I have been wanting to write an update for so long now . . .there’s been good fodder for an update! But it hasn’t happened. Partially, this is because work has continued to eat my time up, against my best attempts at limiting my schedule. Partly, it’s because my carpel tunnel has become almost unmanageable, and the idea of using the computer any more than absolutely necessary brings me to tears.
I was excited for this week, because I saw an end to some of those limitations. The big legislative advocacy visit day we hold for youth each year (which Babs bailed on three weeks ahead of time) was Monday, and thanks to our interim person and lots of good work on everyone’s behalf, it went beautifully. I went to the physical therapist on Tuesday morning and got some new braces to use at work . . .and not much else, unfortunately. But still It was progress! I had a sight visit with some funders for most of the day Tuesday, but the rest of the week was free and clear to finish my maternity leave plan and do some final projects in my last few weeks.
Over the weekend, we picked up some final items for the hospital bag – I got supplies to make “padsicles” (aloe and witch hazel pads that soothe after vaginal delivery) and got everything in order so La would get off my back about the bag. Seafoam’s bag was all set too, in the crib and ready to roll with both newborn and 0-3 outfits all ready for him.
And then I went to the midwife on Tuesday afternoon.
I should mention that over the weekend, my feet and hands went from kind of puffy to staypuft level swollen. I upped my water and added lemon, and made La take me shopping for new shoes on Sunday, since my others were getting tight. After some tears and a lot of looking around, I finally got a pair of men’s sketcher slip ons that weren’t too terribly dorky. (It doesn’t help that on a good, not-swollen day, I wear a women’s 10 1/2-11) On Tuesday, when I got to the midwife and took my pants off for my group B strep test, I could hardly get my pants off over my legs because they were so swollen. It was . . .gross.
So when Velma came in and asked me how I was, I casually mentioned the swelling to her. She had previously told me that swelling wasn’t actually a good indicator of problems, since pretty much everyone swells at the end of pregnancy, so I felt a little awkward. I lifted up the sheet to show her my legs and she said, “Oh. No, thats not normal. I see swelling all day and that’s bad.” My BP had been borderline the two times it was checked at the appointment, so she told me that after the GBS test and exam, she wanted me to go over to the OB screening room to have labs run and monitoring done on seafoam. Labs come back to the screening room in 20 minutes, whereas it can tae 2-3 days for the clinic.
She got out the doppler at this point, and started looking around for Seafoam’s heartbeat. She found his cord and heard the heartbeat, steady and strong. But she couldn’t find his actual heartbeat. He was moving like crazy, so there was no concern about him being alive and well, but she clearly wanted to get his actual heart on the doppler. “Let’s throw you on the ultrasound!” Velma was a little worried, I could tell, but calm enough that I was able to maintain my cool despite things going downhill fast. Did I mention this was the one appointment the entire pregnancy that La wasn’t able to attend with me?
So, into the other room I went. She flipped the ultrasound on, moved it around and said, “Oh, I thought maybe . . .he’s breech.” Yup. After weeks of feeling pretty confident that Seafoam’s head was in my pelvis, turns out his butt was just very hard and he was happily sitting with his booty in my pelvis and his head up and on my left. Little turd. So, what now? Well – three options: 1) Hope he flips on his own (not highly likely at this point in the game) 2) Schedule an external cephalic version to try and manually turn him 3) schedule a c-section.
The clear answer to me was the version. Not that I don’t trust chiropractic care and moxibustion and spinningbabies.com, but I wasn’t willing to risk a c-section without doing everything I could. And, the version needs to happen as close to 37 weeks as possible. And 37 weeks is tomorrow, so . . . I scheduled the version for Friday morning at 9am. And then Velma sent me to the screening room.
La was able to meet me there, thank god, as I was feeling more than a little freaked out at this point. We got hooked up to the monitors – seafoam was doing well, my BP was still borderline – and they took blood and urine. And La and I sat and chatted and talked about how to get the little dude to turn his butt up. And two hours later, the midwife came in and said, “Ok, I got your labs back! The good news is . . .” and here’s where I was fully expecting her to say (as has been said every other time things got a little middy) everything is normal. Instead, she said, “You’re going to have a baby in a few days.”
Yup. I have pre-eclampsia. Very mild pre-eclampsia, at this point, but I have it. And the standard of care at our hospital is to deliver at 37 weeks with any pre-E, as it rarely if ever stays mild and is far more likely to rogress quickly to severe and potentially life threatening. The risks for me and complications like placental abruption are too high to not deliver.
But, he’s breech. So?
So. Tomorrow morning at 9am, I will go in for the ECV, and with some luck and medical manipulation, Seafoam will turn head down. At this point, I’ll be induced using cytotec and a foley bulb, and we will have Seafoam sometime this weekend. If the ECV doesn’t work, I will have a c-section on Friday instead. In any case, we are having a baby this weekend. WE ARE HAVING A BABY THIS WEEKEND.
I’m grieving the loss of the ideal birth (and before you leave a comment, I KNOW that the goal is always a healthy mom, healthy baby AND it sucks to not have things go the way you wanted! So please don’t leave me comments like that, yeah?) and hopeful that we will at least be able to deliver vaginally using hypnobabies (so I’m happy to accept prayers for a spinning baby who goes head down!) And I am WAY MORE EXCITED about getting to meet my baby in a few days!
But, I spent all day yesterday trying to get what had been weeks of preparation into order in just a few hours. I still have a couple of things to do for work today, but I’m not at the office, since I needed a day to absorb WTF is happening and get a few things in order. I’m headed to acupuncture in a few minutes, and then to run some errands. Today is the last normal day in my life before I have a kid.
It’s strange to know when this is happening, but with such short notice. There are benefits and draw backs to it, I suppose – just like any situation. Just enough time to get a little anxious, not enough time to do all of the things I want. But foreknowledge that I didn’t expect, in any case.
I’ll try and give small updates about the version and whichever ‘choose your own adventure’ birth story we end up with, based on if he flips. But I imagine that my next real update, I’ll be able to show you a picture and tell you what Seafoam’s ‘real’ name is. (Y’all didn’t think that’s what we were naming him, did you?)