I dealt with those emotions and prepared myself for another attempt at a natural birth. This one has gone well. I have been far more healthy, gained half the weight, and can still wear my wedding ring.
Two weeks ago my midwife told me I was 3 cm dilated (externally) and that the baby's head was engaged, she told me the baby could come any day.
One week ago I was fully 2 cm dilated, but the head was floating. She said I could go another week, but not another two.
Then yesterday (at 4 days past due) nothing had changed in a week. Given the lack of progress, we had to talk about things like induction methods, baby stress tests, an ultrasound to make sure my placenta isn't dying, and scheduling a c-section. Not quite what I was hoping for.
I wanted to cry. I couldn't help it. All my feelings of failing as a mother came back and this little voice said "see, nature itself doesn't want you to be a mom". Yes, I could still repeat the mantra above about God and His plan, yadda, yadda, yadda, but I still felt discouraged.
Then my over thinking brain stumbled upon a frustration soapbox as I remembered several things all at once:
#1 - I am only 4 days late! (now 5)
#2 - It is not uncommon for a second baby not to drop until labor.
#3 - Søren was 25 days "late", everything was fine and healthy, and my midwife now thinks my first c-section was completely avoidable and unnecessary.
#4 - It is the statistical, bureaucratic, protocol that is forcing "informative" statistics (like that the still birth rate starts doubling every week you go past "due") on me and making me obligated to submit to a series of tests designed to ease the mind of doctors, with no concern to the psychological effects on me and thus my labor.
#5 - Women used to know how to do pregnancy.
This last one was the one that really sunk in and helped erase my fears that nature didn't want me to be a mother. My midwife thinks the baby isn't dropping because there isn't adequate stomach muscles after my birth and c-section with Søren to hold the baby up enough to let his head descend well. That's great to know AFTER I'm past due with people dangling a c-section timer over my head.
In a different time and culture, all the other mothers would have come to support me and pass on wisdom - like wrapping and swaddling my belly for the majority of my pregnancy. They would know what kind of movements and exercises I should be doing, and they could show me how. They would know that there is no such thing as a "due date", and that pregnancy can take anywhere from 8-10 months. It would be a celebration instead of this impending condition that needed to be monitored.
I know I am ranting, but I need to. I need to remind myself that there is something wrong with our official-clinical-statistical approach to everything. What have doctors and science accomplished in the last 70 years of taking over the birthing process? A c-section rate that is 3-6 times higher than it needs to be? Women who can't get pregnant without the aid of drugs? Women who don't know how to carry or birth their babies without a doctor doing tests every couple weeks to assure them? Women who are told pregnancy and birth are purely a physical condition? Women who can't nurse, or think that scientific formulas would do a better job? This is madness. This is not natural or healthy. Though I want a different paradigm for my birthing experience, I don't have one, and so I will feed the statistics. I hope to feed the statistics for the side of being able to have a natural birth after a c-section, but I know that I might not.
There was a point in my current pregnancy that I decided that if this one ended in c-section, that I won't bear any more of my children, that we would adopt from here. It is possible I will feel that way again, but for the moment I think I have really overcome the feelings of inadequacy and realized that this c-section obsession is just the condition of things now, and that it is not nature telling me I have failed.
Whatever the next weeks holds for me, the important thing is that I will be meeting (Lord willing) this new little person that God is entrusting to Andrew and I for a time. My love and delight over him will have no correspondence to the way he came into the world. C-section or not, he will be my son. Lord or Elliot come quickly!