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Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in Childbirth, Motherhood, Natural Childbirth, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom, The Bradley Method Of Natural Childbirth | 8 comments

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy:  34 Weeks And Counting

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Pregnancy: 34 Weeks And Counting

Time is moving right along here…

I can’t say that I’m thrilled with that.  I’m trying so very hard to enjoy every moment.  Each moment of the pregnancy – each kick, hiccup, roll, sensation, feeling.  Each moment with each of the kids while there are only still two of them.  Each moment with my adoring husband while we still can sneak in just a little quiet time together.  Each second.  Each minute.  Each hour.  Each day.  Why is it that life moves faster as we get older?  I still don’t get it.

I went to the last midwife-scheduled appointment solo .  Usually my husband comes with me, to ask questions, for support & because he’s amazing.  (Did I mention he’s perfect in every way?!)  This time, however, he had to hang back with our sick toddler as our babysitters-on-call (A.K.A. Mom & Sister) were otherwise occupied (and also sick!).  Figures that things would be a little different this time.

I arrived at my appointment early for once.  Instead of my fun-loving midwife, in walks the OB of the practice.  I could tell right away that she was buttering me up for something.  She wanted to talk about how “big” my babyinthebelly was.  I’ve been consistently measuring 3-4 weeks ahead, or “big” throughout the pregnancy.  She wanted me to know she was anxious, with my history, about delivering such a big baby.  She then hit me with the words “Planned C-Section”.  Not something I have ever heard from a practitioner in all 3 of my pregnancies.  I was taken aback, to say the very least.  Fortunately she wasn’t telling me I had to have one, just suggesting.

Here lies the quandary.  My last baby was a big boy.  That isn’t just the problem though.  The reason they are concerned is because he had shoulder dystocia during delivery.  (What is shoulder dystocia?)  Although it didn’t seem like it at the time, we’re learning that it was a pretty big deal that his shoulders got stuck during delivery.  He eventually came out and we are grateful that he suffered no long-term injuries.  When a baby’s shoulders get stuck, it becomes a delivery emergency.  Our midwife handled things very well, followed exactly the steps needed to help him out.  That being said, I don’t think my midwife wants to go through that again, nor do I!  It’s pretty safe to say no one in the room wants to endure that emergency again.

I wasn’t worried about it this time around.  Since we are having a girl this time, I feel she will be a little more petite.  Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

I am not concerned enough to switch practices.  They will most likely let me give vaginal birth a go.  Heck, I’ve delivered two healthy babies safely before.  (But how safe was the last?)  I love my midwife, I really do.  Unfortunately I am not 100% on a homebirth, because of the risk in my specific case, or that is the route we would go.

Shoulder Dystocia is a legitimate reason for having intervention.  One of the few, but it is.  I am not opposed to a c-section in case of emergency but I would like to avoid one if possible.  I am also not opposed to induction if absolutely necessary.  I am still on board for a natural birth and feel as though it is worth a try without doing any harm to the baby or myself.

I have confidence in myself, my body, that it has created a being which it can deliver.  The question is, will my pelvis deliver?  Pun intended.

Different positions for delivery are a must.  Lucky for me, I have an amazingly strong & supportive team who will help out in this case.  My acupuncturist will be on board to open my chi, allowing me to birth when the baby is ready.  The midwife & her team are hoping that takes place between 37 & 38 weeks, even earlier if possible.  Everything is in place for this to happen, naturally.

My issue with this quandary?  I don’t want a c-section (who does, right?!) and I would prefer not to be induced by any method.  I strongly believe in the power of nature to take its course, and that when the baby is ready, she will come.

The trouble is, my body truly may not be able to handle it.

With a dose of hope, I’m trying to be realistically optimistic.  Birth in itself is a lot of mind-over-matter.  I am mentally prepared for this birth, but doubt is starting to sneak in, making the last few days very restless and anxiety-ridden.  We don’t want to ever put our baby in jeopardy, nor would I want to risk my own health.  All of these circumstances come with risk.  There is no one clear answer here.

I could use a few words of encouragement.  Any advice and/or information regarding subsequent deliveries with shoulder dystocia would be very welcome.  I am open to suggestions.  Simply trying to “knowledge up” in preparation for this birth.

Thank you in advance for your ongoing support and your words.


  1. Le you can do this! You did do this! You need to get thoughts of a c-section out of your mind and visualize yourself giving birth naturally and when she is ready! I would also contact Amy Haas, she is such a wealth of information and knowledge. I would also consider prenatal yoga with Christa. I assume you asked Jackie the plan for shoulder dystocia, because I can tell you as an observer they need to make sure they turn you over immediately and do the gaskin maneuver. I think Joan did the best she could but honestly she could have done better (sorry for the blatant honesty). I would also talk to the baby, send her positive energy and let her know you will need her help. You are amazing and will do a beautiful job at birthing your baby out, I have total confidence in you and your perfectly made body! XXOO!

    • Thank you, Kel. I have been completely into doing everything positive. Even had a chat with the baby a few days ago. I know all will be well. I trust in Joan (& hope she is on call!). After much research, what she did with Mars’ birth was right on with the steps required to get the baby out. The Gaskin maneuver is actually one of the later measures if the first maneuvers fail. I am confident in her knowledge and support in case of another shoulder dystocia, though I am more knowledgable this time as well. It helps to have such a strong system in place. Thanks for all your support!

  2. I guess ‘planned c-sections’ are much safer than ’emergency c-sections’. If they want to plan it for 38 weeks, that seems like jumping the gun cause maybe you will go early and all will be well. But if they plan it for 41 weeks, that seems like a legitimate idea. I know having a birth plan is important to you, but as we all know, even the best laid plans…
    As long as you are armed with support and knowledge and your family and your doctor are on the same page you should be good! Good luck!

  3. We are there for you, no matter what way you bring that beautiful girl into this world! And that’s the important thing, remember that. I also like Kelly’s idea of visualizing your birth the way you want it. Keep it positive, and also think earlier than later thoughts. At a 1 pound gain a week in the last month, every week counts. Love you sis!

    • Thanks sistah! Love you & am so thankful to have you through my pregnancies & births 🙂

  4. You will be able to do this! Trust your body and your midwife! All the things you are doing for your body, mind and spirit will get you through the birth you are meant to have!
    I will keep you and the baby in my prayers!

    • Thank you, Jenny! It’s great to have the support of a fellow natural birthing Mama so far away! Thanks, blogger friend!

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