In the car after the Ultrasound and subsequent consult with Dr. Slade, my brain just sort of… goes to mush. I barely register the gas gauge and make a mental note to budget for extra gas money. This is going to go on for a while I think to myself through a fog of over stimulation and too much information. I’ve been in the car 20 minutes and I’ve told the story twice already. My mind spins a mile a minute, calculating costs of gas and trips to Jacksonville and making a mental list of friends who I can coerce into free babysitting. I contemplate moving into an extended stay hotel for a while, and savor the picture of a freshly made bed every day. Anything to avoid thinking about after.
Finally. Big Country comes on the radio, and I’m yanked back to happier trips home from Jacksonville, late nights crammed into Mark’s small car. Was it a celica? A Camry? Nissan? I don’t remember. The picture in my head is of me and my older boyfriend crammed into the front seat, snatching our last few minutes together before school and parents and church put a muzzle on our physical contact. Mark sings along beside us, making Herculean effort not to notice that we’re making out 18 inches from his head. I’m not expecting to grow flowers in the desert…. That line pulls me back to now for a moment. I wonder if the OB would have got the reference had I put my hopes like that…And then I flash to ToddlerA who yesterday pointed to my screen saver, a collage of pictures, and exclaimed “There’s Hannah!” when 14-year old me filled the monitor.
No! I want to go back! I am pouting; I am resigned; I am not sure how I got here. And you may ask yourself- how did I get here? And I strain to remember which way I faced when I sat on his lap in the front street, (holy crap we could have been killed!) and I can call back the melancholy, the doom, the utter sadness than enveloped me every time we said goodbye for the week. And I can remember having no question in my mind that he loved me and how much and that we would always, always love each other. For a few minutes, I can remember 14, and I can ignore this pregnancy, and the gas money, and the debt, and the logistics of our lives from this point on. I turn the radio as loud as I can stand it, which incidentally is much lower than my 14 year old self would tolerate, and sing along. Like a lover’s voice….. stay alive…..
The cell phone brings me out of my reverie; and we’re back. The rest of the trip home, I’ll turn the radio down and list all the reasons why this could be worse, and there are lots. I’ll try to be my 34-year-old self now. To not pout like I’m 14 and I can’t hold my boyfriend’s hand because people at church would freak out. I’m an adult now. This is, in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal. People are handling worse. Suck it up.
The ultrasound shows excess fluid, though not much. The baby measures large in every area they use for markers: head, femur, and abdomen. The OB is very concerned about the sugar. We must keep the glucose low, whether with diet or insulin. Even so, there is little chance you will have an average sized baby at term. She appraises me over my folder, taking inventory. I’ve already heard them whispering in the hall; And she’s hoping for a VBAC! Silence, while I envision someone or several people shaking their heads sadly. I know what’s coming next. The OB is sensitive though, and I like her. She doesn’t tell me right now that there’s no way. She tells me that we need to control my sugar, and monitor me very closely. She mentions a pill form of sugar regulation that we might try before insulin if diet doesn’t control my glucose levels.
She informs me that if I have a classical incision from ToddlerA’s birth, there will be no chance of a VBAC, even in their VBAC friendly practice. She reminds me that large babies and excess fluid cause distention of the uterus, and that might cause her to “recommend” a C-Section anyway. I learn that in emergencies, and often with premature babies, the surgeon will use a classical incision technique to minimize stress on the baby. I didn’t know this; I thought that incision was a thing of the past. Learning this makes me scream inwardly, conspiracy! I want to see the op report myself! She tells me that there is no induction with VBAC; that if by 41 weeks I’m not in labor, I they will recommend a c-section (I love her for saying “recommend”). We chuckle at the thought of me 41 weeks pregnant. I confide in her that I feel sure some other thing will force our hand before that point. People scoff at me, I tell her. But I knew with ToddlerA and I know this time too. She smiles, and we shake hands.