February 20, 2012

So, here's the thing about plans...

That's me up there. Well, it's my belly. With my son in it.

(Whoa. There's a baby in my belly. Even at 38 weeks, it still feels a little surreal.)

Anyway: If you go by the floating-baby-countdown-thingie over there to the right, you'll see we have 14 days left. Two full weeks to go! Yay!

Except that floating baby is a big old liar head.


If you're one of the 12 people who read this blog "regularly," then you'll have noticed I haven't blogged much during this pregnancy. This is primarily because my day job, while thoroughly enjoyable, has been especially demanding during the entire run of the pregnancy. In fact, while in utero, this child has been on more trips than he likely will ever take again in the course of a year. (Seattle twice, Delaware twice, zip zap zip, plus he attended an NKOTB concert in there, too; don't ever say I don't expose my children to high culture).

And, I'll confess: Part of why these baby update blogs have been so few and far between is that there...hasn't been that much to report. I have been blessed with an extremely easy and uneventful pregnancy, and I've been reluctant to jinx it by giving voice to it. "Why, no, I'm not feeling nauseated, my feet aren't swollen, I haven't gained 60 pounds, I don't have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure and the baby is flourishing. Please, STRIKE ME, LIGHTNING!"

In fact, the only wrinkle came in the form of an ultrasound that one of my OBs scheduled as an afterthought. I'd asked if she thought it was strange that I'd only gained about 10 pounds in the first eight months of pregnancy, and while they only wanted me to gain 15 to begin with (I'm a curvy girl), she thought it best we just check on the baby's weight.

Thankfully, the baby's weight came in exactly at the 50th percentile, meaning he was exactly average for eight months in utero, and all seemed well. The doctors were a little concerned, however, that my amniotic fluid was a bit on the low side. "It's not so low that we're panicking," the doctor told us hastily, since I'm sure our faces read, "WE! ARE! PANICKING! OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR BABY?!" "But it's low enough that we just want to keep an eye on it."

Which is how we've found ourselves in the doctor's office twice a week for the last three weeks, having non-stress tests (where a fetal heart monitor does its monitor-y best to determine that our baby's heart is strong and responding appropriately when he moves) and ultrasounds (where, depending on the ultrasound tech, the levels are either low or high and we either freak out or feel reassured).

(Note to ultrasound techs everywhere: TELL THE PARENTS WHAT YOU'RE DOING AS YOU'RE DOING IT. And if you see something that concerns you, either tell them flat out or don't let the concern show on your face. I was about ready to drop-kick the tech one week who flew through the measurements but said nothing except, "When are you going over the results with the doctor? Because...you know...the sooner the better." WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?)


The upshot of three weeks of testing is this: Everything looks normal. The non-stress tests were all fine. The fluid level results from the ultrasounds are mixed -- they go up and down -- but never so low that the doctors were freaking out. Cervical exams showed I'm not dilated or effaced. We were well on our way to reaching our March 5 due date, and we were relieved that no one was talking induction anymore (we really wanted to let this baby come in his own time, unless there was a real medical reason to induce).

Then, on Friday, the doctor marched in and nonchalantly shot all that to hell.

"I've scheduled you for induction on Feb. 28th!" she said, with a smile, in lieu of "hello" or any other kind of normal greeting. "Your fluid levels are OK, but if they go down any more we might start to worry, so I decided that 39 weeks is far enough. Let's get this baby out of you!"

And then she left the room, leaving us holding an appointment card that said, "Induction: 2/28" and, hilariously, "If you're unable to keep this appointment, please cancel within 48 hours."

Yes, thank you, I'd like to cancel this induction and just keep my baby nice and toasty in my womb for another month or so. Laters!

So we gaped at each other and tried to come to terms with the fact that A) our baby was going to have a February birthday, B) anything we'd been planning to get accomplished in that last week before my due date was going to happen NOW or not at all, and, oh yes, C) OUR SON WAS GOING TO COME OUT OF ME IN ELEVEN DAYS.

