Tuesday, May 3, 2011

28th Week Doctor Visit

 

Went to the doctor yesterday and figured I’d post all of the updates here since I haven’t journaled in about oh, a lifetime it seems. At least not one during this pregnancy.

 

First of all, I have to say how much happier I am with our new doctor. When we moved, we took the opportunity to get out of Mercy Downtown medical group, which left us with a group of OBs (none of which were actually assigned to you) and delivering at Mercy General, which was ridiculously horrible. There, I had to talk to a different doctor every month and therefore repeat my concerns each month and even better, get an entirely different opinion from each doctor, which often contradicted with the last. Now we are set to deliver in one of the best, most modern birthing centers in the area and I have a private practice doctor who is fabulous (so far).

 

Going into the third trimester, I’m beginning to get a lot of anxiety about birth and delivery. We didn’t know anything was wrong before going into labor with Amelia and by the time we figured out what the problem was, she was here, perfectly healthy, and everything was fine. This time, I’m finding a lot more fear in the knowing and struggling with all of the possible scenarios. At the ultrasound last month, the baby’s head was downward but not quite in the right spot. As the she’s (we’ve) gotten bigger, it’s become increasingly obvious that she’s sideways. Her head is down, but tucked into my left hip bone. Her spine is down so she’s curled up and facing me with her butt and legs wrapped over to my right ribs. I think she’s like this

 

 

The doctor walked in yesterday, put her hands on my belly and said, “that baby is sideways.” How nice that she could tell and I didn’t have to convince her like I did with the yahoos when I was pregnant with Amelia. There is still time for the baby to get into the correct birthing position and we can all hope for that . . . but if you ask me, that babychild isn’t going anywhere. Amelia was sideways too but facing downward (with her feet where her head should have been) by this time in the pregnancy and never moved, despite that the doctors kept saying “that baby will move!” Turns out that only 1% of babies go into delivery lying transverse like this, but sometimes doctors forget about those exceptions. In any case, if I had to put money on it, I’d say that she’s stuck in there and already finding herself with too little room to recalibrate.  The doctor thinks that by 32 weeks we’ll know for sure where she’ll stay.

 

If the baby stays in this position, that would eliminate a few of the possible scenarios. A sideways baby can’t come out through the designated path, so a cesarean would be the only option.  As much as I completely despised having surgery to birth Amelia and how incredibly sick it made me and how torturous that recovery was, there is a little relief in possibly eliminating a series of possibilities that were overwhelming me. I was excited at the possibility of trying a med-free vaginal birth and letting my body actually do what it can do. There was something empowering in that possibility not to mention the much shorter recovery. I saw my sister-in-law a few hours after having our niece (med-free vaginal birth) and she was sitting up in bed, had showered, had nursed the baby, and looked just like herself—fresh and beautiful.  It was about as opposite of my experience with Amelia as possible. At a few hours post-birth, I was still puking my guts up and trembling uncontrollably and unable to hold my baby. I didn’t even get out of bed for 24 hours and didn’t shower for several days, when I hunched over as the water loosened my bandage while Justin held me to keep me from passing out. Not pretty.

 

However, the thought of attempting a VBAC and then ending up in an emergency section is even worse than what I had the first time! What a gamble! Ack. What do you do?? The typical rate of ruptured uterus is low in a VBAC, but I don’t have a ‘normal’ uterus, so all bets are off the table on its reaction to labor/delivery.

 

So you see the dilemma. As it turns out, VBAC may not be an option. Disappointed? Definitely. Relieved? A little. Only because it takes some of the guess-work out.

 

Everyone says the second c-section is much easier than the first. But most of those people schedule the second one. They mark the calendar (seems weird to pick your baby’s birthday doesn’t it?), get a good night’s sleep (hopefully), put some makeup on (pictures!), and meet their families at the hospital for the big day. That DOES sound better than the original route. That 2:30 am wake-up call was a little . . . worrisome to say the least. However, with this baby, the best prediction is that I’ll probably deliver around 36 weeks again. Nobody would schedule a delivery before the baby is full term (which is at 37 weeks). You definitely want the baby to stay in for as long as possible. Just as Amelia was a whopping 6 pounds at birth, she could have easily been 3. Therefore, the probably scenario if Baby stays transverse and undeliverable without surgery is that we would have a planned cesarean section, but not scheduled.  We’ll know very soon that a c-section is inevitable and everyone will plan on that outcome. However, more likely than not, I will go into labor before they could schedule the surgery. Sooooooo now my mind is just spinning, reeling with all of these possibilities as well. When/where? The trickiest thing about this scenario for us this time is that we have Amelia. Getting to the hospital will be incredibly urgent as the umbilical cord could come out without the head blocking the cervix, causing death. So we’d have to rush to get there just like last time, but the big difference is that we’ll have to drop Amelia off somewhere, wait for someone to pick her up, or otherwise, figure out what to do in that moment with/for her. It adds complication for certain. Not to mention that Justin works 12-hours shifts now and an hour away from home. All I can think about is if I go into labor when Amelia and I are home alone or out somewhere together. What would I do?! If things go as they did the first time, I’ll go directly into active, quick, painful labor within a few minutes of water breakage so I’m not sure driving us to the hospital would be the best idea . . .

 

So that’s the update for now. We have another appointment soon and as we go into 30 weeks and beyond, we’ll definitely be monitoring as much as possible for signs of labor. We know more this time, which is comforting, but frightening too. I’m only just now coming to terms with the trauma of Amelia’s birth. As I find myself nearing birth again, the feelings that buried themselves in relief after her arrival are surfacing and bringing me to tears almost every day in anxious anticipation, stress, and fear. I know that she got here just fine and all was good, but I’m now starting to realize how scary and traumatizing it all was at the time.

Next week, I have the glucose gestational diabetes test (fun!) and possibly another OB appointment. Can’t believe that I’ll be 30 weeks in a week. yikes. Just further reminder that there is no easy way out of this game . . .

2 comments:

Monica said...

As I read this, I couldn't imagine all the things that must be going through your mind. I do sincerely wish for you that things go the best, most safe way possible for you and your family!!! *hugs*

Amelia said...

Thanks Monica! It'll have to go okay . . . right? Just getting there is a little iffy.