On Monday I wanted to write a post about “jamais deux sans trois.” It was an expression my host family used for me when I broke my arm roller skating for the second time, and it’s just kind of stuck around. It translates literally as “never two without a third.” The closest idiom we have for it in English is “when it rains, it pours.” However, it’s not really about negative things happening.
So on Monday, there were three good things to report:
1. In the morning, my OB called to say that I had passed the second test for gestational diabetes, and I told her how excited I was to have cheesecake on my upcoming birthday.
2. Later in the morning, I received word via my husband that my health insurance company admitted that they made a mistake. They should have covered the cost of the Rhogam shot and not denied the mail-order pharmacy that they had referred me to. So we have submitted the receipt for reimbursement.
3. In the evening, I didn’t die. As I was leaving the neighborhood, a car ran a red light and literally stopped a foot from my driver’s side door.
As you may have noticed, if you have been regularly following my blog, I’ve had a very active week with my sewing machine. I think it’s safe to say that the nesting phase is here. Even though I feel like I haven’t really done much for Chickadee, I’ve been busy finishing projects for Wren. I made a malong to carry her in, a purse for her to play with, and a pillowcase for her baby pillow (I hope to write about that eventually).
[See how we’re carrying on with the threes here?]
Pregnant women like to imagine how the labor and delivery process will go. I think it’s important to understand the process, have a plan in place, and be okay if the plan doesn’t work out. In the past month I’ve finally accepted that I am going to have to give birth to a baby and that it won’t be pleasant. (Previously, I had half-joked that I would just go to the hospital and leave with a baby because that’s what happened last time.)
1. So, I have been reading books and following birth boards and asking questions of other mothers trying to understand the process.
2. I had a plan in place: I would try to go natural (no drugs). I have been coaching Okey about everything to make sure he will be a good patient advocate for me.
3. On Thursday, I had peace about having a caesarian section if there were a need. Such a strange and wonderful peace about it.
Then on Friday morning, I was admitted to labor and delivery (L&D) at my local hospital because I hadn’t felt Chickadee move in a 24-hour period. I called the OB’s office unsure if I was overreacting. The nurse called me back immediately and encouraged me to go to the hospital straight-away. Okey dropped everything and together we went. The L&D unit was expecting me, and the nurse started to look for a heartbeat right away. I saw some high numbers and I wasn’t worried, but she said that she would be right back with a more precise piece of equipment. She calmly left the room and I overheard her say that they were calling the OB to authorize another test, a sonogram. Specifically, they ordered a “BPP.”
The nurse was calm and reassuring but dodging my questions. She was working hard, and I also didn’t want to interrupt her concentration. The ultrasound tech came right away and started looking for Chickadee. She found her in an unusual place for her young age; she was sub-pelvic. The nurse and the tech met in the hall, and Okey tried to figure out what they were saying.
Eventually the tech assured me there was a heartbeat, but she kept studying the baby. I learned she was transverse (breech). It was an hour later that I got the results back from the radiology: 4/8. The test they had ordered was called a biophysical profile (BPP). They study and score the amniotic fluid levels, the heart rate, the muscle tone and movement, and they check to see if the baby is practicing her breathing. I was told that the score they wanted was an eight, and that another BPP was scheduled for later that afternoon since the baby had failed. The nurse assured me that the heart rate was excellent, and that there was no sign that the baby was in distress. Evidently those high numbers I initially saw on the heart rate monitor were mine. Oddly enough, this is when I started to worry a bit.
Then the OB called and asked to speak with me. She answered my questions that the nurse couldn’t, and we discussed the what-ifs. She said that I may have to do a c-section, in two days, on my birthday. She was confused about why this was happening because there was no reason for it. She joked that I should hit my belly five times to give the little one a spanking. She prayed with me. I was at peace again.
I started to feel a few flutters from Chickadee, and then we got further good news. During the second BPP, we actually saw her limbs and fingers move. Plus we saw her lungs taking practice breaths. She aced the second test, and I was discharged from the hospital in the evening. No one knows why she stopped moving. It is a concern, but thankfully modern medicine has procedures in place for when things like this happen. I’m glad to have a doctor I trust.
I’m supposed to call the OB again if there is no movement in a four-hour window, but thankfully Chickadee has been letting me she is still kicking in there. On Monday I hope to go over more what-ifs with the OB. Primarily, what if this happens again? (I think I’ll bring her office some cheesecake from my birthday party, too.)
Well, it’s been a long week for sure… Hopefully the next bit of excitement comes at week 40.