Hello Charlee, My Name is Dad – Part II, The SCN

Our day was the literal rollercoaster of emotions – from being anxiety riddled while waiting on Becca’s major surgery, through to happiness and elation over the birth of our daughter, and then down to concern and panic over Charlee in her current state.

Seeing a loved one in an intensive care unit is heartbreaking. Seeing infants in such a situation is all the more painful and traumatic.

The specialty care nursery is what’s known as a Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They provide care to infants born at more than 32 weeks’ gestation and weighing more than 1500 g who have physiologic immaturity such as apnea of prematurity, inability to maintain body temperature, or inability to take oral feedings.

This was Charlee in a nutshell… or rather, in an incubator.

With Charlee moved to the SCN, I was asked to come by and speak with the nurses there while registering for a card to access the room. Becca waited back in our room, as she was still on Percocet and other pain medication, having literally just had major surgery no more than 12 hours ago.

The nurses advised that we were going to be on a strict feeding schedule to try and bring Charlee’s blood sugar levels up while they were being supplemented via IV. This would involve us arriving bedside for Charlee around the clock, every 3 hours for feedings, however in our reality, this meant the following:

Having been upgraded to the deluxe suite (in which we would no longer be sharing family bonding times with our infant), we found ourselves at one of the furthest points from the specialty care nursery. Becca was having difficulty sitting up in bed, let alone the fact that she was unable to walk or even use the bathroom at this point (TMI, but she was still on a catheter, which was to be removed just before our first initial visit).

Fortunately for the first of our feedings slated for midnight, Becca was given the use of a wheelchair. After struggling for about 10 minutes to comfortably get Becca into the chair, I slowly wheeled her into the SCN for feeding.

This attempt unveiled a few issues.

Firstly, the IV that Charlee had in her left hand, limited the number of comfortable positions for breastfeeding – an issue that had not been present in the recovery room when she was latching so well.

Second, Becca’s recovery from surgery also lent itself to make even the most basic positioning for Charlee incredibly painful.

And last, Becca’s milk had not come in yet, so even the limited amount of colostrum was tough to get to Charlee and once in her, it would need to make a fairly large impact to her blood sugar levels.

Be that as it may, we pushed through, and Becca and I were determined.

After an hour of feeding – some attempts resulting in just soothing more so than feeding, but other times quite successful), I wheeled Becca back to the room for a rest before starting at it again.

It was 1:30 in the morning when we returned to the room and 2 AM by the time I got Becca back in bed. Forty five minutes later the alarm went off and it was time to start at it again.

This time however, Becca needed to pee. We managed, but it took time and was incredibly uncomfortable and by the time we were done, I couldn’t find the wheelchair.

Great.

I hailed the nurse down in the hallway, and she advised that there was only one wheelchair for the floor and we couldn’t keep it for ourselves. Becca was going to need to walk it.

For an able bodied person, we’re talking a 2 minute walk – literally.

For someone who has just had major abdominal surgery within the last 24 hours, much longer.

We arrived at the nursery around 3:30 and were greeted by the nurse ripping into us about how important it was to stay on schedule and that the baby depended on us for this so she could get nourishment.

Not the guilt trip we were looking for.

I held in my frustration, and Becca went about feeding Charlee again.

This time the walk back after feeding, got us to the room closer to 5 AM. This time I set the alarm for 5:30, and after an impossibly short sleep, we were up and at it again.

Becca gradually healed more and more, but her progress depended heavily on pain medication that needed be administered by the main nursing team in the maternity ward. The same nursing team that were late to every checkup for vitals, impossible to reach, left us in recovery for 7 hours, couldn’t adjust the temperature in our room, served Becca solid food twice when she was not allowed it, neglected to place an order for a liquid dinner until after the kitchen closed, and also insisted on hoarding the one and only wheelchair.

We continued back and forth like this to the SCN approximately 48 times over the next 3 days.

We were exhausted, physically and emotionally.

"I am slightly perturbed"
“I am slightly perturbed”

Meanwhile, in the SCN, Charlee was doing ok, but for a span of 18 hours, I could not hunt down an on-call paediatrician to find out what the plan was with my daughter! As far as I knew, she was tapped into an IV until her blood sugars levelled, but how could we tell, and what were next steps?!

