Given the number of medics it took to conceive and gestate this baby, I’ve never been under the illusion that getting her out would be an all natural affair. I may occasionally dream of a candle-lit water birth accompanied by whale song or maybe a soothing string quartet, but I’ve never held out much hope.
I’ve worked on the principle that going into labour spontaneously at around 38 weeks followed by a natural birth would be my ideal. Because I have high risk tattooed across my forehead the hospital won’t let me near the birthing pool so there’s no point in packing my swimming costume. But in my dreams, a nice short labour on dry land, just long enough to be able to brag about but nothing that drags on to the point of boredom would be ideal.
On my more realistic days I’ve believed that induction is the more likely route. With a sweep at 37 weeks, followed by drugs at 38 weeks if nothing has moved by then. I’ve accepted this as what might happen, but am still concerned by the fact that being induced doubles the chances of needing an emergency c-section, which seems like the worst of all worlds to me.
What I hadn’t really considered was an elective c-section. The thought of being sawn in half like a magician’s assistant but without the spangly leotard has never really appealed. But that’s the decision I’ve just made.
I’ve had stable background retinopathy for about 5 years. In the last few weeks, that’s started to progress with cotton wool spots and some small peripheral haemorrhages developing as a result of the additional strain the pregnancy is putting on my eyes. The general feeling is that these should fix themselves after the baby is born and my eyes should return to normal. But the big question mark is over whether all the strain from the huffing and puffing involved in a natural labour would be too much for my eyes and cause additional haemorrhages. Or worse, cause my already weakened blood vessels to be weakened to the point where they don’t bounce back like a supermodel’s stomach one week after birth.
The research in this area is sketchy to say the least. No one can accurately quantify what the risks are. So after much discussion with my eye Dr, we’ve opted for the safe route. I’m going to have an elective c-section to protect my eyes. Because they’ve already withstood 30 years of battering from diabetes and despite great blood glucose control and low blood pressure, they’re starting to feel the strain. And I’d like to give them the best possible chance of lasting at least another 60 years.
I’m happy with the decision, we’ve done the research, given it a great deal of thought and are comfortable that it’s the right thing for me. I’m still childishly irritated that I’ve had to make this concession to diabetes though. It’s very rare I let it dictate what I do, but this time I’ve decided to give in gracefully.
So there we have it, we now know how this baby will be entering the world, and it’ll be some time next week!