Total and Complete Basketcase

August 6, 2009

(If you know me in real life, please refrain from discussing this situation over the phone, facebook, or across the dinner table. I'm serious. And yes, that even applies to my mother, my sister, and any other females who share my DNA.)

I don't know what the deal is, but I'm a big, fat, ball of nerves today. Last night I woke up to pee around 2 o'clock and watched the minutes tick by until 5:30, when I finally fell asleep again. I've got to say, that for those three and a half hours, my mind was filled with nothing but thoughts of my midwife moving to stinking West Virginia.

And that is precisely why my husband, who spent his morning with a naturopath, an acupuncturist, and an aromatherapist got the following text message this morning:

Can u get some kind of calming potion from the calmologist who
you're meeting with today? I'm not joking. I'm wound up so tight.

Well apparently he didn't get the text until all three of those hipped-up alternative care providers were puttering away in their Prius (carpooling, duh), and there will be no magical, herbal, calming potion for this girl tonight.

Perhaps a frying pan to the head will work just as well.

I'm not sure how it happened, but in my mind, I set myself up to need my midwife more that I probably really do. I had a plan A, B & C for how I wanted things to go, and somehow she ended up as the star player in each of those scenarios. Not me, not Jared, not the baby--but the midwife.

And really now, who is this about? Right. That would be me, Jared, and the baby--not the midwife.

I guess I feel extra reliant on her because I met her at a time when I was feeling super, super vulnerable. Pregnancy after a loss is a very scary thing (which is the understatement of the universe), and somehow she really helped me through the initial uncertainty of it all. She was kind of like my security blanket. With boobs.

On top of that, I had a c-section with James. And as easy as the recovery was, it's definitely not something I'm hoping to repeat. The good news is, as long as this little girl stays head down, it shouldn't be an issue. I went into labor with James on my own, I progressed really quickly, and if he hadn't have been in a transverse kind of lay, I'm sure the whole experience would have been smooth as silk. Silk that stabs you in the abdomen with a rusty knife over and over and over again, but you know, details details.

So yeah, I'm going for a VBAC--vaginal birth after cesarean (sorry guys, for using the V word on my blog)--and Jared and the midwife were in a dead tie as my number one fan. Now, for the time being, my only fan is Jared, and as much as I love the man, I know for a fact that he has no foam finger and he's very under experienced as a labor coach.

So now she's gone, I'm going to see a new midwife who I've never ever met, and I'm an absolute basketcase. Yes, I've had friends who've used this woman, and they all seem to place her on a pedestal next to Jesus, Moses, and Betty Crocker--but as far as I know, she's not on call 24/7. I could end up with someone else.

Me. Over here. Basketcase. Have I mentioned that yet?

I completely trust two out of the three physicians in this practice, so that's a good thing. This hospital is way over-the-top as far as natural birth and breastfeeding go (we're talking water births, doctors trained in hypnobirthing, very low c-section rate, no pacifiers allowed), so that's a great thing, too.

But that third physician? Yoinks.

I said to Jared, "If I end up with her, I swear I'll be the only documented case of a woman who got a c-section and an episiotomy for the very same labor. Just watch." He agreed.

So I'm all worked up.

And all of the sudden I feel completely ill-prepared for this upcoming labor and delivery. I mean really, why would I have needed any kind of refresher course when I had my magical midwife by my side?

So now I have nine weeks to turn Jared Lawson into something equally magical. Wish me luck.

Last night, after reading Dooce's labor & delivery story I was like, "Jared, all I'm asking is that you make me feel like a flowing lawn ornament in the palm of your almighty hand."

And he was all, "I have no idea how to do that, or even what you're taking about."


We've got a long way to go--a new midwife to meet, four-hundred-thirty-two podcasts to listen to, sixty-four books to read, sixteen cheers to learn, and oh yeah, I'm hoping to achieve the highly sought after state of nirvana. I've heard it's excellent.

If my head pops off, please don't act surprised.


DeNae said...

OK, first, my sister had the episiotomy, the forceps, pushed for four hours, THEN had a c-section. So you don't need to worry about that; she's already taken care of that particular birthing nightmare. One per universe, right?

And I've had 4 c-sections, so assuming the worst, let me just assure you that number 2 was a BREEZE. Seriously. I was on my feet in days.

Hypnobirthing? Who is hypnotized? In my case, it should have been my husband. How about the billing department? "When you awake, you will have lost that statement for the fifteen $75 Advils not covered by my insurance..."

