Sunday, June 26, 2016

Week 17: And We're Having A...

I went to another appointment with the perinatologist this week. This doctor, unlike my last two, is asking me (although let's be honest, it's more like telling me) to come in for growth ultrasounds every single month throughout the entire pregnancy. This seems to me like more opportunities for the perinatologist to find something to worry about, and then discover was never really a problem all along. I am not a fan of this process.

To prove my point, I note that at my first visit, the perinatologist identified something called "arterial knotting." This was some apparent curliness in the arteries serving my uterus, and the concern is that it might cut off blood flow and restrict growth to the baby. I can't even give you a link for that one, because Google does not recognize this term. I'm not saying it's not a thing...I know Google doesn't know everything that doctors do...but I will say that whatever "thing" it is is highly experimental, theoretical, and hypothetical, and probably even the doctor couldn't tell me how or why it happened, or how or what will happen as a result, because no one really knows. I would bet $5 that there is no repeatable research study on the topic. But anyway, in the theoretical case that arterial blood flow to the uterus would restrict the baby's growth, I was put on baby aspirin to reduce the likelihood of clotting and thin the blood to help promote flow through those curly veins.

At this point in the pregnancy, however, the baby is growing fine and the arterial knotting is actually gone. The observation and diagnosis of the first visit turns out to be something no one really needed to know.

The placenta previa, however, is not gone. That's much more important to keep an eye on, because everyone knows that babies and mothers die if a mother tries to deliver vaginally with this condition. They usually hope for/expect resolution before 32 weeks. So once again - even though this information is important - we all probably could have gone without this information until much later in the pregnancy and been totally fine. This is becoming a familiar pattern...

Well, anyway. I suppose the sex of the baby is another thing that no one really needs to know at this point in the pregnancy, either. I don't think I would go for an ultrasound just to find out whether my baby was a boy or a girl. But dang, if you're going to subject me to hours-worth of ultrasound probing, I will insist upon knowing this aspect of my child's identity! To know something so important about my child, and something that will shape his experience in the world for his entire life, really connects me to him emotionally and mentally in a way that being pregnant with a he/she/it doesn't. (Which is hilarious, because in a physical way, I couldn't possibly be more connected to him than if we were conjoined twins.) Plus, once you have four boys, chances are you have one or a half dozen family members that just can't wait for you to get your girl.

Well, folks, our girl may yet have her day, but it's not today. In the words of the perinatologist on Wednesday: "Oh, that's not probably a boy. That's definitely a boy." God is making it abundantly clear that we were meant to be specialists in raising little men. May He likewise make us worthy of the important task to which He has called us! We certainly feel less capable of doing that work now than we did three years ago, but perhaps that is an example of "when I am weak, then I am strong." We don't get negative feedback on our parenting habits or our kids' behavior when they interact with other adults, so we may have to rely on that detail to steady us as we falter and fret and worry our way through caring for these little guys. Still working myself out of the rut, after all. We are basically thrilled to be welcoming another little man into our home. Over the years, we've collected a half a dozen boys names we haven't had the chance to use, so we'll simply revisit the list. Same clothes, same toys, same activities, no glitter or Disney princess movies. Uninterrupted masculinity.

And, as I work my way out of that rut, I feel like I can tentatively say...there's always next time (dire poverty and life-threatening illness or pregnancy-complication notwithstanding)? 


  1. 5 boys!! That sounds so awesome :) I had my level 2 scan this morning and it's a girl! I will have to stop saying "he" all the time :) just happy thay everything looks healthy.. I think previa reaolves itself most of the time so hopefully thay will be the case for you! By the way I stalked thia website a few years ago when I started thinking about having kida and it made me determined not to let having diabetes mean having to have unnecessary interventions - so thank you! And I am so excited to have a pregnancy buddy so close in due dates :)

    1. I love having a due date buddy, too! I'm glad I've helped you to think critically about interventions during pregnancy. :)