Head for the Exit, Baby!

26 Oct 2004

Paul R. Potts

Well, like many deadlines do, our baby’s due date sailed right by. The baby is now ten days late. Grace’s readiness for delivery is rated a “9” now, as determined in our last doctor visit yesterday, but she’s so far had only “warmup” contractions. The baby still seems to be doing fine, wiggling and kicking but sleeping most of the time.

If she doesn’t go into labor tomorrow, the plan is to go into the hospital Thursday morning early, at which time they will induce labor.

We’re nervous because we gave up a scheduled C-section on the 16th in order to try to do it the usual way and avoid a C-section, which is harder and slower to recover from. Now we’re concerned that we’ve set ourselves up for a repeat of her first pregnancy, where after 12 hours of labor Isaac’s heart rate slowed, and an emergency C-section was performed.

It’s a long story, but we had pretty much assumed that after that, a scheduled C-section might be the best option. Even when we asked about whether this was in fact the best idea, our first doctor just took this plan as a given, and never told us that it wasn’t medically necessary, or in fact gave us any useful information at all from Grace’s old medical records, even though she had received them.

After a visit with a second doctor in which he gave Grace more information and answers in ten minutes that our previous doctor had given her in ten visits, we changed doctors. He told us that there wasn’t anything that ruled out the usual method of delivery, and recommended trying it, so we gradually came around to the idea.

We still might be able to achieve that, but the other thing we gave up by not scheduling the delivery was the chance to have our available friends and relatives, who have to work around their own work schedules, here shortly after the delivery. My father and stepmother came for a week-long visit, and we had a good time and they gave us a lot of help getting the apartment ready, but now we’ll probably need, and be short on, help in the first few days following delivery, as Grace recovers from a regular delivery or C-section.

I don’t have much in the way of paid time off from work; I’ll actually be running a deficit in days off, which is an unfortunate thing to do right before the holidays. If I had understood how the PTO plan would actually work in practice, I might have had second thoughts about taking this job.

It really is a bind; I need to take care of my wife and kids (plural now!), but my project at work is on a tight deadline, I have little or no PTO available, and I certainly can’t afford to take unpaid time off. I will try doing some work at home, but I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to achieve that with Grace recovering, a newborn, and my son all here. Lots going on! Please wish us luck.

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