Quick update!

Hello from the other siiiiiiiiiiide!

I don’t have to much time, so this won’t be a full update. However, can’t keep everyone waiting for ever. 

Little Dumpling is here! He arrived on schedule (Tuesday, October 25th) at 1:01pm, weighing 6 lbs 13oz, and measuring 19.5 inches. Quite the little peanut!

We spent a couple of nights in the hospital, of course, but we both did well. We were discharged on Thursday afternoon, which was my doctor’s optimistic timeline, so that made me happy. 

We’re home now, with my mom here to help (omg, so much help, I kind of wish she could stay forever). 

Luffy was incredible through it all and he continues to be amazing and supportive. He loves his little boy so much that it makes my heart melt. 

Ok, more to come later. Wish us luck as we move into the second week!




Tomorrow our lives change.

It’s so odd, putting a fixed date and time to a lifetime event like this. My brain can’t quite comprehend it and I find myself seeking that whoa moment over and over again.

While I organized the kitchen today, I savored the quiet, trying to imagine our house with a newborn.

While I swept the floors, I tried to comprehend the fact that at this time tomorrow, I’ll be holding a newborn. My newborn. My little boy.

While at dinner with Luffy and my mom (a last meal of sorts, since it’s no more food for me until well after my surgery), I tried to picture our table with a car seat in a chair.

As I sit on the couch and type this, before heading to bed, I keep thinking to myself: Tomorrow I’ll be a mom. Tomorrow I’ll be a mom. Tomorrow he will be here.

Since I know exactly when I’m giving birth, I’ve been able to savor these last few days of pregnancy like many women don’t get the chance to. I’m not plagued by the feeling that my pregnancy will never end, so I’m appreciating the end much more. Every push and roll. Every case of the hiccups. Every stretch and nudge. I’m excited for the next phase and for all the years to come, but I’ll always cherish these months when I carried him so close to me and was able to provide for him and to keep him safe.

So many thoughts, swirling in my head. I hope tomorrow goes well. I hope the surgery goes smoothly and that my Little Dumpling arrives safely. I can’t believe it’s time. Just like I couldn’t believe those two little lines and now here we are. I can’t believe that by this time tomorrow, I’ll be holding him in my arms.

A Brief Respite

I walked out of my office yesterday with an effervescent pop in my step. I worked my butt off all week trying to put my team into a good place in my absence. The hours positively flew by each day as I would look at the clock for the first time all day around 4 or 4:30. Then suddenly it was Friday evening and I was packing up my computer and a few personal items from my desk. Many people stopped by my desk, wishing me luck and good health and making me promise to update them. Then I walked out of my office, trying to wrap my head around the fact that I wouldn’t walk back in for another three months, at least for professional reasons.

For now, I’m looking at a bit of a three-day weekend. Monday I have some pre-op work at the hospital (and I need to vote!). I need to do laundry this weekend and clean the house a bit. We have a few other one-off errands as we prepare for the impending arrival of Little Dumpling. And then…. and then Tuesday. The day our lives change forever.

Coming to terms with a c-section

Before we ever got pregnant, Luffy and I discussed adoption. Our attempts at conception hadn’t been going well and we were discussing the alternatives. I told Luffy that, much like he considered having children part of the human experience, I considered being pregnant part of the female’s human experience. And indeed, it has been. I am in awe of my body and what it is capable of creating and handling. My distended abdomen bears no resemblance to my once flat stomach and yet, I know I will get back to that place eventually. My son kicks and moves around inside me and the sensation is so unique, it’s indescribable. The sheer physicality involved in being pregnant – in lugging around 30+ extra pounds each and every day – is astounding.  So that part has been absolutely true, for me at least.

However, I’m nearing the end of my first pregnancy and I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that part of that experience for me, arguably the most important part, will be missing. And not only is it missing from this pregnancy, it’s likely to be missing from the rest of my pregnancies. Which means, as a first timer, that it’s highly likely I will never experience it. I’m talking, of course, about labor and delivery.