(Well, now it's eight days. Oh my God.)


Things that are bumming me out about this turn of events:

  1. First and foremost: I really wanted this baby to be born in his own time. I hate the idea of "forcing" nature's hand. If he's meant to be "overdue," then so be it. Let him pick his own birthday.

  2. I'm sad that we'll miss the excitement of "Contractions! Is it time? Let's time them out. MY WATER BROKE! Where's the bag?! Where's the camera? Aahhhhhhhh!" and all those other things that movies have assured me are part of all births.

  3. We have one less week to finish a few minor home improvement projects, and I have one less week to train my maternity leave coverage at work. I'm someone who needs to know things are done and done right before I relinquish control. (This never annoys my husband or co-workers, EVER.)

Things that, to my surprise, I'm actually liking about this whole scheduled induction thing:

  1. It greatly appeals to the planner in me. Instead of telling family and friends to expect a call "sometime" that the time has come, everyone is well-informed and knows just where to be and when.

  2. My husband's parents, who are coming in from out of town, won't have to camp out potentially for weeks, waiting for the baby's impending arrival.

  3. T has gotten the necessary kick in the pants to finish the last touches to our humble little nursery so I can finally share some pictures with you all this week.

  4. More than anything else, I know precisely when I'm going to get to hold my son for the first time, and watch his daddy stare at him in awe, and finally share his name with everyone who already loves him.
Eight days from now, our lives will change, ready or not, floating-baby-countdown-thingie be damned.

Don't ask me if we're ready. It's a silly question, the answer to which is "no" and "yes" and "maybe" and "DUH."

The nursery is done, the clothes are washed and put away, the bag is packed, the childbirth classes have been had (more on those later), the house is ready, the grandparents are alerted and the dogs...well, they're oblivious, but they've been informed of their new little brother's arrival, too.

Our lives are ready, by all outward appearances.

Let's do this thing.


One last plea from a first-time about-to-give-birther: If you were induced, how was your experience? I'd love to hear about it. How long did it take, how did you react to the Pitocin, etc. Lay it on me.

12 backtalk:

Anonymous said...

i know nothing about induction other than 2nd hand stories.

but what i DO KNOW is that i love you and am sending you Strong Birthing Vibes! huge hugs and i cannot WAIT to meet my new "nephew". God speed, my dear friend.


Shannon said...

First, congrats! You're going to be a mommy in just 8 short days!!

Second, I was induced at 41 weeks. Like you, I wasn't keen on the idea of induction, but that last week was HELL and by the time the induction date came, I was excited to meet my little girl.

They started me on cervadil the night before (which caused nothing but bad back contractions). Around 8:30am the next morning I started pitocin at 1cm dilated. By 11:30, I was 5cm dilated and in pretty extreme pain. By 2:15pm I was fully dilated and pushing. She didn't come until 4:50pm. Yeah. I think that being induced makes for a harder labor.

But it was so worth it.

I can't wait to hear all about your baby boy!!!

Good luck!

Mickey D. said...

How exciting! You'll get to meet your little man so soon!

I was induced. It was... an event. I was hardly dilated at all when I went in (I had the same issues it sounds like you're having, so I had to be induced too) so it took some time. Ha! I say some time. Which meant a short 39 hours later, she was born! Before you freak out, remember that just like kids, everyone's labor is different. You may have him by 5:00 that night. (I had a few other issues that popped up too, which you probably won't encounter.) I probably wouldn't choose to be induced again, but it had to happen for the safety and well being of my daughter, so I'm good with it.

Ooh, but if yours does take 24+ hours, he will be born on leap day! How cool would that be!?

Everything will be great. You have a lot of support around you and at the end of the whole experience, you will have a precious little boy. No matter how or when he gets here.

I wish you all the best! Can't wait to hear his name and see photos! Take care!

