Even with the surgery date in black and white, I still wanted a VBAC. Even with the forms signed and the pre-op meds prescribed, I still thought I might have a chance. And even knowing that going into labour would mean an immediate, but not necessarily urgent, c-section, I still hoped beyond hope that it would happen.
One glimmer of hope.
Even if that glimmer of hope was going to be dashed before it could thrive.
Just one little flicker of life within. Life wanting out. Life wanting to make itself known.
I was terrified of delivering early. And while 37 weeks is not early to many, it was to me. 5 weeks too early. But if labour began spontaneously, it would mean that baby was ready.
That was what I wanted.
I wanted baby to be ready.
She wasn’t. Her body temperature was way too low. Her blood sugars were not stable. She didn’t know how to feed.
She dropped to 4lb10. Her lips were dry. Her skin was grey. Her limbs were floppy. Her eyes would not open. She did not cry. She was not ready.
And so she was born too early. A few more weeks would have meant so much. A few more weeks might even have meant a VBAC was a possibility.
But those four letters on my chart ended all of the dreams.
I didn’t strive for a VBAC because I felt it was my right. I wasn’t desperate to push a baby through my vagina because I was a woman and I wanted a ‘natural’ birthing experience. I wanted a VBAC because I felt it was the best thing for my baby. I felt that she needed more time, and I wanted her to stay inside until she was ready.
In the end, IUGR forced my hand. My heart. My mind. I knew that I couldn’t risk waiting, and losing her. I couldn’t risk a VBAC attempt finally ripping a baby away from me. I couldn’t risk her safety for my own dreams.
The day after she was born, I still wanted a VBAC. The day that her due date rolled around, I wept for that VBAC. And YES I am happy that she is here and she is well and she is safe. I am happy that her birth was uneventful and calm. I am happy that I took her home.
But that glimmer of hope I had took a long time to swallow back down.