Monday, March 14, 2011

A Birth Story: Polly Jane - Part Three

{You can read Part One of the story here and Part Two here.}

God gave me a precious few weeks to bond with this baby growing inside me. From the very start I was convinced this child was a boy. My pregnancy had been exactly the same as Elijah's - minimal nausea, no major physical problems, and an incredible case of polyhydramnios. I was huge. Seriously, look at how far my belly is jutting out in this picture! How did that happen?!?! Throughout the pregnancy, I would periodically attempt Leopold's on myself, just wanting to know where the baby was. Several times I thought, "Uh-oh. This baby is breech." Then I would make myself forget about it. As noted in the previous posts, I was not really able to give much thought to the baby anyway, so this was not difficult. I would just tell myself, "Well, I'm going to pretend I don't know. Maybe I have lost that skill and don't know what I'm feeling anymore. I'll just let Susie (my midwife) discover it - if it is true."

After loving Haven's birth, we were again planning a homebirth. I had everything ready, but I had not really psyched myself up for birth. I could barely think about being pregnant, much less about the drama of labor. I kept thinking something just was not going to be right, but hoping I was wrong.

Susie came for a prenatal visit when I was 39 and 6, just a day shy of my due date. Everything looked great - blood pressure, weight, swelling. I lay down on the floor. Measurement - great. Heartbeat - great. Leopold's - pause, pause. "Lydia...", a look of sadness and concern crossed Susie's face. I knew. "The baby is breech?" "Yes." Still feeling my belly. "This baby has turned! Yes, he is definitely breech. Oh, Lydia!"

I just lay there. I wasn't really upset. I definitely wasn't surprised. "OK. So what is the plan?" I did not really have any emotions about this discovery.

My emotional response to this pregnancy had scared me for so many reasons. I wanted to love my baby right away. I wanted to rejoice over this child. I was fighting for that. In the midst of this fight, I could not help but wonder if God was going to allow the baby to die or have some problem because of my own selfishness. God does not work that way. He is merciful and gracious; He loves with a steadfast (not hormone-related) love. I know that. I knew that. Yet, the fear still kind of lingered in the back of my mind. I did not deserve to have another child, and then I scoffed at the gift God gave me. Why shouldn't I be punished?

My focus now was merely getting this child here safely. What could I do? I ran in to see my chiropractor at 9:00 AM Friday morning. I did all kinds of old wives' tail-type tricks to get my baby to flip. Diving to the bottom of the pool, massaging your pinky toe, lying upside down on the weight bench with a pack of ice on your baby's head. I was willing to try anything to get this baby to flip.

The ultrasound at 10:00 AM confirmed a little footling breech with really large cheeks. The ultrasonographer went ahead and did a biophysical profile even though it had not been ordered. "That is what the doctors will want to see." My polyhydramnios was in full swing. None of the normal "your fluid level decreases when you are term." Oh no. My AFI level was 29 cm, greater than the 95th percentile. God was showing Himself sovereign. Being huge for nine months, carrying around a few extra gallons of fluid, was about to be totally worth the effort.

Eric and I now had to decide what to do. Homebirth was no longer an option. This baby was not flipping with all my voodoo methods. It was Friday. It was my due date. No one could see me until Monday, at which point I would be overdue and breech - a scenario which frightens most obstetricians. I could see a c-section quickly approaching.

We scheduled appointments for Monday with two different doctors. Susie had known both of them to attempt versions on her clients in the past. The first doctor, if he agreed to try a version, may let me go home to deliver if the version was successful. The second doctor, if he agreed to try a version, would begin induction immediately if the version was successful. If the version wasn't successful, I would have a c-section.

There was just one doctor in all of middle Tennessee that I knew would deliver a breech baby. I just happened to have been there when he delivered my friend's breech baby. He had recently turned down another couple's request for a breech delivery. I decided to just call and ask for an appointment. His office was closed on Friday.

We had a whole weekend of waiting and voodoo attempts to endure.


Michelle said...

Okay, you are such a great writer. It's like the book I can't put down. Can't wait for Part Four!!:)

Rebecca Nugent said...

AAAhhhhh!!! Lydia, that was so mean! You're making me wait....:)