Tuesday, August 22, 2006

our best-laid plan

OK, we have a plan, which is a great relief.

Jaime and I have been torn between waiting until spontaneous labor and going completely batso insane. The litany of fears basically boils down to "in another week, this child will spring, fully grown (and armored) from my forehead." You may recall that David got stuck and we had a few scary moments because of that. This is not an indicator that the same thing could happen again, but the specter is ever-present cloud over our desire for a natural childbirth.

We met with the OB today to discuss the issue in a more rational, less metaphorically soupy way. On one hand, he is willing to induce Jaime when ever she feels like it at this point. On the other, both she and the baby are healthy and he is happy to let the pregnancy go until September 7. He has very little advice to offer otherwise. I wish I could get paid so much for so little.

But he did have this: in a study, 328 near-term pregnant women who have previously had a child were asked to guess the weight of their baby. Then, the OB did his exam and made a guess as to the weight and the women were given a sonogram and the weight was determined from that. On average, the doctors' guesses were off by 1.5 pounds plus/minus, the sonograms were off by 1 pound, and the mothers' guesses off by .5 pounds. Our doctor used this to illustrate where the decision for the next step ultimately lies. He could examine and guess and make a recommendation, but it is less likely to be as accurate as what Jaime thinks. If she thinks it is getting too big and wants to go ahead an induce, then that is what he'll do.

Another fact I didn't know: inducing doesn't always work. They'll give it a try for about a day--less, if the weather is good for golfing--but if the mother and baby are honestly not ready, then it won't work and the woman will go home as pregnant as when she arrived--but more batso insane. That helped me. David was induced because Jaime's water broke. It was an unpleasant and drawn-out process. But in that case, they wanted the baby to come before the risk of infection developed from the ruptured membranes. So they were much more aggressive than they are with a voluntary induction. I am relieved to know that induction is actually a good try to get things started--not an attempt to artificially force the issue.

Lastly, Grandma Susie is coming next week. She'll be here for several weeks.

So, this is the "plan." Our OB is on call for deliveries tomorrow, this weekend, and next Wednesday. The plan is that we'll wait one more week. If we don't have spontaneous labor or a nervous breakdown by Wednesday--which is the day before the "due date," then we'll induce and Grandma Susie will get to be there, which wasn't possible with David.

Why are we relieved to have a plan? Because it allows us to stop thinking about it and relax. That, combined with our decision to wait until Grandma Susie can be with us, will cause the immediate onset of labor, which is what we are counting on.

So, mark your calendars. Sometime in the next eight days we are goin' to the hospital to have a baby or give it our best effort.

Later, batso insane fans.

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