Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What are you afraid of??

Everybody has fears. Being pregnant is a state that perhaps makes one more fearful than they might otherwise be. The first time around, a lot of those fears are based on the unknown. If a first or previous pregnancy resulted in a good outcome, I think a lot of the fear in a subsequent pregnancy is mitigated. Being pregnant after a previously negative experience - means that instead of being fearful of the unknown, of the possible, a lot of those fears have very legitimate grounds.

Last pregnancy, I had very rational and logical reasons for wanting a planned cesarean at term. I remember fearing that my request would be denied - and I remember the relief I felt at finding an OBGYN who I thought had agreed to my request. I remember fearing that I wouldn't make it to the surgery date - and feeling relieved the day I did. I felt that even if I went into labour, that a cesarean would still be the way that my child would make her way into the world. I was comfortable with that idea. I trusted my care providers, I had no reason to believe that they, the system, would fail me. I believed in informed choice and patient autonomy - I believed that it was my body and that I was entitled to make plans regarding how my child would be delivered, it seemed so basic. I never imagined it could unfold the way it did. I never imagined that despite having my wishes known (repeatedly), and the resources available that I would be forced to undergo a vaginal delivery, unprepared and terrified and without access to epidural anesthesia. And then, it happend - and logically I know that it wasn't the worse possible outcome (I have a healthy baby) - but it was substantial portion of what I had sought to avoid and in many ways was worse than I had thought would be likely.

This pregnancy there's a whole new set of fears and I know that a lot of what I'm doing this pregnancy has a lot to do with what happend last time.

If things had gone as expected, I would have been a lot more at ease with news of this pregnancy.

If things had gone as expected, I would be comfortable accessing prenatal care locally and planning a delivery at Victoria General Hospital. I would be open to the idea of having my pregnancy 'co-managed' by a GP and an OBGYN.

If things had gone as expected, I wouldn't be terrified of the idea of going into labour before my surgery date - and being unable to get to the hospital of my choice in time or unable to access adequate pain relief. Note: I'm thinking a relocation for a few weeks prior to the surgery date might be a good strategy if the anxiety of being unable to access the hospital of my choice in a short time frame proves to be too overwhelming.

If things had gone as expected, perhaps I wouldn't be so guarded around family, friends and acquaintances this time around. Perhaps, I wouldn't seek to avoid certain situations.

If things had gone as expected, perhaps I wouldn't wonder whether or not peeing when coughing or puking could have been avoided. Perhaps, I wouldn't miss the way my vagina used to be or be afraid of what another childbirth might do it. I might worry less that at some point I could become incontinent or suffer a pelvic organ prolapse. I might not wonder whether or not the aches and pains I feel after mowing the lawn or going for a long walk during this pregnancy could have been avoided.

But things didn't go as expected, so I'm dealing with it as best I can and while I'm thankful that I've found an OBGYN/hospital that has put my mind at ease as best they can - I know I will breathe a huge sigh of relief if and when things actually go as expected.

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