As we pass the 36th week, the greatest thing thus far is how relatively smoothly the pregnancy has gone. There was some morning sickness early on and some fatigue, but Clancy’s health has remained solid. As of a couple weeks ago, and even the weight-gain has been kept to recommendations (this was a concern, given her schedule and the ability to eat healthily).
A little while back, Rose had a post on comparative disabilities and her struggle to find sympathy for those that have kids with minor disabilities given her own child’s considerably more severe disabilities. I was reminded about an episode of Nip/Tuck involving two of the protagonists, Sean and Julia, and the later-in-life pregnancy of the latter. At first they were relatively enthusiastic, and then they found out the little guy was going to have Ectrodactyly (”claw hands”) and completely melted down.
Now, the show at this point was reaching down into excessive melodrama (I’d recommend the first season to just about anyone, though, without hesitation), so I’m not sure what the writer’s intent was. The result, though, was to make me detest the characters. Immediately advocating for an abortion on the basis of hands? I can vaguely understand on the basis of “We’ll try again, and maybe the next one won’t have this problem” but not so much in a late-in-life and unintended pregnancy.
With my wife being of “advanced maternal age”, as well as other things I won’t get into, there were a list of concerns about potential problems. We got the probability-determination for the Trisomies at the earliest opportunity. The results were good enough that we decided not to get an amnio. There was one thing, though. The doctor and technician couldn’t quite agree, but one of them thought that they saw… a cleft palate.
Cleft palates can actually be a big deal for non-cosmetic reasons (I have to confess that I didn’t know that). However, in this case, if it was there it was small. If it was small, it can be be removed on the tiniest of infants. Further, there was a doctor in town that was so good he would fly a grandchild out from the northeast to have it done out here. This would have zero impact on Jumping Bean’s life.
Reaction to this among the few people that we told varied, though of course nobody responded in the Sean/Julia vein. I had sort of been waiting for a shoe to drop and as far as this one went, we’d approach it as we got to it. I’d be lying if I said that I was unphased. It was, in a sense, the first indication that Jumping Bean might be… less than perfect. It gave me at least a little bit of insight into the Sean/Julia reaction. If not the all-out-freak-out, then the big of disconcerting even a small thing can bring. Their issue was bigger than ours.
There was no cleft palate. That was the good news of the second visit. The third visit gave us warning of something else: Jumping Bean is breech. Now, babies start out that way most of the time or always and then flip at some point. In this case, though, 90% of babies have flipped and JB has not. There would still be a 67% chance JB wold flip late, but for a variety of reasons Clancy’s considered judgment is that it will not happen in this case without a version.
In the event of a breech, Clancy will go to c-section. Which, for a obstetrics doctor who favors letting nature run its course, is a bit of a bitter pill to swallow. She would have been interested in midwifery or homebirth if we lived in a place that it was possible and circumstance permitted. This was really not on the agenda.
Clancy has commented before that pregnancy is your body’s way of letting you know that you are not in control anymore. Preparing you for the next phase, wherein your control over your own life is greatly diminished. She typically means this in the sense of sickness, exhaustion, body changes, and so on. I suppose, in a sense, it may apply to this to. And as with the cleft palate, in the greater scheme of things, this isn’t Ectrodactyly, much less something serious.
So in that sense, a solid thank you to Sean and Julia for teaching by way of their negative example.