Known Unknowns

Because Elena was somewhat of a large child, the doctor scheduled a late-term sonogram for this week’s appointment. Jenny is at 38 weeks, so Moonbeam could arrive any day. Jenny says his kicks are getting stronger, and as I see him squirming around in there, it certainly appears that he’s ready for the outside world.

We didn’t get any pretty pictures from the sonogram; he’s pretty squished. We did get to see some interesting pieces, including practice breathing in his lungs and a considerable amount of hair on his head. The technician took the three important measurements: head circumference, belly circumference, and femur length. From those the machine derived his estimated current weight to be eight pounds, plus or minus a pound.

The sonogram technician was confident in her assessment that Moonbeam won’t be as big as Elena. Eight pounds is already a very healthy weight, but Elena’s late-term ultrasound was two weeks earlier and her estimated weight was already larger. Not only that, but Jenny seems at least a little more comfortable, so I tend to agree with the sonographer, but I have some doubts. In particular, the head measurement seemed to be relatively smaller than the others, which was also the case for Elena, so I suspect that makes the estimate lower than the actuality. We’ll just have to wait until he arrives, and the sonogram results indicated that we should wait, and not schedule an induction or C-section.

With labor possible at any time, I want to review my labor responsibilities and the techniques for helping Jenny be as comfortable as possible. I thought we had a book left over from the Lamaze class we attended last time, but we couldn’t find it anywhere. Last night Jenny and Elena checked out some other references at the library.

Typical of the genre, the books mostly read like propaganda for ‘natural’ birth. For example, they suggest that many doctors and nurses have negative attitudes towards labor and childbirth or treat it like an illness. I don’t believe that, so I try to skim past those sections while scanning for the parts I find useful. I want to help Jenny be as comfortable as possible and to progress at her natural pace through early labor. We both want to be ready for unknown twists and turns in the process–another thing that bugs me about these books is their insistence on a detailed, written ‘birth plan,’ as if this process is something that can be controlled. When we’re in the thick of things, we plan to take full advantage of the expert medical care and technology that’s available to us.

One last thing–I didn’t think this was something anyone would want until I started looking at these books–we have no interest in having Elena present for the actual birth. She would be bouncing off the walls, I need to take care of Jenny, and we certainly don’t want to drag another adult into the labor and delivery room to mind her. We’re counting on Gran to take care of her, but are also making contingency plans in that respect. As with everything, we won’t know until the time comes, but we hope Gran is close to a phone and has a full tank of gas. Beyond that, we’ll prepare for everything we can and take the rest as it comes.



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2 responses to “Known Unknowns

  1. I had a birthing plan and I loved it. It is just something written on paper with your requests and desires. . .the doctors and nurses read it and get on the same page as you.

  2. Lisa

    In my childbirth class I learned that people want ALL kinds of unbelievable things to happen at their children’s births… having their other children present is only the tip of the iceberg. A friend of mine offered to photograph it for me – NO THANKS!! That’s just as well since I ended up having an emergency c-section.

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