Day 5

I’m glad Jarom drove us to the doctor’s office this afternoon, because the closer we got, the more I wanted to turn around and go somewhere else. Anywhere else. Instead we sat in the car for a minute when we got there, and I think opening the car door and getting out was one of the bravest things I’ve done in a long time.

As I said before, we made a list of questions to ask. It helped a lot, but the visit was still awful. Here are the questions and answers.

Have we understood correctly that there’s no chance the baby will survive?

Are there any health risks to me involved?

What are the chances of the baby being born alive at any given point, whether we decide to induce or wait it out?
No precise way to tell. By waiting, there’s a 35% chance the baby will die in utero.

Are there risks to inducing?
Not any more than with a regularly scheduled induction for a regular delivery.

Are there benefits of choosing one option over the other? [The specialist did tell me I had the third option of a D&X, but I’m not comfortable with it and am not considering it in my choices.]
This is personal choice. It depends on what we feel is best for us.

Can I choose to have a C-section?
Not recommended.

Will I be in Labor & Delivery with the other expectant mothers?
Yes, but they put a red heart on the door and a note on the chart so all the staff knows what’s happening. There will be a lot of sympathy and sensitivity. [At this point I started crying and handed the list of questions over to Jarom.]

Could I deliver at Mountain View [the hospital where I had Evan and June]?

When do we need to make a decision about what to do?
There’s no rush. The only exception would be if the baby does die in utero, in which case my body won’t know for a few weeks until the fetus starts to decay. For that reason it’s recommended that I have a weekly visit to check for a heartbeat.

Would we do a funeral?
Personal choice. There’s no obligation one way or the other.

What happens to the baby if we decide not to have a funeral?
The hospital will dispose of the body. [I’m absolutely not ok with this, so I’ll have to start figuring out funeral costs and planning. Also not fun.]

How long will I be in the hospital?
I can leave as soon as I feel ready. [I cried again at the thought of leaving the hospital without a baby.]

What will my physical recovery be like?
Slightly faster and easier than a full-term delivery.

How long will I need to wait until I can get an IUD? [The OB gave me an odd look, so I explained that we had already planned for this to be our last baby and it felt right to us to be done.]
Probably about 4 weeks.

What happens if the baby dies in utero?
They should be able to catch it at my weekly visit, and then I’ll be induced sometime in the near future after that.

If the baby is born alive, will we fill out a birth certificate? What do we need to fill out if the baby is stillborn?
The OB wasn’t quite sure about this but said the hospital would know about the paperwork.

Will the medical staff at the hospital be aware of the situation?
[This got answered earlier.]

Do I still have to do the glucose test? [I thought of this as we were going into the exam room because I saw a pack of the drinks on the table. It was a trivial concern, but I figured I might as well ask.]
No, they won’t make me do that.

Those were all the questions on my list. Then I threw one into the air and made the entire visit a million times worse.

Will we get to hold the baby?
Yes, of course. The OB said he encourages parents to hold their baby because it will be better than always imagining the worst. But it was heartbreaking to think of.

Tomorrow Evan is going to a friend’s birthday party and then I’m taking the kids to an Easter egg hunt. Somehow I have to clean the kitchen and at least the living room, and bake cakes for Jarom’s party on Sunday. It will be a busy day – which I hope will keep me distracted. I’m so worn out after this week.