Teacup baby


I’ve been able to ascertain a few facts about Bump already, even though we haven’t met yet. Clearly, he’s part ninja, having no respect for physical boundaries. On numerous occasions it’s felt like he’s trying to punch his way out. This, partnered with his frequent restlessness, tells me he’s also not flush with the virtue of patience. A more amusing trait is his tendency to not batt an eyelid at the overture to The Phantom of the Opera with the bass turned up, yet will get the hippy shakes to panpipes and birdsong.

Despite these eccentricities, his residence had pretty smooth sailing…up until about four weeks before his expected arrival. As my midwife checkups had been routine and uneventful, I’d been lulled into a sense of complacency about the whole ‘being pregnant’ thing. What was there to stress about? Just like any other growth spurt, it’s a thing that just goes about its business without my having to worry about it. Right?

So when my midwife said after prodding my belly, ‘I can’t get a feel on what exactly he’s doing…but he’s not in the right place,’ I had difficulty processing the words. The word ‘breech’ bounced off the walls a few times. She finished with, ‘…but don’t worry about it.’

Don’t worry about it? She tells me things aren’t right, and then expects me not to worry about it?

Granted, I wasn’t worried that Bump was in any significant danger. (Apart from evidently being burdened with his mother’s sense of direction.) We’re past the era of a breech presentation being a life endangerment issue. However, I foresaw it endangering my likelihood of being able to use a birthing pool, which I desperately want — I’ll take whatever natural pain relief I can get. My midwife had previously told me that the birthing suites with a pool (there are only two, at my local hospital) are only given to women who have problem-free pregnancies. Of which, a breech is not.

Oh, yes. It’s all about me.

I held it together admirably while she spoke to me about implications, methods to encourage Bump to turn, and our next steps. I was a cool, collected client. Not one of society’s Mad Mums. I wouldn’t panic or cry. I sat sedately while she finished talking and we said our goodbyes, then I calmly strode to the car and got inside.

And burst into tears.

Mad Mum.

The day I had an ultrasound to check his presentation, having studiously practiced her bizarre posture recommendations to get Bump to turn, I was relieved to hear that he was now in the right place — then even more relieved to hear that I was having a small bub. (There I go prioritising my comfort, again.)

All was right with the world.

Except at my next midwife consultation, I hear that, considering my own size and weight (which several medical staff have described as ‘small’ — and I never get tired of hearing it), Bump’s size is too small. Not extremely so, she ‘reassures’ me (in much the same manner as a ‘don’t worry about it’), but enough to have warranted her making an appointment for me to be reassessed at the hospital, first thing the next day, to check for any growth progress. ‘It’s possible he’s not growing,’ she said.

At least she didn’t follow up with, ‘but don’t worry about it,’ this time.

So this morning I found myself hooked up to a machine for the longer part of an hour, watching a jagged line reporting Bump’s heartbeat. Watching the clock. Watching the jagged line. Hoping my car didn’t have a ticket fluttering under its wiper while I couldn’t do a thing about it.

Another scan reported a good amount of fluid around Bump. (I learned that amniotic fluid is largely baby pee. Who knew?) This told them that Bump was in fact still getting some nutrient, so they decided to let things progress normally, and just keep a close eye on the situation. If he hasn’t arrived in two weeks, I’ll be reassessed and possibly induced. In a normal pregnancy that wouldn’t happen for another four weeks, but apparently they don’t think that’s a good idea in my case.

Sigh. My poor little teacup baby.

The simple reassurance I came away with was that, as long as my little ninja is still moving a lot, he’s okay.

And, as despite these hiccups, I’m still allowed a pool suite, so am I.


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