Fast forward – 36 weeks and difficult choices

It’s become apparent that I might have less time than I anticipated to catch up on the week by week business, so for now, I’m moving into the present (or almost-present in this case.) Happy reading!

imagesCAUI1QI2It’s easy to take for granted that our medical care is always done right. After all, we expect nothing less. If a bone is broken, we want it reset. If tonsils are in the way, we get them removed. If cancer shows up on the scan, we start aggressive treatment.

However, last Friday proved that all the expectations in the world don’t matter, unless everything is done right.

I’ve been looking forward to the 36 week appointment for a long time. For me, it felt like the point in a backpacking trek when you get above tree line – suddenly, the view becomes panoramic. Now you know what you’re working with- how far left you have to go. Oftentimes, you can see the boulder field, the final ascent, and suddenly, you’re invigorated. Ready.

Knowing how big the babies had gotten was a milestone, and 6 lbs was the goal. Anything over six was fantastic, anything under would be a little harder to swallow.

So when the news came back that Baby A was 5.6 and Baby B was 5.2 lbs and ounces, (15th and 9th percentile for growth), something inside me flagged. It felt like rounding the curve of a trail into what you thought was an opening, but instead, faced another set of dusty switchbacks. Dr. Becker carefully explained that because of the low percentiles, the babies had a couple of potential problems – either the placenta was crapping out and couldn’t accommodate both of them at this late stage of the game, or they had become growth restricted.

Either way, she recommended inducing, for the sake of Baby B, who was under the 10th percentile. In four days.

Jason and I looked long and hard at each other.

Let me be clear. 37 weeks is a perfectly fine time to have babies. Their lungs are developed, their bodies are ready, and there are very few risks for complication. For twins, it’s totally normal. It simply was not what I wanted.

She gave us the weekend to think about it, and asked that I come in again on Monday to do another biophysical profile on the girls to make sure they were still okay prior to delivering on Wednesday if that’s what we decided. We left the hospital in shock. Four days.

Selfishly, as I was folding laundry that night, I started envisioning not being pregnant any more. Just four more stretched out outfits to put together. The ability to rest on my stomach. Bend over. Pick things up without having an aneurism.

But the mother side of me felt uneasy. I fought induction with Ellis tooth and nail in order for her to have an intervention-free delivery. I knew that having twins was a whole different ballgame, but I was still maintaining the hope that I could at least go into labor naturally.

Besides that – we were basing all of these decisions on one ultrasound. What if it was wrong?

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