I've always been one for considering as many outcomes of a situation as I can, in order to prepare myself mentally. I have felt that mental preparation would make me better equipped to deal with undesired outcomes, which would make experiencing those outcomes less painful.
This has not actually been the case. In the past two years since my experience with post partum anxiety I have realized that I anticipate too much, too often. And mental preparation only makes the anticipation more painful, rather than better equipping me and making things less painful if the outcome is not ideal.
In light of this, as much as I can, I try to remind myself that I have the strength and skill to cope with things as they happen, and that I don't need to live in a number of possible future scenarios, diminishing my experience of the present moment. Which, of course, is all we really have.
Paired with this is 32 --oops, 33-- years of habit. A habit of anticipating. I've been trying to live in the present moment regarding the possibility of placenta previa, and mostly I've been succeeding. There is no point getting upset until I know. And I have had no bleeding, which is so often associated with previa. But it's tough because I'm afraid. In church today the theme of the sermon was dealing with mountains in our lives. God can move mountains, and sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't, but He's always with us. My mind kept wandering over to how it would feel to be wheeled, prepped, numbed, cut, emptied, sewn, wheeled, medicated, and to heal from surgery, again. I've been there. I've been through natural birth. To go back to surgery again feels a bit like volunteering to go back to the Goulag, or some Asian jail at the top of Amnesty's list or something. I DID my VBAC. I proved to myself that my body can do it. I just didn't anticipate ever needing to come back here, to this place. I had considered the possibility of an emergency cesarean, during the process of birth, and I knew that my chances were as likely as any other multip that an emergency would arise and I would need surgery. That was okay. But THIS? Back again to a sterile, labourless, robotic, assembly line process, for some reason is drastically different for me. Even though complete previa would be an undisputed necessary cesarean.
Did you know that my first cesarean put me at greater risk for this exact complication in future pregnancies? And that the reason for my first cesarean (breech baby) has been reevaluated by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and is now no longer an automatic indication for surgery. Breech vaginal birth is back on the list as safe. Riskier than vertex birth, but considered as safe as surgery by the SOGC (and in my mind, safer). So as I have mentioned before it looks like the first cesarean was NOT necessary, and now may be causing a second one. Isn't that not cool?
All of this is something I'm trying to keep at bay as much as I can, until I know more. But I need to be gentle with myself and allow myself some anticipatory wondering. And some tears. Hooboy. This is hard.