Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Making Difficulties For the Doctor (Or, Asserting My Right To Have the Opportunity to Labor Naturally)

On Monday they measured the little dude's femur length to determine his size. He is tall. Taller than many babes his age, at 70% of the typical growth rate for 28 weeks. This isn't really any surprise; I am 5'8 and Peter is 6'1. We're going to have a tall kid. I asked Dr. Maier if his size had something to do with my diabetes (even though it has been in tight control). He said, from what he could tell, the dude "wasn't fat, he was just tall, you guys are just going to have tall, big babies."

Today, he's been kicking the hell out of me. I don't know how active most babies are supposed to be at this age (this is the week I start counting his kicks, to see how long it takes him to kick 10 times each day; most days he will kick 10 times in less than five minutes). He kicked me so hard and long today (probably 40 or 50 times in an hour) that I almost threw up. I cannot imagine what the little stinker will be up to at 36 weeks!

I had a frank discussion with Dr. Maier at our appointment on Monday about how much I do not want to be induced. I know they're going to pressure me to do so, especially because they want me to give birth a week before my due date(!) which seems cuckoo to me. At Kaiser, you can't choose your delivery doctor, which means you get whoever's on schedule when you go into labor (or are forced into labor). Knowing this, I asked if I could meet with the midwife team at Kaiser in the next month or so. Sure, Dr. Maier told me, but since I'm a diabetic, I will be the lowest priority for them. Ugh.

"Look," I told Dr. Maier. "I do not want to be underestimated simply because I am a diabetic. I think that you can agree with me that I have had a very easy and healthy pregnancy up to this point judging by anyone's standards, not just those for a diabetic. I just want to be given the chance to labor like a normal person."

"Okay, we'll get you a meeting with the midwives," Dr. Maier said.

"If I wasn't a diabetic I'd be having this baby at home," I added. "I'm kind of a hippie."

"I know," he said. I'm not sure exactly what part he knew. Probably all of it.

"See, I'm just afraid of getting pumped full of pitocin, and then the contractions either not coming on or coming on so hard and fast that the baby goes into fetal distress, and then we have to have a c-section."

"Elka, that's the last thing any of us want. And if you ask me, you're going to have no problem with your labor or birth. And you should know, this hospital has one of the lowest c-section rates in the Bay Area. We pride ourselves on that."

Still, even though this is good reassurance, I'm starting the acupuncture inducement at 37.5 weeks, twice a week, and following up with lot of sex (the prostaglandin in semen can soften the cervix) and nipple stimulation. Because I really want to see if my body can do this without the pitocin. And if it can't, or if for some reason little dude won't turn, and we have to have a c-section, that's fine too. We can't wait to meet him. But I'd like to simply be given the opportunity to do what most women take for granted.

(This is the message Dr. Maier left for us when he couldn't come to our German holiday party (his wife is from Germany, and a midwife): elka and peter vielen dank fuer die einladung aber leider konnen wir nicht kommen, weil Christiane arbeiten muss. vieliecht in naechsten Jahr.)

I like Dr. Maier.


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  2. This is a great line: "I know," he said. I'm not sure exactly what part he knew. Probably all of it.

    Give 'em hell, Elka.

    Oh, and watch out. Sayer was a maniac in the womb, and a maniac after. I truly believe that babes show their true colors very early on.

  3. Well, I'm happy to see you're pregnant. I was just knocking around the ol intertubes & came across your blog. Good for you. I'm recovering from my 4 th, or maybe 5th, surgery this year. I had my right knee replaced on the 22nd. I wanted this to happen, unlike the other near-death experiences (really). I'll bookmark this now so I can keep up. Jan is happy that things are going well for you. Hugs for Oz & Peter. Much love from me. Later.

  4. Hi Rick! Keep trucking, buddy. Peter's dad just had heart surgery, and is scheduled for a hip replacement in the next few months as well. Growing old is not for wimps, huh?

    Melissa, yeah, I'm fully expecting that all of this activity is just a prequel to the hellraiser this little guy is going to turn out to be on the outside. Thanks for the warning!

  5. Wow, Elka! I really wish I were there with you now!!
    You and Peter look great. And, I'm on the edge of my seat over here... catching up on your preg blogs... my best sunday entertainment!