The Never-Ending Pregancy

We’ve been very lucky to have have had a completely healthy pregnancy, both for Sari and Junior. But that’s not to say we haven’t had some obstructions along the way. Just in the last month, we’ve had to thinking about flipping our baby, then passing our due date, only to find it was wrong, and now we actually are past our due date, and may have to face induction.

Since the baby had been breech for some weeks leading up to (what we thought was) the 37th week, we reported to the hospital a couple of Fridays ago for an external version procedure. This is where the baby is rotated manually by the doctor — with the aid of a sonogram — into the ideal vertex or head-down position. (It sounds kind of primitive, and I guess it is. It’s also supposed to be quite “uncomfortable” for the mother.) It was assumed the baby was still transverse (which he or she was as of the previous week’s sonogram) or at least continuing to be breech. Our doula came with us and we all waited for some time while Sari was hooked up to an IV and a fetal monitor. And then we waited several more hours while they made sure the OR was free, in case the procedure started contractions and Sari needed an emergency C-section.

Finally, all the nurses and the doc piled into the room and they did the initial sonogram to get the baby’s position before doing the version. Whoops! The baby was already head down! Everyone seemed to find great relief at this and spent some time admiring the baby on the sonogram and watching him or her move around in Sari’s belly like a little circus acrobat. Then they unstrapped Sari and unhooked her and took the machines out, laughing and congratulating each other on the easiest version they ever had to do.

OK, one problem solved. So now we were cleared for waiting it out and going into spontaneous labor, which the doc thought could be any day (especially in this summer heat). But… our due date of July 16 came and went, and still no baby. As we went in last week for our first “post-date” appointment, they immediately strapped Sari up to the fetal monitor to check on the kid’s heartbeat and movements. Of course this made us very tense, as the straps kept slipping and not picking up the baby’s heartbeat, and of course the kid decided to pick that time to take a nap or something, and was keeping very still. At one point the nurse walked in, took a look at the monitor, and zapped Sari’s belly with some kind of baby taser. It made this huge buzz and sent our poor kid into a panic. Sure, it proved the baby was alive, but it was pretty unpleasant for everyone (except the nurse, I guess).

Anyway, when the doc walked in (theoretically to start talking about induction), Sari quietly pointed out an issue she had just noticed when looking at her last recorded menstrual cycle. According to our records, we were only in our 39th week and not our 40th! We’re not quite sure when or how it happened, but sometime along the pregnancy, Sari’s due date was changed from July 22 (based on early sonograms and info we provided) to the earlier — incorrect! — date of July 16 (based on a three-month sonogram). We were fortunate to have a doc who took a look at our notes, went back over hers, and acknowledged that an error had been made.

Typical Josh-and-Sari moment? You decide. Maybe it was our fault. Or maybe the doc’s fault. Or maybe the sonogram department’s fault. No one was interested in investigating and, apparently, it is not that uncommon for due dates to be off by five or six days. In any event, we had earned some wiggle room and were relieved to have another week ’til Sari was past due!

But then our new due date (last Sunday) came and went, and again no labor, no baby. So it was back on the fetal monitor yesterday (fortunately Junior was much more active/cooperative, so no more taser attacks), and now we are talking induction. First, though, our cool doc is sending us back to the Chinese acupuncurist (the same one who gave Sari needles and tea to help turn the baby from breech), to see if she can get Sari going through those means. (I like this part because I get to burn those moxa sticks near specific points on Sari’s toes to get the chi flowing.) We’ve got a couple of days to work on that, and then we’re due for a non-stress test with the sonogram dept. on Monday, and another doctor’s appointment next Tuesday, July 31st, with hospital induction being the likely situation for the next day.

We really would like to have this kid without Cervidil, Pitocin, an epidural, etc., so we’re hoping that things get going for real in the next three-four days.

Someday we will have this baby!

About joshcomix
Brooklyn-based cartoonist specializing in nonfiction comics about topics like Hurricane Katrina, the media, travel, and finance.

3 Responses to The Never-Ending Pregancy

  1. bikerbar says:

    “baby taser” .. geez, how friendly
    In Czechy they use a cowbell, shaken vigorously above the mother .. works every time, no reason to shock the little person
    those baby monitors make all kinds of crazy noises, hunh?
    our baby was like ten days late .. its no big deal
    I say resist induction, the baby knows when it is time
    Good Luck!

    • 4_eyez says:

      Ten days?!? Wow…
      The only thing is, I think Sari is at the end of her rope, carting around that 30 pounds of baby, etc. She is almost welcoming the idea of induction…

      • bikerbar says:

        Its tiring waiting in the end
        I think something like half of births, these days, are induced in the end
        so its quite common
        once the water breaks, theres no going back

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