Tuesday, January 11, 2011

37 Weeks

Well, in about a day. I feel like this is the slowest pregnancy ever on record. Ever. It is 4 a.m. and I've been up for about an hour and a half. The baby is so far up in my ribs, I keep getting the feeling that I can't breathe, so needless-to-say, it is a little hard to sleep.

Anyway, thought it might be a good time to ask for prayer. With every pregnancy we have tried to avoid a C-section, which we have miraculously, and successfully done the last 2 times. The doctors like to remind me that had they known how big Noa & Ruthie were, they would've been much more aggressive with pushing for a C-section. I'm glad they didn't because each birth was wonderful, safe, and actually very easy. I had no problem pushing Noa (9 lbs., 7 oz) out in 40 minutes and even less of a problem pushing Ruthie (10 lbs., 4 oz) in 20 minutes. I seem to remember it being 3 big pushes. Anyway, even after talking with my doctor once again about my "proven pelvis," I feel rather discouraged after today's appointment. Let me bottom-line the details for you.

1. I am aware that I have big babies. I have no hopes of this one being 6 lbs. or anything. The only problem is that no one can tell, with any accuracy, how big. So, decisions based on size alone are incomplete. (Can't think of a better word right now, but you know what I'm saying).

2. The structure of babies born to a diabetic mom is different. Their trunk is larger and their bony structure is potentially wider, if that makes sense. The doctors get very concerned about shoulder dystocia, which means the baby gets stuck after the head comes out. They can usually use different maneuvers to get the baby out, sometimes having to pop the clavicle out of place. While this sounds rather horrific, in our discussions with the doctors, it doesn't seem as terrible as it sounds. What is frustrating to me is that it won't necessarily happen. Actually, it happens in normal size babies just as much, as far as I understand it. The unknowns of a potentially difficult delivery are what the doctors are trying to avoid. I understand that. Sort of. But if it is do-able, and if the majority of babies recover well after such an event, I don't mind going that route.

3. A C-section is a major abdominal surgery! They act like it isn't. This really bothers me. I have a 2 year old, a 1 year old and a brand new baby to think about! While I'm sure I would have a lot of help, it is hard to get my mind around electing for that type of major surgery when the recovery could be much more difficult and much longer. It seems that the doctors give me all the risks of delivering a large baby (over and over and over again), but when suggesting this route, they don't seem to mention the risks. Also, the American College of Obstetrics and Gyn (whatever it is called - their own group) says that large babies are not a good reason to elect for a c-section and that the outcome is no more favorable (and potentially worse) than a vaginal delivery. I don't ever hear about this in my appointments.

My mind is getting a little foggy. I need to go back to bed. BUT... to let you know what is happening in the next 2 weeks:

1. I will most likely go to MUSC for some type of ultrasound, where they try to measure (once again, with a great deal of inaccuracy) the bony structure of this baby. I didn't have to do this with the previous two, which makes me think it is more ammunition for the doctors to say a c-section is necessary. Anyway, maybe I'll get some good pictures out of it... who knows. I think it is a rather worthless thing to do since we already know this is a big baby. That is not in question. What is in question is how we will handle the delivery of a big baby. I'm not sure this ultrasound will help with that...

2. They will not do anything (induce, etc.) before 39 weeks because the baby would be pre-mature. I appreciate this. With the last 2 pregnancies, my water broke (with no contractions following) at 39 weeks, so my body was ready when they induced (because I wasn't having contractions on my own).

What you can pray for:
- I have 2 OB appointments each week until the baby comes. These can be awkward and confrontational. Currently we feel peace about aiming for a vaginal delivery, even with a big baby. This can be a point of contention as my doctors really want to schedule a C-section. Russ usually isn't there and I'm terrible at difficult conversations like this! Pray for strength and clarity as I/we have these difficult conversations.

- I am hoping and praying for spontaneous labor to start on or before 39 weeks. I would hope to then just have a regular, vaginal delivery -- no interventions needed.

- Pray that the shoulders would not get stuck.

- Pray that if we have to have a c-section, that somehow we would know that it is necessary and we would feel peace about it. I just can't get my mind around having that type of surgery if it weren't necessary.

I'm sure there's more, but it is time to go back to bed. I know that when these types of prayer requests are not your own, they don't seem that urgent. Obviously, trying to navigate through this birth is very much on my mind, and I would appreciate your prayers. :) Above all though, we hope and pray for a healthy mom, healthy baby... we know that is more important than the type of birth. In the meantime though, we also love to let our dear Father know our desires and our requests.



G-Metal, Coco, Angel Face and Bunny said...

I'll be praying! It's so stressul, these last few weeks and I know what it's like to feel like you're at war with your OB over their decisions vs. your own intuition about what is best. Good job on putting your foot down on the C-section. I agree with your thoughts 100%.

The Weeks Family said...

I will be praying for you to have strength and wisdom and of course, for the health and safety for you and the baby. My doctor was wanting me to schedule an induction just because my due date was around the same time as the opening of the new East Cooper! I know that they feel that scheduling inductions or C-sections are in your best interest but you have to have peace about that decision.
I have had major abdominal surgery, and I agree that I felt in no shape to take care of a baby much less a baby and 2 toddlers! I know God will give strength and the extra hands needed but I would try to avoid unless a vaginal delivery put you or the baby at risk. Not that you asked my opinion but just saying... :)

Wallace Family said...

Oh Jack! So sorry to hear. Knew it was coming though. I would love to be your confrontation pinch hitter! I love it! I will pray that you will stick it to em (in love) and stay true to the convictions that you are being lead towards by the Lord. Push her out push her out, way out! I am going to cheer for you--of all the pelvic/vaginal accomplishments you have had, the doctors shouldn't be questioning what your body is capable of! You can do it! Love you and gigantor #3!

Lauren said...

I have been and will continue to pray for you Jackie! You just stick to your guns about what you want, don't let those doctors push you around!! Keep us updated!