Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The dreaded C-section

Okay, so I'm feeling pretty guilty for putting the blog on the proverbial back burner as of late -- especially being I am now on maternity leave and have time to kill in between pre-washing all those too-cute onesies, especially knowing the blog has acquired something of a devoted readership, a cult following. And who would have thought the state of my ever-expanding uterus could generate such enthusiasm... Imagine!

This is a big week for Little Green and his folks. On Friday afternoon we'll get another cheeky sneak peak of him via ultrasound, the main purpose of which is not to coo or to postulate over which parent he'll most resemble when he makes his red carpet appearance in just over a month's time, but to examine his position and that of my lowly placenta. Needless to say, much mental coaching has been going on behind the scenes in anticipation of this big event. If the placenta stays stubbornly put (thereby partially obstructing the birth canal), a vaginal delivery is out of the question, and he will arrive via Caesarean section. Big deal, I hear you say. But this is where the mental coaching comes into play. In my naivety I thought it would be sensible to read up on what is, by all reckoning, a pretty major procedure. Shame, double shame on me for filling my mind with such polemics. Such pollutants are hardly good for the heavily pregnant woman, and should for the most part be guarded against. While I'm not advocating an all-out bonfire, Rushdie-style, better to grab a novel by a favourite author than to consult such incendiary printed material...

I had previously been of the mindset that C-sections (as they are affectionately known in North America - ah, what a sobriquet!) were commonplace. And that should this be Little Green's fate, it was by and by whether he arrived by station wagon or by stretch limo as long as he arrived safely, soundly, healthily... Boy, did my heart nosedive when I read of the butchery described in the so-called labour 'literature', only to have this reiterated at last night's antenatal session. To listen to the teacher describe it, having a 'Caesar', whether planned or not, was the worst kind of horror story, one which promised to be a devastating experience for both mother and baby. This, she supported with the most unflattering photograph of a C-baby: blue as Smurfette and wrinkled as an old man's foreskin. Unfair. Wholly unfair and depressing.

It took me till this morning, after an angry sleepless night, to revert to my evenly keeled mindset, naysayers be damned. Sure, having a rosy birth experience, with minimal pain and intervention, would be nice. More than nice. But I'm not living in dreamworld either, thinking I can will this dreamy picture into being. No woman, not even Madge or Angelina, can totally control how her baby gets himself or herself born.

So I'm learning to relax about the whole thing. At least if the choice is taken away from me on Friday, then I will have plenty of time to flex my mental muscles and prepare myself for the main event before it comes. Ask any Olympian athlete (or mother) and they'll tell you it's all about the training, all about mind over matter in the run up to getting the gold. Well, isn't it?

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