Finally I found a paediatrician who advised that the plan was to continue feeding Charlee breastmilk and supplemented breastmilk from pumping, while at once weaning her off the IV watching carefully to ensure that her body temperature and blood sugar levels stayed constant (above 36.6 degrees for her body, and above 2.6 (or ideally 3) for her blood sugars).

As the feedings continued we began to see a light at the end of the tunnel! Low and behold, Charlee’s body temp and blood sugars were staying strong and we watched the IV level drop from 11.5 millilitres per hour, to 10.5, 9.5, and all the way down to 2.5.

But then suddenly, a dip.

Her body temp dropped and her blood sugars fell to 2.5 – not what we wanted.

The nurses discussed with the paediatrician and it was decided to bring her back up to 3.5 ml/hr.

Another feeding session. Another measurement. Another dip.

She was brought back up to 4.5 ml/hr and the incubator temperature was cranked to 33.5 degrees.

We were at a loss – why wasn’t this working? What were we doing wrong? Charlee’s other vital signs were immaculate and she was otherwise a perfect little baby, albeit a tad jaundiced. What was going on??

Doing the math at that point, we realized that the expectation was for Charlee to wean off the IV down to zero, and then have 3 successful feedings off IV, out of the incubator, and still generate the appropriate body temperature and blood sugar levels. If we were at 4.5 ml/hr and they were reducing by 1 ml each time…. with the feedings 3 hours apart, we were talking 8 feedings, or a full 24 hour cycle.

Saturday night was probably the worst feeling. Becca’s pain levels were high, and the nurses in the main ward versus those in the SCN were continuing to be very inattentive and uninformed. Becca needed her pain medication in the short window before attempting to walk down the hall for feedings otherwise she would be in excruciating pain. That night, the nurses opted to double Becca’s dosage at midnight to “help alleviate” the pain.

While Becca may have seemed fine for the actual feeding, when that medication wore off it was like dealing with a heroin addict being forced through rehab. She was vomiting, and in pain, with nothing I could do but hold her hair back, find her a plastic bag, feed her some water, and help coach her through the discomfort.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

We kept muscling through the walks, the feedings, the heartache of not being able to stay with our baby, and the frustration of not being able to get proper, timely information.

When we look back, we kind of realize the irony of having the healthiest baby in the NICU. The healthier you are, the less priority you have there, and hence our predicament.

And then something oddly miraculous happened Sunday night.

First off, during one of our routine feedings, Becca noticed that her breasts were much fuller, and she was definitely getting more food out into Charlee. We even did a test and weighed Charlee before and after the feeding, and she gained an incredible 45 grams in one sitting!

As Becca and I finished a feeding in the late afternoon, we said our goodbye’s to Charlee and headed back to the room. While we were gone, just as Charlee was settling in at her usual levels of 4.5 ml/hr of glucose being pumped into her veins, the IV started to malfunction.

Normally this would be a sign of worry, but our nurse kept a keen eye and ran some impromptu tests on our little energizer bunny.

When we returned 3 hours later, she advised that IV’s in tiny bloodline’s like Charlee’s, can have a tendency of failing and needing to be replaced. However for the window of time that Charlee was without the IV, she miraculously kept her body temperature at 36.6 degrees, and her blood sugars at 3.5… all on her own!

The nurse then went on to say that we no longer needed to wean and we could jump straight to the three IV-free feedings needed to satisfy the paediatric staff and send our little Charlee home!

We were elated!

But wait… it got better!

Our obstetrician came by for a check up on Becca and advised that she was all clear for being discharged. We could finally leave our deluxe suite of horror. Our angelic nurse then advised that she had secured a room for us inside the actual SCN, where they usually house out of town parents who need a place to sleep and monitor their child.

Faster than you could say “cheque please!” we were bagged and shlepped down the hall, into the SCN, and into our new room.

If things couldn’t get any better, would you believe they even took our baby out of the incubator, and brought her into our room for the very last feeding? Everything was turning up Charlee!

