Jason and I are quickly nearing the end of waiting for Ethan's arrival to his actual appearance. We are as ready as we will ever be to bring him into our home and into our lives, excited and anxious with anticipation.
I see my OB again 1 day before I hit 40 weeks. Like I mentioned in my 39 week update post, the extra beats my heart has been producing has increased pretty significantly over the past week or so. I brought the increase up to my OB last week, resulting in the call to my cardiologist. After a thorough discussion with my cardiologist, he still feels that attempting a local, natural delivery is possible. The consensus is:
1. It is expected for a patient to have benign extra beats and palpitations post surgery due to the adjustment from the manipulations, healing, and development of scar tissue.
2. It is normal for any woman to experience heart palpitations, heart flutters/rushes, or extra beats nearing the end of pregnancy due to the extremely high volume of extra blood and fluid that the body will produce.
3. Since I have been going through 1 and 2 at the same time, it is not surprising that I am noticing/struggling with these heart rhythms at this time.
We do not feel that medication is necessary at this time, but hope that the situation resolves itself post delivery. It is, however, possible that I will require some type of beta blocker during delivery due to the activity that a body endures during delivery. The heart rhythms I am at risk for are not seen to be life threatening, but definitely problematic. The flutters I'm experiencing are not painful, but extremely annoying. I'm not afraid that the fluid has returned, but I am worried about my heart staying in a proper rhythm during delivery.
After bringing up the increase of heart flutters to my nurse, she immediately pulled out a calendar and asked me if I wanted to induce. I declined immediately, but asked if she thought this was something that was going to become necessary. She told me that while my OB usually will allow his patients to carry to 41.5 to 42 weeks, but in my case, 41 is likely it. No sweet talking or begging will probably allow my OB to extend my time with Ethan cooking to the full 42.
I really, really, really want Ethan to come on his own. I've done a lot of reading and research (I mean, seriously, I haven't been working since December, what else do I have to do?) on what is going on with my pregnancy and my delivery options. After a great deal of reading, unsolicited advice from many individuals, and discussing things with my husband, induction is not on my list of things to accomplish during this pregnancy. I don't like pitocin, I don't like the risks it includes, and I'm just as afraid of it as I am of a c-section. If I can avoid it, I want to. I'm afraid that my heart rhythms, combined with pitocin are a sure-fire route to the OR for a c-section, and I won't get that first moment with Ethan that I have selfishly claimed.
My nurse certainly had my best interest at heart. I know these heart flutters will continue to get worse (some days are definitely better than others) as time goes on. I know that I can't avoid it forever. I know that induction is quickly becoming a reality, but I truly don't want to face that reality. The offer for induction last week has raised my awareness that the time for Ethan to come on his own is very quickly running out.
I'm willing to wait for as long as it takes for Ethan to arrive on his own, but my patience is wearing thin. Not because I'm tired of being pregnant, not because I'm tired of the unsolicited advice, not because I'm annoyed with the well-intentioned yet obnoxious comments. While I certainly am tired of not feeling like myself, tired of the unsolicited advice, and very annoyed with the comments, I can deal. I want to deal. I will wait for as long as I have to as long as it means Ethan is coming on his own and we don't have to induce labor.
Yet I feel impatient that he isn't arriving. Each day that he doesn't arrive or even show signs of future arrival becomes one day closer to being unable to avoid what Jason and I truly don't want for our son. To be honest, I'm worried. I'm worried he isn't going to come on his own in time, and I'm worried for what that will mean for his birthday. It's such a strange feeling, to feel completely comfortable knowing that Ethan is staying with me until he is ready, but to feel so uncomfortable wondering if he will decide he is ready before the doctors do. I don't want my sweet boy, who has already had to endure more medical interventions than I could imagine, to have an "eviction notice."
So until next Friday, when I hit 41 weeks, my patience level and worry level will be dancing on a tightrope, hoping that Ethan will surprise us all and show up without anyone forcing him out.