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09/21/2004

Halfway

I turned 20 weeks on September 20. I am halfway through. Today I had a doctor's appointment, complete with ultrasound, primarily to check the placement of the placenta, which was low-lying as of 13 weeks, but also to look in on Batman and see how she is. (I am giving the pronouns equal time, regardless of what I may or may not know about his or her wee tiny genitalia.)

The good news:

The baby looks dandy. A whole mess of vertebrae, two hemispheres in the brain, assorted kidneys, and enough arms and legs to take it wherever its little four-chambered heart desires, once it has given its umbilical cord — complete with three blood vessels — the slip.

The bad news:

Complete placenta previa. The placenta is completely covering the cervical opening. If it were going to move, it should have started by now. Instead, it seems implacably perched, unlikely to do much locomotion. Even a slime mold can ooze across a forest floor with mucusy abandon, but my placenta remains defiantly stationary.

The best-case scenario is that I'll have amniocentesis at 36 weeks, then undergo a C-section shortly thereafter, delivering safely before my due date with no further complications.

The worst-case scenario is a lot grimmer. We are going to ignore the part about possible maternal death, because LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I AM NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA, and also because it's exceedingly improbable, given that I'll be closely monitored. Instead we'll move to the things that are mostly beyond our control: the possibility that I'll have a freshet of terrifying bleeding, might require hospitalization, could go into premature labor, and might — LA LA LA LA LA LA LA — face a severely premature birth.

The upshot:

I've been told to avoid intercourse, orgasm, and other maneuvers that could cause contractions of the uterus. (This only three days after the first sex we'd had since I left for New York in May. Yeah. Funny. We're laughing our celibate asses off.)

I've also been told to avoid strenuous activity. So far I haven't been milking this pregnancy at all since I've felt perfectly well the whole time, but I'm pretty sure I will immediately begin reclassifying hateful household tasks ("Turning your socks right side out, thereby being forced to touch that skeevy polyester terrycloth part: way strenuous. I spot just thinking of it.") and hiring a phalanx of flunkies to do my bidding.

I don't even know how worried I am or should be. What I do know is that I don't care how this baby gets here — never have — as long as it does, strong and healthy. The C-section doesn't concern me, as I have no romantic attachment to the idea of a natural birth. No, I'm hung up on the live baby part. That's the only part that matters.

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