And Drama Ensues …

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!

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12 thoughts on “And Drama Ensues …

  1. I’m glad you’re approaching this positively. I’m sure you’ve done the research and know all the benefits of a vaginal birth (there are many) BUT, that said, when you trust your doctor and he says this is possibly a necessity, what are you going to do? As you may remember, I was in the exact same situation. Both my dr and I were strongly opposed to a c-section and in the end it became what had to happen because of Nate’s breech presentation and how little I stretched in the pregnancy (I haven’t even fully processed yet the complicated feelings I have about some of that being “my fault” – one of these days).

    It is very nice knowing the day you’re going in, but I’ll be honest – it was very hard for me afterward knowing he missed out on certain antibodies and hormones because he wasn’t born vaginally. It also delays milk production and I often wonder if it was one part of my not being able to nurse. I’m glad Nate is perfect and I wouldn’t have pushed for a vaginal delivery against my dr’s orders because I knew he was 100% treating the c-section as the last, last, last option. (Oh, and I didn’t find the surgical recovery to be that big of a deal – possibly because I had two abdominal surgeries previously and was preoccupied with the baby anyway.)

    At this point, the part that’s both comforting and scary is that most of it is out of your hands. What will happen, will happen – and stressing about it does no one any good (including Maya). So keep up the positive thoughts.

    And if you ever want to talk about this with someone who’s been through something similar, I’m always here. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your insight, Candice–it means a lot and I love knowing I have friends I can turn to for advice/info.The nursing part concerns me, but most of my friends who had C-sections have been able to so I don’t know if it will impact me, but there is risk there. Plus, I’ve never had surgery, so that in and of itself scares me! That said, if it’s a safer means of delivery … I’ll do whatever it takes!

  2. So I have to admit something. I had a vaginal birth, and I wish I would have had a c-section. Everything went fine, but I am a very small girl and my son, although born early and small, had a big head. And so I broke my tailbone during delivery. The 4 months of pain and being unable to sit without a donut greatly outweighed the discomfort I’d have had from a c-section recovery, methinks.

    (I don’t say this to scare you at all — apparently this is extremely, extremely rare.)

    I actually had my annual gyn appointment yesterday, and since we are thinking about having another child in the next few yeas (potentially), she told me that she would offer me a scheduled c-section in half a second if wanted one. And while I am all about the vaginal birth, I can guarantee you that if I am blessed with another child I will have the surgery.

    In the end, you need to do what’s best for you and Maya, and whether that’s an induction, a c-section or just letting things go on their own, well, I am sure you will make the right decision when the time comes. 🙂

  3. Edited to add — my OB is VERY pro natural birth, extended breastfeeding, etc (in fact she runs a breastfeeding medicine clinic that bills insurance — which is awesome!) and she does not just hand out c-sections like candy so I know that she has my best interest in mind.

    1. Alison, thanks so much for sharing your experience–whoa … I didn’t know you broke your tailbone–yikes!! I’m so sorry … we still have some time before we will know the official decision, but the more I think about it, the more comfortable I become with the idea of a C-section. And if you have a second baby, I would totally do the same!

  4. I had 3 c-sections, the last one was planned since I tried the two times before for vaginal. So, I know of no other way. I had no problems with breast feeding, either. I liked knowing the date the 3rd time and recovery wasn’t that bad but again, I had nothing to compare it to. I will say that it was nice not to have my “lady bits” messed with at all. I think my husband agrees, too, haha!

  5. In regards to small–I have 3 girls and my first and third were over 8lbs but my middle daughter was nearly two weeks overdue and weighed in at 6lbs even. She weighed 12 lbs at a year but was healthy. She’s barely been on the charts, ever. She’s just…tiny.

    She’s nearly 18 now and is 4’10″ and 90 lbs. She is perfect in every way (got her period at 13, etc) but just a more tiny version. She loves it! Unfortunately finding clothes must be done in the girls section (a 00 is too big) and shoes for a size 3.5/4 are hard to find for a teenager that wants more adult looking heels, haha.

    I guess I’m just saying that smaller isn’t always bad, esp. if the baby is growing at HER rate and everything is fine.

    I think I do agree, sometimes too much knowledge is a dangerous thing but where to draw the line, right?

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