As y’all know, my little boy is breech and our attempts at turning him haven’t been successful. A breech baby means an automatic c-section for me. At least, for me with my current doctor. Let’s pause for a second here because every time I come across this scenario in online communities I always see someone do a quick drive-by with a you know you don’t HAVE to have a c-section – you can CHOOSE to have a breech baby vaginally. And that’s true. I could absolutely choose to do that. However, I am not choosing to do that for several reasons. First off, it would mean changing my care provider with mere weeks left in my pregnancy. I am comfortable with and trust my doctor and do not want to go on the hunt for a new doctor with literal days left. Additionally, as many pro-low-intervention people seem to gloss over, there are real risks to delivering a breech baby vaginally. With the head being delivered last, the cervix may not open wide enough. Additionally, it’s difficult for the head to navigate the pelvis when it’s the last to be delivered. One of the biggest risks is cord prolapse, where the umbilical cord is squeezed between the birth canal and the baby, thus depriving the baby of oxygen. This could be a huge problem, especially if the baby gets stuck in the birth canal while the head is being delivered.

So no, I really haven’t considered attempting a vaginal delivery of my little boy. Mostly I am hoping that he has decided to turn head down before the date of the surgery.

And yet, I am also finding it challenging to accept a c-section. As I scroll through my pregnancy apps, with all of their suggestions about how to tell false labor from the real thing and how to manage pain during labor. As I remember my coworker bragging on his wife last year that they were in and out of the hospital in under 36 hours. As I read through others having a hard time getting their desired VBAC. As I read through other women’s birth stories… it all weighs heavy on my heart. Labor is not something I will experience. Luffy will not hold my hand and kiss my forehead and stroke my hair as I labor to bring our child into the world. I will never be able to recount something along the lines of well I had no idea that today would be the day or I felt miserable all day but the contractions just would not get into a steady rhythm!

Instead, Luffy and I will wake up on the morning of Tuesday, October 25th knowing full well that we will be parents by the time the sun sets. I’ll make him breakfast while I fast. We’ll give Jas scratches and treats as she (unknowingly) laps up her last morning as an only child. Then we’ll head to the hospital, completely calm and collected. I’ll be stripped and disinfected and anesthetized. Luffy will scrub up. I’ll lay prone and bare on a table as my doctor surgically removes my son from my womb.

It feels so clinical, in comparison to the primal and natural process of vaginal delivery, and I am sad that a vaginal delivery is not in the cards for me.

However, there are pros and cons to both sides (as I keep telling myself and anyone who will listen – oh look you!). For instance, in that little scenario I played out above, my mom will be in town because she knows exactly when to expect Little Dumpling to arrive. In this scenario, my son has a much better chance at arriving safely, of course, but it’s also somewhat safer for me (even with all of the complications involved with a major surgery). True, I’ll need to stay in the hospital longer, but going into labor myself and attempting a vaginal delivery (even if baby boy were in the right position) is no guarantee that I wouldn’t end up on the operating table anyway. Then there’s the fact that we do know exactly when we’re going in and getting him. I won’t be one of the many women who go past their due dates and face medical intervention on the other side. I can count down the number of days I have left (eight full days of pregnancy left!) and can savor them (and also freak out over them).

So pros and cons. Oddly enough, it’s a lot like that rambling, nonsensical post I did the other day – all about the paths of life and how we can’t choose every path. While I would love to have a vaginal delivery and not be facing an automatic c-section, it’s also nice in many, many ways to be working with a scheduled delivery. So I’ll relax this week. No more uncomfortable positions, no more worrying that my heating pad is positioned in a bad way (heat at the bottom of the uterus), no more wallowing on my hands and knees. I’ll simply enjoy my last week of pregnancy and look forward to meeting my little guy next week. That is, of course, unless he decides to flip in the meantime. Then I’ll probably be freaking out about vaginal delivery and missing the dependability of my scheduled c-section.

Stubborn baby boy

Welp. My version was yesterday morning. Spoiler: the procedure wasn’t successful.

