TV and Odd Anatomy
I have cruised past the age of viability, doing mental cartwheels the whole way, and am “suddenly” (to you, I’m sure) at 25 weeks, 5 days gestation today. Friday, when I hit 26 weeks, I’ll be celebrating by taking a doctor-approved flight to Kansas City to spend time with all of the in-laws, who know how to party. It’s a whirlwind trip, as I’m saving up as much vacation time as possible for the months to come, so my flight back to Louisiana leaves Sunday morning. This is the only vacation day I have planned between now and Hot Baby’s birth. The joys of unpaid parental leave. Hey non-Americans and ex-pats: I don’t even want to hear about how much they pay you to parent your child in the months following its birth where you live. It only serves to turn me purple with rage.
Tuesday was appointment #3 at the perinatologist’s office, and I’m happy to say that things with my fetus and my cervix have largely remained the same: both good and weird, respectively. The Babe is still smallish, but growing regularly – she’s about 1 lb. 10 oz. now, and at the 37th percentile for smart little growing babies. She has long fingers and feet like Brad, but for some reason has a genuinely tiny head. Her head is at less than the 2nd percentile for smart little growing baby heads. Small heads don’t run in either of our families, so I don’t know what that’s about. No one seemed concerned, so whatever. There are definitely worse things than having a small yet perfectly-formed head.
Oh, the cervix. The perinatologist went spelunking again (this time, while manually searching for my cervix, I noted that he actually had his eyes closed so as to concentrate completely on the task at hand. I nearly laughed). He can still barely even touch it, it’s rotated so far forward. Once again he and the technician were able to find what they think was my cervix on ultrasound (position currently described as “superior to the pubis”), and it’s measuring a highly respectable 5 centimeters. I haven’t had any abnormal contractions at all, and no bleeding or fluid leaking, so he is satisfied that the Babe will stay firmly in place at least until I return from Kansas City, and probably long after that. Only 1% of women deliver before 28 weeks gestation, and he believes that if that was going to happen to me, I would have some kind of sign indicating that it was a possibility by this point – cervical shortening, contractions, etc. This is all very, very good.
We also talked a bit about how Hot Baby is going to get out of Weird Uterus. I’ve never been sentimentally tied to the idea of a vaginal birth, and that’s good, because it just ain’t gonna happen, for a few reasons. First, my cervix is in such a damn weird position that it’s impossible to even monitor whether and how far it’s dilated. Second, though Hot Baby is currently head-down, if she happens to squirm into any other position in the next few weeks, it will be nearly impossible for her to turn again due to limited space factors in the uterine horn she inhabits (she’s sunny-side up now as well). Third (and this is the weirdest), were my cervix magically to migrate to the place where it is supposed to be, I would have placenta previa. The placenta is sitting quite low down, and only the fact that my cervix is far away from where it actually should be saves it from being covered with placenta – if I had a normal cervix, I’d have a placenta previa diagnosis that would make c-section inevitable anyway.
So, c-section it is. In addition, he told me that I won’t be getting one of those cute low transverse incisions that all you cool girls have, the kind that can be hidden under your jeans. Because my uterus is so severely retroverted and it pulls my innards into such odd places, if they tried a low transverse incision there would be a good chance that they would slice into an organ I’d very much like to keep whole, like a bladder, for instance (GAH!). So, it’s a classical c-section with a big ol’ vertical incision for me. In learning this, I’ve noted that it’s likely that should I ever happen to get pregnant again, another c-section will be in the cards for me, since doctors are loathe to try VBAC with that type of incision. A vertical incision makes for a weaker scar and gives you a much higher chance of uterine rupture than a low transverse one. And you know what? I’m ok with that. I’ll never give birth vaginally, and that’s fine. I’m lucky I live in the 21st century, when the wonders of ultrasound imagery are able to tell me all of this before the shit hits the fan.
In other news, I’ve been a single woman this week – Brad’s at a conference in Michigan, and I’ve been watching all of the horrible TV that I can. Everything on Discovery Health (especially Dr. G and Mystery Diagnosis), a whole marathon of Intervention, 16 and Pregnant on MTV, that new John Besh show on TLC called Inedible to Incredible (though it kills me to see New Orleans gourmet golden boy John Besh in a crappy cooking show with totally delusional women – this one women put CORN FLAKES with DRIED STRAWBERRIES in her hamburgers! I mean, COME ON), and hours and hours of No Reservations (my one pick that Brad actually likes). I love my husband, but control over the remote is a special kind of bliss.
What are your guilty TV picks? And have you seen the ads for that new NICU show on Discovery Health? I just don’t know how someone thought that was a good idea.