An old draft

I've had this one email sitting in my "Drafts" folder for very close to nine months now. It isn't addressed to anyone -- I really am not sure who I thought I was going to send it to anymore. It's a description of the Friday before the Sunday I went into labor with Dee. She was 12 days late on arrival, 10 days that Friday. I'd had an appointment scheduled with my regular OB, but then her office called to say she was sick. I could have let it go at that -- the office staff apparently had not planned to reschedule me. But instead I mentioned that Dr. W had said she would have wanted to send me to fetal testing if I still hadn't delivered by this appointment. I gather that they took another look at my due date then and got a hustle on, shimmying me into an extra end-of-shift appointment with an OB I'd actually actively been avoiding seeing (despite my OB's practice's policy of having all pregnancy clients visit with all of the OBs -- just in case your own was unavailable at "go" hour).

The email describes that -- fateful -- appointment. I want to delete the email from my folder, but not lose the story, so I'm posting it here:

Today was a tough, rocky, and exciting day. Dann and I were in doctors' offices or the hospital for over 5 hours -- and very much on an emotional roller coaster a lot of that time. First, the fetal testing that we had done today was very positive. Lila is active, reactive, and has plenty of fluid in which to move -- and all indications are that she isn't too big, etc. I am also still very healthy -- my blood pressure today was termed "ideal" by more than one nurse. As some of you know, Dann and I had hoped to wait as long as possible for spontaneous labor to begin, so we viewed this very hopefully.

However, it has become routine practice for OBs to induce in the 41st week of gestation, and the doctor we spoke to today (our first meeting with Dr. Graves, since our own OB has contracted "walking pneumonia"), gave us a brutally hard sell on the dangers of waiting any longer. At one point he actually demonstrated the rate of fetal deaths after the 56th day with a dramatic upsweep toward the ceiling. Dann and I happen to have been doing a lot of research into latest practice/theory on this subject, however, and knew he was greatly exaggerating his case -- 1 in 1,000 births doesn't really suggest a vertical line to me. But whatever. In any case, he made a strong push for us to induce tonight. However, upon pressing, he reluctantly agreed that our due date may have been 3 days too early, so, the Monday-Tuesday induction is kind of a compromise.

Just in case we sound as though we're playing dice with Lila, I want to assure you that Dann and I actually took him very much to heart and had a chance to talk for quite awhile just the two of us before making any decisions. However, for what it is worth, he really was kind of alarmist. Case in point: he also insisted that I am not at all dilated or effaced and though initially he had offered to "strip the membrane" of my cervix, announced he was unable to because my cervix is so closed. In fact, he said, because of how unprepared my cervix is, I'm probably going to require a C-section with induction. HOWEVER, after we had agreed to induce on Monday night -- a decision which seemed to satisfy him, actually -- I asked if I needed another Strep B test, since the last one was 5 weeks ago (that's how long the results are considered good) -- which he agreed that I did. Since he was unable to perform that test without a nurse (his nurse had left for the day), we were seen by another doctor (Dr. Kim) for the Strep B test, who also checked my cervix, and pronounced me 3cm dilated, 50% effaced, and who then proceeded to strip the membrane. (I've been cramping ever since, which is oddly reassuring.)

Our prescription for the weekend is lots and lots of walking and lots of sex. :-)

Ironically, if we go into labor this weekend, we will be delivered by Dr. Graves. But really, that's okay. We're just ready to meet Lila.

Of course I did go into labor that weekend -- Sunday morning, as a matter of fact -- and indeed, Lila landed in Dr. Graves' hands -- which despite my having arrived at the hospital ready to push, he had still stuck up into my body as far as his elbows to check her position (which
was fine). I'd hate him, but I can't. At least now I can erase the email.

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