I am an OB nurse; I do mother/baby, newborn nursery, and high-risk antepartum nursing. I'm used to being the one in control. I'm used to doing the teaching, reading the monitor strips, and reassuring the fears of many an anxious mama (pregnant or delivered). That's where I'm 'in the zone'.
Give me a 35-weeker feeder/grower, give me an antepartum mama in preterm labor, give me someone who needs that kind of help, and I am good to go. What I am not used to, however, is when the tables are turned and it's me in the hot seat!
'Roundabout late September, that all changed. Just under a month after miscarrying, in the aftermath of a rollover MVA (thankfully no serious injuries), I found out I was pregnant again.
Having a pregnancy so quickly on the heels of a loss, it was a bit nerve-wracking and considering the seriousness of the wreck, I sat around for a few weeks and essentially waited to miscarry.
It was still a bit surreal, even after seeing cardiac activity at the 6-week ultrasound done to confirm that this was a new pregnancy and not a surviving twin or retained products from the miscarriage.
Since then, this pregnancy has (at least for me) been one bit of drama after another. I lost about 20 pounds in the first 20 weeks because of a near-complete aversion to food. At 12 weeks the doctor couldn't find a heartbeat with the doppler, so we did yet another ultrasound that revealed a baby too busy to be still for the doc to listen to her. I've done two O'Sullivans, resulting in two 3-hour glucose tolerance tests. While both were technically normal, I've still been checking my blood sugars and tweaking my diet a little given my family's propensity to grow macrosomic babies (no one was very impressed with my 8lb 1oz critter last time around).
Blood pressures have been up and down the entire pregnancy and I've been obsessed with whether I'm spilling protein or not. At the anatomy ultrasound, they diagnosed her as complete breech; she has since flipped and her head and bum are right where they need to be. Even as late as the last doctor appointment, however, it took my doctor (he is usually the go-to guy for hard-to-find fetal heart tones) forever to find her because she just can't be still in there! (As my 6yo would say: "She's a busy little girl! I bet she's making lots of parties in there.")
Right now I'm at 37+ weeks and all systems are go; just waiting to go into labor. Other than wanting the usual discomforts of late pregnancy to be over, I'm in no real rush. Given this one's clear propensity to do things her own way, however, I'm not sure what to expect. It will be completely like her to either a) send me into labor at work and have me haul backside to get home in time (I work 50mi from home); or b) go to 41+ weeks and eventually need to be induced one way or another because she's just. not. coming. out. (Heck, a flipped truck at 75mph didn't do it...) Neither scenario would surprise me. For someone like me, who likes to know what the scoop is, this is hard!
When I had my first, I wasn't an OB nurse and didn't have the knowledge I have now. This time around, I've had the entire pregnancy to worry about my blood sugar, blood pressure, fetal presentation, and just about everything else OB nurses see on a daily basis that can throw a wrench in things. The biggest concern now is labor. I know what bad things can happen in labor and delivery; I also know the odds are very good on my side that those bad things won't happen. The control-freak nurse in me is trying really hard to relinquish that control and trust the process. I'm always telling other women that their bodies know what to do, and finding it much harder to tell myself the very same thing! I've got a great primary OB, great labor support lined up, and it should be easier this time around. Physically, it probably will be. Mentally, it might be a challenge.
I know myself and know that once she's born and I feel semi-human again, I will want to analyze her labor and birth from the OB-nurse perspective. For now, though, all the prayers, lit candles, and good thoughts anyone wants to send this way will be most appreciated.
PS - For those of you who are superstitious about these things: My birth plan is about five sentences long.