Wrestling Kitties said...



7 days, ONE WEEK and you will be holding your SON!!!

I am SO excited for you.

I was induced. Two days before my due date I went to the Doctor to talk about inducing as I wanted MY Doctor to deliver the baby. However at that appointment she said “lets start the process tonight. Go home, get your stuff, get some lunch and be back at the hospital in a few hours so you can have this baby!” HUH, WHAT….we are doing this now?! I mean I was only two days from my due date, but it was still a shock….I think it is simply the reality that this IS going to happen. I ended up having a c-section and honestly, I don't think I would change ONE thing about how WE choose to do things. But that is the thing, you have to just do what is best for you and your little one, all plans really just go out the door and that is OK!!

I am going to email you right now with more information about the process. Tell me, how detailed do you want?!?! :)

Oh Shannon, I am SO excited for you. HUGS!

(Seriously, we need to meet! How far away are you from Dover again?!)

the grumbles said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. no inducement advice here, but excited for you!

Abbe said...

no experience to draw from here, but i AM so excited for you and T. no matter how that little guy gets here, he's already SO lucky to have you as parents. good luck, s... you'll be great!!

Written Permission said...

I love you guys and your advice and your EEEEEEEs and your positive vibes and wishes -- seriously, I was, like, the star of our childbirth classes SIMPLY because all of you amazing women have come before me and taught me so much. :)

Jenn: Seriously? As detailed as you want. :) You may as well lay it all out there! And: You live in Dover?? Why did I think you lived in Toledo? We live close to Mansfield, so not terribly far from Dover. We absolutely need to meet and introduce our sons to their new BFFs. :)

Wrestling Kitties said...

Awesome!! I wanted to make sure! I will email you shortly!!

I live in BG but my parents live in Dover. We go right through Mansfield when we go home!! (we take 30 to 250) One of these trips home this summer, once you get settled with your new one, we will stop if you don't mind!! I would love to meet you and yes, our boys must meet and start their friendship early!!

Amber said...

So excited for you and your husband! You're having a baby! ;-)

I was induced (not by choice, I also wanted the contractions, water breaking, etc., but for health reasons, I couldn't wait). From the start of Pitocin to holding our BBer was about 22 hours. I had an epidural. They broke my water. I didn't feel a single contraction, which I'm actually sad about, the pain wasn't unbearable, the process didn't seem unending. In short, the stories I heard about being induced were way worse than what I experienced. (EVERY birth is different.)

You are going to do great! I'm so excited for you and your family!

Sarah said...

Oh my gosh! 5 days! (i'm a late reader)

I was also induced - I knew I would be induced at 39 wks for months, as I had gestational diabetes.

I had (the 1st) cervadil placed at 7pm on Sunday night. Pitocin started Monday morning. NOTHING happened ALL DAMN DAY LONG. the 2nd cervadil was placed Monday night. Contractions started at 2 or 3 in the morning, and I was given 2 shots of ??? can't remember - basically just felt like I got drunk super fast and helped me sleep the rest of the night.

Tuesday was a long-ass day, a few little problems along the way, completely unrelated to being induced, but in any case Joss was born at exactly 7pm. So from start to finish, exactly 48 hours.

I kinda wish I hadn't been induced, but it was for J's health which makes it perfectly fine. I wanted the exciting "oh my gosh, I think I just had a contraction." But whatever...she's here, she's healthy. That's ALL that matters.

Ky • twopretzels.com said...

Dear amiga - I can't believe that you're going to meet your SON in 5 days. I just can't believe it.

This road... oh boy.

As you know, I was induced with Lila after my labor stalled. It ended up with an emergency c-section, but all was well in the end.

As I've told you - our amiga T. has been induced twice (?) and has no adverse reactions to pitocin at all. It's so different for everyone.

I pray that you have no ridiculous amounts of pain and that you don't go blind from hyperventilating... like I may or may not have done. :)

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