Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Roundabout to the Hospital

It's been a whirlwind weekend. On Thursday I went in for my normal OB appointment. I had been really itchy, so I had my blood drawn to check for a condition that I had at the end of my pregnancy with Jackson. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Jackson I had cholestasis of pregnancy. It is a rare liver problem that is caused by pregnancy that causes your liver to not process bile properly. Its most recognizable symptom is that it causes you to itch all over, especially on your hands and feet. It's not dangerous to the mother- although it is quite uncomfortable and somewhat inconvenient- but it can be dangerous to the baby and is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth or "unfavorable outcome." When you have this condition they recommend that you induce labor as soon as the baby is full-term or very soon thereafter to avoid risk of any harm to the baby. [This is why Jackson was induced two weeks early.]

On Thursday night I got a call from the doctor saying that the test came back positive and that I needed to come in the next day for an ultrasound and testing. While the ultrasound results were good- the baby looked great and healthy- the recommended course was to induce soon, since I had already passed 37 weeks. So this left Dave and I to decide with the doctor how soon we wanted to induce.

I hate decisions like this because you are trying to balance out factors, risks and statistics, let alone preference and convenience, but there is no way to really know if you are giving weight to the correct thing. So Dave and I sat in the doctor's office trying to decide: Do we get induced sooner or wait for a few more days so the baby will be a little more mature and our doctor will be on duty? After sitting for 45 minutes going back and forth, we decided that we didn't want to take any unneccessary risks, so we were set to go to the hospital on Sat. night (Oct. 3) for a cervix treatment with the induction starting Sunday morning (Oct. 4).

Of course, this suddenly made all of our babysitting plans, etc. for the hospital obsolete. I spent a good portion of the afternoon on the phone trying to figure out who was going to watch the kids. We finally settled that my mom would fly out the next day. She changed her plane tickets and I headed to the store for some last-minute purchases and tried to contain the nervous energy and stress that I felt.

As I was loading bags from the cart into my car, my cell phone rang. It was my doctor again. As she was looking over my chart and filling out the paperwork for the induction, she noticed that on my very first ultrasound the baby measured slightly small. She hadn't changed the due date to be later because she wanted to confirm at the 20 week ultrasound. When the baby had also measured slightly small at the 20 week ultrasound, she had forgotten to go back and change the due date. So that meant that we could be inducing a 36 week old baby, which would put her at a greater risk for lung problems and other issues. So the long and short of it is that we moved my induction to Wed. Oct. 7th, so the baby would be between 37 and 38 weeks, no matter how you calculated it.

So... I called my mom yet again and she booked her third set of plane tickets. This change of date did, thankfully, give us a little bit more time to prepare, but the whole thing made for a very stressful weekend. "You're having a baby in a week and a half!" "No wait, you're having a baby tomorrow!" "Actually you're having a baby in a few days." I thought the whole point of inducing labor was so that you could pick a date and plan around it and make it more stress-free. ;) Right?? If only babies were more cooperative.

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