I had an ultrasound and doctor's appointment today. Baby Sis is still breech. At 36 weeks. This is not news to me. Or to you, I suspect, since I have mentioned it recently.
If you've read here much you're aware how much I dread the idea of having another c-section. C-sections suck. You can read a little bit about my thoughts on and experience with one here if you're so inclined. I know not everyone shares my feelings on c-sections. Some people think they're no big deal, and that's fine. It's just that a c-section is a big deal to me. When people here that Sis is breech and that I'm distressed about this and really worried about having another c-section, sometimes they say things like, "Well, just remember that having a healthy baby is the most important thing." I think this is a well-meaning comment, but you know what I really want to say when someone says this to me? "Duh."
Really. I don't need to be reminded that having a healthy baby is the most important thing. I have thought about that every moment for the last 30-ish weeks, since I knew of little Sis's existence. I am very well aware of how lucky I am to have had two beautiful and perfect babies so far. I know some people are not so fortunate. I am a Mom. I put my children's health and wellbeing above my own all the time. I'm not complaining about this, and I'm not suggesting in any way that this makes me special. It just makes me a Mom. Every decision I make, every day, all day, takes into consideration the health and wellbeing of my kids. That's just what Moms do. So yes, I know that having a healthy baby is the most important thing. Please don't feel that you need to tell me that.
However, if you say to me (which some people have), "Having a healthy baby is the only thing that really matters, right?" I will say, definitively, "No." As I just said above, having a healthy baby is the very most important thing. Yes. But it is not the only thing that matters. As a Mom, pretty much by definition I put my children before myself in almost all things. Of course I'm not perfect. I'm also not a martyr. I'm just a Mom. But I'm still an individual being. I'm a person with feelings and wishes and fears, and I try not to feel guilty about my individual-ness. I generally don't feel guilty about the fact that I get a babysitter sometimes and get pedicures or have coffee with a friend and that I love dates with my husband and my book clubs. I try not to feel guilty about the fact that I sometimes even check my email or surf other websites a little bit when I should probably be playing with my girls. I try not to feel guilty about this, but you'll notice I just typed "should." Mom-guilt is a powerful thing. I don't like it, and I try to stay away from it, but it does creep in from time to time. And when someone says to me, "Of course having a healthy baby is the only thing that matters, right?," I feel that Mom-guilt surfacing. Like what I'm really being told is, "how dare you think about your own desires when going through the majorly huge event of birthing a child? What kind of mother are you?"
Then I take a deep breath and stop myself from going there. Some people might judge me because I feel so strongly about not wanting to have another c-section. I have certainly felt judged at times with respect to this issue both now and when I was in the same situation with Lass and when I chose to have a VBAC with her. People judge, and that's okay. Some people might just make comments like those above for lack of knowing what else to say. That's okay too. At the end of the day, I have carried and nurtured this precious baby girl for eight months so far. I think it's natural for me to have a desire to be involved in her emergence into the world, rather than strapped to a table and relegated to the role of observer, which is what a c-section felt like to me. So if I'm sometimes worried or distressed about Sis's continued breech-ness, that's okay. Please try to refrain from telling me that I shouldn't think about my own wishes and instead should only think about the health of my baby. I think about the health of this baby and my two older girls every minute of every day. Keeping the welfare of my children at the forefront of my mind and having my own feelings, thoughts, desires, opinions, and wishes are not mutually exclusive things. I'm not less of a Mom for wanting things to work out the way my heart desires. I'm just a Mom.
And for the record, if it turns out that this baby girl doesn't flip and I do have to have another c-section, I will not be any less joyful about her birth. I will cherish her and marvel over her and welcome her into our family with the happiest heart. And, I will still be sad to have a c-section. And that's okay. It will not take away one bit of the celebration of a new, wonderful baby.
And oh, we are very much looking forward to her arrival. Over the past weekend at one point Miss began handing me all of the baby toys she could find and asking if I thought "Baby Sissy" would like each of them. She talked about how she would play with her Baby Sissy and how much Baby Sissy would love her and what she would like about each of the toys. Today, we used face paint crayons to draw a picture for Baby Sissy.
I pointed out to Miss a place on my belly where you could see Sis moving, and she was amazed. I told her "Baby Sissy is saying, 'who's out there poking me?'" and she got a big kick out of that. She kept asking, "What else is Baby Sissy saying?"
She colored very intently right where she had seen her sister move.
Notice the concentration of blue just above and to the right of my (kind of disturbingly huge, sorry) belly button. That's where Miss could see Sis moving. It's also right where her head is.
Happily preparing to welcome home this little one soon.