By Rebecca Godlove, Pediatric Alliance — Chartiers/McMurray
At the time of this writing, I’m crossing 36 weeks off my calendar. 36 weeks!
In every single way, this pregnancy has been different from my last. Where we were met with uncertainty and problems every step of the way with Ronen, including his unceremonious debut into the world at 36 weeks (when my blood pressure hit an alarming 200/160), we have had quite literally a textbook-perfect time with Rhett so far.
I’m not bragging. I’m deeply, profoundly grateful.
This time around, I’ve been on a different medication to control my pre-existing hypertension (don’t blame my diet or physical activity; sadly after much testing we learned it’s purely genetic). I’ve been monitoring my blood pressure at home and asking the MAs in the office to check periodically, and my numbers have been perfect. What. A. Relief. I know that pre-eclampsia can hit fast, hard and heavy, but as of now, things look good.
It’s hard to believe that, at this very time during my pregnancy with Ronen, I was being whisked to the maternity unit for an emergency “elective” c-section (sorry, but the suggestion of an induced, possibly 48+ hour labor wasn’t an option for me). He was a terrifyingly tiny 4 pounds, 3 ounces, and the first few weeks with him were challenging. I never thought I’d have a preemie who’d spend 9 days in the NICU. Fortunately, the staff at Mercy was excellent to us and I’m sure they will be again – but frankly, I don’t want to see any of the NICU nurses unless I’m thanking them for Ronen’s care! Even though I’m going to be scheduled for another c-section due to some complications with Ronen’s delivery, everything feels different this time. I’m in uncharted territory. I never felt a single contraction, not even a false one, with Ronen, but now… who knows what the next weeks will bring?!
The car seat is carefully strapped into the used-but-new-to-us minivan (yes, we did it and no, I’m not even a little bit ashamed). The 0-3 month clothes are washed and in a special drawer for Rhett. The Pack ‘n’ Play is pulled from storage, ready for a careful wipedown before it’s reassembled in Mommy and Daddy’s room. Bottles are purchased, in case nursing doesn’t go well. A little gift is ready to be wrapped, for Ronen from the new baby — a peace and goodwill offering, if you like. I’m already wistfully looking ahead to summer sundresses, hoping that at least a few of my pre-pregnancy clothes will fit, but also emotionally prepared to hang onto my maternity threads as long as I need to. After all, comfort is key, right?
The funny thing now is that everyone has decided on a “convenient” time for baby Rhett to appear. My husband has calculated that his due date of May 24th would be the best option, as he won’t have vacation time available until June and would like to take time off to be with our sons and me. My stepmom is visiting my sis across the country in May and insists that the baby has to wait for her to return — so anytime after the 17th is fine. My pastor still wants my help with a few projects, but the schedule clears after this weekend. I, for one, don’t want to be in the hospital on Memorial Day weekend because I don’t want to wait an extra day to bring him into the office — especially because I’m nervous about breastfeeding this time around! But – how foolish of us to think we have any say at all in Rhett’s arrival date!
What about you? When do you think he’ll meet the family?!
***Follow along with Rebecca Godlove as she gets ready for the arrival of her second son on The PediaBlog here.