When we got pregnant, I was your poster child for low-risk, normal, healthy pregnancy and birth. I’m young, I’m healthy, I have no medical problems and no family history of anything. As healthy as I was, we received some unexpected news about 8 weeks into our pregnancy – the ultrasound tech had noticed a piece of something hanging out in my uterus that wasn’t supposed to be there. Scar tissue? Unlikely. Bubble of amniotic fluid? Probably not. Strange, unexplainable, unnamed condition that our doctors had never seen before? Yep.
After we got the news, Alex and I stared blankly at each other in the kitchen. After the “are you OKs” and the silent nods from both parties, we decided we wouldn’t dwell on it. I wasn’t bleeding. I wasn’t contracting. I wasn’t in any pain. Baby was growing. Baby was developing perfectly. What else can you ask for?
After multiple visits to the perinatologist, many doctors consulted about what our mystery condition could be and if it could affect me or the baby. After a slew of ultrasounds, we had our answer! The doctors told me two layers of my amniotic sac hadn’t fused properly and other than carrying the risk of pre-term birth, they thought it wouldn’t be a problem – I would just be monitored further. I was OK with that since it meant we got an ultrasound of our nugget at every visit.
We just accepted the fact that the doctors simply didn’t know what the heck it was (yes, only I get an inexplicable condition no doctor has seen before. Score.) This thing was out of my hands anyway, so I left it to the powers that be and put my trust in our doctors to alert us of any issues. Surprisingly, for a pregnant woman, I cried about this “condition” exactly zero times and only told a handful of people about it. I figured if it was going to cause any problems, there was nothing I could do about it anyway so staying calm was a good choice – this coping strategy would actually come in handy during our birth. Good job Margaret.
15 weeks: Hire doulas to help us have a natural, possibly unmedicated, definitely not overly medically-intervened birth.
20 weeks: Gender reveal: it’s a boy! Knew it. We are happy.
30 weeks: Nameless condition appears to have cleared up. The membranes fused? They can’t see it anymore? Whatever. It’s “gone”. Good news!
32 weeks: Write birth plan. “Please don’t offer pain medication” “We want a vaginal birth” “No episiotomy” “Delayed cord clamping” “Procedures done on mom’s chest” “Intermittent fetal monitoring preferred” Ha. Ha. Ha.
38 weeks: OK baby is definitely coming this week. That weird amniotic sac thing probably means he will come early. Any day now.
39 weeks: Baby has to be coming this week. My friends all had their babies at 39 weeks, so I probably will too. Ready, set, go!
40 weeks: Fine. I get it. We want to go full term. Well here we are! For sure this week though – look at me, I’m tiny! How can my body hang onto this baby any longer?! Bounce on exercise ball. Boring. Contemplate spicy food.
40 weeks, 1 day: Induction talk at the doctor. Schedule induction date. Leave doctors office. Arrive home. Cry for 2 hours.
41 weeks: Induction day is this week. No way I’ll make it that far – most people deliver by 1 week past their due date anyway. Consult nurse friend. She assures me inductions rarely end in C-Sections, and just because I’m induced doesn’t mean I’ll end up with one. Feel better.
Induction day: Still no baby. Guess we’re really doing this thing? Time to google what meds they use. Dear God, places still use Cytotec? What the hell is Cervadil? Pitocin! I’ve heard of that. Wait, I can’t eat while on Pitocin? Kill me now. Husband vacuums house. We go to Panera for dinner – the lady at the checkout asks when I’m due, I respond, “last week”. We sit on the front porch in our rockers for the last time, just us. I drink my green smoothie at 8:00 pm. We get in the car at 8:20 pm. We arrive at the hospital just before 9:00 pm. We meet a lady in the elevator who had a baby yesterday. We’re both carrying Boppys. She’s up and walking around. I feel good. I can do this. We’re going to meet our baby tomorrow. Let’s do this.