Luffy and I got up as usual on Tuesday morning, grabbed our hospital bag, gave Jas her medicine, and headed towards the hospital. We were dismayed to find the check in desk was closed (even though the sign clearly said they open at 7am and half an hour past). However, we were completely surprised when my mom stepped out from the hallway! She drove in Monday night, apparently, and had stayed at a nearby hotel to surprise us. She said she wanted to be here for the procedure just in case something went wrong and Little Dumpling made an early appearance. Having her here was very comforting and I so appreciated her presence.

After we exchanged hugs, we happened to meet a nurse who was more than happy to take us back to the L&D desk (behind locked doors of course) so that I could check in. Once the paperwork was complete, I was shown to a delivery room so that I could change into an exceedingly sexy hospital gown (I am very short, so the gown positively swallowed me from neck to ankle). I was then hooked up to fetal monitors and given an IV. My doctor came in to check on me and the process. An ultrasound tech came in to pinpoint Little Dumpling’s position for my doctor and the procedure began!

If anyone out there is wondering how an external version feels…. it is uncomfortable to say the least. I hate to use the word painful, because there were only a few moments of actual pain. There was mostly a lot of unrelenting pressure. My doctor tried four times before we called it quits. He managed to move him a bit, but never past horizontal. My doctor kept me for two hours after the procedure for monitoring, to make sure that Little Dumpling continued to do well.

I have to give a lot of credit to Luffy. He was amazing during the procedure, trying to keep me calm and giving me a focal point. He held my hand and kissed my forehead. He told me he was proud of me and made sure that I was really ok with another attempt and another attempt. He was fantastic.

While the procedure was unsuccessful and fairly uncomfortable, the highlight of the morning, for me at least, was getting to hear Little Dumpling’s heartbeat for three whole hours. I was hooked up to fetal monitors the entire time (excluding the procedure itself) and we got to listen to his heart rate rise and fall. He didn’t like the monitors very much and kicked them a few times, which was hilarious. At one point during the monitoring afterwards, he got hiccups, which the monitors picked up. It was so funny to hear the rhythmic hiccups over the speakers. (It was also pretty crazy to see them. I can usually see them a bit, but, because my uterus was relaxed due to medication, yesterday’s hiccups were huge movements.)

Today I am sore and tender, but Little Dumpling seems to be doing just fine. I am coming to terms with a c-section, as it is highly unlikely that he’ll flip in the next two weeks. I’ll continue to visit the chiropractor for Webster adjustments and I’ll keep doing most of the recommendations from Spinning Babies. At this point though, I just want him out safely. In the meantime, it is a bit exciting to be able to look forward to an actual day – just two short weeks away! Two more weeks of pregnancy. Two more weeks before Little Dumpling makes his grand arrival.

36 week checkup

… and still working with a breech baby. What can I say? He must just be comfy like that.

I am very happy to report though that Little Dumpling is gaining weight with textbook precision. He gained exactly a pound over two weeks, which is perfect. At my 34 week checkup, my doctor was slightly concerned over his weight as he was estimated on the small end of the scale (very close to or on, depending on which chart you go with, the dreaded 10% cutoff for an intrauterine growth restriction diagnosis). Thus, part of yesterday’s visit was to check on his growth. Little Dumpling passed with flying colors (yay!) and there was no more talk of IUGR (double yay!!).

There was, however, more talk over his position. Our efforts to turn him so far have not been successful. I will admit that I stopped some of what I was doing (the breech tilt from Spinning Babies, to be specific) last week because I thought he might have turned. I’ll probably be returning to that position over the weekend. I also cleared chiropractic care with my doctor, so I’ll be trying that tomorrow! (They have a specific technique that’s supposed to align the pelvis optimally for the baby.)

My doctor also brought up an external cephalic version – version or ECV for short – and gave me the option to try it. When I mentioned my concerns (that the success rate is about half; that of the half that are successful, some babies will turn back to breech; and that although there’s a very small chance of risk, all of those risks are to the baby), my doctor told me he actually has a higher success rate than average (about 70%) and that he thought I’d be a good candidate for it. Luffy and I talked it over and I think we’re going to try it. The procedure would be done at the hospital (from what I understand), so that if there are any problems, they can be taken care of efficiently (although it might mean an emergency c-section at 37 weeks since the procedure will need to be done next week). I have a call out to my doctor regarding our decision, so we’ll see about that.