I know you're looking for herbal intervention, but I'm sending a little psychic help, too.

It's going to be fine. I promise.

Now go take a nap.

DeNae said...

Good grief, don't you hate it when someone tries to "help" you by telling you horror stories? "When I had my triplets, they pulled two out through my nostrils and the third out my right ear."

Someone should tell that first commenter she's not helping matters!!


(I know her personally. I'll have a talk with her.)

Rachel said...

Praying for you Amy, that this new midwife would be able to calm many of your fears and that in 9+ weeks you'll be able to look back at this whole birthing experience as a piece of cake compared to the last year.

I know a gal who had two C-sections, then a VBAC and just a few weeks ago an unassisted homebirth! You can do this!

Chief said...

OK so, I have offered my "natural birthing" services and you took a pass on that (probably a smart move).

I will now offer the only other skill that can help you in this case. I can hire a professional hit on the crazy Dr. in the practice. I've got a few friends and with a few more cupcakes I can make it seem like an accident. I'm just sayin...

Kelly O. said...

Amy I know this feeling. Reading what you are feeling has me back there all over again.
My first was breech and so ultimately a c-section.

my second was v-bac and went very well...
My doctor, who I ADORE was going on vacation 4 days before my due date! The nerve! I was petrified. I had trouble sleeping for over a week when I first found out. But then I was reading my Bible and decided that it wasn't Dr. S. I needed, it was God.

I prayed with reserve about the situation and I was a little calmer, then I prayed without reservation and He gave me reassurance that I can't even describe.
The day came and things were going well. halfway through pushing I felt I was out of steam. I was losing it. I prayed out loud, (I mean really loud) that God would give me the desire to go on and the strength to get it done.

He did and I did and in the end I'm so thankful that I didn't put my trust in humans that can let you down. It may not have been my plan but it was His and when I followed Him, He carried me.

so how's that for preachy! I think I missed my calling.

V and Co. said...

things could be worse...i could be your midwife.
just nine more weeks and then you can pop the happy pill into your system and this will all seem like a silly dream.
or maybe you will be in a silly dream...i don't know...time for my refill.

JAMIE said...

Amy, it will work out, I know it.

I had a very successful VBAC 1 year ago, even induced. You and your baby, and said midwife or physician, will do it.

Have a birthing plan, discuss it with them, and be ready to change if absolutely necessary. But no matter what, don't tie your self worth up into whether or not you have Vag or C Section birth. You are a warrior either way!

Mindy said...

First of all, go ahead and have a meltdown... you deserve it. Then, just know we're all cheering for you... you have about a bazillion labor coaches; you just can't hear us. ;)

ErinC said...

I feel for you Amy, even though I don't know you, I know the story! 1 C-section here, then 2 VBACs - been there, done it...

Sooo, I know what it feels like when the possibility of getting a doc that isn't on the vag-birth (let alone VBAC) bandwagon is looming over your head. What I did - FLAT OUT told them that I DID NOT want that doctor. I acted the neurotic-psychopath-preggers woman that I was, and told them that I was too freaked out to have that doc - I WANTED my VBAC (and this was for my third child, my second VBAC - SHOULDN'T have been an issue, but it was), and that doc wouldn't have given it to me.

So, I say, just flip out over the whole thing when you meet with the new midwife - cry, sob, drip snot, the works. AND, bring them cookies... I brought my office cookies, and that labor and delivery was my best! Crying and bribery with baked goods always works. You can do it! :)

Betsy said...

A meltdown is inevitable, because with pregnancy comes a bad case of The Crazy. But you really are going to be okay. However it happens, even with Doctor #3, you are going to have a beautiful, healthy, baby girl. I'm sure of it.

Amy said...

You guys are really great. I appreciate the enouragement, horror stories, advice, all of it.

X-Country2 said...

Aww, you're going to do great! It's going to be great, and at the end, you'll have an adorable little mini-me to take home. :o)

Karen said...

Could you find a Doula, my heart was pounding with emotion while i read this story. I highly recommend a Doula, one thing my Doula told me during some difficult points in my labour is, " this is all part of your birth story and you're working through it" It is not what you planned but it is part of your birth story. Consider a Doula, she can remind you of your courage because, you are a poster mom with courage.

Wild Banks' said...

