Racing Thoughts And Running Time

Well, it is almost 10pm here, and though I’ve slept fewer than 10 hours since last Thursday, it’s apparent that there will be no dozing for me this evening either. I am, you see, in a state of disrepair, and my mind will not quiet. “But this is regular life, for you, Yawps!” you exclaim, and with reason. It is not out of the ordinary for me to go days without sleeping, but this, this is something else. There is pressure here, pressure of a sort I’ve never encountered, and a kind of hopeless helplessness that is devouring me and precluding any easeful moments. Peace has left me and that old familiar anxiety has taken residence in the pit of my stomach again, churning out the jitters like a crafter with a thriving Etsy shop.

This morning I underwent an ECV in an attempt to get the Littlest Yawps pointed in the right direction for the natural and unmedicated birth that I’d been preparing for since that October day I was assured of her existence and imminent arrival. I braved the necessary IV (it would require an entire post to describe what the practice of having needles stuck into my body does to me) and signed the informed consent paperwork, and then submitted bravely to the almost barbaric process of trying to externally rotate a baby into a head down position. It took extreme concentration to relax into the pressure exerted upon me by the doctor, who used her full body weight to attempt this task. I was breathing as well as I could through the ‘discomfort’ when I caught a fleeting look of sheer fear at the violence of the procedure on the Old Man’s face. There but for an instant, it told me everything I needed to validate the fact that I was enduring something quite unreal.

It was, goddamn it, all for naught. The Girl refused to turn.

And so, here I am, at 38 weeks, running out of time, and expected to show up to a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to schedule a day and hour to have her surgically removed.

I am a person of words, and yet my words fail me. The overabundance of feeling is drowning me and I can’t seem to get ahead of it.

My community has been so supportive, but the outpouring of love and platitude has left me hollow and somewhat irritated-not because I don’t appreciate the concern and effort, and not because it isn’t all heartfelt, but because I am who I am, good or bad.

Yes, I am healthy and so is The Girl. Neither of us is in imminent danger, and this is not an emergent situation. YES, I AM THANKFUL FOR THAT, and yes, I recognize it for its rightful power and truth and LUCK for not being otherwise. But to hear over and over that BECAUSE THAT IS SO, every other feeling and disappointment is nullified and “won’t matter once I hold that sweet baby in my arms” is a platitude that I cannot abide and makes me wonder, “Don’t you KNOW ME?”

So much in my life is based on the process and road it takes to get somewhere. I form ideas of how things SHOULD BE and make plans to ensure that they ARE. I attach value to the journey and, in the end, the shape of the experience, and so, IT MATTERS how I get there. The blow of blown plans affects me ways much different, I suspect, from everyone else around me, and I can see it in the visceral reaction I have when confronted with knowing looks and matter-of-fact statements like, “Just you wait” and “Oh, you’ll see” or “You say that NOW….”

Yes, I say that now, because it is the TRUTH. Yes, the important thing is that we are both healthy and not endangered, but that DOES NOT MEAN that I will forget about the fact that I wanted so badly for it to happen in a certain way, and circumstances beyond my control prevented that from being a possibility. A medicated, surgical birth IS a big deal, and it is mutually exclusive from the fact that we are both healthy.

I can be thankful and relieved by one AND completely devastated by the other. It’s allowed, and I don’t feel especially guilty for saying so.

Beyond this, I am feeling rushed into a decision that I don’t yet feel comfortable making. There is still time and some recourse, albeit little and a longshot. There is a chiropractic technique that I can avail myself of that has indicated some success, but after numerous unreturned phone calls this afternoon, and a doctor’s appointment tomorrow where I will be asked to set a B-Day, I am feeling pressed and pressured to a point I never felt possible.

It is hard to say NO to doctors, because really, WHAT DO I KNOW? What part of the information that I am receiving is just a practiced norm and what part is a genuine risk? These people are well-educated and experienced but it is MY BODY AND EXPERIENCE. We are both healthy and doing well, so why would I not give her every opportunity to turn on her own, up until the last minute? Why must I choose a day when, in the end, I could have a surgical birth all the way through the moment she decides that it’s time on her own? None of the answers I’ve been given have answered these questions to my contentment, and they’re all still bouncing around my head with the aggravation and sadness and disappointment.

So here I am, listening to the quiet of the night roar in my ears, with no action to take until a tomorrow whose arrival is delayed by sleep’s absence. The Girl is playing quietly but with fervor down there, unaware of the turmoil she’s already causing as she gives the Nurture portion of the argument a run for its money. This is the first of many boundaries she and I will explore together.

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Make Like A Fetus, Please; A Prayer

Dear Baby Girl,

I knew when I first learned of you, that the lessons in patience I’d that far learned were to be but little dots of color in a broader work; the fuzz of a Monet up close. I wasn’t so naïve as to think that I was prepared for all you, all your existence, entailed. I have passed these months in silent preparation for your arrival, quietly opening myself to the change following soon upon your heels.

But your heels, my beautiful girl, are faced in the wrong direction. So while I know that I am sent to you to open the doors of the world, and you to me as graduate work in patience and flexibility, there is one last thing that I would like to plan to a T, and that is your grand entrance.

So please, sweet girl, know that I have spent these months caring for you the way I will always care for you and do not make this the first exertion of your inevitably stubborn will.

I need you to turn around.

Turn around so that we can begin your life together free and unclouded. Turn around so that I may hit the ground running with you and not waste time in sluggish recovery. Turn around so that I may nurse you and not myself.

You will have plenty of opportunity to teach me how to handle plans gone awry and unexpected U-turns; how to go with the flow and follow detour signs. Plenty of chances to drive me crazy and dye your hair blue for school pictures. But on this, I plead with you; turntuRNTURN. A little flip so that I may bring you into the world in the way I had planned; in the way that is best for you.

Just a little turn. Please.