I had a hard time weighing the pros/cons of the version, to be honest. Everything’s just so uncertain that it’s hard to make a decision. For instance, given my doctor’s success rate, there’s a 30% chance or so that the version won’t work and I’ll have put myself and my baby through an uncomfortable (for me) and stressful (for him) procedure for no reason. Another scenario is that I go in for the version next week and complications arise which lead to an immediate c-section. In that scenario, the very thing I was trying to avoid (an early c-section) still gets done, but even earlier! Will I be ok with the outcome then – knowing that if I had not interfered, Little Dumpling would most likely have had two more weeks in the womb? In yet another scenario, my doctor performs the version successfully (about 70% chance), but Little Dumpling decides to flip back into breech position. Probably not the worst outcome, but again, we went through all the sturm and drang for no reason. And in yet another scenario, my doctor performs the version successfully, Little Dumpling cooperates and remains head down, I go into labor on my own and get to have the vaginal delivery I had hoped for. OR. My doctor performs the version successfully, Little Dumpling cooperates and remains head down, I go into labor on my own, but complications come up and I end up having a c-section anyway. LIFE. WHY YOU SO COMPLICATED???

The decision tree has numerous branches, some of which lead exactly back to the place I was hoping to avoid, which leads to a challenging decision to make. Luffy seems optimistic, so I’m going with his gut. In the meantime, I’ll be visiting the chiropractor and having a chat with my little guy re: his position.

UPDATE – My version has been scheduled for next Tuesday. Everyone keep your fingers crossed!

The WAIT WHAT Milestone

That’s right folks – I have reached the point in my pregnancy where I nonchalantly answered someone’s inquiry as to how much time I have left:

“Four weeks. I have four weeks until my due date, although three weeks if this little guy is still breech and we have to go in and get him.”

… and then promptly lost my cool.


Four weeks can’t be right. And don’t even get me started on three. That is crazy talk right there. Surely there are more weeks in October, right? I mean, October is a long month. Surely there are like five weeks left or something. Maybe like 40 days?

And then I did some math and realized that yes, 40 minus 36 DOES still equal four and, ipso facto, there are just four weeks left until my due date. Which also means that there can only be three weeks until my c-section date since that’s scheduled a week before my due date.

Stupid math.

I cooled down a bit until later that night, when I was trying to get to sleep. Of course, the enormity of only having three weeks left before we meet our son…. of only having three weeks left of it being just Luffy and I…. of only having three weeks left before there will be a small human in the world who will depend on me for literally every need….. yeah, all of that just HIT me. Cartoon style. WHABAM! It was only by some miracle (aka – the fact that I am verrrry pregnant and thus verrrry tired) that I managed to fall asleep through that nonsense.

Now, granted, I’m hoping he’s turned and I will be allowed to go into labor naturally and will (hopefully) get another week or so on top of those three, BUT STILL. I could meet my son in THREE WEEKS. TWENTY-ONE DAYS. Approximately FIVE HUNDRED AND FOUR HOURS. It suddenly seems so soon.

I will say though, after this past weekend, that I honestly feel about as ready as I can be. Luffy and I spent most of the weekend slogging through some to-dos that included exchanging a few gifts (even with our registry, we managed to get doubles of several items), unpacking the car seat and bases, assembling the stroller, and organizing Little Dumpling’s room. We got crib sheets, more pacifiers, and our first package of wipes (of, I assume, many more to come). I tallied the clothing sizes to see what we’re missing (not much – yay!). I have plans to wash the bassinet tonight (purchased at a second-hand sale by my awesome mother). I even started packing the diaper bag!

I’m in that weird space where I constantly ping-pong between:

  • … he’s got three weeks in there at the very least, plenty of time
  • … he still needs a bit more lung maturity and fattening up – just stay in there little one
  • … OMG please come out, I am done
  • … but not like now because you’re still considered a preemie
  • … you still need like at least two more weeks in there little dude

[and repeat]