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One sleep later, and 6.5 hours of paperwork (not even kidding), we were finally discharged from the NICU, and I wrapped up our little Charlee in her brand new car seat to take her to her real home.

The last four days were some of the most trying on our souls. The combination of lack of sleep and the emotional turmoil of dealing with a baby in the NICU is overwhelming.

I am very much aware that in spite of all this, we got off easy. As I casually mentioned, Charlee was the healthiest baby in the NICU, and several times our nurse rotation mentioned how they rarely get to see babies that big in the SCN. Charlee’s neighbouring incubators had premies weighing as little as 3 pounds, and several times there were emergency situations that had our nursing staff running in all directions.

I have many takeaways from this experience.

First and foremost, it’s ok to ask questions, push buttons, and hound people down for information. This was my child, and my priority, and I had to put at least one nurse and paediatrician in their place to remind them of that.

Secondly, if you’ve ever needed to have a situation that tests your relationship, this is one, and not to toot our horn, but I think we passed with flying colours.

I cup fed my baby, while Becca slept. She fought pain and frustration, with emotional anguish, yet kept it together and never lost her beautiful nature. One morningI woke up late, around 3:30 – 30 minutes past our scheduled feeding time and flustered as I thought I had slept in and not woken Becca.

I found this bedside:

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is love.

And it’s with that love that I now will be raising my beautiful daughter and beginning a phase in my life that I’ve been anticipating for years.

And I couldn’t be happier.


 

Stay tuned for the third and final part,  Hello Charlee, My Name Is Dad – My first week with baby

 

 

 

Hello Charlee, My Name is Dad – Part I

On September 17, 2015, Becca and I welcomed to this world Charlee Sophia Goldberg. Weighing in at a whopping 7 pounds 14 ounces, she is nearly 20 inches long. Later, I was advised that she is LGA, or large for gestational age, as she technically was delivered at 38 weeks, 6 days. We’re thinking if she went full term, Charlee would have easily topped out around 9 pounds or so – pretty huge for a couple of five and half foot tall parents!

As I type this, Becca and Charlee are both fast asleep.

My ladies.

My everything.

I am beyond grateful to have them both in my life, and Charlee’s recent arrival has truly been a gift. I have felt emotions that I’ve never knew existed, and she has fundamentally changed who I am.

The following is the story of Charlee’s birth, written for me, for Becca, for Charlee herself, and for all the dad’s out there waiting on their own child’s birth story.

My underlying message is that things change. Accept the change. Embrace the change. Don’t get frustrated beyond control. Don’t lose your cool. Remember that it’s like John Lennon said, “everything will be okay in the end. if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

I encourage you to share your stories here and with the world, cause as a new dad, I would have loved to know other’s stories and how they handled all aspects of it.

So to all the new dads, old dads, and dads to be – Enjoy!


Labour’s Eve was Wednesday the 16th, and Becca and I thought we would tie up all loose ends. We dropped the dog off at doggy daycare, grabbed some last minute groceries, and quadruple checked our packing for the hospital.

It was all very surreal and yet strangely appropriate.

Becca and I are very organized people – how proper was it that our baby would not leave things to chance, but rather cause a situation where we would need to schedule a C-section.

That night we chatted extensively about what to expect. It was all just a combination of what we’d heard from others, and probably what we’d seen on TV.

I barely slept.

I watched the clock tick towards five and stopped my alarm clock before it could begin.

We showered, changed, and packed everything into the car.

The hospital is a short drive from the house, so we arrive in a matter of minutes, found parking, and went to the Maternity Ward triage.

Another couple was there, in the early stages of labour. The wife was having some serious pain, and the triage nurse was getting frustrated with the woman’s refusal to listen to her. I don’t know what the issue was specifically, but the husband was trying to ease the wife’s concerns as well, while the grandmother (to be) was also assisting. At a certain point the nurse stated that the woman needed to open her legs so she could see how dilated she was, yet the woman refused. Bit of an odd choice if you ask me, but I never knew what else the issue was with her or the baby. We bumped into the couple in the Special Care Nursery later, but more on that in a bit.

