Saturday, July 28, 2012

Turn around, bright eyes

I was trying to wait out Greg, and let him post before I put in another one, but it seems I could be waiting a while. He's been a little busy, with conference calls at 9:00 p.m. several times a week and the normal hectic-ness of his work.

Anyway, at our latest appointment, I made the mistake of asking, "So, he's head-down now, right?"

The doctor had this perplexed look on her face and said, "Well, I sure thought so. Either that or his butt is really bony. But lets have a quick look on the ultrasound to be sure."

Lo and behold, his head is still firmly situated up in my ribs, and his butt has suctioned down into my pelvis. (To which the doctor laughed - "Your baby has a VERY bony butt!") We've got a little breech baby on our hands. After a quick cervix check (it's now between a 3 and a 4), the doctor sat down and told us we had two choices:

A) Schedule a "version" with her, which means she would attempt to turn the baby manually from the outside of my belly. Although, since he's so far down, it will require some internal help. Ouch. This came with warnings including the following - she could break my water accidentally, the placenta could separate from the wall of the uterus requiring an emergent c-section, the cord could get tangled, and it has somewhat low chances of working.


2) Schedule an elective c-section at 39 weeks.

Neither of these sound like awesome options, but even with the risks of the first option, it could lead to a natural, vaginal birth. And since I'm Group B Strep negative, I could even walk around during labor like I had hoped. I briefly considered not doing the version at all and just waiting to see if he would turn on his own, but it would require scheduling the c-section, and what if he did turn, and they didn't look before and I still got the c-section? I'm really not excited about having the baby cut out of me, if you can tell. I mean, I know it would go fine, and I'm not scared of the surgery, but I want to experience birth as women have done for millennia. And, selfishly, I know that if I do a c-section, I will be far from the first person to hold my baby, and that breaks my heart a little. I mean, I carried him for 9 months, I ought to have the right to cuddle with him first, in all his nasty, vernix-covered glory. Am I right?

In the meantime, I'm trying every old wives' tale for turning a baby possible. Propping my pelvis in the air? Check. Prayer? Got it. Chiropractic medicine? Check. Positive thinking and meditating on the image of the baby in the right position? Done.  Doing somersaults in the pool? Today's the day. Singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at the top of my lungs? Got it. Of course, I'm staying away from anything that sounds like it could do harm to me or the baby. But if it's harmless, why not give it a shot? The worst it can do is not work.

Cross your fingers and think upside down!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Appointment Recap (Or the One In Which You Hear About My Hoohah)

We went to the first of our new weekly appointments on Friday. This was the first appointment where it wasn't just weight, blood pressure and a quick check-in with the doctor on my blood sugar. When we walked into the exam room, there was a swab kit waiting for us. Clearly, it was going to be a bit more... invasive than usual.

As I had surmised, I got the Group B Strep test done, so I'll be anxious to get the results on that. I'm really not excited about the prospect of having to be on IV antibiotics while I'm in the hospital for labor. I also got my first cervix check. And the lead-up to it is one of the reasons I love my doctor:

"We're going to check your cervix today," she said. "I'm sorry, but this is going to hurt a little. I used to tell people that it would be uncomfortable, but when I had my own kids, I realized I was just lying to everyone. It's way more than uncomfortable."

Truth in advertising. At least I was prepared beforehand. She told us that I'm at about 3 centimeters, 70% effaced and "nice and soft." Good to know she can tell how soft I am while her hand is shoved up to her elbow my hoohah. She also said that the baby is still a "little posterior." According to my infinite knowledge of baby stuff, I believe that means he's still got his little body turned facing out toward the world, rather than staring back at my pelvis. So, we're making progress already, but I could still easily make it to my due date.

Little Boy Blue will need to get himself situated in the next couple of weeks so that he's face down if he wants to come join us in the real world. At least, that's what he should do. But according to every August-born person I've met, he's going to be a Leo, and they're notoriously stubborn. Perfect. It'll be so easy raising a stubborn baby.

We go back again on Monday (I can't say that the schedulers at the doctor's office were real smart when they scheduled me two weekly appointments practically back to back), so I doubt much will change in the next three days. At least I'll get to practice my relaxation exercises again while the doctor feels around my kidneys during the cervix check. Ouch.

- Jennifer

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Holding Pattern

Not much has changed over the last week. It feels like we’re now in a holding pattern. Everything is pretty much squared away at this point. The nursery is done. Childcare is worked out. We have a pediatrician. Hospital bags are packed. The car seat is installed in my car. Freezer meals are awaiting consumption. All we need is a baby.

Of course, I’m only at 35 weeks. After all the horror stories of going into labor 4-6 weeks early, I wanted everything to be ready well in advance. If I hadn’t done all this prep work, I’d probably be in labor as we speak. But since I’m ready, I will probably be one of those women, hobbling around at 42 weeks, doing everything I can possibly think of to make the baby pop out.

In the meantime, my ideas of what is “work appropriate” clothing is beginning to morph. Today, for instance, I’m in a maxi-dress. Something I never would have worn to work before being pregnant, because I think it’s a little too casual for work. But you know what? It fits over my belly, it’s really comfortable, it’s cool, and I just stopped caring about twenty minutes ago what I show up to work in. Maternity pants are practically out of the question, because I can’t stand the way the stretchy polyester belly panel itches. At home, if I’m not in a dress, I’m wearing truly awful maternity shorts that are too big for me and my shirts never quite meet the top of them, so there’s always about 2-3 inches of my belly hanging out for the world to see. I’m sure it’s really attractive.

That’s about all I know right now. Maybe in a few days, after our next appointment, I’ll have more exciting things to say.

- Jennifer 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cramped Quarters

Yesterday we got a chance to see the baby again on ultrasound. It's been since we were at 20 weeks that we've had a chance to get a look at him in there. And it's definitely very different this time. At 20 weeks, we could see his whole little body. (Of course, it was only about the size of a banana then.) But this time, we could only glimpse portions at a time.

Still, we could see his stomach, a little black blob on the screen, filled with amniotic fluid he's been drinking. We saw his heart, with the four chambers clearly visible. He was head-up, and finally, finally I got an answer about what has been hurting me right under the right side of my rib cage. His little head has been hanging out up there, cramping my style if I slouch even the tiniest bit.

The best part was seeing his face (and the little foot that was hanging out right next to it, little contortionist). It was all squished and he looked distinctly like Greg peeking his head out from under the covers on a lazy Saturday morning. It was adorable. He was opening and closing his mouth, making sucking motions and breathing. He wriggled around a bit, making it hard for the ultrasound tech to get proper measurements.

We haven't heard from the doctor yet, but the tech told us he looks to be around 5 pounds 8 ounces (a very rough estimate, of course, considering they can't actually weigh him), and his head and chest were measuring at about 35 weeks. We're at 33 weeks, so I'm not sure if that changes anything from the doctor's perspective. It's strange, because I was told at my last appointment that I was measuring on the small side. So either he's just super cramped, or I'm not measuring as small as they think.

It was nice to see him again, and know that in less than 7 weeks, he'll be here. I guess we better go to the movies while we still can...

- Jennifer