It's been a rocky two weeks.
The morning of my 37 week OB appointment, we woke up late and were in a terrible rush to get the three smallest children dressed and ready to go with us (we've been leaving the four oldest children home alone and taking the 1 1/2, 3, and 4 year olds along to appointments). It's an hour drive, and we didn't think we'd make it in time.
On the drive over, I realized I hadn't felt Baby move at all. Knowing she was not one to like her head touched and "played" with (she would sit breech, just underneath my right rib, most of the time), I did just that to try and get her to move. As usual, it worked. She gave me a swift punch!
At the doctor's office, my husband dropped me off at the door so I could check in while he found a parking spot. They took me back and weighed me. I had gained one pound since week 36. Then my blood pressure was checked. It was a sharp turn for the worse. A very high reading. Immediately, the nurse asked me to provide a urine sample for urinalysis. Something I normally had to ask them to do, before. So, I knew my reading was serious to them.
Apparently, there was only a trace of protein found in the sample, and the doctor wasn't terribly concerned. He said we'd just take it day by day, knowing I have a meter at home to check my blood pressure through the week. He assured me that a trace of protein wasn't a warning sign, yet. I remembered this, though, from my pre-eclampsia and bedrest experience with Stephen almost two years ago.
"Let's take a look at Baby," the doctor said, as he got the exam table ready for me to climb up onto.
"She's still being stubborn," I told him.
"Still breech, huh?"
Doctor R. felt about and kept feeling down low in my abdomen, near the pelvis. It was uncomfortable and I was beginning to get annoyed. What was he doing?
"She's head down," he stated simply.
I was overwhelmed with shock and disbelief. "What?"
"She's head down."
"That's impossible! She had her head right underneath my right rib on the way here!"
"Well, the long drive and the bumpy roads must do good things for you!" he teased.
I felt depressed all the way home about my blood pressure. And I couldn't stop feeling my tummy . . . she really was in a different position! Feet were up top! "Figures," I told myself gloomily. "She finally goes vertex, and then my blood pressure takes a leap!"
At my last appointment, this week, the baby was still found to be in the right position. My blood pressure reading was better. And I'd gained another two pounds. I had brought in some questions with me, this time. Somehow, when I don't write things down, I find my memory cannot hold fast to them.
One by one, I brought up the four or five concerns I had: sleeplessness, constant diarrhea without illness, nosebleeds, etc . . . And one by one, my concerns were dismissed casually. Too casually, I felt.
Again, I left the office feeling down and depressed. Such a long drive . . . for a short fifteen minute office visit! "Does it even pay to go?" I wondered.
The past two weeks have found me in good spirits, followed by a sharp (and unexpected) dive toward depression, and then back up again suddenly. What a rollercoaster my emotions have been!
I feel absolutely huge and totally uncomfortable. I want out of this enormous body. The heat is getting to me, and getting around is truly rough. My feet are swollen, my hands are puffy and my back aches. It's hard to breathe, my tummy is horribly heavy, I honestly cannot stand for more than a short while, and going up the stairs is a nearly impossible feat. It's actually painful to walk. The baby has no space to move . . . so when she wants to "dance," it's not pleasant.
I need this baby to come out. Now. I cannot wait. I am sure the dates must be off. I feel I must be overdue. Truly! No way could there be almost two weeks left to go. There's a sort of "panicky" feeling almost constantly, within me.
When I think of finally getting my "body back" after delivery . . . I worry about that, also! I think about the challenge of raising the children I've already got here in the house, and wonder if I can do it all! What if the baby is colicky like our last was?
I have found a great deal of solace and aid in the Word of God. But the fears and concerns keep creeping out from the shadows, torturing me. I'm left scrambling back to my prayer closet, begging the Lord for strength and grace.
Nothing is getting done around here. I feel like the worst possible wife, homemaker and mother. The children haven't had regular schooling for three weeks now. It's sporadic at best. My little gardens outside are all weedy. My husband is never sure if he has clean socks to wear. Last week, I had two "good days" where I forced myself to clean and make room for Baby. It felt so good! My husband was kind enough to get the cradle down from the attic and the oldest girl helped me find the baby clothes up in the attic so I could wash them. We set things up and even got a few other tasks done.
But . . . that's where it ended. Now, I'm like a lump of unmoving flesh again.
This week, my systolic readings have zoomed sky high. And I have a vericose vein in my left ankle that is excruciating. The doctor and the nurse at the clinic said to keep off my feet as much as possible and keep an eye on both problems in case either situation should grow serious.
Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting at the computer writing an email when I began feeling a familiar pain in my upper stomach area. I was immediately reminded of my pre-eclampsia experience with Stephen, again, and knew it was important that I check my blood pressure. The reading was wretched. I immediately drank a glass of water and lie down on my left side. After an hour, I checked it again and it was lower. The pain was gone, too. Since then, my systolic readings have continued to be very high. In the 140s and 150s. Diastolics have ranged from 87-95. But there hasn't been a repeat of the pain.
I am leaning more and more toward cesarean section. For many reasons.
The doctor wants to do something called a "membrane sweep" next visit. If I thought it would definitely make me go into labor (and if I knew my cervix were "ripe" enough to actually do it), I would feel more hopeful/positive.
When I think about labor, I get weepy and fretful. I remember all too well what it is like. And I have been warned about the flack we'll get from the hospital for going for a VBAC. Add to this the tension sure to come when my husband argues with the nurses and doctors there about the Vitamin K shot he wants omitted . . . I'm just a wreck!
If we were going to deliver at home, it would prevent and even eliminate a lot of the stress I know to expect. However, I am not sure about other things . . . such as the issue of rupture (a very small risk, but a real one nonetheless), my blood pressure problems and the agony I'm in right now, just waiting.
Perhaps I'll have something good to report next week after my 39 week visit . . . Or at least hopeful. Better yet, maybe my attitude will be much improved by then and my outlook less negative. God, help me!