Through all the commotion, we were there in a very cool, calm, and mostly controlled state. Becca was not going into labour, and for all intense and purposes, with the exception of our nerves being on edge, we were otherwise doing just fine.

Becca was given a hospital gown and laid down in a bed while they checked her and baby’s vitals. We had around 30 minutes to kill before the scheduled section, so we waited up front and finally met with the midwives as they arrived.

Becca and I were brought down a long corridor and before I knew it, she was being directed through the operating doors, while my midwife escorted me to the recovery room where we could leave our belongings and I could get suited up to be in the operating room.

She brought me back to just outside the OR and asked that I sit on one of the benches until they call me.

I eyed that door for what seemed like a lifetime, with the midwives popping out every so often, and then our obstetrician doing the same. I was told that it wouldn’t be much longer, and that they were just waiting on the anesthesiologist to finish with Becca.

Finally, our midwife waved me in.

I donned my mesh hair cover and surgical mask and walked through the double doors of the OR and into one of the two operating rooms.

Never in my life have I been in an OR (thank God), but I must say it was all very hollywood. Nurses running around doing a million things, the doctor standing over Becca lying slightly tilted back with her arms out and the curtain right at her chin. A chair was pulled up for me to sit right by Becca’s face.

My boss told me on my last day of work, “whatever you do, don’t look over the curtain. What you see, cannot be unseen”. Of course, there was also the fact that I too was a C-section, and my father passed out at my birth… but that wouldn’t happen to me… right?

As the doctor began, I stroked Becca’s hair and had her try and keep eye contact with me.

The doctor was quite rough, much more physical than either of us had expected, and Becca bounced a little, side to side, as the doctor proceeded.

She was not in pain, but the sensations were overwhelming and she started to tear up.

I wiped away Becca’s tears, reassuring her that she was doing a fantastic job, and we were almost there.

Another doctor close to us was watching the procedure while checking Becca’s vitals. She suddenly announced, “hey, there’s a foot! Daddy, did you want to see?”

Don’t look over the curtain.

“No, I’m ok”, I replied with a jovial, somewhat facetious tone.

She said, “oh, it’s not that bad. Come on, you need to see what you’re having.”

I thought to myself, you know what? This isn’t something I want to regret NOT doing, so I stood up and looked.

The scene was astounding.

The Dr. was just then pulling our baby out from Becca’s abdomen. Yes I saw some things that I would rather have avoided, but the image of my child rising up above it all was incredible.

The Dr. said, “see what you’ve got?” Unfortunately, I could not, because his arm was in the way, so I asked, “is it a boy?” to which he responded “try again!”

I started to cry.

Becca started to cry.

Our daughter was here and we were overjoyed.

The Dr. cut the umbilical chord (sadly I wasn’t offered) and passed the baby over to the midwives, who called me over to watch and help, while the doctor and nurses closed up Becca.

I moved back and forth between the baby and Becca constantly checking both to see how they were doing. Finally Becca was stitched up and stable and we were given the all clear to move into the recovery room.

It was about 9:30 at that point and we were having a wonderful opportunity to bond with our newborn. Becca tried out breastfeeding and Charlee latched immediately. We were able to have tons of skin to skin time, with only the odd interruption from the nurses or the midwives checking on Becca and Charlee’s well being.

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We opted to wait for a private room as I didn’t want to share this experience with strangers and their families. Oddly enough there was an influx of births from the night before, and we were queued up. Considering there are close to 40 spots available for families, that is a busy maternity ward indeed!

My understanding was that we couldn’t see guests in the recovery room, so unfortunately when my mum and dad showed up, I had to visit with them in the waiting room for a few minutes before heading back to be with Becca and Charlee. I sent them home but told them that a room booking wasn’t far away, so stay tuned.

Little did I know that throughout the course of the next 7 hours, Becca, Charlee and I would wait, sometimes impatiently, for a room – private or even semi-private – we weren’t picky at this point.

Finally they moved us to the deluxe suite, which they said was a real treat as the price was the same but the square footage was nearly a third more than those other private rooms.

Sweet! Maybe it was actually worth the wait.

