The Things No One Tells You Before You Have Your First Baby

To be perfectly fair, I might not have listened anyway.

Looking back, there’s a lot that goes on after having your first child that I was completely unprepared for. I had no idea and, as I sat back and watched it unfold, I wondered why no one told me. In the interest of fairness to expecting parents though, I feel compelled to jot down a few things that no one tells you:

[Quick disclaimer though – this post may make it seem like I have it all figured out, check we’re all good on that, but I don’t…. I’m still learning. But that’s part of the fun of parenting right? Just when you think you have them all figured out, they go and throw you a curve ball.]

About the baby:

  • Newborns are really hard. Seriously. Have you ever had something that needed you for everything? Literally everything? It’s exhausting and monotonous and the worst part is, you can’t really prepare yourself for it. Yeah, sure, I knew a newborn would need to eat all the time and would wake up to eat around the clock. But it’s one thing to know that and quite another to do that.
  • The evenings will most likely be the worst part of your day. Pre-baby, evenings were about relaxing or taking care of a small chore or two. You could ease out of the stress of the day and wind down until bedtime, when you would slip between your sheets and head off to dreamland for seven hours or so. With a newborn though, there’s no “easing out of the stress of the day” because your day isn’t over and it will never be “over” in the way that it used to be. Evening is just a time to gear up towards night and the crap shoot of newborn sleep. The feeling of dread that washed over me around 6:30 or 7pm every evening took a long time to fade.
  • If you’re anything like me, having a newborn will feel a lot like pregnancy – always wishing you (now your baby) was just a little further along. When the dumpling was just days old, I remember telling Luffy that I was looking forward to him being past the newborn phase and on to more exciting things like sitting and crawling.
  • Your baby might not be very cute (cue gasp!). Why is it that newborns look alarmingly similar to old men? Is it the grumpy appearance or the lack of hair? Perhaps the wrinkles? Not sure. All I can tell you is that when I look back at early pictures of the dumpling, he doesn’t look like himself to me. He looks like a newborn.
  • You know that phrase I love you but I don’t really like you right now? That might be very applicable to your relationship with you newborn. Oh sure, I loved the dumpling, but there were times (numerous times) when I didn’t really like him all that much. That’s what happens when something takes-takes-takes but never gives.

Honestly, the realest piece of advice I have, that no one seems to mention, is that you just might not like having a newborn. And that’s ok. Apparently, it’s common parent knowledge that every age and stage comes with things you like and things you don’t. There will be ages you adore and stages that you can’t wait for them to outgrow. And that’s ok. Not liking the newborn stage does not mean that you’re a terrible parent and doomed to a horrible relationship with your child – which is how it feels when you’re looking down at a screaming six-week-old at 3 in the morning. Like I said, newborns are hard. You’re sleep deprived, you’re adjusting to a radically different life, you’re recovering from child-birth, you feel social pressure from a million different places, all while being needed around the clock. There are women (and men!) out there who do like the newborn stage, but you don’t have to be one of them. And that’s ok.

About your body:

So we’ve all heard that you won’t sleep. And that it could feel like your vagina’s going to fall out the bottom. And that you will still look six-months pregnant for a while. And that you could bleed for what feels like forever. But there are other things…

  • Your hormones will plummet a few days after birth and you will not feel like yourself AT ALL. I don’t consider myself a hormonal person. I never really had mood swings, either during my periods or during pregnancy. The only mood swings I really experienced were during my fertility treatment days. So when I heard about a hormone crash, I didn’t really think it applied to me… Whooo boy, was I wrong. I found myself anxious, so very very anxious. Just the sound of the baby crying would send me into a doom spiral. I could hardly sleep because I was worried that the baby would cry and then the baby would cry and I’d be like I KNEW IT. It was bad. The dumpling felt like a ticking time bomb to me, always counting down. Just know that it evens out and, eventually, it will go away completely.
  • All that hormonal craziness I mentioned above, it can take a long time to go away and you will blame lots things on it for a while. My hair is still (five months post-partum) shedding at an alarming rate and every weird thing that my body does I’m like I dunno, maybe it’s the hormones??? 
  • You haven’t had to worry about birth control for a very long time and you will suddenly be quite concerned with birth control. How effective is it? What’s the failure rate? What’s the real, non-laboratory-setting failure rate? What do you MEAN there’s still a 0.5% chance of conception??? All of these become very important questions. Even if you struggled with infertility because wouldn’t that just be my luck.
  • Your stomach will feel weird. Beyond the saggier skin that needs some time to shrink back, your stomach will feel oddly sensitive and yet not sensitive. My theory on this is that while you were pregnant, the nerve endings got farther apart right? Because your belly expanded but you didn’t get any new nerve endings. The expansion happened relatively slowly so you got used to the sensory input from the belly. And now it (the belly) is gone. So the skin shrinks back and the nerve endings get closer together again except this change happens more abruptly (and without all of the other aches and pains of pregnancy to distract you). I’m not really sure. All I know is that when I touch my stomach, it still feels supremely odd.

