We’re going to the doctor this week and I can’t wait to find out how our baby has grown. She eats as though the second coming is around the corner, so I assume she’s bumped up on those growth charts quite a bit. We took her home from the hospital at 5lbs 3oz, and it makes me weepy to look through our gazillion pictures of the last 2 months and see how she’s changed. It also makes me weepy when I see how very itty bitty she was at birth, and how blessed we are to have her.
I didn’t always love my doctor during my pregnancy. She has a lot of energy and can be a little cut and dry for my taste. I thought about finding a different doctor more than once, but in the end, I believe she saved my baby’s life.
Clara wasn’t growing like she needed to inside my womb, but we didn’t know that until I was past my due date and got a precautionary ultrasound. The black and white image on the screen revealed a baby measuring at 36 weeks instead of 40. The ultrasound tech smiled and patted my knee when I asked if that was normal.
“Will she be ok?” I heard my shaky voice echo in the small room.
“I’m going to have the doctor talk to you about it, dear. She looks healthy right now. Just smaller than we would like for a full term baby.”
I took a deep breath and laid back on the crunchy white paper pillow. This wasn’t what I’d pictured for this appointment. I hadn’t even brought my husband; just a list of questions about getting induced in case my doctor suggested it. I did not want to be induced and had been very clear about that since day one of my pregnancy. But I also knew they wouldn’t let me go past 41 weeks, which was edging up quickly. I stared at the printed out pictures of my baby girl, amazed at her profile and how much she’d grown since I last ‘saw’ her 20 weeks before. I sat up quickly when Dr. Rice came in the room a few minutes later, more serious than I’d ever seen her.
“Well, I’m afraid waiting for natural labor to begin is no longer an option,” she said.
“Oh. But I don’t…But…are you sure?” I folded my hands protectively across my belly.
“The baby hasn’t been growing for a few weeks. I think your placenta is done working, unfortunately. We need to induce, and we need to do it quickly.”
I had a decision to make. Trust my doctor, or be prideful about my birth plan and refuse her advice.
So, in the spirit of all hard decision making, I started crying.
Crying for the picture in my head of my labor, wisping away without saying goodbye.
Crying for the drugs that would decide my labor time instead of my own body.
Crying for not bringing Sam with me to this stupid, scary appointment.
Then I blew out a tense breath. I wiped my tears, and for the very first time, I became a mother. I became a mother on the hard plastic cover of that exam table, and I will never forget that moment.
I wanted my baby out, no matter how it happened and no matter what happened to me. I wanted her out of my womb where she wasn’t getting nutrients, and into my arms where I could feed her. They could cut me open in the waiting room then and there with the receptionist using her cold diet coke as the numbing agent; I didn’t care. My baby needed me. My baby. Needed me.
And I became a mother.
So now, wondering at the growth of my two month old baby, I thank God for modern medicine. I thank Him for a doctor who knew what was best for my family, and for a healthy delivery of a healthy little girl. I look back on our pictures and wonder at the miracle of Clara, and the miracle of all healthy babies.
It’s a world full of miracles out there, people. And you’re one of ’em. Run with that.