Time, she flies

Exactly two years ago today, I waddled to the OB/GYN for my 38-week appointment. It was July (obviously), and the temperature was quickly ramping up to the 100-degree mark at which it would stay for quite a few days in a row.

I was feeling pretty good, if humungous, as I peed in the cup. I couldn’t exactly see what was going on down there, but my aim is good. I got on the scale and didn’t even wince when the numbers got really close to 250. Didn’t bother me! I was cooking a baby in there!

Got into the examination room and laid back on the table. Laying down was the only way I could get any relief those days, since there was what I thought was a giant baby knee tucked up under my rib cage. The doctor came in and took my blood pressure (fine), checked what my weight was (also fine, but then again, who is going to tell a woman who is 16 months pregnant in sticky July that she’s gaining too much weight?), and then she busted out the measuring tape to see where we were at.

“What’s this?” she asked, feeling The Lump.

“I think that’s a knee.” I had been seeing other small lumps rolling around in the vicinity that could have been feet, so…

The doctor looked a bit concerned. “Hm. When was your last ultrasound?”

“20 weeks.”

“I think that’s the baby’s head.”

“No, no it can’t be. That’s it’s knee!”

“Let’s go find out.”

So my giant, half-naked ass toddled across the hall to the ultrasound room and we looked. Sure enough, that was A Giant Baby Head lodged under my ribcage. Better still, it appeared that the umbilical cord was wrapped between the baby’s legs. As an added extra bonus, the placenta was anterior (on top)! This baby was pretty much in the exact opposite position of what it should have been for a normal, vaginal birth.

“Um, so what are we looking at?”

The doctor pointed out all of these things, and explained that even though she personally specialized in breech births, the position of the umibilical cord and the placenta were fairly precarious. Oh, and the amniotic fluid was getting sort of low, which meant that there wasn’t much room for Speck (that’s what we called it, since we didn’t know what flavor we were getting) to move around and that labor could start at any time.

“I don’t want to scare you, but if you attempt to have this baby vaginally, there’s a good chance that one or both of you will not make it unless you have a c-section. So, rather than start labor and put your body through the wringer and still end up with surgery, I am recommending that you simply schedule your c-section now. It’s the healthiest thing for both of you. However, there are a few things you can try to see if the baby will flip. It’s late in the game, and there’s not much room to move around in there, but you can give it a shot.” Then she listed a couple of things I could try, from drinking a very cold, very caffeinated beverage to propping my feet up on the back of the couch whilst laying on the floor. Face down.

Shock. Disappointment. More shock. My body was built to do this, and now I find out I probably shouldn’t? Shock!

“I… need to discuss this with my husband.”

“Of course, but I’m going to have our surgical nurse schedule you anyway. She will call you and let you know the date and time. However, if you start laboring between now and then, you absolutely must call me because you will need to be extremely closely monitored.”

“Um. Okay.” Shock.

I got dressed and left the doctor’s office. In the car, I called Freddie and explained things to him. He was understandably confused and upset, and since his natural tendency is to want to fix things, he started rattling off a list of things I should do. “Call this person, call that person, try this do this bzzzzzz……”

“Um. Okay.” Shock.

My first call was to Freddie’s boss’s wife. She is a Bradley Method instructor, and might have some ideas. After listening to a short diatribe on the stupidity of the medical establishment in New Jersey, she suggested I go to see her chiropractor, who has been known to ‘turn’ babies. So I called and made an appointment for the following day.

My next call was to Freddie’s sister-in-law, who had been an OB nurse in her former life and who might have some suggestions as well. She never ever called me back, but that’s because that was right around the time they all discovered my old blog and The Situation was starting to brew. I wouldn’t find out about any of it until nine months later, but that’s old news. So I got my huge cold icy caffeniated beverage, headed home, and put my feet up.

I called the instructor for the natural childbirth class we were taking and explained that Freddie and I would no longer be attending class since we were apparently not going to have anything that resembled a natural birth at all. She understood completely and wished us luck.

About an hour after I got home, the phone rang. It was the surgical nurse, who said “Your c-section is scheduled for next Monday at 9AM. You’ll need to go in to the hospital the day before for pre-admission testing et cetera. Try to get as much rest and sleep as you can between now and then, okay?”

“Um. Okay.”

I spent the next week figuring things out. My last day of working would have been July 28th anyway, since I wasn’t due until the middle of August and I thought I would have a good two weeks to just relax and get things ready for the baby. That turned into TWO DAYS. My last day ended up being the 27th. We had the crib delivered on the 28th, at which time we also went to Babies R Us and bought a whole bunch of stuff off of our registry. Since we hadn’t had a baby shower (…don’t ask), we had exactly ZERO baby things in the house.

I don’t remember much about that week, now that I am thinking back on it. I remember July 24th VERY well, and I vaguely remember my last day of work, but the rest of it? Not so much. I chewed up about six tons of ice chips, played a whole lot of Playstation Golf, and that’s about it.

I was pretty sad and upset that I wasn’t going to be able to have the Natural Hippie Earth Mama No Drugs Rock Star Birth that I’d planned, but if I have learned anything at all in my life, it’s NOT TO MAKE PLANS. I had to roll with it, so I did. Rolling was about the only way I could get around, since the baby was positioned in such a way that she never dropped and I was carrying her high and dry the whole time.

So… yeah. July 24th, 2006 was kind of a rough day.


Filed under Jillian

2 Responses to Time, she flies

  1. Since P was unexpectedly early I didn’t have time to worry about how things weren’t necessarily going to plan, but I am with you on the roughness since the week following her birth suuuuuuuucked. It’s not all sunshine and roses, is it?

    I trust you will be doing a Jillian birthday post in a week or so?

  2. I’ve always hated July 24th anyway, and so this is just another good reason.

    I, too, am looking forward to the B-day post! And so glad that rough day is so far behind you now.