Turn Down For What

Honestly, I thought there would be nothing to write about these last few weeks, but things have been coming hard and fast.

So, where did we leave off?

Oh, yes.

That my child is already a little oppositional defiant and apparently not in the mood to turn head down in preparation for birth.

I spent the previous weekend mourning this fact, but was also able to move into a place of acceptance that maybe the birth I was envisioning would look a little different.

Eventually, I became strictly curious about what the doctor would say at our appointment on Monday.

Well, he dove right into our options.

1. We could try a “version” which is a procedure in which they manually manipulate the stomach and try to turn the baby head down

OR

2. We could skip the version and schedule a C-section.

Thankfully, I had worked through all my emotions over the weekend and was ready to talk business.

P-Daddy and I both agreed it was at least worth a shot to try to spin this baby right round.

Like, a record baby, right, right, round, round.

Sorry.

I digress.

The doctor said versions typically work about 50% of the time but it also depends on whether or not this is a first pregnancy,  and how much fluid is surrounding the baby.

We scheduled the version for that Friday so that I could quickly wrap up everything at work and begin maternity leave a few days early.

I didn’t think or talk about the version leading up to the appointment.

I honestly had no desired outcome either way.

It was one of those things I just had to give back to God and trust that He would ensure that whatever was supposed to happen would happen.

We headed to the hospital early Friday morning and felt a little extra blessed that this could sort of be a “dry run” for D-Day.

We finalized the hospital route, scoped out the parking situation, and were able to easily navigate a route to the labor and delivery floor.

Preparation for the version includes preparation for possible emergency surgery, so I was asked to dress up all fancy like in a humungous pink maternity gown, and get settled on the hospital bed. A fetal monitor was immediately hooked up, my blood pressure was taken and  an IV  was put in place.

We played the question and answer game with the nurses for about an hour before the doctor came in.

He wrote “HI BABY” on my belly and gooped me up for the ultrasound.

He told us that he needs to check some things to make sure I am even a good candidate for a version and then looked at me seriously and said “and if you are, it hurts like the dickens.”

WHA????

I was sort of under the impression that it was uncomfortable but not painful.

Fuuuuuuuuudddddggggggeeeee.

I’m not going to lie, I got scared.

But as the doctor started the ultrasound, I just had a gut feeling he was going to tell me that baby wasn’t going to be doing any somersaults anytime soon.

And I was right.

“Oh, honey,” he said, with his hint of an Asian accent, “there is just nooooooooo room in there. No room at all.”

He said this more humorously than factually, and I was almost a little relieved to have my suspicions confirmed.

Mama intuition must be taking hold.

He added that because this was a first pregnancy, the uterus is less pliable, if you will,  and harder to manipulate.

The combination of low fluid, lack of room, and a muscular uterus meant that I wasn’t a good candidate for the version.

This news didn’t phase me at all.

Deep down, I knew that’s what I was going to be told.

I quickly dressed and headed to the nurses station for the next  directions.

The doctor ordered an ultrasound for Monday (June 15th) and I already had an appointment back at the office scheduled for Tuesday.

He told us that someone would call us later in the day to schedule the C-section.

My heart did a little flip.

Am I really going to find out Squish’s Birth Day by this afternoon?

We found out about 10 minutes later.

P-Daddy and I decided to treat ourselves to some breakfast to process the latest information, when we got the call.

The C-Section would be scheduled for June 22nd, 2015.

Holy crap.

We would have a Squish in 10 days.

It felt surreal.

It still feels surreal.

I started a mental list of all the things I wanted to get done between now and then.

And then said a little prayer that Squish wouldn’t make any surprise visits before that.

And then I thought about how beautifully things were turning out to be.

Although I was sad and angry when I learned Squish was breech, knowing this information ahead of time prevented a potentially long and dangerous labor that would have ultimately resulted in an emergency C-section anyway.

And although a C-Section is not ideal, I know in my heart of hearts this is the safest way for Squish to get here.

I also knew this had been God’s plan the entire time, even though I couldn’t see it through the sadness, anger, and confusion.

The rest of God’s plan, of course, is still a surprise.

However, we are now able to do some planning of our own.

Appointments have been scheduled, last minute to-do lists have been created, family visits are now firmly on the calendar, and my Mom’s flight out here is booked.

I may try to sneak in a few extra posts to keep everyone updated on the latest Squish happenings, but if life intervenes,  just know that the news (and Squish!) will come one way or another.

Squish be like……TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?

38 WEEKS

TERM-inology

On Monday, I had my weekly appointment with the baby doctor.

Standard stuff.

Heart rate

(130 BPM!)

