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.


4 thoughts on “Racing Thoughts And Running Time

  1. You know me. And you know that I am a big proponent of your feelings are your feelings and you have every right to feel them. So go ahead and fucking feel them, girl. Be mad. Be frustrated. Be frightened. Knowing you, you will continue to do everything in your power to ensure that your original plans are carried out and will work tirelessly until you hit a brick wall. I don’t think you’re at the wall yet. So I’ll be the cheerleader that tells you to do whatever it takes (within reason, of course) to make sure that YOU are happy about the way your girl arrives into this world. After all, Mini Yawps will have all the time in the world to derail your plans later on. You’re loved ♥

  2. Unfortunately, I am guilty of being one of the ones saying, “It won’t matter…all will be forgotten the moment you hold the baby.” You’re right. You do feel what you feel, and I SO GET the feelings of helplessness, frustration and anger. I honestly do. I am constantly reminded by my children just how little I actually do have control over, and it is maddening to me.

    The very hardest part about this whole baby-having process is the unknown. There is no way to prepare yourself for it, good or bad. It is violent and scary, yet it is miraculous and empowering. My husband always said that after being there with me for the births of our two children, he gained a profound respect for me, for the woman’s body, and for the bravery of women.

    My friend, I’m so sorry that you are back in this dark place of worry. I wish you the speediest, easiest of deliveries, peace of mind and spirit, and relief from the dark clouds plaguing you.

    Sending you all of the love.

    1. No, no one is “guilty” of anything. Not a single person meant to minimize my experience, only to be there to show their support. And my appreciation abounds, truly, because I recognize the space of “I want to BE THERE, but what do I SAY?”
      Just like there is room for me to feel both, there is room for people to show their support in the best way they can.

  3. On the one hand, of course, know nothing about being a mother. On the other hand I have been witnessing all things motherhood for quite a while and I like to consider myself observant. So here’s my 2 cents … that wonderful child is your daughter. She inherited things from you that you can’t even imagine, but more importantly, she is an individual. Having 4 gives me a decent sample size to conclude that children are individuals long before we want to admit, and by that I mean even before they are born. I have known you since we were six years old and, to be totally honest, it does not surprise me one bit that a daughter of yours was unwilling to be moved. I am not telling you what to feel about it, but prepare yourself to be dealing with someone who says to you, “IT MATTERS how I get there.”
    My tale of consolation is the tale of my daughter Sophia, the single most stubborn, pig-headed Irish woman on planet earth, who turned the morning of her scheduled C-section. Ange was prepped, I was wearing little blue paper booties over my shoes, the surgical team was assembled … and she was like, “Never mind, lemme turn around now.” And as I have gotten to know her it makes me laugh to remember it because it’s very “Sophie-esque” behavior.
    Of course you know I’m not trying to say that your daughter is going to do that, but she is going to do HER OWN thing now and every minute for the rest of forever. I know the world of mental preparations, and I know all the emotions of a plan thrown to the wind, but there’s time yet for your daughter to come around and see things your way, or maybe this is the first of a million times where she refuses to do things your way (believe me it does not get less frustrating later).

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