Thursday, September 13, 2012
39 Weeks Pregnant (exactly 1 week before my due date)
I feel something. My eyes open in our dark bedroom. I'm sure it is Braxton Hicks since I've had them on and off beginning at 20 weeks. I glance at the clock, 4:20am. I have to pee. I gather my thoughts and untangle myself from my Snoogle (every pregnant lady needs one) and stumble to the bathroom. Two minutes later I'm back in bed re-tangled into my Snoogle.
I feel something. My eyes open in our (still) dark bedroom. This time I don't have to pee. I glance at the clock, 5:00am. Interesting. I close my eyes.
I feel something. My eyes open in our (getting lighter but still) dark bedroom. I still don't have to pee. I glance at the clock, 5:30am. Okay okay, I'm up.
I roll over, wake up Matt and give him the update. He decides to stay home from Crossfit this morning just to see what may happen with my contractions... if they are real contractions.
More contractions arrive at 6:15am, 6:30am and 7am. At this point I'm starting to believe something big is going to happen today but I hold it in, I don't want to get too excited.
I call my Mom, she is a Labor and Birth nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital, and give her the scoop. Since we know Baby B (who we now know as Mila) was still breech as of Tuesday we are 99% sure a C-section is in my immediate future, there is always the slight chance she would flip during labor. My Mom tells me to eat something, I'll need some sort of fuel since I haven't eaten since the night before. We decide on scrambled eggs since it is light on the stomach and full of nutrients. I know the doctors will be mad I ate, but I don't care. I know that my body and the baby are going to need whatever fuel I can provide and I know these eggs will be digested before a scalpel comes anywhere near my belly. I also continue to drink water and wait to see what happens as the morning progresses.
We decide Matt should go into the office for a couple hours since these contractions are slightly irregular and I can handle them using my techniques I learned at our Bradley classes. Plus, if Baby B is on the way he needs to tie up a few loose ends at work. We're very aware these contractions could just stop at anytime so we decide not to call the midwives yet. Our hospital is only 2 miles from our home so we don't need to worry about getting there "in time".
Because Baby B was breech I knew as soon as I stepped foot into Shady Grove Hospital we wouldn't be leaving without the baby in our arms. There would be no turning back since they know they'll have to perform a C-section and I'm now at 39 weeks which they feel is safe. I wanted to give the baby every opportunity to enjoy as natural of a birth environment as I could provide before modern medicine jumped in the way*.
Two hours later I decided it was time to cancel my afternoon chiropractor and acupuncture appointments. The contractions were getting closer together overall but still a bit erratic, but they were definitely intensifying. At 10am we called the midwives with the details of our morning.
"Karen is on call at the hospital. I'll let her know what is going on and have her call you."
It was then I knew for sure the baby was coming. It was meant to be, out of all the midwives, Karen, the midwife who discovered Mila was breech, was on call. Five minutes later my phone rang.
"Hi Natalie, this is Karen. I think you should come into the hospital immediately."
Mila's Birth Story Part I
Mila's Birth Story Part II
Mila's Birth Story Part III
* Doctors are no longer allowed by most, if not all, insurance
companies to deliver breech babies in the United States. If a woman
wants to have a natural delivery with a breech baby her only choice is
to have an at-home birth with a doctor familiar and willing to deliver
breech (or go to another country). From what I'm told many of the OBs
today are not even taught the technique. I had the ideal situation for a
breech birth, a healthy baby, on the small side of average, in a frank
breech position. Unfortunately I'll never know if we could have done it
naturally. I truly believe Mila was breech for a reason, a reason we
will never know, but whatever it was, it was important and I'm not upset
she choose the position she did. I'm upset that in 2012 we don't have a
lot of choices when it comes to our childbirth in this country.