Great Ultrasound, now go home…
So today was a truly wonderful milestone- I am 34 weeks along with big, beautiful (I’m already certain of this) babies who weighed in at 5lbs. 8oz. and 5lbs 3oz. The ultrasound went great- the girls are growing, my fluid levels are great, nothing was amiss. So, I was summarily sent home with instructions to continue to take it easy. What- go home? That’s it?! That’s all the fanare, "Just go home and wait?" It was my last ultrasound appointment- now it will either be the onset of labor that sends me back to the hospital or the arrival of September 28th- the date I’m scheduled to have a c-section on. The girls are far enough along that the drs. will not try to hold back the their arrival any longer- they are sufficiently developed that even if they had to spend a couple of days in the NICU, it wouldn’t be because of anything serious, but simply that they need to mature a tiny bit more before coming home. To some (especially parents of single babies who were targeting a 40 week due date), this may seem nonchalant- since today is a full month and a half before that milestone, but when you have been braced since about 24 weeks for the immenient and potentially life-threatening arrival of prematue babies- getting to 34 weeks feels like getting an invite to an ultra-exclusive club. I feel like I am in the oh-so-posh "Club Healthy Babies" and it’s time to celebrate!
"Hey buddy, where’s my order?"
And frankly, I’m slightly annoyed. Now that I have been let through the velvet rope and am in the club with the other moms anticipating nearly full term deliveries, I have decided that I am both ready and done with being a human carrying case for these girls. I’ve got eleven pounds of baby packed in between my ribcage and pelvis- a space that used to be hard pressed to accomodate a Burgermaster Combo #2 (burger, fries, and a milkshake). I now have this sneaking suspicision that after all that coddling and care to ensure the girls got this far along… they are going to be content to- shall we say, "savor" these last days in the womb and take their time joining us, thank you very much. They’ve got a good gig, why mix things up now? Not to mention, they’ll be dealing with rookie parents who may try to put diapers on their heads and who will almost certainly eye them with no small amount of trepidation the first time they are required to perform some complicated maneuver like feeding or burping them.
The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry…
Heading to my appointment this morning, I was fully prepared to be sent over to the hospital for delivery. The overnight bags were in the car, I remembered the camcorder (a recent addition and clearly vital addition to our array of gadgets), the laptop, the camera, the cell phone, and all of the attendant cords, flash memory cards and USB drives- ready to capture, record, and broadcast the big show around the globe. We have all the accoutrements packed for mom and babies too- hats, booties, blankies, onesies, car seats, books on parenting and breastfeeding- and now it’s all just going to sit in the car, attracting dog hair and dust. Apparently, we can stand down from our battlestations, the threat level has just been downgraded to Defcon 4. Talk about being all dressed up with no place to go!
Exclusive Club Member or Carnival Attraction?
So, despite the fact that I’m in the club, and am furiously flashing around my VIP badge emblazoned with "34 weeks, yeah baby!", I’m stuck here thinking, "What’s a girl got to do to get some service in a place like this?" No one, especially not the babies, are paying me the slightest bit of attention. My body is now so warped and misshapen from the 50+ pounds of baby making goodness that I have dutifully packed on (measuring a prodigious 46 inches around the circumference of my belly- which for those of you who are geometrically inclined is an increase in area of nearly 3x), that I feel like I should be hanging out in a sideshow rather than on the couch. The carnival barker telling the crowd, "Step right up, for a small fee, the lady will lift her shirt to reveal a belly of epic proportions. You’ll be amazed and amused! Ladies and Gents, don’t try this at home!" I can’t sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time, I can’t sit at the table for dinner without a bib because of the enormous distance that food has to travel, balanced on my fork without falling to my shirt, and I literally can’t touch my opposite hip with my fingertips (you can imagine the ramifications for showering…). And the swelling- fingers and toes like tiny Vienna sausages sticking out of the baseball mits that have replaced the palms of my hands and feet.
Giving Miss Piggy a run for her money
Despite my new aura of carnival attraction, I am not so out of my mind that I want to do squats or even walk around the block to hasten their arrival because 36 weeks does, truly, remain the goal. But I might be willing to take one or two more trips up and down the stairs and I think I’ll start putting my dishes in the dishwasher rather than simply in the sink. Should I make it to 36 weeks, I will be like Miss Piggy in one of those Muppet Show skits where she one moment she goes beserk, throttling Kermit, while screaming, "Get these babies out or you will be a green appetizer, buddy!" and then instantly recovers herself, coughing coquettishly while smoothing her blonde locks, saying "Oh Kermie! Well if you insist I’d be delighted to have a c-section at your convenience."
And that, my friends is what it feels like to get to 34 weeks. 🙂