The last piece about this, which sort of wraps up everything: I wasn’t prepared for how needed I would become. (This is partly due to my choices, as I chose to breastfeed for as long as possible, so this particular item might not be the same for others.) When I was pregnant, Luffy and I talked about how we would do this together. Parenting is a team sport – and it is! – it’s just not really an equal 50/50 split. At least not in the beginning. When you’re the only one who can feed the baby (and that baby eats every 2-3 hours, around the clock), there’s a lot resting on your shoulders. Some women thrive on this (probably the same ones who really like the newborn phase). It was certainly a shock to me. Before the dumpling arrived, I’d say I was needed. I like to take care of Luffy and Jas – make sure they are attended to. But I could always tell Luffy to fend for himself if I didn’t feel like cooking that day and, let’s be honest, Jas is a cat so she doesn’t need much. When it comes to a newborn though, there’s no shirking your responsibilities for a day. No sick days. No procrastinating. No oh, I’ll do that later. Even now, there’s still so much resting on me. We nurse twice a night typically. I  pump four times a day, for at least twenty minutes each time. I’m still struggling with this needed-ness, if we’re being honest.

So all of these things that don’t get mentioned, is it to keep up the illusion that parenting a newborn is wonderful? Perhaps. Could it be that, while most things felt so looming and insurmountable at the time, they pass relatively quickly? Possible.

I think though, it’s because all of the trials and tribulations quickly become worth it. The round-the-clock nursing won’t feel so terrible when your baby starts pausing to smile up at you before continuing to nurse. The first time he laughs. The first time she rolls and looks at you with surprise. The look of awe or disgust she gives you when she tries a new food. The adorable quirks he picks up along the way (the dumpling learned – from someone or somewhere???? – how to blow bubbles it’s apparently called a lip trill and it’s so freaking adorable).

It sounds trite, I know it does, especially when you’re knee-deep in newborn territory, but it’s true. It will be worth it, but it may just not be Day One. And that’s ok.


A Birth Story

As I predicted, that Tuesday morning was uneventful. My mom was in town, as I mentioned, so she joined us for our morning walk as Luffy and I freaked out a tad. (Our go-to meme for the weekend was Tina Belcher’s, from Bob’s Burgers, anxiety noises.) We packed up our hospital bag for the extended stay. Mom and I finished a movie we had started the previous night and then I showered again with the clinical soap. Time positively drug by until it was finally time to head to the hospital.

Since I was already checked in, we were buzzed right back. The nurses complimented me on our punctuality and began the process of getting me ready for surgery. I changed and they started an IV line. I answered a slew of questions about medications and complications and medical history. Once all that was done, we waited around for the scheduled time. Luffy changed into his surgical gear and then… then we headed back into the OR to change our lives.

They left Luffy in the hallway while I went back and was prepped for the spinal. Honestly, that part was the scariest since Luffy wasn’t there and I was in the OR all by myself. Such a surgical space, all sterile and bright. My nurse was fantastic in getting me to relax and into the right position for the spinal. Once it was administered, I laid back on the table and basically hung out while they hooked up all their monitors and disinfected (and shaved) my belly. I tried to relax; I was nervous about how the spinal would affect me. (I had heard that a lot of women start having a panic attack because they can’t tell if they’re breathing anymore.) My doctor came in and greeted me again and then finally they brought Luffy back. He had a huge smile on his face and he sat right down beside me and grabbed my hand. It was a sweet moment – our last as just the two of us.

The surgery started and there were some weird sensations, as they opened me up. Time stood still and then I heard him cry! Little Dumpling had arrived! I immediately starting crying myself and said something silly – probably along the lines of there he is! My doctor had them lower the drape so he could show us Little Dumpling who looked so chubby. They set him to the side and pulled Luffy around so that he could take pictures of Little Dumpling being weighed and measured. Everyone joked because LD just screamed and screamed – no mistaking that his lungs were just fine! (His APGAR scores also reflected this liveliness – he scored an 8 and a 9 at his one minute and five minute intervals.) Then they brought him to me so that we could get a little skin-to-skin action, which was a challenge because of the drape and the fact that I’m so short! There wasn’t a lot of room, but we did it. I marveled at him and just sort of stared at this little dude, this little wrinkly squalling newborn. We were fascinated with his extraordinarily long fingers and he had so much hair!

As the procedure came to a close, they took Luffy and LD back into recovery and finished me up. I was wheeled out, after speaking with my doctor, and spent two hours in recovery being monitored. LD spent a bit of time in the warmer and a bit of time with me. The drugs administered during the surgery made this time a little hazy (like, I still remember it and I was there but I felt a little loopy). We took pictures of LD and updated our friends on his arrival. Luffy looked perfect holding LD. I really can’t describe the feeling of watching him hold our son. Just perfection. I fell a little deeper in love with him in that moment (as I would further over the next few days).

