Over the span of 20 years and six children, my birthing experiences had run the gamut from gurney-hopping in the bad old days before labor and delivery rooms, to an unplugged, unmedicated delivery with midwives. But a few constants remained: my belief in prenatal exercise, my categorical rejection of C-sections, and my disdain for those who bottle-fed. My babies were plump from mother’s milk!
I was delighted to become pregnant at 41; my two previous pregnancies had miscarried, one at 20 weeks, in a serious hemorrhage. I breathed a sigh of relief as we passed that mark, and walked every day and ate nutritiously.
The first bleeding episode happened at 23 weeks, the second at 28 weeks, and the third at 32 weeks. I was diagnosed with placenta previa–the placenta was covering the cervix. Which meant I was in danger of suddenly hemorrhaging, putting me and baby in mortal danger. On bed rest, I was to stay in the hospital until 36 weeks, when I’d be c-sectioned, since a vaginal delivery was impossible.
When the placenta previa resolved at 38 weeks, I rejoiced that I no longer faced a Cesarean and went home to enjoy a few weeks of freedom. We made it to full-term! Feeling accomplished, I arrived at the hospital to give birth-–naturally. But the baby was transverse (instead of its head being down, its shoulder or back was down). Read the rest of this entry →