21 August 2011

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

Both baby and belly are growing at superhuman speed.

We were scheduled for our (almost) 30 week ultrasound this past Monday.  Michael had the day off from work, we decided he would drop me off and pick me up from my job in order to ride to our appointment together.  He pulled up to the front of the school at 2:50pm.  Our excitement couldn't be contained.  In fact, before I could settle in the passenger seat, Michael was already exclaiming how we were less than an hour from seeing our little girl's face.  Holy 4-D technology, Batman!  He's right!

But as we were making our way north toward Athens, my cell phone rings.  The caller ID clearly read: Dr. Goggin, OB/GYN.  The thought coursing through my brain blurted out of my mouth before I ever answered: "They're calling to say he's not there.  Our appointment is being canceled."

Me: Hello?
Patty (the receptionist/RN): Hey, Victoria.  This is Dr. Goggin's office.  He left a couple of hours ago to deliver a baby, and he hasn't called us here to let us know if he's done.  Usually no news is not good news.
Me: Is there any chance he'll be back before 5:00?  We have another commitment in Athens tonight, so we don't mind a last-minute phone call since we'll already be over that way.
Patty: I'll make a note of it, but let's go ahead and reschedule you for tomorrow at 3:30.  I'm sorry for the change.  Have a great afternoon.

It took all that I had not to throw my phone in sheer frustration.  This had happened to us before, even before we got pregnant.  I looked over to my husband, his face already fallen with disappointment.  Even though we would have to wait another day to see our girl, we were reassured by the fact that if she decided to arrive during office hours, Doctor Goggin would cancel all appointments and take care of us as Priority Number 1.

Despite the fact Michael was off work again on Tuesday, he had to meet me at the doctor's office.  There was a staff meeting at the hospital late in the afternoon he was required to attend, so I drove to Athens alone.  The 40-minute drive was saturated with anxiety and anticipation.  Would they call to cancel again?  Naturally, when the VW's bluetooth registered a phone call, my body tensed.  It had to be another cancellation, right?  Much to my relief, it was Michael calling to see how far out I was from the office.  I would arrive in less than 10 minutes.

Since Dr. Goggin always takes time with each of his patients, I lugged my teacher bag into the waiting room to grade papers to help the time pass.  Yet, there weren't any other patients waiting ahead of me, so I grabbed a magazine to read instead.  Maybe I'd get lucky and be seen on time.  And that's precisely what happened.  Michael had not even arrived when they called me back to check my weight and blood pressure.  Even so, I still did not get my hopes up when Michael walked in as I was being escorted to the ultrasound room.  My stats could be read at the exact time of the scheduled appointment, and then we could sit in the room for 40 minutes waiting our turn.

But this didn't happen either.  Dr. Goggin walked in just moments after I cozied myself on the exam table positioned right next to the cool blue glow of the ultrasound machine.  He looked more excited than we had been feeling.

"Today's the big one, guys!" he exclaimed.  "We'll finally get to see your baby and estimate her size."

I could tell this visit was going to make up for having had the rug pulled out from under us the day before.  Dr. Goggin lubed my belly with half a bottle of goop and turned on the magic ultrasound wand. He started at the top of my baby bump and immediately found her head.

"For now, she's breech, which is great for this kind of ultrasound," he began.  "We should be able to see her face quite clearly."

At first, all we saw were arms and hands.  Mallory Olivia was hiding her mug behind them.

Mallory Olivia started out with her hands in front of her face.  It's a very Madonna/Vogue position.

But after some serious poking and prodding (and a some verbalized encouragement from the doc), Mallory's hands moved and we gaped at the clarity of the image before us.  Our baby had a face.  It was the most captivated we had ever been with any image.

My prediction seemed correct--our little girl has her daddy's nose and mouth.  I've always said the Wynne gene is strong!

And in typical Dr. Goggin fashion, he continued his treasure hunt for the best shots of body parts and functioning organs.  He showed us the four chambers beating in her heart.  He showed us her perfect skeletal structure.  He laughingly took a snapshot of her "lady parts" for us to use later as blackmail.  And then when her mouth began to open and close, he started singing his own version of opera along with her lip movements.  A doc with bedside manner like his can be forgiven for any canceled appointment.

She hears her dad and me sing quite often, so she showed us how she warms up her vocal cords.

Then came the moment of truth.  Just how big was she?  Sure, she looked good, but would she be a "deliverable" size?

"Well, heck, look at this," Dr. Goggin started.  "The machine is saying she weighs almost 4 pounds."

"What should she be?" Michael inquired.

"At this stage, babies are roughly 3-pounders.  Let me check again," he replied as he tried his calculations again.  "Yep, she's 3 pounds 13 ounces.  She's significantly larger than most babies at 30 weeks.  Didn't think a girl of your size could grow one this big!"

I laughed uncomfortably.  This meant Baby Nerd would be a large newborn, and I couldn't see my body pushing out a 9-pounder.  "What does this mean about her delivery?"

"If you make it to 39 weeks and you're miserable, we can start talking induction.  The due date is not set in stone," the doc informed us gently.  "Heck, if you are into your 38th week and everything looks fine, we can talk about it that early.  It may make the delivery a little easier if she decides to turn back around with her head down."  When I informed him that my maternity leave was scheduled to start a couple of weeks before her due date, he commended me.  I could leave work on 14 October and have a baby just a couple of days later.  And one that's not the size of a Thanksgiving turkey!

We left the appointment with at least a dozen printed images of Baby Nerd and a crapload of information we would take home to digest.  We may have just lost a couple of weeks on our due date, so we have begun the process of packing a suitcase and making Mojo-care arrangements just in case.  There are still many things we need before we feel "ready" to bring a baby home (diapers, a seat protector for under her baby carrier, an infant stroller, extra crib sheets--egad, it's maddening!), but it should soon come together.  Michael and I are less than 2 months away from finally getting the chance to hold our daughter, and the excitement only builds with each passing day.

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