A lot of things about this year, and this pregnancy, haven’t gone as expected. I thought I’d be running a marathon this fall; instead, I’ll be recovering from giving birth. I looked forward to lots of beer and soft cheeses and mussels in Belgium; instead, I had one amazing beer at the best beer bar in the world, and will have to hope I’m not pregnant the next time we go back. I hoped I’d be able to continue running for most of my pregnancy; instead, I stopped a little more than half way through. I hoped to be able to have a crunchy hippie natural birth with a midwife and minimal interventions; instead, my affordable health insurance plan limits us to a mainstream medical establishment birth with few choices.
Last week, we learned that the baby is breech. Another expectation blown away by circumstances beyond our control. Instead of having a natural birth – what we both wanted, what we’ve been preparing for over the last 10 weeks of childbirth classes, the only birth I could ever imagine for myself – it’s more than likely that I’ll be delivering by c-section.
I was heartbroken. I am heartbroken. It’s taken me nearly a week to be able to talk about this without crying.
I know that having the birth we wanted isn’t the most important thing. My health and the health of the baby are far more important than our expectations. But changing expectations is hard.
So over the last week, we’ve done our research, and started to make our peace with this. We’re trying everything we feel safe doing to encourage the baby to turn, and some day I’ll tell you all about it. We’re grieving for the experience we probably won’t get to have, and trying to make the most informed choices we can.
Most importantly, we’re holding onto our joyful anticipation of our baby’s birth, whether baby is forcefully pushed or gently pulled into this world. Because however it happens, we know that it will be worth the fear and excitement and sadness and anticipation and pain and recovery.