Today I am 38 weeks pregnant. If you read my post on Month 8, you might be wondering how the hell did that happen.
I was supposed to be induced at 37 weeks, right?!
Yep. Then we got back the test results for my baby’s blood genotype. They seemed to indicate that my baby is K- like me, which would render completely harmless any antibodies I am producing.
As my doctor said, “This changes everything.”
Yeah, no shit. She said they could consider letting me go to term now (41 weeks in France) and even give birth in the Bayeux hospital, smaller and closer to my home, and where I had my daughter 3 years ago.
It was good news to hear, yet I struggled with it. First, because I didn’t want my doctor to be giving me false hope. She qualified all this with “maybe.” And second, I feel like I don’t want more options put in front of me at this point—I want fewer options!
Basically I spent the last 2 months in extreme anxiety over a problem that’s maybe not a problem after all. It’s true that all the ultrasounds indicated that Baby Deux is perfectly healthy in there. And the new genotype test was reassuring.
But protocols exist and are in place. I had to repeat the genotype blood test to reconfirm the results of the first. Mind you, it takes 10-15 days to get the results. Well, when I had my next appointment, the hospital harassed the lab in Paris to have the results but APPARENTLY my blood samples had expired before they were able to analyze them. So, no results.
It’s infuriating. I think I came quite close to getting induced (or just having a C section again) in the absence of these results. Fortunately the ultrasounds are still showing that baby is healthy. So I think the doctors backed off. Yesterday the conclusion was that we would once again do this genotype blood test and wait for the results, whilst monitoring me twice weekly to be safe.
I mean, by the time we get the results back, I may have given birth already, and I told them as much. And any time they start mumbling about a C section, I make it inescapably clear that I do NOT want one. Because apparently in France you can elect to have one. Is it the same in other countries?
So I have been feeling super grumpy lately about all this. Papa thinks I am going a little nuts (I tend to agree), and he says that I should feel happy and stay positive because at the end of the day, our baby is still fine. And he’s right.
But. I just seem to have a mental block around all this. I have a strong feeling that my baby is fine and dandy. I mean like a cosmic feeling. And I have all the exams to prove it. And if the university hospital is even suggesting I go to term and give birth in Bayeux, then how much of a risk am I taking, exactly?
How can they then also tell me about C sections and inducing me and oh my god we need to repeat the blood test and weekly ultrasounds and twice weekly EFM (external fetal monitoring)?
In the beginning, the “problem” was revealed through routine blood tests. And I was told, blood tests aren’t the end-all-be-all of the story. We need to check on the ultrasound. Great. But now it seems like they put more weight on the blood tests these days.
I just feel like I have had so much back and forth in my brain between relief and anxiety, over and over again. In a way, the fog has cleared because I feel more confident in my pregnancy (and that they are fussing over me for no reason) and in what I want for my birth (same as last time, completely natural, no intervention).
But let’s be real: I am not likely to get the birth I want. And I am really struggling with that.
What’s stupid is that I am freaking out about something vaguely out of my control that hasn’t even happened yet. It does feel like a waste of energy. But I don’t know how to stop it. At this point, I have stopped freelancing and I even QUIT my day job! Woot! This is actually the news of the year, ha! So I don’t have much to do besides cooking and cleaning. I try to keep busy and distract myself but in the evening before bed, I usually get really anxious again. I sometimes watch videos of natural births on YouTube and I feel such an emotional connection that that’s what I want too, then I immediately feel disappointed because for some reason I do not think the doctors will let me go this route. I really don’t want anyone to decide for me. But who knows what’s going to happen.
I should just lighten up, see the positives, and think about something else. But it’s really hard to do when you are this pregnant. You can’t escape it. You feel the pregnancy 24/7. And of course, the labor and delivery are very personal things because they involve your body. It’s a physical hurdle as much as it is a mental one.
Aside from all that mess, what else went on this month? I quit my day job, which I mentioned. I had been working in hospitality for 10 years, 8 at the same hotel. In September 2019, I made the decision to transition out of that job and start freelancing. I wanted more freedom and flexibility in my schedule, particularly for my daughter, and now for our new daughter. Papa also quit his temp job. It has been a huge relief to have him at home and for both of us to be completely flexible, especially given the constant treks to Caen.
Papa has been doing everything for me. Walking our dog, taking care of our daughter… even the cleaning! Last week we gave our house a good deep clean. He actually wanted me to stand behind him and give him instructions! We tackled the floors and the bathrooms mostly. And I dusted. It’s not a perfect job, and of course it won’t last more than a couple of days, but it gave me such a sense of peace!
This week I mean to tackle Freezerfest 2021. Or shall we call it Freezermealapalooza? When I was pregnant with C, I made tons of meals which I then froze for easy postpartum dinners (here they are). They really saved me. I spread them out as much as I could, and I reckon they lasted me for about 2 months. Score!
So that’s what I’m about to go do when I finish this post. I don’t know if I’ll do another pregnancy post for Month 10 (weeks 39-41+) because presumably I will have already given birth! But in any case, I will certainly update you with a labor and delivery story. Stay tuned!
If you missed the first installment of my pregnancy series, you can find it here. You can keep up with subsequent months as they are published here.
Jessica is an American expat living the dream in Normandy. She is wife to a French hubby and mama to a Franco-American daughter, born in 2018, and one whippet. Passionate about all stages of writing, this Francophile created her blog in 2020 to help others navigate motherhood with a focus on conscious parenting and bilingual parenting. Bonne lecture !