The autocorrect feature on my phone is driving me nuts. For some reason, when I finger swipe the word “appointments”, the word “southerness” comes up.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had more “southerness” than I could have ever imagined.
I recently returned from my LAST pre-Ocho appointment: the dreaded deep nasal Covid-19 swab. Honestly, it wasn’t that painful but not particularly comfortable either. The nurse jabbed the jumbo Q-tip up one nostril and counted to 10. One of my eyes began profusely overflowing with tears. That was a strange sensation, to have tears coming out of only one eye.
My results should be available tomorrow morning. The nurse said it might change my procedure date and time if I were to test positive. I didn’t correct her, but she couldn’t be more wrong. There are 3 teams of medical personnel waiting for me to show up tomorrow. This baby is coming no later than Wednesday, come hell or high water. I can’t exactly go home and quarantine for two weeks and then have a baby with a severe congenital heart defect. But I decided she didn’t really need this information
I am now 24 hours away from checking into the hospital to greet Baby Ocho. At this point, there are only two pertinent medical updates. I’ll start with the good news.
At my last biophysical ultrasound, Baby Ocho’s abdomen looked significantly better. The doctor is hopeful that the duodenal obstruction is a false alarm. I am praying for this. If Ocho needs abdominal surgery, it will be a minimum of a two-week hospital stay. We will know, one way or the other, within hours of the baby’s birth.
The bad news is that Ocho is still breech. He or she is very comfortably wedged the wrong way with its sweet little head tucked up gently under one of my rib cages. I think this explains the heartburn, nausea, and inability to breathe. But what do I know.
Because of this development, Sam and I check into the hospital tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. They will take me into surgery, place an epidural, and perform an external cephalic version to turn the baby. I can’t imagine that this will be particularly pleasant. So I have decided to stay off the internet and not look for additional information.
Sam is unable to be with me for these procedures. He will be waiting outside the surgical suite just in case something goes wrong. If an emergency C-section is required, the doctor promised that the team will try to allow him to be with me. My favorite MFM OB will be leading the team doing the version.
Like me, Dr. P is both a Notre Dame grad and a Michigan grad, so we have a lot in common. We have had a great time together over these past seven weeks. We have had in-depth discussions about Notre Dame football, her upcoming wedding plans, and appropriate side dishes to serve at a pig roast. That’s good people, so I feel confident putting this situation in her capable hands.
The success rate for a version is about 60%. Hopefully it works, and I can avoid a C-section. Regardless, they plan to leave the epidural in place overnight and have me rest (and watch some baseball) before either an induction Wednesday morning (if the version is successful) or a C-section (if unsuccessful). The medical team wants the baby born on Wednesday if at all possible.
So, how am I feeling? Well, like I need to clean. Everything. I have been waiting for the nesting instinct the kick in. Apparently, that doesn’t happen anymore at my age. Probably because I have slept through it. I don’t feel particularly prepared for this but I trust all will work out.
My sister arrives this evening with a freezer full of food and her contagious optimism. Karen will be in charge of things here at the house while Sam and I are at the hospital. She’ll help me pack my bags and make sure I have all the essentials. We’ll stay up too late talking, laughing, and making plans. My mom will text in vain begging us to get some sleep.
Mary Frances asked me if I was excited to have the baby. Her question caught me off guard because, honestly, I’ve never thought about it. Since the diagnosis in June, it’s been a whirlwind of appointments, tests, and scans. Meetings with surgeons and experts. The worry, anticipation, and pain have taken over sometimes and I’ve rarely given thought to the miracle growing inside me and the certain joy that awaits. But I know with confidence that our family will love and embrace this child, despite the difficulties ahead. Team Rauch is ready.
I am profoundly grateful for all of the texts, emails, and phone calls. There are so many of you praying and thinking of our family. I even have a friend sending cosmic energy into the atmosphere on my behalf. I have no idea how she does that but I’m grateful for the support. All of this gives me such comfort and I know that we are not alone. I carry all of you with me.
I intend to update this blog as I am able to at the hospital. Hopefully, there will soon be pictures of a sweet little baby. And a relieved mom and dad. I’m sure there are more challenging days ahead but there will also be some more answers. Thank you for sharing our journey and being a member of Team Ocho. We should get shirts.
In closing, a song keeps coming to mind. Veronica, my singer, is now on a Les Misérables kick. I’ve been hearing this music for weeks. As I approach the blessed event tomorrow, the lyrics from the song “One Day More” come to mind:
Tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in Heaven has in store
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!