At one point, a passing nurse asked me if my mom was perhaps here – waiting? When I affirmed that my mom was indeed waiting, the nurse told me there was a woman pacing the halls, wringing her hands, who hadn’t sat down in two hours – might that be her and should the nurse at least tell her everything went fine? My poor mother – so anxious! Luffy left recovery occasionally to update his parents. The pediatric nurses took LD away for a few heel pricks as his bilirubin levels were high and he had a weakly positive Coombs test (meaning my blood cells had started producing antibodies against LD’s blood cells). The two hours I spent in recovery were a blur of emotions and weird feelings as my body started processing out the spinal block.

Finally, it was time to go back to our room. At first, I was dismayed to find we were headed towards their overflow section (which meant smaller rooms), but we did just fine. My parents were waiting, as were Luffy’s – everyone was excited to see the little boy! We shooed everyone out after a few moments because it was time to try breastfeeding! Amazingly, LD latched right away and even managed to get a bit of colostrum from me. The rest of the evening is a blur for me. I had nausea around 6pm and got medication. It came back around midnight and I actually vomited before getting another dose of medication (I had thought the nausea might pass without it – I was wrong). Luffy actually got quite a bit of sleep – mostly because LD was still exhausted from delivery and slept most of the night. I’m pretty sure I held him on my chest for most of the night. I got up out of bed for the first time around 5am. Go me!

The next day (Wednesday) was pretty good – also a bit of a blur. My parents brought breakfast for Luffy and enjoyed some newborn snuggles. I got real food at lunch time. My parents gave us privacy during the afternoon for our hospital’s nap time. Everyone got a bit of sleep. My parents brought us dinner (pho! ultimate comfort food) at Luffy’s request (again, he wanted to make sure I was well taken care of and knew the pho would make me feel better).

I’ll pause here to commend my husband. He took such good care of me – of us. He was, and continues to be, absolutely incredible. He loves our little boy so much, it makes my heart hurt. He immediately dived into diaper changes and was the first to figure out that LD likes to hold someone’s hand (holding his hand can help calm him down and I used the trick too while trying to nurse over the first few days). He watched over me, making sure I was doing ok, enforcing rest and naps, questioning care if needed. He was fantastic. Even after we came home, he knew without prompting that my recovery from surgery would need sleep and lots of it. Thus he and my mom took the night shifts that first night home, allowing me to (try) to get a full night’s sleep. He is my foundation and I truly couldn’t have done it without him.

Back to our story – Wednesday night was not a good night for us. I’ll give about 10% blame to LD because my milk had (obviously) not come in yet and he was frustrated with nursing. There wasn’t much for him to have and he had no patience to work for it. The other 90% of blame I’ll assign to the overnight pediatric nurse on duty. The problem was that she kept telling me she wanted to check LD before he nursed. The first time she told me that, I was nursing him (probably about 8pm), so she said to just page her when he was hungry next but that she hoped to be back at 10pm. 10pm came and went, with no sign of her. LD woke up and started fussing at 10:15 and I paged her. And I waited and waited and waited as LD howled and became more and more agitated. Finally, at 11, I said screw this and nursed him (not well, because he was so upset). The nurse did not come by until midnight – a full hour and a half after I paged her. She apologized for not getting there sooner but I wanted to rail at her that she should HAVE TOLD ME so that I could have nursed. LD was asleep once again and so she said to page her again before nursing next time. This went on and on and on. It was awful. Luffy and I passed LD back and forth, each trying to drown out the screaming and catch a few zzz’s.

In hindsight, I don’t know why I ever waited that first time. When she didn’t show up in ten minutes or so, I should have just nursed. My newborn does not have to be on your schedule and he should eat when he wants to. Also, I probably should have requested a bit of formula to get LD over the hump before my milk came in. The only positive thing the nurse did was to suggest a formula dropper to get LD interested in nursing. I don’t think it actually did anything for nursing, but it did give him a few calories to make it through the night. I finally got to sleep around 6am and heard later that Luffy refused to let at least two nurses/techs come in the room for fear of waking me up.

As awful as Wednesday night was, Thursday was good. We were discharged! Before 1pm! Go us!! Going home was fun and surreal. We introduced Jas to LD – completely adorable. She totally missed him until he cried and then was like whaaaaaat is that????? Later in the evening, when I was trying to nurse (again, not well, LD is super impatient), he was crying and Jas was biting me like mom – why aren’t you helping that poor squalling human???? (And I’ll clarify, it was love bites, like she does when I’m not paying attention to her. Clearly I just hadn’t noticed the little guy was upset and she wanted to right that!) She’s been wonderful around him though, generally leaving him alone. Although, adorably, she has sort of taken over the co-sleeper we set up the Sunday before he came. She really likes it and sleeps there a lot.

I’ll take a break here. Obviously it’s been a while since I posted and there’s plenty to update everyone on. We’re home though! Doing well. LD is gaining weight and chubbing up beautifully. Jas is doing good. Luffy is amazing. I’m finally in a good place again, mentally. All is well.



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.

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]