Wednesday, January 27, 2016

35 Weeks - Change in Plans

As of today I am 35 weeks exactly. I have a horrible sinus AND ear infection (have you even heard of an adult having an ear infection?) and generally spend my nights writhing in the agony of face pain and congestion. I have not been to work in 2 days and am not necessarily been upset about that. It's good practice for my coworkers. I think I might be ready for maternity leave.
I understand WHY but why does your immune system have to shut down so entirely in order to cook a baby? I just want a little bit of it back so I can stop breathing through my gaping mouth and limit my audible groaning. This whole tremendous illness of the face thing was brought on by my own little Typhoid Mary (a poor choice of nicknames as Mary was simply an incubator and never suffered symptoms). A week and a half ago, I took Henry to see my grandma so that he could spread unmitigated joy through the halls of her assisted living community. My pregnant sister Juice, her daughter and my dad joined us. Not an hour after we left, he spiked a crazy fever and remained a coughing ball of feverish phlegm for the remainder of the week. Here's who stayed healthy after their contact with Patient Zero: my dad and niece. Here's who did not: the immuno-suppressed, ie. the elderly and 2 pregnant mamas. My grandma developed a nasty cold. Mostly congested. She is ok. By Friday, Juice was riddled with fever and generally dying. I felt crappy over the weekend and then my eustachian tubes and sinuses exploded on Monday.  As of Wednesday, we all think we might live but just barely. Ok, enough complaining about that.

Who wants to hear about my placenta? Everyone!?! Well, ok then!
At 34 weeks, I was pretty psyched thinking that I was 3 weeks to D-Day. My belly is enormous, my back is killing me, I'm fatigued and having a very difficult time faking the whole "caring" thing at the office. Good thing I had my medically necessary c-section scheduled for Wednesday, 2/10 at 37 weeks per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommendation for placenta previa! But nooooooo. Last Wednesday following my ultrasound, I learned that my uterus and placenta, in their infinite wisdom, decided 34 weeks was about the right time to start budging away from my cervix. I still have placenta previa but it's no longer complete. THIS IS GOOD NEWS. I know it is. My OB cancelled my c-section and said he'd do a repeat ultrasound at 38 weeks to see if it's moved sufficiently out of the way of my cervix. If it has, then I wait to go into labor like a normal person. If it has not, then I have a c-section at 39 weeks. Despite the fact that I now have a chance at a normal, healthy vaginal birth, I perhaps behaved a bit like a child when I was told that bit of excellent news. Or, at least my face did. I have terrible RBF (resting bitch face) and even worse ABF (active bitch face).* Apparently, as opposed to the wonderful, best-for-baby-and-mom news that was actually delivered, my face reacted to this: "Ma'am, your flight to Aruba has been delayed by 5 hours. Also, you've been bumped to coach." But you said I got to arrive at the hospital wearing a monogrammed cashmere robe and gold moccasins! And no agonizing contractions!

I had 14 weeks to wrap my head around a scheduled c-section. I did a really good job at it. I filed my granola card away and began to really look forward to the orderly nature of the whole affair. Plus, at that time, with complete placenta previa and suspected accreta, it was the only safe way for me to give birth. Made that pill real easy to swallow. Now things are a bit more up in the air. The accreta is no longer suspected but cannot be completely ruled out and my placenta is gliding up as it should. Once again, I am mentally shifting my birth plan. I've just had a week to make the switch but I'm very steadily getting there. I do hope that I get an uncomplicated vaginal birth. I want to hold my daughter on my chest right away and not wait while I'm stitched back together. I'd love to avoid healing from abdominal surgery. (Vaginal healing is a whole other delightful affair. Perhaps we can just Harry Potter disapperate this baby out?) We shall see. Back up in the air. What I really need to remind myself of is the fact that there will come a time, most likely in the next 5 weeks, where I am no longer pregnant. They all come out. They all come out. They all come out.

*By the way, I think the term RBF, while hilariously accurate, is completely misogynistic. Not to get too into it but I'm pretty sure that the male equivalent of RBF is "stoic."


  1. Oh boy. While that is great news, I totally hear you on how difficult it may now be to shift plans. Especially while hormonal. In a way, it's sort of nice for me to know that I *have* to have another c-section.

    1. Thank you for understanding! If this had happened the first time around, I know I would have been devastated, then delighted to find out that my crunchy, natural birth was still on the table. This time I'm more of the "let's meet this kid and start the party!" mindset. Because that's when the fun really begins, right?

  2. Hahaha RBF. Yep. I have it. Woefully, so does my teenage daughter.

    Now see, I seem to be able to stay healthy while pregnant, but as soon as they pull my babies out (all by C-section) it seems I become someone with zero immunity. I spent the first 3 weeks home from the hospital with all kinds of horrible germs that won't leave my body. The same germs from the same people I was around while pregnant. But apparently giving birth, recovering from surgery, producing milk and sustaining a tiny human is just too much for my body to do all at once and shuts down.

    So sorry your birth plans are up in the air. But he's, they all do come out eventually, one way or another. Here's hoping for an uncomplicated delivery!

  3. You're so funny. You're probably the only person I know who's unhappy to hear you might not have to have a c-section.

    But yah, I GET it. One of the worst things leading up to Liam's delivery was the not knowing - VBAC or section? What will it be? In retrospect, as much as I wanted the VBAC, I would have been so much better off with a scheduled c-section so I didn't have to wait and worry. And as another commenter above said, as much as another required c-section does suck, at least it's a guaranteed and not a huge question mark. So your disappointment at not having a plan is completely logical. And yes... they all come out!

    I've come to embrace my RBF. It keeps the annoying people away (because they're afraid of me).

    1. Oh lady, I'm just tired. And huge. And want it out. I'd consider a vast range of birth methods if there were more than 2 out there.

      I'm pretty cool with my RBF these days. Yes, it can put a damper on that whole "making friends" thing, but it can also help keep the creeps away and that is a very good thing.