When we got there, the nurses told us to lay Charlee in the baby warmer until they came back to do vitals and bathe the baby. At this point, she was nearing 8 hours old which is the window they wanted to use. The problem was that they did not turn on the baby warmer, or in fact heat for the room whatsoever, and it was sitting at approximately 21 degrees (or just shy of 70 fahrenheit).

It wasn’t until 90 minutes later they finally came in.

There excuse was that it was time for a nursing shift change (one of many we were going to be privy to) and they needed to report in to the on-call paediatrician. The new nurses came and started taking Charlee’s vitals. They were immediately concerned about her temperature which was quite far from the 36.6 degrees that they were looking for.

They advised immediately to do more skin to skin and brought us blankets to cover Charlee with at the same time.

An hour later they came back and tested again, this time with two of the on-call resident paediatricians who again flagged Charlee’s temperature. They proposed that we have her blood sugar levels tested too. This involves pricking our baby’s heal and then measuring through the blood before putting a bandaid on to stop the bleeding. These heal pricks would increase in frequency as our hospital stay continued.

I came to learn that the cold in the room caused Charlee’s little body to exert more energy to try and bring her core temperature up. This means burning up her blood sugars, and therefore registering a low number (this information was all in hindsight).

The concern heightened, and the nurses were requested to provide supplemental feedings in lieu of Becca’s breast milk fully coming in. They cup fed Charlee 10 cc’s of formula to help boost her blood sugar and give it a valiant effort before advising the inevitable.

After another hours wait, her blood sugars were taken again, and sadly again, they were low.

The on-call paediatrician was signalled to come in and she discussed with us that at this point we had only one option. She said they had prolonged the unavoidable through attempting the formula supplement, but Charlee was going to need to go to the Specialty Care Nursery.

Becca knew what that was.

I didn’t.

It ends up that it is a Level 2 neonatal intensive care unit and it’s scary as hell.

They carried Charlee over there and advised that we could come visit in an hour and get signed up for an access pass and discuss the next steps with a nurse.

This was how we found Charlee

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We were told that Charlee had an IV providing her with the much needed levels of glucose to help support her body.

Over the next 3 days, Becca, Charlee and I went through some of the toughest times I’ve ever experienced. Times that Charlee will never remember, but Becca and I will never forget.


 

Stay tuned for Part II – The SCN

 

The Most Important 1 in 350,000… A Letter to my Child

Dear Baby Goldberg,

This week is the last week you get to call mummy’s womb, home.

The last week we get to cram for our final exam in parenting, re-watching videos, rereading books, and tidying the nursery.

The last week that your mum and I spend talking about what to expect in terms of how you’ll look, what your demeanour will be like, how Party will handle you, and how to prepare for all the other unknowns.

This week will be the last week before all of our lives change… and I couldn’t be happier.

the world counts

When you arrive you will be one in 350,000 babies born that day… but to us, you will by far be the most important, and the most anticipated.

In one respect, the last 10 months have been a blur, yet on the other hand, they have also dragged on for an eternity. This being our first pregnancy, we didn’t know what to expect regardless of the countless articles, and numerous discussions with parents, friends, and colleagues.

As the weeks went by, levels of anxiety grew, yet as each milestone passed we breathed a sigh of relief. Every Friday marked the passing of a stage in your development and mummy and I have been writing in her pregnancy journal religiously, every week, with updates on how the process has been.

We wrote stories for you and letters to you, so that one day when we look back, we can remember every moment of this pregnancy. The scary bout with food poisoning that debilitated us for 2 full days. The heat waves that mummy and I had to push through with no air conditioning in the house while the temperatures hovered above 40 degrees. The time we painted your nursery and for some strange reason the paint drying made the room smell like dill pickles for 3 weeks. Or even the time I tried to hear your heartbeat by resting my head on mummy’s belly… and you kicked me in the face!

If you think back longer term, 10 months is just a snippet of a series of events that transpired that led to the creation of you, our little angel.

The more I think about that, the more I keep thinking about Newton’s law, that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It can be consuming to think about it, but all of the life experiences that your mum and I have gone through to lead to your creation and birth are astounding. All the people we’ve met, all the choices we’ve made, all the actions that have led to equal and opposite reactions, just for mummy and I to meet, fall in love, commit to each other and bring you into this world.

