PC Diary @38Weeks 0 Days
The unknown doctor came in, shook our hands and looked at us in turn, he looked concerned. But after a strange pregnant pause he managed to get the words out….”Everything looks good with the flow to and from the placenta”. Phew…a sigh of relief! From the look on his face, we both thought he was going to say something bad. Another awkward pregnant pause and he said to us “We don’t know why your baby is measuring small.” (This doctor had very a very strange and awkward bedside manner)
Chris and I had bets on how this appointment with the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist would go. We both bet it would be ‘unexplained’, because that just seems to be the way the cookie crumbles with us. Unexplained infertility has done that to us, it has better prepared us for accepting the unknown. By the way the unknown SUCKS. But nevertheless, we seem to be able to handle it a lot better now. We think that the doctor was expecting us to give him a hard time about not knowing why Rocky is measuring small. But instead we just said, OK so there is nothing obviously seriously wrong? Although, she was even further behind than our past growth scan in the 3rd percentile (She was in the 5th percentile the week before), but these measurements have error inaccuracies, especially at this late stage of the pregnancy. There was no denying the fact that she is still very small and behind.
The doctor recommended that she be delivered in my 38th week so we can get her out of me and feed her up. Later that day I went back to my OBGYN for another non-stress test and an ultrasound to check on my amniotic fluid levels. All was looking good.
It was an emotional roller coaster day of nerves and relief. We don’t know exactly how healthy Rocky will be when she arrives into the world and what the impact of the growth restriction has been on her, if any. Perhaps my anemia was the culprit, perhaps it has been my bowel problems not getting the right nutrition to her or perhaps she is just a naturally skinny thing. We don’t know, but that’s OK, because we are going to meet her very soon and hold her in our arms.
At my next appointment with my Obstetrician we talked about the induction process. We had been penciled in to arrive at the hospital on the evening of the 20th December to have my cervix ‘ripened’ overnight. Rocky is currently head down and engaged at Stage 0 right now, and I am still 1cm dilated and 50% effaced, which is a good thing and may mean I don’t need to have my cervix ripened. If that is the case, then I may be asked to come into the hospital in the morning of the 21st December and they will put straight onto the drug Pitocin (it mimics oxytocin, the hormone which causes contractions). The doctor warned us how long this process can take 12-24 hrs, and there is no way of knowing how my body will respond. Sometimes a small baby can be a good thing and time can go quicker and I may have an easier time pushing her out! Or sometimes not…. they will keep a close monitor on Rocky because sometimes growth restricted babies struggle to keep their heart rate up during contractions. If Rocky’s heart rate decelerates then there is a very good chance I would end up having a cesarean section. But the great news is, there is no reason for me to not have a vaginal birth.
My birth plan is that I wish to avoid pain medication at all costs. However, I am now being induced using Pitocin and this can cause contractions to be a lot stronger and successive far quicker than a natural labor would be. This means that there is a higher chance of this being painful! My current feelings are that I will try my dammed hardest to not ask for the pain meds – in whatever form. Chris is well versed in my desire, and my doula will be there to help me get through it too. Although I want a vaginal birth, I have spent some time thinking about how to cope with an unexpected c-section. I am now feeling ready for that moment because I know Rocky’s health is the most important thing to think about. Luckily I will be on one of my favourite obstetrician’s service that day and I feel like I can trust her.
All this being said, the past week has been strange. I had some plans for my maternity leave…I was excited to be taking some time to myself and thought 4 weeks before Rocky’s arrival I would have some time to do these things – Christmas dinners with friends and colleagues, executive development program study, knitting, Christmas card writing, email sorting, Christmas shopping, housework, blogging and more. But with being on ‘rest’, many doctors appointments and not knowing what is going on has actually been exhausting and I have done very little on this list. Even the things that don’t require me to leave the house for I haven’t been able to focus on, I have just been lethargic and brainless. It doesn’t help that I am not even sleeping well and having lots of pregnancy related nightmares. I might be physically well rested, but my brain sure isn’t.
Finally, just one more thing. Now when people say to me, oh you look so good for 37/38 weeks pregnant…I actually feel bad inside. I now know that my bump is small and I have put on little weight to the detriment of Rocky. Until I meet her and hold her safely in my arms, that guilt is not going to stop, no matter how much people will tell me it’s not my fault.
But guys….I am almost at the end of all this…I am on the brink of exploding with happiness about that!