Friday, August 04, 2006

Feeling inside-out over upside-down

Friday, Aug. 4:

Regular two-week medical appointment. I get a chance to read the whole August issue of Parenting, plus stare out the window, before the doctor comes into the exam room.

And I get to do this half-naked because she needs to swab me for Group B strep -- a regular test for this point in pregnancy, I gather. If there are any germs left from all the antibiotics I had to take last month.

This doctor in the practice just had a baby herself about five months ago, and she seems much happier than my previous appointment with her (which was my first appointment with her), when she was about ready to pop.

She measures my tummy and feels around, estimating the baby weighs six and a half pounds. To me, this sounds like the perfect weight -- but the baby isn't due for another month! By that time, s/he could be eight or even nine pounds! I begin to look at my options (as if I have any say in the matter): push out a baby the size of a bowling ball, or have a smaller baby a little earlier, in the same month as our adorable nephew's birthday, which I am desperate to avoid for completely illogical and emotional reasons. I know a bigger baby is considered a healthier baby, but ... maybe I just don't have enough faith in myself.

After feeling my tummy, the doctor looks at my file and gasps. "Oh, the baby was breech," she says. She feels around some more, then nonchalantly pulls on a glove and starts feeling around inside of me (sorry if that's too much information). I kind of hoped the exam was over. But I realize it's not part of the exam when she says, "Hmm, feels like a head."

"You can feel the baby's head?!" I ask. "How does a head feel different from a foot?"

I am so amazed she thinks she can feel the head that I actually don't pay attention to how she answers my question. But I think she says the head feels harder than a foot.

When she finishes, she asks me a question I can't comprehend because it feels as though all my internal organs are shifting back into place afterward. It doesn't hurt, exactly, but it feels so weird that I can't concentrate on what she's saying ...

... oh. She says I can wait until the ultrasound tech shows up in a couple hours to find out for sure how the baby is positioned.

I decide to wait until next week to do both my regular appointment (now every week) and the ultrasound at the same time, considering I've already spent more time here than I thought.

But after I make my appointment, I wonder if maybe I should have stuck around. Gone to get a smoothie and come back, even. Because I'm pretty sure if the baby is right side up (or at least not upside-down like s/he's supposed to be), my doctor's practice will deliver only by C-section, wah!

And then having a doula is useless.

And I still need to decide on a doula.


Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Oh, you're considering a doula? I TOTALLY want to get one for my next childbirth. I SO wish I had one last time. I ended up with a long labor and an epidural that didn't work and unfortunately the breathing exersizes that I learned (and never practiced) weren't worth anything for me. So, next time, I'm totally getting a doula. I don't care what it costs!

8:19 PM  
Blogger h&b said...

Babies can turn so easily at the last moment - don't let her spook you, you've got heaps of time left yet !

As for that totally getting nekkid thing so someone can grope you in broad daylight ( and you pay THEM ) .. yeah ... yukkis .. especially if you're having a winter baby, like I did ( brrr ! ) .. next time I think I will just refuse to disrobe .... ha ! :)

6:57 AM  
Blogger soleclaw said...

It can be hard when no family will be there with you for birth. My husband is in the Coast Guard and we are currently stationed in MA, while our families live in WV. When we gave birth to our daughter a year ago it was just the two of us for the whole thing. Neither one of us knew what to expect, but we were very fortunate to have a wonderful doctor and great hospital staff. Looking back, maybe an extra, more-informed person would have been nice to have!

Good luck finding the right doula!

12:37 AM  

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