Baby is BIGGER! Now how will he be born?
Today I had an appointment with a high-risk OB-GYN (parinatologist). I also had a rockin’ full ultrasound and got to watch my baby for what seemed like an eternity on the ultrasound screen. 🙂
At first, baby was asleep with one hand in a fist by her temple, and the other on her belly by her chin. The technician poked and prodded with the probe and the poor little thing woke up. She didn’t seem too happy to be bothered. At first, she actually rolled away from the probe and covered her eyes with her hand in a fist. After a few more pokes, she seemed to give up on sleeping and completely flipped around to the other side. It is SO amazing to see a fully formed little human so early in pregnancy!
The baby is measuring perfectly. In fact, she measured a bigger than what she has been so they moved my due date up by almost a week. I am due on January 12th, but the doctor will not stop labor after week 37. This means that the baby can be born anytime between December 22nd and January 12th. I am guessing that the baby will be born at or before the first of the new year. 🙂
We also sat down and discussed at length my birth options. With Nathan, I was told that I would have a c-section and so I never questioned it. After a horrible c-section experience with him, I started researching and found out that many j-pouchers had vaginal births and did fine. So with this one, I knew immediately that I wanted to explore my options a little better. There are still a few more aspects to consider, but basically there are not any long-term risks associated with either form of delivery. My doctor, at this point, said that it just depends on which risks I feel better about accepting.
They did say that they will try doing some things different this time around (should I have a c-section) so that hopefully my experience will not be as bad as with Nathan. Still, I know that each surgery is harder and harder for me to recover from, and I certainly do not need any more scar tissue in my abdomen than I already have. However, even if I choose to go with vaginal delivery, there is still a 2 out of 10 chance that I will end up with a c-section anyways.
It seems (to me) that the smartest thing to do at this point is to start doing my research and preparing myself for either delivery method. For the vaginal birth, I need to find out how I can reduce my c-section risk. I have read in the past that early epidural can interfere with labor, and that getting up an walking can help labor progress. I have also read that artificial breaking of the water too soon can lead to fetal distress because the umbilical cord can become trapped between the baby and the outside world in the birth canal.
For a c-section, I need to make sure there is a plan in place to prevent my famous hematoma formations, and also adequate pain control to keep my heart from freaking out. I need to find out if I can avoid an epidural due to always having bad results from it (seizures, only working on one side, and always shutting my bowels down and causing a partial blockage with vomiting). I am almost considering seeking some sort of counseling to help me reduce my fear of abdominal surgeries.
The OB tried to reassure me that “this time” will be different, that “this time” will not be as bad as the previous surgeries. The thing is, I have yet to meet a single doctor who has accurately predicted the misery and set-backs that I have after each surgery. They all say that “this time” will be better and it never has been. Needless to say, I am a bit jaded by it all. The past few surgeries, Nathan’s c-section included, have ALWAYS had at least two major set-backs or side-effects and each one is progressively harder and more painful for me to recover from.
For me to trust the doctor, they will need to be totally honest with me and tell me that yes, “this time” will likely be just as miserable as every single surgery I’ve had. It’s surgery, and surgeries hurt. My body already has tons of scar tissue to cause extra pain, and this surgery will make more scar tissue, and that will hurt. My heart will probably act funky until they get everything under control, and I’ll be tired and weak for a month or two following surgery. One or two strange things will probably crop up after surgery as always, and they’ll scratch their heads and thumb my heavy medical history but they’ll “do their best to keep me healthy and well. Let us prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
Now if a doctor would just be totally up front and tell me that, then I would trust them. I find it mighty wishful and borderline arrogant for them to tell me otherwise. Anyone who has seen me through surgeries knows I never have an uneventful, normal recovery. Ever.
Regardless of my very strong feelings, the overall news was good. The parinatologist is actually great friends with my preferred OB and says that I will be in very good hands. He also assured me that he has worked with all of the anesthesia teams in the area and that the team where I plan to deliver is top-notch. I definitely feel a little better about the birth after the meeting than before I went in. 🙂
Anyhow, I still can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that there is a whole new human being growing in there! I am super-excited because at some point in the near future, I should start to feel the little bean’s first discernible kicks. Stay tuned! Shall post some of the ultrasound pictures shortly…