It’s undeniable.

You have purpose.

You are meant for great things.

I’m going to tell you what it means to be a Goldberg… if mummy gets a blog, she can tell you about being a Wong, but I’ll take a stab at that too.

Firstly, when I tell you that you are a Goldberg, you must realize that you are the last of the lineage, as during World War II, the rest of the family changed their names to Gould, so for what it’s worth, your namesake is unique in its importance.

You have the bloodline of both the Goldberg genes and Burke genes – both with their own strengths; both with their unique nuances.

As a Burke, you are scholarly. Your great grandfather was a educator, rabbi, and teacher. Your bubby followed closely in his footsteps and became the same. Your great uncles and aunts, cousins and distant relatives, all from the Burke lineage are accomplished, educated, learned people who achieve at their highest potential and follow their passions in life.

The Burke genes within you, help define your urge to listen to your heart and truly be a person of spirit and passion.

As a Goldberg, you are resolute and purposeful. The Goldberg’s are determined, and unwavering in their pursuit of success and achievement. With this steadfast methodology, there is also an approach to life that is well thought out and structured in its manner. Decisions are made with careful thought and options are evaluated.

The combination of Burke/Goldberg on its own, leads to an individual who is both purposeful and passionate; educated and decisive; accomplished and gratified.

On its own, this combination is quite powerful, but add to that the Wong lineage and you are our little masterpiece.

From what I see in mummy and her family, I can tell you that the Wong’s bring caring, kindness, generosity, and unconditional love to a level that make all in their surroundings, blessed. Also, the innate ability to parent, shelter, nurture, and support one another creates a cocoon of safety and comfort such that no matter what life throws at you, you know you’ll always be ok.

Since both of our sets of parents have divorced for some time now, new relationships and expanded families have been developed, further enhancing all of our lives, and influencing the people we’ve become. These influencers will continue in your life, making you an even more well rounded human being, and therefore so much more capable of achieving everything you would like to.

As your father, I make this promise to you:

I will do everything in my power to ensure that you have everything in life that you will ever need. I will love you unconditionally, shelter you from harm, and support you as a father should. I want to teach you everything I know, and give you the tools to learn about this planet, how to live on it, deal with it, thrive on it, and contribute to it.

One of my own personal goals is to continue with my blog and twitter feed, both as an information source for other fathers out there, but also as a diary for you and I.

I have very fragmented memories of my childhood. Sometimes I try and think of what my earliest memory is, but I’m unsure if it’s genuine, or merely based on a photo album flashing through my mind. It frustrates me that others need to remind me of my own life events as I struggle to dive into the depths of my memories.

I need this blog for me.

I need this blog for you.

I need this blog because you are the passion in life that I’ve been searching for, and this is the medium to tell the story and never forget a second of it.

I thank whatever divine intervention there was that played a role and put all the events into sequence that eventually will be bringing you into my arms, because once I’ve got you, I will never let you go.

You are my 1 in 350,000 for the day, but my one and only first born for life.

All of my love,

Daddy

5 signs you’re Nesting, as determined by the Wongbergs

Here we are in week 37, and suffice it to say, it’s been another eventful week.

Having determined the week before that we have a breech baby on our hands…. er… on board… we’ve been elbow deep in stretches, inversions, moxibustion sessions, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and obstetricians visits. We’ve been swimming and walking, stretching and flexing, talking to baby and playing her music, but alas, our baby doth not wish to turn.

As week 38 nears, we know that the window for baby turning is getting smaller and smaller, as baby herself is getting bigger and bigger. I’ve read that baby can be growing as much as an ounce a day, and judging by the sneak peak ultrasounds we’ve seen, our baby is carrying it mostly in the head and bum, just like her father.

I’ll tell you one thing we figured out, albeit a tad late – for all of you expectant fathers whose partners are not enjoying the heat nowadays let alone the back pain from pregnancy, go for a dip in a local pool. We have one around the corner, and as Becca puts it, you’re weightless to the point where you don’t even feel pregnant anymore. It’s a nice relief after shlepping your little zygote around for the last 8 months.

