On Wednesday, we had our weekly doctor’s appointment, and it turned into a long one. When we scheduled it last week, they told us that the doctor would be busy, but we didn’t realize that the waiting room would be completely full when we arrived. That didn’t cause much of a delay, and before too long a nurse ushered us in for the regular check and conversation. Sunflower’s heartbeat remains strong, and Jenny is dilated almost to two centimeters, which is more than last week. Jenny has been very itchy, and we asked the doctor about that–she said it was a condition called PUPPPs (which is an acronym for something complicated), and not just normal itchiness. Although she gave us a prescription to treat it, it won’t go away until after the baby is delivered. Today I picked up some special soap at Whole Foods that might also offer relief.
When Dr. Cherry asked us about induction this week, we didn’t want to reject the suggestion right away, and instead asked some questions. She explained to us that Jenny’s body is already well-prepared, to the point where inducing would cause no greater risk of unplanned C-section (which was our main fear). Given that, and the combination of a large baby and the PUPPPs itchiness, we conferred privately and said that we were ready to have an induction scheduled for next week. Next Friday works best for Dr. Cherry’s schedule, and it fits into ours as well, so we now have a pretty definitive upper limit for how long we’ll have to wait to meet Sunflower in person. Of course, she might be contrary and decide to come tomorrow!
When Dr. Cherry asked about Sunflower’s movement, Jenny said that she hadn’t been moving quite as much in the past few days. Although she didn’t think there would be too much of a problem, Dr. Cherry wanted to hook Jenny up to a baby monitor and make sure everything was okay. They put two monitors on Jenny, one to measure the baby’s heartbeat, the other to measure Jenny’s level of contraction, and also gave her a Jeopardy-style clicker, with instructions to press the button when Sunflower moved. For the first twenty minutes or so, Sunflower didn’t move at all (she must have been asleep), even though her heartbeat was strong and steady, and the monitor showed Jenny having a light contraction. When the nurse came to check on us, she said we should try to get the baby moving, and gave Jenny some orange juice to drink. Eventually, Sunflower woke up and started kicking all around. This caused the opposite problem, as she started moving so much that the heart rate monitor could no longer reliably pick up her heartbeat! I don’t know exactly what Dr. Cherry wanted to see, but she said that she wanted to get good data and see a couple of “accelerations,” presumably of Sunflower’s heart rate.
Eventually, they abandoned the baby monitor and sent us down the hall to the sonogram room. The sonogram technician performed a quick scan and determined that everything was just fine. She did one extra check that we had never seen before: she focused in one, and turned on some filter that made part of the screen light up in fluorescent colors. She explained that this showed the flow of fluids through the umbilical cord, and that it was also good. The sonogram must have answered all of Dr. Cherry’s questions, because when we checked in with her, she seemed happy with the progress, and also happy that we had elected for induction next week. With the combination of factors including Jenny’s PUPPPs, Sunflower’s size, an amount of amniotic fluid that is in the upper part of the normal range, and every reason to believe that Jenny’s body is ready for labor, we’re ready to go. I’m excited, rather, with apologies to a certain musical, excited and scared.