Something unexpected - Pregnancy Journal #3

Five months along and pink is not an option for the nursery

For the last five months now, I have envisioned a pink nursery with cute pink toys and tiny pink baby clothes. I thought about how I would fix my baby girl’s hair when she got older and the bows that I’d put in her pigtails. Imagine my surprise three weeks ago when we found out—the baby is a boy!

Why did I think it was a girl? Maybe it was the fact that there are a lot more boys than girls in both our families and that everyone around us wanted to have a girl. I was wrong. And really, it doesn’t even matter. He is healthy. The ultrasound technician did a great job at pointing out all of his features—especially the one that determined it was a boy.

Technology is just great, isn’t it? At the time of the ultrasound, he weighed 15 oz. and measured 16 cm. That’s just little heavier than a can of Coke and about the size of a large banana. His heart was pumping at 150 per minute, he had 5 fingers and 5 toes, his spine looked good and his head was nice and round. And, man, was he kicking! I didn’t feel it at the time, but I definitely saw those legs moving around! Of course, now I feel him everyday. I think he must have big feet like his father because he sure likes to use them against my stomach. I wonder what he is thinking everyday. Maybe it’s “Get out of my way stupid pancreas, I’m trying to stretch!” or “I’m bored, maybe I’ll suck my thumb.”

So Charles, that’s my baby’s daddy, and I are going to have a boy (I had to mention him by name this time because he got all upset that I didn’t do it in the last journal). I am now at 22 weeks and pain has become a permanent fixture in my daily life.

Many of us with disabilities are no stranger to living with pain. I’ve had my own experience all my life with pain, but let’s just say the pain I’m experiencing now is in a category all its own. My back really hurts, especially my tail bone. Imagine if someone took a hammer to your tailbone—that’s how bad it feels some days. I also have metal fused to my spine, which makes it even more uncomfortable since I cannot bend or flex.

The worst, though, is having acid reflux and heartburn. It’s just not a nice feeling when food is coming back up my throat and leaves behind a trail of fire inside my esophagus. And the heartburn makes it hard to sleep at night since it makes my stomach feel like a boiling pot of gas and acid. My friends who have children laugh at me when I tell them this. You’re just at the beginning they say. It gets much worse. Great, what next, my head will explode?

I had another visit today with my doctor. Things are good, but I did ask her about delivery. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, the thought of pushing a baby through any orifice of mine absolutely scared the hell out of me. Since then, I’ve seen a few DVDs and downloaded some footage off the internet on childbirth. Seeing them only confirmed my feelings.

But what did my doctor tell me today? The one person who is supposed to be on my side through this whole ordeal? She said, oh, there shouldn’t be any problem at all. Everything looks fine. The muscles needed to control my bladder and bowels are intact, so there’s no need to worry about having a normal vaginal delivery. I wanted to say, ex-squeeze me (no pun intended)? Vaginal delivery?

All this time I thought my pelvis wouldn’t be able to handle a regular delivery and that I would schedule a cesarean (c-section), get nice and drugged up and they would just cut the baby out of me. Again, I am proven wrong. Here I thought my disability would somehow make it easier, so to say, when it came time for delivery. I guess it’s not like customers in wheelchairs getting in free at the movie theatre. There comes the time when a baby will need to come out of its mother and nature and medicine only allow so many options, despite whether the mother is disabled or not. Besides, having a c-section is a pretty big deal. In fact, my doctor told me that because I am sitting all the time, it’s possible my incision would be aggravated more which would require a longer time to heal. I suppose I’ll just leave c-sections to the women who really medically need them. I’ll deal with the pain of labor and pushing and all that wonderful stuff when the time comes.

Stay tuned readers. Next time, I’ll explore baby equipment and put them to the test on how accessible they are.