Breeched babies supposedly can take the opportunity to roll into proper position during a swim, but sadly this wasn’t the case for us.

We’ve determined that at this point, we are down to 3 options and therefore had a fairly major decision to make.

Option the first: Continue with a breech birth. While historically, this was frowned upon, as more doctors gain better familiarity with the process, there are more successes. With that being said, the risk associated with breech births is such that we are not comfortable putting baby in that position (pardon the pun!). In a breech birth scenario, there is the possibility for baby (and mum) to suffer complications, and an emergency c-section would need to be performed. Not the most risk averse approach.

Option numero dos: External Cyphalic Version aka “Version”. Becca got a sneak peak of the version technique and it was NOT comfortable. Recognizing that Becca would have a spinal anesthetic, she would not feel the pain, but the idea being that with the relaxant administered, the doctor can physically manipulate the baby and turn her, followed quickly by inducing labour, and Becca pushing out baby naturally soon thereafter. Again, the number of complications that can arise including but not limited to a sudden drop in baby (or Becca’s) heart-rate, followed again by an emergency c-section, are potential happenings that push this beyond our risk tolerance.

Our third and most reasonable option, is the scheduled c-section. As the OB iterated, this option lends itself to be the most straight forward and risk averse option as it allows us to schedule the surgery, have our midwives on hand, provides Becca with the ability to have skin to skin with the baby immediately after birth, and we should be out of the hospital within 24-36 hours. Since we are with midwives, they actually have extra visits that they’ll do postnatally, along with the wonderful support from family and friends, we should be just fine.

It’s an oddly appealing option as it falls in line with our desire to be organized to the point where we now can literally schedule our baby’s birth. The unknown is now a bit more decided.

Time to update the baby betting board at work and take the win!

All of these options still have the caveat that baby may still turn! We are not relenting and will continue the stretches and moxibustion up until the newly scheduled date. Just before the operation, the doctor will check and again, and if baby has actually turned, we head back home and wait for labour pains.

I, myself, was a c-section and so my mother can relate first hand accounts of how things were… 35 years ago. Friends just had a cesarian and all seemed well, but Becca is still concerned at the prospect of being under the knife, as she has never had major surgery.

I’ll give it to our OB for being one of the most pleasant, reassuring, and professional individuals that we’ve met throughout this journey, and the fact that he will be there performing the surgery is much of the reassurance we need.

 


As all of this information has come available, and the final pieces of the pregnancy puzzle have fallen into place, our week together off work has continued, and low and behold it would appear that the next phase of pregnancy has kicked in, in parallel…

Nesting.

Without further ado, here are the 5 key indicators in the Goldberg/Wong (aka Wongberg) household, which have led me to this conclusion:

1. The nursery is complete… finally… and strangely, quickly all at once

Star Wars themed cause regardless of gender, baby is going be a geek
Star Wars themed cause regardless of gender, baby is going be a geek

2. We have a bag packed, nay, a suitcase packed, and it comes with us in the car, just in case Becca goes into labour while we’re in line at Costco or snacking on Bao’s at the CNE.

3. The dog has a bag packed – not even kidding.

Cute, but not actually our dog, Party
Cute, but not actually our dog, Party

4. We are cleaning the house… constantly… On one hand it’s very clean, on the other hand, at this point I think it would be quicker just to shave the dog, but I digress.

5. We have blanched 30 pounds of food so that we can quickly prepare healthy meals while taking care of baby… or in case of a zombie apocalypse.


 

 

Becca is an incredibly strong woman, and the fact that she’s muscling through all of these chores, while staying so positive and wonderful, is truly a gift. I’ve read stories of women undoing knobs from drawers and cleaning the screws, so I would say we’re doing just fine.

All signs point to birth as being the next stage in our pregnancy or in bloggers terms, one more blog entry away.

I’m sure next week I’ll have even more to talk about including my last day at work and what other expectations I have of what the future may hold.

Until then we’ll probably be adding to the nesting list above… in fact we just got back from doing #6 – canning tomato sauce, and pickling beans and cucumbers…

I think our shelter is finally ready – bring on the walking dead!!