First thing first: a million congratulations to our darling Pru, who recently accepted a job on this side of the pond and will return to live in her homeland with her darling family for the first time in nearly a decade. The thought of all of those toll-free long distance calls makes me swoon.
And suddenly, we have only six weeks until Hot Baby joins us in the outer-uterine world. My c-section is officially scheduled for Monday, Sept. 27 at 9 AM. Six. Weeks. Dude. Considering it’s been an entire month since I’ve posted here, I have a feeling that time is going to fly.
I’m at biweekly appointments with both Dr. Thick-Neck and my perinatologist now. The perinatologist appointments are always vastly more informative – as well as always giving us a glimpse of Her Hotness. I have another appointment tomorrow, but at my appointment two weeks ago (31 weeks 4 days), she was a chunky 2 lbs. 15 oz. Still sitting at about the 15th percentile, but still gaining and growing steadily, with good cord blood flow and plenty of amniotic fluid. I’m hoping she’s hit at least 3 ½ lbs. by tomorrow’s ultrasound at 33 weeks 4 days. Most babies hit 4 lbs. by 33 weeks. Dr. Thick-Neck is very pleased that she’s still firmly ensconced in my abdomen. “Thirty-two weeks is great. Everything at this point is just lagniappe” (“lan-yap”: a lovely South Louisiana term that means “a little something extra”).
Also? She has hair. Long hairs on the back of her head. A little baby mullet. Since she’s basically bald on top, Brad calls it a skullet. She shall look like Ben Franklin, but much cuter.
We had our baby/birthday/anniversary party last weekend, and it was great fun. Good turnout, and we got some lovely things. Especially touching was a beautiful historic embossed edition of the literary work after which Hot Baby will be named, from Brad’s boss.
The day after we attended the class at the hospital about signs of and stages of labor, when to come to the hospital, etc. A lot of it won’t apply to me, but it was interesting information all the same. There was one moment where I literally gasped aloud, however – when the nurse leading the session said that the epidural rate at the hospital where I’ll be delivering was 98%. She said that it’s actually a pretty typical number for the South, and comparable with other hospitals in the state. No one else seemed particularly surprised by that number – it seems it’s practically an automatic part of birth here: you show up in labor, and they ask you when you’d like your epidural. I’m certainly not judging people who choose to get one. I’d say of my friends/family who have delivered, about half of them have gone the epidural route (and I sure as hell will be having one before they slice me open). Maybe that’s why I was so surprised – around the Twin Cities where I grew up, from what I can find there’s about a 50% epidural rate. It’s around 20-30% in some of the more wealthy suburbs. The trainer said that she used to work in California, and the epidural rate there was nearly opposite of what it is here.
I’m really intrigued by these regional differences. I’m sure part of the high epidural rate has to do with the fact that Louisiana is 3rd in the nation for percent of births that occur by c-section – behind New Jersey (oddly enough) and Mississippi. Though if epidural has a tendency to slow down labor, one may lead to the other.
We’re also gathering gear and getting essentials. We bought a new dresser and some unscented hypoallergenic detergent on Saturday to start washing the loads and loads of adorable things we’ve been given by people with daughters and excited grandmothers-to-be and kind well-wishers. I am still pinching myself that this is even occurring. And ridiculously grateful.