Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Slowing Down

I couldn't go to sleep last night. I wasn't comfortable, I couldn't get comfortable, no matter what I tried. My mind was racing with all the things I'm worrying about.

I was overthinking everything, as I'm inclined to do, not just because of the pregnancy, but because of who I am.

These past few weeks have been a test for me. I suppose that I shouldn't be upset since the reality is that this entire pregnancy has been an easy one so far. Sure, I've had to deal with the complications that always arise for me, but at this point I'm so used to them that I just deal. Being upset about anything won't do me any good when it comes to the conditions I struggle with, and if anything it will just up my stress level, which can pretty quickly spiral out of control and make everything worse. I've worked pretty hard to stay grounded and centered and focused and all that ethereal stuff.

Then it all went to hell.

I knew that the baby wasn't in the greatest position for a while now, but having it confirmed on the flickering screen in the dark a few weeks ago drove it home. For most of the past 8 months, I've just kept my head down and kept trucking along...balancing all the things I have to keep balanced to keep my body healthy. And I've done a great job of it, truth be told.

Until I saw that screen. Frank breech. And I knew that from that moment everything was going to change.

I knew that I was closer to the end of this pregnancy than I'd really come to terms with. I knew that though the calendar said that I had 7 or 8 weeks that I really only had 3 or 4 if I was lucky. I knew that. I'd just preferred to live obliviously, relishing the time that was left.

Until I couldn't because I was so wrapped up in worrying about things that are so largely out of my control.

I have done everything I could possibly do to try and get this baby to move.

It hasn't worked.

I've spent the past two weeks running myself ragged to get to appointments and making sure that I got in so many minutes of positioning at a time and so on and so on and so on. I'm sore. I'm tired. I'm stressed out.

And it isn't working.

All the while, I've had to face reality. My body seems to want to evict him sooner rather than later, regardless of whether he is in the right position for it or not. I'm quickly running out of time for him to turn, and the look on my doctor's face yesterday told me that my concerns weren't just mine but hers as well.

I don't just have a history of preterm deliveries, I have a history of precipitous (ridiculously fast) labors. I go early and I go fast...and I live about 40 minutes from the hospital, which could absolutely become a problem in a hurry. If he isn't turned and I go into labor with him breech, I'm far away. Maybe too far away. Even if he turns and I go, which it is looking more and more likely with each day, he's early. Earlier than the rest of them were. Earlier than I was hoping he'd arrive.

When you've had a baby fight to breathe in the NICU, you don't ever want to be there again.

For this little guy, I need him to turn so that in the event he starts to come early, we can at least get a few hours of labor to help his lungs have a decent shot.

In the office yesterday, the concerned look on the doctor's face led to a discussion about when we should try to turn him. She was afraid to wait until next week, even though she'd prefer to for maturity reasons. And I know she is right.

The version is scheduled for tomorrow. It could work, but it might not. I could end up in labor immediately, which wouldn't surprise me in the least considering how dilated I already am without him being in position. I could end up in the OR having an emergency section if there are problems. I could walk out afterwards and stay pregnant for another week. I could be scheduling a c section.

I don't know what will happen, and I quite literally have no control over it.

After I saw the doctor yesterday, I went for acupuncture and moxibustion again, though I'm beginning to feel a bit defeated by it all. She was kind and understanding, she knew that I was doing everything I could...and more than that, she understood why I had to try.

Not everyone does.

Having this platform, having a public place to muse about the things in my's usually a positive thing. I adore my fans for the most part, truly. It seems though that there always have to be a few people who don't get why this is important to me. Who question my efforts. Who feel compelled to tell me that I'm wrong.

Like I told the acupuncturist, this is important to me just because it is. I don't want to have a c-section on my fifth and final child if there is anything I can do to prevent it, and so I've done all that I can.

I say this as a doula.

I say this as a woman who will never be pregnant again.

I say this as a women fighting for the birth she wants.

I feel like I shouldn't have to explain myself, and yet here I am. I am a doula and an advocate for natural birth. I have helped women work through birth trauma. I have helped women cope with unexpected complications. I became a doula, in part, because of the bad experiences I had with labor in the past.

It's important to me just because it is.

I've done all I can because I felt like I had to.

What happens from here is out of my control.

And I, a woman who fights constantly for the choices of other women, have no choice but to accept that, which is a hard place for me to be.

I'm doing the best I can.

For the record, I never asked or expected anyone else to understand my journey. It is mine and mine alone. I'd prefer not to be judged or mocked for it, extended the same courtesy I give to others, though.

At some point last night when I was staring at the ceiling, it dawned on me that all this worrying these past few weeks have stolen what time I had left to enjoy this pregnancy, my last one.

I don't want my memories of these last days to be of what I tried and failed at. 

I want to remember what it feels like when he gets the hiccups for an hour straight. I want to remember how he nudges his siblings hands when they sit beside me and talk to him. I want to remember how amazing and fleeting this time is. I want to remember how fortunate I've been to do this as many times as I have.

I want it to last just a little bit longer.

I'm slowing down for however much time I have left. I'm letting go of the struggle. I'm just going to sit and be with my last baby in these last moments because I know that I'll never be here again.

The rest of it is out of my hands. However he arrives, he will be here soon.

And everything will change, for the last time.


  1. Oh sweet girl. Wish I could come and hold your hand.

  2. You are an amazing mom. You gotta do what you gotta do and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Bless you.

  3. Powerfully put. No explanation needed here, though I understand why you did it here in this public space.

    I stand by my earlier comment, you are an amazing mom. haven't failed. It didn't work, that's reality, but not your fault.

    Take time, savor your last pregnancy days. Love on you and the unborn babe and your other young'uns. :mama hugs:

  4. Jennifer Fortune SteuerSeptember 10, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    You are an amazing mom who is doing everything she can for her child and herself. You do not need to explain why to anyone. If it is important to you then it is important. Period. I wish you peace in your life and in your delivery of this sweet boy.

  5. I totally get it. I hope that your acceptance of the situation and your choice to enjoy what time you have with the two of you before everyone else meets him convinced him to magically turn on his own. Best of luck to you, and I hope it all goes well from here on out!

  6. Lots of love to you, friend. xoxo


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