The bad news is that it doesn't look likely that he'll arrive in the manner we'd so hoped for.
We trekked out to see my doctor once again yesterday, less than a week after my last appointment. I was officially 41 weeks pregnant, and it was time for a fetal non-stress test. The little guy passed with flying colors, showing off his beautiful heartbeat with no decelerations and enough movement during the test to make the doctor very happy.
It was also time for another progress check, though, and apparently my body thinks "progress" is a dirty word. The baby is still too high up; I'm still not dilated at all; and things just aren't softening up to make way for the wee one.
The doctor we saw yesterday was unhappy that last Thursday's doctor had not scheduled an induction-- not because he thought it was likely to work, but rather just to get it on the books (even if it wasn't scheduled until after I'd reached 42 weeks). He basically gave us three choices: (1) schedule an induction for sometime this week or very early next week; (2) schedule a c-section for anytime this week or early next week; or (3) schedule an induction for next Wednesday or Thursday, but also schedule another non-stress test for Monday.
We talked a lot about induction and how likely it was to work. David and I are familiar with the concept of a Bishop score and which factors indicate that an induction is likely to be successful. My Bishop score right now would be, um, a 3. Or even a 2, if you subtract a point for the fact that I've never delivered a child. In other words, if we were to attempt an induction right now, or before my body and the baby had made some significant progress, the induction would most likely fail. My body has not made a lick of progress in four weeks.
We've been hoping and praying all along to avoid a c-section. But, the thing I want even less than a c-section is an emergency c-section after a failed induction. It's my personal opinion that a woman should only have to endure the pain of labor OR the pain of recovery from a surgical birth-- not both. Every woman I know who has had to go through both says it's absolutely the worst in terms of exhaustion, disappointment, and stress.
For us, this just meant induction was off the table. If my body were already moving in the right direction and were favorably predisposed to be induced, we would feel differently. But we don't want to set ourselves up for failure. And both our doctors and our guts tell us that's what we would be doing if we decided to induce.
Instead, we decided to schedule a c-section for next Tuesday, October 6th. We gave my body another week to get its act together and pushed it all the way back to the 42-week mark, but we now have an end date in sight. By next Tuesday morning, one way or another, we'll get to meet our son.
I'm really trying to be completely okay with our decision. I guess I'm okay with the decision, but I'm still really frustrated with the situation. I never wanted to need to schedule a c-section. I am totally comfortable with choosing a scheduled section over what I truly believe would be a failed induction; that's not the issue. I'm just disappointed that, once again, my body can't seem to do the very things it's supposed to do. I'm disappointed at the thought that I won't get to hold my baby before anyone else. I feel like I'm being robbed of a truly life-changing experience. I'm anxious about how hard the recovery will be and how very, very much I will need to rely on David and on other people for those initial days and weeks at home. I'm worried that a surgical delivery will somehow impact our son's health or my ability to nurse.
Still, I'm trying to look on the bright side. We know what to expect and when to expect it. We'll skip right over labor. The surgery will not be rushed, and there will be no risk that it will need to take place under general anesthesia (a fear I'd had about a planned med-free birth turning into an emergency c-section).
And, of course, the biggest bright side of all: Finally holding our baby, the baby we thought would never come. Surely, surely that bright side can outshine my fears, worries, and disappointment. Right?