I am nearing the end of my pregnancy. As delivery draws closer, I can feel my internal rebel pushing to be let out. At my last appointment, my obstetrician insisted I transfer all of my blood glucose readings from an app on my phone to a piece of paper so it could be scanned and added to my chart. This was shortly after an ultrasound that showed a healthy, proportionate baby. He doesn’t have extra belly fat, as babies tend to with moms who suffer from uncontrolled gestational diabetes. I had shown her my numbers, letting her know I was managing quite well (after I reduced my carbohydrate intake a bit lower than the recommendation given to me by the nutritionist), but this wasn’t enough, apparently. She still wanted the data detailing my blood sugar four times a day, every day, for the past month.
She also declared that they will continue to monitor my son’s growth closely with an ultrasound each month until birth. I didn’t argue this point because I know this is standard procedure for a woman in my position. I also know I haven’t technically gained any weight (I weigh what I did a week before pregnancy at this point, despite losing weight in the first trimester and then gaining it all back in the second trimester) which makes me nervous that maybe my son isn’t growing well. He is in the 60th percentile for overall growth, with each measurement proportionate to the next (except his head which is somewhere in the 70th percentile, which is a family trait). I am afraid that I might have an up-hill battle on my hands to be given the chance to labor normally and for as long as necessary. I’m not so blind to my own wants to not see that in certain scenarios an induced labor or C-section may be needed, but I’m just worried the subjective data won’t lean in the favor of an unmedicated birth. My internal rebel is ready and itching to buck the system, man! The man is always trampling our rights, man! Okay, my internal rebel sounds more like a hippie protester than a mom prepared to fight for the best birth for her baby. But, the point is this–preparing to argue with my attending physician during the birth of my child isn’t something I should feel the need to prepare for or avoid by coddling my obstetrician. Something has to change.
As I now will be seeing my obstetrician every two weeks, my focus for each appointment is to ready her for my son’s birth. I know this sounds so type-A controlling, but I feel like if I continue to remind her of my desires for a natural birth, preparing her for the fact that nothing has changed my desires for a natural birth, she will be more accepting of my choices in the moments that count (i.e. during labor). She assured me in the beginning of my pregnancy that she would be supportive of a VBAC and that she wouldn’t be placing arbitrary time limits on my labor. I hope she doesn’t forget that conversation when it matters most. I know that hippie rebel will attend my birth if necessary, but I prefer that she instead stays home.
I read this article from the Washington Post about labor from the perspective of a mother that is a well-educated physician, and I thought I would share it with all of you. You can follow the shortlink below for the article.
Pregnant doctor finds intense pressure to have a Caesarean delivery