I figured it was about time to call Children's and let them know It's Alive (still) and what plan of action they'd suggest, if any. They mused on it for a few days, and my point-guy called me back. I wish I could remember the exact phrasing because it was priceless, but in a nutshell he said they'd conferred, and I should deliver at the hospital next door without the teams of Children's specialists standing around because they'd like me to have as normal a birth experience as possible. At which point I burst out laughing.
"C," I said, because we're on a first-name basis by this point, my genetics guy and I, "You know this whole experience is going to be so fuc . . . er, messed up that another 10-20 people milling about really won't throw me."
"I know, " he said sheepishly, and I could see the grin on his face. "I know."
So there it is, the birth plan: I will give birth next door. The NICU is staffed with people from Children's anyhoo, and they will be informed that if something looks off do not spend precious time trying to figure it out yourself because trust me, you won't be able to. Put the kid on oxygen, dial the numbers we're going to provide you, and get him next door.
Oh, and the OB said they are not, repeat NOT, letting me go beyond my due date. I will have a baby by some day in Mid May.
Today was my supposed to be my 32w ultrasound, but due to me walking out of the MFM's office after being kept there for over two hours at my 28w appointment, and then having my rescheduled appointment cancelled and again rescheduled due to snow, it sorta turned into my 33w ultrasound.
And I was a nervous wreck.
My last ultrasound with Maddy was around 32 weeks. They checked her growth (by now it had slowed down, she was falling into the previous week and people were double checking my LMP wondering if I had that right and making those blow-off-ish comments about "well, you're small, your babies are small"), her heartrate (within normal limits, but on the low end), they noted that the bright spots on her bowel were gone, and sent me on my way. It was the last I saw Maddy until birth. Between this ultrasound and birth, I notified my OB on at least two occasions that she was moving very slowly. I actually had to do kick counts, and she was making them, but barely. No one seemed concerned. I don't blame them.
I'm now at 33w and am fully expecting to be greeted by horrible news at these growth scans: the baby's heart looks big, his legs are crossed (a sign of neurological damage, it turns out), his growth has stopped. After having umpteen ultrasounds this pregnancy during which I kept my fingers lightly on my rip cord, today my fist was clenched around the ring and the wind was rushing through my ears. All "looked fine" to the doctor and the baby is just about out of breach (where he's been camped out for about three weeks, spinning around, standing up, but always head up) in a funny c-shape. (Does the shape signify something?) His growth is still measuring consistently ahead about a week, his heart-rate is normal in the mid-high range, where Bella's was.
And then I had my first Non-Stress Test.
And the baby, who moves constantly, spinning, twisting, kicking, punching -- he only just moved out of breach last week -- keeping me up at night, making kick counts a moot point because he's seemingly in constant motion -- fell asleep.
I gamely tried to paste on a smile when the nurses poked and said "This always happens, cheeky things!" and so forth with the light "Nothing Bad Ever Happens!" banter, but all I could think as I tried not to cry was, This was it. This is the beginning of the end, the start of the bad news, the first sign. Maybe this is the first day where I think, huh, he's slowed down. Maybe he'll still be slow next week, and the week after.
And what happens when you have Epic Fail on the NST is they take you to a room for yet another ultrasound to check movement and heartrate. And the second the ultrasound probe hit my stomach for the second time that morning, he moved. Not just moved, twisted. Kicked, punched his hands, Yawned. He was fine.
I was a fucking basket case.
By the time I hit the parking lot, he had shifted a bit out of his C so his ass was more in the middle of my stomach, and by the time I sat down for lunch he was doing a circus routine. My fingernails are still cutting into my hand where my fist is still in a tight ball around the ring, and my opposite thumb is desperately trying to feel out the outline of the Eject button. I can't believe I have to do this twice weekly. Has anyone ever stroked out because of an NST? Isn't this what they're supposed to prevent?
I have, believe it or not, still refused to let myself think about what might happen some day in Mid May, either good or bad. I figure that thinking about either outcome is a waste of time. I don't do this to spare me then -- there is no way that not thinking about it will make it hurt less -- but to spare me now. Do I want this? I think that goes without saying. But I'm not succumbing to hope or gut feelings or depression.
We'll all know, soon enough.