Wow. 34 days until Bumble is here. The countdown has begun.
Yesterday, we met with the perinatologist, followed by an appointment with my regular OB. The ultrasound showed that my placenta is still firmly in place above my cervix, and that it has continued to creep down deeper into the cervix. We asked about waiting until 37 weeks, and the perinatologist didn't really feel like this was an option. He talked about wanting to "prevent the wreck before it occurs." Apparently, with 6 quarts of blood pumping to my uterus a minute, along with no mechanism to stop bleeding from all of the blood vessels in my placenta, if I was to start to dilate, things could get disastrous very, very quickly.
So, a c-section it is. The specialist we saw yesterday agreed with his colleague that getting little Bumble into the world as soon as possible is the best course of action, and he recommended an amnio at 36 weeks to check on Bumble's lungs. If all looks good, the c-section would be done the next day.
I left the ultrasound and headed over to one of the practice's other offices to meet with my regular OB, who will be performing the surgery. Because my pregnancy weeks fall on Fridays, we decided to wait and do the amnio just past 36 weeks. She did not want to do the amnio before 36 weeks because it is less likely that lung development will be complete. 36 weeks falls on Friday, April 18. We discussed doing the amnio then, but, because I need to check into labor and delivery to be monitored after the amnio, that would mean we would check in the hospital on Friday, check out on Saturday, and then check back in Monday morning before the surgery. It just seemed more seamless to do the amnio on Monday and to only have to check into the hospital once. Plus, I feel a little better knowing she will have a few extra days to cook.
So, that's that. We have a date.
I feel a bit more at peace with everything knowing the course of action. Over the past few weeks, I have started working through all of my feelings about having to birth this way. Along with the excitement and anticipation of knowing my daughter will be here soon, I've been experiencing a good bit of grief over how things are turning out. I know that the most important thing is that Bumble arrives safely and that I'm healthy too. And I know that this is really the only way to make that happen. So, I've been trying to focus on that aspect of things.
But I also know that I need to fully acknowledge and process the other feelings I'm having. I am truly grieving not being able to experience labor and push my daughter into the world. I feel like having a vaginal birth would have been very healing for me. After all of the medical interventions we've needed to get to where we are today, I feel like delivering vaginally would have one final, reaffirming act, helping me to further validate the strength of my body and spirit. I can't help but feel that I'm somehow being cheated. I'm a firm believer in the natural process of things, and I have all sorts of worries about bringing Bumble into the world so early, as well as missing out on the chemical and physical changes that would take place in both of us during the labor and birthing process. I just wanted this one last thing to go smoothly and naturally.
But really, I've started to consciously move myself away from these thoughts, where it would be quite easy to dwell. Instead, I'm focusing on the fact that my baby has grown in my belly for nearly 8 months and that in just one more, we'll get to bring her home with us. I'm focusing on the miracle that John and I have created another little person. I love her so much already that my heart aches trying to hold it all in. I'm focusing on the fact that she seems to be perfectly healthy and thriving despite my body's past attempts to derail me from experiencing motherhood. I'm learning to appreciate the gifts of the present moment instead of being attached to my beliefs of how things "should" be.
And I can't tell you how many times I've repeated to myself the words of my dear friend Nancy. Just the other night, we were processing all of this and she gently reminded me, "Nikole, you have been laboring for well over two years." And she's right.
I'm still toying with what to do with this weblog once Bumble is here. I imagine that I will continue to update it periodically, but that I will refocus my blogging efforts on another forum. I haven't been good at updating that space, but it is my intention to do so in the future. I'm really trying to be more mindful about slowing down, reflecting, and processing, and with a baby, I'm not sure that I'll be able to do justice to two spaces. And I have been better about doing this as of late - it's just that most of it has ended up in my private journal instead of here in cyberspace.
So that's it for now. More updates to follow.