Today just rounded out one cluster of a week. My regular bi-weekly OB appointment went well — Maya’s heart beat was strong and steady at 140 (120-160 is normal) and my uterus grew another 3 cm to 33 cm.
When he pressed to find my pubic bone to measure my uterus height, he noticed the bones there are starting to separate a smidge (a good sign, though it sounds horrific!). They also tested the iron in my blood (which was excellent) and weighed me. I’m up 19 lbs total for my pregnancy and he was VERY pleased with that. His concerns that I wasn’t gaining enough have been allayed; I think she just must have hit a growth spurt or something before that uncomfortable visit.
Anyway, what was disconcerting (in addition to the fact that I’ll need to do non stress tests twice a week from here on out) is that, depending on what progress the 36-week ultrasound shows, I might have to induced early (like 39 weeks) or have a C-section because of the risks associated with the nuchal cord situation.
The thing is, in most cases, doctors don’t know about the cord being wrapped ahead of time … but my doctor — who is quite traditional and does not like to do C-sections and prefers vaginal births unless a C-section is medically required — admitted to me that, given all the testing we’ve gone through (which has all come back fine) and her purported smaller size and the neck situation … that if our perinatologist agrees with that recommendation, he wouldn’t question it if that’s what I wanted to do. In other words, he was admitting that the risks are high to deliver vaginally and it could put unnecessary strain on the baby as she comes out (the cord could get tighter, etc.). So do I want to do that? If I have the choice … of course not!
Something else to note …even if I were to be induced (which means a lot of drugs … ) I might need a C-section anyway. So it seems like most likely, either way, it’s not happening on its own … (unless I naturally went into labor super-early) and so, in my opinion (as of now, this could change) the C-section seems the lesser of the two evils (if I have to make a decision).
Of course, a C-section isn’t without risks, either … the recovery time is longer and it’s supposedly painful after. Neither my husband nor I are opposed to a C-section (to be honest, aside from the fact that it’s major surgery and I’m scared and have never had surgery, I kind of like the idea of knowing the “when” — Type A personality and all!) but we had kind of written it off as a last-resort (especially when you realize how many doctors do them out of convenience …).
But now that it’s a possible option on the table, I need to remind myself this isn’t a choice of when it fits into a schedule so much as what is best for Maya. Coming out healthy and OK matters more to me than anything else. I don’t care how she gets out … but we do want her to come out healthy and strong!
My OB also said he’s only delivered two stillborn babies in his whole career (he’s about 60?) and that is a real risk with this neck cord situation … obviously I want to do whatever we need to do to mitigate that. So these non stress tests should help keep an eye on her progress to make sure blood is flowing and she’s getting the nutrients she needs. Like I’ve said before, she’s quite active and moves around a lot — but I’ve always been nervous if I didn’t feel her move one day as much as another, so if anything, these bi-weekly tests will confirm she’s doing OK.
So we need to sit down and come up with a few birth plans/scenarios … and move the C-section option from a last resort to a very possible option. Obviously nothing is carved in stone and things could change, but it’s a lot of stress and anxiety for me to deal with and I need to focus on managing it as best I can.
If there is any silver lining to this, it’ll be the fact that my family lives far away and could make arrangements to be here shortly after the birth … as opposed to getting a call and having to scramble. So we’ll see … I need to just take things one day at a time.
Have a safe, happy and healthy weekend everyone! See you next week!