The bestie’s pregnancy experience continued:
My third trimester was mostly filled with eating, extreme nesting, and planning for the big day. I was really uncomfortable being so big (major heartburn, trouble sleeping, you know, the usual), but it was certainly not the torture the first trimester was, so I tried not to complain as much.
The nesting really kicked into hyper drive in the last month or so, as I ordered (er, convinced?) my husband to not only paint the nursery, but every room upstairs in our new house. Luckily he’s a really great guy and only gives me a pat on the head and an "oh, kitten" when I ask for yet another redesign task. Overall he’s been really really supportive throughout this whole experience. And it has been an experience, medically as well as all the other "normal" pregnancy stuff. Our first medical setback was a low-lying placenta diagnosed in the second trimester. A low-lying placenta isn’t an immediate risk to baby, but if it doesn’t grow up and away from the cervix it turns into a placenta previa and causes a c-section delivery to be necessary. There is also the *ahem* "pelvic rest" required for 2 months when a placenta is low-lying. Let’s just say that was my husband’s least favorite part about my pregnancy. Luckily after the 2 months my placenta had grown up and out of the way, and we were back on track with our natural birth plan.
About that natural birth plan… I have been afraid of giving birth almost my whole life, but after getting pregnant I for some reason became very attached to having a natural birth. Perhaps I was just more afraid of getting a catheter in my back for the epidural, or of getting sliced into for a c-section, than having things happen naturally. Or maybe it was hormones guiding my decisions. Either way, I was on track to go natural and haven’t wavered in that desire throughout the pregnancy. But I think rule #1 in pregnancy and childbirth is that you should expect things to go in an unexpected direction. No pregnancy or birth is the same, and it’s really really hard to try to have any sort of plan. Which brings me to our second medical setback. At our second formal ultrasound they noticed my amniotic fluid was low. It’s not a huge problem to have low fluid levels in the second trimester, as long as they’re not actively decreasing, so they had me come back in for a re-check a week later to make sure the level was stable. In that week I read that the cause of low fluid levels isn’t known, but they think dehydration can be a contributing factor. So I spent the week drinking water like it was my job, determined to get my fluid levels back up. But no dice. Fluid level at the next ultrasound was the same, so at least for me dehydration was not a factor. However the fluid level wasn’t dangerously low and wasn’t decreasing, so it was something of note, but no danger to baby for now.
As it turns out, amniotic fluid levels actually naturally decrease in the third trimester as you approach your due date. Unfortunately for us, our little Tater Tot (his name is Tate) really liked to use my stomach as a pillow and was unable (or unwilling) to flip into a head-down position prior to the fluid levels getting so low that he couldn’t flip if he wanted to. So at my 36 week check-up my OB and the ultrasound tech said that the levels were too low both for him to be flipped manually (an external version) or for him to flip on his own, and that we’d have to schedule a c-section. Additionally, my amniotic fluid levels were approaching the danger level, meaning we may need an immediate c-section if they drop again soon. So not only was I left to grapple with the loss of my natural birth plan and being sliced into (not excited about that), but I was most likely also not going to get the predictability of a scheduled c-section. My brain kept screaming "What the HECK!" as the gravity of the situation sank in. But I tried to focus on the positive. I’d be getting my kiddo earlier than I thought (which I’m really happy about), and all the inconveniences could be handled. I went back to work after the appt. and wrapped up all my projects the best I could, letting everyone know that I’m still here but I could be gone tomorrow so they should plan accordingly. Even my mom has said she has a bag packed waiting by the door so she can fly out at a moments notice (from the west coast! I have to coolest mom ever). So it’s not the end of the world. So long as the baby is healthy, I will consider this adventure a success story. But it has been an adventure!! The only thing common from pregnancy to pregnancy and birth to birth is that no two are the same. That’s what makes life great though, right?
That’s all for now. I’ll update you all on the end of our tale when it plays out in the next few weeks. And I promise the dramatic conclusion will come with cute baby pics.
Thanks bestie – wish more than anything I could be there with you and for you! I cannot wait to see you in May and meet the lil tator tot and have our boys be future friends forever