A big take away from my 37 years on earth has been learning to know my body. I have learned how to shrink it, how to enlarge it, the exercise it likes, the amount of alcohol it can handle (for the most part), the clothes it can wear to not look gigantic, when it needs repairs, etc. So I don’t know why that day, when my very young doctor told me to go upstairs and have my baby at 37.4 weeks, I did not listen to my body. If I had, it would have told me it was not ready, that my baby was not ready and that my elevated blood pressure that day could have easily been cured with a little rest. My body was not ready to have this baby and I knew it.
Thursday, August 17, 2017 I spent the day moving furniture around in my office and classroom for the upcoming school year. The plan was to induce that following week, stay at home for 8 weeks with our new love nugget, then return to my multiple duties as an educator and a new working mom. Easy enough (yeah right). That afternoon, I left early in the 100 degree heat to head to my last prenatal appointment and I was never seen again. Just kidding. It felt ominous so I went with it. Life was never the same though, that’s for sure.
I had become fairly numb to my doctor and her staff’s overblown scare tactics. They usually left me leaving their office in tears. I had learned quickly that doctors are apparently supposed to scare the shit out you with the worst case scenario at any possible turn. Why do they do this? Covering bases for the law suits? Please stop. Despite what any test or blood work showed, I only had moderately elevated blood sugars (gestational diabetes) that was treated with diet and low dose medication but other than that I truly felt amazing throughout my entire pregnancy! I went cave swimming in Mexico at 7 months! I nested! I worked out! So many woman had it much worse. I did not take it for granted.
She said “I don’t like that blood pressure, Mandy.” I can recall that it was higher than usual, but not crazy high…somewhere along the lines of 139/88. She continued, “You are older, heavier than average, and I don’t want to risk it. How do you feel about having this baby tomorrow and getting started tonight?” Tonight? What the hell was she talking about? I had a presentation to give at work the next day! A yoga class on Saturday with my girlfriends! My going home outfit was still in transit from Amazon! Aside from all these little life things, I thought for sure I’d feel…something…a drop, some pressure, that motherly instinct kicking in…something. But I didn’t. I just felt like a busy teacher. A bitchy pregnant lady. But a mom in less than 24 hours? I wasn’t ready.
I know I’m not the first soon to be mom to feel not ready because who ever really is? It was mostly my body that didn’t feel ready. It felt content. It felt like things were cooking just fine. The baby’s vitals were great. He was in the perfect position. His estimated weight was 6 lbs. His profile was cute as a button (I was worried about his nose, though.) “Can we not wait? Is it really dangerous?” I asked Dr. B. With no medical training, we are at the mercy of their every word. Say the word, say that my baby is in danger and I will be upstairs, legs in stirrups pushing him out in five minutes. After a thought and a sigh, she replied, “I think that it could be dangerous if we waited. Lets go have this baby, okay?”. And with that, a few panicked phone calls to my husband and mother, and an “out sick” text to my boss, I was checked in on the fourth floor, labor and delivery, within the hour. I sat on the edge of the hospital bed, my ass freezing in the backless gown, waiting for my baby squad and a last meal of Whataburger cheeseburger and shake, terrified and most definitely not ready.