Today was our fetal assessment. The baby looks beautiful with his/her little face looking just like the other Vaags babies... little button nose and all! And there were both feet right at his/her face. Baby is currently in a Frank Breech position and looking about 6 to 6 1/2 lbs. The heart is strong and everything looked beautiful. This is a wonderful relief for us!
No sign of a prolapsed cord at this time but according to the midwife's palpitations on Wednesday, she believes that there is still ample room between the baby's bottom and my cervix which makes the possibility of a prolapsed cord quite risky. The obstetrician today did not seem to address this fact. In fact, in the ten minutes we attempted to discuss the situation and our options, he was paged several times and had to make about four or five phone calls! It felt rushed and we were told to come back Monday afternoon for an internal ultrasound (doesn't that sound pleasant) to confirm that no umbilical cord is sitting between the baby and the birth canal.
But what if I go into labour before Monday?
This obstetrician just casually told us to come into Women's Clinic to assess the baby's position. If baby is still breeched, we move to the Operating Room, get hooked up to IV and decide if we attempt a vaginal delivery or a C-section. The way he put it was "If you care only about the baby's well being, a C-section is the way to go. That's what's safest for the baby. If you care only about what's best for Mama, then a vaginal delivery is the safest for Mama." And even if we attempt a vaginal delivery, there is no guarantee complications won't arise during the birthing. At this point, the way I am feeling, if baby is still breeched as I go into labour... we are going to go with the C-section.
But what if my water breaks, as it has with my last three babies?
Again, the obstetrician did not seem concerned. He seemed to offer the same protocol as the onset of labour. However, my midwife had a very different story and I'm just not sure where I am supposed to stand in all of this. According to the midwife, because of the space left between the baby and my cervix, the risk of the cord prolapsing and cutting off blood circulation to the baby is too great. I am to call 911 immediately and get into a position that has me on all fours with my bum in the air to keep the baby from dropping into the pelvis and cutting off that blood flow. A prolapsed cord means we have as little as twenty minutes to get the baby out alive. We live thirty minutes from the nearest hospital...
Short of tenting it by a hospital over the next five weeks, our plan of action will be as follows:
a) If my water breaks, we will call city EMS and ask them to meet us at the Perimeter Hwy. This will ensure fastest response time. I will climb into the backseat with my legs on one of the chairs and my head by the ground (in the most intense prayer of my life)! To wait for EMS in our rural home could be too dangerous in our eyes. If my water breaks while Duane is at work, my next door neighbour will be the one to drive me to the Perimeter and Duane will meet us at the Hospital.
b) If labour begins with no breaking of the membranes, we will simply make our way to the hospital to assess the baby's position and decide on our course of action. According to the obstetrician, our baby has a 25% chance of turning into its correct position by the time labour sets in.
I am looking at my baby's little picture and I can't help the tears. I am overwhelmed with the desire to do anything in my power to see his/her safe arrival. So tiny, so precious... that little heart beating so strong with life. And all could end up being perfectly fine and uneventful! But all of this other stuff hovering overhead making this feel like it could end in doom and gloom is making my peace of heart feel like it is failing me!
For now, I am enjoying every wiggle and movement that celebrates his/her life... that makes it untouched by any of this right now. These next five weeks are going to be among the most challenging as far as keeping fears at bay, keeping faith strong, and believing that all will be just fine. It is a waiting game that has me both terrified and excited. I have no idea what God's timing is in all of this, but I know He loves us and that regardless of the outcome, it is for His good and pleasing Will.
I love you all out there and thank you for not letting me feel like I am facing this time alone. For helping me feel uplifted in the sanctity of prayer and nuzzled in the good will of all those who love us. We are richly blessed. To all of you out there... God bless you!