Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tad's birth story part one: Foreshadowing

Warning: Don't read this if you're squeamish or know me in real life and don't want to think about my reproductive organs when you're chatting with me over dinner.

37 weeks
I could start this story in a lot of places, but I have to start somewhere, so let's go back to my 37-week OB appointment on Tuesday, November 19. I had asked Scott to come along for a few reasons--he hadn't been to an appointment since the anatomy scan, he had never met Dr. B, that sort of thing. (He had met the other doctor in the practice, who moved away in June, and he had met the nurse practitioner.) When I got the first appointment of the day on the 19th, it seemed like perfect timing. Plus I was feeling more anxious than usual about the appointment, though I couldn't quite figure out why.

Anyway, off we went, first thing Tuesday morning. We arrived a few minutes before 9 and were taken back promptly. I weighed 212 pounds (1 pound up since the week before and 29 pounds up overall), had blood pressure of 122/something, and was otherwise in pretty good shape. The MA asked if I wanted to be "checked" and I said no.

Then Scott and I sat in the exam room and made fun of tabloids for 40 minutes until Dr. B finally showed up. So much for "first appointment of the day." We talked about how my iron levels had dropped further, to 9-point-something (at the end of the appointment I got free samples of prescription iron supplements), and we listened to the baby, who was in the same position as usual and whose heart rate varied from the 130s to the 150s. I asked if that was normal and Dr. B said it was actually quite reassuring. If a fetus' heart rate stays at one level all the time, it could just mean said fetus happens to be sleeping, or it could mean that it's in distress and trying to conserve energy by not moving.

Anyway, then we sat down and talked about mucus plugs (I'd started losing mine on Sunday morning but was determined not to read too much into it and Dr. B seemed to think this was a sensible approach) and the last few bits of my birth plan, which happened to be the hospital's ice-chips-only policy (Dr. B: "I've been trying to get them to change that.") and third stage management. We agreed that Pitocin is superior to bleeding to death but inferior to the body's natural oxytocin response. After a little more conversation, we were on our way. I scheduled an appointment for the afternoon of the 26th on my way out.

See, if I was editing this birth story for dramatic effect, my anxiety about the appointment would have actually been a premonition that I was, for example, going to get sent straight to the hospital for an induction and would  need my husband with me. But it was not.

To be continued...

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