So, last Tuesday I had my 36 week appointment. For those of you who are not pregnancy literate, at 36 weeks the pregnant woman (namely me) goes in every week for the last four (or five or, god forbid, six) weeks until the baby is born. One of the things they check for at these visits is the positioning of the baby. Ideally, the baby is head down with the feet lodged somewhere near the unfortunate pregnant woman's ribs or heart.
Well, my 36 week appointment on Tuesday was going swimmingly until my doctor decided we better check the baby's position with an ultrasound. The baby was NOT in the preferred head-down position. The baby's head was up by my ribcage in what is referred to as a breech presentation. I'm not going to get into the various types of breech positions or why breech births are dangerous. Suffice it to say my doctor suggested we make an appointment to try to turn the baby manually in what is referred to as an external cephalic version. So, we scheduled the version for Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. I immediately texted Mark and told him to take Friday afternoon off.
Here are some important things to know about versions:
1. They work about 58% of the time.
2. If successful, there is a 12% chance that the baby will flip back into breech presentation.
3. If NOT successful, my hospital schedules a c-section as they do not delivery breech babies.
4. There is a small chance that the version will cause a) water to break, b) labor to start, c) problems with the placenta, or d) fetal distress. If that happens, the pregnant woman (namely me again) has to have an emergency c-section. This is why versions take place at the hospital in the birthing unit.
Well, after learning about the whole you-might-have-a-baby-Friday thing, I spent the next several days trying to prepare for the possibility that I might have a baby Friday. Fortunately (spoiler alert) I did not have to have a baby on Friday.
Friday we arrived at the Birth Center at 12:30 and started the process. I put on a fashionable hospital gown and got hooked up to two monitors: one for baby's heartbeat, one for me. Over the next hour and a half the following occurred:
1. The nurse checked and thought the baby was probably still breech.
2. I got admitted - filled out paperwork - got a plastic bracelet.
3. I talked with Mark about how hungry we were (I was not allowed to eat or drink anything after I had breakfast this morning. As a side effect, Mark hadn't eaten anything either).
4. I had an ultrasound that confirmed that the baby was, in fact, breech.
5. I was given a shot of muscle relaxer in the arm which made me feel really weird.
6. Mark and I talked about baby names. No, we still don't know what we are going to name this baby so don't ask me. It causes me considerable stress.
7. I was told that because I'm Rh negative, I was going to need ANOTHER shot of Rhogam. I had one shot at my 27 week appointment. I dislike shots.
8. Mark joked that we were on a date, but instead of dinner and movie we were doing dinner and a version.
9. My doctor, along with our fantastic nurse, turned the baby.
The baby turning was remarkably fast and easy. She cooperated beautifully. It took less than five minutes and while not super comfortable, didn't even hurt. But 2:00 we were all done. Mark and I were both incredibly relieved that it had gone so well and that the baby was where she was supposed to be.
All that was left was for me to get my Rhogam shot and then we were home free. Or should I say food free. We were both STARVING.
The nurse went out and ordered the shot.
After 45 minutes there was a little knock on the door. Finally, I thought, the shot.
I did not realize that I was going to have blood drawn. Dammit.
After the blood draw my nurse came back in and apologized for not letting me know about the blood draw. Apparently, all my records weren't good enough for the hospital. They had to draw some blood and check it out themselves.
So we waited some more.
At 3 p.m. I asked if I could go to the bathroom. I was still hooked up to everything. I was told that I could. I also found out I could eat the cereal bar I had in my purse. I did not share it with Mark.
We waited. Impatiently. And hungry.
At 3:30 my nurse came in and told me she had given my info to the next nurse on shift. She also said the new nurse would call down and check on my shot. Stupid shot. I hates it.
At 3:40 we were told the shot would be here in 20 minutes. Stupid, stupid shot.
Mark turned on the television and we watched the end of a disturbing show about insect infestations on Animal Planet and the beginning of television show on dogs.
At 4:10 the stupid shot FINALLY arrived! Just so you know, this is a shot that has be to given into a large muscle... and it burns... I'll let you speculate on where I got this particular shot.
Finally, at 4:30 we were on our way out of the parking ramp and headed toward food. So... that is how Mark and I were able to spend four and a half hours at the hospital for a successful procedure that only lasted 5 minutes.