Today is my due date. I have reached the 40 week mark. Phew.
I learned a lot today.
Three years ago, I was pregnant with Alivia and 40 weeks came and went. I carry my babies big (I'm big, not the babies) and my doctor was so certain that Alivia was going to be huge, that she bullied me into an induction (which is not what I wanted). After some good pep-talks from an acquaintance, I cancelled my first induction. Doing that infuriated my doctor, and once again, she bullied me into another induction 4 days after my due date.
I went in on April 14th...was induced, got an epidural, Alivia went into distress, my doctor was even more sure she was huge and had issues, so she called an emergency c-section. Alivia Ruth Lindstrom was born at 2:25pm on April 14th, weighing 7lbs 2oz with an apgar score of a 9.
After this birthing experience, I vowed to myself that I'd never allow a doctor to bully me into anything regarding my labor or delivery ever again. Was I blessed to have a healthy beautiful baby? Of course!! But I believe my doctor rushed into my labor and delivery in a very unfair manner.
When I got pregnant this time around, all that was on my mind was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesearean). I was referred by a dear friend to a different practice...a pro-VBAC practice (yes, not all doctors are willing to take on VBAC patients). They have proved to be exactly what I needed and wanted in a practice. Every doctor has discussed my desires with me in detail, helping me plan, giving me advice on how to achieve a successful VBAC, encouraging me and not pushing me into anything. They have been wonderful.
Needless to say, the end of pregnancy is hard...both physically and emotionally (in ways only a mother understands). On top of that, Im not a waiter. I have struggled with waiting my entire life...I'm terribly impatient (read my previous blog post!). Overwhelmed, I went into my doctor appointment today with high expectations and even higher emotions. I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the last two weeks, and this morning, they were so strong I asked Jon to stay home from work, absolutely certain I was in labor!
At 10:40am, my doctor checked me out...and to my grave disappointment, I wasn't dilated or anything. The news took me on an emotional rollercoaster. A few weeks back, one of my doctors and I decided to schedule a c-section just in case we'd need it. It's easier to schedule in advance. She gave me full go ahead to cancel whenever I'd like...it was more for convenience purposes. This c-section is scheduled for Friday, June 18th. Not being dilated or effaced was defeating. I wasn't close to labor and I had this c-section looming in the distance.
I cried the whole way home. Thankfully I had my Jonathan with me. He said something rather profound...he told me that not being dilated at 40 weeks isn't anything to be upset about...and that we should be thanking God that we have a healthy, full term baby! OF COURSE! Our baby is perfect and healthy and a gift from God! Why wouldn't I be thrilled that I hit my due date with my little boy thriving!?
This is why my husband is the perfect man for me. He's my balance :-)
I relaxed, but still felt anxious. My mom (aka my doula) came over in the afternoon. Both Jon and my mom encouraged me to cancel my csection. They both reminded me of my goal of a VBAC...and my mom reminded me that she delivered 4 babies, all overdue, never dilated early and without a doctor recommending any kind of induction or csection (they didn't have those options back then). She reminded me that it's normal to go up to 42 weeks...hard, yes...but normal.
I called and cancelled my csection this afternoon...and it was the most liberating part of this entire pregnancy. The best part? There was no hesitation, no "are you sure?", and no question from my doctors. Their response, "not a problem at all Lindsey. It was merely there as a just in case. I'll cancel it for you right now!"
It's amazing what kind of bondage I was under just by scheduling the csection!! That may sound funny, but at 40 weeks...I have so much peace and freedom in the idea of waiting as long as my baby needs me to. I have faith that the Lord's timing is perfect...that all my strength comes from Him and I need to trust that!
So today, at 40 weeks pregnant...I'm still pregnant. I have no surgeries looming, no induction in the distance. I have no doctor barking "recommendations" over my shoulder. I have a healthy me...a healthy baby...and the freedom to allow my body and this baby to go into labor when it's ready to. It feels like I've taken back the reigns...and its awesome. Does it promise a successful VBAC? No. Does it guarentee that I won't have another csection? Not at all. But that's okay.
I filled my day with a little retail therapy...and a huge banana split...completely at peace with this 40 week pregnancy, thankful for my amazing support system and even more grateful that I can put all my trust in a sovereign God.