Thursday, October 04, 2007

Red Rubber Ball

Last week in my Fitmom class, the instructor checked our diastasis (the amount of separation of the two halves of the rectus abdominus that happens in pregnancy). If the separation gets too big, apparently, it can become a problem that requires surgery after birth. What you have to do is lie on your back with your knees up. Then you lift your head off the ground and feel the area between the belly button and the ribs. When you do this, you should be able to feel the sides of the abdominal muscles. Generally, they are pretty close together, maybe a fingerwidth at most. They start separating during pregnancy to accomodate the baby.

When I did this, there was this sizable bump right above my belly button. It looked like the baby was pushing it's head (or bum) out of the top of my tummy, except that when you pressed on it, it felt like an air bubble. It looked pretty freaky. The teacher thought that it might be a hernia, and I immediately went into a semi-panic mode. Hernia means surgery! I don't want surgery! I am doing my very best to avoid any type of surgery with this birth! I wouldn't say Im a hypochondriac, but I am a bit of an alarmist.

So for this past week, I've been in a bit of a suspended state waiting for my doctor's appointment today. The doctor seems to think that it's just some loose muscles popping out. She didn't seem too worried about it. Personally, I think that loose muscles popping out of my stomach is not entirely "normal". (Or attractive, but let's just put that aside for the moment..) I hope that she's right. I don't, as a rule, question doctor's opinions, but sometimes I think that they can be somewhat dismissive of patient concerns. I don't think that my doctor is the dismissive type at all - she seems very nice - but I just started with her, so I don't know her all that well.

I'm doing my very best to focus on the positive side of things (not easy for me), and just assume that everything will work in the end. I've been having to do that more and more as this pregnancy progresses. I had my VBAC consult last week, and the obstetrician at the hospital said that if I got to 40 weeks without going into labour, they would just automatically schedule a caesarian for a week later. That concerns me. My impression is that if everything doesn't go EXACTLY ACCORDING TO SCHEDULE then the hospital is going to hop on the Operation Train. And when has a labour gone exactly according to schedule anyways?? Every labour, every woman is different. An acquaintance of mine was in the same situation awhile back. They had scheduled the caesarian for 8 days after her due date - only because they were too backed up to do it earlier - but she luckily went into labour on the morning of her operation.

I talked with my doctor about this and she looked confused. She said that they would schedule an induction if I went all the way to my due date, but not a caesarian. I could have misheard what the obstetrician said, but I don't think so. So we wait until she gets the letter from the obstetrician consult to see what it says.

I guess I just have to assume that everything's going to be alright.



Christine said...

there is some controversy with VBACs and inductions. I consulted with my midwifes and did lots of research and the general idea was if the baby was WAY late they would rather do a cesarean than induce. their reasoning was that induction causes such hard contractions that rupture is a serious concern. of course rupture is a concern with a non induced vbac, but very unlikely. I can't find all my old fact sheets, since i cleaned that stuff out ot i'd give you some back up data.

i know! i am probably freaking you out. I don't mean to. It just sounds like they need to give you more info.

Lisa b said...

I thought it was what Christine said.
Plus I think they just schedule it to scare you into labour.
The plan for me was to have a c-section if I went past 39 weeks. So I told my midwife that was fine because I wasn't going past that and I didn't.
My only thoughts on your doctor not being worried - and you may not like my thoughts - are that they don't worry unless something is really wrong or it can be fixed.
I couldn't feel my foot for about a month after my first daughter was born, and I coudn't see properly for three months after the second one.
No one seems concerned with these types of things unless they persist for months after the baby is born.
My sil had the muscle separation and she recovered well. No surgery.

KC said...

I was 10 days late carrying my daughter and I would have paid money at that point to have her removed from me, whichever way possible. I swear I was gaining like a pound a day in leg edema. My toes could not be distinguished from an elephant's. A fat elephant's.

I do think you have to assume all will go well.2 weeks early sounds peachy to me.

bubandpie said...

A friend of mine had a midwife-assisted VBAC homebirth 12 or 13 days after her due date. She had to go in for non-stress tests regularly once she hit 41 weeks and she was being monitored by an OB at that point, but she was still able to proceed with her plans and had a very smooth delivery (as deliveries go, that is). If you want to avoid the C, I'd say push for a few extra days to see if labour starts on its own, rather than asking for induction.

Kyla said...

I agree with everyone before me. That was my understanding of VBACs/induction. I think I'd opt for more time rather than an induction, as long as things were going reasonably well.

painted maypole said...

it's going to be all right.

crazymumma said...

oh god. what is a VBAC?
our bodies do all sorts of freaky things that look all wrong. I hope you're ok....

Beck said...

VBAC, then two inductions. And rather hardcore diastasis in my last pregnancy too, and it didn't require ANY surgery.
Do NOT worry. I know you will - heck, I always did - but it will be okay.

cinnamon gurl said...

I thought that muscles thing was normal. But I also heard what Christine did about vbacs and inductions. I'm sure it will all go fine and you won't need any help!

b*babbler said...

I'm sure you're going to be okay, but don't let the doctor's push you into decisions you aren't comfortable with. And if you are really uncertain about something (the muscles thing, etc) keep questioning. We know our bodies better than we think!

Christine said...

damn--i hope i didn't freak you out.

it will all really be ok. really.

Mad Hatter said...

No-mo: look and the screen and concentrate: it will go fine, it will go fine, it will go fine. Soon you will have a little baby.

DaniGirl said...

Oh hell, there's always something to worry about, isn't there?

No VBAC experience here, but was induced after going 10 days late with my youngest (well, about to be my middle child) and the labour itself was actually easier and less painful than with my first.

One way or another, you'll have that lovely babe in your arms in two months - and all will be well.

kittenpie said...

I can't remember if I pointed you to Nadine ( for inspiration about a vbac before, but given her experience, it might not be a bad idea to have (if you don't already, I don't know) a birth plan and someone designated to help you stick to it if at all possible. She had her homeopath, but someone like a midwife or doula might be helpful if it seems like everyone is scalpel-happy and you are trying hard to avoid it. Just a thought!

Susanne said...

With all these things it's always good to remember that there is a choice. And that it's up to you.

But I also know that to tell someone (and especially someone who is pregnant) not to worry is a but futile. But ti will be okay.