Pregnancy and birth North Korean style, that is. Imagine a place where you have no options. Where you are told what to do, and how to think. What your job is. Where you go. With no choices.
That would be my birth plan, apparently.
Ah, another shitty shitty visit to the obstetrician today. I am alternating between visualising him with an SS uniform and a German accent, and picturing him as thinner non basketball playing version of Kim Jong Un.
We briefly discussed the 19 week scan and Gumby’s vampire tendencies (blood showing up in his bowel, swallowed from me), I had done that one to death with the ultrasound doc anyway. He thought we were at lower risk than previously of pre term labour as the clot is smaller.
“So we’re not at high risk of pre term labour now”
“Oh no, you’re at a huge risk of preterm labour. But your cervix is long and closed, and the clot is smaller, so it’s not looking as bad as it was.”
So we’re definitely not going back to work. Full stop.
I can go out sometimes, even drive short trips, to try and balance up the risk of movement (and passing the clot) with the improvement in my blood glucose that movement will bring. But I need to be prepared that a giant clot saying “ta daa” in a public place may be the outcome. That’s encouraging. I can’t actually “exercise”. Or have sex, ever (he actually laughed when I asked that, and said “well what do you think I’m going to say?”). Or have a bath.
Then I made the mistake of asking should I be doing the pelvic floor exercises.
“Why? You won’t be needing your pelvic floor. Youll be having a caesarean.”
“But I don’t want a caesarean. Like, really don’t want a caesarean.”
“well if you don’t, it’s likely the clot will rupture during natural labour, your placenta will shear off the wall of the uterus, and your baby will die during labour. Or we could talk about the big baby, or the gestational diabetes. You pick the reason. But that’s what’s going to happen. There may be room to renegotiate later, if things improve, but probably not’
“And because of the risk you won’t be going to 40 weeks. More like 36, 38 if we’re lucky.”
“ok. And will I be able to start labour in my own time?”
“No. And it will be a success if we make it to there”
“Ok. So if I go into preterm labour, where should I head?”
“Well, if it’s in the next four weeks, you may as well head to the Mater (our chosen, private hospital) as your baby will die anyway. If it’s after that, I’ll see you before then, and you’d probably head to RPA (the public hospital with high levels of neo natal care). Actually, scrap that, just head to RPA. I can make more happen there. Even if it’s a bleed, head to RPA. You’ll be facing an extended hospital stay, while they try and stave off labour. ”
He asks for my blood glucose diary.
“There’s a few over 5 in the mornings. You will be on insulin. You need to email the endocrinologist this weekly.”
“ok. I saw him last week, he was fairly happy with the levels”
“they’re too high.”
“And you need to check in with Dr H. have you seen him?”
“yep. We met four weeks ago”
“Because you’ll probably end up with depression. Most people would. You need to be checking in with someone regularly”.
“Well he thought I was doing ok. And I still have the IVF counsellor on skype on a fortnightly basis“
“Ok. Well you need something regular to stay on top of that. There’s the heartbeat. It’s nice and regular. We’re weighing four hundred and something grams (I had started to tune out during the scan) Any questions?”
“Is it ok if I tell you I hate you right now?”
“sure. Any other questions?”
So you’ve just told me in about 3 minutes that I have no choice in the birth of my child, if I have a child. that if I go into labour in the next four weeks my baby will die, that if I have a natural labour my baby will die, that my blood glucose levels may damage my baby, that I need to be on insulin, that I’ll be having a scheduled c-section on the date of your choosing, you’ve changed the hospital, the medication, taken away my livelihood…and you want to know do I have any questions.
“You’ve done really well to make it this far you know. 2o, almost 21 weeks! And you’re looking fabulous.”
Yeah thanks doc. You have an awesome bedside manner.
So this was followed by a trip to the pharmacist for progesterone x 2 (they forgot one script the first time), me crying in the pharmacist (again. Feck I hate doctors), a coffee and more crying, home, hub-in-boots off to work, more crying on phone to the IVF counsellor, some washing, and some sitting.
It’s been an awesome day. I feel just like this plant of mine. Very very dead and dried up inside, with a tiny little flower.
I’m not depressed. I’ve just been knocked down that many times getting up again is getting feckin’ hard. Intellectually, I knew and had anticipated every outcome he discussed today. Emotionally, I feel like someone has taken to me with a jackhammer. I’m sure in 24 or 48 hours, I’ll be fine. So far, I usually am.
Apologies for the pity party. May all your pregnancies and births not be North Korean style.
Happy Easter folks. Have a chocolate egg and a giant beer for me.