Dear Baby Ellie,

It is March, so that means it is time to have you. A newborn baby! Your original due date was March 8, and then, at some point very early in the game, the doctor measured you and, based on your millimeters, he said you are expected to arrive March 22. At that point I was very excited to hear about the deadline extension. Now, I’m not so sure another two weeks will be necessary.

I mean, we bought newborn diapers and set out 0-3month old clothes – and that’s pretty much the extent of needed preparation. We’re pretty much already set up for you, which is nice. How kind of you to come at such a convenient time for the family!

Based on my personal gestation history, I feel like you might come early. This is a very dangerous way of thinking. That’s because when you think you’re at the end of something and later find out that you are not, there can be anxiety. And the man to whom you are married might suffer an unusually high risk of domestic violence if he doesn’t keep the chocolate milkshakes coming.

The other day Molly had been stung by a wasp and Maybel had been sprayed by a skunk or something and the thought did cross my mind that we’re not ready or capable of handling another human child … but that soon faded. I feel relaxed about bringing you into the fold. This is very uncharacteristic.

Unlike my pregnancy with your sister, I’ve had wholly uneventful, delightfully enrage-free medical visits throughout our 37 weeks together.

I switched OBGYN providers, and I’ll never look back. This practice has kept appointments, clearly communicated procedures and just overall met general, basic expectations without a single unpleasant encounter with an ill-informed receptionist. Not ONCE have I had to whip out an appointment card to prove I was actually told to meet the doctor at a predetermined time and place.

As a trade-off, at our current practice, I rotate among 10 or so doctors and nurse midwives.  (I’m not actually sure how many there are.  It might be a brothel.) You encounter a lot of different bedside manners when you operate like that. I have been pleased with every single doctor/midwife, and consider all of them highly capable of pulling you out: Most are perky blonds who tell me how easy and early my labor will be. This is what I’d pay them to say.

Last week, however, I met a fiery brunette who had the courtesy to provide decent blog fodder at our 36-week check-up.

It was a weird experience with her.

Despite the fact that I, having been told to derobe,  was sitting in the exam room with no pants on, this doctor REALLY did not want to do a cervical exam. She said such personal checks give women false impressions and that she wasn’t going to do it unless I was having problems. She said women read too much into the exxams and that she didn’t do them until 38 weeks. I was just over 36 weeks at that point.

Seeing that I looked confused, she softened, telling me that it was ”up to me,” and that exams “don’t make labor happen any faster,” and that she didn’t expect me to be dilated for a few more weeks and she gave a little sermon about the evil mindfreak that a cervical exam represents. I think I remember reading something along these lines in one of those hippy childbirth books.

The problem is that I know all that stuff already, and plus — my last baby arrived at 38 1/2 weeks. I would hate to deprive myself of fun and invasive medical procedures. I explained that I’ve been having cramps and I was wondering if that meant anything. I know that the numbers she would report ultimately mean nothing and that I very well could be walking around at 3 cm for five weeks, but at this point, I’m just a huge science experiment and I’m just, you know, curious.
Not to mention sitting pantsless on her exam table.
Eventually, perhaps once convinced that I was mentally capable of handling a cervical exam, she finally, reluctantly offered the two-second procedure and then seemed disappointed that I was 1 cm dilated and 70 percent effaced.
As the good doctor will remind you, these numbers mean nothing. Eventually you want to get to 10 cm dilated and 100 percent effaced, but until then, you really can’t read anything into the numbers. Active labor starts at 4 cm, I think. I forget.
Regardless, I still feel comfortable letting this doctor catch you when you come out. I just hope she doesn’t take as much time to assure I’m emotionally ready to have another baby before she allows me to push.
Anyway, here we are nearing the end and I really feel awful for not documenting every second of this pregnancy. But you get it. You seem like a pretty chill baby. Plus, according to your 20-week ultrasound, you have a chin. Your sister did not, so I’m assuming you have a lot more Seth in you and therefore won’t be the kind of person to search through my archives when you are 16 while screaming, “WHY DON;T YOU LOVE ME AS MUCH MOLLY?!?!?!”
I promise that your first year will not be as dreadfully journaled.
Ready when you are, sweet baby.

Mama Teet

ps- Do you have any strong feelings one way or the other about goats?

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  • Jaydubs

    omg, The Teet lives! Don’t go into labor before I see ya, lady! :)

  • Paul

    That. Was. Amazing.