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Catastrophizing (not a word)

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By nature, I am not someone who puts much stock in worrying about situations before there is a definite outcome in sight.  As a rule I don’t see the point in causing myself stress when it is anybody’s guess as to what will happen.  This frustrates people, namely my mother and my husband, who would prefer to hash out all possible scenarios of a particular situation and prepare to deal with all of them.  It probably comes off as being lackadaisical on my part, but really, I just tend to be careful about expending my emotional energy.

Knowing the above, you will understand that it was completely out of character for me to go in to full catastrophe mode yesterday when my OB merely suggested that a c-section could be in my future. Until I hashed a ton of it out on Twitter with Arwen, the only words that I heard over and over again were “Likely c-section.  Likely c-section.” They were on repeat, over and over again for the better part of the day. I have clarity now though, so let’s start at the beginning.

This was my first appointment with the actual OB during this pregnancy.  Until now, I’ve seen the NP each time.  NP is great.  Really, the 2 OBs and the NP in this practice are phenomenal.  They took me in with no questions asked about halfway through my last pregnancy after the practice of midwives I had used disbanded.  I have had nothing but fantastic care from them, and I credit their monitoring and really paying attention to my history with Hannah being my only baby who was not hypo-glycemic at birth and the only one who did not visit the NICU. While Eddie was only there for a short while, Cait’s birth and NICU stay scarred me, and scarred me horribly. They listened to my every concern and we came up with a plan together for a healthy birth and healthy baby Hannah, and it worked. But anyway…the NP doesn’t do most of the deliveries and may have led me on about having very good chances of a vaginal birth.

Ed came with me yesterday just on a whim, and of course was keen on discussing the delivery. OB wanted to anyway since she hadn’t seen me. She started off with “So, you know that if both are head down, you are good for vaginal.  Anything else, we usually do a c-section.” To which I replied “NP said if baby A was head down we are good to go.” This resulted in a long discussion.  And I am glad there was discussion even if I failed to remember most of it until the beating of the words probable c-section left my head last night.  So, here is what the OB said:

  • If I don’t go in to labor on my own, I will be induced or have a c-section at 38 weeks–March 13th ish, which is um…13 weeks away.
  • I have a proven pelvis and can likely handle a vaginal birth regardless of Baby B’s position.
  • I have a history having large babies.  If the twins get too large, it is entirely possible to have my uterus completely give out–regardless of my history, there is only so much stretching that can be done.
  • If she were placing bets, she would bet on my carrying the babies to 38 weeks.
  • I have a history of very fast births (Eddie, with pitocin: labor total 9 hours (4 hours was pushing out his giant 10lb head), Cait, no pitocin: labored for maybe 3 hours, and Hannah- full induction: labor lasted 5 hours) If I went in to labor on my own with these 2, the situation could go bad very quickly. Basically, once my water breaks, my babies come full force.
  • I should be prepared that no matter what kind of birth it is, it will not be warm and fuzzy, but rather monitored, chaotic, and will occur in the operating room with her, the hospital specialists and a team for each baby standing by.
  • Even if Baby A flies out with no problems, I could find myself having a c-section to get Baby B out, giving me 2 types of recovery to worry about.
  • Based on all of this, she is committed to playing it by ear and using the sonograms and the direction of the fetal specialists I see at the hospital for the scans to make an educated decision about what kind of birth I will have.
  • I want what is best and safest for the babies first, then what is best for me. She feels the same.

So that is where we stand.  Do I feel better about it all today than I did yesterday? I do.  I am not against scheduling induction as long as I have a say in the way it happens–that is how it worked with Hannah and it was fine.  I don’t particularly want to schedule a c-section.  I don’t want to recover from surgery while being responsible for 2 newborns.  I just don’t. BUT if their position or the state of my uterus or whatever warrants it, I will accept it.  I’m not saying that I won’t panic, but I will accept it.

For the next several weeks though, I’m going back to my usual M.O. I’m simply not going to worry about it, because worrying doesn’t matter.  The result will be what it will be regardless of my fretting.  The result needs to be healthy babies (and healthy me) regardless of how we get there.

SO! Brisk clap! I am done here! Whatever will be will be.

7 responses »

  1. My OB, too, said that as long as Baby A was head-down, it was a go to try a vaginal delivery. He said Baby B usually “follows” Baby A: turning head down as Baby A leaves the building. But he said the same as your OB: that what can also happen is that Baby A can be born vaginally, and then it can turn out that a c-section is needed for Baby B. (He said all this before he glanced down at my chart and saw it was c-section no matter what.)

  2. They way you handling this pregnancy and the subsequent delivery makes me want to hire you as my life coach. You, my friend, ARE BRINGING IT.

  3. If it helps at all, I will tell you this: the C-section recovery was not NEARLY as bad as I anticipated. Granted, I only had one baby to care for, but it was my first so I had NO EARTHLY IDEA what I was doing. I was totally off meds except for Motrin after a week and was wandering around Target no problem.

    I say this as someone who — as you probably know — DOES NOT WANT another C-section, because it wasn’t the experience I envisioned. I wanted warm and fuzzy and while my midwife did everything she could to make sure it was as warm and fuzzy as it could possibly be, it’s not the same. BUT, if I do end up not being able to VBAC with this baby, at least I know the recovery isn’t as terrible as I’d expected. (I was expecting to be bedridden for, like, a month.)

    But I admire you so much for being able to push off the worry and not think about it till it’s worth thinking about. This entire pregnant-with-twins thing would have thrown a lot of women for a loop and you seem to have handled the whole thing with such ease and aplomb. Good for you!!!

  4. K is right, Bring it, friend! I am glad you are not worrying about it b/c that worrying is fruitless. Not a damn thing you can do about it, not in your control whatsoever. You have a great OB who knows and shares your concerns and you all want what is best for the babies. BABIES!!! You are doing this and you will be awesome!

  5. Yes, I had learned the same while continuously watching Baby Story and that Multiples show last winter. Doctors will ALWAYS require multiples to be born in the OR on the off chance that while Baby A behaves and goes head down, Baby B is stubborn and doesn’t “leave the building” (ha!) in the same direction. I would do the same as you: I would push off the worry. And I would try for a vaginal and just see where it takes me.

  6. I think it’s a great sign that I’ve known 2 sets of twins born vaginally in the last month. I’m rooting for you too.

    I’m with you, I am not a big worrier. That doesn’t mean I don’t rehash things in my mind from time to time. I’m a little nervous because this practice is worried about my first big baby (even though I had an easy labor/delivery). It just makes me wonder what they are really thinking. I’m sure at some point we will discuss it. For now I’m not going to dwell.

    Just remember you will have 2 beautiful babies in the end…no matter how they get here.

  7. I have had one of each kind of delivery, a C-section with my first and then a VBAC and I have to say that although it’s true recovery is easier with the vaginal birth, the C-section recovery was easier than I thought it would be and the VBAC was harder than I thought it would be. There’s healing no matter how the babies come. Good luck!


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