Yesterday, I was able to get in touch with an anestesiologist who works for St Joes Hospital. He was so sweet and understanding of our situation and really took a lot of time to talk to me about our possibilities.
He started by saying that the only way to be awake during a c-section is to have a spinal. I knew this already, but was hoping for some uncommon, unheard of possibility. However, he did say that he has colleagues who have done spinals for patients with Herrington Rods (YAY!) I about jumped out of my skin when he told me this, it was the first bit of possitive news we've recieved in a long time. There is a chance, if we have a c-section, that I could be awake!
Then he started going into the risks and possible outcomes. Having any kind of implant in your body makes your risk of infection higher. Seeing as how the rods are on my spine, my risk of infection would be even higher than normal. This could mean any number of things. It could be as simple as getting antibiotics and being fine, or it could mean something has serious as having some of my hardware removed or possibly worse.
We also talked about a breech delivery and what medications would be good for our situation. He recommended Nubane because if we only use a small amount to take the edge off, there would be no amnesia side effects. The last thing I want is to opt for a breech delivery and end up not remembering those moments after her birth!
So now we are in a place of deciding on risks (hey, I thought 4 months ago they said there was no risk to me in carrying this baby to term! Her being breech has seriously complicated things!) Which risk is less risky to take? I have no idea. Delivering breech has some serious potential complications: Baby getting stuck, having a c-section anyways and other things. Having a c-section is surgery, invasive surgery, with the potential for infection and other things.
I have an appointment to see my OBGYN, Dr Landers, on Monday. I'm going to give her all the facts I've recieved this week and have her help weigh our risks. Whichever way seems less risky is the way we'll most likely be taking. Like my mom said, so far through this we've been following our hearts, following our parenting instincts and doing whatever we felt best for us and for our baby. Now, because of the risks that are on our plate, its time to start following our brains. Its not worth risking my life for a baby that we already know isn't going to make it - although most of the time I don't feel that way, I look at Evelyn's face and realize: mom's right.
Regardless of whether we chose c-section or breech delivery, once again we are back to having to pick her birthdate (and here I thought we were out of those woods). Although now, she's just about full term (33 weeks) it doesn't seem so tough to make that decision. We've given her all the time, all the love and everything we have in us to give her. It doesn't feel like we are terminating a pregnancy but instead we are picking what day we want her to be born. At the same time, I feel like if I get given one more tough decision to make through this my brain is going to lose it. I just don't have it in me anymore to continue making these decisions. It seems like everytime we see a doctor we have more tough decisions to make, more tough things to think about. The decisions we've made so far have proven to not be the right ones since nothing seems to be working out. So in a way, having her arrival come and go almost appears to be a relief in some ways.
It seems that we are feeling the beginning of December for her arrival. After Thanksgiving, we'll have her and begin the greiving process. Then we'll have a small happy break for Christmas Day and can return to greiving the day after. It seeems like the best time, the most open window for us.
I will never regret the decision to carry her as long as we can. It has been the longest, hardest road we've travelled. Its been emotional, heart breaking and stressful. But, we have learned so much from this little girl. Medically we've learned more than I could have imagined, but more importantly, we've learned so much about love and life, caring and happiness and everything in between. For that I will always be thankful. Gabrielle's imprint on our lives is so special, so permanent. Keeping her has given us time, time to love her, time to get to know her, time to have her with our family, and also time to say good bye. I wouldn't change a thing about that.
I just wish she wasn't breech so we could have gone about this as we had planned - a natural delivery by my doctor at our hospital, just like we wanted. But we're taking one day at a time, one fact at a time, one issue at a time and hoping everything will come together in the end.