Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Emerson's Birth Story, Part 1

This is something I should have recapped, oh, about a year ago, but honestly the experience is so fresh in my mind that I feel like it was yesterday. But with her birthday coming up on Friday, I think now is as good a time as any!

Our story actually begins on Monday, November 28th. I went in for my 36-week checkup. Jon came with me because we knew we'd be getting an ultrasound. We were excited to see our little munchkin again, even though we knew she'd be pretty smooshed in there.

We got some great profile shots of her cute little button nose, and her big puffy cheeks (which are still huge and adorable and kissable today). One thing they check for at this point in a pregnancy is amniotic fluid levels. Usually it's not a problem, but sometimes we have too little and sometimes too much. Well, that day, I learned that I didn't have enough. Cue panic mode. How could this be??? I drink so much water!!! Like, obscene amounts of water. My OB assured me that it wasn't my fault, that it's something that just happens sometimes.

I was freaking out (obviously) but she quickly came up with a strategy: we'd monitor the baby's movements daily, and I'd start going in for NSTs twice per week until she was born. But we left the appointment that day with her warning: "Pack your bags - unless your fluid levels magically and significantly rise, there is no way you won't have a baby by Christmas." WHOA! I thought I had (at least) 4 more weeks to stress, bake, obsess, and prepare, and now it could happen as early as 2 days from now!!?? Gah!!

So naturally, I went home and did what any normal woman would do in my situation: I looked up every single "trick" in the book to get my body to labor naturally. I knew going early meant that I would have to be induced, and I wanted to avoid that. I read that induction lead to a higher chance of a C-section, and that straight up terrified me. Having a doctor rip my stomach open and yank my baby out??? No thank you!

Once I hit full-term at 37 weeks, I began trying some of these tricks. Between chugging water and "resting," I did everything I could to get things moving, as much as they could, on their own. Bouncing on a yoga ball. Eating spicy food (I put red pepper flakes on literally everything). Making Labor Eggplant Parmesan. Eating Labor Cookies (which were NASTY). But alas, no progress was made.

I (we) passed all of the NSTs for 2 weeks. At my 37 week ultrasound, my fluid levels actually went back up! Not crazy high, but to a much safer level, so we thought maybe we were in the clear.

Then on Tuesday, December 13th, I went in for a high-resolution ultrasound in the Maternal Fetal Medicine unit. Before the appointment, I consulted with Dr. Google, who told me that any fluid level below 5cm was not good. So I just hoped my levels were above that. On their high-tech machines, I saw an adorable baby girl with puffy cheeks. The real doctor saw that my fluid levels were at 2cm. HOLY EFF.

So he turns and says to the terrified kids who have no idea how to be parents: "Guys, go right on over and check in to Labor & Delivery. It's time to get her out."

 To be continued....

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