Group B strep test

(To see if I need antibiotics at the birth so as not to pass anything along to the babe)

And that thing they do where they feel your belly and tell you the position of the baby.

The doctor confirmed the head was down and even let me feel it outside my pelvis.

I couldn’t tell you if I was feeling a head or a pineapple, but whatever.

The doctor was friendly and informed me I was measuring a little small, but smiled and said he would order an ultrasound to make sure everything was in place.

He was quick to add that he wasn’t surprised by the small measurement,  since I am a small person to begin with.

I could not even contain my excitement about the ultrasound, especially since we were told a long time ago that there wouldn’t be any more.

The ultrasound was scheduled for Friday and it put a pep in my step the whole week.

Except when I woke up on Friday, I was kind of in a mood. 

I think it was partly exhaustion from not sleeping (still) and partly because I get scared to get excited knowing I could get some sort of bad news.

None the less, P-Daddy and I strolled happily into the imaging center at the hospital.

I’m not going to lie, the ultrasound images were less than impressive, and I really had no clue what I was looking at.

photo 2

They were very blurry and it took some serious squinting to make out Squish’s tiny face but I can confirm there was a totally squishable nose.

photo 1

And there was also some serious hand grasping which I’m just going to go ahead and consider a wave hello.

The technician was very nice and got busy doing measurements.

She informed us almost immediately that Squish was breech.

Frank_Breech1__330

I think my heart stopped.

But at the same time, my brain was racing.

What does this mean?
Do I have to have a C-section?

Do babies turn after 37 weeks?

Did I do something wrong?

This isn’t what the doctor told me.

This isn’t what the last two doctors told me.

Squish is supposed to be head down and I’ve been mentally preparing myself for labor and delivery for weeks. 

This is not what was supposed to happen.

I tried to contain it, but a single tear rolled down my cheek.

I knew if I tried to talk, I would lose it, so I stayed quiet for the rest of the appointment.

I’m not sure why, but this news felt crushing to me.

And in the way that only I can be dismissive of my own feelings, I thought I had no right to be upset about the possibility of a C-section when many women face actual birth related tragedies every day.

But still, I couldn’t deny that I felt sad and defeated.

When my sister called to check in, the emotions got stuck in my throat and I did that weird thing where you choke and try to breathe back the tears.

It didn’t work.

I told her I needed a moment and then she listened supportively while I eeked out the details of the appointment.

Her calmness and patience allowed me to get everything out, and I almost immediately felt better.

Until I got home and cried for an hour while Googling breech births.

Normally, I would be on board with every holistic, alternative,  crunchy granola suggestion for turning breech babies, but my heart was not in it.

I firmly believe babies turn or they don’t and no amount of lavender candles burned by your right pinky toe at sunset can change that.

And then I cried because I was angry.

Angry that someone was going to rip me open and pull a baby out.

Angry that my muscles would be tore apart and sewn back together.

Angry that it wouldn’t happen naturally and all the wonderful, natural hormones wouldn’t be able to get busy doing their postpartum job to help me feed baby and bond.

Angry that recovery was going to be long and potentially painful.

After I was done crying and being angry, the more rational thoughts started to seep in.

The truth was I had no real information.

I had no idea what the doctor’s thoughts and explanations would be.

Maybe they would try to turn the baby manually.

Maybe they would wait and let nature take it’s course.

Maybe they really would schedule a C-section just in case.

But would that be so bad?

To know the exact day Squish would come?

To know that Squish would arrive in the most medically safe manner necessary?

To know that I could walk into the hospital and be holding an actual human being within a few hours?

Did I just get a free pass for a pain free labor?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

But I’m glad I was starting to see that this isn’t exactly the worst situation in the world.

Rational self told my emotional self to just hang on until Monday when we can speak with the doctor to get more information and discuss options.

A few more conversations with my mom and  a good friend had me feeling a little more relaxed about the whole situation.

Relaxed and still sad, but no longer angry.

I had a few more tearful moments over the weekend, but they were fleeting.

Merely tears for the possible loss of the birth experience I expecting.

But my heart knows that how birth happens isn’t what’s important.

And it’s just one more message from the Big Man that I can’t control everything and that I need to stop trying to do so.

Right now, I’m mostly curious about what the doctor will say tomorrow.

And  also getting a little anxious knowing that Squish could literally arrive at any time because today marks 37 weeks.

37 weeks is considered early FULL term.

The idea that there could be a real, live, tiny human in our lives any day now brings a whole slew of other emotions.

So thank you for listening and being so supportive of all these new-to-me emotions and experiences.

It’s all a labor of love, I suppose.

37 weeks!