Today was my OB visit and consult/tour at Children's Hospital. I've been emotional all day, although I held it together all but once while we were with other people.
First, my OB visit. I start going once a week now, which I figured. Next week is my Group B Strep test and starting cervix checks (). My doctor said that "if my cervix was favorable" that he would want to induce me. I baulked at that and told him I didn't want to do that. He said that the reason is that he wants this baby to be born during the day during the week because there will be more staff available to deal with his special needs. I never thought about that. He said that he wouldn't do it if my cervix wasn't favorable....still upset me. I am afraid that if they induce that all of my non-intervention wishes will go out the window. I had gotten pretty confident that I could handle labor. I don't know that I can handle induced labor. I feel like I have had to slowly give up what I want with this pregnancy-all for the benefit of my baby, but still, I feel less and less in control.
We went to lunch and then went to Children's for the consult/tour. I really like Children's. The atmosphere is great and everyone from the parking guard person to the neurosurgeon was just wonderful. We went in and had to give a bunch of info. They gave me a bracelet because I was the "patient" at this visit. Anyway, we went in the waiting room and saw a girl that came to our church a few times that has a 9 month old with SB. Tony played football with her husband. It was good to talk to her. We didn't get to chat long because we got called back. They weighed me and took my BP then we went to a room where we waited....and waited. Then these 3 people in scrubs came in and one introduced himself as the neurosurgeon's resident and sat down on the table, looking down at us. He was obviously pretty green. Apparently he thought Jessica was a kid with SB and not a lady pregnant with a kid with SB. We corrected him and he proceeded to describe SB to us...we just smiled and nodded and then he and his entourage left. Next a nurse came in, sat down in a little desk at our level. She was AWESOME. She had heard of us from other patients, I guess and said we were already "well known" around there! The first thing she did was ask us what we needed them to do for us. She noticed that I kept saying "he" and said "so, it's a boy?" and then "does he have a name?" and from there on out refered to him by name. That impressed me. She explained a lot to us and went through a rough outline of what will happen when we got there. We talked for probably 20 or 30 minutes with her. In the middle of that, the neurosurgeon came in and just explained a little about the actual surgery and left. The nurse kept emphazising that we were dealing with Gage as an individual baby first, and the spina bifida next. Every time she would give us something with stats on it she would say "now Gage may be a lot different than this, but..." I really appreciated that.
After the consult, she introduced us to the social worker, who was really bubbly and fun, and the 4 of us went up to the NICU. It's a lot different than I had imagined. It's 8 "pods" of about 8 beds each. I was picturing a great big room with lots of beds. The lights were low and parents were in there with their kids. The waiting room was packed, but most of the chairs are recliners and there were several people with their blankets asleep in there. They have a "pumping" room and a lactation consultant on-staff. They encourage breastmilk for the babies, which made me really happy. There are showers and lockers for parents to use. The visiting hours for parents are all the time except for 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. Between 9pm and 9am only parents are allowed. They allow 2 people at bedside at a time, and everyone but grandparents must have a parent with them. We found out about the Ronald McDonald House too. You're supposed to live 50 miles away to get to stay there and they Mapquest your address to find that out. Well, apparently we live 48.6 miles away. I hope they'll let us fudge a mile and 1/2! If they don't, I'm not sure what we will do. My mom mentioned getting a room in LR for them to use when we wanted to go home and for us to be able to crash at when we wanted to...of course, that couldn't happen for the whole 2 weeks.
All in all, I feel pretty good about it all. It was good to get to see all of that stuff for myself so I will know where Gage will be going when he gets here. It's not nearly as scarry now. I feel like we are in good hands all around. I may be updating a little more often now since I will be at the doctor once a week...I guess only if there's any news to update on, though!