guessing the date, and ewwww watching your own major surgery is icky…but still, the end result will hopefully be the same wonderful one….and 1 year, 2 years, 3 years from now I will hardly remember what I was fretting about. I am, however, hoping for you that the sucker moves an inch up & you can have your dream birth!

  4. onepinkline said

    Ah crap. Well, I’m pulling for your hail mary. I really hope the tides turn and after all your hard work you get the birth you want. Geez, nothing is easy.

  5. Liv said

    Good Lord Nishkanu…if you haven’t had the world’s worst luck when it comes to this journey to motherhood! AGH!

    You and I have very similar philosophies especially when it comes to labor, so I can see how much this sucks if things don’t move north and stay north soon. Honestly, I’m not a fan of the “Well, as long as the baby’s healthy you won’t care if you had a c-section”.

    We all want a healthy baby. That’s not the point.

    In a way you kind of have to grieve for the loss of your ideal labor and birth experience. I compare preparing for natural childbirth a lot with preparing for a marathon. And this scenario would be as if I trained daily for 10 months, I paid my fee, I bought all my necessary supplies, hired a trainer, and right as I was about to start I blow out my knee. Because I paid my dues, the officals allow me to be wheelchaired at the last mile to the finish line. Did I cross it? Yes. Is it the same thing? No!

    With that being said, the low lying placenta is a pretty serious thing and surgery is very necessary. And at least if you go the c-section route you’ve had some time to prepare for it.

    I can’t speak for what the experience would be like for you. But, I found it absolutely facinating as the observer. Believe it or not I’ve actually witnessed a c-section up close and personal when I stumbled into a situation where I had to become someone’s birth partner. I was rubbing elbows with the doctor’s through the whole thing. They even chatted with me and walked me through what they were doing. (It was overseas and they didn’t have the same malpractice suit paranoia we have here) My friend wasn’t even awake through it.

    My advice is to try and step back from the realness of someone going into your abdomen and to just focus on the miracle of it all. Good luck and I’m still crossing my fingers things change for you!

  6. Lisa DG said

    I know it’s not what you would hope for but, however it happens, you will be so happy when you’re holding your darling little one. Try not to worry about it now- there is time for things to turn around still.

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