Save some of that boiling stress and sarcasm to throw at psycho doc #3 and any nurses that try to force you to go with them. You're paying for this fun, demand one of the other doctors!
A friend had that same issue- a doc she didn't trust on duty. They'd rather call someone else in than have you stressed out.

Kari said...

Isn't it crazy? I fell in "love" with the doc I had for baby #3. After seeing me through 2 miscarriages in a row how could I trust anyone else? Then he moved to Florida so I had to find a new guy for #4.

I didn't even get New Guy for the delivery, I got the Lady Who Stood Between My Knees With Her Arms Crossed Who Kept Checking Her Watch. Apparently she had other things she'd rather be doing. She even got "in trouble" from the neonatologist for letting him come out too fast. I don't even remember her name!

By the time #5 came along, Dr. Fabulous had returned to our town, but had given up delivering babies. Crushed again.

His partner was OK (and I did get to see Him in and around the office when I'd go there.)

I do know how you're feeling, it's crazy but so real. I'm sure everything will turn out fine.

Bahston Beans said...

If your head pops off, I'll love you just the same.

jessicat said...

Amy, do you know about Rescue Remedy? Go to your nearest health food store (or come to Portland's Whole Foods) and pick up a bottle. It has really helped me with nighttime anxiety!

The Roberts' Report said...

I'm hearing ya!! I was freaked out about my first experience with the midwife! Mainly because we didn't have health insurance...scary!

But it was fine! Great!! Went really fast!! Oh and extremely painful. I recall screaming MANY times for an epidural. (nice)

Reenie's World said...

Sorry your midwife moved to WV; she should have known better.

The great thing about a baby is that he/she will come no matter who's there to catch them.

Hang in there, and try not to stress too much; things will work out.

Rosie said...

Hey, here's another good story. My first was a footling breach, a presentation discovered on her due date, so obviously she was delivered via c-section. I was bound and determined to vbac my second. I am very insistent, and so even 2 weeks past my due date, I insisted there be no inducement, cause I knew it would likley lead to a C. (Hey, 40 weeks is supposed to be an average.) Finally, at 18 days post due date my water broke, and I had a slow slow labor, I finally allowed a pitocin drip, and eventually gave birth vaginally. It wasn't without its issues, but also its great gifts. My doc was on vacation, but her partner who I knew a bit actually sat with me in my hospital room for 18 hours because she knew how firmly I wanted vbac, and she didn't trust anyone else to let me keep on laboring. And ET had pooped in the fluid, so there were some lung issues that meant she spent a week in baby ICU, but that was 12 long years ago. Nothing's ever perfect, but it was a fabulous birth, even without my doc, with a doula who I finally found at the last minute, and with the ICU week.

Have faith. Breathe deeply. Trust yourself.

And isn't it about time to start having those truly bizarre dreams, a la Hieronymous Bosch? Those should take your mind off things.

Krista said...

Hmmm...well, I took the lazy way out and scheduled a c-section for number two so I could avoid any pain from labor (since my first was breech and required a c). So, at 37 weeks I got bilateral kidney stones so huge they both dropped out of my kidneys since everything was dilating to gear up for birth, but there was no way they were going to make it any further than an inch and leave me in agonizing hell. I ended up getting my c-section, but it made me believe that God is a believer in the V-Bac.

Amy, you are too much of a rock star for her departure to make any significant impact on the wonderful birth of your baby. HUGS!

Megan and Sean said...

I about had a panic attack for you the other day when I read this post. I hated my first CNM and was/am so lucky to have my current CNM. She's lived her poor little life just for me these past few years. (seriously, her (OLD) mom fell in FL, she flew down and back just to deliver my baby. It was for our third who was born with a cleft) We love her, more then we love our own parents. Honestly, you'd feel that way to if she kept you from repeating the two horrid 4th degree tears that the first CNM blessed me with. She's a saint. I wish you the best of luck.

Resha said...

Hi there! I just posted a comment on your "running while preggo" post from July. I have a quick question for you, if you have time to look. Thanks!

P.O.M. said...

I have nothing to add being a non-birthing woman. But I know you'll be fine and it's totally normal to get all basketcase for a while.
Thinking of you!

Sarah said...

Ooooo that is rough. I'd be the same way. But as my hippy doula would have said....if you spend your energy thinking that you'll get the one physician you don't probably will. So put your energy into visualizing and focusing on the birth and the midwife you want to have and the universe will send that to you. (Okay so I don't really agree with the whole universe karma thing, but the power of positive thinking is undeniable!)