"Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we're waiting for."
I'm still pregnant as of 10:39pm.
Brian and I arrived at the Northwestern campus at 8:30 am. We stepped off the elevator just in time to run into an old coworker turned PICU nurse who is blessed with the happiest smile in the world; just another cozy element of this hospital. After a quick hug and catch up, we went our separate ways and Brian and I headed up to the 14th floor for what was likely our last time before the arrival of the baby.
By this point, the receptionist knows who we are and checked us in right away. Two shakes later, our angel, Linda, collected us for the NST (fetal non-stress test). Once again, baby was moving and grooving, so we were able to focus on catching up with her about our weekends. Linda's daughter has just moved to England to live with her new husband and this was their last time together. She expressed how tough it is going to be to have her child live so far away and she wouldn't wish it on any parent. I agreed; this is how Brian and I feel about our situation - we wouldn't wish it on any parent. Unfortunately, it just goes to show that a parents' devotion to their child starts even before day one and never stops; all we can do is love and support them during their journey, whether they are one day old or thirty years old.
After the test was over, we were ushered into the examine room. The same medical tech from Thursday took my vitals and I gave Brian "the eyes" of encouragement to keep his thoughts to himself until we got the results. "122/80" Phew - in the clear. She wrapped up her standard questions and a minute later we were meeting with a different perinatologist than we had met with up until this point. She cut right to the chase. As of today, I'm 40 weeks and 1 day along and while many mothers to be can push the clock to 41 or even 42 weeks, considering the baby's CDH, the doctor wanted to ensure the placenta was firing on all cylinders during delivery. Apparently, placentas (which function as the total life support for the baby, supplying nourishment and oxygen via the umbilical cord) age and start to lose functionality the longer a pregnancy continues past 40 weeks. Therefore, they wanted the baby to be born before the end of the week; she asked if we had a preference as to what day I would be induced. Knowing that this was an option, Brian and I both agreed that either October 31st (Halloween) or November 1st (All Saint's Day) would be great. The doctor agreed that earlier rather than later was better, so we were all on the same page.
The doctor did revisit my desire to have an intervention free labor and delivery. She confirmed that every doctor hopes for a spontaneous labor because forcing our bodies to do something it isn't ready or wanting to do makes the situation more difficult and induction can take a very long time if your body isn't ready. We discussed some more natural methods of induction and after a quick exam, we agreed to cross our fingers that the baby was ready to make his or her entrance today or tomorrow without additional assistance, but the induction would likely be scheduled for Wednesday; we should wait for the scheduling department to call us to confirm.
In the meantime, Brian and I drove directly to the acupuncture clinic. I had read that acupuncture is a common form of alternative medicine used for thousands of years to encourage the body to move towards active labor. This was my first time experiencing acupuncture and I can honestly say it was fascinating. The doctor inserted needles into my ears, shoulders, hands, shins and multiple places in my feet, including my arches and pinky toes. I can't really explain some of the sensations (some points reminded me of licking a 9V battery) and who knows if it will work, but at this point, I will try anything to avoid the world of synthesized oxytocin. Regardless, it was a relaxing and supportive environment.
In an effort to remove extra worry, we opted to drop the dogs off at the dog hotel today to ensure they would be taken care of, but not before we drove thru McDonald's for some plain hamburgers to celebrate Marley's 14th birthday today! Then we came home to rest, relax and wait...again. I managed to fit in one more afternoon of work before signing off for maternity leave, double check my hospital bag, and take a warm bath. We also spent some time tonight just holding hands and watching my stomach move... and laughing; I think this baby is going to be a runner like his/her dad. Fingers crossed a restful sleep (and some extra dried dates... another natural labor kickstarter) encourages labor to begin, but if not, we will be checking in to triage again on Wednesday at 10:30 for a scheduled induction.
Thank you so much to Dan and Stephanie Osten for the delicious (and perfectly spicy) dinner last night and for everyone's continued well wishes. I want to apologize to everyone who I owe a thank you card... I haven't forgotten and they are in the works. I'm saving tasks for the NICU to keep my mind occupied. xoxo
"Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible."