The Rantings - For Everyone

The Late-Term Ultrasound

So went for that late-term ultrasound I was talking about

As I’ve said before, I have a lot of anxiety surrounding these types of ultrasounds. Basically any late-term tests will make just about any Mom nervous, but late term ultrasounds are my particular Kryptonite. Today made me feel like all my anxieties are 100% justified…

For weeks now, we’ve been going to our prenatal appointments and being told that my weight looks good and I’m measuring right where I should be – even though I feel like I’m tiny for pregnant. Today, the first thing mentioned is that I’m measuring small, am I sure I have my dates right. I explain to them multiple times that I have measured small through all my pregnancies and that a lot of my babies were born really small. I’m also a pretty small person, so don’t get your hopes up on me having the biggest of babies! They bring it up at least two more times during this appointment…

Then, baby’s breech. Honestly came as a shock to me because I was sure she was head down. My baby’s are normally always head down. But, even though I’m still weeks away from my due date, on my 7th pregnancy and having a c-section, it should not have made them all react to the news of a breech the way they did. I felt like I had to be the calming voice of reason for a room full of professionals because everyone seemed to get real worked up over this.

Not even ten minutes into my appointments, only a few measurements in, and the doctor is coming in and pointing out a sign that reads that while they’ll tell us if they find anything, there’s still a 5% chance that our baby will be born with a problem not detected at this late stage of ultrasound. Thank goodness I am a 7th time mother and not a 1st time mother and knew this particular thing, because otherwise I’m sure it would’ve taken me back. And I understand that he’s also a doctor that deals with infertility a lot, so he would tend to put disclaimers all over the place, but I don’t think ten minutes into the appointment was the place to do it…

I told them about a hundred times that because I’m a night owl, my baby is a night owl. She was likely to not move too much or be more lethargic because it’s the day. Generally, she’s up all night kicking and rolling and moving and then is mostly quiet during the day and it’s been this way for awhile now. I tell them this over and over again, and even though she’s visibly moving on the ultrasound and kicking the radiologist, they keep talking about needing to “wake her up” and poking and prodding on my stomach like crazy people!

Even send me for a non-stress test. In which it took three of them to find the baby’s heartbeat, because instead of just once trying to put the Doppler on the part of my stomach where you could visibly see the curve of the baby’s back, they were all trying to put it where the ultrasound told them they would best pick it up. After a few minutes, I picked the damn thing up and moved it over there and instead of strapping it down, they just made me hold it there for the next thirty minutes.

And throughout the whole damn thing, I have this doctor coming in lecturing me about how I need to go to the hospital if I haven’t felt the baby move. I am literally clicking the button saying my baby is kicking, her heart rate is doing the jump and fall that kicks usually produce, the paper is literally giving the exact readout they want and I’m getting a constant stream of going to the hospital about my baby kicking. And I’m doing everything in my power not to roll my eyes and burst out in tears all at the same time..

I left, generally just raging. I kept my polite Canadian face on through the entire exit, but the moment I was out the door, The Boyfriend got to listen to a very big rant. Hate how stupid doctors can be sometimes.


So the next day, my Mom calls me on Facebook to let me know that my doctor called. She’ll be over in a few minutes so I can call her back. I call the doctor back thinking it’s probably nothing, they just want to go over the results of the ultrasound. Nope…

She asks if I can go up to the hospital to see a specialist because my amniotic fluid was quite low. All the kids had just been dropped off to go bowling and thank goodness for my Mom because she was my absolute superhero in the moment. The Boyfriend couldn’t leave work, so she worked out babysitters and re-worked the plans for the kids so that she could drop me off at the hospital.

I spent the next three hours, strapped to the stupid fetal heart rate machine waiting for the specialist to finally come and see me. It was honestly one of the biggest wastes of my time ever. Because all the specialist did was refer us to another specialist to have a more in-depth ultrasound.

I really hate how out of the loop we’ve been kept about a majority of this pregnancy. As I’m laying in the hospital bed, nurses’ station only a few feet away from me, I get to hear about how what I thought was a routine ultrasound was actually a biophysical profile – that our baby failed. That not only did they find only a small amount of amniotic fluid, they also couldn’t visualize the baby breathing (although not an entirely worrisome thing this late on, it would explain why they were all freaking out about “waking her up“). And apparently my baby’s weight has not been right on track, as I’ve been told, throughout a majority of this pregnancy!

And I was especially upset that not once did anyone give me any indication of how this problem of low amniotic fluid is dealt with. Right now, they want to do another ultrasound, that’s all I’ve been told. They’ll come up with a plan after that. From what I’ve read online and in my baby books, it’ll most likely be amnioinfusion (which sounds riskier than I’d like) or delivery (which means baby would be in the hospital for quite awhile before coming home). But I hate relying on information that I read because I know that doctors could literally do anything – even stuff that you’d never read about online. And I understand that it all changes based on the various and specific circumstances related to your particular case, but seriously… I hate being left in the dark!

What people, especially doctors, don’t realize about me is that when I was a kid, I was determined I was going to become a doctor. For fun in my youth, I used to read medical textbooks. To this day, I still get excited when reading medical literature and somehow manage to understand a ridiculously large amount of it. I enjoy medicine and am fascinated by it. I’m also far more comforted by too much medical information than too little.

I mean, here I am at the hospital strapped to this machine. I’m the only patient in this particular testing area with two nurses and a resident. We’re talking away like a bunch of gabbing teens. I even joke at one point when a janitor comes in and one of the nurses is in her way that we’re just having a slumber party in here. We’re talking mostly about medicine, kids and babies – as you do when you’re bored and stuck on the maternity ward! Nonchalantly, I ask what side the liver is on. I’m pretty sure I know the answer (left-side) but wasn’t sure. They literally had to Google it!!! These people are supposed to be trained to know things about the human body and yet they literally had to Google something as simple as basic anatomy.

It just makes you feel like there is no point in seeing doctors because they are just as freaking clueless as the rest of us. It’s all just an educated guessing game. And while I may not have been pre-med or gone to medical school, I seem to be all educated up in this particular situation. I could make just as informed of a guess as they can!

So now, tomorrow we take a two hour trip out to Calgary to do a better ultrasound with a more experienced specialist and then who knows what happens. I’m sincerely hoping that it’s not a situation where we end up having our baby in Calgary. And I’m kinda hoping that they don’t decide to just “closely monitor” this pregnancy, because I really don’t want to be going for tests constantly over the next 5-6 weeks. Especially with how much stress it all causes me. How much rage and upset it all causes me.

I guess we’ll just wait and see…