Saturday, August 08, 2009

Waiting (and Anticipating)...

First of all, I am happy to report that right now I feel GREAT (well other than feeling like my pubic bone is splitting right down the middle). Given the way I felt back in the second trimester, I think my body's totally confused. You're SUPPOSED to feel great in the second trimester and I was a walking zombie. My guess is that getting my iron to more normal levels and controlling my blood sugar level are the big factors in my renewed energy/spirit. I'm not sure, but whatever it is, I'll take it!

Given the issues I've had in previous pregnancies, I have kind of set "mini milestones" for myself as we go through the final 2 months. Today, I hit the first one...the 32 week mark. Of course, I don't want to have the baby right now...I want her to keep "baking" as long as possible, but 32 weeks is a stage where baby is generally expected to do well if delivery becomes urgent. To me, it's a point where if my health takes a sudden turn for the scary, I would be less guilt-ridden about agreeing to delivery. (Just to catch anyone up who DOESN'T know my prior history, things have taken a sudden turn for me at 37 weeks with Tyler and at about 35 weeks for both Grace and Noah, when I developed pre-eclampsia with each. Tyler was induced/delivered immediately, and with both Grace and Noah, I was hospitalized for 7-10 days before they were delivered by c-section at around 36 weeks).

Given that we are nearing the homestretch, I can't help but start to play out the potential scenarios in my head, so thought I'd post them in my blog.

Scenario #1: "In it til the end"
This is the one that I always operate under the assumption of (though so far, it's never come to fruition). I have a c-section scheduled for September 30 at 8:30 am. At that point, I will be 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant. While this is the one we ALL hope for (because it's the one with less risk for everyone involved), it's also very hard for me to fathom. I've had three kids and have NEVER "done" the last month of pregnancy. Given the misery I've been in during the part I DID make it through, I can't imagine it. Apparently my doctors seem to think it's a possibility, so I'm holding out what I call "tempered hope." I don't mean to sound cynical, but until I sail past the 35 week mark, September 30 is merely a date chosen to satisfy legal requirements to not schedule a c-section prior to 39 weeks.

Scenario #2: We'll call this one "Sophie's Choice"
This is also a favorable option. In this one, we have no complications and I go into labor on my own when little Sophia is ready (past 37 weeks and prior to the scheduled c-section), get to the hospital and have that c-section right away. I have to say, deep down, I kind of hold out hope for this one. This is definitely my last child and so far, I've never experienced the whole "going into labor on my own" thing. Granted, it does sort of scare the heck out of me. I can't help but think that if I make it to this point, I'll be the one who ruins someone's furniture or carpet when my water breaks at an inopportune moment. I vaguely remember contractions from Tyler's induced birth almost 14 years ago and well, I can't say they were pleasant (but on a positive note, they were MUCH more pleasant than a kidney stone!) I also have some slight worries about uterine rupture and that kind of thing, since I've now had 2 c-sections, but honestly that doesn't keep me up at night.

Scenario #3: The "Bail Out"
Though not as favorable as option #1 and option #2, this is the only one I've ever known. My doctors have made it pretty clear to me in the last two pregnancies that once I hit the 36 week mark, if ANYTHING starts to go wrong, we'll bail out and deliver. They consider this a very safe point to deliver (and that has been true with both Grace and Noah) and it's the point where if my blood pressure starts to rise or any other complications surface, the risks of a slightly early delivery well outweigh the risks of NOT delivering. While I do work under the "In it til the end" assumption, I have to admit that I have looked at a calendar to see where 36 weeks falls. With both Grace and Noah, the doctors have allowed me to pick the birthday within that week. So, IF the bail out scenario happens again and I get to pick the day, I probably won't be able to resist 9-9-09 (which falls at 36 weeks, 4 days). Especially given that this is my first baby that wasn't DUE on the 9th of the might be kind of cool for her to be the only one actually BORN on the 9th. And, both Grace and Noah were born fairly close to 9am, so I have even entertained a 9:09 am delivery and a 9lb, 9 ounce baby (hey, sounds far fetched but it COULD happen).

Scenario #4: The Scenario That Cannot be Named
Frankly, this is one I don't think about. This would be an emergency situation that required immediate delivery. It would, of course, be the least favorable of all. However, I count my blessings with each week that passes and as I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, we are now to a point where the potential outcome is very good (and it just gets better from here!)

So, there you have it... regardless of which scenario plays out, we have AT MOST 7 weeks and 4 days til baby Sophie's arrival. This pregnancy has absolutely flown by. I'm thankful for my family and my work for keeping me too busy to worry, thankful for a team of doctors in whom I have complete trust, and thankful for your prayers. We have an u/s this coming Wednesday and barring any drastic changes at that point, my doctors have agreed to let me take a much-needed beach vacation during my 33rd week. After that, we'll go for twice-weekly NSTs. When we get to that point, I'll try to update weekly since it's typically when the "fun" begins! Stay tuned!