Ever since my ultrasound on Thursday I've been dreading my doctor's appointments today. Thursday's ultrasound brought the news that they estimate our baby boy at 8lb 10oz and that started the hen clucking of when they were going to induce me. If it hasn't been obvious to this point I really really really don't want to be induced if I can avoid it, so all this idle chatter about bringing on interventions I don't has been stressing me out. I went for my nonstress test this afternoon and baby boy performed marvelously as expected, wiggly around on cue and showing a great heart rate and fluids. As I got up from the nonstress test to head to my ultrasound, Cathy the fetal diagnostic nurse asked how big my baby measured last week.
Me: "8lb. 10oz." Cathy (looking at me seriously): "Uh huh. And when is he scheduled to show up?" Me: "When he's ready." Cathy (looking even more serious): "Uh huh ..."
We walked back to the ultrasound area for her to check my amniotic fluid. The entire time she measured my belly she just kept talking about how these things can be so unpredictable and how she's seen patients that everything looks great and the next day the placenta just gives up and it's a crisis. She said she's even seen one or two patients whose babies didn't make it to the c-section scheduled date. Sigh. I just nodded my head and told her I'd talk to Dr. D and see what she had to say. Cathy seemed convinced I would get an induction date at my visit today. I thanked her for her concern and told her I'd probably just see her again on Thursday.
As I walked from the hospital over to the doctor's office for my visit, Cathy's comments started to get to me. As I sat in the waiting room, I was only partially successful in fighting back tears.
They called me back to take my weight (211), blood pressure (115/74) and check for proteins (negative). They checked the baby's heart rate again to record it and I sat in the room waiting to see the doctor. After a bit, the diabetes educator I don't mind so much, Georgia, showed up to look at my blood sugars for the week. She was very nice and told me she wasn't going to change anything because I had already taken care of it all. But once she finished and was flipping through her notes she mentioned that she thought Dr. D was going to give me a date today. "I've been wrong before, but you're at 39 weeks and I think she's not going to let you go any farther. So we'll see what she says. But I'll be surprised if we see you next week for an appointment. She'll probably give you a date before then."
She then packed up her stuff and walked out while I sat in the exam room by myself and was even less successful in fighting back tears. My face was hot as I listened to Dr. D. out in the hall talking to another doctor about something else. I just kept trying to keep the tears in check so I could have a rational conversation with her, but all I could think about was all these people with very strong opinions that they were going to pick a date for me and not allow me to be pregnant anymore. It was distressing to say the least.
Eventually Dr. D walked in with Georgia in tow and asked how I was feeling. I gave some lame statement of doing okay and she said I looked a little flushed. That's when I told her I was trying to keep my shit together but was having a hard time.
Dr. D: "Why are you having a hard time?" Me (choking up): "Because everyone today keeps telling me they're going to take my baby and I just want him to come on his own." Dr. D: "Nonono! Nobody's going to take your baby! You're the doula woman. You're doing fine! Who told you they were going to take your baby?" Me: "Well, you know Cathy ... she's great, but she's kind of a spaz and she just kept telling me all this stuff about how my baby could get worse any second now and no one will want to risk it and everyone keeps telling me you're going to make me induce this week." Dr. D: "Ugh, you know Cathy didn't mean anything by it, but I'm sorry you had to hear all that. We're not going to make any decisions like that quite yet. You just have a big baby so we need to figure out what we want to do." Me: "I know. Everybody means well, but I'm just very pregnant right now and I just really want the chance to do this my way. I feel like the only woman in this office begging to stay pregnant at 39 weeks."
Dr. D then asked if I wanted her to "check me" or if I wanted to wait a week. It was totally up to me. I paused for a second and told her I wanted to know because I was curious and hopefully it would give us some more information to work with. She said she was curious too and agreed it would give us some more info to digest before we made any decisions. As she walked out to get her stuff ready, Georgia walked over with huge eyes and told me, "I'm so sorry, I never meant to upset you! I just was guessing what Dr. D would say based on your date." I smiled at her and told her that it was okay and I wasn't mad at her, I was just very pregnant and very sensitive to all this. She apologized another half dozen times and then backed out of the room.
Dr. D came back and first sat down with me to talk about the statistics we know. We know I probably have a large baby. We know that the bigger he gets, the harder he will be to delivery vaginally. But we also know I'm not a small person and that both Rich and I were large babies so this little guy is probably genetically large and not large because of the diabetes. There's a 20% chance that a large baby could have a problematic delivery because of his broad shoulders. And that of those 20% there's only a 5% chance that any of those would suffer any ill effects from it, but we would all hate for this baby to be part of that statistic if it's avoidable. We just have to weigh the factors.
Then she checked my cervix. I'm about 80% effaced/softened (hooray!) and about 1cm dilated. She could get her finger past my cervix and feel his head but he wasn't so engaged in my pelvis that she couldn't push him away. She'd like him to be a little lower and engaged in my pelvis but otherwise this is all very promising. My cervix is very soft and ready to dilate, I'm having contractions off and on and he's not too high. We just have to encourage him down and out.
She asked if she could try to work my cervix loose a bit and I agreed. As she wiggled around for a bit she suddenly said, "Wow, you're a real trooper. I can't tell you how many women would have jumped off this table or yelled at me by now." It really wasn't that bad, but it's encouraging to know that I've got a higher tolerance for discomfort than other women (something I kind of suspected anyways).
Dr. D asked if I had been doing my squats. I told her yeah, but not daily. She told me to go home and squat as much as I could. She even got down and leaned over her examination stool to show me how and give me tips.
Then she told me that she thinks I'm going to have this baby on my own this week. She told me that she thinks I can have him vaginally and I'll do just fine. But if not, we'll just see how far he's progressed by next Monday and go from there.
So while everyone else there is exhausting, I am more and more pleased with Dr. D. I truly believe she's going to work with me and help me do this my way.
I still had a good cry in the car on the way home. Then I called my doula and had a great talk with her. Rich and I went for a great big walk, had dinner and sexy time and I'm currently squatting for all I'm worth. Everyone is doing everything in their power to encourage this baby to not be late.